If it's not too late, hope this helps:
What was the first game in the Halo franchise that you played + how you came across it (if interesting)?
My first game was Halo 3. I came across it while my brother was looking into getting an Xbox 360 and we were both blown away by the trailers on TV. It was one of those moments where we thought it was for a movie, rather than a video game. Shortly after, we were able to play Halo 2, and move backwards towards CE to get the full story.
If and how did Halo change your life for the better or worse?
For myself, Halo became a hobby each night to meet new friends, where I also ended up joining Bungie's (at the time), largest online community. I lived for game nights with friends in the social playlist and custom games. My Grifball team was like a second family and it turned my play-style into a slight addiction where we became 15th world-wide during the second championships. (I was unstoppable and did receive hate messages from others during the weekend playlists for being too good...for the record, I never spawn camped and played legitimately.)
For better or worse? Being part of a large community and getting to play and know so many people were both a blessing and a downfall. I've made lasting friendships, helped expand a community as a forum moderator, and watched it all come crashing down as a hierarchy lost interest in the simplest of things to have fun while playing the games.
What are your opinions of the franchise and where it is heading?
Halo's storyline was my favourite aspect of the franchise. I was never one to do mlg. The story of Master Chief and Cortana, as well as the surrounding characters always held my interest. Which brings us to the newer age of the series: I have mixed opinions on it. 343i did a fair job with Halo 4, as I kept an open mind to the story they were trying to tell. No game can be perfect, although I remain hopeful that after the events of Halo 5, we'll see a promising lead in Halo 6.
I stopped playing Halo 5 multiplayer because of micro-transactions and not having a decent reward-based system similar to Halo 3 or Reach. I miss knowing what you will unlock when reaching a certain tier. This mainly stems from making machinima, to which 343i nearly destroyed by way of stricter content rights that gamers would upload to sites like YouTube. Had it not been for the community backlash, Microsoft might have pulled all Halo Machinima as copyright infringement. It was a bad move, which slowly reduced the amount of content created over the years. Now, big name creations are non-existent due to the random armor drops one might receive from REQ packs in Halo 5. (Forge was quite promising too.)
On a positive note, acknowledging community members and groups like the 405th, and interacting with fans this way is always reassuring to me. It shows that Microsoft hasn't forgotten about the gamers who made the Halo franchise so successful over the years, and the impact it has on the community as a whole.
At the end of the day, I will always remain hopeful for a franchise that paved the way for fps.