Looking over the response to last week’s words of "wisdom," it appears I left off on a sour note. Or maybe it was more of a bittersweet chord. It’s hard for me to land on the right analogy here. I don’t have a musical bone in my body and I burned my taste buds down to tiny little superficial stumps in college during a dangerous, but spectacular hairspray immolation incident. Today, let’s wipe the taste out of your mouth with a sweet swab of what won’t be changing about your Bungie.net visitation rights in the weeks and months ahead. Let’s talk about stats, baby!
Some of you are experiencing a little mild anxiety over the potential state of Halo stats after this year’s transition aftermath. What will become of my numerical legacy, Bungie? Will I still be able to ogle my Bungie.net Spartan model, Bungie? Where are my pants, Bungie? Relax. Every bloody bit of your Post Game Carnage, including access to our robust suite of statistics, your Service Record, and your personal File Share access will remain safely housed right here on Bungie.net for a good, long time to come.
And you’re actually still wearing your pants. Look down.
Forums are a slightly different story. I’ve been threatening Frankie with a plan to pump the raging river of Reach posts directly into the gentle waters of halo.xbox.com. We might be accustomed to the effervescent spray of polite insight that splashes up over our prow (and into our faces), but seeing as playlist support will be out of our hands, we'll likely prune some of our forums to avoid any undue confusion over who’s at the helm of the ironclad USS Support. The final roster of forums isn’t set in stone yet, but you should be prepared to see us wind down on this front. The pruning won’t happen in the immediate short term, but certainly before the year is out.
Groups should be unaffected. We won’t be putting anybody out on the streets. Instead, we’ll continue to maintain plenty of well lit, private space for our community to gather in. We even have some renovations planned for those who’ve made our digs their permanent social home. As always, we’re not going to be too specific while we’re still working on the blueprints. Rather, we’ll fill you in once the bids are in and we start pouring the foundation.
Oh, and while we’re on the subject of clarification, we won’t officially be at E3 this year. Remember the Band-Aid approach I talked about last week? This is what it feels like in practice. Sorry for the sting. We wanted to make sure you didn’t get whipped into a rumor-fueled frenzy only to have your expectations unceremoniously dashed during expo week.
On to more present day affairs.
Jeremiah is beaming this week after another successful matchmaking update. I lobbed some childish criticisms his way, but his swelling sense of pride easily deflected my barbed words like Armor Lock deflects, well, everything. At one point he proclaimed, “Instant Arm FTW!” even though everybody knows Instant Arm is for scrubs who can only score in playtests by ramming their Mongoose into the base and planting the bomb before the defense can converge.
Clearly the man is delirious, but I do have to admit that he’s been making some significant and sizable upgrades to our matchmaking experience, with plenty more on the way. While each and every change might not always align with your own personal expectations (or mine), you have to admit Jeremiah has been putting our flexible new tools to the test.
He also wants you to know that “To The Death!” was Sckank’s idea, however when pressed, Sckank protested and claims it wasn’t supposed to include melee “clang.” I don’t know if either man is telling us the truth, but I suspect it’s safe to blame both of them equally for a game variant more painful than having years of life tortuously stripped from you via The Machine
. To the death? More like, “To the pain."
One thing I think we can all agree on is that the sheer number of community made map variants that have found their way into matchmaking is mighty impressive. Jeremiah upped our game significantly from inaugural Halo 3 Forge efforts, and for those keeping track we’ve already adopted a whopping sixty-two of your finest Forge creations into matchmaking at one time or another. Many thanks to the map makers who’ve used Forge World to its fullest potential and to our Community Cartographers group for helping us sift through the thousands of offerings to find the best of the best. You do good work. (Check out Big Team Battle’s latest maps for some of my favorite community-crafted battlegrounds to date.)
Of course, we’re not finished just yet. Jeremiah’s already deployed the second salvo of our ongoing Super Jackpot Weekends. Here are this round’s details, straight from the man himself:
SUPER JACKPOT WEEKEND #2 – BIG TEAM BATTLE
"Last weekend we treated players in the Defiant Map Pack playlist to the chance of winning an extra 7,000 credit Super Jackpot (Limit 1 per day, restriction apply, credit approval required, please see dealer for details.) The result was an amazing 27 MILLION extra credits awarded, that’s 1.35 Inheritors worth of credits for those keeping track.
This weekend we’re upping the payout! From noon on Friday until midnight on Sunday when you complete a game in BIG TEAM BATTLE you’ll have a chance to win an extra 9,000 credit Super Jackpot. The same rules apply, you can win once per day and it does not count towards your regular daily credit limit. Not only have we upped the payout, but we’ve doubled your chance to win as well. Last weekend we gave away an extra 27 MILLION credits in Super Jackpots, how many will you help us give away this weekend?"
The Colbert and Halo Nations collided briefly this week when the Most Honorable Sir Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, Esquire hypothesized that Master Chief was likely one of the classified members of the now famous SEAL Team Six. While the operational status of The Chief and SEAL Team Six are both matters of secrecy, we can finally crack the lid on one of the operations we conducted around the launch of Halo: Reach.
Click to Enlargenate
Bungie artist, and recent bed and bone crusher (don’t ask), Lorraine McLees lovingly painted this interpretation of the Most Honorable Sir Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, Esquire last year for a potential mention on The Colbert Report
that ultimately never materialized. I thought it would be a shame if it remained filed away in our “Eyes Only” archive.
For those with a predisposition for base jumping headlong into the crater of conclusions, no, this isn’t real. No amount of button pressing, tearful forum posting, or prayer to the deity of your choosing will make this epic armor an in-game reality. This is the stuff of dreams.
I got crushed this week. Not just by the avalanche of private messages informing me that we’d already done the Jet Pack (as a secondary challenge) in Week 8, but by the deluge of submissions that subsequently buried the contest inbox beneath a mountain of kick ass screenshots as well. Your offerings represent the single most sizable batch of screengrabs I’ve seen to date. In turn, I’m offering up a veritable galaxy of Star nameplates in reward. Just below, you’ll find a Flickr Photostream that features over a hundred high-flying screenshots.
Mobile Mans and Womans, click HERE.
Along with the tremendous volume of in-game content, we also received a good batch of custom crafted artwork to show off. A few of you didn’t get the memo that cardboard creations were so last week.
Which is okay. I didn't really specify any material restrictions for this week. Several folks also went with the old prototype jet pack approach.
Once again, excellent work. It was my pleasure to sort through yet another pile of incredible images. Over the next two weeks, I’ll be doing a bit of flying myself, leaving you without an All Star challenge for a significant spell. So come Monday, don’t expect to see the rules for Week 18. Don’t worry, though. I’ll resurrect the challenges upon my triumphant return.
Stosh isn’t going anywhere. He’s got too much work to do. While he feverishly toils away, entertain yourself with a brief tale of plasma-fueled folly.
That’s it for this week’s update. In fact, that’s it for this and the next two Friday's worth. My travels will take me far away from this weekly affair, and sadly there’s no one else to sit in my filthy chair and make words for your reading pleasure. I’ll be with you in spirit, though. We’re going to get through this. Together.
Talk to you soon. Ish