Game with Flame
Posted by urk at 3/4/2009 5:40 PM PST
The last time we decided to throw down on the Mythic Map Pack, we were testing our mettle against our very own Online Team.  While our backend boys put up an admirable fight, the internal stomping grounds just doesn't cut it for us anymore.  It's high time we took the training wheels off this two-wheeler and pedaled our way down the street like big boys.

And which city's neighborhood did we choose to roll through, shouting obscenities to rile up the residents?  Team Mythic Town, of course. 

Population: You.

We're doing things a little bit differently this time out.  Though we're not doing away with the Humpday in its current form, we're adding an oft-requested new format to the mix.  We'll run Game with Flame matches from time to time, notifying the community by way of our forums of the time and date they can expect us to roll on through Halo 3's Matchmaking.  Once the time is up, we'll give it a little while and then check back on the games to gather up the screenshots our opposition (you) took.  As long as they're good enough, we'll use 'em to fill in the gaps in our writeup.

All of these screenshots embedded below were taken by the players we squared off against.  You can click each of them to check out the games they were culled from, laugh at the Carnage Reports, and see if they happened to snag some Saved Films for you to download.

Wanna Play?

Sound like a deal?  Good.  Let's get started.

The four game set we detail below was taken from consecutive matches in our Halo 3 Matchmaking hoppers.  Whether we got matched up against a full compliment of Generals or one player and his three guests rocking splitscreen on their thirteen-inch set wasn't up to us.  It was up to chance, as was our random fourth squadmate.

And by chance, we mean we lost a ton of games and plucked out the four game win streak to make ourselves look better.  Think of this as our very own Team Mythic Montage of sorts.  The first few games in our stint were warmups, and the last handful, well, we're pretty sure we were victims of lag switching, second accounters, standbying jerks, and grenades that never rendered on our screens.  They simply don't count.  If you were lucky enough to play in one of our unsuccessful runs, then you've now been banned from Matchmaking forever.  The price for your victory is steep.  Suck it down.

Also, the mention of a random fourth should have clued you in that there was a catch this time out.  We're a man down this week.  It turns out Team Captain and Long Rifle Sharpshooter TJ Scoot, aka Lukems, aka Treated, aka L.M. Smith was unable to join in on the fun.  We had to ask ourselves if the squad was deep enough.  Could we go in without our greatest trash-talker and come away with a victory?  Could the 90's Dynasty Chicago Bulls have won all those NBA Championships without Number 23?

Of course not, but anyone can string together four wins over the course of a season, and that's just what we did.

The Bungie Roster

  • ske7ch - Brian "Don't call me Steve" Jarrard
  • Shishka - So sick of you
  • Tasty Primate - Delicious and Nutritious
  • The Random - Our Saving Throw

The Preliminary Rounds

Five games.  Two wins.  We didn't get off to the greatest of starts, but hey, we were just warming up.  Gotta stretch the hammies.

Ridin' Dirty.

Team SWAT on Sandbox(Tundra), aka "How much did your 50 cost?"

In what would become a common theme over the course of our romp, victory depended on the strength and broadness of our random's shoulders.  NorseForce28 did not disappoint, rocking the +16 K/D.  Margin of our victory?  Sixteen, of course.

Team BRs on Assembly, aka "Okay, so it looks like your 50 is pretty legit."

We all go negative.  Peeps from Halo 3 in the Work PLace make us wish we took the damn day off.

Team Slayer on Sandbox, aka "ske7ch steps away to check his email.  Urk steps in and betrays him with Rockets."

Ah, things seem to be clicking now.  All three of our Band of Bungie Brothers turn in a positive performance.

Team BRs on Orbital
, aka "BR goes where?"

What clicked into place the last game, now fell away and clanged to the floor.  Flames were extinguished by three shot bursts and liberal grenades.  We probably could have pulled this off, but there just wasn't enough equipment strewn about the cramped hallways for us to utilize.

Team BRs on Sandbox, aka "Ugh."

Even Doug 117 couldn't prop up our failing trio at this point.  Fatigued and defeated, we decided we might as well get the inaugural Game with Flame under way.  On to the real games.  And of course, by "real games," we're referring to the one string of consecutive games that we actually won.

Game with Flame

And here we go.  Game time.

Game Uno

Team BRs on Assembly

Who wants to Tango, er Tengo?  The first game in our official GwF kicked off in tasty style, with our fourth leading the charge with twenty-two of our fifty kills.  What can we say, we like to make the fans feel like they're contributing.  You can thank us later, Tengo.  Send anything you like 'cept beef jerky.  We're all stocked up.

Face to Face.

Final Score: 50-38.  Bungie wins.  And we're up one to nothing.

Game Deuce

Multi Flag BRs on Assembly

Luckily for one of the players on our opposition's squad, he dropped out just before the game started, because we took this trio out to the shed and gave them a good old fashioned Multi Flag whoopin'.  With a total gametime of just under three minutes, we made short work of the shorthanded red team, and sent them nasty text messages over Xbox LIVE urging them to give up Halo for good.

Can't See Me.

Final Flag tally: 3-0.  Bungie dominates.  Two zip overall.

Game III

Multi Flag BRs on Orbital

Lopsided team not required this time out, our three man strong squad navigated the halls of Orbital with flags in firm grasp and shut down the blue team with ease.  In the end, we figured we better let them snag at least one flag.  Why not, right?  While we don't mind demoralizing folks, these guys were good sports and we'd gladly square off against them again (at least as long as we kept on winning).

Got Your Back.

Final Flag tally: 3-1.  Bungie busts caps and caps flags.  Three nil, for those keeping score at home.

Bonus Round: Game Pfhor

Team SWAT on Assembly

It was time to separate the men from the boys in one last GwF outing and of course, our three manly men ended up on the burly side of things, but just barely, claiming victory against not only the blue team, but over Matchmaking as a whole.  The folks we played during our first ever Game with Flame were clearly the best players Halo 3 has to offer, and rightly so, we now claim our spot at the top of the heap.

We're better than you.  You know it.  We know.  Get over it.

Final Score: 50-46.   That's all she wrote.  Four in a row.

From here on out, requests to "versus" us will be met with pshaws, tssts, and pffts.  None of those are actual words and we don't care.  That's how hardstyle we are.

Enter the Exhibition Matches

We decided that it was probably for the best if we went ahead and stuck around for a few more games after our flawless victory.  We knew that tales of the coming fire would spread like, well, fire, and we wanted to go ahead and throw some matches in the hopes that the mere sight of the Bungie nameplate wouldn't forever be the source of quit matches from here until the end of time.  So we laid down and took our beating like men.  Men who will do what is just and right in these dark times.  We did it for you.

We're not going to recount these matches here.  There's really no point considering they don't really count.  In fact, we should probably head over to RocketMoose's desk this afternoon and go ahead and have them purged from the statistics database.  They're just that meaningless.  If you happened to be placed on our team during our dives, we apologize.  We hope you understand that we did it for Truth and Justice.  If you ended up on the opposition, well, your victory was hollow and you should be ashamed of yourself.  Honestly, shooting at players who refuse to take up arms against you, players whose only kills were accidental and unavoidable?  Shame on you.

What Did the Banhammer Say to the Face?

Enter the Sketch

Though the write-up above is dripping with sarcasm and absurdity (we got our asses kicked), the following is all real talk, straight up from our Community Guy himself, Sketch.

"Our Humpday Challenge this week was a departure from the usual formula but it gave us a cool opportunity to get out there and play the new maps “in the wild” and in doing so, cross paths with quite a few of you in the process. I’ve been having a lot of fun in the Mythic playlist ever since it went live last week and it’s been an enjoyable yet daunting experience getting “back” into playing Halo 3 multiplayer on a regular basis. While the maps are certainly of Mythic proportions, one myth I was able to quickly debunk was that “Sketch used to be (pretty) good at Halo 3 multiplayer.”

Wow. The time away has not been kind to me.

As much as I’ve been enjoying playing again and really digging the Mythic maps, it’s been a painful wake up call that something happened in the months where I wasn’t regularly playing – I got older and slower and everyone online got really, really good at the game. Those of you who play a lot can attest to the fact that if you don’t play for a week so or so and then go back, you can tell a difference. It doesn’t take long to get it back, but you know that you can quickly lose that split second edge that determines if your 4th BR shot gets off in time or not. Well in my case, it feels I’m about a full minute off the mark. A fact well evidenced with a peek at my game history (by my accounts I’m 46-52 thus far in Team Mythic).

Ok, enough with the crying. Yesterday we took to the field, had a blast and, unsurprisingly, got our asses handed to us most of the time. Playing in a relatively smaller playlist has had this cool side effect of a more intimate experience – the chances of bumping into someone from our forums or re-matching a prior foe is a lot more common. It felt more personal to me, which also translated to more embarrassing when the hundredth tea-bag was unleashed on my smoldering corpse.

Not the Face!

Speaking of – while we’re throwing out excuses here – I really should note that the flaming head might as well be a giant magnetic target that automatically attracts any projectile in the air straight to my face. Imagine playing SWAT on Tundra, playing peek-a-boo over the lip but having your head be a shining beacon of fail visible from all corners of the map. That was me. Since I was already resigned to performing poorly we kept the flames on for the fun of it but it definitely has drawbacks. If there is an upside to wearing a flaming helmet it is this – every time I die, without fail, the other team can’t resist the urge to stand over my corpse and examine it, which almost always results in them being killed. In that regard, I happily embrace my role as bait for the greater good of the team.

Primary Target

It was also not surprising that in most cases, our random 4th person who joined our team ended up carrying/out-performing any of us in our games. I’d like to thank you, Mr. anonymous 4th man, for helping us save face in a few of our victories.

It's called teamwork, Jose.

I’d also like to thank our opponents who were mostly good sports and good competitors. If I could I would’ve said “Good Game!” during the game, but alas I have to keep my communication settings to “Friends Only” or I get immediately inundated with spam, harassment and pestering. Nothing personal though, I just don’t have much choice given the all-or-nothing option that LIVE offers me.

For me, the high points have definitely been epic objective matches on Sandbox and Orbital and I’ve seen some pretty spectacular battles and saved-film-worthy moments. For those of you who don’t have the maps yet, don’t fret – this is not the only time we’ll get Bungie people online and playing. The long awaited Mythic release is pulling many of us back into the fray and I’d love to see more frequent, scheduled appearances of Bungie folks in matchmaking playlists.

All I ask is that if you happen to cross paths with me on the battlefield keep in mind that just because my helmet is on fire doesn’t mean I should be the first threat you neutralize. In most cases, I’m the exact opposite. Also, resist the urge to linger and gawk at my corpse because chances are you just fell right into my trap and my teammates are about to run you down."

Speaking of Teammates.

That's it and that's all, folks.  If you're looking for more from our Game with Flame outing, as mentioned, all of the links and images click-through to the actual games themselves, where you can get a good, long look at all the stats, Screenshots, and Saved Films you like.  And keep an eye on the forums for our next Game with Flame outing.

Good games, everyone.

KDKQK.  In no particular order.
Bungie vs. The World Steaktacular 

Posted by urk at 6/23/2011 11:02 AM PDT

You want a rematch? You got it, sister! (Updated!)

Read Full Top Story

Tags: HumpdayHalo: Reach


Humpday: HaloCharts 

Posted by urk at 12/2/2010 1:54 PM PST

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 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.

Team Noble

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.

Team Silver
Team HaloCharts

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.

Team Gold

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.

Just Right.

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.

Stockpile Standoff

Self Destruct

Bungie wins 26– 6.

Game 3 – Invasion on Breakpoint

Guilty Pleasures.

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!)

Spinal Attack

Served Cold

Fair Flight

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
Ice Cold.


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.

Humpday Challenge: Seattle Fire Department 

Posted by urk at 11/11/2010 3:50 PM PST

Fight fire with fire!

Some Humpday Challenges are executed as part of our ongoing (and often fruitless) quest to find worthy Halo: Reach competitors. Some are played for honor and glory. Last night’s Humpday didn’t travel down either of those two well-worn paths. Instead, they went the way of admiration and respect. And a buttload of rockets.

Team Bungie

Elements of Team Onyx returned to bolster an hodgepodge assemblage of employees and two hired guns. Gasca told me that deploying TTL L askan was totally cheating. I say otherwise. He’s one of ours now, even if he still rolls deep with Tied the Leader during his off hours. So, suck it Dave!

Team Fire Fodder

We didn’t name this crew – they bestowed the name upon themselves. Before the match got underway their fearless leader, RAZE 2 RUINZ, mentioned that they’d been so wrapped up in Firefight recently, he wasn’t sure if his squad would put up much of a competitive fight. Since we were just coming off a bye week ourselves, I figured that would help keep things nice and even.

Boy, was I wrong.

Game 1 – Team Snipers on Boardwalk
The Quick and the Dead.

This match was a great reminder that my reflexes have atrophied to an almost unresponsive state. I couldn’t seem to land a single shot, but it didn’t matter. Team Onyx went to work, and this one was over well before the bell rang.

Before we started the match, Drew noted that he had just come off of a double Steaktacular in a warm up game on the same map and game type. He was worried that he’d exhausted his store of luck prior to playtime, but this time practice paid dividends.

Shot in the back!

Never tell me the odds!

Insult, meet Injury.

It seemed like there were some audio problems with some of Team Fire Fodder, so we didn’t get much of the pre-game vocal stylings that usually happen. We just launched into Team Snipers on Boardwalk. Some of Team Onyx was scared because they have lost a number of times on Boardwalk. I assured them, this time “everything was gonna be k.” The game turned out really well for us, not so much for our real life firefighters.

While I don’t normally dive into this play list, hearing Tomo mention that he had just had enough alcohol to make himself a better player (or think he is a better player) gave me hope that we could pull it off. #HaloGogglesFTW

Oops, we forgot to set the score to win to 100 instead of the default 50. It ended up not hurting us though so, no harm.


And I finally won a game on Boardwalk! Definitely enjoyed playing this game.

Snipers was my idea - even though I was personally very rusty, I liked our lineup for it. The map choice was concerning, but I was optimistic, particularly after Harrison and I dominated that exact pairing in a warm up match. In the end, everyone did their job, and it set the tone for the next two games.

I spent the first half of game one looking for a place to be (hide) where I wasn’t being shot at, they met me at two-tree early and kept pressuring us for positions the entire game. It’s probably lucky that we had the low score snafu because they were poised to start making their comeback just as the game ended.

We explored the space.

Bungie wins 50 - 29.

Check out Game 1 from Tomo's POV

Game 2 – Team Rockets on Hemorrhage
You have chosen, poorly.

Typically, Game 2 is selected by the challengers, but a confluence of NAT issues and outright indecisiveness led to some confusion on the part of Team Fire Fodder. After what felt like two and a half hours, they passed the helm back to me and we ditched the Long Rifles in favor of some much bigger guns.

Rockets with unlimited ammunition with a side of Golf Club might fit the description for what some consider a palette cleansing game mode. I say this is staple Halo. From the moment we spawned in, our curious gorge was instantly covered with a warm blanket of comfortably explosive carnage. Nearly everyone went with Jet Packs and the race to 100 kills was peppered liberally with laughter on both sides of the gulch.

Teeing Off

Carnage Everywhere.

Man, I love a Rockets game. People flying around in Jetpacks raining down death is a thing of beauty. The Golf Club secondary ended up being really funny in the up-close battles. The firefighters score in this game was a little better, but they still were feeling a bit beat down.

8v8 Rocketfest was probably my favorite. It’s just so much fun to watch your rocket scream across the map only to be deflected by another explosion and jink into the side of a warthog that just got loaded up. I was thoroughly impressed with how many times I was blasted out of midair, on the ground, or in vehicles.

I remember Urk trying to call out some strategy for us to pull away in this game and I thought to myself “Really? Strategy for rockets?”

Editor’s Note: aim for the head!

In the aftermath of Game 1, the firefighters decided that Team Rockets might help level the playing field, and we agreed to go with it. Rockets and jetpacks are so awesome together that this gametype belongs in matchmaking. Tomo and I led the way to another solid Bungie victory paved with hilarity, explosions, and betrayals.

So many explosions. Jetpacking with rockets makes for some awesome battles, especially if you get close enough to your enemy midair and switch to the “Golf Club.”

The second game was a blast. (See what I did there?) Grassy knoll saw the most action, with plenty of Jetpack skirmishes and even a couple of sweet Golf Club kills. Our attempts at vehicle pushes into their base area were met with a firm resistance of the rocket variety. As fun as the kamikaze hog runs were, the highlight of this game had to be watching both teams cross map rockets randomly hitting opposing Jetpackers midair.

Little bit lopsided.

Bungie wins 100 - 52.

Check out Game 2 from Tomo's POV

Game 3 – Elite Slayer on Countdown

Poppin’ and Lockin’.

Our Game 3 strategy was cemented before we ever set foot in matchmaking for the evening. Since we didn’t have access to any of our opponents’ gamertags, save for RAZE 2 RUINZ, we didn’t know just how stiff our competition would ultimately be. We figured if we’d lost the Snipers game on Boardwalk, they’d have an already handy advantage in the skill game, and Elite Slayer, for all of its fast pace shenanigans, is still a curiosity for many players. And it features tons of Armor Lock, everyone's most favoritest AA.

Halcylon assumes the position at the start of the match.

And Team Firefodder returns the favor.

For the final game, we chose one of our favorites, Elite Slayer with 16 people on Countdown. Serious chaos for serious times. I love the Plasma Pistol punch out, and this game gave me many opportunities to fulfill that desire.

Elite slayer is just so much fun. The amount of explosions, pink mist, and Armor Lock going on just makes you laugh at the madness ensuing around you. #PopAndLock

Editor’s Note: #tweetingtoohard

Elite Slayer on Countdown was a madhouse, as expected – there was locking, rolling, and a chaotic festival of explosions around every corner. Fortunately, this team apparently thrives in such conditions, and our Dinos completed the sweep.

Since we had already won the first two games now it was time for some klowntown, as Urk calls it. Rolling around on Countdown with 16 players makes things a little hectic! Weapon of choice was mainly melees and plasma grenades.

Managed to get hands on the sword first in game three, and slap chop our way to an early lead. Add a dash of Evade, double serving of Armor Lock and all the stickies you can eat, then bake for 5 minutes @ 360 degrees on Countdown. Elite slayer is the perfect recipe if you’re planning a get-together this holiday season.

Bungie wins 100 - 58.

Check out Game 3 from Tomo's POV

Another Wednesday. Another victory for our highly-skilled Bungie Humpday Team. But as much as we do enjoy the sweet afterglow of yet another night of total domination, the real win for our squad was the opportunity to play with such a great group of guys. Even as we were thanking these fine fellows for their upstanding community service, they were busy heaping praise on our nations veterans – marginalizing their own bravery by pointing out the sacrifices of others.

Thanks for everything you do, Team Fire Fodder. It was our pleasure to play some games with you.

I’m glad we got the chance to play with these guys. They were really good sports, and put up with our shenanigans. We’re lucky to have them protecting the city of Seattle. Our hats off to you.

I was so glad to play with some of our nation’s finest. It really was a treat to have them put out some of our digital flames.

All of us really enjoyed playing in this week’s Humpday. Our local firefighters are great sports, and while we’re busy making games, these heroes are out saving homes and lives. We owe you guys some huge thanks, and even though you kept extinguishing our flames, we knew you were just keeping us safe.

Thanks again to the firefighters for playing with us. We had a great time and appreciate everything they do for our safety!

Lionel gets the last words:
Firefighters are heroes, real life heroes that are willing to risk their lives to save ours. It was an honor to get games with these gentlemen.

Humpday Challenge: Naughty Dog 

Posted by urk at 10/28/2010 5:14 PM PDT

There's only one treasure buried deep within this Humpday...


Late last night, four grown ass men from the award-winning gaming studio Naughty Dog took some time away from crafting their next totally unannounced, super top secret project to square off with us in Halo: Reach. Would their stylishly half-tucked shirts be enough to finally topple our incredible Humpday winning streak? Read on to find out!

Team Bungie

Forming our foursome was nice and easy compared to previous weeks. We only needed four players and Naughty Dog had a hit list of employees that they’d personally requested. While Rob Adams was too engrossed in our DLC efforts to play, and while Chris Opdahl spent the evening plunging into some much needed restroom upgrades, David Aldridge and Lars Bakken accepted the challenge and immediately began preparing themselves for an epic showdown filled to the brim with death-defying one-handed catches.

Bolstering the dynamic duo was a supporting cast comprised of the illustrious Ben Wommack (of last week’s Humpday fame) and yours truly (that’s me).

Team Totally Not Working on Uncharted 3 Right Now

  • Justin Richmond
  • Rodney Reece
  • Matt Morgan
  • Troy Slough

Game 1 – Elite Slayer on Zealot
Wort! Wort! Wort!

I’m just gonna say it. Elite Slayer is hands down my favorite game type in Halo: Reach. There’s just something about the zaniness that unfolds when you shove eight bulky Dinos into a cramped space and turn them loose with Plasma and Blamite weapons. Add in Evade’s audio cues and there are more LARPing opportunities per second than in any other gametype, period. Pu Ritsu (or whatever)!

Our strategery for the night’s first outing was pretty simple. Team shoot from the perimeters. Don’t chase into space.

Dino Might!

At the outset it seemed that everything was going exactly as we’d planned… then Rodney got his mitts on the Plasma Sword, rammed it down our throats, and Naughty Dog pried the lead from our cold dead hands. From then on out, it was a nail-biting back and forth affair, and by the time the match concluded, my heart was nearly beating out of my chesticles.

Came from Behind!

“I thought we would have an overwhelming advantage because of the lucky two Elite Slayer matches we were served in matchmaking just before the Humpday began, but it turns out Naughty Dog knows how to roll and stick with the best. Somewhere after the halfway point we Bungie players lost our focus and the ND's solidified theirs, making me believe we'd lose the first game of the night in I don't know how long. But amid cries of ‘stick together!’ and a whole lot of team shooting, we somehow caught up and squeezed off the last kill with only 26 seconds left on the clock.”

The two teams exchanged thundering blows like Rocky and Apollo Creed with blood and spittle raining down all around us. In the end, we somehow managed to stay on our feet and walked out of Zealot swollen and bruised, but not yet beaten.

It's just a little prick!

“We had just played a game of Elite Slayer before forming up where I went +8 and came out in first place. Unfortunately, the ND guys know their Elite Slayer and it was a close game. There was a point where we were down, and I started getting worried. I switched out my standard Needle Rifle/Evade Loadout for Needler/Camo and got sneaky. I think the match turned when we finally took out the sword guy. I grabbed the sword, hunkered down in Camo and then waited to spring. My first action out of the gate netted a Double Kill, and that kicked us back into the game. It was super close, and my heart was pumping after the match ended.”

Final Score: 50 – 48. Bungie Wins.

Game 2 – Team Slayer on Reflection
Above you! Above you! Below you. Below you.

For game deuce, Naughty Dog selected classic Slayer on Reflection. Have we ever mentioned how big the cube map for Reflection is? It’s massive. The largest in the game, in fact. And while I myself might have put up big numbers in Game 1, the second outing of the night left me feeling small and inadequate. (Even more than usual.)

But while I was busy reflecting on my own personal failings, Lars was in the fight of his life. He called Rockets from the start and put them (and all our other wonderful toys) to good use en route to pulling off Team Bungie’s only positive performance.

The bigger they are...

Close Call

Lars Doubles Down

“They chose Reflection for the second game, which was just fine because I know that map really well. I started off by getting a Sword Spree (hmmm, is there a trend here?) and we were up 6 to 1 in the first few minutes. They scrambled back into the fight, however and really made us work for it. At one point we were tied at 40 with only one minute left, as I think they forgot to set the time limit. This would be their undoing. We got up by 1, and then I started yelling at everyone to NOT engage. As the time ran out we ran into them again, but it was too late. Once again, super close game.”

“Not my best performance this match; I recall missing with the rocket launcher and shotgun multiple times while constantly being flanked. The Naughty Dog crew definitely knows Reflection really well. Another super close game; time ran out with us in the lead and me surrounded by the other team while in Armor Lock. Watching the clock count down from 6 seconds holding down the AA button, over party chat I asked ‘how long does armor lock last again?’ Just enough apparently.”

“Most memorable moment was scampering away from Naughty Dog on Reflection as time ran out.”

That’s right. We ended up turtling for the last thirty seconds like chumps – cowardly hearts thumping out of our chests – ultimately squeaking out our second win of the night.

Final Score: 42 – 40. Bungie Wins.

Game 3 – Team Headhunter on Boardwalk
Fountains of burning skulls.

Just like last week, sitting on an insurmountable lead we decided to finish up with something fun.

“I don't care what anyone else says, Team Headhunter is awesome.”

On the Hunt

“Unfortunately, Lars forgot to set the match time to greater than 8 minutes, so this Headhunter game ended a bit early. The scores were pretty close in the beginning but we pulled ahead after playing tug-a-war with some power weapons. It's just fun seeing a sniped Jetpacker spout a fountain of burning skulls; I never get tired of seeing that.”

So Close!

“Wommack is a filthy liar. Yes, the time limit was set to 8 minutes, but we hit the score cap at around 7 minutes. We won fair and square by hitting 25 skulls (well 28) before they did. Ben was right about one thing, and that was nailing someone in midair and seeing skulls pop up and fly all over Boardwalk. Soooo good. I love Headhunter, so this was a great way to end the Humpday.”

Aerial Assault

Guys, there’s no need to fight. We won! Not just because we’re amazing Halo players, but because we are gracious and humble as well. Suck it down, Naughty Dog!


Final Score: 28 - 20. Bungie Wins!

“Their teamwork was astonishingly good. If they got better at the basic 1v1 combat cycle (especially knowing when to use headshot weapons), I think they would have beaten us handily.”

“Thanks again for playing, Naughty Dog. We're totally looking forward to whatever you guys put out next. :)”

Ben gets the last word:

“Post-match there was banter about how we should have a re-match in the future, though in Uncharted 2 multiplayer rather than Halo: Reach. These guys were super fun to play with, and I would go out and buy a PS3 just for that opportunity—though ironically I already own the game. A great Humpday indeed.”

Humpday Challenge: 2old2play 

Posted by urk at 10/21/2010 2:29 PM PDT

Back in my day!

Read Full Top Story

Tags: HumpdayHalo: Reach



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