Title Update 2 Has Landed
Today marks the long awaited arrival of “TU2” for Halo 3. Despite plenty of rumors to the contrary, this update is not ushering in a new “BR spread,” nor does it incorporate enemy AI and campaign components to the Forge map editor. However, beyond the behind-the-scenes technical implications, there are two major components for fans to note.
The most exciting piece of the update for many of you is the addition of TEN brand new achievements to Halo 3. We’ve covered these in detail in prior weekly updates but in case you’re just joining us, you forgot, or you’re just too lazy to go back and read… here’s the full list:
- 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.
Let’s dive into this a little deeper and try and address some of the questions that will no doubt arise from the community. First off are the “Vidmaster Challenge” achievements. These three will not earn you any gamer points but there will (eventually) be a pay-off. We’re not going to spoil the fun just yet but suffice it to say that gamerscore isn’t everything. There is a pot of gold at the end of the Vidmaster rainbow and it is something you will want. More details later.
The “Annual” achievement will be obtainable starting on 9/25, to celebrate the anniversary of Halo 3. Your first chance at earning “7 on 7” will be on October 7th (Shishka has informed me that it will be a version of the “Icy Treats” playlist). After that, you can try again on the 7th of every month. To earn this, you simply need to hit 7 EXP in any playlist on the 7th of the month. Finally, the “Lightswitch” is something is you can start working towards NOW. (Note: there’s more info on the new playlist rating system down below).
The other seven achievements will result in 250 gamer points and can be earned by playing ranked OR social Xbox LIVE multiplayer matches on any of the Legendary DLC maps (Blackout, Avalanche and Ghost Town).
There is… Another
You may have already heard about more or perhaps you have even seen
more Halo 3 achievements than the ten listed above. We’re not ready to comment on any other achievements right now – all will become clear in due time. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: This time with less subtlety - Yes, there are a lot more achievements that are now visible as a result of TU2. However, only the ten listed above are ones you should be concerned with for the time being. The other achievements are tied to things we have yet to reveal and there's really not much we can say on the matter right now. It's no mystery we have more maps in the works though and once we have a release plan finalized with our publisher we'll share that news immediately. In the meantime, rest assured that the other achievements aren't going anywhere, they will still be there when the time comes for them to finally be earned. As soon as we know, you will know.
The other major outward facing component of TU2 is the addition of “Playlist Ratings” to Halo 3. In a nutshell, 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. So 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 are NOT being reset. If someone checks your service record, they will still see your Highest Skill.
The most important thing to note here is that nothing is being taken away – you are not losing your existing global ratings. We are in fact ADDING new stats via per-playlist EXP and ratings.
To further clarify things, I asked Tyson (Multiplayer Designer) and Shishka (Playlist Designer) to answer a few questions on this topic.
Hey guys, one of the main points of interest for TU2 is the addition of a new online rating system. What all does this entail?
: In TU2, our rating system is starting to track a rating per playlist, in addition to your traditional global performance rating. As you earn EXP in each playlist, you can earn a rating specific to that playlist, to show off your progress in the playlist of your choice. Of course, your old ratings remain fully intact and will continue to progress.
What will this ultimately mean for players?
: More stats, in the form of more detailed breakdown of your progress. If you spend most of your time in Team Slayer, you’ll be able to see the progress you’re making there.
How does this new system differ from the previous ranking framework?
: The nice thing is that it doesn’t change any of the old ratings—your prior accomplishments remain fully intact. When you’re sitting in a playlist lobby, you will see the new rating symbols instead of the old global ones, but your global rating is still front-and-center in your service record.
Why was the decision made to implement this new rating system?
: Two reasons: first, so that people who prefer to play in particular playlists can compare themselves more directly against other people in that playlist. Second, so that players who are a long way from meeting the EXP requirement for their global rating have some new, more immediate feedback regarding their progress.
Will the EXP I earn in playlists count toward my global rating?
: Yes. That’s why we call it your “global” rating.
How does this affect Double EXP weekends? Could I become a General in Griffball?
: Double EXP weekends will continue to make a regular appearance in Halo 3 for the foreseeable future. Yes, it is potentially possible to become a General in a double EXP weekend playlist, and yes, it will occur in half the time it’d take to become a General in a regular playlist.
Odds & Ends
As we've said previously, there are plenty of other things beneath the hood that are being addressed in TU2. We have some new and devastating powers being applied to our Banhammer and even more ways to detect and thwart cheaters and miscreants who are ruining the game experience for other players.
You can also rest easy knowing that the "old" version of Halo 3 will still work fine with the "new" version. If you update your box and play with your friend on a LAN who doesn't have LIVE, you can still play together.
Thanks everyone for being patient as we roll out this new update for Halo 3. It's been a hell of a first year and we're definitely not done with Halo 3 yet. Stay tuned to Bungie.net for the latest info and if you have any questions about TU2, please post in our forums and we'll try to address in a future update.