At the heart of the issue is far more than just "pistol = good," "battle rifle = bad" or vice versa, depending on your stance. There's also the question, "What's the real difference between the two?" The look? The sound? The scope? Those are all obvious, but deep down what are each one's strengths? What are each one's weaknesses?
On June 27th there was a great discussion on the Bungie Forums in which people were taking sides on the Pistol vs. Battle Rifle issue and hashing out the real factors in this debate. Not since the "Tastes great! - Less filling!" days of a bygone era have we seen such division on an issue.
Even Stuffo has become a flash point in this fiery debate. When we released our Halo 3 Wish List we had no idea what we were getting into. In addition to providing millions of dollars of unsolicited market research (we're still waiting for Bungie to return our calls), our Halo 3 Wish List has become a place for people to vent their gripes about Halo 2 in e-mail . Chief among those gripes are, you guessed it, people wanting the old pistol back from Halo.
Here's a sample of some of our reader responses:
I believe some of the weapon balance issues have been addressed, but a good point nonetheless.
Thank you for your comment, Mr. Schwartz.
I appreciate your time, kind reader. For those of you out there who are a little lost, allow me to translate Mr. Wood's comment.
Translation from Smacktalkian to English:
"I know that many people have similar feelings about this particular subject and you can count me among them. I think that adding the original pistol from Halo 1 to Halo 2 would be an excellent idea. The new Magnum pistol featured in Halo 2 is best applied when used to inflict gunshot wounds to an opponent's head. This is especially true when their shields have been depleted. It is also a powerful weapon when used in conjunction with another firearm in the player's left hand. However, overall it is not a powerful enough weapon for all types of combat.
Now I realize of course that using the original pistol in both hands may afford more skilled Halo players an advantage that newer players would find hard to overcome. I suggest leveling the playing field by temporarily disabling the scope magnification feature on the pistol when said pistol is being used in tandem with another firearm. I believe this addition will make the Halo multiplayer game a fair contest so that players of all skill levels can enjoy themselves when participating in friendly competition with other Halo fans on Xbox Live."
I could talk about fuel rods with a man named Dill all day long.