Bungie Weekly What's Update
That's right. It's time to talk about business. Specifically, the business of cheats, matchmaking playlists, new maps and the impending stat reset. Lots of info today, and a very nice Mister Chief that Leonardo himself would be proud of. And by proud, I mean ashamed.
Hella dudes ask,
When are those new maps coming out again?
Monday. Probably first thing in the morning, or around 9am Pacific Standard Time. But that can and probably will vary. And like the autoupdate, the time could vary on a connection by connection basis. We're expecting a lot of bandwidth hammering that day, so please be patient – and this is a significantly larger download than the autoupdate, so make sure you didn't pack your hard drive with Weezer MP3s.
Lots of folks wonder,
Erm, when can we expect to see some new Matchmaking Playlists? It's been ages?
The Halo 2 playlist update is now undergoing rigorous testing. If all goes well, we expect the update to be implemented the first week of May. Please note that this means you will not be able to play the new maps right away in matchmaking. Our goal is to get the playlist update out as soon as possible but we want to provide time for people to get the maps, let the dust settle and ensure adequate testing of the playlist updates. Right now, our hope is to have the playlist go live one week following the map release. We will continue to keep you posted as the test pass progresses. In the meantime you will certainly be able to enjoy custom games with any of the maps you download.
A dude asks,
When are the Halo 2 Xbox Live leaderboards being reset?
The leaderboards will be reset at the same time as the new playlist update. Currently, we're aiming to do this the first week of May. See the above question for more info!
Some fella asks,
What will the playlist update entail?
First and foremost, the new playlist update will incorporate the new maps into the appropriate areas. Containment is being integrated into all Big Team games while Warlock is being added to everything else. In addition, a new playlist called "Team Preview" will be created that will contain the 2 premium maps (Turf and Sanctuary) along with a few of the old favorites. The only way to play these two maps in Matchmaking will be via this new playlist. People who have not purchased these two maps will not be able to join the playlist. Team Preview will be a 4 vs. 4 team playlist consisting of ample servings of Team Slayer along with snippets of CTF, Assault, Territories (don't groan, 3 Plots on Turf rocks!) and a tiny helping of Oddball and King.
In essence, Team Preview will be similar to the original Team Skirmish that we launched with in that it will offer a mix of slayer and objective game types (with slightly more weight on slayer). This new playlist will be ranked and tracked on Bungie.net like all the others. This playlist will "expire" on our around June 28th when Turf and Sanctuary become free for download. For the duration of this playlist, we'll be monitoring people's progress and will reward the top ranked player with a special prize. We'll also be awarding other prizes so you don't have to be the top dog to get something. Everyone has a chance. Except cheats, who will be dealt with appropriately. Stay tuned for more details about this in the very near future.
In addition to the "Team Preview" playlist,
we're also adding a new 2 vs. 2 playlist called "Double Team."
This will provide some intense matches on smaller sized maps featuring team slayer as well as a variety of objective based game types. This will also be a ranked playlist.
Beyond these two new additions, we're making a bunch of tweaks and improvements to what's already there. For starters, we're mixing up the Head to Head playlist. Radar is being turned off and we've added a few objective games. Surprisingly, 1v1 King and Ball work very well and alleviate a lot of the problems currently faced in that playlist with people playing drawn out games of hide-n-seek. "Glitched" game types are being removed - no more enduring 2 hour games of Neutral Bomb on Midship because someone hid the bomb up in the geometry.
On some maps, like Coagulation for example, game types have been revised to include a BR/SMG start.
We have not done this to all maps and game types, just the ones where it makes the most sense. Your cries for more variety have been heard - we've added game types such as "Snipers" and more instances of "Rifles" to appropriate maps as well as adding Covenant vehicle varieties to existing game types. Everyone wanted to see the Spectre and now you will. The sudden death timer in Assault games is being turned off to prevent extended griefing and dragging games out to insane lengths. In lieu of the sudden death timer, we've increased round times by one minute. The unranked playlists (Team Training and Rumble Training) are getting a bit more experimental with new game types being added (Slayer Pro, Golden Shower, SWAT, Brutes, etc..). The list of tweaks goes on and on but that should give you a good idea of the types of things to expect. We'll be updating the playlist page on Bungie.net with the explicit details once we're ready to make the update.
Is it possible for me to remove the AU from my Xbox, I'm supposed to play in a big LAN this weekend and I think this will confuse matters.
Yes, it is possible to remove the autoupdate. Go into the dashboard and delete the Halo 2 root directory from your saved files area. Please note, you will lose all Halo 2 saved games, profiles, gametypes and even maps if you've downloaded any. If you remove the AU, the next time you connect to Live you'll be prompted to download it again. This will also mean laggier games again while your Xbox retrains itself to find best connections, and again, extended loading times for the first few games while it caches data.
What exactly is cheating, and what isn't?.
Any and all mods, hacks, and artificially modified game profiles used on Live (which potentially includes playing on System Link while connected - the whole "Live Aware" thing) will be treated the same way - as cheats. We don't support the devices or software used to make these hacks, and so we have no obligation to supporting their use. They are and have been used for cheating, and since there's no way for us to tell if they're being used for innocent or nefarious purposes, we are nuking ALL instances and banning them from matchmaking. SO DON'T USE THEM. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. Not to be confused with regular game saves, where you've made a custom game type using Halo 2's built-in interface. Those are fine and we can easily tell the difference.
"Boosting" - manipulating your way up the leaderboards with the help of other players or techniques = banned. It IS cheating. Those doing it know it is cheating, and more to the point, it is purposeless. You are not proving you're better than other players, in fact, you're showing that you simply don't have the skill or ability to compete. Which makes you suckaz. It's also very easy for us to detect, so don't do it or you're banned. And you may be banned today anyway for a prior history of Boosting. This is a temporary 7 day suspension to give you one last chance to quit it so don't bother whining to me about it. I DON'T CARE. YOU CHEATED. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS. And if your "little brother" did it, take it up with him, not us. Oh dear, my Caps Lock is acting up to day. MONKEYS!!!! After the seven day suspension ends, you can try playing properly. Do it again and there will be more permanent penalties. Don't like it? Call a "waaaaah-mbulance."
Other forms of cheating, betrayals, constant quitting when losing, hiding bombs, will also be treated as cheating and continue to be dealt with using the feedback system and YOU WILL BE BANNED TOO.
Being an idiot online? Cursing continually? Making threats? Being a racist jackass? BANNED. Oh and a word to screamers – BANNED. Anyone who so much as looks at ME funny on Live? BANNED. Synonym for a group of musicians? BAND. Things are going to get a lot tighter around here. We have more tools and better awareness, and all you have to do to avoid being BANNED is QUIT BEING AN IDIOT. You're not funny. You're not clever. You're a boring loser and people hate you.
Look, most of you know what cheating is, so quit asking stupid questions about it, or acting indignant because there is a bug in the game that you felt obliged to exploit. YOU ARE CHEATING. We don't even owe you this explanation. The only reason we bother is so that we can go back and say look, we told you this was cheating and you're BANNED so shut up. And I hope you get boils. And I hope the boils are full of acid-spewing spiders that burst out and hump your face.
Nervous Nelly asks,
Can I expect any weird consequences from the autoupdate?
One thing that can happen with the autoupdate from last week is that it clears an area called the Multiplayer shared cache. This is where we store data on the Xbox hard drive to make map loading faster and better. This could in theory cause very long loading time the first time the player plays after updating. This time could be especially extended your Xbox is old and beat, or the game is having trouble loading from the disc. The best way to deal with this is to start a split screen map and wait for up to five minutes for the map to load (any longer, and the problem is probably not match caching). Alternately you should be able to start a campaign game and get a nice progress bar on the load process.
If it takes any longer, or none of these remedies work, you may have a dirty disc, or a very ill Xbox. Almost everyone will have a nice simple experience on Monday with the new maps though.
Greedy Smith asks ,
How can I get a head start on the new maps?
Try checking out these dummy stats from one of our test games. Don't panic if the Game Viewer doesn't work today (it should though), we're just testing it.
My favorite modes on Turf: Team Slayer, Team CTF, Snipers.
My favorite modes on Sanctuary: Team CTF, Team Slayer, Team Ball.
My favorite modes on Warlock: Rockets, Territories, Juggernaut.
My favorite modes on Containment: Big Team CTF, Big Team Snipers, Assault.
I'll see you online on Monday. Unless I get BANNED!
Finally, Leonardo asked what the Mister Chief would look like in the renaissance. I reckon something like this: