Champions Bundle, Armor Mods, Legendary Slayer! The Halo Bulletin: 7.10.13

Lots of details in this weeks Halo Bulletin. Too much to cover from RTX, Halo 4 Global Championship, Halo 4 Champions Bundle, new Halo 4 Armor Mods, and Halo4 Legendary Slayer Playlist along with a matchmaking update for the Global Championship.

Here are the highlights. Click here to read all of it!

The Champions Bundle

The Champions Bundle contains three DLC packs, as well as bonus content, including:

  • Bullseye Pack (Includes Ricochet, a new game type)
    • New Map – Vertigo:

Vertigo is an asymmetrical map that provides a wide variety of indoor and outdoor combat. The map lends itself best to Slayer and Extraction game types and is best played with anywhere from 8 to 10 players. Vertigo also touts the return of a dynamic, interactive element in a Halo multiplayer map: Each base has a trigger point that depletes the shields of all players in range when shot. The map also contains a series of caves on each side as well as three levels of verticality, providing players with several different routes for attacking each base.

    • Pitfall – Halo 3 The Pit Remake
  • Steel Skin Pack
    • Gold steam-punk like weapon skin for loadout weapons
  • Infinity Armor Pack
    • MARK V Armor, ODST Armor, and forerunner Prefect Armor
  • Bonus content, including new stances, armor and weapon skins, and a new armor mod
    • 5 new weapon skins
    • 8 new stances for your Player Card
    • Five new armor skins: Tracer, Column, Python, Bayonet, and Solid
    • Resistor Tactical Package:

      The Champions Bundle will include a sneak peek to the Resistor armor mod, which allows players to retain full mobility despite taking fire for a few moments. The armor mod will eventually be made available to all players in Halo 4 Matchmaking free of charge.

Halo 4 Armor Mod Update

In addition to the Halo 4 Champions Bundle bonus content, we’ll be releasing two additional armor mods free of charge for the community to enjoy. We’re currently planning on releasing these one day before the Champions Bundle releases on August 20, and you’ll immediately be able to incorporate these new mods into your loadout and experiment with them.

• Survivor ejects you out of a vehicle if it’s about to explode.
• Recharge decreases the time it takes for your shields to recharge.

Legendary Slayer

At PAX East, we announced that we were working on a new playlist named Legendary Slayer. After much iteration, discussion and playtesting, we’re excited to announce that it is (almost!) here and (almost!) ready for your enjoyment. Legendary Slayer is a variant that focuses on basic gameplay with only one loadout, on-map weapons and motion tracker enabled. Here are the key settings:

  • 4 vs. 4 Slayer
  • Default starting weapon (Assault Rifle)
  • No Armor Abilities
  • Motion Tracker enabled
  • All weapons and grenades located on map (no initial, random or personal ordnance)

The singular loadout is:

  • Starting weapon: Assault Rifle
  • Secondary weapon: None
  • Armor Ability: None
  • Grenades: Frag x2
  • Support upgrade: Explosives
  • Tactical package: Resupply

We’re excited to deliver a brand-new experience to Halo 4 Matchmaking that will focus on even starting weapons and map control, with players fighting to gain control of all rifles, power weapons and each map’s power positions. The Legendary Slayer playlist launches Monday, July 15, on the following maps, which have been custom-created specifically for this playlist:

  • Haven
  • Solace
  • Adrift
  • Abandon
  • Landfall
  • Monolith
  • Skyline
  • Shutout

– Chief Landless

Geronimo!

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Halo 4 Weapon Tuning Info – June 3rd Update

Here are my thoughts on the proposed Halo 4 Weapon Tuning to various weapons in the Halo 4 sandbox. There isn’t a finalized list out there yet, but I list off the repeatedly mentioned weapons and their changes as all signs point to them making the cut on June 3rd.

I hope you enjoy and feel free to discuss your thoughts on the matter!

– Chief Landless

Geronimo!

The Halo Bulletin: May 8th, 2013

This weeks Halo Bulletin covers multiple topics such as weapon balancing, matchmaking updates and more

Current State of Weapon Tuning

After reviewing community feedback from past weeks, we felt it was necessary to clarify that the red reticle range (RRR) of the DMR has been reduced, and the RRR of the LightRifle has been increased to match this new range exactly (Note: this is different from reducing the DMR to the LightRifle’s original range). What we’ve found in current testing is that the LightRifle is now a favorite weapon for long-range engagements, and in terms of kill time, a zoomed LightRifle currently outclasses the DMR. This has created a dynamic that allows the DMR to excel in a very specific range and role – at equal skill levels, LightRifle users will punish the DMR at range, and Battle Rifle and Carbine users will have an advantage at close range.

We’re also now looking at reducing the projectile spread (inaccuracy caused when shooting rapidly) to the Carbine to make the weapon even more consistent. The projectile spread is not visible to players, so reducing this weapon will create a more consistent and understandable experience.

Also, our latest tests have included a slight damage bump to the Magnum – while it is still the same amount of shots to kill (6), the slight increase will make it more valuable as a secondary weapon, particularly in team play when “team shooting” (firing at the same opponents with your teammates). In Quinn’s words, “The Magnum feels good. It just feels really good.” Quinn gets kind of weird when he talks about weapons. [bs angel note: And even when he’s not.]

Matchmaking Update

This coming Monday, an encore of Spartan Ops Episode 6 will be available in Matchmaking. One of the things we’ll be doing in our next Matchmaking Update, which will take place on May 20th, will be showcasing some of our favorite Forge Island creations in a limited time only Community Forge Island playlist. If you’d like to submit your creations (or those of a friend) for consideration, be sure to post in the Community Cartographer’s Thread in the proper format.

– Chief Landless

Geronimo!

Weapon Tuning Reveal Date! The Halo Bulletin: May 1st, 2013

As you probably know by now, we have been actively tuning some of the weapons in the Halo 4 sandbox. We are still regularly playtesting, and excited to say that we’re nearing the end of tweaking and tuning each weapon. At this point, we are happy to share several key items that we’re looking forward to in the schedule:

  • In the month of May, we’ll be inviting a small group of community members into the studio to get a sneak peak at the new weapon tuning. We are finalizing this list and will announce once we have done so.
  • We’ll also be bringing you a live stream that will allow everyone to check out some of the weapon tuning in action before the settings deploy globally. This live stream will feature insight and commentary from designers, as well as gameplay from community members and 343 staff. This live stream will give you a close look at how the newly tuned weapons behave alongside one another. Once the live stream is officially on the calendar, we’ll announce the date and time. The location, however, will absolutely be http://www.twitch.tv/343industries.
  • Before we go live, we’ll be detailing the final changes for each weapon on Halo Waypoint. This content will give you a detailed breakdown of what to expect when the tuning goes live.
  • Our final changes, once solidified, will go live across all Halo 4 playlists on Monday, June 3rd.

Now, onto the next Matchmaking update. This coming Monday, we’ll be adding quite a few maps into several existing playlists. These maps were showcased in our Community Forge Test and FFA Forge Test playlists, and have since been updated to provide new experiences across multiple game modes. Here’s what will be added and updated come Monday.

Continue reading

Rumble Pit, CSR, Castle DLC, & Multi-Team! The Halo Bulletin 4.3.13

spotter_660

Hi everyone, Chief here, I took a hiatus last week as the bulletin didn’t have any new information. It was just a Q&A from PAX East and all of the questions were answered by my PAX East video anyways. So here we have a doozie of a bulletin fill to brim with Castle Map Pack and CSR details so lets dig in! Click here for the full bulletin.

Thursday April 4th

  • Welcome to Daybreak: Map walkthrough and strategies by 343 Industries on Daybreak

Friday April 5th

  • Welcome to Perdition: Map walkthrough and strategies by 343 Industries on Perdition

Saturday April 6th

  • Welcome to Outcast: Map walkthrough and strategies by 343 Industries on Outcast

Sunday April 7th

  • Castle Map Pack Livestream: A livestream hosted by 343 Industries (most likely on their twitch.tv livestream channel http://www.twitch.tv/343industries) showcasing all three maps for the Castle map pack.

Monday April 8th

  • Castle Map Pack Release:
    • 800 MS Points or Free to owners of the War Games Map Pass
    • 3 medium to large sized maps: Daybreak, Perdition, and Outcast
  • CSR (Competitive Skill Rank) Release
  • Multiplayer Update
    • Multi Team – 6 teams of 2 players
    • Castle Team DLC – 6v6
    • Rumble Pit (FFA) will replace Community Forge FFA Playlist
      • Infinity Rumble and Rumble Pro
    • Team Objective will transition to a 6v6 playlist
      • on-disc maps, Crimson DLC, and Castle DLC
    • Extraction Playlist will transition into Team Objective Playlist
  • Encore Episode 1 of Spartan Ops

csr

CSR (Competitive Skill Rank)

“There are two different ways we calculate your CSR. CSR is closely based on your TrueSkill rank, which ensures that you’ll be ranked – and matched – against opponents of comparable skill. Your CSR is dependent upon your personal performance as well as the rank of those you play with. While several playlists will use a win/loss system to determine whether or not you rank up, others will use individual scoring, which will rank you based on your performance against everyone in the match, teammates included. In some playlists, you’ll rank up faster than others – these vary in order to create the most optimal experience for each playlist.”

There will be two different scoring systems: Individual Scoring (compares you against everyone in the game) and Team Scoring (based off wins and losses and objective play). Playlists will only feature one system:

Playlists that use individual scoring:

  • Infinity Slayer
  • Big Team Infinity Slayer
  • Rumble Pit
  • Multi-Team
  • Team Action Sack
  • Flood
  • Team Snipers
  • Regicide
  • SWAT

Playlists that will use team scoring:

  • Castle Team DLC
  • Team Objective
  • Capture the Flag
  • Dominion
  • Team Throwdown
  • Team Doubles
  • Grifball

“CSR challenge where playing the Castle DLC playlist and reaching level 35 or higher between April 8 and April 22 will award you with an exclusive Avatar t-shirt, so stay tuned to Halo Waypoint and our Twitter account for more giveaways and surprises.”

In mainstream playlists it will be very difficult to carry your teammates CSR if they continually end up on the bottom of the scoreboard, it will be easy however for the weakest link in your party of friends to bring down their CSR and risk losing lots of matches.

If you leave early once a match has started, it treats it as if you were the lowest rank in the match for the individual-scored playlists and as a loss on the team-scored playlists. Players that join in progress are currently treated as if they had played the entire match. That said, in our selected, more competitive playlists, there will be rules in place to mitigate the effect. Namely:

  1. You can only join in progress during a small window of time in the beginning of the match, so those players will still have time to contribute meaningfully to the match.
  2. Friends are not allowed to join a game in progress. Only random players searching through Matchmaking can join during that 60-second window.

The rules for these playlists restrict the amount of noise from Join-in-Progress since that feature is only possible during the first few moments of the match. They also help improve the purity of CSR in these playlists. We plan on putting in these Join-in-Progress parameters as close to CSR launch as possible.

We are actively investigating occasional CSR resets, both globally and for certain playlists. Reasons for resetting ranks include overhauls to CSR calculation, Halo 4 game updates, and events and promotions centered on CSR. Resetting CSR is not something we’re taking lightly so when we do reset it, we’ll be sure to provide ample messaging describing the reasons for doing so.

Castle Team DLC – 6v6

  Map   Game Type
  Daybreak
  Infinity Slayer
  Capture the Flag
  King of the Hill
  Extraction – 1 Plot
  SWAT
  Snipers
  Outcast
  Infinity Slayer
  Capture the Flag
  King of the Hill
  Oddball
  SWAT
  Team Regicide
  Perdition
  Infinity Slayer
  Capture the Flag
  King of the Hill
  Extraction – 1 Plot
  SWAT
  Snipers

Also, these maps will be integrated into many of our existing playlists. DLC maps will appear in a playlist if all players in the match have downloaded the content.

  Playlist   Map
  Capture the Flag
  Daybreak
  Outcast
  Perdition
  Infinity Slayer
  Daybreak
  Multi-Team
  Daybreak
  Outcast
  Perdition
  Action Sack
  Daybreak
  Outcast
  Perdition
  Dominion
  Outcast
  Flood
  Daybreak
  Perdition
  SWAT
  Daybreak

Rumble Pit

Replacing Community Forge FFA, Rumble Pit will feature both Infinity Rumble and Rumble Pro in the voting options. Here are the maps that the playlist will launch with:

  • Skyline
  • Landfall
  • Monolith
  • Haven
  • Solace
  • Adrift
  • Abandon
  • Shutout
  • Simplex
  • Dispatch

Phewf! That was a big one.

– Chief Landless

Geronimo!

Are you ready to Rumble! The Halo Bulletin: 2.20.13

Back again with another look at this weeks Halo Waypoint Bulletin. This time we have information in regards to the Majestic Map Pack, Playlists, and the February Title Update (which I’ll post separately here). You can read the Bulletin in its entirety  here but here are the highlights!

343 has planned a week of Majestic festivities:

  • Tuesday 19th
    • Majestic Screenshot Galleries
    • Making Halo 4: Majestic Map Pack Trailer
  • Wednesday 20th
    • Halo Bulletin 2.20.13
  • Thursday 21st
    • Majestic Map Pack Achievement Info
    • Welcome to Landfall – Map overview video
  • Friday 22nd
    • Welcome to Monolith – Map overview video
  • Saturday 23rd
    • Welcome to Skyline – Map overview video
  • Sunday 24th
    • Majestic Map Pack Livestream – 343 Members

Matchmaking Playlist Update:

  • February 25th
    • Spartan Ops “Designer’s Choice” missions
      • Episode 3 Mission 4 – Shootout in Valhalla
      • Episode 10 Mission 3 – Seize the Power
      • Episode 10 Mission 5 – One Last Time
      • Episode 4 Mission 3 – Random Transport
      • Episode 5 Mission 4 – The Cauldron Base
    • Majestic Map Pack Release
    • Majestic Team DLC – 4v4
    • Majestic FFA DLC – 8 Players
    • Infinity Rumble – FFA
    • Rumble Pro – like Doubles Pro
    • Doubles Pro Loadouts will update to match Rumble Pro

Read more for the settings for each playlist, map, and game variant!

Continue reading

Team Throwdown, Playlist Updates, TU Boltshot Nerf! The Halo Bulletin: 2.13.13

throwdown_05-2

Hello there, back again with another Halo Waypoint bulletin. This time we have more than just Halo 4 Matchmaking Updates we also have a little bit of Title Update Information. Let’s break down this weeks bulletin. And as always you can read the entire thing here!

February 18th, 2013

  • Spartan Ops Episode 10
    • 5 New Missions
    • Last Episode of Season 1 (No Details on Spartan Ops Season 2)
  • Team Throwdown (Competitive Playlist)
    • v2 settings
    • Team Slayer, Capture the Flag, Extraction and King of the Hill
  • Removal of Crimson DLC Playlist
    • Maps will merge into regular respective playlists
  • Team Snipers Playlist Score to Win Reduced
    • 600 Points (60 Kills) to 500 Points (50 Kills). Due to no instant respawn
  • Shutout Map added to SWAT Playlist
    • Other Forge Maps to be added to other playlist over time

February 25th, 2013 (Rumoured/Expected Date)

  • Title Update
    • Boltshot Range reduced.1-hit kill will be reduced from 20-25ft to 15ft
    • Remove friendly-fire issue with EMP/Damage to Vehicles owned by teammates in playlists with friendly-fire disabled.
    • Fixed an issue that did not allow players to create respawn timers or disable instant respawn in custom games
  • Majestic Map Pack (3 small-med sized DLC maps)
    • Monolith
    • Skyline
    • Landfall

Team Throwdown Playlist Details!
Continue reading

Halo 4 Community Forge Test Playlist Information

As of this morning, January 21st, the Forge Playlist was added to Halo 4’s multiplayer. Here’s the basic information on what to expect on the maps and the game types you will be playing!

Maps:   Shutout mapShutout

Description: Some believe this remote facility was once used to study the Flood. But few clues remain amidst the snow and ice.
Author: Big Papa SaLoT & Nitrooo

despairDespair
Description: A derelict facility…
Author: SecretShnitzel

garroteGarrotte
Description: Better play it straight.
Author: MythicFritz

relayRelay
Description: As is, in-game.
Author: FyreWulff

scytheScythe
Description: A community made forge map by PA1NTS.
Author: PA1NTS

simplexSimplex
Description: A community made, arena style map by Big Papa SaLoT.
Author: Big Papa SaLoT

Gametypes:

  • Garrotte – Infinity Slayer, CTF
  • Shutout – Infinity Slayer, SWAT
  • Despair – Infinity Slayer, KOTH
  • Scythe – Infinity Slayer, SWAT
  • Simplex – Infinity Slayer, CTF
  • Relay – Infinity Slayer

– Chief Landless

Geronimo!

The Halo Bulletin 1.9.13: Team Doubles, Team Snipers, Grifball, Title Update, DLC, & More!

As the title shows, this bulletin was jam packed full of information, nothing specific, but LOTS of information for the remaining month of January and a look into February so let’s get started. The Bulletin opens with a letter from Frank O’Connor about the year.Then come the big announcements in regards to Halo 4 Multiplayer Playlists, Specialization releases, the new DLC map pack, and the title update.

Currently

  • Halo 4 Infinity Challenge Qualifier Phase ends January 12th
  • Halo 4 Infinity Challenge Final Phase begins Jan 12th, and ends January 19th (the leaderboards will be reset and it will be a mad dash for 7 days to win)

January

  • Week of 1/21
    Spartan Ops Episode 6: Five new missions and an accompanying new CG cinematic.
    “Forge Test” playlist (name not final): A rotational hopper featuring small Forge maps such as Relay. Help us test these maps by providing feedback and reporting bugs that will assist us in getting them ready for Matchmaking!
    Specializations: Pioneer and Pathfinder Specializations unlocked for all players.
  • Week of 1/28
    Spartan Ops Episode 7: Five new missions and an accompanying new CG cinematic.
    Grifball playlist: A rotational hopper featuring everybody’s favorite virtual sport. Catch the disease!
    Specializations: Engineer and Stalker Specializations unlocked for all players.

February

  • Week of 2/4
    Spartan Ops Episode 8: Five new missions and an accompanying new CG cinematic.
    Team Doubles playlist: A rotational hopper for those of you that like action of the 2 vs 2 variety.
    Specializations: Rogue and Tracker Specializations unlocked for all players.
  • Potential playlists for the month of February include both FFA and a new and improved version of Team Snipers.
  • Late February will also bring both a Title Update and the Majestic Map Pack (which includes two small maps and one medium-sized map) to Halo 4 as well. Expect more information on all of those things next month.

What playlist and/or specialization are you looking forward to the most?