Xbox Live Bantacular

Bungie isn't the only team with a Banhammer. The Xbox Live team has infinitely more powerful tools that obviously span beyond just the Halo games. Be warned that using hacked consoles will get you a one-way ticket to Banville - no matter which game you play.

We are continually fighting the good fight to keep modders and jerks out of the Halo 2 online population (and now Halo 3) but we can all sleep easier at night knowing that the Xbox Live team has their own group of agents working towards the betterment of the online community.

Major Nelson and Gamerscoreblog posted reminders today that people who log onto Live using modified consoles are being dealt with. As more and more people pour into the Halo 3 Beta, please take this warning to heart. Using modified content and hacked boxes is against the Terms of Use for Xbox Live and doing so will result in your console being permanently banned from the service. Forever. For all games.

If you get an error message "Status Code: Z: 8015 - 190D" it means you are done playing Xbox Live on that console. Congrats.

To all of the upstanding members of the Live community - we salute you and look forward to fun times throughout the Halo 3 Beta and beyond.

Halo 3Halo 2 (Xbox) 5/17/2007 3:28 PM PDT permalink

Halo 3 "Three Ways to Play" Update

If you were a winner of the Microsoft Halo 3 "3 Ways to Play" promotion but haven't received your beta code yet, please read this important update.



Thousands of lucky gamers around the world won their way into the Halo 3 beta via the “3 ways to play” Microsoft sweepstakes earlier this year. Beta access codes were sent out to everyone on Wednesday 5/16 but we understand that apparently not everyone has received that mail. However, the majority of winners received a mail and are playing Halo 3 right now. The only explanation we have is that many people likely had the mail blocked by their ISP or they ended up in a junk mail or spam folder. The first thing you should do is check to see if the mail was intercepted and might be buried in your inbox somewhere.

Microsoft is going to send out beta codes one more time to everyone who won at 3 p.m. PDT today.

This will be coming from the email alias  halo3beta@microsoft.com. Please keep an eye out for this mail. This is a second mailing and is NOT a new code. Anyone who originally received a mail the first time can disregard – this is the same code you already have.  The original mail was sent from halo3beta@bungie.com. This is the same mail, different alias.

We understand many of you have been waiting and hopefully this secondary mailing will clear things up. If you still do not receive your code, you are advised to contact Xbox Support – unfortunately there isn't anything we (Bungie) can personally do to assist you. Once the Xbox support team verifies your identity, they will attempt to retrieve your code for you.


ADDITIONAL LAST MINUTE UPDATE!!

In order to help circumvent ISP spam filters, a sneaky tactic is being implemented that may or may not improve your odds of receiving these emails. The mails will be staggered and sent out over the span of approximately 30 to 45 minutes. Also, groups of mails will be separated by slightly different email addresses. This means you can expect to receive a mail that will come from halo3beta-X@microsoft.com where "X" is any number between 1 and 30. It's not known if this will actually work (surely the free VIagra people have tried more devious methods than this) but it could theoretically help with some of the stricter mail filters.

If you haven't seen a mail by 4 p.m. PDT then it's  probably safe to assume it was intercepted by the Spam Police.

Halo 3 5/17/2007 12:32 PM PDT permalink

REMINDER: Beta Ends June 10th!

Sketch writes:

Just a reminder, that  as a consolation for lost time and inconvenience during the launch period, we extended the Halo 3 Beta end date to Sunday, 6/10, at 11:59 PM PDT.

UPDATE : 5/16/07  7:05 PM


Halo 3 Beta Downloads via Crackdown are fixed!

It's been a long day for a lot of people but we're happy to announce that effective immediately, a title update for Crackdown is available on Xbox Live that will fix the issue that previously prevented you from downloading the beta. The Microsoft team just deployed this fix and when you launch Crackdown you should receive a prompt to download the update.

Please note that it could take up to four hours for your console to receive this update based on various factors. However, the good news is that we're in the clear and Halo 3 gameplay is just over the horizon.

We realize this has been a pain for many and an inconvenience at the very least. Given the circumstances, we've decided to extend the duration of the Halo 3 Beta from June 6th to June 10th at 11:59 PM PDT.  So, you lost almost a full day of play today but to make up for it we're tacking on four more days (and a weekend at that).

We apologize for the delay and hardships this issue has caused and hope that it quickly becomes a distant memory clouded by good times playing Halo 3 with your friends.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding. We'll see you online!


Note : A rare bug has been discovered that sometimes results in improper text display in the game UI. Basically, you won't see any text at all. If you encounter this issue, you can fix it yourself by doing the following:
  1. Restart your Xbox 360
  2. Boot up the Halo 3 Beta
  3. While the Halo 3 Beta is loading, immediately press up on the D-Pad and hold the A button until you see the Bungie logo. If you perform this correctly a dialog box will appear confirming maintenance has been done to your system.
  4. Resume the Halo 3 Beta!

 

  

Halo 3Emotional Support 5/16/2007 5:22 AM PDT permalink

Finish the Fight on September 25, 2007

This is the day the wait ends.

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Halo 3 5/15/2007 9:01 PM PDT

Red vs. Blue Halo 3 Vid Hits Marketplace

Red vs. Blue meets Halo 3 on Xbox Live Marketplace.

"Tomorrow, tomorrow, you're always a day away." There's no redheaded elfin child singing here, though. Instead, just ahead of tomorrow's Halo 3 Public Beta launch, the merry pranksters at Red vs. Blue have just released their first flick using the Halo 3 engine and it's available for download on Xbox Live Marketplace. The download will be made available at the RvB official site at a later date. Consider this a "Welcome to the Beta" video, a day early.

Tomorrow can't come soon enough, can it?

Halo 3 5/15/2007 5:00 PM PDT permalink

Welcome to the Halo 3 Beta

A complete guide to the Halo 3 Beta, from getting started to advanced gameplay tips.

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Halo 3 5/15/2007 1:53 PM PDT

Public Beta Updated

Frankie writes:

Some changes have been made to the current Friends and Family preview of the Halo 3 Public Beta. Read what they are and why they're actually good for Halo 3's fall release by clicking through.

UPDATE: In some cases, users are experience a lack of fonts or characters in the user interface after downloading today's update. If this happens to you, all hope is not lost, do not despair, do not run around screaming.

Instead, do the following.
First, restart your Xbox 360.
Second, boot up the Halo 3 beta.
Third, while in the Halo 3 boot up sequence press up on the D-pad and hold the A button until you see the Bungie logo. If you've completed this correctly there will be a dialog box confirming maintenance has been done on your system.
Four, resume bathing in the Halo 3 Public Beta.

Last night we made the first test update to the Halo 3 Public Beta, basically a test to ensure that we are able to make subtle or dramatic changes to the game on the fly, in order to react to problems we could encounter going forward. In this case, the change was both subtle and dramatic going as far as invalidating your existing saved films and wiping your file share in advance of tomorrow's public rollout. You must accept and install the tiny update to continue playing correctly.

Don't worry, we will try to keep these updates to a minimum throughout the course of the Beta, and naturally we don't plan to wreck your films everytime a change is made to the game - but in order to implement and test that stuff for the shipping game, this is one of the wee sacrifices we have to make.

Also, due to player response we've also significantly reduced the appearance of Team Slayer gametypes on the Team Skirmish playlist - this means more High Ground CTF for Beta gamers.

Thanks for both your patience and great feedback and stay tuned to Bungie.net for more updates throughout the Beta.

Halo 3 5/15/2007 10:43 AM PDT permalink

Bungie Weekly Update 5/11/07

Despite being away on business, Frankie co-pilots this pre-Momma's Day Weekly Update.

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Bungie Weekly UpdateHalo 3Halo 2 (Xbox) 5/11/2007 6:22 PM PDT

Mr. Jukes' Halo 3 Betalicious Video!

Community stalwart and Halo 3 Beta-tester extraordinaire "Mr. Jukes" has created one of his trademark videos to tantalize and titillate the masses as the Halo 3 Public Beta draws nigh. Who exactly is this Mr. Jukes and what is a Lazr Cat? The answers lie within.

Maybe you've heard of him, maybe you haven't... but around Microsoft, Mr. Jukes has established a name for himself as a tireless, hardcore and fanatical player of Halo who isn't too shabby in the video production department either.

Over the last few months, Jukes' logged an incredible (bordering on inhuman) amount of games through the internal Alpha and Beta tests for Halo 3 and he was just as involved in the first ever Halo 2 online tests as well. In addition to playing the games, Mr. Jukes also became known for his entertaining videos - most of which focused on jumping. Yes, jumping. It doesn't sound like much but some of the jumps and tricks he pulls in the games had to be seen to be believed.

I asked Mr. Jukes a few questions to help us get to know the man behind the controller and pass along some of his insights into the Halo 3 beta....

When you're not playing Halo 3, what do you actually do at Microsoft?
Mr. Jukes: I am a developer on the Windows Core User Experience Team. I was responsible for the Start Menu that shipped in Vista and am busy working on the next version of Windows.

How did you get started making wacky jump videos for Halo?
Jukes: During the Halo 2 Beta I found a couple of jumps on Zanzibar that really opened my eyes to the tactical possibilities of taking the less obvious route. I showed them to some of my friends and they thought the jumps could come in pretty handy. From that point on, I was always on the lookout for alternative ways to reach a destination. I had fully explored most of the maps that shipped with Halo 2 and found a lot of useful jumps by the time it went public so I thought it would be cool to set up a site and make some videos to share with the community.

Why do you love jumping so much?
Jukes: I enjoy the social aspect of playing a custom game with friends where we aren't trying to kill each other. I also enjoy the challenge of completing a really difficult jump after many failed attempts. I am totally psyched for the (Halo 3) Saved FIlms feature. This video was made with a very early and basic version... I can't wait to see the videos people will end up making with the full feature. Never again will I miss a shot because I didn't have my capture device recording!

What was your fondest memory playing the Halo 3 internal beta?
Jukes: (NOTE: His real answer was too secret to reveal, so here's his backup answer) -- Playing until 4 a.m. with some friends while trying to break the leveling system. In the process we lined up some sweet Spartan Laser kills and had some fun with the Trip Mine and Fusion Cores.

How many games of Halo 3 do you reckon you've played thus far?
Jukes: If you include the Halo 3 Alpha and Beta, I think I logged about 1,100 games.

What advice would you give to the rest of world as they prepare to play Halo 3 for the first time?
Jukes: Have fun and don't be a douche.

Oh, and one more thing... is it true that you can destroy New001 at Halo 3?
Jukes: Oh man... a chance to bash New001 in a public forum with no recourse for retaliation. It feels like Christmas. In all honesty, I don't think anybody involved in a game with New ends up winning in the end... no matter the outcome.


Before you check out Mr. Jukes' Halo 3 video debut, please keep in mind that this video was produced using the internal beta version of Halo 3. This means it's a bit older than what the rest of the world will start playing in the next few days. It also means that it has all sorts of debug text all over it - this won't be in the version you get your hands on. And, this was fully sanctioned and approved by Bungie - unlike some of those other "leaked" videos that have ended up online.


Check out Mr. Jukes' Halo 3 "Betalicious" Video HERE! (WMV)  (right click, 'save-as')

We hope you enjoy it - we did. And a huge thanks to Mr. Jukes for putting this together for our amusement.

See you online soon!

Halo 3 5/10/2007 5:15 PM PDT permalink

Halo: Contact Harvest

The next Halo novel is announced. Halo: Contact Harvest, is coming soon, and the author is our own Joseph Staten. We chat.

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Halo UniverseNovel 5/10/2007 9:42 AM PDT

Halo 2 Playlist Update and Stat Reset

Sketch writes:

Tonight is the night for the long awaited Halo 2 Xbox Live Matchmaking Playlist update and ranking reset. Tombstone and Desolation will be required for some of the playlists and if you purchased them before Monday, 5/7, you will need to download them again before you can play online. Both maps will become free in early July.



It took a little longer than we would have liked but we're happy to announce that later tonight the new maps will finally be integrated into the Halo 2 Xbox Live matchmaking playlists. As you know by now, the original map release didn't go as smooth as we had hoped due to some billing and download issues and then a few wrinkles with the maps themselves. Over the past two weeks those problems were all addressed - everyone should be able to download the maps just fine and the geometry issues that were discovered in Tombstone have been addressed.

As a result of this map "repair", everyone who purchased the maps prior to Monday 5/7 will need to download them again. This is required if you want to play the maps online - only the new versions will work in Matchmaking and they are not compatible with the older versions for custom games or offilne play. You will not, I repeat, you will NOT be billed a second time if you already purchased the maps. However, do keep in mind that each purchase is tied to a single Xbox console. If you downloaded it on your Xbox 1 the first time and try to download it again on your Xbox 360, you will be charged again. Or, if you were one of the few who found the billing loop-hole the first time and weren't charged, you will be charged this time.

Tonight's update means that both new maps will be REQUIRED in order to participate in some of our matchmaking playlists. However, we are keeping several playlists in their oldschool state so if you don't have the new maps you will still have some options. Here's the breakdown of what will be available after this update:

Rumble Pit - Unranked - New Maps Required
Double Team - Ranked
Team Slayer - Ranked - New Maps Required
Team Skirmish - Ranked - New Maps Required
Team Training - Unranked 
Team Snipers - Ranked - New Maps Required
Team Hardcore - Ranked
Team SWAT - Unranked - New Maps Required
Big Team Battle - Unranked

Of course you can continue to play custom games with or without the new maps as much as you'd like.

We've been bracing you for this for a little while now but we're also resetting all Halo 2 online rankings tonight as part of this update. In light of the new maps, changes we've made to some banhammer functionality and a desire to regroup the population to better facilitate game matches, we are wiping the slate clean. Naturally this will cause joy for some and outrage for others. Hey, it's "just a number", right? And the people who were legitimate high level players should have no problem quickly ascending the ranks once again.

Lastly, we are finally happy to confirm that Tombstone and Desolation will be available for free download in early July. We don't have the exact date locked but it will be around the first week. Stay tuned to Bungie.net for the final details.

Thank you to everyone for your continued support of Halo 2 and your patience as we've been working through some of these issues. 


Halo 2 (Xbox) 5/9/2007 5:18 PM PDT permalink

Halo 2 hits 5 million players!

Moments ago, we watched the odometer of Halo 2 players roll over the 5,000,000 mark. Today also happens to be the 2.5-year anniversary of launch. Here's to continued growth of 2 million players per year! (Oh, and we'll hit 700 million unique games later tonight)

Moments ago, we watched the odometer of Halo 2 players roll over the 5,000,000 mark. Today also happens to be the 2.5-year anniversary of launch. Here's to continued growth of 2 million players per year!

If you're curious, "ultra theodore" is the 5 millionth player.

(This number refers to the number of unique Live accounts that have played Halo 2 online, not including guests)

Edit - I also just noticed that we're a few hours away from 700 million unique multiplayer games on Live. (The largest number, player-games, where each game counts once per player in it, will hit 5 billion in a few weeks)

Halo 2 (Xbox) 5/9/2007 1:09 PM PDT permalink

Blastacular Map Update

The Blastacular Map Pack has been updated to fix bugs and superjumps before being deployed to Matchmaking. The two new maps for Halo 2, Desolation and Tombstone, have both been replaced with updated versions, with the geometry fixes added. You will need these to use them in Matchmaking. More new on that later this week.

As we promised in the Weekly Update this Friday past, the Blastacular map pack has been updated to remove the superjumps and invisible walls that would have caused no end of misery in Matchmaking. That’s the good news. The bad news is that you will have to download them again to overwrite your old map files with the new, corrected ones. These will be required to play in matchmaking. The “old” maps will continue to function until then, or until you try to match with someone using the updated maps. Simplest solution? Go get ‘em.

The new maps can be found by simply returning to the content download screen from the main menu in Halo 2, and repeating the process you already used to download them the first time. We know this is a pain. Sorry.

NOTE: You will not be charged again if you already bought these maps.

You will be charged if for some reason you were not charged last time.

Remember - the maps are tied to your console, not your Gamertag. If you try to download to another console, you will be charged again.

We do apologize for this inconvenience. For some of you it’s a minor irritation, for some of you it’s the end to a long and annoying ordeal. Either way, we thank you for your patience and your understanding.

Halo 2 (Xbox)Emotional Support 5/7/2007 8:01 PM PDT permalink

Vote for the Ghost!

GameJunkieJim writes:

Go vote!

One of Bungie.net's members - xXb1az3d CatXx - and a team of his buddies have a wild card entry in the Red Bull Flugtag, an annual event where silly, reckless or suicidal people decide to launch hastily built contraptions off of a wall in an effort to get them to float across a river.


The efforts usually fail. Some spectacularly.

Why's all this matter? Why, the vehicle Mr. CatXx and his friends are planning to build is nothing less than the Covenant reconniscance hovercraft, dubbed the Ghost.  

The Flugtag involves a (usually) cheap soapbox style racer (flyer?) with some sort of aerodynamic function.They can only be human powered, so no Covenant fuel cells will on the Ghost. (I guess the driver can't be blown up by a sniper shell to the power core though.) These brave (suicidal) young souls plan on taking a memorable trip (getting thrown down a ramp by your buddies) and they've chosen to show their love for Halo while they're at it.(And who are we to stand in their way?)

Show some Bungie Love! You can vote for the Ghost Bike at http://www.redbullflugtagusa.com/Nashville/peoples-choice.aspx and you can find out more about the Flugtag itself at http://www.redbullflugtagusa.com/What-Is-Flugtag.aspx

Happy Happy Carnage Carnage!

You can discuss the Flugtag, voting or whatever in the following thread:
http://www.bungie.net/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=10705918

Community 5/5/2007 3:46 PM PDT permalink

GiA's Halo 3 One-liner Results

Maimum FEAR writes:

A few weeks ago Games in Action announced that it would be running a Halo 3 Dialog Competition.  Well we recieved well over 1000 entries but there could be only one winner.  The community voted and decided that Awhalesball's entry was the best.


So if you want to find out about the Halo 3 Dialog Contest head over to Games in Action, you can read about the winner, the runner-ups and also get some information about next month's competition.  Read the full news article here!

Community 5/5/2007 11:34 AM PDT permalink

Bungie Weekly Update 05/04/07

This week there is a LOT of information. You pretty much have to read this one. Seriously.

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Bungie Weekly UpdateHalo 3Halo 2 (Xbox) 5/4/2007 4:24 PM PDT

Blastacular Map Pack Fixed!

The recent downloading problems with the Halo 2 "Blastacular" map pack have been (mostly) fixed. Details inside.

Hooray! Map download problems are fixed! If you were one of the (significant) number of people unable for a variety of reasons, to download the recent “Blastacular” map pack, a fix implemented last night should have worked for you. Firstly, our apologies. We realize this has been inconvenient and annoying.

As we’ve explained previously, the problem was caused by either trying to get the maps for free (don’t worry, you’re not in trouble), accidentally trying to download on a Silver and then Gold account, or by various incompatible age rating problems between 360 dashboard and the original Xbox. Almost everyone should now be able to download the maps now, and the bonus is that we can now accelerate the maps’ introduction into matchmaking.

We’ll have more news on this soon, and if you’re still having problems with either the map pack or with billing, then try the usual support numbers and contact info here: www.xbox.com since Bungie does not deal with Xbox Live billing matters. At least not until I get that Paypal account set up…

Halo 2 (Xbox)Emotional Support 5/2/2007 11:50 AM PDT permalink

Halo 3 Kubricks Coming!

Kubricks, the adorable Super Deformed action figures from Japan, are coming in Halo 3 flavors!

Medicom, the Japanese toy company responsible for the cult favorite Kubricks toys, is producing a limited edition range of Halo 3 Kubricks. Each four-pack comes with a red, green, blue and Active Camo Spartan, and you can actually pre-order them already from a couple of websites, including Comics Infinity. As you can see, the tiny figures are awesome and a great addition to a serious collector's arsenal. The Halo 2 Master Chief Kubrick is already exceptionally rare.


Yo. We're tiny.

Halo 3Collectibles 5/2/2007 11:28 AM PDT permalink

Design a Halo 3 Emblem!

Wow! Design an emblem, and if it's the winner, your emblem design will be featured in the actual Halo 3 game!

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CommunityHalo 3 5/2/2007 11:06 AM PDT

Shadowrun Shenanigans

We chat with some of the developers of Shadowrun about their new game and the influence Halo had on it.

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CommunitySpotlight 5/1/2007 10:07 AM PDT

Bungie Weekly Update 04/27/07

We have a nice, fat update today, with lots of Halo 2 and Halo 3 stuff for you, including some interesting new art.

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Bungie Weekly UpdateHalo 3Halo 2 (Xbox) 4/27/2007 2:28 PM PDT

Matchmaking Playlist Update

Originally we indicated that this week was our target for updating the Halo 2 Xbox Live matchmaking playlists and resetting all player rankings. We are holding this update while we investigate and fix some of the Xbox Live download problems that people have been reporting.

Originally we indicated that this week was our target for updating the Halo 2 Xbox Live matchmaking playlists and resetting all player rankings. We are holding this update while we investigate and fix some of the Xbox Live download problems that people have been reporting. The good news is that almost everyone who initially had issues downloading the maps should now be able to do so. However, there may be some people who are still unable to download the maps for a variety of reasons and we’re working with the Xbox Live team to narrow down the potential cause and implement the solution.

This playlist update and rank reset will probably occur next week, pending the outcome of our ongoing work with the Xbox Live team. In the meantime, you are of course able to enjoy both Tombstone and Desolation in online custom games and offline Splitscreen/System Link play. Please stay tuned to Bungie.net for the latest info. Apologies for the inconvenience.

Halo 2 (Xbox)FAQs and Info 4/25/2007 5:55 PM PDT permalink

Halo 2 All-Nighter? Gentlemen, start chilling your Bawls.

A Halo 2 all-nighter?  Heh.  Most of our members can do that with their eyes closed....  erhmmm, I mean, with one hand tied behind their ba....  Dang!

What I am trying to say is that XBL has announced an "event" that revolves around something that many of you already do.  Stay up all night playing Halo 2. 

Why not look for and engage some of the XBL members and the XBL Ambassadors while you're at it.   Details can be found here on Xbox Live's site.   

The high points?  ZOMG, gurl gamerz! (behave gentlemen, behave!) and free swag from XBL.  Trust me, free stuff may be cool.  But free stuff from Microsoft is even sweeter.  Don't ask why, it just is.  

So, since MatchMaking is not using the maps (yet), these are going to be custom matches.  Form up with friends, or make some new friends.  Get the pizza, load the fridge, come on by this thread in the Halo 2 forum, leave your tag, and let the carnage commence until the sun rises over the bodies of the vanquished.

Community 4/21/2007 3:55 PM PDT permalink

Bungie Weekly Update

Very, very short Weekly Update today, but some good news about failed Halo 2 map downloads, at the very least.

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Bungie Weekly UpdateHalo 3Halo 2 (Xbox) 4/20/2007 4:52 PM PDT

Ziff vs Bungie

EGM thought they could take us on. They thought they controlled the media. They thought they could win. They thought wrong.

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CommunityHalo 2 (Xbox) 4/20/2007 11:46 AM PDT