The Bungie Weekly Update
Short and sweet this week, but some cool stuff is coming in September for the matchmaking playlist, so we thought we'd let you in on some of it.
Remember: All this is subject to change and the dates are "September-ish"
So, we're jerks who haven't updated the matchmaking playlist in ages. When's the next stuff gonna be out, and what will have changed?
Most of our game changes recently have been designed to manage the transition from the original set of maps to the new ones. That's why we've had those Preview lists – so that folks can try out the new maps if they have them, in an unranked environment.
Well, since all the maps will be available for free in a few short weeks, we're going to roll them into every playlist that they make sense in. That will alleviate one of the bigger complaints we've seen recently – the repetition of consecutive maps. That happens to me from time to time, but it really is random. The problem with truly random things is that they have a tendency to bunch. Or at least appear to bunch.
And the reason you sometimes see the same player two games in a row, is that you both entered the pool of "likely" players at the exact same time. And you both have a decent connection. We try to avoid that happening too often though.
But the really big news is that our next set of Matchmaking Playlist updates (which is roughly scheduled for September) has some cool oddities in it. Multi-Team! This whole playlist revision will be among our most significant Playlist updates to date, because it introduces a bunch of new stuff, rolls in the new maps, and makes some tweaks to the starting weapons in a number of instances.
Multi-Team, in this instance will largely consists of 4 teams per game, with 3 players per team (3v3v3v3).
Our Multi-Team matchmaking playlist is going to include a mixture of deathmatch and objective games, featuring lots of new variants. Some of the more bizarre ones include:
“Multi-balls” (2 oddballs) or as I like to call it, total anarchy.
“Plasma Wars” (Plasma Weapons, No Vehicles, No Grenades, Brute Plasma Rifle start)
“Gulch Wars” (Coagulation only, Scorpions and Warthogs, Human Weapons, BR start) which you'll notice sounds kind of old-school huh? A little bit Halo: CE. It definitely pays homage – but it's got some Halo 2 flava too.
Slayer variants are going to include Team Slayer, Team Slayer Pro, Team Slayer Human BR and Team Snipers. That latter one is going to put a cat amongst the pigeons. Team Snipers with multiple teams is scary, strategic and even tenser than regular Team Snipers.
Other objective games for Multi-Team include 3 Plots, Land Grab, Team Ball, Team Crazy King, Classic CTF, Neutral Flag, and Neutral Bomb. All of these variants take on a different feel with multi-teams. They are for the most part more frenetic, more confusing and more frightening. Which in gameplay terms, is (usually) a positive.
The Brute Plasma Rifle start might amend the confusion the two gentlemen I played last night had – they'd never seen one before. I used it to finish them off on a game of Slayer on Turf – at which point they said I must be cheating because it was shooting so fast. I pointed out that it was beneath the crashed Scarab, said I was "crazy, there's no Scarab!" They plainly hadn't ever looked up. It's not subtle, like the lighted tower on Relic (indicating that the teleporter is open).
If you're new to Halo 2, or you haven't fiddled around with it much, there's some cool stuff you might want to play with, hidden in the game setup options. You can for example, choose starting weapons and equipment, right down to whether or not there are turrets in a game. You can only use these in custom games of course, but a surprising number of people don't ever touch the customization aspect of Halo 2. Just make sure you give your custom gametype a funny or memorable name.
We're making that type of adjustment to a few maps too, such as including Battle Rifle starts on Terminal and Relic (yes, we hear you) for Rumble Pit types – but the objective games will retain the default weapon sets – since that's how they're designed to work. Most of the complainers only complain about the starting weapon set in Slayer games anyway.
And once more with feeling, I am really, really bad with the Battle Rifle. Horrible. I get OWNED when there are Battle Rifle starts. It's torture. I'm the only one running around dual wielding human pistols. Anyway, more next week. And Mister Chief is taking a well-earned vacation.