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29 May 2013
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The Halo Bulletin: 5.29.13

05.29.2013 14:45

Hi, Bravo here! Each week, someone in the studio has a new story about one (or many) of their recent Halo 4 matches. Sometimes it's a crazy multi-kill in SWAT from Frankie, sometimes it's an unbelievable killing spree from Michael on the test team, and most recently, it's an unbelievable Plasma Cannon tag-team-duo story from the Community Forge Island playlist from Quinn and yours truly. Across several games of Extraction and Capture the Flag on Elevated, we used the Plasma Cannons so much that even our teammates (and enemies) started ripping them off their mounts every chance they got. We actually haven't stopped talking about our plasma-powered preponderancy, and now the whole studio knows about it. If your immediate response is "pics or it didn't happen," then I have prepared the following especially for you.

They say that strength in character can defeat strength in numbers. Unless the numbers are armed with Plasma Cannons.

bs angel, on the other hand, told the epic tale of her Halo 4 "Road to 50" from this weekend. After fighting match after match alongside her trusty teammates, I hear she landed at a CSR level 8. Well done. Only a few more games to go.

Whether it's ridiculous theater-worthy multi-kills, fun antics with weapons such as the Plasma Cannon, or slowly leveling up in the Capture the Flag playlist with a group of good friends, we know that every session of Halo gameplay has the potential to be unforgettable. This being true, we'd like to invite you to join us in an Xbox LIVE Community Playdate on June 3rd to kick off the release of our multiplayer weapon tuning update.

Several members of the 343 Industries team will be playing online from 5-7 PM PDT in a selection of playlists which will likely include Rumble Pit, Big Team Infinity Slayer, Capture the Flag, Team Objective, and possibly more. Be on the lookout for the full details, schedule, and Gamertag list for the event later this week on Waypoint. We cannot wait to play with you, and we are sure there will be some epic screenshots, clips, and 4-shots (we do have bs angel on our team, after all) to show for the evening.

If (for some crazy reason) you are interested in the full details of what you'll see online in Halo 4 Matchmaking come Monday, continue reading.

We have made it to the long awaited June 3rd Matchmaking Update and the full details are below. First, let's start with weapon tuning and gameplay changes that will affect all of Halo 4's Matchmaking playlists. Also, each of the images you see below have been handcrafted to double as beautiful desktop wallpapers to hold you over until Monday.

Final State of Weapon Tuning

Starting Monday, June 3rd, the following updates will be applied to Halo 4 War Games Matchmaking:

Battle Rifle

  • The Battle Rifle damage has been increased. The Battle Rifle is now capable of killing in four bursts.
  • The Battle Rifle rate of fire has been slightly decreased.
  • The Battle Rifle red reticle range (range at which auto-aim benefits kick in) has been decreased.
  • Two bursts from a Battle Rifle followed by a melee will now kill an opponent (2-shot melee).


  • The Carbine damage has been increased. The Carbine is now capable of killing in seven rounds.
  • The Carbine accuracy has been increased (projectile spread decrease).
  • The Carbine red reticle range has been decreased.


  • The LightRifle zoomed rate of fire has been increased.
  • The LightRifle un-zoomed rate of fire has been slightly decreased.
  • The LightRifle red reticle range has been increased to match the updated DMR range.


  • The DMR red reticle range has been slightly decreased.

Assault Rifle

  • The Assault Rifle damage has been slightly increased. The Assault Rifle now kills in three less rounds.
  • The Assault Rifle auto-aim angle has been reduced.
  • The Assault Rifle projectile spread has been decreased.

Storm Rifle

  • The Storm Rifle damage has been increased. The Storm Rifle now kills in three less rounds.
  • The Storm Rifle auto-aim angle has been reduced.
  • The Storm Rifle projectile spread has been decreased.


  • The Suppressor damage has been increased. The Suppressor now kills in three less rounds.
  • The Suppressor auto-aim angle has been reduced.
  • The Suppressor projectile spread has been decreased.


  • The damage has been increased to maintain double the damage-per-second of the Assault Rifle.


  • The damage has been slightly increased. The Magnum is still capable of killing in six rounds.


  • The damage has been increased on both the Mantis and Warthog Chain Gun.

Lastly, base player movement speed has been increased from 100% to 110% across all playlists and modes. All of these balance tweaks will be released this coming Monday in order to provide a more fast-paced, optimized matchmaking experience, and all of Halo 4's applicable Matchmaking game types will be affected by this change. Team Snipers, Grifball, and Action Sack's Rock N' Rail will not see any changes, however, as the weapons in these game types are not affected. Some game types (such as Action Sack's Lightning Flag), will not receive the change due to the preferred pace and balance in the current tuning. Moving forward, select game types in the Action Sack playlist may use alternate weapon tuning, and we will be sure to provide information on these game types when the time comes.

We're sending out a special thanks to the Multiplayer, Sandbox, Matchmaking, Test, and other teams who worked tirelessly on this update. And lastly, a big thanks to you, the community, for your attention and patience as we tweaked, tuned, and tested the settings for this update.

We look forward to hearing your feedback - once the update goes live, be sure to head to the War Games Feedback section and let us know what you think. The Matchmaking Systems Team will review your feedback as they continue to refine the War Games experience.

Matchmaking Playlist Update

In addition to the above, the following updates are also being made to Matchmaking:

The "Slayer Pro" game mode in Big Team Infinity Slayer and Infinity Slayer will now have an Assault Rifle loadout. Also, the "Global Skill searching," or CSR matching duration, will be increased once again for all playlists. This increase will help ensure that Matchmaking is primarily searching for both teammates and opponents at your per-playlist CSR level. As mentioned last week, we will continue to monitor the speed at which players are being matched, as well as the consistency of CSR matching.

In an effort to always offer DLC content in Matchmaking, we are happy to announce that the Majestic DLC playlist will return next week as the "featured DLC" playlist. We will continue to offer a variety of DLC maps in this slot, and may update the game types, maps, and even team sizes moving forward to keep DLC content fresh and available in Halo 4 Matchmaking. The Community Forge Island playlist will be retired, as the maps will return to the hands of the talented Forgers who created them so that they can be fine-tuned and possibly integrated into existing playlists. Special thanks to the Forgers, Community Cartographers, and all the players who made this playlist a success.

In Capture the Flag, the overtime period has been increased from one minute to two minutes in order to allow for even more nail-biting, and "big party matching" has been turned on, which ensures that parties of three or more will get matched with parties of three or more. In King of the Hill, the hill point limit has been increased from 25 to 50, and the score to win has been increased from 150 points to 250 points to provide more control-based game play.

Lastly, the multiplayer design team has been updating all of Halo 4's maps with new weapon (ordnance) locations, new weapon drops, updated starting and objective spawns, and even new Forge objects to diversify and balance gameplay. For example, Haven now uses Red / Blue spawns, lifts, and colored halls across all game types, Abandon has some crates added as well as a central, equidistant Overshield for optimized map flow, and much more. Some maps have received updates to vehicle locations and selection as well. We expect these updates to slightly change up the way these maps are played and help freshen up the Matchmaking experience. The full details of the Matchmaking update will be posted on Monday. As always, we can't wait to bring this update to you, and look forward to hearing your feedback.

Several days ago, I started looking up really cool Flood screenshots. Then, bs angel tried to light my computer on fire, so I stopped. The following are what she deemed to be Bulletin-worthy screenshots.

Halo 4 Screenshot Spotlight - Flood

Last week, we turned the spotlight on the incineration effect. This week, we decided to go with the Flood. Take a gander at the following images of Flood-infected Spartans, and then capture your own for your shot at being featured in next week's Bulletin.

For your chance at being in the next spotlight, take a screenshot that is predominantly blue. Then tag it with "Blue" and "Halo Waypoint", and maybe, just maybe, yours will be featured in the next Halo Bulletin!

We'll see you online on June 3rd for our community playdate!


P.S. Discuss.