The Halo Bulletin: 4.24.13
by bs angel
I've been playing Halo since the days of Combat Evolved. Throughout my 11-year love affair with the franchise, I have learned three things: Master Chief is a pretty cool guy who doesn't afraid of anything, Sergeant Johnson really does know what the ladies like, and Cortana would strongly prefer that you not leave this planet. After spending the other day with her - or her IRL counterpart, to be exact - I also learned she would prefer it if her Wikipedia page was accurate. Let me explain.
Last December, for the Child's Play Charity Dinner Auction, we donated a Halo bundle that included a studio tour and personalized Cortana voice mail, with 100% of the proceeds going toward improving the lives of hospitalized children. The highest bidders for the bundle, "olanmills" and "Ragingterror" as they're known in the online world, recently redeemed their winnings for a day full of developers, designers and Jen Taylor (the voice of Cortana). During a narrative-fueled lunchtime discussion, the conversation started with pleasantries and slowly morphed into a game of Jen-themed "Did you know?"
Halo 4 Campaign Easter Egg Hints
The Halo 4 Campaign still contains many uncovered secrets. You discovered three of them after our mission designers shared some cryptic yet decipherable hints a few months ago, and that team is back again with a new batch of riddles. The first two easter eggs listed below are similar, size-wise, to the previous three you discovered, while the third one is more of a teeny-tiny source of amusement. So grab your decoding rings and get ready, because it's about to get all easter egg-y up in herre.
What is it?
What is it?
What is it?
Good luck on your hunt! And for those of you that prefer the shenanigans multiplayer has to offer, continue reading for an update from Bravo about our weapon tuning efforts and recent Join-in-Progress update.
Current State of Weapon Tuning
Bravo here with more details in the world of weapon tune testing and developments. This week, I spoke with Quinn regarding more specifics with a few weapons, as well as some of the challenges associated with each.
DMR and LightRifle
We've slightly reduced the range at which the reticle turns red for the DMR, and once again matched the LightRifle to this distance. This is based off some feedback we received last week that questioning whether or not it is currently too easy to engage people across the map. To maintain skillful long range battles, we've reduced this range slightly for this week's testing. We're also investigating slightly increasing the rate of fire on the LightRifle when zoomed, which increases its viability at range.
The current Assault Rifle kills in 16 rounds, making it technically possible to kill 2 players with one magazine if not a single shot is missed. Our current balance testing reduces the rounds to kill by 2 or 3 shots, making this feat a bit more achievable. However, a significant reduction in auto-aim makes this quite difficult and demands a bit more skill from players who wield the AR. Our current tests bring us to an optimal kill time range that lies between that of Halo: CE's and Halo 3's Assault Rifles.
As we tweak these values, we'll continue to address some of the challenges associated with each and let you know where each week brings us. We're currently in the process of building a release schedule for the new weapon tune, and we should have details about that next week.
Also, Quinn and I just played a 1 vs. 1 match with some fully automatic DMRs. They're kind of powerful. On a serious note, we look forward to messing around with various weapons in extreme ways for game types in playlists such as Action Sack, Multi-Team and wherever else appropriate. For now, though, let's chat about an update we made on Monday to Join-in-Progress parameters.
As we announced in the previous Halo Bulletin, we've been paying close attention to feedback regarding Join-in-Progress. As of Monday, we've updated the parameters at which players can join games, based on game mode and playlist. As you likely know, Join-in-Progress is a brand new feature in Halo 4 and was implemented to fill in matches when players quit in order to provide a consistent experience and combat against lengthy, drawn out matches in which several players have quit. After monitoring your feedback and adding new playlists, modes, Competitive Skill Rank and more, the Matchmaking Systems Team felt it was necessary to update some of the join settings to create the most optimal experience across all playlists.
The goal of these updated parameters is to ensure that players who join late will still have a chance to win the match, and that players will not be joining War Games Matchmaking matches too late to have a shot at winning. Additionally, these updated parameters ensure that players who join late will not only be able, but will need to contribute to the match significantly. We look forward to hearing your feedback regarding these new Join-in-Progress settings.
Halo 4 Screenshot Spotlight - Assassin
Last week we shined the spotlight on Grifball. This week we decided to go with assassinations. Take a gander at the following images of elaborate enemy take-downs, and then capture your own for your shot at being featured in next week's Bulletin.