343's latest Halo formula tinkering has produced 'Specialisations', eight varied Spartan classes that are unlocked when the player dings level 50 in Halo 4's multiplayer.
Speaking to IGN Halo 4's Spartan Ops designer David Ellis said Specialisations are intended to be end-game content for dedicated multiplayer fans.
"By enlisting in a Specialisation you basically raise your own level cap," explained Spartan Ops designer David Ellis. "With each one, you can extend the level cap a little further. You do not have to rank all the way through again [to unlock another Specialisation]."
Each class offers nine levels of customisation options including armour sets, weapon skins, emblems and visor covers, while a tenth level grants the player with a "gameplay modifying perk".
According to Ellis two of the eight Specialisations - Pioneer and Wetwork - will be available on release and the remaining six will be available post-release.
"We'll be watching the level curve of the community closely close launch and will do our best to role Specializations out as we see segments of the playerbase reach max rank," he explained.
Here's a Specialisations breakdown:
- Wetworks: Wetworks users get protection against the wall-penetrating Promethean Vision Armor Ability. You'll still show up on the HUD of a player using it, but you'll be a slightly more inconspicuous outline rather than a big red blur. Also, you'll get a bit of sound dampening when you sprint.
- Pioneer: A good standby if you're looking to rank up fast - this Spec generates extra XP for any action you take while you've got it equipped.
- Engineer: As an Engineer, you'll be alerted to incoming weapon drops a couple of seconds ahead of other players, increasing the odds that you'll get their first. If you're close enough, the HUD will point the way with a GPS arrow.
- Tracker: Damn near killed yourself reaching a drop, only to find that it's stuffed with underpowered guns? As a Tracker, you'll have one chance to re-roll the contents.
- Rogue: Players of SWAT in Halo: Reach should prioritise this one - its Stability perk reduces scope wobble while zoomed. I dread to think of what DMR diehards will achieve with the thing.
- Stalker: A class for those who hold grudges. The Nemesis armor mod generates an icon of the last person who killed you, and also tracks those who've attacked you.
- Pathfinder: Only the biggest guns will do? Sign up as a Pathfinder for reduced cooldown on vehicle weapons, and easier carrying of emplaced guns.
- Operator: The Wheelman mod grants your ride a little extra resistance against EMPS. It also lets makes vehicle health recharge a bit faster. Fortunately, this latter bonus can't be stacked.
Microsoft has revealed a custom Halo 4 Xbox 360 bundle which will sport a price tag of £269 in the UK.