A rebalanced overhaul of the Halo 2 Campaign. Including weapons and vehicles that feel more in line with their Combat Evolved counterparts, such as the Plasma Pistol doing actual health damage with its overcharge with EMP as a side-effect, and the Player having both Decent Shields on Legendary AND a visible Health Bar. Enemies and Friendly AI have been rebalanced as well, with Elites having more health across the board, Brutes being less bullet-spongey but still dangerous and tough, and Jackal Snipers still being deadly but much more manageable through changes to their aiming stats. Many weapons are now more powerful than in Vanilla, and AI do more damage on all difficulties globally, but AI have also had proper damage modifiers added so that they're much more fair like Combat Evolved.
This is Part 01 of Halo 2 MJOLNIR Edition. Included are the first five levels of the game, The Heretic through Metropolis. A modded Main Menu is also included, as well as a ReShade Preset.
BioGoji's Halo 2 Campaign Mod: MJOLNIR EDITION
[As of 07/06/2020]
This mod aims to rebalance Halo 2's campaign and make it feel more like Combat Evolved in certain ways while also maintaining many of the new gameplay mechanics introduced in Halo 2, while still keeping it challenging and fun. Many weapons have received an increase in their maximum ammo reserves, and some weapons have seen their damage outputs increased a well. The Master Chief and the Arbiter both now play very differently from one another, with different Health and Shield stats, along with a slight increase in movement speed for the Arbiter.
I would like to state that many of the changes in this mod are influenced by Ruby's Rebalanced Halo 2 Campaign and TBiesty's Rebalanced Halo 2 Campaign. Certain levels have had enemy encounters altered to be similar to those found in their mods as well. Ruby and Tbiesty, if you're reading this, thank you for the inspiration... and please don't get mad at me for steal-I mean, "borrowing", some of your ideas. Also, just like Tbiesty, I have changed the order of the final 4 levels so that Uprising and High Charity are switched around, making for a more logical level progression.
However, one of the most important reasons for these changes is a simple question: Can I, or anyone else, play through this game on Legendary... without dying? In Halo: Combat Evolved, it is entirely possible to play through the game on Legendary and not die, as long as the player is smart with their decision making and learns from their mistakes. In Halo 2, by contrast, the game often sets up enemies that you won't ever see coming until it's too late, and you are forced to learn their spawn points through trial-and-error and hope that you're fast enough to hit them before they're ready to strike.
So, one of the main goals of this mod is make it so that the player is able to go through it on Legendary without dying... and without using any cheats, skulls, or exploits (like shortcuts to avoid firefights)... from their second playthrough onward, at least.
Thanks to the efforts of fellow modder, Princess Toraburu, makeshift Health Bars/Meters can be created and implemented into campaign maps using already existing assets. The Chief and Arbiter both now have their own health meters, each one unique to their respective HUD. The Player's health still regenerates, however, as the Health Bar is simply there to show you the stakes when your shields are down.
PLAYER HEALTH AND SHIELDS
Master Chief: 50 points for Health, 100 points for Shields. Health Stun and Recharge Rates are now 6 seconds stun and 4 seconds recharge. Shield Stun and Recharge Rates are now 3 seconds stun and 2 seconds recharge. Chief's new shields are actually efficient now.
Arbiter: 60 points for Health, 90 points for Shields. Health Stun and Recharge rates are 3 seconds stun and 2 seconds recharge. Shield Stun and Recharge rates are now 6 seconds stun and 3 seconds recharge. Movement speed is higher than the Chief because of the lower shields.
Enemy Damage Output Percentage: 0.6 on Easy, 1.0 on Normal, 1.4 on Heroic, and 1.8 on Legendary.
Enemy Recharge: 1.5 on Easy, .0on Normal, 0.75 on Heroic, and 0.5 on Legendary.
Enemy Vitality: Unchanged on all difficulties.
Enemy Shields: Unchanged on all difficulties.
Friend Damage Output Percentage: 0.6 on Easy, 1.0 on Normal, 1.4 on Heroic, and 1.8 on Legendary.
Friend Recharge: Unchanged on all difficulties.
Friend Vitality: Unchanged on all difficulties.
Friend Shields: Unchanged on all difficulties.
AI Firing Rates: 0.75 on Easy, 1.0 on Normal, 1.25 on Heroic, and 1.5 on Legendary.
Guidance vs Player: Chief gets 0.6 on Easy, 0.6 on Normal, 1.0 on Heroic, and 1.4 on Legendary. Arbiter gets 0.6 on Easy, 0.8 on Normal, 1.0 on Heroic, and 1.4 on Legendary.
Battle Rifle: Damager per bullet is now 7 points, making it 21 points total for each burst, making it more powerful than it was in vanilla, but not overpowered. The maximum ammo reserve has also been increased to 360 rounds, and the weapon is now fully automatic, firing burst after burst if you keep the trigger held down. Projectile speed has been increased from 400 to 800 world units per second. To balance this out, the weapon has a fire recovery rate of 0.36 seconds, with a soft recovery fraction of 0.2 seconds. The weapon also now uses error when unzoomed.
SMG: Has an increased ammo reserve of 600 rounds, 1200 when dual-wielded. Has increased accuracy when single-wielded. Damage per bullet is now 5.5 points. Damage reduction when dual-wielding has been removed, but for balance, accuracy when dual-wielding has been set to the same error angles as the MA5B Assault Rifle of Combat Evolved: 2 - 6, so open fire in staggered bursts for best effect at a distance.
Magnum: Now does 15 points of damage per bullet. Ammo reserve has been increased to 120 rounds. 240 when dual-wielded.
Shotgun: Has increased range and accuracy. Default range was 8 world units. New range is 40 world units. Ammo reserve is now 60 rounds. Projectile speed is 240 world units per second, error angles are at 1 - 3.
Sniper Rifle: Now does 105 points of damage per bullet, and bullets can detonate explosives. Has an increased ammo reserve of 40 rounds. Projectile speed is set at 1600 world units per second. Air damage is also 1600 minimum and maximum.
Rocket Launcher: The maximum ammo reserve is now 8 rockets as it was in Combat Evolved. The weapon has received no other changes.
Frag Grenade: Has an increased blast radius and consistent damage output of 80 points minimum and 160 points maximum across the board... except for boarding, which is unchanged from vanilla settings.
Machine Gun turret: Fires at a rate of 8 - 15 rounds per second.
Plasma Pistol: Now does 16 points of damage per regular bolt. Overcharge bolt does 70 points damage max, has had its general damage effect changed to plasma_slow, stuns opponents for 0.25 seconds, and the EMP is now a side effect, making the overcharge useful against unshielded opponents again. The regular bolt's firing sound has also been changed to that of the Plasma Rifle, because I honestly feel that the vanilla firing sound is... weak. Its projectile speed and tracking ability are now exactly the same as Combat Evolved as well. The Plasma Pistol has been returned to its former glory... when single-wielded. Regular bolts now drain the battery at a rate of 0.002 battery units per shot like in Combat Evolved, while overcharge bolts drain the battery at 10% as usual. The weapon also does only 75% damage when dual-wielded, as many AI dual-wield this weapon against the player. The overcharge's EMP effect has now been properly restored thanks to an edited plasma grenade equipment detonation tag that has been added to the projectile. The equipment detonation tag is now pure EMP effect.
Plasma Rifle: Now fires similar to Combat Evolved, being capable of firing one bolt per shot while still being fully automatic, with a recovery time of 0.075 seconds. Projectile speed has been decreased from 14 world units per second to 10 world units per second for balance purposes, as dual-wielding enemies are now much more frequently encountered in the campaign. Now does 8 points of damage minimum and 14 points of damage maximum per bolt.
Brute Plasma Rifle: Has had its firing rate increased, its projectile speed has been altered so that it starts out at 16 world units before slowing down to 8 world units per second, and it now fires 2 bolts per shot to differentiate it from the regular plasma rifle, and it overheats slightly faster per shot, while also having increased error angles, causing it to become more inaccurate the longer it fires. Both Plasma Rifles do the same damage per bolt, however, as both weapons share the same impact damage tag.
Covenant Carbine: Now does 12.5 points of damage per slug, and has an increased ammo reserve of 180 rounds. Projectile speed has been increased to 600 world units per second, and the maximum range has been increased to 60 world units.
Beam Rifle: Has an increased battery life. Damage per beam has been changed to 80 points, with a slight stun effect that lasts 0.15 seconds. AI targeting values have been slightly altered to behave more like Halo 3, with additional damage modifiers and error angles applied according to difficulty for better balancing. The firing rate is 3 shots per second, with a fire recovery rate of 0.75 seconds and a soft recovery fraction of 0.3 seconds.
Needler: Has an increased ammo reserve of 300 needles. Can fire one needle at a time by gently tapping the trigger, but it still functions as an automatic weapon. Damage values have been drastically altered, however, for the supercombine and single needle detonation. A single needle does 5 points of damage when detonating. The supercombine now only does 160 points of damage, but it now has an EMP effect with the ability to detonate any explosives within the supercombine's own explosive radius, which has also been increased to 1 world unit. Also, needle projectiles now have 90 degrees angular velocity, meaning they track as accurately as they did in Combat Evolved. To balance this out, however, I have slowed down their travel speed to make them easier to dodge, both for the player and the AI.
Brute Shot: Has an increased ammo reserve of 24 grenades. The explosion of the grenades is also specifically set to kill Flood as well.
Fuel Rod Gun: Has an increased ammo reserve of 50 fuel rods. The weapon's projectiles now also feature a very slight arc, similar to the fuel rod of Combat Evolved. The projectiles also travel faster as well. Projectiles also no longer home in on targets.
Plasma Grenade: Has an increased blast radius and damage output, with the addition of an EMP effect, as well as the ability to detonate any nearby explosives, just like in Combat Evolved. The Equipment Detonation tag has been moved from the equipment tag for the PG, and given to the Plasma Pistol's Overcharge bolt. To maintain the PG's ability to be detonated by bullets and nearby explosives, I have inserted the plasma grenade's REGULAR explosion tag in its place, while the VISUAL EFFECT for the equipment detonation remains intact, thus allowing for grenade chains as seen in Silver Edition.
Plasma Cannon: Fires at a rate of 6 - 12 rounds per second. Bolts do 6 points damage minimum and 10 points maximum. Bolts travel at a rate of 24 world units per second and slow down to 6 over distance. Can fire a single bolt at a time. Has a fire recovery rate of 0.05 seconds and a soft recovery fraction of 0.1 seconds.
Forerunner Mining Facility/Installation 04 Sentinel Beam: Has a longer battery life. Visual effect from OG X-Box version has been restored.
Delta Halo Sentinel Beam (Blue): Has a longer battery life. Visual effect of the OG X-Box version has been restored, thanks to information provided by the Halo 2 Reclaimed team.
Delta Halo Sentinel Needler: The Regular Sentinel Beam has been converted to fire the Sentinel Enforcer's needles. The Regular Sentinel Beam thus does not appear in MJOLNIR Edition except in the levels Arbiter and Oracle, as those Sentinels are actually marked in the game files as being the surviving sentinels of Installation 04 from Combat Evolved.
-Chaingun: Chaingun bullets now do 8 points of damage.
-Gauss: Has a slight EMP effect and does more damage on impact. Gauss rounds now travel at 400 world units per second.
Scorpion Tank: Moves faster than in vanilla and has an increased damage output. Also, the tank shells now travel at 250 world units per second and do upwards of 200 points of damage on impact and 350 points of damage for the explosion.
Ghost: Plasma guns now fire simultaneously as they did in Combat Evolved.
Spectre: Plasma Turret now does 8 points of damage per burst.
Shadow: Remains unchanged. I wanted to make it so the Player could board it, but this caused the Elites driving it to always end up walking whenever the Player finally reached the Shadow in the tunnel section of Outskirts. I had to make it unusable for the player in order to fix this.
Wraith: No longer has boost. Plasma turrets are now usable by the player. Base movement speed has been increased as well. The charging effect for the Wraith's mortar cannon has been restored as well.
Banshee: Plasma guns now fire simultaneously as they did in Combat Evolved. The Banshee Bomb also behaves more like its Combat Evolved counterpart as well, with identical stats for its projectile.
UNSC MARINES: Marines now have 80 points of health on all difficulties, but it regenerates to 100% unlike the 25% of the vanilla game, meaning they can potentially take as much damage as the Chief. They also have weak shields (IE their armor) that also regenerate as well, making them last longer on higher difficulties... unless they get hit directly by explosives or are caught within an explosive's blast radius, which will kill them instantly 90% of the time. They are still vulnerable to headshots, however.
Marines (Male & Female): 80 Health and 20 Shields on Easy, 80 Health and 40 Shields on Legendary.
Marine Sergeants: 80 Health and 30 Shields on Easy, 80 Health and 60 Shields on Legendary.
Marine ODST: Share Health and Shields with Sergeants.
Marine Dress (Cairo Station): 80 Health and 5 Shields on Easy, 80 Health and 20 Shields on Legendary.
Johnson: 100 Health and 50 Shields on Easy, 100 Health and 80 Shields on Legendary.
Elite Minors: 100 Health and 100 Shields on Easy, 100 Health and 150 Shields on Legendary. Their armor is now more blue than before.
Elite Majors: 100 Health and 150 Shields on Easy, 100 Health and 200 Shields on Legendary. Their armor is now maroon.
Elite Ultras: 100 Health and 200 Shields on Easy, 100 Health and 260 Shields on Legendary.
Elite Zealots: Share Health and Shields with Ultras.
Elite SpecOps: Share Health and Shields with Ultras. Their armor is also now totally black.
Elite Rangers: 75 Health and 75 Shields on Easy, 75 Health and 75 Shields on Legendary.
Elite Stealth: 100 Health and 10 Shields on Easy, 100 Health and 20 Shields on Legendary. Their armor is now a lightish blue/cyan color.
Elite Stealth Major: 100 Health and 20 Shields on Easy, 100 Health and 40 Shields on Legendary. Their armor is now a dark green color.
Elite Honor Guard: Share Health and Shields with Ultras.
Heretic Elite: 100 Health and 100 Shields on Easy, 100 Health and 150 Shields on Legendary.
Heretic Elite Major: 100 Health and 150 Shields on Easy, 100 Health and 200 Shields on Legendary.
Heretic Leader: 100 Health and 100 Shields on Easy, 100 Health and 200 Shields on Legendary.
Grunt Minor: 30 Health on Easy, 50 Health on Legendary.
Grunt Major: 50 Health on Easy, 80 Health on Legendary.
Grunt Ultra: 80 Health on Easy, 110 Health on Legendary. Ultras now use the Plasma Pistol's overcharge attack.
Grunt Heavy: Shares Health with Grunt Major.
Grunt Specops: Shares vitals with Grunt Ultra. Will also use the Plasma Pistol's overcharge attack now.
Heretic Grunt: 40 Health and 30 Shields on Easy, 70 Health and 60 Shields on Legendary.
Jackal Minor: 50 Health and 100 Shields on Easy, 50 Health and 150 Shields on Legendary.
Jackal Major: 50 Health and 150 Shields on Easy, 50 Health and 200 Shields on Legendary.
Jackal Sniper: 50 Health no Shields on Easy, 50 Health and no Shields on Legendary... because I hate them.
200 Health on Easy and 400 Health on Legendary.
On levels that feature both Hunters AND either the Fuel Rod Gun or the Banshee, Hunters will fire a charged fuel rod projectile like they did in Combat Evolved. On levels without the Banshee or Fuel Rod Gun, Hunters will fire their new standard beam gun.
Drones can now be killed with headshots. The headshot marker also now shows up properly, unlike in Silver Edition.
Brute Minor: 120 Health on Easy, 150 Health on Legendary.
Brute Major: 130 Health on Easy, 160 Health on Legendary.
Brute Captain: 150 Health on Easy, 180 Health on Legendary.
Brute Honor Guard: Shares Health with Brute Captain.
Flood Combat Elite: Remains unchanged. Shielded forms no longer appear. Flood don't need shields.
Flood Combat Human: Remains unchanged.
Flood Carrier: Upon dying, they now release 16 Infection Forms instead of a mere 5.
Flood Infection Form: These guys can now cause popcorn reactions in groups, just like in Combat Evolved.
Flood Juggernaut: 1000 Health on Easy and Legendary. Because Juggernauts do not have death animations, I have set them to explode into about 36 Infection Forms upon dying, while their body disappears. This was the best work-around I could find.
SENTINELS: These guys remain unchanged.
THE PROPHET OF REGRET: Um, I tried to make him vulnerable to headshots, but I don't think it worked.
AI Generic: The AI Generic tag is a tag that contains information shared between all AI that allows them to perform certain actions and operate certain vehicles and weapons, provided that they have animations for them. This tag is the reason the player can exchange weapons with Friendly AI in the game. By default, AI do damage modification/multiplication of 0 on Easy and Legendary for most weapons in Halo 2. Now, despite what you're thinking, being set to 0 doesn't mean zero percent damage. It means unchanged. Thus, in regards to damage multipliers and modifiers for Halo 2, any AI weapon damage set to 0 is the same as being set to 1, or 100% of that weapon's default damage output. Because I have buffed many of the weapons in the game, this means that it has become necessary to adjust damage modifiers for various weapons in order to prevent Vanilla Halo 2 levels of unfair damage output when coupled with faster firing rates on Legendary. Most of the weapons that received adjusted damage multipliers or modifiers are the weapons that can be dual-wielded, as I have increased the number of dual-wielding enemies in this version of the mod.
Remember that all of these numbers are then multiplied in Globals depending on difficulty.
Plasma Pistol: set at 0.5.
Plasma Rifle: set at 0.5.
Brute Plasma Rifle: set at 0.5.
Needler: set at 0.5.
Beam Rifle: set at 0.5. AI Target TRACKING remains at 100% on Legendary, while Target LEADING is at 75%.
Brute Shot: set at 0.5.
Shotgun: set at 0.5 (Flood, Brutes, Jackals, and enemy Marines can use it against you).
Covenant Carbine: set at 0.5.
Magnum: set at 0.5 (Flood, Jackals, and enemy Marines can use it against you).
SMG: set at 0.5 (Flood, Jackals, and enemy Marines can use it against you).
Battle Rifle: set at 0.5 (Flood, Jackals, and enemy Marines can use it against you).
Sniper Rifle: set at 0.5 (Flood, Jackals, and enemy Marines can use it against you).
Rocket Launcher: 0.5. Friendly AI can still blow themselves and the player to smithereens by accident.
Fuel Rod Gun: set at 0.5.
Plasma Cannon: set at 0.6.
Heavy Machine Gun Turret: set at 0.6 (Flood and enemy Marines can use it against you).
Banshee Twin Plasma Guns: set at 0.6.
Ghost Plasma Guns: set at 0.6.
Spectre Plasma Turret: set at 0.6.
Scorpion Main Cannon: set at 0.6 (Flood and enemy Marines can use it against you).
Scorpion Machine-Gun Turret: set at 0.6 (Flood and enemy Marines can use it against you).
Wraith Mortar: set at 0.6.
Scarab Main Gun: unchanged. If you deliberately get in front of this gun, that's your own fault.
Phantom Guns: set at 0.6.
Sentinel Beam: set at its default of 0.57 (this is the only weapon that's properly balanced in Vanilla Halo 2).
Blue Sentinel Beam: set at 0.5.
Sentinel Needler: set at 0.5.
Sentinel Enforcer Weapons: set at 0.6.
SPECIFIC LEVEL CHANGES SO FAR...
THE HERETIC: Elite Armor in cutscene matches the Elite armor schemes I've altered for the rest of the game.
THE ARMORY: Nothing that can directly affect gameplay has changed in this level... aside from Chief's health and shields being altered to match the rest of the playable levels. Certain ammo boxes have been replaced with SMG ammo pouches, and the Chief starts with two frag grenades.
CAIRO STATION: The player starts out with 2 Frag Grenades on all difficulties. Certain enemy spawn points and weapons have been changed to let the player fight a greater variety of Covenant forces and ranks than in the vanilla game, while ODSTs are now present and alive in certain locations, inspired by Ruby and Tbiesty's rebalanced mods. Also, Master Guns now sports a Magnum instead of a shotgun, and all other allies I originally had wielding shotguns have had those weapons replaced with Battle Rifles, SMGs, or Magnums. With the buffs I made to the Shotgun, I feel that it's a bit too powerful in the close-quarters setting of this particular level.
OUTSKIRTS: A couple of the Warthogs are now Gauss Warthogs. Some of the Jackal Snipers have also been replaced with either regular Jackals, dual-wielding Elites, or Drones in certain locations. There are also more Marines fighting the Covenant in various parts of the city to give a greater sense of scale to the conflict taking place. Also, there are TWO special guns hidden in the level. Oh, and there's a Grunt with a Rocket Launcher taking the place of at least one Jackal Sniper. Happy hunting! Also, some enemies (mostly Drones) now wield Brute Plasma Rifles, to give more variety to the sandbox.
METROPOLIS: Not much has changed in comparison to the previous level. The number of Marines you encounter in the tunnel is slightly increased, and certain Jackal Snipers have been either replaced with normal Jackals and/or other or have been replaced with other enemies entirely. For instance, the respawning Jackals in the park where you exit the tunnels have now been replaced with either Heavy Grunts or Elites, depending on the spawn point and difficulty. As with the previous level, certain enemies (mostly Drones) now wield Brute Plasma Rifles.