Bungie Visits MLG Finals in Vegas
Posted by lukems at 10/24/2007 2:24 PM PDT

What follows is an account from Joe Tung, Producer at Bungie Studios, on Bungie's recent trip to the MLG Finals in sunny Las Vegas.



Dear MLG,

Thank you for letting be a small part of your national championship event last weekend in Las Vegas. Thanks also for that taste in our collective mouths – the sweet, sweet taste of whoop-ass.

Love, Bungie

If wackier, casual games of Infection with invisibility, low gravity and random weapon spawns are your speed of Halo, odds are you wouldn’t last 30 seconds in the MLG. For those of you just joining us, MLG stands for Major League Gaming, and is home to the most ruthless and competitive Halo players on the planet (and, incidentally, a bunch of all-around nice guys). 

Recently, MLG co-founder Sundance DiGiovanni extended an offer to Bungie to attend their national championship event. Normally we eschew free trips to Vegas, but since this was for the MLG championships, Charlie, Eamon, Barry, CJ and I flew down from Seattle to “represent.” Sundance lured us there under the pretense of “checking out the tournament,” MLG’s true motive –having us play a Bungie v. Pros “exhibition match” – soon came to light.

The event itself took place in the Sands Expo Center’s dark, hangar-esque arena. In addition to Halo 2, the tournament also had brackets going for Gears of War, Rainbow 6: Vegas and Shadowrun, with nearly half a million dollars in prize money at stake. Imagine a meticulously-organized LAN party with a few thousand of your closest friends and you’d be getting close. Beyond the LAN party feel, the MLG as an organization has gone to great lengths to take competitive gaming and turn it into a truly compelling spectator experience. It’s fair to say we were shocked by the event’s production value.

Within the Halo community, MLG guys are known for their... outspokenness when it comes to their opinions about how Halo should be played. These guys take Halo and boil it down leaving a pretty intense core of pure competitiveness, and noob unfriendly gameplay. But, watching Halo 2 be played at the highest levels is damned impressive. For example, typical MLG settings call for the removal of the motion tracker and spawning with the Battle Rifle. They turn off things like turrets that could result in a less-skilled player getting a few unpredictable kills, and you won’t catch the Pros dual wielding at all.

Even though most of the guys on the Pro circuit have been playing Halo since CE (and many still refer to CE as their true love), few have begun playing H3 regularly for fear of de-tuning their H2 skills.Those H2 skills, have been cultivated by different ways of play, and different ways of holding the controller. Final Boss’ Walshy, one of the league’s most dominant forces, has developed a way of gripping the controller called “the claw” in order to allow use of all the face buttons (index finger) without having to take his thumb off the right analog movement stick. Carpal tunnel FTW. Most unsettling is the specialized argot they have developed to communicate with increased efficiency (Eg, “One-shot at P1!” translates roughly to “There is an enemy in the first pink tower on Midship who can be taken down by a single shot”).

Needless to say, in the few pickup games we played on the floor, it became clear that we simply could not compete at the synaptic level, and that our only hope for survival lay in leveling the playing field. So when it came time to play our exhibition match, instead of Bungie vs. Pros we proposed a Bungie + Pros line-up in the hopes of preserving a few precious shreds of dignity.


Bungie Engineering super geniuses Charlie Gough (center left) and Eamon McKenzie (center right) in an OGRE sandwich.

The games with the Pros were… eye-opening to say the least. As far as we were concerned, MLG might as well have stood for “Massive Loss Guarantee.” Chucky and Eamon joined up with legendary twin aimbots Ogres 1 and 2 from team “Final Boss” while “Str8 Rippin’s” Neighbor and Legit carried Barry and I like a couple of sacks of potatoes. “Surgical” doesn’t quite describe these guys’ proficiency with weapons and their ability to place grenades directly underfoot borders on magical. Speaking of magic, personally I believe the Ogres have some sort of latent twin-based telepathy thing going on since they have the uncanny tendency to fire at the same thing without speaking. I will say there are few things quite as satisfying as killing Ogre 2, even if it is a 1 in 10 phenomenon.

After a few more games with some of the other Pros, we had a pretty good idea that playing at that level was going to be a losing proposition for Bungie. So we set our sights a little lower (figuratively and literally) and challenged Lil Poison to a final game. Aside from being an incredibly nice and well-mannered nine year old, Lil Poison happens to be the youngest Pro killing machine in the league. Still, Charlie believed he could use the wisdom of his years to his advantage and agreed to go head to head with Lil Poison on Epitaph. Sadly, not even 20+ years of life experience would prove enough to bridge the skill gap between Charlie and LP. We all agreed watching Lil Poison beat Charlie was a fine way to end the event.

Big thanks to Sundance DiGiovanni and all the folks at MLG for letting us take part in their experience. We look forward to coming back next season for some Halo 3 action!


Left to right: Environment Lead Chris Barrett, Engineering Lead Charlie Gough, Producer Joe Tung, Engineer Eamon McKenzie and down in front, the inimitable Lil Poison.
Maption Sack Double EXP Weekend Live! 

Posted by urk at 9/10/2010 9:09 AM PDT

Oh, we're not done yet!

A 4v4 mix of Double EXP Slayer and Objective gametypes on a whole mess of your own community created maps.

Category: Double EXP Weekend
Max Party: 8
Max Team Size: 4
Heroic/Mythic Map Packs Required
Updated 12/03/2009

Gametypes

  • Team Slayer (33.3%) - First team to 50 kills wins. 12 minute match time limit.
  • Team BRs (21.6%) - First team to 50 kills wins. Players spawn with Battle Rifles and Assault Rifle secondary weapons. 12 minute match time limit.
  • One Flag CTF (11.8%) - Round based Capture the Flag, one team has a flag while the other attempt to capture it. Most captures after four rounds wins. Four minute round time limit.
  • Multi-Flag CTF (21.6%) - Both teams are attempting to capture the other team's flag. First to three captures wins. 20 minute match time limit.
  • Multi-Flag CTF BRs (11.8%) - Both teams are attempting to capture the other team's flag. Battle Rifle starts. First to three captures wins. 20 minute match time limit.

Maps

  • Actuality-Break (Foundry)
  • Apex (Sandbox)
  • Backdraft (Sandbox)
  • Battle Dome (Sandbox)
  • Ber Ber Creek (Sandbox)
  • Borderline (Sandbox)
  • Breakdown (Sandbox)
  • Bridgeo's (Sandbox)
  • Chimera (Sandbox)
  • Colonnade (Foundry)
  • Conduction (Sandbox)
  • Coup d'Etat (Sandbox)
  • Cryptic (Sandbox)
  • Cryptic Fate (Sandbox)
  • Deity (Sandbox)
  • Eighty Grit (Sandbox)
  • Elysium (Sandbox)
  • Emperor (Sandbox)
  • Exhibition (Sandbox)
  • Fortress (Sandbox)
  • Fracture (Sandbox)
  • Gauntlet (Sandbox)
  • Haven (Sandbox)
  • IZ9 Courtyard (Sandbox)
  • The Kingdom (Sandbox)
  • Lotus (Sandbox)
  • Neosho (Sandbox)
  • Nocticulent (Sandbox)
  • Onyx (Sandbox)
  • Pantheon (Sandbox)
  • Paranoia (Sandbox)
  • Pilaster (Sandbox)
  • Pivotal (Sandbox)
  • Rat Trap (Sandbox)
  • Ravinia (Sandbox)
  • Reflux (Sandbox)
  • Regicide (Foundry)
  • Reminiscent (Sandbox)
  • Renovation (Sandbox)
  • Requiem (Sandbox)
  • Salvation (Sandbox)
  • Sand Towers (Sandbox)
  • Sentiment (Sandbox)
  • Skystation (Sandbox)
  • Solarium (Sandbox)
  • Static (Sandbox)
  • Stonehenge (Sandbox)
  • Subversive (Sandbox)
  • Synapse (Sandbox)
  • Tartarus (Sandbox)
  • Topple (Sandbox)
  • Transgression (Foundry)
  • Tribal War (Sandbox)
  • Undulation (Sandbox)
  • Vengeance (Sandbox)
  • Workplace Bravo (Sandbox)

Tags: Halo 3

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Where's Mah Dooble EXP?! 

Posted by urk at 9/2/2010 5:52 PM PDT

Fix your -blam!-, Bungle!

So, yeah, This week's Double EXP Weekend is running a little behind. I blame Ninja 0n Fire. (He tells me that some fairly large updates are being deployed and as a result, we'll likely not see the Double EXP Weekend go live until tomorrow, or, *gulp* "later").

When it is ready to go, we'll let you know.

'Under Fire' - ubald Render 

Posted by urk at 9/2/2010 9:00 AM PDT

Feet first into awesome.

Looks like ubald unleashed another render over at HBO. This one's a WIP and part of a much larger collection that will ultimately serve as a webcomic. But you should check it out now.

ubald: Halo Rendered Comic

Tags: Halo 3: ODST

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Chronicles of ODS Steve #81 

Posted by urk at 9/1/2010 9:30 AM PDT

Faux Chief.

This week's Steve's getting all Batman on some Scarab carapace.

Chronicles of ODS Steve: Faux Chief (#81)

Tags: Halo 3: ODST

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Top 10 Halo 3 Kills on The Pit: Episode 59 

Posted by urk at 8/30/2010 9:00 AM PDT

You know the deal.

Anoj didn't submit his latest entry to Comm Chatter, but they gang at HBO picked up the slack. Besides, even without Anoj's familiar wordplay, we all know what this video's about anyway. There's like ten kills. You can submit your own for next week if you're astute enough to figure out how to make it happen.

Top 10 Halo 3 Kills on The Pit: Episode 59

Tags: Halo 3

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