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Bungie Weekly Update

Halo: Reach

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#1 Jironimo

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Posted 11 March 2005 - 10:12 PM

I started this thread so I can post the weekly updates in our own forum and not have to deal with the noobs on bungie.net and all their stupid comments. Being the control freak I am, please allow me to post the updates weekly so I can do all my fancy formatting. This week's update can be found here.

Bungie Weekly What's Update

It's that time of the week again, where we answer as many of your questions as we can. Downloadable maps and cheat/glitch fixes are in their usual state - that is, coming soon, and there's loads more going on. Plenty of questions, plenty of answers, but nothing mind-blowing.


Hella dudes ask,

When are we getting new maps?

We'll have news, with dates soon. We ask your patience, and we'll let you know as soon as the details are finalized.



Boxmonster13 asks,

When will the update be out? You know that all of us are hanging on to every one of your words, and we are all awaiting the Update with intense anticipation. Please give us an Update this week, and do not dodge any more questions.

It's out exactly now. And it's not as exciting as last week's, if you can consider last week's exciting. And I have to dodge some questions or I gets me fired.



Loads of folks ask,

Is the Maji Skull on outskirts real or fake?

This answer will surprise you, but we don't know. You see, the skulls were placed there, in secret, by a secret group of people who won't reveal the secret. And they won't even reveal who they are. Basically when I asked about it, I got threatened. And that's an honest answer, I really couldn't find out.



BhamLuda asks,

What is the name of the guy that does all the saying like "flag taken" "Bomb armed Bomb planted" on Halo 2? Where can I sign up for that job? What is his exact title?

He's Jeff Steitzer, and his title is Voice of God/Multiplayer Announcer. He's a voice actor (and a regular type actor) and he can be heard in games other than Halo. We found, using scientific research, that his sonorous tone prevented players from simply refusing to die. When he says you're dead, you're dead. When he says a flag is captured, it's captured.



I KILL GRUNTS asks,

I don't have XBOX Live, but everyone who does have it is getting new maps and glitches are being fixed. Will the people without XBOX Live be getting anything? I want new maps!

I can promise you this: Bungie is doing everything it can to accommodate you guys. We promise we'll look at every possibility and do everything in our power to ensure that the complete Halo 2 experience is made as widely available as we can.



Ahoy asks,

Why are you such a loser?

I don't know. But first thing when I get home, I'm sending anonymous insults to someone I never met. If that doesn't make me a winner, I don't know what will.



Dictator Grenade asks,

Do you guys ever have interns ?

We don't, but MS does. If we had an intern, they'd get subjected to so much horror, ridicule and vileness, that they'd have some kind of emotional breakdown. That said, we haven't ruled it out.



Gordy asks,

I've noticed that people seem to be quitting/cheating much more in team training games. Now the quitting I can deal with, sometimes you just gotta leave; but I was hoping that cheaters can be punished in team training games also. Please tell me that they can't get away with it just because it's not ranked. And second, I know some of y'all use Macs (look closely on the DVD) and was wondering how many Bungie has. And last, on the Halo 2 DVD, there seems to be some footage of levels that weren't released with the final draft of Halo 2, are these levels "for bungie only" or were they just not completed on time only to be released with the downloadable content? ?

Cheating in unranked games can be tracked and reported the same as ranked games. Plenty of folks have had their accounts suspended for doing just that. Please use the feedback system whether a game is ranked or not. I'd say there's about ten Macs here. Music guys live by them, some art guys use 'em and there's a couple in our web testing dept. that's why the site works on Safari. Also, we have a rare Mac cube. And a Pippin. There are loads of assets that never made it into the final game. That's a normal part of development.



Old Age asks,

Where can I download new symbols for Halo 2?

You can't ? the customizable set in the game is the only type that exists. We limited it to avoid things like obscene pictures, or curse words.



CrashDMB237 asks,

What will we see first, new maps or Halo 3?

Well, since Halo 3 only exists in your mind right now, I'd have to say maps.



EntrepeNinja asks,

Are you spontaneously funny, or do you spend hours coming up with your next one-liner?

I will address this question in an amusing fashion in next week's Update.



Several people ask,

Why are you guys taking glitches out of System Link games?

If it were easy to leave in, we would. The problem is that System Link and Split Screen share almost exactly the same code as the Xbox Live game. To fix one, you have to fix it universally, otherwise we'd be creating more problems than we solve. The fact that sword-flying, for example, remains in Campaign, is testament to that fact.

More importantly ? when we fix glitches and cheats, scumbags everywhere will look for new ways to abuse the system. You can bet your bottom dollar their first line of attack would be abusing the "fun" glitches, like Sword Flying. We've seen it used for cheating already and we simply can't leave it in.



Helical asks ,

I'm having a problem with my television switching from 16:9 to the standard ratio during battle in H2. It seems to happen (not exclusively) during traumatic moments in the game such as directly after being struck with a plasma pistol blast. If you have a simple solution or can give me an idea of what's going on, I would appreciate it. Thanks.

That's weird! What's your TV setup? What cable are you using, what's the TV type and what settings are locked on your Xbox dashboard. And has anyone else seen this? It's new to me.



Mongo asks ,

Give us another hint word.

Are you serious? That's gotta be old by now. OK. I will and I will reveal something about the prior hint words ? they're all legit and nobody has guessed exactly. Couple of people came close. Worst rumor was "Timetable = Time Travel!" This week's hint word is, "Firefly."



And finally, the HBO forums asked, can we see Mister Chief wearing a coconut bra?

Of course!

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#2

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 09:43 PM

Firefly... DAMNNIT. They make it so hard. :/

#3 Jironimo

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 06:53 PM

Bungie Weekly What's Update

Lots and lots of hubub on the internet today, regarding downloadable content. Not much new to report here, but a fairly large update on the contents of our cheat and glitch fixing. Please forward all hate mail and death threats to my home address, O-Binladen@kandaharcavez.org




Hella dudes ask,

What's up with the listing on Xbox.com in Korea that says the downloadable content is coming out as a retail game release??

Next week, we?re going to have a major announcement about the details of our new maps. Right now, there are some dates, details and ideas out there that are actually wrong, so please take everything you read between now and then with a grain of salt. We can't talk about how and when the new maps will be released, we'll leave that to the smart folks who actually do all the logistical work for this stuff ? marketing and PR, but we can tell you this much - our entire plan is designed to make new content available for everybody, those with Xbox Live and those without Xbox Live. We hope in the end, everyone will be satisfied.




Lots of folks query,

What's up with the cheat, glitch and bug fixing?

Fixing Cheats and Glitches: UPDATED


Autoupdate for the Masses

As it stands, the Autoupdate is scheduled to be a small Xbox Live download, and when it becomes available (as soon as testing is finished), it can be implemented by logging any Xbox with Halo 2 onto the Live service. While we encourage non Live users to borrow an account, try a free trial membership or take their box to a Live-using friend's home, we are looking at ways to distribute these improvements to a wider audience and we'll have more news about this soon.

With the sheer number of variables on the Xbox Live service, the fantastic numbers of players involved and the vast disparity between ISPs, modems and quality of service, it took time for us to identify all the cheats, glitches and exploits. And unlike a PC game, even once you've addressed all of the problems, the solution isn't as simple as posting a patch on a website. A console game is largely immutable, and implementing changes is a significant task. The fixes we've implemented required a great deal of testing, tweaking and retesting to ensure the autoupdate process would go smoothly and provide satisfactory results for every Halo 2 player on Xbox Live.

With all that aside, what follows is a partial list of the changes, bug fixes and anti-cheating measures we have implemented so far.


Split Screen Enhancement

Split screen players have long complained that their screens are too muddled with interface and messages to see what's going on clearly. The Autoupdate also removes the more trivial pop-up messages (like ammo pick up, for example) that have plagued split screen gamers. The downside is that they no longer see those messages, but in testing and polling, we've found that the cleaner screen presentation makes that a small price to pay. "Important" messages will continue to display as before.


Geometry Glitches

Flag Bouncing: We're fixing the super high flag bounce caused by collisions with certain objects ? like the conveyor belt in Colossus. Teams would often simply bounce the flag from one side to the other, thus ruining a vital aspect of that map's intrinsic design.

We've fixed the flag-grab-through-solid-walls problem (although you can still toss a flag through legitimate places, like gates and windows). This will have a huge effect in CTF games on Beaver Creek, Zanzibar and Coagulation.

Elite melee ghosting ? a glitch allowed a player (using a short sequence of button presses) to exit a vehicle and continue to an objective while all other players viewed the player as an invulnerable stationary "ghost" at the original point of disembarkation. This was caused by forcing the Xbox to "lose track" of the player.

Sword flying will be gone from multiplayer, though we'll keep it in Campaign mode. This was basically an exploit that allowed players to "fly" by locking onto a target with a Sword while riding in a vehicle ? then later releasing a pent-up Sword lunge, and basically soaring, unhindered through the air. Although a noisy part of the community feels this was a fun, unexploitable bug, we have witnessed it used for cheating, and when we fix other problems, any we left in deliberately would be exploited all the more.

We've addressed the "ghosted dropped weapon" problem, which was caused by a difference in object location tracking between different machines - a gun you just couldn't pick up, for example ? and is easily encountered during games between Pal and NTSC machines.

We've fixed the tie resolution problems that automatically defaulted the red team as winner in a tie.

We've made some changes to the way our system works when entering Clan matches ? basically making it easier to enter even when conditions are less than ideal. The measures used before were perhaps too strict and prevented some players from entering games with their clan.

We've addressed the bug on Beaver Creek that caused double-teleporting ? this was related to poor bandwidth, and it would cause a player to bounce back out of the teleporter rather than passing cleanly through.

We've fixed the glitch that would allow seemingly destroyed gun turrets to be used before they respawned.


Cheats

We've addressed the modem standby cheat. Can't say how, but we've implemented several fixes to help alleviate this problem. We can't stop people from pressing suspend modem, but we can make it less worthwhile to them. We've also added a number of ways to make it more difficult for players to abuse the fact that they are the host of a game.

This is just a sampling of what we're fixing. Some things are insignificant, some you won't even have heard of, and others we don't want to discuss at this time. All in all, it should be a very pleasant and painless experience and one that improves your experience significantly.

This is a partial list. Many of the changes we've implemented will be invisible to players. Some are simply minor tweaks to networking or performance code. Some are more important, but happen in the background. Some fixes will simply remain undisclosed to prevent further abuse of the system, and we realize that even this tremendous run of changes won't be entirely complete and that abuses by unsportsmanlike players will continue, but we're confident that these tweaks and adjustments will improve the experience for beginners and experts alike.




A kid asks,

When I look at some players? stats on Bungie.net, often almost all of their games are grayed out and marked as ?unreliable.? What does this actually mean, and why is it only happening to some players, over and over again?

What this literally means is that 50% of the players who started a game were gone by the end of the game. That's all.

This can be caused by:

1) Various types of standby cheating
2) Normal network glitches that cause a player to drop, or the game to fragment into multiple pieces that finish separately
3) Players quitting before the end of the game

Players it happens to repeatedly might have really bad internet (or wireless LAN) connections, might be repeat cheaters, might be repeat droppers, or might be so overwhelmingly good that their opponents don't bother seeing the game through to the end.

It's worth noting that this is just a reporting feature on Bungie.net; nothing has changed as far as how Live computes rankings and experience. We could in theory have it wrong, although so far it's pretty accurate.




Heat Miser asks,

How many games of Halo 2 have been played since launch?

As of this afternoon,

Total number of Live games played: 113,878,393

Total number of player sessions (you know, like a four player game of Slayer = four individual player sessions): 856,848,952.

Total number of unique players since launch: An awful lot.




Marco asks,

Are you guys mad at Penny Arcade over that wicked zinger?

Oh yes, quite incensed. No. Really we love them, especially Twisp and Catsby and the erm, Fruit Juicer, I think he's called.




And finally, a reader asked: What would Mister Chief look like with a hangover?

Unpleasant.
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Interesting, it looks like we'll know next week specific details about the maps, and hopefully dates so I can just look forward to something and not constantly check the update button in XBOX Live.

#4 Kinetic

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 09:33 PM

It seems the only form of Sword Flying mentioned as a fix is the side seat one. Does this mean Rocket-Sword lunging is still in?

#5 Blaze

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 11:38 PM

God I hope so.

It doesn't look like the maps will be coming until maybe the end of March, but probably early April. Word on the street is that there are eight new maps. Eight. EIGHT.


But I doubt there'll be eight.

#6 Kinetic

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 11:50 PM

Well, if Bungie lives up to it's promise of the DLC being epic, then eight maps doesn't seem out of the question. Funny how Bungie says they hate making promises, but turn around and say something as serious as the new content being so great.

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Posted 19 March 2005 - 12:06 AM

Probably April 1st is my guess...

#8 Kinetic

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Posted 19 March 2005 - 12:08 AM

That would be ironic.

#9 vociferous

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Posted 19 March 2005 - 06:44 PM

That would be. Heh.

#10 UHYVE

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 06:28 AM

Apparently, Game Crazy computers are currently saying that the DVD expansion will come out on the 24th May. But we all know how reliable those sort of things are.

Also, something to consider:
http://www.xbox-mag....lo-2__7220.html

Microsoft and Bungie will soon announce the availability of a add on for the game of the year 2004, Halo 2. Will it be necessary to pay for these maps? Well, not really, unless you just can't wait... For more details, keep reading.

In the next weeks, the add on of Halo 2 will be available in store for the price of 30 €. For this moderate price, eight new maps will be present on the DVD. Impatient  Halo will probably pay out immediately, one can understand them...

A few weeks after the availability of this DVD in shops, Microsoft will release 2 maps per month entirely free via Xbox Live.

Update: a post on IGN seems to indicate a release date of the 24 May, visible in the database of the store "Game Crazy". In North America the price would be about 20 USD. However we cannot confirm this particular information.



#11 vociferous

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 08:09 AM

20 to get it ASAP. Sign me up.

#12 Blaze

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 10:32 AM

The new Update is up. It has information and a screenshot of four of the nine new Multiplayer maps. Personally, I'm not liking them very much, but that's probably because I have high hopes for Damnation and Hang 'em. But, there's five others, so...there's still a chance. Here's the link: Click, but I'll let Ivan post the big version on the forum.

The first two maps are free and coming in a few short weeks. (late April)

Fucking ass fucking fucker fuck fuck!

#13 Kinetic

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 05:12 PM

Actually, the first four maps are coming in late April. Two of them come with a premium. I'll pay the cost in two seconds flat, though.

#14 Jironimo

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 07:41 PM

This week the Weekly What's Update: SPECIAL EDITION! we've all been waiting for. The update can be found here.

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Halo 2 Multiplayer Madness


Last week, a couple of incorrect dates appeared on a retail website, and more tellingly, Microsoft's own Xbox.com site in Korea. What it revealed was that we apparently had a multiplayer add-on planned for Halo 2, and that it would be for sale in stores. Of course, like a lot of internet stuff, it was partly true. The dates were off, and subsequent rumor mongering went off on all kinds of tangents - some frighteningly accurate, some way off.

Bungie was caught off guard - we were waiting to tell you the whole plan when the powers that be (which is now) were ready. That put us in the unfortunate position of being forced to clam up until it was safe to talk!

The official press release from MS can be found over at Xbox.com HERE. For those averse to press releases or simply needing clarification, we'll break it down for you:

So the basic details for the new map release plan go like this:

  • We're releasing a total of nine new multiplayer maps.

  • All nine maps will eventually be available as Live downloads and as a normal boxed game disc - available at retail for $19.99 (US).

  • The release on Live will be staggered, some paid, some free!

  • The first two maps are free and coming in a few short weeks. (late April)

  • The same day the 2 free maps are released, 2 additional maps will be available for purchase.

  • The remaining 5 maps will be made available as a paid download on the same day the retail package goes on sale.

  • The retail disc will contain extras, including a documentary, a cool project from our cinematic and animation team, every Halo 2 update released so far and possily one or two other little treats.

  • By late summer, ALL the maps will be available for free.
It is complicated, but the vagaries of matchmaking playlist rollout, the precedent set by making Live content available to non-Live users, the implementation of anti-cheat fixes and the support required to make the whole experience work smoothly, are somewhat unique in the annals of Xbox gaming. So please, bear with us.

What we can say with some confidence is that we're very proud of the new maps. They're cool-looking, fun, well-balanced and tested to destruction. They offer a wide range of gameplay types and are suitable for some modes you may not even have tried before. We can't wait to share them with you.


The First Four New Maps!

In late April, you'll be able to download two maps for free - Containment and Warlock. At the same time, two additional maps will be available for purchase - Sanctuary and Turf. Each map represents a very different experience, from massive team battle, to intimate and intricate skirmish zone. Here's our breakdown of the levels:


CONTAINMENT

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A massive, mostly outdoor, and somewhat symmetrical environment set in the frozen tundra near Sentinel Wall, on Delta Halo. The icy terrain is a walled valley floor, scarred by a massive trench, running between two enormous Forerunner compounds. Each of these structures acts as a base, and each base is itself large enough to drive a vehicle around in.

The bases contain a heavily fortified flag capture point which presents a tough challenge for an unorganized offense. To even the odds, it's possible to open vehicle access to these bases by activating a switch - exposed to sniper fire in the center of the map. Above this switch is the teleport exit for each base.

The rapid access enabled using teleporters and vehicles means that while this is by far one of the largest Halo maps ever, it's also one with a large number of transit options, on foot or in vehicles.

Caves, ridges and tunnels provide stealthy entrance to enemy bases, while the jagged central trench is a great spot to take cover. Above, the exposed, icy fields are littered with the most explosive cores in the game. Default vehicles include Hogs, Scorpion tanks and Banshees. Containment was built from the ground up, with large scale objective games in mind, especially CTF. If you like Coagulation, and were a fan of Sidewinder, you'll love Containment!


WARLOCK

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Set in the rain-soaked ruins of an ancient Forerunner structure, nobody knows if Warlock is a temple, a castle or even a dwelling. What we do know is that the architecture predates the Halo itself, and that it must have been moved here, brick by brick, with obvious reverence by the Forerunners themselves.

A small to medium sized map, Warlock is ideal for close-quarters fights, Slayer matches and thanks to its four way symmetry, multi-team Territories battles. Warlock's mix of obstacles and open areas makes it a perfect spot for more chaotic matches like Rockets. Sharp-eyed players may note its resemblance to the map Wizard, although it has been rebuilt from the ground up to take advantage of Halo 2's new graphics and gameplay features.

Warlock is filled with nooks, crannies and other hiding places, and while the ground is a warren of obstacles, it's possible to reach any other point in the map by taking the high road - a series of platforms and ramps that stretch across the map, with a temple-like center structure dominating the arena.

Teleporters dot the walls allowing you to evade pursuing enemies, or take instant shortcuts across the map.


TURF

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The surrounding streets and evacuated buildings of Old Mombasa make it a dangerous warren, with potential assassins lurking in every shadow and around every corner. Dusty storefronts hide mazelike interiors, and narrow walkways above street level make this shadowy part of town a sniper's haven.

Although it was designed primarily with Territories and CTF in mind, Turf's wildly varying situations - open streets, large buildings, narrow passageways - mean that it's surprisingly flexible. In spite of its size and complexity, the level even works well as a cat and mouse one-on-one map.

Although the tight alleys and streets are initially confusing, there are plenty of vital landmarks - a downed Covenant Scarab, a makeshift Human military base and a massive warehouse, complete with huge swinging doors. Players can knock down catwalks to control ledges above the streets, and a well-parked Warthog can lay down covering fire for the team quick enough to grab it.


SANCTUARY

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A walled grotto defines the center point of this Forerunner habitat, from which aqueducts span out, like the hands of a clock. It perfectly obscures a clear line of sight between two more robust temple buildings primarily used as Flag capture bases.

The map was designed to be perfectly symmetrical and used for smaller, team based objective games, like CTF and Assault, but its size and layout also make it a perfect spot for Slayer matches and slightly more frenetic types like Territories and Oddball. The tunnels at the sides and the open areas in front of the bases make for frantic firefights and nerve-wracking chases.

Stop for a moment to admire the scenery and you'll see a complicated system of waterfalls, canals and pools. Splashing water and the chirp of birds help define the sound scheme of this otherwise peaceful environment.

Larger versions of these images have been added to the Halo 2 Screenshot gallery.



WEEKLY WHAT'S UPDATE : SPECIAL EDITION



Now that you've got an overview of the plan, we know you have questions that need answering. For this week's "What's Update", we take a stab at the the most pressing questions before you even have a chance to ask them...

Why is Bungie charging for these maps when they should be free?

Well, the answer for the retail pack is simple - it costs money to make the maps, press a disc, put it in a box and get it to retail. For downloads, it's the exact same development process, plus bandwidth, support, all that stuff. You make things, they cost money to make, you have to charge for them. At the end of the day, Bungie doesn't have much involvement in the business side of things, although we are very pleased this stuff is going to be available for free download in the long run. And we're pleased that two will be free immediately. The other cool thing is that by working with retailers we can put these maps in the hands of gamers around the world and those who do not have Live.. These maps are not just about Live play, but for all those who play in LAN tournaments, etc...


But nobody else charges for content on Xbox Live...

Actually, almost everyone charges for downloadable content on Xbox Live. Some of that content later becomes free. That's where our plan falls into line. The simple fact is that it costs us money to make the content - resources, staff, snacks, even rent. This is not designed as a massive profiteering exercise, rather it's simply a way to get our maps in the hands of everyone, recoup the costs and justify the production of a significant project. At the end of the Summer, all of the content will be free for everyone to enjoy, and that's what matters most to us.


This plan sure does seem complicated...what gives?

It is complicated, but then so is the process of manufacturing, matchmaking and even playing on Live. We make games, and we make multiplayer maps, and guns and graphics and music and explosions, but ultimately we leave the sales plans to the MS experts.


Why is the map release staggered?

Well, we wanted to reward our players with the free maps - so they had to be a standalone download. Mountain Dew helped make that possible. The rest of this schedule was decided by marketing and Live ops teams - downloading all nine maps on the same day would be a recipe for melting the whole internet. We also needed to make gradual changes to our matchmaking playlists so that the new content is supported in matchmaking.


How was the price point determined?

By the marketing team, accountants, bean counters, various shaman and folks we don't even get to meet.


$19.99 for the retail disc seems really pricey for just a few maps. Why should I buy this?

Nine maps is actually a lot of Halo maps, and these new ones are in many regards, more complex graphically and technically than the original batch. The disc is also a very good way to archive the content, should you ever need it again (if you replace your Xbox, for example). The disc comes with a couple of nifty extra collectibles too -a documentary about the process of mapmaking and a short piece of animated fiction - a Halo 2 sidestory. it's also a rare opportunity for offline System Link and split-screen players to access previously online-only content.

Also, for the first time ever, non Live users will have access to game updates that were previously only available to Live subscribers. All of the prior Halo 2 updates along with the update slated for release in the near future will be included on this disc. Things like map exploit fixes, improved support for 480p, the improved split screen HUD update, and every other improvement and tweak that has been released on Live will be available to non-Live users.

The discs and the software are tremendously expensive to program, design, manufacture, package, ship and distribute. That's what you're paying for, should you decide to buy it. Xbox Live players pay a premium to use that service, and one big benefit to them for subscribing to the service will be getting their hands on four of the maps earlier than anyone else. Another important benefit is the eventual release of these maps for free.


What does Mountain Dew have to do with the first 2 free maps? And what's Bungie's relationship with Mountain Dew?

For some time, Mountain Dew has had an ongoing marketing relationship with Xbox Marketing, and they arranged the opportunity to sponsor the first two free maps with Xbox Live. Mountain Dew was heavily involved with Xbox Marketing on promoting Halo 2, with contests, ads, Slurpee cups and the like, and this is a continuation of that relationship. All that stuff goes through the marketing guys, so we don't have any direct exposure to Mountain Dew. We do have a Halo 2 Mountain Dew vending machine (that serves cold beer).


You say the maps will become free to everyone over time...how much time? When can we get them for free?

By late Summer, with the support of Mountain Dew, all the maps will be completely free. This does two things - it's a nice gift to the players patient enough to wait and it will also improve the matchmaking options available to those who have been playing those maps for a while, since we can then roll every suitable map into every suitable playlist. The specific timeline and details will be released soon, once they are finalized.


What are the other 5 maps going to be?

Terminal, Relic, Elongation, Gemini and Backwash. Each offers a distinctly different look, feel and game type suitability. Stay tuned to Bungie.net over the next few weeks for lots more info.


Wizard is being ported as 'Warlock', sweet! Does that mean we can expect Hang 'em High as well?

Brace yourself...Nope. Sorry. While everyone here is aware that Hang 'Em High (and to a lesser extent Sidewinder) would be massively popular, our preliminary tests with Hang 'Em High proved pretty quickly that the changed weapons and physics made it far less fun than you remember it being in Halo: Combat Evolved. Since each map was being lovingly crafted, polished and tested by a full team, we felt the resources were better spent on new maps. After all, if you loved Hang 'Em High, you can still play it on Halo CE.


Why has it taken so long for these maps to get released?

The work on these new maps, from conception to completion was started after Halo 2 shipped. Almost immediately in fact. Not one of these maps incorporates anything from "unreleased" Halo 2 stuff. They were each created from scratch. We're actually still doing final testing and cleaning up the odd texture. So it's taken as long as it's taken. We have NOT been sitting on these as some have suggested. We don't just slap these things together - specifically, we actually had more resources after the release of Halo 2 working solely on multiplayer maps than we did for the original 12.


How will the matchmaking playlists work once free and premium maps are added to the mix?

We're still finalizing our plans but we can give you a general idea of what to expect. The existing core playlists will remain intact. The first two free maps, Containment and Warlock, will be integrated into the appropriate existing playlists. Since the 2 premium maps are "premium" and won't necessarily be on everyone's Xbox right away, we can't add them to the core playlists without creating all sorts of problems. Instead, we will be rolling out a special short-term playlist that will only be accessible for people who download the premium maps. Players interested in getting into matchmade games on Turf and Sanctuary will be able to do so via this special playlist. Eventually, as Turf and Sanctuary become free for everyone, they will be added back to the core playlists and the premium playlist will go away.

When the remaining premium maps become available in June, a similar process will occur except we will have more than one premium playlist to accommodate the 5 new maps. Over time, as those maps become available for free, they will be integrated into the core playlists and the premium playlists will be phased out.

Throughout all of this, please keep in mind that players are always able to enjoy the new maps on their own via custom games with other friends who have the maps.

We are still working out the final details, gametype lists and dates for the life and death of each playlist. In addition, we are working on some contests to incorporate into these short-term playlists for added enjoyment. Stay tuned for more info in the weeks ahead.


When is the matchmaking playlist update going to happen?

The first playlist update will take place right after the new maps become available. Please also note that this update will not just be adding a new premium playlist - we will be adding variety to existing playlists, integrating the 2 free maps and adding an entirely new 2v2 playlist. Much more information will be coming soon.


When is the Live Autoupdate being released? When can we get additional info about the rest of the maps and anything else coming up?

The Live update will be released shortly before the first maps. The update itself will be a relatively tiny file, but contains significant changes to address cheating, glitching and other exploitable bugs. We also took this opportunity to improve split-screen display support and do some fine-tuning on melee and grenade combat. We'll be releasing more detail about this in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can read more about it in the "Weekly What's Update."

The Autoupdate is currently scheduled for release some time in April and shortly before the first maps are available.


Is it true that Frankie is to blame for all of this?

That part is true. He also deleted all the assets for Hang 'Em High so that it could never, ever return. Yes, anything you don't like, that was Frankie's fault. And he nearly introduced a wacky smack-talkin' extreme hamster sidekick named "Gusto" in Halo 2. We're also pretty sure Frankie had something to do with the famous Myth hard-drive erasing bug as well as adding the famous "Combat Evolved" tagline to Halo.


And finally... a reader asks, "What would Mister Chief look like if he ate all the pies?

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#15 UHYVE

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 04:17 PM

New ones out, get it while it's hot:
http://www.bungie.ne...whaaa&p=2865975

I'll let ivanjrn do the quoting honors

EDIT Just read the comments section...... why are people on Bungie.net such retards?

#16 Jironimo

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 05:00 PM

The Weekly What's Update is completely worthless therefore it doesn't deserve to get posted on this l33t thread.

I really hate April Fool's day. People think it gives them a free pass to act like retards and give us bullshit jokes in The Weekly What's Update instead of real information. I was also fooled on my favorite morning radio show Mancow's Morning Madhouse into thinking that Michael Jackson overdosed and committed suicide, and the worse was that they said the Illini were forced to forfeit the Final Four game tomorrow by the NCAA because the players accepted gifts. I was fucking pissed when I found out I got all worked up over nothing.

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#17 UHYVE

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 05:02 PM

I was also fooled on my favorite morning radio show Mancow's Morning Madhouse into thinking that Michael Jackson overdosed and committed suicide

Haha, that's pretty funny........

#18

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 09:01 AM

Hahaha. :D Nobody did any good april fools jokes around here, mostly just "HEY! LOOK OVER THERE! APRIL FOOZZL!"

#19 Blaze

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Posted 08 April 2005 - 01:49 PM

And yet again, another (in my eyes) pointless update.

#20 Kinetic

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Posted 08 April 2005 - 03:13 PM

This is the only piece of information I found somewhat worth reading:

In the latest issue of OXM, they state that the two free maps are Containment and Elongation, but you guys said it's going to be Containment and Warlock. Who is right?

Well, when OXM went to press, they were correct. In the end, we swapped them around because we felt that Containment's huge team objective suitability and Warlock's crazy confines made a slightly better pairing. We're like that. We're flighty. And contrary! Unfortunately, OXM had already gone to press by the time we changed our minds.


At least we know what the maps really are since all this OXM craziness began. But still, I would've preferred Elongation.



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