Humpday Challenge: Joystiq
Posted by urk at 4/10/2009 3:20 PM PDT
Before we dive into the Humpday between the honorable and forthright Bungie and the scurrilous and surly Joystiq, we need to properly set the stage - this was a challenge months in the making.

SuperDunner's Tale

The Long and Winding Road to Recon

Dustin "SuperDunner" Burg, editor-extraordinaire with Joystiq and recent winner of a local lotto by way of scratch-off, has had his sights squarely set on Recon Armor for quite some time.  There's nothing too shocking there, plenty of players have placed their lofty aspirations on acquiring the most rare of Halo 3's Multiplayer achievements.  And like many, Dustin's 'Road to Recon" has been filled with plenty of twists, turns, and even a few cavernous potholes.

During last year's Penny Arcade Expo festivities, Dustin made it known that he was embarking on a personal mission to obtain Recon.  He tested his manly might against our own men in the field, throwing down on the then unattainable Assembly.  For those that didn't follow our PAX coverage, folks who waited in line (some for upwards of five hours) and defeated us at our own game were awarded Recon.

Team Joystiq played, they lost, they failed to earn their shiny new pair of duds.

But did our man give up the ghost?  Did he yield in his quest for his holiest of Halo 3 relics?  Of course not.  His will is strong and his convictions, steadfast.  Instead of folding up on his living room floor, renouncing all that was good and just in life, he did what many others have done before him, he challenged us to a Humpday.  4v4 for Recon!

The rules were simple.  He got to choose his squad from the Joystiq community and we got to pick the game types (provided they were played on the Mythic Map Pack) in a best of three showdown.  Mano e mano, and all that mess.

It's never that simple though, is it? 

Dustin used what loopholes the agreement afforded, working his Devil's deal and scavenging up the best players he could find, going as far as to vet potential squad mates by soliciting details that covered only skill in his blog space.  Dustin assured us before hand that his band of blog brothers would be comprised of faithful Joystiq loyalists, but we were skeptical.  The comments field that followed his story showcases a steady tide of posters with only a single comment to their history: Gamertag, Skill Rating, K/D Ratio.

While it appeared that SuperDunner was shrewdly massaging our bargain in his favor, he failed to recognize that the devil  (as the proverb goes) is always in the details.  We got to pick the game types.

Looks Like a Fair Fight

Meet the Teams


We ended up with more than four participants this time out, so we went ahead and fired up some new gamertags to accommodate.  Don't bother sending these folks friend requests or demands for Recon, they'll never reply.  They're simply not human.

Monkey Gnuts - Tung and the pizza delivery guy.
Double Bubblez - Froman and the cleaning lady.
Tasty Primate - Urk, Lukems, and the Webmaster.
ThankGodItsYou - Shishka and a homeless man who may or may not have been the Webmaster's "mule."


Joystiq fielded a total of ten players - SuperDunner and a triple triumvirate who affectionately became known on our forums as "The 9."  Like Nazgul, these men had traded in their human forms for terrifying power, Battle Rifles, and 50's in numerous Playlists.  And like the darkly-robed witches of the same name, the very sight of their accouterments - the General's Wreath and Stars - was enough to send shivers down our spines.

Official Humpday Challenge Game 1
Joystiq Slayer on Sand Box
Length 00:01:21

If the preceding exposition didn't clue you in, the name of the game and map should.  Would Bungie be men of honor, relying on skill and reflexes to save the day?  Hell no.  We griefed the -blam!- out of these guys.

At first glance, Sand Box looks identical to the default layout.  In fact, barring the giant cache of amazingly powerful power weapons just over the lip of a far off sand dune, it is.  And when we say "power weapons" we're talking a custom power up that grants the player fortunate enough to collect it invulnerability and one-hit kill damage with any weapon.  In effect, a Brute Spiker in this player's hands might as well be a Sniper Rifle...with splash damage.

The Stash

Shishka, our beloved mapmaker, decided to set this gametype to stop at five kills.  We knew we were griefing and we wanted it over with as quickly as possible for the other squad.  We figured it would be like tearing off a bandage - quick, but not necessarily painless.

But there was a moment where it seemed Shishka's nefarious stockpile of weapons wasn't going to be enough to turn the tide, and it appeared the low kill count would actually backfire on our squad.  When Joystiq went up one to nothing, an air of confusion and disbelief descended down upon our bunker.  Shishka, late to retrieve his shameful bounty, began to fire from his hillock to no effect.  The Joystiq squad swarmed.

Not a Great Position

And then Shishka's Sniper Rifle rang out like a song.  The sound of Joystiq's Game 1 death knell sounded from the sandy horizon, and faith in our shenanigans was restored.

Powered Up!

Shishka Goes Death Blossom

Bungie wins, 5 kills to 1.

Official Humpday Challenge Game 2

Multi Flag on 0rbital
Length 00:00:41

There's a reason we listed the Bungie squad in blue above.  We needed the Joystiq gang to go red so our fixed Map Variants would grant us the winning edge.  We don't need to go into too much detail for this match. The screenshot speaks for itself.  Both teams' flags spawned in our base. 

Flag taken, Flag captured. Flag taken, Flag captured. Flag taken, Flag captured. Game Over.

Bungie wins, 3 caps to 0.

Official Humpday Challenge Game 3
Assault on Arsemmbly
Length 00:01:21

Almost the same idea here as the terrible abomination of a Map Variant we unleashed with 0rbital, but this time out, Bungie's bomb spawned right at the arming plate inside our base, while Joystiq's bomb hovered precariously above the green liquid that flows around Assembly's outer walls.  They attempted to grasp hold of their bomb once, but this proved to be grasping for the wind.  Just as their fingers locked down around the implement of war, they fell away to their death, and the bomb, of course, reset.

Close Proximity

Not Gonna Make It

Bungie wins, 3 bombs to 0.

And so ended SuperDunner's Humpday quest for Recon.  Or did it?  Yes.  Yes it did.  For one night at least.  But we did play some more games after the Humpday Official came to a close.  Scrims, if you will.

Super Unofficial Exhibition Game 1
Team Slayer on Assembly

For this match up, we fielded a pretty solid squad with Tung, Froman, Shishka, and Urk banding together to wipe the floor with the best Joystiq had to offer.  Shouts of "What's a Double Kill?" echoed off our bunker's walls as Tung launched an unstoppable assault, killing anything unlucky enough to end up in his gun sight.

Bungie wins 50 - 43, with Tung putting up the double digit +11, taking the Bungie squad to a very fitting +7 victory.

Pizza Time, aka Just for Kicks Game 2
Team BR Slayer on Sandbox

Dinner arrives at Bungie and the enticing aroma proves to be too much for our players.  Fortunately for us, the delivery guy agreed to stick around and play a few.  We also coaxed the cleaning lady, the Webmaster, and oddly enough, a homeless man to take up controllers while we AFK'd our way through nearly a dozen piping hot pizza pies.

Turns out our rag tag posse performed pretty admirably.  While they didn't have what it took to take down Joystiq's hit men, they came pretty damn close, ultimately putting up one hell of a fight.

Joystiq wins a meaningless match, 50-45.

The Webmaster vomits and the cleaning lady has to take a break to clean it up, aka Scrimmage Game 3
Team BR Slayer on Orbital

Not much to recount here.  Our squad was completely distracted when one of the Webmaster's hiccups evolved into something more akin to projectile vomiting and the cleaning lady was forced to set down her controller and pick up her mop.  We're going to do you a huge favor and never publish the security footage.  In fact, we've already burned it.  We're not exactly certain what the Webmaster ate before he arrived, but we're pretty sure it was probably evidence.

So, there you have it.  SuperDunner's "Road to Recon" keeps on truckin'.  Where will it end?  Worst case, with Halo 3: ODST in the Fall, of course.  We want to make note here, now that we've come to the end of things, that SuperDunner was a super good sport.  The team he fielded was legit, and in the matches we played where we hadn't tipped the scales insurmountably in our favor, we found ourselves outmatched in almost every conceivable way.  Though we mined as much comedy gold from our showdown, we want to stress that there are no hard feelings.

We had a good time playing with The 9, even as they were crouching in celebration over our dead bodies and bullet-riddled corpses.  They were great sports, through and through, even after enduring our crummy three game Humpday spectacle. 

Seeing Stars

Good games, fellas.  Enjoy your Recon.

Note to future challengers: Pay attention to the fine print in the agreed upon rules.

For those wanting to check out the action firsthand, check out the Saved Films in Tasty Primate's File Share.

Mythic 2 Map Pack Coming to Marketplace 

Posted by urk at 1/20/2010 10:09 AM PST

Still waiting for the second half of the Mythic Map Pack?

Your wait will be over soon.  As of February 2nd, Heretic, Citadel, and Longshore will be available as a standalone map pack via Xbox LIVE Marketplace.  Read on for more details.

"Microsoft has announced that the Mythic 2 Map Pack, previously only available on the Halo 3: ODST multiplayer disc, will be released on Xbox LIVE on February 2, 2010.

The release of the Mythic 2 Map Pack brings the total number of Halo 3 multiplayer maps to 24.

  • Heretic brings players to familiar ground as the Halo 2 arena Midship returns in Halo 3. The stark interior of the Pious Inquisitor might appear austere on first glance, but Heretic's symmetrical spaces require players to execute complex strategies in order to outplay their opponents.
  • Citadel may be a long abandoned Forerunner stronghold, but its small, symmetrical confines are far from secure. Two opposing bases offer little safety for players looking for solace. Instead, Citadel forces small squads to stay in constant communication, keep their heads on a swivel, and be prepared to adjust combat tactics in close quarters.
  • Longshore lacks the commercial ships that once made it a lucrative port for Old Mombasa, but it still bustles with activity. Designed for large-scale combat and well-suited for smaller affairs, Longshore’s multitude of industrial buildings, elevated walks, and open inlets conspire to create a complex battleground tailored for multiple combat scenarios.

Mythic 2 Map Pack will be available on Xbox LIVE for 800 Microsoft Points.

Additionally, Halo fans can contribute to Bungie’s relief efforts for Haiti by participating in the "Be a Hero" campaign on Xbox LIVE. For every 1,000 people that wear a red heart emblem and play Halo 3 or Halo 3: ODST online today or tomorrow, Bungie will donate $100 to Red Cross, up to $77,000."

HBO's Mythamanjaro 

Posted by urk at 8/3/2009 9:06 AM PDT

Got Mythic?

If not, Domino Theory and HBO are looking to hook you up.  Nice guys, eh?  All you gotta do is fill out a brief form (don't worry, it's safe) and make sure you play by the rules.

Mythamanjaro - HBO Mythic Map Pack Code Giveaway

PlanetXbox360's Mythic Map Pack Giveaway 

Posted by urk at 7/27/2009 10:19 AM PDT

Register and reply and you could win a prize.

The good folks over at PlanetXbox360 want to make you an offer.  They've got Mythic Map Packs and you have a keyboard.  Use it to register for their forums, make a reply in the correct thread, and wait to see if they pluck your name from the hat for a free Mythic Map Pack.  Easy, eh?

PlanetXbox360 Giveaway: Halo 3 "Mythic Map Pack" Codes

Reclaimer 182 - The Mother of Invention 

Posted by urk at 5/6/2009 9:14 AM PDT

A patchwork plan.

Reclaimer needs access to the UNSC datanets, but first some repairs are in order.  And of course, it's not as simple as just plugging some stuff in or turning a bolt.  That would be far too easy.

Reclaimer 182 - The Mother of Invention

'Mythic Recon' Screenshot Contest Over 

Posted by urk at 5/4/2009 9:42 AM PDT

Stop your screenshots.

If you submitted a screenshot for the Mythic Recon screenshot contest, sit tight.  We're going to pour through the pile this week, pluck out some winners, and notify them via PM.  Since there were so many participants, please exercise some patience.  We're looking at having our selections made and the winners notified by Friday.

In the meantime, please hold off on PMing us for details.  We won't have any.  You'll just be delaying the process and probably ruling yourself out from consideration.


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