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The Halo 5 beta trailer released during E3 said the game has "arena multiplayer." Design director Brad Welch took to Twitter to explain what this means:
Arena means what you'd expect - competitive focus, level playing field, map control. Spartan abilities are player mechanics not loadout AAs.— Brad Welch (@bradford_welch) June 10, 2014
@Booties5 Things that every player can do inherently with their Spartan.— Brad Welch (@bradford_welch) June 10, 2014
This RPG-like progression is common among multiplayer shooters now. Giving players a long list of unlockables has proven to be an effective way to hold their attention. Still, the downside with centering your multiplayer around loadouts and unlocks is that you're skewing the game toward people who have invested time in leveling up. Players' chance of success is determined by the equipment and abilities they chose before they even stepped on the battlefield.
Welch's tweets suggest that Halo 5 will be taking a step back from the level of customization seen in the past two Halo games. I don't doubt that there are still some unlockables. However, we're probably going to see a renewed emphasis on finding gear and powerups on the battlefield rather than in your loadout screen.
Unfortunately, we won't get any further clarification for awhile. Welch noticed the huge amount of attention his tweets were getting and decided to stop spilling the beans:
Halo 5's multiplayer beta will kick off in December of this year. Access will be included with the Halo: Master Chief Collection, a bundle of the first four Master Chief games remastered for the Xbox One. The Master Chief Collection will hit stores on November 11th.
Thanks for the questions, no more H5 details to share yet. Soak up those glorious MC Collection feels while we focus on making this puppy!— Brad Welch (@bradford_welch) June 10, 2014