Halo2- reach all had elites. Why? It was fun and added variety. So far halo 5 has only removed the fun aspects of multiplayer. Elites, dual wield, firefight, bigteam battle, split screen, full armor customization. Less variety less fun, will impact longevity of the game. Im sure many will be skipping this game.
Looking two years back we can see Halo 4's multiplayer fail due to multiple factors. Things like call of duty elements, tough competition, and in my opinion, the most potent, lack of clans. Now here me out. In Halo 3 and Reach we hAd healthy clan activity, although heavily leaning on one side there were two major clan groups. Spartan clans (majority) and Sangheili clans, these clan groups would usually fight each other giving the multiplayer of those games the longevity we all love. This can be the reason, or one of the reasons, Reach's multiplayer population surpassed Halo 4's in only the games first steps out of the developmental womb. Clans= replay ability to a decent population of halo players. Now if Halo 5 leaves out the option of differing clan types, or other characters the player can play, I fear the game's multiplayer will die much sooner than expected, but not as fast as their previous game.
If Halo 5 flops, it won't be due to lack of playermodels. I understand the clan community as an active member of a militarized clan, but Sanghellli clans were a far minority. I know people, including me, loved elites but nobody in their right mind will not buy or play a game due to something as small as that. If Halo 5 ends up sucking, which I am praying it won't, it will definitely be for separate reasons.