The gist on game play impact: each specialization has a different armor mod that "enhance a small part of the sandbox (meaning good players will still be good, and not good players will still be not good), allowing people to play the style they want to play and experience the parts of the sandbox they like on a more frequent basis. "
Other aspects of specialization appear to be pure cosmetic.
They hardly effect gameplay, but people are definitely able to take advantage of them. I'm particularly fond of the vehicle/gunner based ones.
The only issue I see is that aside from ranking, Fast Track has no practical application, so the users may get a bit of flak if they're on a team with a hardass. Unless it's referring to some in-match ranking mechanic that I'm unaware of?
It does appear that way. Puzzled by "what the point is" for this specialization as well.
I'm not too familiar with Halo 4, but couldn't you use fast track while leveling other specializations in order to progress through them faster?
Beyond that, yeah, kinda pointless.
This makes perfect sense. To make an analogy, it kinda like "hardline", no impact by itself, but speeds up things once you have it.
I can now see where Halo 4 is going with its rank progression system:
1) Everybody needs to reach level 50 before specialization can start. this ~= COD's prestige 0; 2) Each specialization ~= COD's prestige. Besides cosmetic changes, it also offer the bonus of unlocking performance enhancing armor mod. 3) There are 8 separate specializations to go through. That will keep the player playing for a while (just like how CoD's prestiging works)