Major League Gaming’s recent partnership with ESPN is inarguably bearing some pretty tasty fruit for Halo fans and gamers alike. This week marked the debut of their Top Ten Halo 3 plays feature on ESPN. The plays, all taken from Saved Films (and the entire top 10 is available at MLG Video’s Fileshare, and the top five plays are in this week’s Bungie Favorites) include a variety of Sniper related high jinks and some pretty incredible displays of map control.
While we’re obviously extra excited by the prospect of seeing Halo 3 on ESPN, it is also pretty badical to see video games continuing to creep into other mainstream avenues – in this case, the realm of sport.
This week we’ve been doing a bunch of internal testing on a new series of Playlists we’re hoping to unveil in March – the Double EXP Weekend Playlists. These playlists will include a bunch of different gametypes including some desperately wanted competitive gametypes and proven fan favorites as well as some new classics.
Last week’s Valentine’s Day weekend Hopper went off without a hitch, we’ve selected winners in a variety of categories, most Double Kills, most kills, Most Assists, things of that ilk and are now culling through the winner’s game histories checking for any potential chicanery. Over 50 players made it to “General” over the weekend and one player in particular showed a remarkable Lee R. Wilsonian devotion to the plasma grenade in the Valentine’s Day playlist.
The winners and the categories are listed below. On Monday, these players should receive the Reconaissance Raiment for their play. The reason some categories have fewer winners than others is because the folks that had won were found to have been cheating in either the Valentine's Day playlist or other playlists. Additional action will be taken.
Keep in mind, dear winners, that the Recon armor is totally revocable and removable, so steer clear of the jerkstore.
Bump and Grind (Kills)
- W3I62 - 2478
- IGUANA117- 2430
- FRninja - 2418
Hearts on Fire (kills with the flame thrower)
- Manaut -130
- mOnk3yk1ll3r - 129
- MAR L80 - 118
- PALMOUR -113
Two Scoops (Double Kills)
- BMR OKY S - 127
- KillerCoder - 116
- W3I62 - 114
It takes Two (Assists)
- SuDD3nSTRiKE - 883
- ChEwYdHeWy - 781
- Bilfredd - 764
Stuck On U (Stickies)
- Halo0001 X - 1434
- Somi09 - 559
- MarkR05 - 508
- StickyBandits - 495
Autoupdate is Available
As we announced earlier this week, the autoupdate was released. If you haven’t signed into Halo 3 on Live since the Wednesday release you’ll gently prompted when the game fires up to update the game, after a couple of moments a progress bar should fill and the game will restart, at this point you should see 1.1 on your title screen – that is one way of making sure you’ve received the Update, the other, less gentle explanation being that you won’t be able to play the game over Live without the Update.
Here’s a quick and dirty change list that we posted earlier:
- Melee contests have been rebalanced
- Dying while performing a melee or weapon lunge will no longer accelerate the dead player
- The Elite Commando shoulder armor variant has been unlocked for all players
- Improved the “Prefer Good Connection” option
- Added backend hopper support for DLC custom game variants
- Fixed a problem with the Theater when a player tried to view a saved film for a DLC map he or she doesn’t own
- Fixed a UI error in the Theater when a party leader selects a film that is invalid for a party client
- Fixed a bug that under rare conditions could allow a BXB sequence
- Fixed a Dirty Disc Error that could occur when loading the same DLC map twice in a row
- Added a visible version string to the Halo 3 main menu
Some players have reported issues with being able to load the maps after downloading the Autoupdate. This is an issue related to corrupted cache space on the Xbox 360. If you encounter this issue, where a map freezes at a certain percentage loaded, try restarting Halo 3 while holding down the “A” button and “Up” on the D-pad while the game is booting. Another way to clear the cache on your Xbox 360 is to access your Xbox 360 HDD via the Dashboard’s System Blade. Access the “memory” area and highlight the hard drive. Press Y, X, X, LB, RB, X, X and a message should appear: “Do you want to perform maintenance on your Xbox 360 storage devices?” Additionally, players have reported success for clearing their cache by playing other cache-intensive games, like Oblivion. If clearing the 360’s cache doesn’t work try cleaning the disc or Xbox 360 disc tray. If that doesn't work, try loading a problem map with no HDD attached. If it still doesn't work then all those months of storing your Halo 3 disc in a bag of sand have finally paid off.
One of our engineers, Graham, is testing some new animation tech and techniques (for various future projects) and decided to mess around with some of the models from Halo 3. Naturally, when testing kinematics and physics for human bodies, the best and most convenient test scenario is an elaborately cruel Human Pach1nko Parlor.
For no sensible reason that I can figure, the Halo 3 version of Master Chief relaxes in a comfy lounger, while adjusting the trajectory of a prone, some might say sleeping Sergeant Johnson. A nifty handbrake-style ejection mechanism launches the Sarge skyward at a towering wall of Pach1nko-style pegs. Now we get to watch as the body tumbles and bounces through the warren of pegs and pins.
Naturally, since we make games here and not just absurdly complex death-machines, Graham, whose diabolical device this is, added a scoring system, with exploding buckets at the bottom. Ideally, you should aim to tumble the Sarge into a 300 point bucket (which then erupts with terrifying celebratory violence).
The “test” actually keeps score and is now unofficially known as Mancannon Pach1nko Horror.
Step 1: Find a comfy chair
Step 2: Pull lever and launch
Step 3: ???
Step 4: Profit
Sadly, this has no redeeming qualities and probably wouldn't pass ESRB certification anyway. So it will forever remain an internal "tool."Banhammer
The Halo 3 banhammer is fully operational. We've updated the Ban Site (www.bungie.net/ban) with a few notes about what will and won't get you banned. Of course it's pretty non-specific, but we've found if folks are cheating in Halo 3, they know they are -- and so do we. If we have to take action and protect the Internet from - ahem - your little brother, we will.
I Was Walking with a Ghost
The just-announced Ghost Town is one map from the upcoming Legendary Map Pack due later this Spring. We don’t have an exact date to announce right this moment, but like we’ve promised before, the maps from the Heroic Map Pack will be free before the Legendary Pack is released into the consumer wild.
In addition to the three images from Ghost Town we showed earlier this week, today we’re showing an overhead of the map complete with weapon/grenade/equipment/power-up locations. At the top of the image is a legend that shows exactly where the three pictures we released earlier this week were taken, this should give folks a little bit more context for where things are and how the map will play. Keep in mind that some weapon/object placements could change.
Starting from the Mongoose in the upper left corner of the screen is one of the two bases (the other is in the bottom right of the image). The “Atrium” area (shown in Image 3) is a long lean hallway with a walkway that connects to the Pump Station building, a three story building with catwalks that exit to the Interior Base (again in the lower right corner) and second level walkways to the Shotgun (where the Bubble Shield sits. From Shotgun spawn, if players head to the left they’ll be able to stay on a path that feeds down into the Overshield and there’s a second level walkway overhead housing the Rocket Launcher and Grenades. Directly to the left and under the Plasma Grenades that spawn near the Rocket Launcher is a tunnel that curves behind and empties almost into the area where the number 2 Camera was taken. You can see the cave it empties from in the “Camera 1” image. The backdoor cave isn’t necessary to reach the base; you can also jump over a small ridge and some debris to reach that base.
The Pump Station building’s main room is a bombed out shell of a structure with "God Rays" filtering through the ceiling - and that top floor has a walkway that leads toward Sniper in the Atrium and a walkway (where the Brute Shot spawns) that leads to the Interior base in the lower right hand corner. That multi-level base has a few connecting walkways that lead to an elevated and dilapidated structure that overlooks Active Camo, and a Gravity Lift spawn and is positioned above a dark hallway that funnels into the Atrium. That Atrium entrance is the camera angle you’re seeing in the Camera 3 screenshot.
For the most part players have quick and dirty methods at their disposal, via quick jumps or equipment to get to the map’s second and third level catwalks and there are long sight lines from the Attackers’ base (Rocket Launcher side) down in front of Atrium and also down the Woods side (Shotgun side).
For now, the only map we’re revealing is Ghost Town, inevitably we’ll have more on Moonlight Sonata and Cotton Ball in the foreseeable future.