3 Ball 3 Ball 3 Ball

Get it? I said '3 Ball' three times because its name has the number 3 in it.

Starting right now, 3-Ball is available for Double EXP in Halo 3 Matchmaking. Newcomers to the gametype will find themselves separated into four teams of three. All the gametypes in the playlist revolve around three oddballs, so one team is going to feel left out if they don't act pretty quickly.

3 Ball is available from 11am PDT Thursday, March 19th until 2am Monday the 23rd. Heroic and Legendary are required.

PlaylistsHalo 3 3/19/2009 11:00 AM PDT permalink

Legendary Brawl Double EXP Weekend!

Ranked Free For All Madness on DLC Maps!

Starting now, Legendary Brawl returns to Halo to provide you twice the EXP for your buck. Ranked twelve player Free-For-All hosted on Heroic and Legendary maps (with a dash of Sandtrap). No, no Mythic this time around, but don't be surprised to see this playlist upgraded to Mythic status in the future.

Legendary Brawl is available from Thursday, March 12th, 12pm until Monday, March 16th, 3am. Heroic and Legendary are required.

PlaylistsHalo 3 3/12/2009 12:00 PM PDT permalink

The Last Grifball Winter League Weekend Begins!

Next month: Grifball Spring League!

Starting now (11:00 am PDT) and available until Monday, 2:00 am, Grifball Double EXP weekend is back in the proverbial house. This weekend marks the final use of the winter league map in Matchmaking. Next month will feature the Spring League map which, as you can imagine, is wildly different than any previous Grifball map in that it is a large,  flat arena made by cutting off the "horseshoe" ends of Foundry.

Grifball, if there's anyone left that hasn't played it, is Neutral Assault with hammers and Swords. That's putting it simply, but Grifball is not something that can be explained. It must be experienced.

Spring League Grifball requires Foundry, which means it requires the Heroic Map Pack, downloadable for free from an XBL Marketplace near you.

PlaylistsHalo 3 3/5/2009 11:00 AM PST permalink

Team Flag Double EXP Weekend is live!

No, I mean it this time. Please believe me!

So, we may or may not have had a slight error in the schedule we released a week or two back. So, we might've swapped two very different weekends in said typographical error. I actually think it worked out. The kids that wanted to play flag were so angry they wanted to hit something, and there was Team Melee!

Anyway, this time Team Flag actually IS available. Sorry for the confusion, folks. For those not familiar with the playlist, Team Flag is a 5v5 playlist with only Capture the Flag gametypes. Heroic and Legendary are required. Team Flag will be available from Thursday the 26th, 11am PDT until Monday, March 2nd, at 2am. Have fun!

PlaylistsHalo 3 2/26/2009 11:00 AM PST permalink

V-Day Massacre returns!

Enjoy a romantic weekend with your number 1 as you put the hurt on lesser couples.

Ah, February 14th. A time for acknowledging that special person in your life by treating them nice, or for acknowledging that person missing from your life by accusing the holiday of being another capitalist venture to trick willing consumer sheep into buying cheap candy. Bungie, full of love as we are, would like to make this weekend just a bit sweeter for all those reveling in the romance. Or the bitterness, if that's your thing.

Starting now (11am PDT, February 12) and lasting through Valentine's Day to Monday at 2am, V-Day Massacre returns as a ranked Double EXP weekend for pairs. That's right, ranked Team Doubles, Slayer and Slayer BRs. What better way could one spend such an auspicious holiday with the lady in his life?* But don't worry, single boys and girls, we've got your back too. If you go in alone and you meet that special someone that will drop a double kill just as you think you're done for, you'll be able to party up with them after your first match and continue slaying like the soul mates you are.

That about covers it. Oh, wait, I forgot Recon.

After the weekend ends, we're going to be looking at the aftermath and picking several couples and giving them Recon! What specific metrics are we going to be looking for? Well, I'm not going to tell you. That'd be too easy! We'll announce what the metrics were after Recon has been distributed, but for now keep the couples theme of the playlist in mind. That's the only hint you get, so don't bother PM'ing me. Seriously. Even if you ask nicely or offer me pics of your hot GF, I'm not going to tell you. Just keep the number 2 in mind while you enjoy yourself this weekend.

Oh, but don't bother hoping for Recon if you've ever been caught and banned for any kind of cheating or bad behavior. And if you try to boost in the playlist and get caught, you won't be seeing Recon, either, just a long period of removal from Halo 3 matchmaking. Cheaters are not eligible for Recon, and yes, we will be watching. Bungie may be full of love, but I'm a heartless bastard.

V-Day Massacre Double EXP weekend requires all downloadable content. Have fun out there!

*Take her to dinner or something, you jerk.

PlaylistsHalo 3 2/12/2009 11:00 AM PST permalink

February Matchmaking Update Live

Also, Grifball!

Like a thief in the night, the February update has found its way into the homes and hearts of Matchmaking players the world over. The change list is small this month, but intrepid users may notice the switch in the number of players between Lone Wolves and Rumble Pit. That's right, Lone Wolves has gone back to a six player maximum, while Rumble Pit games now feature two more potential zombies! Below is the changes in list format:

Lone Wolves- Maximum players reduced to 6 (was 8)
Team Slayer- Weighting on Smashed reduced
Team Objective- Weighting on Smashed, Octoplex reduced, Octoplex updated in response to player spawn issues

Rumble Pit- Maximum players increased to 8 (was 6)

Team Snipers- Weighting on Standoff significantly reduced

The Double EXP weekends for February are below (In order of appearance):

V-Day Massacre
Team Flag
Team Melee

Those of you that played Halo last year may recall the V-Day play list. Ranked Doubles with a twist: We'll be giving Recon to people that meet certain criteria. What criteria is that? Well, we're not going to say. I'll give you a hint, though: It's a doubles playlist. For couples. Pairs. Twos. Something to do with the number two.

How's that for subtlety?

If you're playing right now, you've probably already noticed that Grifball is available as double EXP right now! Grifball Double EXP Weekend is available until 2am PDT, Monday, February 9th.

PlaylistsHalo 3 2/5/2009 12:53 PM PST permalink

Social Living Dead Double EXP


Social Living Dead is this weekend's Double EXP weekend! Now you can get that burning hatred for the undead out of your system. Or, you can enjoy some delicious, delicious brains. If that's your thing. I'm not here to judge.*

Social Living Dead is available from 11am PDT on Thursday, Jan 29th until Monday 2am, February 2nd. All downloadable content required. Have fun!

*I'm totally judging you right now. Can you feel it?

PlaylistsHalo 3 1/29/2009 11:00 AM PST permalink

3 Ball now available!

If only you had three hands, right?

Starting 11am PDT, 3 Ball makes its belated appearance as a Double EXP weekend for Halo 3! For those of you new to this gem of a playlist, Oddball games based on the presence of -you guessed it- three oddballs make up the entirety of the playlist. The catch? There are four teams. That means someone's going to get left behind if they don't act fast.

3 Ball is available from January 22nd until 2am Monday, January 26th. Heroic and Legendary map packs are required.

PlaylistsHalo 3 1/22/2009 11:01 AM PST permalink

January Matchmaking Update is (Finally) Up

After a long wait, January finally is finally here.

Hooray! Testing is finally done and over with, and if you haven't  already noticed, the January Matchmaking Update has been applied.

If you missed the Weekly Update where we described the changes for you, here they are again:

General Changes

Playlist Clean Up, Mythic Prep
In preparation for the new maps coming later this year, some of the less popular map variants are going to be removed over time. Some of these removals are not listed below, but will be reflected in the Matchmaking Playlist page here on Bungie.net. This will be an ongoing process with maps and their variants being systematically removed as warranted.

Push to Talk Restriction Increased
Since Halo 3’s release, if a player were to join a Matchmaking playlist with a team size larger than four, he or she would have to push a button on the DPad to communicate directly to their team. After the January update, the PTT restriction is being increased to 6 players per team, meaning that players will not need to use the D-pad to communicate on any Matchmaking playlist but Social Big Team.

What does this mean for players? Well, for starters, it means communicating to teammates in 5v5 or 6v6 playlists will be trivial. However, this could mean an increase in bandwidth necessary for these larger format playlists, which means the potential for “laggy” games is increased. The best way to avoid lag in these games is to ensure that you are not constantly broadcasting to your teammates, and that your teammates are not constantly broadcasting to you. If you often play with strangers, be prepared to mute and report players that abuse their microphone. To mute a player quickly during a game, hold the back button to bring up the scoreboard and select their name with the left stick. Then press X. Muted! To report players, select their name in the post game carnage report and view their gamercard, then use the Report Player options listed therein.

DLC Category
In an effort to make the Matchmaking playlists easier to navigate and bring the populations together, the DLC category is being retired, and the playlists it contained are either being moved into Social or integrated into existing playlists.

Ranked Hopper Updates
  • Lone Wolves – No Changes
  • Team Slayer – No Changes
  • Team Objective
  • KOTH, Oddball, 1 and 2 Bomb assault set to skip after veto, and weighting on these gametypes will be reduced to refocus the hopper primarily on 1 Flag, 2 Flag, and Neutral Assault.
  • A couple community map variants for Foundry are being added to the CTF rotation.
  • Team Doubles – No Changes
  • Squad Battle – No Changes

Social Hopper Updates

Rumble Pit
  • DLC FFA and Rumble Pit will be merged. Rumble Pit will now require All DLC, and include gametypes such as Infection.
Social Slayer
  • Population increased back to 5v5
  • Isolation, Foundry removed.
Social Objective
  • Slightly reduce weighting on Land Grab, and increase weighting on multi flag to even distribution of these two gametypes out.
  • Reduce weighting of VIP. Set to skip after veto.
  • Territories variants set to skip after veto.
  • ADDED Social Team DLC
  • 5v5 Slayer and Objective strictly on DLC maps. Heroic and Legendary map packs required.
  • The most popular slayer and objective variants, strictly on DLC maps.
Multi Team
  • Reduce weighting of VIP, KOTH, and Oddball.
  • Some maps being removed from rotation.
ADDED Social Big Team
  • DLC Big Team will be moved and renamed. Weighting between DLC and non-DLC maps will be equalized. The hopper will continue to require DLC 1 and 2.

DLC Hopper Updates

  • DLC FFA and Rumble Pit will be merged. DLC FFA as a separate hopper is retired.
  • Being moved to Social and being renamed “Social Big Team.” Non-DLC maps are getting a weighting increase such that they are equal to DLC maps. Still requires DLC 1 and 2.

Hardcore Hopper Updates

Team SWAT – No Changes
Team Snipers
- Reduced weighting on Standoff.
MLG – No Changes

Double EXP Weekends (listed in order of appearance)

Grifball – Winter League (1/8-1/12)
3 Ball (1/22 -1/26)
Living Dead (Unranked) (1/29 – 2/2)

Seven on the Seventh

Avalanche 7v7

PlaylistsHalo 3 1/20/2009 7:44 PM PST permalink

Bungie Single EXP Weekend Begins!

All weekend long, earn ONE ENTIRE  POINT for winning games in any playlist you choose! Hey, wait a minute...

Due to some necessary processes taking longer than we had anticipated, we were unable to release the January update at the date we had scheduled internally. Unfortunately, that update included this weekend's Double EXP playlist (originally scheduled to be 3 Ball) and as a result no Double EXP weekend will be available.

Not to worry! The bright side of this little delay is that I can say with confidence that the January update (which includes Social Team DLC, Rumble Pit becoming Legendary-required, and DLC BTB transforming into Social BTB, among other changes) will go live next Tuesday. Further, we'll forego Legendary Brawl next week for 3 Ball.

We apologize for the inconvenience and hope you all have a lovely weekend.

PlaylistsHalo 3 1/15/2009 11:00 AM PST permalink

Double EXP Grifball Live!

Time to squash some dudes. Preferably the dudes on the other team, but I'm not here to judge.

Starting today at 11am PDT, Winter League Grifball returns as the Double EXP weekend of... Uh... The weekend. For those of you that haven't played Grifball, either because you just got your copy of Halo 3, or perhaps were born yesterday, Grifball is 4v4 Neutral Assault on a special made Grifball arena in Foundry. Players have Hammers and Swords, but no shields. The bomb detonates instantly when planted so you'll have to act fast!

Grifball Double EXP Weekend is available on Halo 3 Matchmaking from Thursday, January 8th at 11am PDT until Monday the 12th, at 2am. Heroic Map Pack is required to participate.

PlaylistsHalo 3 1/8/2009 11:02 AM PST permalink

Six Player PTT is Live Now!

Now to communicate to teammates in any playlist smaller than Big Team, all you have to do is speak.

Many have noticed already, but last night we propagated a minor update that included the increased limit on Push to Talk (PTT). Now you can match in a game of six players per team and still talk! This means that Social Skirmish and Squad Battle are PTT-free, as will be the upcoming 5v5 Social Slayer and Social Team DLC playlists. There's nothing you need to do to have this work, so go ahead and jump in!

Please note that if players are constantly broadcasting through their mics, be it by playing music, breathing like some creepy stalker, or simply playing Halo in the middle of the Grand Prix, this could potentially bog down Squad Battle games. As a courtesy to your fellow players, please make sure that you're not constantly broadcasting noise. And if someone is being discourteous, we recommend you use the scoreboard to mute them.

Enjoy the freedom of speech, and look forward to the rest of the playlist changes, coming soon!

PlaylistsHalo 3 1/7/2009 1:59 PM PST permalink

Get Your Brawl On

Legendary, Double EXP style.

Starting 11am PDT yesterday and continuing until Monday the 22nd at 2am PDT, Legendary Brawl is the method by which you will earn twice the EXP.  That's right, hit me two times.  The Legendary Brawl Double EXP weekend started in earnest yesterday, so if this news is tipping you off to its existence, you might want to rush home and get playing, you're already a day behind.

Legendary Brawl Double EXP weekend requires the Legendary Map Pack, available on
Xbox Live Marketplace.  Makes a great stocking stuffer.

PlaylistsHalo 3 12/19/2008 9:16 AM PST permalink

Winter League Grifball Weekend Begins!

Smash, squish, boom.

Starting 11am PDT today and continuing until Monday the 15th at 2am PDT, Grifball returns as Double EXP champion. If you've somehow just tuned in to the Grifball disease, we're talking about an Assault variant for two groups of four on a special made Foundry arena. No shields, and lots of hammers (or swords, if that's your thing).

This time around we're using Grifball as something of an experiment for matchmaking. Specifically, we're testing measures to reduce team splitting. How is it working? Feel free to let us know in the Optimatch forum.

For more information, check out the official Grifball website, hosted at Red vs Blue. Enjoy your weekend!

Grifball Double EXP weekend requires the Heroic Map Pack, available on Xbox Live Marketplace at the low, low price of absolutely free.

PlaylistsHalo 3 12/11/2008 11:24 AM PST permalink

Rocket Race Double EXP Weekend

Saddle up.

Shishka informs us that this weekend's Double EXP Playlist is now live and in full effect.  Grab a partner and get ready to ride, it's Rocket Race time.

Rocket Race is available until 2am PDT Monday, December 8th. Heroic and Legendary map packs are required. Go for broke. Back.

PlaylistsHalo 3 12/4/2008 11:34 AM PST permalink

Legendary Brawl Double EXP Weekend!

FFA insanity on DLC maps! Woo hoo!

Starting 20 minutes ago, (11am PDT), Legendary Brawl is live as a Double EXP weekend playlist. Ranked Free For All for 12 bloodthirsty players ensues!

Legendary Brawl is available until 2am PDT Monday, November 24. Heroic and Legendary map packs are required. Have fun!

PlaylistsHalo 3 11/20/2008 11:18 AM PST permalink

Grifball's back. Back again.

Salute the final run of the Summer League map variant!

Autumn has fallen on Grifball's Summer League, and the Winter League is soon to begin. Celebrate the transition by playing Grifball all weekend long in Halo 3 Matchmaking! If you couldn't guess, Grifball is the double EXP weekend, so grab your hammer and get ready to bum rush. If you have some attachment to the summer league map, nows your change to save it for posterity because starting in December Grifball double exp weekends will use the '09 Winter League map.

Grifball is available from 11am PDT Thursday, November 13th until Monday the 17th at 2am. Heroic Map Pack is required, as Foundry is the only map you'll see!

PlaylistsHalo 3 11/13/2008 11:00 AM PST permalink

Team Flag Double EXP Weekend Live!

All CTF! Bring your friends! Nine of them, if you like!

Starting right now, Team Flag is live as the Double EXP weekend. As the name suggests, Team Flag is a collection of multi flag and single flag games. As the name DOESN'T suggest, the format is 5v5, so the battle will be that much bigger than your usual Flag game.

Team Flag is available from 11am PDT Thursday, November 6th until 2am Monday, November 10th. Heroic and Legendary Map Packs required!

PlaylistsHalo 3 11/6/2008 11:40 AM PST permalink

The Night of the Ranked Dead is Upon Us

Well, if it's starting this morning, I guess it's closer to "Dawn of the Ranked" or "Day of the Ranked." Wait, am I going to get sued?

Braaaaaains. Brrrrraaaaains. Brains? Braaaaains. Brains. BrAINs, buh-huh-rains. Braaaaaaains! Braaaaains. Brains. Braaaains, braaaaaaaains, brains. Braaaaaains 11:00am PDT braaaaaaaains, Monday 2:00am braiiiiiiiins.

For those of you that are still alive:

One year ago, Bungie celebrated Halloween with the first ever Double EXP weekend: Living Dead. To commemorate the brave men and women whose brains were consumed by the filthy un-living masses, we are bringing back Ranked Living Dead as a Double EXP weekend! And unlike last year's Double EXP, this year's will follow our standard format and will be available starting today, and lasting until Monday morning! Get out there and teach those zombies a thing or two about justice. Or love, if that's your thing. I'm not here to judge. You sick whackjob.

Anyway, if you missed last year's opportunity to get some Infection-specific medals in your ranked chest, now's your chance!

Ranked Living Dead is available now (11:00 am PDT, October 30th) until Monday 2:00 am, November 3rd. Heroic and Legendary map packs are required.

Also: Braaaaaaaains.

PlaylistsHalo 3 10/30/2008 11:00 AM PDT permalink

3 Ball Weekend Begins!

Alas, poor Yorick. It's open season on your Achievement.

Starting today, 3 Ball returns as the Double Experience weekend. For those that haven't played 3 Ball before, four teams of three face off in multiple oddball gametypes with multiple oddballs. There's always one more team than there is oddball, so not everybody gets to have a skull to call their own. The 3 Ball playlist has four variants of 3 Ball, the only changes being the starting weapon lineup.

3 Ball Double XP Weekend is available from Thursday, October 23rd at 11am PDT until Monday the 27th, 2am. Heroic and Legendary map packs are required.

PlaylistsHalo 3 10/23/2008 11:00 AM PDT permalink

October Grifball Double EXP Weekend!

I want to say that this game is "smashing," but there's only room enough for one person to make bad jokes on the front page of this website.

Starting now (11am PDT, October 16th, year Two Thousand and Eight), Grifball returns as reigning champion of Double EXP weekends. If you're just now joining us, Grifball is a variant of Neutral Bomb Assault made by our good friends at Rooster Teeth. Gravity Hammers, Energy Swords, and various tweaks to movement speed and damage resistance make the action fast paced and crazy. Grifball is social, so go in as a team, or go in alone and make some friends!

For those of you that are well versed in Grifball, the Grifball team at RedVsBlue have a couple suggestions that might make your weekend even more interesting! First is the Grifball Adopt-A-Noob program. If you meet a player in the playlist that seems new (or even if you just meet someone unfamiliar with Grifball while playing Halo), introduce them to the gametype, show them how to play, then get them involved on the website and forums. Anyone that helps expand the Grifball community has a chance to win a pretty sweet prize.

The other new item for this weekend's playlist is the XP competition. A prize may or may not be given to the person that reports the highest XP earned this weekend in Grifball. Keep in mind that you'll have to have legit XP. The only prize boosters will get is a world of hurt.

Neither of these events are Bungie sponsored, so don't go messaging me about how much XP you earned this weekend. Instead, go talk to xilv on the Grifball website.

Grifball Double EXP weekend is available from 11am PDT, October 16th until 2am October 20th. Heroic Map Pack is required as Foundry is the only map in the playlist. For more information about Grifball, check out the Official Grifball Website.

Have fun!

PlaylistsHalo 3 10/16/2008 11:00 AM PDT permalink

Rocket Race Weekend Begins!

The recently retired playlist returns this weekend for double your EXP

Back in September, we wished Rocket Race a fond farewell. However, the playlist is neither down nor out. Starting now, Rocket Race lives on as double EXP, exactly how you remember it.

For those that missed out on this playlist (how could you? It was around for like a year!), Rocket Race is an interesting take on VIP where teams of two use Mongooses to reach goal points before the opposing teams. Well, being faster is one way of thwarting the other teams. The other way is to have your VIP use his infinite rockets to send the other teams flying across the map. Players are invincible (save for assassinations) so the real focus is racing rather than killing.

Rocket Race is available from Thursday, October 9th, 11am PDT until Monday the 13th at 2am. Heroic Map Pack required. Have fun!

PlaylistsHalo 3 10/9/2008 11:00 AM PDT permalink

Team Snipers Double EXP Weekend Returns

Hot off the tail end of some technical shenanigans, we kick off a classic Double EXP weekend.

Starting right this very second, Team Snipers is awaits you as the Halo 3 Double EXP weekend of the... Er... Weekend. If you've somehow managed to miss this playlist in the past, Team Snipers is 4v4 slayer and objective games where everyone spawns with a sniper rifle (and a different secondary weapon depending on the gametype). May the most accurate shot win!

Team Snipers is available from 11am PDT Thursday, October 2nd until 2am Monday, October 6th. Heroic and Legendary map packs are required.

PlaylistsHalo 3 10/2/2008 11:00 AM PDT permalink

EXP and TrueSkill issues in Matchmaking

Users in Matchmaking since Xbox Live's recent downtime are noticing a lack of EXP rewards for their gameplay. Rest assured we're working on it right now. [UPDATE 2] Issues Evolved

Since Xbox Live's scheduled maintenance ended this morning, gamers playing Halo 3 have noticed that TrueSkill and EXP are not being rewarded properly (which is to say, EXP is not being rewarded at all). We are currently working with the Xbox Live team to identify and resolve this issue, and we hope to have you earning your EXP again as quickly as possible.

Note that this is not the same as an EXP ban. If you have been banned from gaining EXP for boosting as part of our recently evolved Banhammer, you will receive a message informing you so quite clearly from the game itself. If you have not seen this message (which reappears often), then you are not banned.

There is nothing further to add at this time, but I will update this post as updates are warranted.

UPDATE: 3:46pm PDT
Further investigation suggests that this is a larger problem with the Xbox Live service that is affecting more games than just Halo 3. We will continue to work with the Xbox team to resolve the issues, but ultimately the ball is in their court, and that rings true for more than just Halo fans.

UPDATE: 6:42pm PDT
Sorry, folks. The Live team is working really hard to resolve issues, but there is no ETA for a complete resolution at this time. Further, when these issues are resolved, there is no guarantee that EXP gained in the interim will be retroactively rewarded. Thanks again for your patience.

Hooray! It appears that all issues have been resolved. People playing since late last night should notice that they are now properly being rewarded for EXP.

Unfortunately, EXP earned over the last couple days will not be retroactively rewarded, nor can we adjust TrueSkill for the games played. On the bright side, you can make up lost time by playing this weekend's Double EXP playlist!

Thanks again to everyone for their patience while the matter was resolved.

UPDATE: 2:56pm
It would appear that not only have the issues with EXP not been solved, but new issues with matching have arisen. Rest assured that we are aware of what's going on and are doing everything we can to help Microsoft resolve this quickly. We're sorry for the downtime especially in light of the double EXP weekend and we'll update you the moment things are locked down.

UPDATE: 6:00pm
It would appear that things are mostly back in order. The Xbox Live team is continuing to work on the problem and hopefully people should see their EXP streaming in at a proper rate soon.

PlaylistsHalo 3 9/30/2008 11:20 AM PDT permalink

Double EXP back on track with Legendary Brawl!

So many targets, so many new achievements. It's like we planned it this way.

With TU2 out of the way, we're now back on track for Double EXP weekends. And sure enough, we're kicking off the party today with Legendary Brawl. Twelve-man FFA insanity in several flavors. It's all the fun, without the fat!

Legendary Brawl is available from 11am PDT Thursday, September 25th until 2am Monday the 29th. Heroic and Legendary required. Have fun!

PlaylistsHalo 3 9/25/2008 11:00 AM PDT permalink