The fan favorite Grifball mode is finally being added in Halo 5 Guardians, as announced by 343 Industries. This frenetic and strategic mode was confirmed in a blog post by multiplayer designer Max Grossman. The Grifball mode along with other ball-themed modes will launch on the Xbox One shooter sometime later this month.
According to the reports, 343 Industries went to great lengths in order to ensure that Halo 5’s version of Grifball was launched correctly. Grossman revealed that the studio even called in an expert on the mode, a community player by the name of Jeffrey “Nokyard” Fischer,” in order to help design the mode.
A few months ago, 343 Industries flew him to the developer’s studio before work even began on it. This was done so that the developers understood exactly what was important to the Grifballers.
Grossman said, “We had many design discussions with Nokyard and he even built the first Halo 5 Grifball Court which will be launching alongside the mode this update (it’s unlike any Grifball court you have ever seen before).” He further stated, “Nok worked with our Weapons Designer, Daniel Wiksten, on trying to get the damage and impulse blast of the hammer to feel right.”
“This collaboration helped us hammer out (pun intended) the delicate balance of Gravity Hammer vs. Sword vs. Ball that Grifball so heavily relies upon. We leveraged Nokyard’s wealth of Grifball knowledge to try to make the most exciting Grifball yet, complete with thrusting Grif, Ground Pound kills, and ball throwing. Playing Grifball during playtests over the last few months has been some of the most fun we have had in the new building.”
Grifball will be added to Halo 5 later this month and we will have more details once it is released. Meanwhile, another ball based mode that is coming to Halo 5 is Neutron Bomb Assault’s upgraded version, which will be mentioned only as ‘Assault’ in Halo 5.
Grossman further declared, “The core rules are more or less unchanged: a ball spawns on the center line of the map and players must deliver the ball to the enemy team’s goal and it explodes (Woot!). That’s about where the similarities end.”
He says, “We went back to the drawing board on when and where the ball spawns, the abilities of the ball carrier, and the arming process itself. When the game starts, the ball will spawn at a unique location each time it spawns throughout the match.
The order of locations is always fixed so players can learn to predict the next spawn. Once a team establishes control of the spawn location, they can pick up the ball.” He explained that for some players, carrying the ball in earlier Halo games felt like a menial task instead of being fun. With the studio’s latest development, things should be more fun in Halo 5.
Grossman revealed that they tried a lot of different adjustments starting from changing movement speed and changing the way in which navpoints work, disabling ball throwing, adjusting the damage resistance and much more.
In the end, they decided that there were mainly three important components associated with the ball carrier. It was necessary to win melee fights and to survive while aiming the ball. They also needed to make it to the enemy base while staying undetected.
Grossman said, “To meet these goals, we made the melee attack with the ball an instant kill, gave the carrier an extra thrust, and implemented the same ‘Spotting’ mechanic present in Capture the Flag.