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4 January 2012
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The Halo Bulletin: 1.4.12

4. January 2012 23:26


Halo: Reach Screenshot

In one year and out the other

Normally I wouldn't be this bold, but the new year has me so confident that I guarantee at least one of the following things will happen in 2012: the world will come to an abrupt end, I will complete a multiplayer game without accidentally betraying all my teammates, or Halo 4 will be released, during, around, or semi-near the holidays. While one of those things will undoubtedly take place, I'm not going to tell you which one. I will give you a teeny tiny hint, however: it starts with Halo and ends with four.

While you ponder the various statistical probabilities of each previously mentioned possibility, I'm going to share some lighter reading in the form of Halo-themed New Year's resolutions, written by the motivated amongst you. Good luck with attaining these goals, by the way. I have a feeling some of you are going to need it.... (I'm looking at you, Ethan Moon.)

Halo-themed New Year's Resolution

That's totally not Halo-related. Well, if you aren't Sergeant Johnson, anyway.

Halo-themed New Year's Resolution

I consulted my calculator, and it said "58008." I'm pretty sure that's relevant, one way or another.

Halo-themed New Year's Resolution

So, assuming I'm doing the math correctly, that's one picture every two point.... wait, it's a trap!

Halo-themed New Year's Resolution

You had me at skip the gym. And perhaps at insane body armor, too.

Halo-themed New Year's Resolution

Try writing the Bulletins. Those either make people cry or put them to sleep. And on a good day, both.

Halo-themed New Year's Resolution

Banned. (Just kidding.) (Not really.)

Halo-themed New Year's Resolution

That'll be $20. And you're welcome.

Halo-themed New Year's Resolution

Don't make a girl a promise....

Halo: Primordium, available now

Speaking of promises, I told you a few weeks ago I'd work on getting the smallest of informational slivers to you in super-subtle ways. This week's morsel comes from Frankie, as he explains how Primordium—the just-released second novel in Greg Bear's Halo Forerunner Saga—fills in some of the gaps in the deeper Halo mystery.

Halo: Primordium

We're super excited to launch any Halo novel, but when it's from award winning sci-fi legend Greg Bear and when it not only deals in a direct fashion with events that will play out 100,000 years in the past, but also connects to what we call "contemporary" Halo events in 2552, then it takes on an even deeper significance.

Several years ago we made a decision to avoid the "bubble" Halo fiction - stuff like Halo Wars that deliberately avoids stepping on the feet of the game fiction and concentrate instead on answering reader questions and embroidering them properly into the main Halo tapestry. This is the second of Greg's "Forerunner" trilogy of books and deals with characters and events first introduced in Cryptum, which we recommend as your first step into the Forerunner universe. A few mysteries are resolved in this book, but even more questions are asked. Lots of readers have already plowed through it and spoiler-laden discussions abound. There are BIG implications for the universe and some for Halo 4.

I've noted before—you don't HAVE to read this stuff to appreciate the games, and vice versa. Both elements of fiction are and should be self-contained, but each will have a slightly different resonance for completists. And that warm, fuzzy, and occasionally startling sense of immersion is really what we want to get out of this journey. When a player or a reader recognizes something from the deeper fiction and makes his or her own connections, that's a feeling that we enjoy and we want you to enjoy too. So congratulations to Greg, and Tor, our publishing partner on the launch of a major component of the Halo universe. We hope you enjoy it and we hope it gives you some big pieces of fat to chew on while waiting for Halo 4.

January Matchmaking Playlist Update

If it weren't for one rather dedicated individual and his team of test-happy minions, Frankie's beautiful words would be the end of this week's Bulletin. But, because those people love you and want you to be happy (really, they do!), they managed to scrape together a pretty sizable update when there originally wasn't one planned. Here are the details, should you want to prepare yourself for next Tuesday's changes.


Halo: Reach Screenshot

  • Living Dead updated.

    Zombies need games to go along with their brains, which is why we updated this playlist to include the following new spooky map variants: Bedlam, Uncongealed, Pandemic, Count d'Houen, Deadwalk, Powerless, Spooky Base, and Parasitic. We also don't want you to be "All Alone," so we turned up the weighting on Condemned. Can we get a bleep-bloop?!

  • Team Arena, Big Team Battle and Double Team updated to TU settings.

    TU game types are our standard Reach Matchmaking settings with the Title Update changes. Those changes are: damage bleed enabled, modified reticle bloom, sword block removed, Armor Lock modified, and Active Camo modified.

  • Squad DLC added. All DLC included/required.

    Yes, we read our forums. No, we don't always respond with words, because sometimes we respond with action instead. Like this time.

    When Premium Battle was removed, threads about its disappearance slowly began cropping up. We adjusted the Matchmaking algorithm to match players who have DLC with other players who have DLC more often, but we noticed many players saying they still weren't getting enough DLC to satisfy their map-related cravings. So we're bringing a premium list back in the form of 6v6 DLC Slayer. This list is being introduced on a probationary status due to the low population previously experienced in Premium Battle. We will be keeping a very close eye on its numbers, so if you want it to stick around, you'd best play it. Consider this your first warning.

    Also, I told you the Matchmaking team loves you! In fact, they wanted me to pass along some hugs. And kisses. And lots and lots of DLC maps!

  • Abridged updated to latest version.

    The creators, theforceswithin and schmittler 5000, made numerous changes to this map. Here are a few they deemed significant enough to mention:

    1. Multi-flag has been improved. The flags now spawn in the front of the base a few feet from the GL (previous PL spawn).
    2. A teleporter has been added inside the base that leads up to the two-story (Concussion) towers. This significantly improves movement.
    3. The gravity lift to the Falcon has been moved into the base to stop vehicles from getting stuck in a permanent floating state.
    4. Kill zones have been overhauled. It is now possible to fly underneath the bridge, and there are no HLG spots that we have found to be a problem.


    They also removed the shotguns. It's worth noting I consider that a bannable offense.

  • 2v2 variants of Solitary and Battle Canyon added to Double Team.

    We adjusted the Matchmaking algorithm to match players who.... never mind. Enjoy the varied terrain. :)

  • Grifball early win behavior fixed.

    Goosechecka requested that all games go to 343 rounds. We politely declined, and instead fixed the early win behavior on previously affected game types.

  • Zealot, Countdown, and Penance added to Team Snipers.

    The long barrel was in need of some attention, so we diversified the Team Snipers playlist with some smaller maps. We recommend forgoing the scope and going straight for the wild flailing. It's a legitimate strategy. We promise.

And with that, this Bulletin is officially done. I know the wait for certain information seems torturously long, but as a certain wise woman said a few weeks ago, the date that we show what's up our Halo 4 sleeve is barely visible on the distant horizon. Here's to hoping the teeny tiny tidbits keep you satiated until then....

<3,
bs angel

P.S. Should you have a thing for lackadaisical Spartans, you'll enjoy this week's Friday Caption Fun wallpaper-esque image. Embiggen, snag, and then hit the latest article to contribute your hilarious quip. Off you go!

Friday Caption Fun

P.P.S. Discuss.



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