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8 November 2012
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The Halo Bulletin: 11.8.12

8. November 2012 16:00

I think we're just getting started

Halo 4 Screenshot

Over the past few days, babies were born, presidents were elected, and games were released—one of which just happened to be Halo 4.

To say we've been overwhelmed by the response to our game would an understatement. We're humbled by your feedback and blown away by how many of you are spending significant amounts of time traversing our virtual battlefields. Here is a teeny-tiny peek into our day one numbers:

More people played Halo 4 in the first 24 hours than any other Halo launch day in history.

We'll be sharing more details on Monday, but that should whet your appetite for the hard stats that are coming. Thank you for playing our game and stay tuned for additional updates, because we have some amazing things planned for the future of Halo 4.

Midnight Madness

Halo 4 Launch Event

It was a very surreal moment when the clock struck midnight on November 6. A day almost four years in the making, a single tick of the clock marked the occasion as stores around the world began releasing Halo 4 into the wild. From a giant glyph hovering high above the River Thames to Jen Taylor and Steve Downes dual wielding Sharpies and smiles, over 10,000 midnight launch events around the world played host to a variety of different festivities, making the launch of Halo 4 a night to remember.

Check out this pictorial recap showing how your fellow community members celebrated the release of Halo 4.

Halo 4 Launch Event

Halo 4 Launch Halo 4 Launch

Halo 4 Launch Halo 4 Launch

Halo 4 Launch Event

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Halo 4 Launch Event

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Halo 4 Launch Halo 4 Launch

The vast majority of 343 attended a launch event, and we had a blast celebrating the release of our game with you. We hope you had a good time, too!

Halo 4 Housekeeping

Halo 4 Screenshot

While the launch of Halo 4 went off without a hitch for the majority of you, a small percentage of players are experiencing a few different issues. We are tracking these issues and providing regular updates in the following forum thread: Issues being investigated.

Please utilize that thread for reporting any and all problems you may be experiencing (we also have a Halo 4 FAQ, so check to see if your issue has been covered there first). We kindly ask that you utilize that thread for actual issues with the game. While we absolutely care that you think Cortana's thighs are too large, that is not the appropriate place to make that post. You know who you are.

Here are a few of the more common questions (and their relevant answers) we're seeing right now.

Y U No have game manual?!

In an effort to save the world (and by world, we of course mean trees), we created an in-depth online interactive guide. You can access that here: http://www.halowaypoint.com/en-US/Halo4Guide.

How does the install process for Disc 2 work?

Disc 2 contains largely multiplayer content. You can put it in at any time, even before Disc 1, and install the content. You will get a slideshow, some music and a progress bar. After a few minutes, you can remove that disc and never deal with it again. Everything multiplayer, including Spartan Ops, Forge and Campaign can then be launched from Disc 1.

My Disc 2 is failing to install. HELP!

If you're experiencing issues installing Disc 2 content, choose "Spartan Ops" or "War Games" in the menu. You will see a message saying you need to install the content. Please choose the "Download from Xbox LIVE" option.

If you have done a partial install with Disc 2 (i.e., your last install was either corrupt or interrupted), delete the old package before attempting the reinstall process. You can delete the old package by following the below steps:

  1. Go to the Xbox Dashboard
  2. Go to the "Settings" tab
  3. Select "System"
  4. Select "Storage"
  5. Select "All Devices"
  6. Select "Games and Apps"
  7. Select "Halo 4" from the list of games
  8. Select "Spartan Ops Season 1.0"
  9. Select "Delete"
  10. Select "Yes" to confirm
  11. After it deletes that package, select "War Games" from the list
  12. Select "Delete"
  13. Select "Yes" to confirm

My Xbox crashes every time I try to go to Halo Waypoint from Halo 4. Fix it!

You fix it! You can do that by deleting Halo Waypoint and reinstalling it.

What's up with the daily XP cap?

The daily XP cap is intended to preserve the integrity of the progression system. In other words, it's in place to provide an early gate from players running amok in their progression. When we launched, we had a bug where double XP tokens were being consumed even when you went over the cap. That has since been fixed. In the coming weeks, we will be monitoring how many players are hitting the cap so we can respond accordingly.

Sometimes I see a different set of hoppers, and my SR gets set back to 0. Why does that happen?

What you are seeing are "fallback hoppers". When you enter this mode, you will see a UI notification. It shows up on the "Find Game" screen for War Games. In previous Halo titles, you're dependent on the servers to get the information you needed for Matchmaing, and if they go down, you can't play. Fallback hoppers are a new functionality for Halo 4, and they allow people to continue playing Halo 4 when there are server issues.

In order to preserve the integrity of the online experience, there are some limitations to this functionality:

  • Reduced XP earn rate, counted as offline XP
  • Players in the fallback hopper cannot play with those that are using the regular server hoppers
  • Player customization is disabled (no armor, loadouts, emblem)

Since the server isn't actually available in fallback hopper mode, you'll be missing functionality that the server provides. This includes:

  • Spartan Ops
  • File Share
  • Service Record
  • Commendations
  • Challenges
  • Double XP tokens

You will automatically be switched to fallback hoppers if you fail to download a necessary file. You'll remain in fallback hoppers for up to 10 minutes after the services return. When in this mode, it's a good idea to relaunch the game on a regular basis, so you can reenter the regular hoppers as soon as they're available.

Now that we're done with the housekeeping, we'd like to say that we hope your experience with Halo 4 has been nothing short of pleasurable. If that's not the case, definitely let us know here.

Next Week's Matchmaking Playlist Update

Halo 4 Screenshot

As you read the above title, you're probably thinking, "We get a Matchmaking update already?!" and the answer is yes, you do indeed get a Matchmaking update already. Welcome to Halo 4, Spartans!

Halo 4 Matchmaking updates will occur on a more frequent basis than what you're accustomed to with Reach. Instead of monthly updates, we will be providing weekly updates, with the goal being to provide fresh content on a regular basis. We will maintain a static set of playlists and feature one or two "rotational" playlists on top of that. We will be monitoring trends and statistics closely so we can react accordingly to your preferences and likes. For instance, if one of our rotational playlists consistently holds a higher population than one of our static playlists, we will consider swapping them out based on player demand. The process will be fluid and based on numbers, and we're extremely excited about the benefits of our new approach.

So, what brand new playlist do you get next week? You get everybody's favorite "Boom, headshot!" game type. Oh yes, it's time for SWAT! By the way, please excuse the sobbing you might be hearing right now. It's Frankie, weeping his man-tears of joy.

Now, on to the nitty-gritty of SWAT in Halo 4.

We've carefully balanced the damage resistance to allow both the Battle Rifle and the DMR to compete against each other in SWAT. Another change is that we've removed the shield HUD; so combined with disabled radar and no ordnance, you get even more visibility during a match.

Below are the exact number of shots it takes for each weapon to kill.

  • DMR - 3 bullets to the chest, 1 bullet to the head
  • Magnum - 3 bullets to the chest, 1 bullet to the head
  • BR - 7 bullets to the chest (this gun shoots three bullets in a burst, so the first bullet of the third burst will kill the player), 1 bullet to the head

These are the maps that will appear in the SWAT playlist.

  • Haven
  • Adrift
  • Complex
  • Abandon
  • Solace

Here are some strategies for those unfamiliar with the SWAT game type.

  • Aim for the head!
  • Use a DMR for long range encounters and a BR to sweep hallways.
  • A Magnum is more effective than melee at very close range because of its incredibly fast fire speed.
  • Use callouts with your teammates; communication allows you to work more efficiently as a team.
  • Pick up a DMR or BR off of an enemy. Having both weapons is a big advantage.
  • Learn the maps to keep your reticle at headshot level.

And finally, here's a preview of our planned settings.





Score to Win

600 [60 Kills]

Loadout 1

DMR, Magnum

Loadout 2

BR, Magnum





Damage Resistance

.8 - Headshot = Instant kill

Motion Tracker


Infinite Ammo


Shield HUD




We hope you love SWAT in Halo 4. After you've had a chance to play it, be sure to visit the Matchmaking section of our forums to leave your feedback about this particular game type.

See you next week, and thanks again for joining us on this amazing journey. We appreciate your support, more than you know.

bs angel

P.S. Discuss.