MLG recently sat down with Ogre 2 – member of the 2007 national championship team, Final Boss, and the league’s MVP – and Ghostayame – member of 2006 national champions, Carbon – to discuss Halo 3. In the interview they talk about the game’s potential with Forge, equipment and general impressions of the game. Some interesting divergences and agreements litter the interview. Check it out:

Ghostayame’s portion begins on Page 6.

Ogre 2

MLG: What are your favorite elements of Halo 3?

Ogre 2 Claims the 2007 MLG MVP award

Ogre 2: I enjoy the reduction in auto-aim. That is pretty much the only thing about Halo 3 that I greatly prefer over Halo 2. Actually being able to be down a few shots, and turn around and out BR somebody is a great feeling. Other than that, there are many things about Halo 3 that I don’t mind, but there really isn’t anything else that I’m absolutely loving, other than the fact that it’s something new to play.

MLG: After playing three seasons of Halo 2, what’s it like to switch over to Halo 3? What elements are similar to Halo 2? Which are different?

Ogre 2: To be honest, Halo 3 isn’t a whole lot different from Halo 2. I was a little bit disappointed because of this. Going from Halo 1 to Halo 2 was a huge change, because the games are almost nothing alike when it comes to game play. Switching from Halo 2 to Halo 3, there are just new maps and a few new weapons is all that really feels different.

The game play itself, the physics engine and the way the weapons work, I almost feel are worse than in Halo 2.

MLG: Why is that?

Ogre 2: When I played the Halo 3 beta, I felt like the game was “incomplete”, the movements all felt awkward and stuff. It’s kind of hard to explain, but anyway, I was hoping that was just because it was the beta, but now the real thing came out and the multiplayer is identical to the way it was in the beta.

For example, there is less auto aim, but at the same time the hit-boxes are messed up pretty badly. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but the hit-boxes for the body are huge, and you can hit guys with the sniper while not even aiming on them, like by shooting past their arms. Head shots aren’t really harder to get, it’s just that you have to aim above the guys head instead of actually on his head. There are just a bunch of little things like that that make it feel like it’s incomplete to me.

MLG: Maybe similar to how Halo 2 was before the patch?

Ogre 2: Similar, but even worse I’d say.

MLG: Are you bumper jumpering?

Ogre 2 plays with his Shadowrun squad, Shoot to Kill

Ogre 2: No I am not. There are two main reasons for that. One: I’ve played default for over five years, Halo: CE and Halo 2. In Halo 2 for example, by the end of the 2007 season, almost every single person on the top 8 teams, was either clawing, or playing boxer except for StrongSide and me.

I adapted my play style so that I didn’t have to claw. I would sit back more and when I came close to somebody else, instead of running right at them and engaging in a melee battle like everybody else loved to do, I would continue to shoot and jump backwards. I called it my “anti-claw” move. Several people that came to LAN with us learned about my anti-claw, it’s pretty famous : ), but basically, I continue to shoot while jumping backwards away from guys, knowing they would go in for the melee and, usually, they would lunge up at me and even if they would connect their lunge melee, I would then melee as I’m coming down on them and they would die in one hit because of a jumping melee, and I was shooting the whole time while jumping away.

The number two reason is much more simple and that is because melees in Halo 3 don’t seem to be very important. If the guy is anywhere in the screen, the melee connects. therefore, I really don’t feel the need to switch 5+ years of experience for some bumper jumpering.

MLG: Do you find reduction in lunge to be a positive thing?

Ogre 2: Reduction in lunge is good.

MLG: As someone who put the shotgun to good use in Halo 2, how do you like the Halo 3 shotgun?

Ogre 2: I feel as if it’s extremely overpowered. I mean, I don’t hate it, I like that it actually works, as compared to the Halo 2 shotty. It will be treated like a power weapon in competitive play the way that it is right now. But when compared to how they dulled down the sword and melees also, it’s so overpowered now. I’ll take shotgun over sword any day now.

MLG: What is your favorite weapon?

The Ogres hope to dominate Halo 3, just as they have Halo 1 and 2

Ogre 2: Oh, my favorite weapon as always is the sniper rifle. It was in Halo 1, Halo 2, and, of course, Halo 3.

MLG: Beam or Human?

Ogre 2: Human. It’s a lot more difficult to use, just because of the reduction in auto aim and the weird hitboxes, but I still love it, because once again it’s the most skilled weapon. I don’t know, [though], I haven’t really used the beam in anything except campaign. (laughs)

MLG: Favorite map?

Ogre 2: The Pit. It’s the most balanced and best sized map. There is an overshield, a camo and rockets along with two sniper rifles. Plenty of things to control and to keep people moving around the map. It’s symmetrical and well balanced.

MLG: Well said. Do you see a lot of potential for evolving strategies on the maps like we saw in Halo 2? Have any strategies emerged that are already taking names like the “BR strategy” on Lockout?

Ogre 2: Not to that extent no. Nothing has formed like that yet. There are more simple “setups” that have formed, though. Basically places that people like to snipe from while their team watches their backs.

Like on Narrows for example, teams often put their sniper way in the back of their base and he can view the entire top middle area and pick off kills.

MLG: Have you found any specific power positions on the map that are equivalent to things like Pink 2 on Midship?

Ogre 2: Not really, no, and the reason for that is that every map has power-ups or power weapons. Midship didn’t and that’s why P2 was the most important spot on the map. In Halo 3, similar to Halo 1, the best position on the map is near the power-ups/weapons or near your teammate that has one.

MLG: Have you played around with Forge at all? What type of impact do you see it having on competitive play?

A funny moment with Strongside

Ogre 2: I have not played around with Forge at all, but obviously it has the potential to make this game much better.

MLG: How bad is Puckett at Halo 1?

Ogre 2: He’s actually pretty bad, believe it or not. He may seem like tuff stuff in the office, but on a large scale of things, he’s not!

MLG: What are the top three things to keep in mind in a team game?

Ogre 2: 1. Find a team member that is really easy to bait, such as Walshy. 2. (laughs) Just kidding.

But seriously, not in any specific order, helping out your teammates, communication, and map positioning/power up control. I think communication might be my number one, actually, just to put that out there. I really hate playing with people who don’t talk or tell you where things are happening.

MLG: Have you found any dual-wielding combos that are worthwhile?

Ogre 2: Dual maulers! It dominates in matchmaking.

MLG: Can you talk about the maulers, there seems to be a lot of uproar about them.

Ogre 2: I actually don’t mind them. A lot of people don’t like the mauler but i think it’s more a problem of there being such an abundance of them on the maps. With Forge, you can take them out. It’s like a slightly weaker shotgun that takes a melee to kill every time. If there was only one on the map, people wouldn’t really care about it as much as they do now. Like in Guardian, there are three on the map, construct has four. It’s ridiculous the way it is now.

MLG: What is your feeling about equipment? What ones are the most/least useful? Which ones should be in competitive settings?

Ogre 2: I actually enjoy the equipment. I think it’s a cool new element to the game and gives people something else to go for on the map. They can be treated as a power up. I don’t like the flare at all, though, and think it is dumb along with the radar jammer for no radar games of course. The shield drainer and the regenerator I think are incredible. I kinda like the idea of the bubble shield, but at the same time I hate the whole shield door/bubble shield thing.

MLG: Lastly, what was it like to win the National Championships without dropping a single game in the face of so much doubt?

Ogre 2: Doubt!?!?!? Who doubted us! I want names!

Basically we just proved that on our bad days our team placed a close second and on our average days we could win tournaments. On our great days, we would not drop a single game. And we had a great day.

MLG: Parting words?

Ogre 2: Go buy NBA live, I heard it’s a sick game! But really, go buy it to support Gilbert [Arenas], cause he’s da’ man.

Ghostayame

MLG: So far what are your favorite elements of Halo 3?

Ghostayame: Personally, I enjoy the sniping. It requires a lot more skill in Halo 3 than compared to Halo 2 and even Halo 1. There’s hardly any auto-aim on the sniper and the hit-boxes are much smaller, too. Thus, you can tell who can actually snipe well in Halo 3. You also have to take your shots wisely because long range carbines and battle rifles aren’t as strong off-host as they were in Halo 2.

Besides the sniping, I like the Team Slayer variant. It seems that Halo 3 is making a little flashback to Halo:CE., where TS was the premier gametype. However, I still enjoy the oddball game types, too. The AR is also a great starting weapon in comparison to the SMG in Halo 2. I believe that Halo 3 came out with much more preparation than Halo 2 did.

MLG: After playing three seasons of Halo 2, what’s it like to switch over to Halo 3? What elements are similar to Halo 2; which are different?

Ghost and Carbon join Final Boss on the MLG main stage for the Finals

Ghostayame: After playing three season of Halo 2, I had become bored with the game. While it is fun to play at tournaments and online with my team, it was boring playing random customs and even matchmaking. Thus, I rarely played Halo 2 casually. So, when I got a chance to play the Beta, I didn’t really like the game; it seemed to be a remake of Halo 2, only with more inconsistencies.

However, after the release of Halo 3, I realized that it was consistent team game. The spawning system tends to spawn you near your teammates more and doesn’t revolve on whether or not pre-nades are thrown at your spawn. The battle rifle, carbine, sword, shotgun, brute shot, pretty much every weapon is slightly altered from Halo 2. While the battle rifle still requires a four-shot to kill, they all need to be head-shots. You also have to lead across the map with mid/long-range weapons.

There are so many elements that have been changed from Halo 2 to Halo 3 that I think I would have to write an essay to incorporate all of them. It seems like teamwork will benefit much more in Halo 3 since the maps are much bigger and less symmetrical.

MLG: Are you bumper jumpering?

Ghostayame: Not yet. I know that Gandhi praised the bumper jumper setting, as many others have. However, I have been playing default settings since I was born. Why fix something that isn’t broken? If I start doing terrible in close range battles, I might make the switch. Also, if ShocKWav3 switches, I’ll make the switch too just because he feels the same way I do currently. Nevertheless, I’ve heard many pros preaching about this new setting.

MLG: Fair enough. Do you find reduction in lunge to be a positive thing? The new shotgun?

Ghost poses for the camera

Ghostayame: I find the reduction in the lunge to be a negative thing. Since it’s been reduced, it’s really hard to understand the melee system. I’ve missed many melees because it’s not only different from Halo 2, but it’s different from Halo:CE, too. You can still lunge, but it’s hard to determine how far you will actually go. While there aren’t any lunges that don’t connect like there were in Halo 2, I cannot stand the current melee system.

However, the shotgun and maulers have seemed to take care of any close-range troubles you have. While the sword is still a long, one-swipe lunge, it takes much longer to pull it out. Thus, you can get an easy mauler shot, then melee on the enemy. The mauler seems balanced. While at first everyone was going crazy with them, it’s not too hard to fight against them, just hold back. (laughs) The shotgun seems to be the new sword. I would much rather have a shotgun on my back.

It’s so unbelievably consistent, powerful, and clutch. I can’t begin to count how many triples I’ve earned due to this weapon. It’s like a mix between the Halo:CE and Halo 2 shotgun. The only problem is that if you get caught close to someone with a shotgun, if you miss one shot or melee, you lose the battle.

MLG: Would you consider it a power weapon now?

Ghostayame: Oh, easily. I’ve started timing Active Camo, Snipers, and the Shotgun. (laughs)

MLG: What is your favorite weapon?

Ghost and Carbon hard at work

Ghostayame: To be honest, I have no real preference currently. Since I haven’t played with my team yet, nor practiced much in customs, I don’t really carry only one weapon yet. Since I was support in Halo 2, my favorite weapon was the battle rifle. In Halo 3, I’ve been picking up the shotgun and sniper consistently, but the battle rifle is still a required weapon for me.

MLG: Do you see a lot of potential for evolving strategies on the maps like we saw in Halo 2? Have any strategies emerged that are already taking names like the “BR strategy” on Lockout?

Ghostayame: I haven’t really played many games of Halo 3 to understand any strats yet. I think I’ve only played about 250 matchmaking games and about 10 custom games. When I’m playing Halo 3, it’s a rare occasion that I’m playing with other pros. I tend to play with most of my fraternity brothers. While I have heard names for certain locations on maps, I haven’t played enough to know any unique strategies yet.

MLG: Have you played around with Forge at all? What type of impact do you see it having on competitive play?

Ghostayame: I have played around with Forge a little bit. ShocKWav3 and I forged Guardian and Construct. We completely redid each map. However, I haven’t played any customs on them yet. I know that Wav3 has forged countless times with his friends and other players. The majority of his customs log is Forging maps. Regarding the competitive side of the Forge, I see it greatly impacting game types. The only fear I have is that game types might be changed so frequently that it will be hard to practice for each event. In Halo 2, there were settings changed annually. With the Forge, I have a feeling that settings will be changed monthly.

With Nexy testing, though, I have no worries about upcoming game types. He’s been running tournaments and settings since before I even started playing. He’s the new-age Anakin.

MLG: Do you like equipment? For competitive play?

Ghostayame: I do like the equipment, yet it seems inconsistent. I hate the radar jammer. The grav lift seems useful, but I feel like it can be easily abused. The flare is just annoying. The power drainer seems useful, but it’s frustrating since it can move anywhere you throw it. The bubble shield is pretty sweet, though, but it’s like throwing one of those Snowbound shields all around you. The more inconsistent a game is, the worse it will be. With latency issues, I feel like the bubble shield will be a failure. On top of all this, there’s that new glitch jump that lets you double jump after you press X. For competitive play, I dislike the use of equipment.

MLG: Where can we expect to see Ghostayame in 2008? What’s the story with Carbon?

Ghost flashes his player, coach, and VIP credentials

Ghostayame: (laughs) This is the question I received multiple times. However, right before Canada, we got to talk to one another and conclude that we all wanted to stay together. It would be weird not sitting next to Ben, Chris, and Scott. They’re practically my best friends. If Halo 3 turns into 5v5, expect to see Carbon Carlos.

MLG: Will you be making a FFA return?

Ghostayame: I’ve played a few Lone Wolves games and I haven’t really enjoyed them at all. Thus, I’ll most likely be focusing on team games and letting the FFA guys do what they do best.

MLG: Parting words?

Ghostayame: I hope Halo:CE on Xbox Live Arcade comes with XBL compatability. Oh, and, first post.