It’s that time again. DLC for Halo! Halo 3’s first ever downloadable content will be the Heroic Map Pack – a trio of amazing new maps, each with a completely different purpose – and each brand new to the Halo universe. No remakes (yet)! They’re going to be available about 2am PST on Tuesday, December 11th and you should all be waiting up to play them (except for the lucky few who grabbed the maps when they accidentally went up early on Monday).
Q: What is it?
A: The Halo 3 Heroic map pack is a collection of three new maps for Halo 3. Rat’s Nest, Standoff and Foundry – each providing a unique Halo 3 multiplayer experience.
Q: When can I get it?
A: The Halo 3 Heroic Map pack goes live on Tuesday, December 11th – actually, in the wee small hours. We can’t guarantee when it will be up, but if you work the nightshift, try checking Marketplace after 2am PST.
Q: What do I need to play this Heroic Map Pack?
A: You need an Xbox 360 with an HDD, an Xbox Live account (Gold to actually play the maps online) and a retail copy of Halo 3.
Q: How do I get the Heroic Map Pack?
A: Log on to Xbox Live Marketplace, go to the Marketplace tab, select “Games” and look in either “New Arrivals” or “All Games” for Halo 3 Heroic Map Pack. Press A to select it and then Marketplace should walk you through the purchase steps. Initially, the Map Pack will be heavily advertised on Marketplace and you should be able to select any of the "ads" featuring the Map Pack as a shortcut.
Q: How do I play them?
A: You can choose the new maps from the Custom Games map selection menu – they should simply appear in the stack. NOTE: If the maps are not appearing the first time you look, try backing out and then choosing the Map selection screen again. The system may need to be “prompted” to look for new content. In Matchmaking, a new playlist “Heroic DLC” should be visible that contains ONLY the new maps. The new maps will also be sprinkled throughout the other playlists and may be selected when the system sees that everyone in a lobby has installed the new content.
Q: How much is it?
A: In the US, the Heroic Map Pack will cost 800 Microsoft Points. Eventually, these maps will all be released for free, as they were with Halo 2.
Q: Who decides this pricing?
A: Microsoft decided the pricing based on a number of factors. Bungie has no decision making ability in this area.
Q: I heard the DLC is age-gated and that minors cannot purchase it. Is this true?
A: All content from now on will be automatically age-gated on Marketplace and will match the settings on your 360. If your 360 is set to avoid MA rated content, you won’t be able to purchase such.
Q: What if I don’t buy the maps, can I still matchmake properly?
A: Yes. If you don’t have the maps, you will matchmake normally, but you cannot play in the “New Maps Only” playlist. Other than that, you shouldn’t see any difference. Naturally you won’t matchmake into games that are using the new maps. Nor will you be able to join custom games featuring the new maps.
Q: What game types will be featured in the “Heroic DLC” playlist?
A: A mixture of 6v6 Slayer and Objective gametypes, with traditional Team Slayer and CTF gametypes along with a dash of new VIP and Territories gametypes.
Q: What if I don’t have Live?
A: It is possible in the future that a disc or discs will be made available with the map packs on them.
Q: Can I play these on System Link?
A: Yes, but only if everyone on the LAN has the maps on their HDD.
Q: What if I don’t have an HDD?
A: Unfortunately the heroic Map Pack maps are too large to fit on a memory card, so a Hard Disk Drive is required – either 20 Gig or 120 Gig will suffice.
Q: What is Standoff?
A: Standoff is a big-ish symmetrical map, great for Team Slayer, excellent for Objective games and big enough for a couple of vehicles. It has locked-down Bunkers for bases and lots of cover for players trying to make their way from one base to the next. Although some say it has a similar feel to Blood Gulch, the geometry and terrain is very different.
Standoff has a nice mix of open and enclosed combat areas.
Q: What is Rat’s Nest?
A: Rat’s Nest is a massive level set in the corridors and tunnels of a Human Base near Kilimanjaro. You may recognize parts of it from Halo 3’s Campaign mode. Effectively, it’s a giant Oval, kind of like an underground NASCAR track, with lots of vehicles and plenty of tunnels criss-crossing the center area. It’s designed for big team games, Objective and Slayer, but also works brilliantly for game types like Infection and Territories.
Rat's Nest is enormous. However, not big enough to fly that Pelican in.
Q: What is Foundry?
A: Foundry is a very unique map – designed from the outset to be the most customizable Halo 3 Forge map ever created. It’s a large Warehouse, which can be empted quickly and then rebuilt any way you like, with a brand new palette of objects such as walls, ramps, Mancannons and more. Stuff you never had access to before and objects that can be used to create fully functioning level designs, rather than simply altering our existing map.
Foundry. Make it your own.
Q: So is Foundry a big empty map?
A: No, the default Foundry, before being emptied, is an excellent mid-sized map well suited to many different game types.
Q: Can I use these new items for Foundry in other maps.
A: Yes, you can use these in Rat’s Nest, Stand Off and possibly in future maps, but NOT in older, existing maps. Each map has to be built with its own Forge palette and new items cannot be retroactively applied to old maps.
Q: I am too lazy to empty all the items out of the default version of Foundry. What can I do?
A: For a limited time, starting a few days after the Heroic Map Pack ships, we will make an “empty” variant of the Foundry map available on Bungie Favorites. You will still need the DLC map itself to use this variant, naturally.
Q: I downloaded the maps, but they aren’t appearing in my list. What gives?
A: Occasionally, some players will find that on first attempt, the new maps haven’t shown up in the list. This is a simple caching error and can probably be fixed by simply backing out and then trying again. NOTE: You MUST select the HDD as the storage device for the maps. Otherwise the game will be unable to find them. this is only an issue for people with both HDD and memory units. Memory units cannot be used to store this DLC pack.
Q: I downloaded the maps and when I try to play one in matchmaking or Customs, I get a failed to load error.
A: Try loading the new maps on your own box as a Custom game with no other players. Once each has loaded once, this shouldn’t happen again.
Q: I’m in matchmaking, and I see the DLC map image appear, then disappear really quickly. I know nobody vetoed, what gives?
A: This is a map load failure. In very rare cases, a map can fail to load in matchmaking randomly. To make sure this doesn’t happen, go into custom games and launch into each of the DLC maps.
Q: Why are there 2 sets of maps for Foundry in the game viewer on bungie.net?
A: Because in custom games people are able to change it around completely. The default map won’t work for the game viewer. A blank map is less confusing for this.