Bungie Weekly Update: 9/05/08
Posted by lukems at 9/5/2008 5:13 PM PDT
Achievements Unlocked

Inevitably, this will be blown out of context, misread and misunderstood, but let’s do it anyway.

For a number of reasons ranging from obvious to sublime, Title Update 2 (which is the new, hip, Xbox 360-version way of saying “Auto Update” or “Patch”), introduces new Achievements to Halo 3. Last weekend at Penny-Arcade Expo we played Assembly on the TU2, which meant that folks would see and buzz about the new achievements.  These will be made live when TU2 turns on later this month - the previously announced date may slip a bit closer to the Halo 3 one-year anniversary.

Here’s a look at these achievements which can be earned via the Legendary Maps and Halo 3 Campaign:
  • Vidmaster Challenge: Lightswitch (0 points) – Get to the rank of Lieutenant in any playlist in the new EXP progression system.
  • Vidmaster Challenge: 7 on 7 (0 points) – Enter into any ranked or social playlist with 7 EXP on the 7th of the month.
  • Vidmaster Challenge: Annual (0 points) – After 9/25/08, complete Halo on 4-player Legendary LIVE co-op, with Iron, and everyone in Ghosts.
  • Double Double (25 points) – On a Legendary map, get two Double Kills during any ranked or social match.
  • Poor Yorick (25 points) – On a Legendary map, get 3 Oddball melee kills during any ranked or social match.
  • Came…From…Behind (50 points) – On a Legendary map, get 3 assassinations during any ranked or social match.
  • Defend This (50 points) – On a Legendary map, get a flag melee kill during any ranked or social match.
  • Flag Dropped (25 points) – On a Legendary map, get 2 flag carrier kills during any ranked or social match.
  • Road Rage (25 points) – On a Legendary map, get 5 Warthog chaingun kills during any ranked or social match.
  • Look Both Ways (50 points) – On a Legendary map, get a Splatter Spree during any ranked or social match.
 As folks have seen, these aren’t the only achievements we’re adding. But without proper context, there’s not a whole lot else we’re going to say. Stay tuned.

Title Update 2

Like we’ve said previously, there’s a bunch of under-the-hood changes in TU2 that will be largely invisible to players. Things like rare occurrences of crashes, server-side support for data collection, making more data available and consumable for internal use – you know, the sort of bullet points that warm engineering loins and sing the rest of us a lullaby.

There are also some “peace of mind” changes that should improve player experiences online in Halo 3. We’ve done a bunch of work to increase our ability to detect cheating. The numbers of bans on the banhammer threads ebb and flow, but not a day goes by sans bans. These changes will make that science even more exact than it already is.

Title Update 2 will also introduce a brand new type of ban. This is one Shishka and I are super excited for. It’s harsh, it’s metered fairly and most of all, when it hits you, it hurts so bad. This new spike on the banhammer will soon drip wet with the blood of jerks and the innards of sinners.

Another thing we’d file under the “peace of mind” changes portion of TU2 is that we’ll be taking a much closer look at habitual quitters and their contribution to the Halo 3 population. It’s no secret that players quitting out of a game makes a suboptimal experience for those left behind, from black screen host migrations, to the general sour-taste losing while down-a-man actually leaves. For the purposes of this week’s update, this isn’t a “don’t quit or you’ll be banned” threat – but instead, a courteous notification that this is something we’re investigating and intend to continue investigating in the coming months.

The most visible change coming to Halo 3 in TU2 is the in-game addition of Playlist Ratings. We’ve talked about Playlist Ratings before, but here’s a quick recap:

  • Playlist Ratings are the playlist-level decoupling of Trueskill values (the in-game number next to your name) from Experience (the icon next to your name).
  • You will now have a separate military rating (based purely on EXP) in each playlist. When TU2 goes live, everyone will begin at 0 EXP. This means that being a General in a Playlist is based on how many games you’ve won in the Playlist, not based on the Trueskill number next to your name.
  • Your Trueskill values have not been reset. If someone checks your Service Record they will still see your Highest Skill.
Assemble

Twenty-seven teams walked away from last week's Penny Arcade Expo Recon Challenge with victory in their eyes, songs in their hearts and some new armor for their Spartans. Over the course of the weekend various teams waited in line to face one of these Bungie duos: Shishka and Luke, Tung and Timmins and Tung and Lars.

Frequent podcast listeners may recall Joe Tung claiming he was the best player at the studio, with Timmins right behind him. While the bragging works well on the air, in reality it was Shishka and I who had the highest win percentage over the weekend. Team Tung and Timmins, believed by themselves to be the two best players at the studio actually had the worst winning percentage of any of the pairs.  Tung even had the gall to predict "no Recon on my watch", quickly followed by a three game losing streak.

Evaluate that as you see fit.

More Questions than Answers

Jew man man asks: When is Assembly going to be released?

As we said last week, there is currently no release plan for Assembly. When we know, we’ll let you guys know. Notice how this summer we haven’t done too much tantalizing or teasing or talking about anything we’re working on? It certainly wouldn’t seem too fair to do too much of that when we don’t know how or when things will eventually surface. Moonbase Alpha hasn’t gone anywhere.

MRsnipe75 bleats: When are the Legendary Maps going to be free?

We have not been informed of any plans to make the Legendary Map pack free. Scoop it up.

Ultramarine 360 wonders: Can we have some pictures of Assembly, I didn’t go to PAX.

Last week’s Weekly Update has what you’re looking for.

BrightScorpion is deeply concerned: What’s the reason why rocket race is going to be retired. Will it ever come back? Can we do anything to stop it from retiring?

Rocket Race had a great run. Plenty of folks enjoyed it throughout its lifespan, but the declining population and number of folks who weren’t playing the game properly moves this playlist off into the sunset. That said, it will receive a fond farewell via a Double EXP weekend and is sure to pop up again from time to time.

No, you cannot stop this retirement from occurring.

RIGGS has a burning inquiry: The final word on the beta tripmine debate , will it return or won't it, I'd like to know either way so we can put this baby to bed.

Nope. Tuck it in, leave the pacifier by the bed post.

Duardo is pressing : Any chance of a Blood Gulch remake?

None.

Spartan 267255 says: Are the AU2 ranks such as Colonel and General going to look different than the ones we have now?

Yes, the new Playlist Ratings do look different. They have a noticeably different color treatment applied to them.

Dirtbag_504 posits: Is it true you and Shishka totally embarrassed Walshy from MLG at PAX?

Yes, it’s true.


A small, private Bungie Invitational looms on the horizon.
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