The Halo Bulletin: 11.29.12
by bs angel
I think we're just getting started
When I joined the studio in 2010, the team was heads-down creating Halo Waypoint and Halo Legends. As I watched numerous people hunched over their desks, hard at work, I remember saying to myself, "I think we're just getting started."On November 15, 2011, when we released Halo: Anniversary, our remake of Halo: Combat Evolved, the same thought ran through my mind: "I think we're just getting started."
A mere three weeks ago, when we released Halo 4 - a project that consumed every fiber of our beings for well over three years - it came to me yet again: "I think we're just getting started."
Now, as I look at what's slated for the month of December, I can't help but repeat, "I think we're just getting started..."
We have so many exciting things planned for the future that I want to open my window, stick out my head, and yell every single one of them at the top of my lungs. Thankfully PR just lifted their embargo date on one such item, so please excuse me while I do just that. *sprints to the nearest window, starts yelling hysterically, and then calmly sits back down*
Now that all the passersby along with their female four-legged companions know everything there is to know about the upcoming Crimson Map Pack, I should probably fill the rest of you in as well. Join me for an introduction to Harvest, Shatter and Wreckage, won't you?
Halo 4 Crimson Map Pack
The Halo 4 Crimson Map Pack is the first of three Map Packs from the War Games Map Pass. Currently scheduled for release on December 10, 2012, it will cost $10.00 USD or 800 Microsoft Points and consist of three maps offering something for everyone, including a variety of designs, spaces for tight firefights or vehicle warfare, as well as 8 new achievements and a new Crimson DLC playlist. Extraction, a 5 vs. 5 objective-based game type where opposing Spartan teams are tasked with extracting assets from various sites around the map, will also be available for the first time in Multiplayer Matchmaking, on the same day that the Crimson Map Pack becomes available.
Check out the above just released Halo 4 Crimson Map Pack trailer, and then dive into the specifics of each new playspace below.
Wreckage Screenshot Gallery
Wreckage is a manifestation of the chaos of war. A medium-sized, asymmetrical map, this playspace is great for accommodating a wide range of objective-based game modes including King of the Hill and Capture the Flag. It is a ravaged environment of crashed debris, where the surrounding destruction creates complex paths perfect for throwing off your opponents or testing the limits of your Warthog. This devastated landscape provides plenty of cover, and tons of nooks and crannies are at your disposal while fighting for your turn to become King. Wreckage supports up to 16 players in Infinity Slayer and up to 12 in a variety of other modes, including Capture the Flag, King of the Hill and Oddball.
Harvest Screenshot Gallery
Harvest is a canon concept brought to life - the doomed agricultural planet where humans first made contact with the Covenant. A small to mid-size map, Harvest is ideal for Capture the Flag. Here, you'll need to get creative to effectively use light vehicles which are limited to the exterior pathways and can't get into the bases, making this fully symmetrical map perfect for infantry firefights and face-to-face skirmishes. Snipers will also feel right at home, as long sightlines are broken up by great cover and hiding spots. Harvest allows 8 - 12 players to face off in Capture the Flag, Infinity Slayer, King of the Hill, SWAT and Slayer Pro.
Shatter Screenshot Gallery
Shatter is themed around natural crystalline surfaces and the huge UNSC factories mining them. This large, symmetrical map is a playground for the Warthog and Mantis - its open pathways make getting around easy, whether on foot or in vehicles. Shatter is a great fit for large games of Dominion and Extraction. For some close-quarters face-time, escape the open landscape and duck into a mining facility, or slip through a doorway and hunt unsuspecting Spartans. Shatter enables multiplayer mayhem for up to 16 players in Infinity Slayer and up to 12 in other modes, such as Capture the Flag, King of the Hill, Dominion and Extraction.
We'll be digging a bit deeper into these maps before they launch, so stay tuned for more information about each new environment.
Next Week's Matchmaking Playlist Update
The biggest news for me with regard to Matchmaking this week is that we welcomed a new member to our sustain team on Monday. You may think I'm only excited about this because it means less work for me, but I'm also excited about this because it means less work for me. He will slowly be taking over the playlist update portions of the Bulletin (along with 9,001 other things), but you'll have to put up with me for at least a little longer while he learns important things such as the location of the bathroom, how I like my coffee, and where we keep all the inappropriate Forge pictures. Hint: They're the rotating wallpapers for my desktop. You're welcome.
Now back to the business at hand. On Monday, Team Snipers was removed from Matchmaking and FFA Throwback was added, as were 5 brand new Spartan Ops missions. Also included in that update were the following:
Please note that the map fixes only affect playlists and not on-disc custom game map variants. Also know we're continuing to keep an eye on our forums for exploits and glitches, so please keep reporting them, and we'll keep fixing them.
SWAT, to absolutely nobody's surprise, continues to perform well so it is sticking around for yet another 7-day time period of rotational goodness. FFA Throwback, however, will be swapped out for Team Regicide come the next Matchmaking update. Team Regicide is an all-new game mode in Halo 4, and it is a much different experience from the FFA version. The leading player from each team is crowned King and is worth a fixed 25 points to the other team; this makes protecting your King just as important as killing the enemy leader.
Team Regicide features several medals, HUD, an announcer VO unique to the team variant, and is a heavily teamwork-focused game type, emphasizing many 4 vs. 4 team encounters and strategy. Unlike FFA Regicide, the King's bonus does not fluctuate as the King gets kills.
Below are the maps that will appear in the Team Regicide playlist.
If you are unfamiliar with Regicide, here are some tips and tricks to get you prepared for your upcoming encounter with royalty.
Here is a preview of the planned settings for Team Regicide.
We hope you enjoy Team Regicide and also the headshot-happy experience SWAT offers. Oh, and one more thing: If you happen to see our new sustain person hanging around the forums, make sure you tell him bravo and congratulations, 'cause he's happy to be here, and we're happy to have him.
Forza 2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Halo Edition
The December IGN Car Pack will be available for Forza Horizon on Tuesday, December 4 for 400 MS Points. While the pack includes a 2008 Aston Martin DBS, 2012 Ferrari F12berlinetta, 2006 Ford GTX1, 2006 Hummer H1 Alpha Open Top, 1993 McLaren F1, and 1971 AMC Javelin-AMX, the four-wheeled vehicle we're most excited about is the 2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Halo Edition. Why, you ask? Because we love trucks, especially ones that are slathered in Halo. If you prefer things fast and more than a little furious, here is a description of that sweet, sweet Halo ride:
"Celebrating the November 6 worldwide release of Halo 4, this Ford Raptor is tough enough for the Master Chief and comes with a custom UNSC paint job, designed by the creators of Halo 4, 343 Industries. If you love the Halo series, this special edition liveried Raptor is a must-have. The detail of the design is intense and the performance of the SVT Raptor is in a league of its own."
While normal people have to pay the 400 MSP asking price to acquire it, we worked out a deal where you just have to do two simple things, and you will be given the 2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Halo Edition for the low, low price of NOTHING. Here are the required actions:
Be sure to complete the aforementioned duo of steps in a timely fashion, because you only have one week to score yourself that UNSC-branded truck. We'd also like to give a quick shout out to the Forza team for allowing us to hook you up with an awesome in-game Halo goody. All of you rock! And roll. Get it? Roll like a car because we're talking about vehicles? Your side is probably about ready to split from that joke, so I think we should probably consider this Bulletin done.
Until next week...