Stat attack, mothasuckas!
We’ve made a whole lot of noise about how much play-testing our DLC team put into the Noble Map Pack. Last night we made them put their Microsoft Points where their mouths are. Recruiting players from their ranks proved easy – the DLC team’s roster is deep with talented players who were more than eager to help show off their Noble handiwork.
On the other side of the orbital space coin was HaloCharts – a fancy, community focused website dedicated to tracking stats and leaderboard information you might not find on Bungie.net. Earlier in the week we brought their site to its knees, sending our stat hungry community over to indulge in a newly crafted Halo: Reach Player Analyzer app. But while I have the utmost confidence in the power of the Bungie Community to beat up on some poor, unsuspecting website, I had no idea what to expect out of HaloCharts’ own Halo: Reach skills.
Did we mention that the DLC team played the -blam!- out of the Noble Map Pack? Stepping up to get deep into the action this week, Jason Sussman, Matt Bennier, Derek “Don’t call me Mantis” Carroll, Ken Taya, David Aldridge, and The Artist Formerly Known as Tomo, were all ready to lay down the law on their newly birthed multiplayer triplets.
Rounding out the team was hired gunslinger TTL L askan and yours truly.
It should be noted that HaloCharts could have pulled an HBO and rolled out “admins” and “moderators” who boasted some stupefyingly spectacular kills-to-death ratios. Instead, they went with the more Zion-esque contingent of coders and programmers who seeded their website and continue to bend the rules of the web to bring you more stats than you can possible imagine.
Game 1 – Team Slayer on Anchor 9
Fast and Furious.
I took four of our players out of the mix to prevent both teams from having to endure some Big Team Battle shenanigans in Anchor 9’s cramped interiors. Derek simply would not allow us to suffer sixteen players. So, while one half of Team Noble threw down against HaloCharts’ administrators, the rest of us dropped into matchmaking proper and got warmed up.
Orderly Chaos! Ken not having a working mic didn’t help the first game since we never really had a strategy. Thankfully it seemed like the HaloCharts guys were playing the similar “find the enemy and shoot” game plan so it worked out for us. At one point I was one shot so I retreated behind a shield door, not knowing Ken was running up behind me, a second later I was push back into the firefight and died.
I had a great time sniping and Hoggin’ on Tempest in our warmup game. You shoulda been there.
A couple of games later, Tomo fired off a message letting us know the Humpday game had wrapped and invited us back into the party. To my delight, we learned that we not only won the kickoff match, we sent HaloCharts’ hopes for a good beginning spiraling out into the cold, blackness of space with a certified Space Steaktacular.
Step 1. Rockets
Step 2. Explosion
Step 3. ???
Step 4. Plasma
Bungie wins 50 – 27.
Challenger’s choice, HaloCharts went with Stockpile. They chose poorly. Stockpile is one of Team Noble’s most favoritest games, and one they know extremely well on Tempest. There was a little bit of debate about game length and score to win in the pre-game lobby, with Derek unwisely reminding us of our previous, premature defeat at the aged and callous hands of Father Time, but we settled quickly on 25 flags and 15 minutes. Just like Tempest itself the settings turned out to be a perfect fit.
Stockpile is my favorite gametype in Reach, and Stockpile on Tempest is so, so good.
You know it’s getting rough out there when there’s a point (~3 minutes in) when someone asks “Do they have all 8 players?” It was then that we switched from ‘just playing the game’ to playing to get the “You Ate All the Chips” achievement. We got close a few times, but we never managed all four at once.
I was mad that BrownV edged me out in total captures at the very end, but my Carry Time stat was off the charts!
I love Tempest! Especially with the Sniper Rifle. Another enjoyable game and this time Stockpile was our friend. Good job setting up the game timer this time Derek. ;)
Snatch 'n' Grab
Tomo working on his K/D.
Bungie wins 26– 6.
Game 3 – Invasion on Breakpoint
The HaloCharts crew admitted at the outset that they’d yet to play any Invasion on Breakpoint. Too busy coding, they claimed. Unfortunately for them, Team Noble already had a few hundred games under their belt before the map pack even shipped. While HaloCharts did eventually make it out of the first phase, avoiding being skunked (after Matt urged us to lay off a little), we found them squatting around the research facility in the designated zones, without the Covenant bomb. Oops.
That’s a shame. It did not, however, prevent me and Derek from circling their position in the Warthog for the rest of the round, or Matt, who appeared to have shed his benevolence in favor of a Banshee, from raining death down upon their entrenched position for the remainder of the phase.
Hmmm should this be called Game 3 or Game 4? Either way we seemed to do very well on Breakpoint.
Oh, the humanity! We showed how fast a round of Invasion can go against an uncoordinated defense. WORT WORT WORT! I’d never taken down a Falcon with a Wraith until that game (or am I imagining that…?).
They avoided the dreaded Skunk in their Offense round, but we put them out of their misery in the second phase. Apparently they didn’t get the memo about the purple bomb. (You bring it to the bomb points!)
Bungie wins 3– 1.
After the match, we admitted it was a little unfair of us to roll out a map and game mode HaloCharts was thoroughly unfamiliar with, so we offered up a rematch. Though HaloCharts was down with more map pack play, they remained a little gun shy over Invasion and decided to roll with Invasion: Slayer instead.
Game 4 – Invasion: Slayer on Breakpoint
So, Breakpoint is a big icy map full of triple kills and splatter sprees. Invasion Slayer went our way pretty soundly.
Bungie wins 100 – 43.
So, HaloCharts were great dudes and good times were had by all – except Ken, who played from the office and couldn’t get his mic to work.
I was IWHBYD19, which sucked, because that awesome record did not go onto my sarukaze GT. HaloCharts definitely would have had a better chance had they known the maps. We had played them over and over and over again and we all were sprinting from spawn to exactly where we wanted to go.
Our Anchor 9 strategy was to control the power weapons, Tempest was to double double BR, and Breakpoint was all about aggressive early bomb planting. At one point in the rematch of Breakpoint Slayer we had two Wraiths in the tunnels.
Yea, I started feeling bad for them. And then I started thinking about pink monkeys riding unicorns pissing glitter and I was all happy again.
Editor’s Note: I have no idea what “double double BR” means and I have no idea what's up with the monkeys and unicorns- Urk
Oh yeah, and we discovered that two Wraiths don’t fit in the main tunnel. I’ve never seen two Wraiths even survive long enough to try that before.
As it turns out all my misgivings about being able to defeat HaloCharts were misguided. Do I even want to mention that we tried to let them plant the bomb in the second phase of Invasion on Breakpoint? And even then we offered a rematch, which went… well you know. In all fairness, we’ve been playing these maps for months and as a member of HaloCharts aptly pointed out larger maps such as Tempest and Breakpoint are harder to control when you’re not familiar with all the nuances of the environment.
I could only imagine how it might have been different if they had known the maps and game types better. A couple times I came across three of them in a group and went down immediately due to well-coordinated team shots.
The guys from HaloCharts were awesome and we had fun playing against them last night! They do an amazing job for the Halo community, so thank you guys!
Key takeaways: Map knowledge is important. We know these maps pretty well. Therefore, we are important.
Sussman gets the final words:
It was great. I shot at some strangers and hit a few. There was some giggling and rough housing. But in the end we hugged it out.
Whoops! Looks like Aldridge and Lionel weighed in and made a liar out of me.
The first game saw Ken showing off his comprehensive knowledge of power-weapon spawns on Anchor 9. I don’t think I ever saw him without a Rocket Launcher.
The second game was a fine demonstration of the awe-inspiring griefing power of a Bungie 8-man team. Derek kept trying to get us to focus on achievements.
The third and fourth games were not pretty… the less said about them, the better.
I was fully expecting to be stomped by the hardcore veterans of HaloCharts, but it seems that they’ve been playing too much COD recently…
Editor's Note: O SNAP - Urk
HaloCharts are always a great group of guys to play against - we were probably a little on the lucky side considering that a few of their aimbot assassins didn’t make their way into the games.
Stockpile on Tempest with a bigteam twist, 25 flags or 15 minutes. The fellas at HC did a great job of holding us down kills wise for the first third of the game while we banked a couple of flags sneaky-style. The middle of the game we began to build a nice lead, Tomo fell into a rhythm with the Sniper and we continued working on our lead. I think it was about 12 flags or so in that HC started making a bigger push to grab flags. With the lead we had built we were able to slay a bit more towards the end of the game.
Invasion on Breakpoint is really fun, the added twist of the assault based second round is a cool addition and plays very well… if you know that there is an assault phase. We may have neglected to mention that to the HC fellas. While we were aiming for a shutout they managed to clear phase one pretty convincingly and even though they took a bit to get their bearings during phase two they almost pushed us to the final phase by arming the bomb in the last moments.
In an attempt to give them a better shot at the invasion game we offered them a mulligan. They instead opted for Invasion Slayer. Ken went crazy in this game, using his hands early and then a wraith late to put up an impressive 18-4 performance. Our teamwork was very strong during this game and as a result we had strong numbers and good assists all around.
Good games with some great guys over at HC, I look forward to running into them again.