Character and Statistics On/Character and Statistics Off.
When stats are on, everything matters. It’s what Iron Banner should be. Cooldowns are different, there’s more chaos, there’s more of a reactive experience. Players are forced to make snap judgements and plan their stat build for primary efficacy. You bring your gear in and every stat affects your play. Much of the rest operates like it currently does, including ammo drops – this works because it’s already a chaotic experience where the player shouldn’t be expecting a lot of control over the match, but is instead reacting. Super generation will be explained later, because it needs a complete rework, as far as I can see.
When stats are off, everyone’s cooldowns are the same. You can predict with absolute accuracy when someone will have their grenade back. It becomes a predictive experience, where players can control the tempo of a match. You don’t bring your gear in, but you select a Reach-style loadout, whether you want to use an auto rifle, a scout rifle, a pulse rifle, or a hand cannon. Maybe your talents still matter, so you get your grenade type and melee modifier. Special weapons are determined by the map, and special ammo is halved. Heavy ammo spawns on a 3 or 4 minute timer, up from 2.
Super generation right now is pretty awful. There’s no good indication of when other players will have theirs up, and stat scaling makes it tough to really predict any of that. The natural super generation is nebulous and not predictable.
So we get rid of it.
Supers do not generate energy naturally. Instead, Orbs of Light serve as a counterpart to the Heavy Ammo drops. These do not occur in the same place. You cannot get heavy ammo and orbs at the same time, you have to make a choice. If your team controls the orb spawn, you get a super every 3 or 4 minutes, matching the heavy ammo. Super kills do not generate orbs, as this leads to a rich get richer situation and is hard for the underdog. If your super meter is filled and you die, you lose some of your orbs. When stats are on, Intellect determines how much the meter is filled per orb – with maxed Intellect, you go from 0-100% super from picking up a dead player’s orbs, making comebacks slightly easier. When stats are off, a player will drop enough orbs for half of your meter to fill up. Comebacks are possible but are driven more by moment-to-moment play like a traditional arena shooter.
The game also needs objective modes pretty badly. Having a bunch of Slayer variants and pseudo-objective modes just isn’t interesting.
Capture the Relic
One team defends the relic, located in their base, from the attacking team. Once the relic is picked up, the carrier cannot use his movement mode and has either no or a less effective sprint. The carrier has limited usage of the standard relic abilities (a shield that drains very quickly, a cooldown-limited melee, maaaybe some sort of super variant). This can be either a round-based asymmetric mode or a concurrent symmetric mode.
Your team starts with a relic, and your objective is to cleanse an object or location in the enemy team’s base. This operates like an Assault variant – the cleanse objective takes 10 seconds to fully cleanse using the relic shield, and supers are disabled while in the shield (to prevent bubble strategy from dominating). If interrupted (by a player running into the shield and pausing the cleanse or by a player killing the relic carrier), the cleanse objective gradually refills – not a full reset so it maintains a little bit of sticky arming, but you do have a time pressure. A Time’s Vengeance-style buff is applied to the relic holder in the cleanse zone that allows infinite cleanse bubble – but not the melee or super.
Honestly, the relic mechanics have such huge potential for multiplayer that it really baffles me that it was ignored so completely. You can make an oddball variant, a juggernaut variant, all sorts of things. As someone that comes to multiplayer games for the objective modes, this is maybe one of the biggest disappointments.
I dunno. It’s certainly not perfect, and I don’t know how it goes in practice. But I guess that’s the game I’d make if I had the chance, given the restrictions that are in place and trying to maintain a semblance of what the game’s vision is.