Spread Vs Bloom... understanding some of the game mechanics

I never used to see the problem with Bloom until I played about 100 or so games of H3 about a month ago. Then, after switching back to Reach I realized how much Bloom broke the gameplay. It actually is rather significant, and I'm all for the change.

I also saw a video of someone playing MLG a week ago where he was in a nice firefight with an enemy. They got each others' shields down, and the enemy moved down a ramp so that you could barely see his head. Sure enough, the guy who recorded the clip (was in 1st person view) fired a random shot which was COMPLETELY off target (probably 5-7 feet away from the enemy's head) and got a headshot.

Point is, no bloom = no luck.

If you hit the head every time, you'll be rewarded with a kill. If you miss 2 shots against a guy with extreme precision, you'll die just as you should.

Noble 29


thing is that the bloom was there in every halo game, just hasn't been visible. the more you fire, the less accurate you get.

Lord Sion45


Reticule bloom has never been in Halo, and the closest it ever got was introducing recoil for H2 and 3's SMG. Spread, which is what was in previous games, is
nowhere near as destructive as bloom is.




I tried posting this to the video preview thread Appleyard started, but for some reason it wont let me "Reply" (I hate these new forums)...




Bloom is not Spread... which a few people seem to be getting confused over...


Spread is like the real life "barrel heating effect" were accuracy goes down over time as the temperature of the barrel begins to warp the metal... if it is
done for too long the damage is permanent.
Bloom is something else entirely... I'm not sure if any description is truly accurate of it so far... but if we simply use your example for a basis we might come to a better understanding of it...


If in the example used... someone else dropped the shields of the target and the videographer (film maker) only fired the last round (the kill shot) off to the side as described... the results would still be the same (or ar least very similar)...


I'm not sure removing "bloom" is for the best... but I do think it needs toned down...


As I said I tried to post in that other thread (and others have since I tried so it isn't locked) but for some reason it won't let me... and since I feel that others should be made aware of the differences between Spread and Bloom I decided to make this post...






Discussion Info

Last updated July 3, 2018 Views 1 Applies to:

I know there's a difference between bloom and spread. But, if you haven't noticed in every other FPS game (including past Halo titles), if you shoot 5 feet away from someone, you will not hit them. No matter how long your finger has been on the trigger or how much you spammed.


Hold down the trigger of the AR and shoot it at a wall. When the clip is depleted, look at the bullet spread. You will see every bullet hole is within a few inches of each other, and become more scattered as the trigger is held down. Even these scattered bullets are very close to the rest of the cluster. When we get the chance to use the bloomless DMR, you will see this also holds true.


However, bloom makes a lot of things possible. One thing it does is significantly raise the chance of winning a battle by spamming that should have a near or 0% chance of victory. Like the example I gave.

Also, like the example I gave, it makes it possible to make a completely impossible shot. As in, I'm aiming 10 feet away from you, but somehow my bullet manages to hit you. With only spread, that doesn't happen. That CAN'T happen because spread is so small. Bloom can be gigantic. Example, go into a custom game with a Plasma Repeater and set it to bottomless clip so that you never have to stop firing. The reticule will get SO large that it will go off the screen, and the shots will literally be flying in every possible direction, even though you're aimed at the center of your screen. That is not the spread of the weapon, that's bloom.


Bloom is a great concept. If it were implemented properly into the game, NO ONE would have a problem with it. The reason people hate it so much is because it adds randomness into the game. Properly functioning bloom would mean that a pacer will win 99.99% of the battles over a spammer. That person would even win battles if he was pacing his shots better than another pacer. But, if you simply step into a matchmade game, you will see that this is not true in the least. I can't count how many times I've been spammed across Hemorrhage when I'm attempting to pace my shots to hit a target halfway across the map. Or how many times I've been at back Falcon spawn on Spire and get DMR spammed from someone at the TOP of the Spire and get my shields taken down before I can manage to get behind a rock. With properly functioning bloom, nearly every shot from the Spire or across Hemorrhage would be far off unless the pace of the shots was near perfect. Things like that SHOULDN'T happen, and without bloom it won't.


Now the more accurate person will win every time in a straight 1v1 DMR battle. Obviously there are other factors which go into the outcome of a legitimate battle in matchmaking, but that's not relevant to this discussion.

"Spread is like the real life "barrel heating effect" were accuracy goes down over time as the temperature of the barrel begins to warp the metal".


I agree with this definition. Spread is the passive, inherent accuracy level of a gun. Almost all guns in all games have some form of spread, because otherwise their bullets would hit in the center of the reticule (minus auto-aim).


The BR's spread got worse as you went through a burst, but not across bursts. Accuracy was therefore quite high even at some range, but bullet travel time, the spread and the lack of damage meant it took a lot of effort to kill someone at long range.


The DMR has no spread at all, from what I can tell, because the bullets are dead center on the reticule even at maximum range. It has no inherent inaccuracy.


I've seen a point a lot recently, saying how the DMR will be overpowered with no bloom. People can spam to win.


People aren't going to be spamming to win, they'll be firing a weapon with huge accuracy at maximum speed. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS, because the problem with bloom is removed entirely anyway.


The DMR will literally just be a Carbine from H3, and I never had a problem with the Carbine, even though it could beat my BR in close range.


Bloom means you can hit targets you otherwise shouldn't have.

No bloom removes this.


It's one problem people will have, but that sorts my problem out! :D

Yes bloom is not spread.  Every standard gun on Halo 3 bullet spread, even the sniper rifle at very long ranges. Halo Reach has like no bullet spread.


Also Bloom on the Halo Reach Sniper is completely pointless anyway, because the reticle goes back to normal before you can fire the next shot.


One thing that makes the guns in Reach much easier to use is the lack of recoil, the sniper rifle in Reach has almost no recoil and with the addition of hitscan, makes it imo overpowered.  Halo 3 sniper does have recoil which is why, it was important to land the first shot and had to be more patient.


It is also hitscan and  lack of bullet spread on the DMR which makes it so effect at long ranges.  On Halo 3, BRing moving targets at long range, you would have to aim ahead of where they are moving and use considerably more ammo due to spread.


Overall even with the pointless addition of bloom, guns are easier to use on Halo: Reach because of lack of spread, lac of recoil and included hitscan on certain weapons, especially semi automatic weapons.

Looks like a few of you have understood what I was getting at... but if you want to play a game with NO bloom... try Resident Evil 5... in that game you use a little red laser for targeting and will not hit ANYTHING if it's not "painted" by the laser... and even then you might miss...


That's why I don't think a little "bloom" is a bad thing...


However the DMR is a "Designated Marksman's Rifle," which means the operator has a high degree of accuracy just like those of sniper rifles.  In my opinion the "bloom" effect for the DMR should be very similar to the sniper rifle... and even the sniper rifle needs tweaked when it isn't zoomed in (I have been hit with truely impossible head shots with those as well... from side seat of a fast moving and turning Revenent).


The gun over heating effect that was added to Halo Reach was meant to address the "infinite spread" Noble mentioned... but I think that should be added to the rest of the weapons as well.  Play Firefight with bottomless clips and try out each weapon to figure out what I mean... there are some weapons that you still have to reload/cool off (Plasma Launcher, Repeater, Rifle, etc.) with that setting... and some that should require it that don't (Beam Rifle, FRG, Needler, Rocket Launcher, etc.).


As for the "Lack of Recoil" !337gamer mentioned... you have to understand what a Spartan is (this requires a bit of reading)... the Spartan IIs were bio-re-engineered and enhanced super soldiers... they had been given visual, auditory, tactile, and reflex upgrades to compensate for, and further enhance their increased strength, stamina, endurance, speed and dexterity... (without the nervous system upgrades many of the physical enhancements would have been wasted).  In the books it showed demonstrations of the "Master Chief" (John) firing every round in a pistol clip in rapid succesion and hitting exactly the same spot on a target (and he was not the best of the Spartan Is at ANYTHING other than Luck... so others would be able to out perform him).  The Spartan IIIs (what you are on Reach) were NOT enhanced in the same maner as the Spartan IIs were... but they were still far better than your ODST buddies...


You should add in "breathing errors" so your targeter moves around crazily (like it does in Resident Evil 5) if you want to remove bloom completely and require perfect accuracy, add in windage effects to your shots (especially over long distances), add in Recoil so that you have to retarget after pretty much each shot (which would make the sniper rifle useless for anything but head shots).  I'd rather you didn't add these things into Halo at all... but some things do need tweaking.


To me... bloom should be reduced to the size of the smallest targetting reticule with its' radius doubled... this gives four times the area within the targeter as the "impact zone." This is probably not a perfect solution... but likely a much better one any what I've seen posted anywhere so far.

Resident Evil 5 is OK, although I did enjoy it. The only thing that bothers me about targeting like that is that it is too common to fire a bullet, have it follow the laser/reticule THROUGH the enemy, clearly, and not hit.


Happens in some games and I dislike it.

Bloom is a fine mechanic, but Reach's bloom is probably the worst bloom mechanic I have ever had the displeasure of experiencing.  I didn't write the following piece, but it pretty much described perfectly what is wrong with bloom in Reach...


One of the most palpable and controversial additions to Halo Reach has been precision weapon bloom. As your rate of fire increases, the deviation of your bullet trajectory also increases. To understand why this is problematic, we need to first understand what the role of a precision weapon is.


Precision weapons have one function that is inherent to their very nature; they are supposed to provide the player with a reliable weapon that demands and rewards accuracy. Bloom is the antithesis to both of these tenets; it reduces reliability and reduces accuracy.


But! You may scream; the weapon is perfectly accurate and reliable when you control the bloom. I agree, however, there is one major problem; shooting while bloomed does not ensure you will miss. In fact, shooting with slight bloom is preferable the majority of the time due to the rate of fire benefits. Suddenly, our precision weapon has neither precision nor reliability when used most effectively. At that point, it is not longer a precision weapon but it still rewards headshots, which are now almost completely random. The outcome of two players aiming exactly the same and shooting exactly the same is random, which is unacceptable for low damage precision weapon.


The role of bloom is to punish players for missing shots and spamming the trigger. The more you miss and spam, the less accurate your gun becomes. While this is a decent principle in general, it requires weapons that can kill quickly to operate properly. In Reach, bloom doesn’t just punish missed shots, it punishes everyone because it is literally impossible to kill someone with the DMR or Pistol before bloom becomes a factor. What this means is that in every 1v1 encounter, bloom is going to be the determining factor; you either spam your shots and play the odds, or you pace your shots and risk the other player’s odds. Either way, chance is what determines the outcome.


When bloom is applied to weapons that kill rapidly, like in Call of Duty or even the Reach sniper rifle, it begins to make sense. Accurate players can kill enemies before bloom becomes a factor. Players who miss shots get punished with bloom. When bloom is applied to precision weapons that kill slowly, like the DMR and Pistol, it doesn’t work because every player, regardless of accuracy, is punished with bloom.


With such lengthy kill times and bloom playing such a central role, many players have fallen back on the argument that “controlling” bloom is a skill. Controlling the bloom is not so much a skill as it is a risk assessment and risk tolerance test; essentially risk management of a randomize outcome. A “skill” implies that you can increase your aptitude with experience and practice, which is simply not the case with bloom. Because of the inverse relationship between accuracy and rate of fire, you will never be able to rely on non-random elements in a firefight. As I pointed out earlier, even if you pace your shots completely, the enemy may choose to spam: chance enters the equation. Unless both players begin shooting at the exact same moment, it will always be beneficial for one player to spam.


There is no “perfect” bloom level that a player can fully rely on; if you choose to shoot at a medium pace to marginalize the effects of bloom, someone could choose to shoot at a rapid pace and beat you. There is nothing you can do to change that. That is not skill, its accepting a certain amount of randomization. That is never good for a competitive title and is unacceptable for the primary utility weapon.


Regardless, let’s pretend it is a skill. Does that mean that the skill value of controlling bloom is greater than the skill of controlling precision shots? The punishment for mismanaging bloom is not as severe as it is for missing a shot; mismanaged bloom, no matter how extreme, still gives the player a chance to win the fight. Missing a shot with a true precision weapon leaves no chance in the equation. If controlling bloom is a skill, it’s a secondary skill at best because you can never master it to such a degree that you can fully rely on it.


Not only does bloom destroy the basic function of Reach’s precision weapons, it encourages players to bring random chance into every battle. While bloom isn’t inherently unacceptable, it is when you combine it with the kill speed of the DMR and Pistol. Random chance should never be a fundamental aspect of Halo’s utility weapon, and removing bloom is the only acceptable solution for Reach to regain some competitive merit.


Credit goes to TheBigShow from THF.



Could bloom be implemented properly into a Halo game and actually work?  Probably, but 343i must have decided it was easier just to get rid of it completely than to try and fix Bungie's mistake.


I'm all for 343's decision on that one, I can think of several reasons why I personally dislike bloom.


That's also a very well written piece.

"Reticule “bloom” is more than just the way the reticule expands when the player shoots. What we actually have done is take control over the maximum radius of the cone of error that expands as the player fires. The actual UI “bloom” is just a representation of a feature that has been in Halo since the beginning."

source: halo.xbox.com/.../211200

So, bloom is the visual representation of spread, and someone has taken control of how much bloom there is.


I think many people know that, but plenty don't and are confusing everyone else.