Oh it's a short one today so stow the complaints. But it marks a subtle shift in tone for the update. We're gonna keep answering your Halo 2 queries, but every now and then, we're going to toss in a nugget or two about some other stuff. So without further ado, here's this week's update.
Sobby O'Cryington asks,
Wah. I just got banned for no reason. I was not modding or anything. I was the most legit player of all times. Youse guys are crooks
It's a very short update this week, because I am v. busy on our next big thing. But to answer Sobby, there are two possible explanations. The first is that you are actually lying, and hoping that we are bluffing. We are not bluffing. We can check our logs and see what maps you were modding with, in which games, at what time and all that. It's very straightforward.
The second possibility is one we've warned you about, but haven't discussed specifically. As you know, Boosting – using cheats, mods, interfering with networking – to raise your rank – is a bannable offense. Well guess what? We can tell when you're hooking up with your modder buddies to boost. And we ban you. We did warn you.
I have no idea why you would do that anyway. If you know that you're reaching a level artificially, surely you know that you are rendering that number meaningless. And quit sending me death threats. For one thing it's A VERY SERIOUS FEDERAL OFFENSE and you signed up with a REAL credit card, possibly your mom's, and for another, you have no business being mad at me because of something you did. I don't ban anyone – the system does, and the system does it automatically. The system is not mean, it is cold and calculating.
There's also a lot of confusion about banning – if you're suspended from Live – that's Xbox Live's doing – and related to your general naughty behavior – solution? Play nice, don't cheat, don't swear, don't be a jerk.
If you're suspended specifically from Matchmaking in Halo 2 either for seven days or permanently, that's Bungie. Solution? Delete ALL modded content from your box (that gets you a PERMANENT ban from matchmaking) and don't do it again or stop boosting. If you have modded content and you're not sure how to get rid of it, the simplest way is to delete ALL of the "Halo 2" info from your hard drive. Everything. That will delete your new maps too, but if you've paid for them once, you can get 'em back for free, so don't sweat it.
We understand there are some players who've got caught up in the whole modding, boosting thing and if that's what you're into, there's not much we can do or say to change your mind. But if you don't want to get suspended from Halo 2 matchmaking, you know what to do.
Also, if you're buying a used Xbox, MAKE SURE to delete all the Halo 2 gamesaves off of it before you log onto Xbox Live to play Halo 2. That way, if you accidentally picked up some old box with modded content, you'll delete all the problematic stuff. Make sure there is NO Halo 2 data on there.
If you're having lousy connections, you might have bad connection history in that data too, and this step can solve it. It's a pain but it might be worth it, especially if you changed ISPs and suddenly find your connection speeds are dramatically changed.
And one last thing on the cheating front – we do know about the folks who're deliberately lagging players out, and we know about the software and tools they use to do it. And guess what? We are banning them for it. So if you know someone who thinks that method is foolproof, you should warn them now.
Lots of folks expect the bannings and suspensions to be instant – they're not. It can take days, which means lots of modders think they're getting away with it. I get the odd email from that exact felon – and they claim that we can't do anything to stop them – then I go check and guess what, they've already been banned. Hopefully you guys are finding things improved, and enjoying the game the way it was meant to be enjoyed.
We will continue to do everything in our power to make Live a nice place to play halo 2, but a favor – even when it's super-annoying, please remember that we're working hard to make it better, and that at the end of the day – we're not the ones cheating, modding or lagging. It's them. We're on your side.
If you really, really believe your suspension was in error, you can always try emailing:
and explain why you think you're innocent. Note that there's no point emailing this address if you have actually modded, boosted or cheated, since lying to us ain't gonna improve things. And try asking your little brother if he's been messing with your machine first.
On a lighter note, I am deeply, deeply in love with the Xbox 360. Part of it is just me being ready for a new system. Part of it is seeing that work of art they call an interface running in HD. I am not being a system whore – I am sure I will love the other next gen consoles, it's just that I can TOUCH the 360 now. Yum. I never thought I'd be so excited about a UI.
No real news on the movie front this week – looks like it's all lawyers and finance. Soon as we know a director, some actors, that kind of good stuff, we'll be sure to let you know.
Folks seem to be getting closer to finding "Hi Ben" with a couple of unconfirmed, but likely sounding solutions already popping up on forums. The High Impact Halo guys have been going NUTS trying to find it. I promise to tell you next week where it is. And again a reminder, it's NO BIG DEAL. Just a cute, hidden thing. This is not on the Skull scale of awesome, by any stretch of the imagination.
Work is proceeding apace on our next project, whatever that may be.
IP stuff is actually kind of busy too, with new action figures on the way, an as yet-unrevealed but AWESOME project nearing completion (more on that in a month or two) and even a gang of T-Shirts. Our Zanzibar T-Shirt was a big hit at the recent G-Phoria awards -
Here's the T-Shirt
- and ladies love its retro styling. Dudes can get the dude version at Hot Topic and a few other places. What's awesome is watching the realization dawn on folks' faces as they recognize the big turbine wheel from the level. Chicks love it when dudes wear 'em. And they want to make out with us all the time. But we're all, "Get off me, I got to play Rumble Preview to get my level up." And then they're all, "You're so dreamy."
Finally, it's Shishka's last day at Bungie. We give him a tough oldtime, and we make fun of him, and we call him Fatty-Bum-Bum, and we put sugar in his gas tank, and we leave old food in his filing cabinet, and we glued all his stuff to his desk, and we set his house ablaze, but we only do it because of love. So long Shishka, and we'll see you again soon! REAL SOON!
And really finally, someone asked if we'd ever found Mister Chief in a natural object – say, a sandwich or a hillside. As a matter of fact, our very own Roger Wolfson found this in his lunch on Taco Salad day. Now, I'm not one to proclaim miracles, but his expression became sadder as the day went on.