Good news from late last week. Not thirty seconds after I finally pulled the trigger and foisted my hastily constructed weekly update upon the world, Rob Adams, one of our esteemed Environment Art Leads, crept into my dark corner of the studio and invited me up into a eerily lit studio playtest lab to help celebrate the successful wrap of the Noble Map Pack with the team.
For a moment, I thought I was being lured into a deadly, but deserved trap, but at the end of the night’s festivities, beers, friendly competition, and good times were had by all.
The DLC crew, drinking it all in.
A lot of work went into these three new multiplayer venues over the course of the last few months and it’s nice to see that for all of the hours spent ensuring that our latest trio of maps both look and play like a dream, the team can still easily coax hours of fun out of their own creations. And it’s great to see that they wrapped up their work with big smiles on their faces, in a room filled with laughter.
Basking in the Greenish Afterglow
On a slightly more dour note, our beloved and embattled Test team are already in the thick of preparing our well-worn matchmaking battleground for the incoming DLC assault. Though several were in attendance for last Friday’s wrap festivities, nearly all of them found the joyous occasion to be somewhat short lived. Don’t feel too badly for them though, they can hardly be considered human. Our testers are all more machine than man. They toil tirelessly and without complaint, knowing that when they’ve done their jobs right, you’ll never even know they were there.
Part of that painstaking internal process involves making sure that you get the most bang for your buck when you pick up the Noble Map Pack and deploy into matchmaking on November 30th. As we’ve already discussed in this verbose venue, we’ll be deploying a DLC-only playlist just as soon as the maps are available for purchase, so you can spend as much quality time with them as you choose.
Through Fire and Flames
Even though Jeremiah injured his forearm “stretching” this week and ended up spending most of his waking hours deep in the warm delight of a near constant drug addled state, he still found the time to bring you some more details on this newfangled DLC deployment affair. And yes, he certainly did type up all the details below with the use of only one arm.
Noble Map Pack Playlist
In addition to letting you discover DLC seamlessly incorporated into existing playlists, we’re also going to roll out a DLC-only experience. This DLC-only playlist will be available on November 30th. It’s a combination of all three DLC maps featuring two teams of 5-6 players each.
In this playlist you’ll find a variety of multiplayer gametypes, pretty much everything except Infection and Invasion. In addition to the DLC-only playlist and the integration of DLC maps into our existing playlists, it’s worthwhile to note that you won’t be required to have DLC to continue using our existing playlists.
Along with DLC offerings, Jeremiah is also making some surgical changes to the Arena for Season 4:
Arena Season 4
Arena Season 4 gametypes will be updated on November 30th. Gametype changes will be made for both Doubles and Team Arena playlists. We’re removing the Armor Lock loadouts and bringing back options for Needle Rifle starts. Full details below!
Motion Tracker Enabled
Starting Grenades Reduced to 1
Armor Lock Loadout Removed
Jet Pack Loadout Added
DMR, Needle Rifle, 1 Frag, Sprint
DMR, Needle Rifle, 1 Frag, Hologram
DMR, Needle Rifle, 1 Frag, Jet Pack
And for all you pro playas out there with T-Squared posters tacked to the bottom of your upper bunks, there’s even more cause for celebration:
Starting Grenades Reduced to 1
Armor Lock Loadout Removed
DMR, Magnum, 1 Frag, Sprint
- DMR, Magnum, 1 Frag, Hologram
- Needle Rifle, Magnum, 1 Frag, Sprint
Needle Rifle, Magnum, 1 Frag, Hologram
Major League Gaming has submitted their playlist specs to us and we’re working to get them integrated into matchmaking. We’re working hard to get it ready for all of the eager fans out there and we’re currently targeting mid-December, barring any complications during testing.
Put 'em up.
I also caught wind from the legendary LarsyB that Firefight Versus is in the works, destined for the very short term future as part of a rotating Grab Bag playlist. Jeremiah is far too diligent to let the details slip without thoroughly putting the gametype through the ultra-tight test ringer, but far be it from me to withhold such awesome news from you. How could I live with myself? Of course, should something go terribly wrong I’ll be the guy with egg oozing down my face, trying to explain what in the world went wrong. Just remember that I did it for you. I do it all
Somewhere out there.
As soon as we’re a bit more comfortable talking about the specifics of all our future playlist endeavors, I’ll make sure to provide Jeremiah with a sounding board so he can spread the news far and wide. For now, I’m just going to let him get back to drooling onto his desktop, his manic, waking dreams stimulated by a pharmacological blend of powerful muscle relaxants.
If you like these updates, or want to politely discuss the current state of matchmaking affairs, drop into the Optimatch forum and sound off. Nicely
In stark contrast to Jeremiah’s relaxed state, I’m pretty sure Luke wanted to keep you on your toes this week. That daily looked a lot like a weekly, didn’t it? Egads.
Earlier in the week, he sat me down and showed off the full matrix of daily and weekly challenges we have at our disposal. I have to say that there’s some decidedly difficult stuff packed inside. SLASO runs? Ho, boy.
Before Luke showed off his adults only tool-set, I’d thought the challenges were mostly set in stone. Not the case. Over time, we’ll be able to roll out additional challenges and scale the payouts for the existing set to track with trending overall player progress.
Again, I’m not at liberty to pin down explicit specifics today, but since I was seeing a lot of chatter about our current crop of challenges in all the community haunts, I figured I’d give you at least a little bit of something to chew on instead of leaving you high and dry for another week. So chew on that, suckers.
Stosh is also working on a project which has me salivating. Whatever “it” is has been a long time coming and I can’t wait to get full access to "it" when “it” finally goes live. According to the web dudes, testing is just now going into full swing, so hopefully "it" won’t be long before you can experience "it" for yourself. Assuming that everything goes to plan, you should expect me to devote some more talk time to "it" in the coming weeks ahead (have you noticed this week’s theme yet?).
In the meantime, dial into this soaring aerial assault Stosh discovered by digging through the rendered video section of Bungie.net.
That’s "it" for this week. Don’t call us, we’ll call you. We’ll do lunch. (Seriously, don’t really
show up for lunch. This is a place of business and Jerome is extra cranky before mealtimes.)
See you online.