Weekly Update, August 26th, 2005
A compact and bijou update with surprising amounts of detail regarding the next matchmaking playlist update. We hope you enjoy it.
I am still playing Halo 2. Nobody is more surprised than me. Last night I spent three hours jumping in and out of matchmaking. Most of the games were fun. Didn't see any modders. Only a couple of people were jerks, and about 80% of those games ended with calls of, "good game!" And I still suck. But the point is to have fun right?
I'm going to be at PAX this weekend. You can find all the details
. It should be a blast. Think of it like E3 on a smaller scale, but for the
. We're going to be playing an "exhibition" match against the winners of the Tourney on Saturday. Which is like having retired soldiers partake in fisticuffs with new SEALS recruits. Our faces are going to be smashed right off and we'll probably get perforated souls.
The exhibition actually starts today, about an hour ago in fact, and you CAN pay to enter at the door – and it's open LATE! 2am on Friday and Saturday! So if you're in the Bellevue WA area, like video games and video game culture, and have $20 spare ($15 on Sunday) then you can walk right up and check it out.
We checked it out last year and it was a blast. There were new games to see, new people to meet and freaks aplenty! Maybe I'll see you there! I am very approachable, if ugly and stank.
NEXT TUESDAY, AUGUST 30th IS FREE MAP DAY.
Go download all the new multiplayer maps (for free) or you won't be able to play in some of the matchmaking playlists. That's
really, really important. Also we should point out that one of the main reasons people have been buying the retail pack is that they don't HAVE Live and still want to play the new maps on a LAN.
Not a tremendous amount to report on the movie front, other than it continues at the pace these things continue at. Lots of folks are very interested in the movie "companion" and have even offered to buy it from us. Well, it's not for sale, but it might be the kind of thing we let n people peek inside in a few years.
A couple of people have asked me when Bungie will be officially "done" with Halo 2. The answer is, that while we'll probably not be making any new maps, we will continue to monitor, tweak and update matchmaking playlists to keep it fresh. Right now, we have hundreds of thousands of players per day, and we'll keep trying to make that experience better for them. In the distant future, when those numbers begin to wane, we'll still keep adjusting the playlists to make it easier to find games, add variety and so on. We don't have any date, not even a year in mind, in terms of when we'll stop supporting it. Halo 2 is probably here to stay.
Speaking of which, Community King, Brian Jarrard has some news from the matchmaking front.
So what's up with the playlists Brian!? When are they being updated and is this the last one?
Shortly after the maps become free downloads we will be releasing the next matchmaking playlist update. We are tentatively planning to do this the week of Sept. 5-9 pending our final test pass. In the meantime, please be sure to download those maps starting on August 30th because once the playlist update occurs; you won't be able to participate in matchmaking without them.
Throughout the summer our playlist updates were mostly dictated by the various map releases. Now that every map is about to be available for everyone, we'll be able to start doing updates more regularly. Our goal going forward is to do playlist updates approximately every 6 to 8 weeks. Our overall plan is to continue to tweak and improve the "core" playlists will adding a series of "flavor the month" style short term playlists that will come and go with each new update. If Multi-Team goes over well we anticipate that becoming a staple offering in the matchmaking system. However, we do have one other short-term playlist that's coming in this next update.... TEAM SNIPERS!
This playlist is 4 vs. 4 team slayer action with nothing but your wits and a sniper rifle at your disposal. This is a favorite amongst many of us in the studio and plenty of people in our forums have expressed interest in this as well. This will be unranked and is meant to be a fun change of pace from the normal fare. This is a niche playlist that obviously not everyone is going to like but that's why it's short term and unranked. It's just for fun. In the future I'd love to see short term additions like an all-Juggernaut option or perhaps one comprised of limited-lives Elimination style games. Share your ideas with us in our Optimatch forum.
Our next update (in October) will continue this trend and we'll be introducing something along the lines of a "Players Choice" playlist. We envision the entries in this playlist being updated regularly based (mostly) on what YOU, our fans, want to see. The Optimatch forum on Bungie.net will be used to gather ideas and feedback. In fact, there's a thread there right now that may be of particular interest to many of you... this thread (http://www.bungie.net/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=4575439) is regarding some form of "pro style" playlist that has obviously been a very popular topic the past few months. Head over and share your opinion.
As Halo 2 continues to mature online, our goal is to use the dynamic playlist system to keep the experience fun and lively based on feedback we get from our players. Please do keep in mind, however, that we have to consider the entire online population, so not everyone is going to get what they want all the time. The "core" playlists will continue to focus on a good solid baseline experience using proven settings while we spice things up with rotating varieties in short-term offerings.
As always we thank everyone for sharing their suggestions and ideas and for continuing to make Halo 2 the most played game on Xbox Live! (and no, Frankie, we will not be adding 1 on 1 phantom pistols on Waterworks...)
Thanks Brian. So yet again, my awesome playlist ideas are rejected. But that's good news for everyone else. My last effort, No-Weapon Negotiated Peace Treaty on Relic was a dud too! I'm going to have to go back to the drawing board. I have this great idea for a single player game on Lockout, where we fill the ENTIRE map with fusion cores and you have to step gingerly so as not to set off a cataclysmic explosion. Maybe you have to rescue a princess too.
to Canadian Homie WeeDsTeRz (for defending Newfies), to Mamaroe and to Kari's brah in Hawaii for winning all 14 or 15 scholarships and thus leaving none for anyone else. And to SpanishKnight24 – you guys had the rockets AND you were superjumping so of COURSE we held onto the Banshee. But we admit, hogging the Banshee in that fashion is lame. But you know, use the rockets!!
Semi-finally, I caught wind of the following piece of fan art at HBO today and I was in shock. It's super rad, so mad prop to Mike Hill for painting it. If you click on the image, you'll get to an enhugenated version at Mike's website, and you can check out his other pieces at
but be WARNED, there are naughty ladies there. Not terribly naughty, but not necessarily PG-rated either.
And finally, someone asked if we had any Polaroids from Mister Chief's recent holiday. Why yes we do!