These guys and gals are golden.
Got gold bars propping up your Halo 3 matchmaking rank? Not a worry in the world. If you're looking for a group that celebrates your status, you've come to the right place. Get up to speed on the Bungie.net group, The Upper Echelon. Here's what they had to say for themselves:
: The Upper Echelon is a sanctuary of sorts. It's a place where all those who have reached the grade four status of their current matchmaking ranks can escape the craziness of the public forums and meet amazing community members from all over the world, knowing that we all share one thing in common.
Through the founding of TUE, some of the most amazing Bungie.net members have graced the group with their presence. The best part is when a group of us gets together in matchmaking and beats the other team. We prove that those with gold bars are a force to be reckoned with, and to quote one of the members of the group, "we are proud of the adornments that reside under our ranks!"
As of late, the group has become a real hub for our members to meet on a daily basis. Our forums are always humming with activity, and the topics are really interesting. We also have a group on HaloCharts by the same name which has also seen a great deal of success.
The Upper Echelon has become so much more than just a group; it's a sprawling community. We are the place where the casual and the serious gamer can meet and enjoy the game that brought us all together.
: There's a common misconception that if you have gold bars than you must be a bad player. This is absolutely not true. The ranking system works just fine and people belong at certain levels. For instance I am a Staff Captain. I have no business playing against a General. None what so ever. I am a casual gamer and I play for fun. Many of us do.
I've always felt that it's a blessing to have gold bars. I feel that grade 4 ranks are amongst the best in the game at that skill level. We have a member that we call the Goat Snatcher (pm me later for explanation, don't worry it's clean). He's a Brig-Gen and I swear on everything holy that he sends Grade 2 Generals screaming for mommy. A lot of our members are like this. We truly enjoy going into BTB with a full party, getting trash talked, and then stomping the other team.
One of my favorite things to do at TUE is interview high profile members of the community. I've interviewed a few of the Forum Moderators and I'm currently working on an interview with Firestream from Halo Charts. The interview with Foman was by far the most fun so far (sorry Duardo). You wouldn't believe how many people simply wanted to ask "Y U BAN ME?" A few people actually said "why did you unban me"? That poor guy. He's damned if he does, damned if he doesn't!
Q. What are your favorite maps?
: My favorite maps are generally the big team maps, like Valhalla, Standoff and Sand Trap, but many of the smaller maps like Construct, Cold Storage and Ghost Town are really great.
I feel that Cold Storage is under-utilized in matchmaking, which is really unfortunate. Not only is the map beautiful to look at (which Forerunner map isn't?) but is also plays beautifully. The teleporters add a level of uncertainty that makes gameplay even more frenzied and fun.
: Anything that allows me the ability to run over my teammates with a mongoose. *Waves at Skittles and Kelly*
Q. What are your favorite gametypes?
: My favorite gametypes are on the opposite ends of the spectrum, it seems. On the one hand, I love Big Team Battle, as it's a great way for a big group of us to get into matchmaking together. It's also that much more full of action, especially when we are matched up with a really good team. On the other hand, I love Rumble Pit. On those days when I just feel like a good skirmish with no other team mates to worry about, this is perfect for that.
Of course, for those other days, there is always Action Sack. I find myself going into this playlist a lot more these days. I like variety, and Action Sack delivers that in strides.
: The gametype really depends on the map that goes with it. Team BR's is great but only on the more open maps like The Pit. Duals is great but only on close-quarters maps like Snowbound. Everybody rushes the basement. There's really no need for BR's in such a closed space. At least not in my opinion. Shishka knows best. He's got all that data in front of him to work from. As Johnson would say... "He knows what the ladies like."
Q. What would you like to see in Matchmaking that isn't?
: This is the hardest question to answer by far. At the moment, I really like the way that matchmaking has been set up, but it would be cool to see more Team Flag than there has been. We at The Upper Echelon love our Team Flag.
: Indeed. Team Flag is by far the most fun I've had in a long time. Every time this comes up our forum explodes with excitement. Most of us are teamwork orientated players and we really do well with CTF games.
Thanks to The Upper Echelon for answering our not so difficult questions and for gracing our game with a little bit of precious mettle. If you want to test your own, apply for membership (you gotta have gold bars) and check out their group home right here at Bungie.net
. If you just want to check out their content, they've uploaded some new gems into Bungie Favorites