As a continuation of this informal series of my thoughts on various aspects of the gameplay of Halo, I thought it was time for me to give my thoughts on equipment and armor abilities of Halo.
Equipment and Armor Abilities
Well, there isn't exactly an obvious entry point into equipment and armor abilities with the UNSC like there was with weapons, since UNSC equipment didn't really appear until Halo 3. I like the idea of equipment, but I think armor abilities are even better, especially if they would have been made battlefield pickups like equipment. I often have a tendency to stubbornly not use and/or forget about equipment and armor abilities, instead relying on guns and to a lesser extent grenades.
I never had much use for the Hologram, until I really played around with it in tight corridors, though I still do not generally use it. It took me a long time to figure out Armor Lock, and even then it still seems like it just prolongs the inevitable most of the time. The Drop Shield is probably my most favorite armor ability in Halo: Reach. I have not gotten to use the Regeneration Field, since it is not available in campaign, though if my reaction to the Regenerator and Drop Shield are any indication, I am going to like it a lot. I like the Jet Pack or Anti-Gravity Pack, though I definitely prefer the Halo: Reach incarnation. I like the idea of the Thruster Pack, though the level Composer was probably not the best demonstration of the ability. I stick with Sprint unless I can get a Drop Shield or Jet Pack in Halo: Reach, and I don't have a problem with Sprint being a default ability, especially with the change in Halo 5 to tie it to shield recharge.
The Overshield is useful ability, especially the campaign version, not much more needs to be said. Active camouflage and the Halo 3 equipment version, Cloaking, is a fine ability, definitely superior to the armor ability version.
Invincibility is a great ability, though I have the tendency to stubbornly avoid using it at all costs. The Deployable Cover is marginally useful, as long as it is used in a good location, though I do not generally use it. The Portable Gravity Lift is only really useful for reaching certain Skulls or taking vehicles over a certain broken bridge in the level Tsavo Highway in Halo 3. The Power Drain has its uses, though I usually do not bother with it. I do not really have much use for the Radar Jammer. The Flare is the most useless piece of equipment, there isn't much more that could be said.
The armor ability version of Active Camouflage just is not very useful, especially in comparison to the equipment versions. I like the idea of Evade, but since I never really get to play as an Elite, I do not really have a solid opinion on Evade.
I also never really bother with the Autosentry, because I do not believe it does enough damage under most circumstances. I like Promethean Vision, though since it never appears when Stealth Elites are around and I prefer Hardlight Shield, I rarely use it beyond when it is introduced in the level Infinity. The Hardlight Shield is my signature armor ability in Halo 4, definitely an improvement over Armor Lock, though I sometimes forget about it and other armor abilities when I have them.