Humpday Challenge: 2old2play
Posted by urk at 10/21/2010 2:29 PM PDT
Too old to play, my ass. After throwing down the gauntlet in the wake of last week’s miraculous Humpday victory over the NeoGAF crew, I discovered the age gate over at 2old2play is low enough to allow twenty-five year old pups onto their lawn. While my first inclination was to assemble a crusty old team filled with grizzled Bungie ancients, logic ultimately won out over instinct and we went with a nice blend of old and new instead. We started the matches nice and late, too. The elderly always clock in early.

Team Terracotta

Half of Team Onyx was needed for some late night DLC wet work, but whippersnappers Tomo and Cable agreed to join in on some late night fun. I also recruited studio veterans Dave Candland and Lars Bakken, roped in relative newcomers Javi, Halcylon, and Wommack, and decided to knock the rust out of my own rifle for some good old fashioned Humpday matches.

Pixelated to Hide the Naughty Bits
Team 2old2play

The age range for this squad was most impressive, with their oldest combatant, OldnAchy, coming in at sixty-two years young. But though this ultra-seasoned crew might be getting on in years, they still know how to party (sans lemon), and when pushed, each and every one of them can put up one hell of a fight. Elderly people are feisty.

Game 1 – Slayer DMR’s on Atom
Depends Required

Prior to the night’s match up, we played a couple of warm-ups on Atom. Since it’s so new to the matchmaking fold, we figured we could catch 2old2play completely off guard. The elderly do not enjoy change. Our strategy was simple, get our hands on the power weapons and force 2old2play to go to ground by keeping a long range strangle hold over the upper level’s high ground. Essentially, we wanted them to have to fight uphill, both ways.

Holy crap Atom with 16 players was crazy. We were kicking ass at one point, and then all of a sudden we were down by 8. I think the only reason we won at the end was because I managed to hang back and not get into fights for the last 3-4 minutes. Whew, it was close. Great game.

Though I came up with the idea of 16 players on Atom, when we played it seemed a little too crammed. None-the-less the game turned out to be a good one! We lost a good lead 2/3 of the way through the match but came back at the end to win 100-99 for another 1 kill differential, but this time we were finally on the winning side.

Step 1: Acquire Rockets

Being the second game I ever played there, I would say that I spent a good amount of time running into objects, nearly falling off the map, and turning corners to find the other team’s spawn. We were kicking ass holding the top tower… and I specifically remember being up by 15 at one point in that game… and right around when I heard:

“One more!”

“Got it… Wait is this to 100?”


We started letting them back in…

Step 2: Win

I only went +7 this game because I hid like a little frightened school child around our base for most of the match. Whenever I went down into the grass or peaked around one of our sides elbow ramps I would see 3-4 blue guys cleaning up some red team and turning their sights on me. No thank you sir, I will go back to our tower and ping baddies from a distance.

Most harrowing moment? When I was running back up to our tower only to see jonny12gauge stealthily crawling towards five of us with the Hammer. An epic Armor Lock battle ensued ending with jonny making the mistake of backing up after a melee, allowing me to squeeze off a headshot.

After getting home from the gym, I could barely hold up the controller. So you can see why I wasn’t thrilled to play on a map I have never played on not knowing if I would have the strength to smash buttons and spam DMRs like I usually do. I spent most of my time hiding behind rocks and charging this whole match. Things weren’t going that great for me but I was holding up. Then near the end with a close score I found myself supporting KBUL in enemy territory to tie game. That’s where I picked up the Hammer. The game was now 99-99 and I thought I would be the game losing kill. That’s when I saw a little red thingy on my radar and I decided to not change my gamestyle… CHAAARGE!

Hammer FTW.

If the video doesn’t sell how close the scoreboard really was, the Carnage Timeline should. It was a squeaker!

Final Score 100-99. Bungie wins. Barely.

Game 2 – Multi-Flag DMRs on Hemorrhage
Old School Blood Bath

2old2play’s selection cast us back to the halcyon days of Halo: CE’s Blood Gulch. Aside from the starting weapon swap, they also granted flag carriers full access to vehicles. This has all the makings of a stalemate, so we made the decision to play cautious and concentrate on keeping their vehicle blitzkriegs in check while simultaneously keeping our kill count high in the case of a very likely flag capture draw.

We kind of knew going in that this would end up being a tie, so our strategy was to win on Kills. I got to play my favorite role in CTF, which is base defense. I armed myself with a Plasma Pistol and make sure the vehicles and their drivers never made it out of the base. Cable and I had a spectacular Hog run at one point, and by spectacular I mean was got destroyed in a pretty epic fashion when we got near their base. Good times.

Hog Tied!

We knew that this was going to be a stalemate from the get go… but that didn’t make it any less fun. At a couple points I thought it was funny to see them rush over the hills, losing players and vehicles along the way as the defense we set up whittled them down to a lonely straggler. I never saw them take the flag.

We knew they'd be coming our way, fast and furious.

But we stopped them short, time after time.

All I remember was vehicles everywhere and a lot of flag camping. I actually had more fun than the normal 2 flag stalemate on this game.

One of the few things I’m good at when playing CTF Hemorrhage is camping by the flag with a shotgun, watching the radar like a raptor for any sneaky red pings. The first time the 2old2play group breached the base, they were pushed back. Eventually they arrived ready for me, with a duo pulling an old Halo 1 maneuver where one plays sacrificial lamb and manages to toss the flag up to the other standing at the top of the base, next to the teleporter. Thankfully we had their flag in hand already.

Ah, now I can use the Sniper Rifle. :)

From the beginning we had a feeling this would end up being a stalemate so we went for kills. From time to time we would try to get the flag (which both teams were able to do once) but in the end kill count won it for us again.

Though the score remained 0-0 throughout the entire match, as the time ticked away, we made sure we were padding our kills liberally.

Final Score 0-0. Bungie wins via the ultimate equalizer – straight up carnage – 95-57.

Game 3 – Elite Slayer on Powerhouse
Cramped and Crazy

Able to rest easy, we went the way of shenanigans in Game 3, electing for some Dino might action on the not-so-spacious Powerhouse. As you might expect, chaos ensued. The elderly like rigid routines.

Since we had already won the night, I relaxed a bit. Lots of rolling, and lots of Plasma Pistol overcharges followed by Needle Rifle headshots. Gotta love the Dinos.

Quite a Mouthful

Name of the game is roll-stick-roll. That and a crap ton of pink needles. Once again 16 players on Powerhouse turned out to be hectic, but also very fun.

Needle-stick-lock. I must’ve had 4 – 5 kills base off of that method alone. So good. Except for the triple betrayal at the end…


Deciding to not play the coward this time, I rolled into barrages of needles and tried my best to get some Plasma Launcher kills. I thought Powerhouse would feel a little cramped for 8v8, let alone 16-player Elite Slayer, but the map held up and provided a frenetic and fun experience.

Bada Bloom

I was laying back in this game putting camo to work. But with so many players on Powerhouse it was hard not to just be in the middle of all the needles, plasma grenades and rolling dinos. Not a great performance, but absolutely fun.

Final Score 100-91. Bungie wins.

Not only were the 2old2play veterans great players, they were also great sports and good times were had by all. It’s a damn shame most of them have probably already forgotten about the evening’s festivities, their memories dulled by the vast array of pharmaceuticals they ingest to keep their dusty husks from falling to pieces. The elderly require a lot of life sustaining medication (and heaping spoonfuls of Metamucil, to boot).

Javi gets the last word:

2old2play were great sports and fun to play with. Thanks for the good time. ;)
Bungie vs. The World Steaktacular 

Posted by urk at 6/23/2011 11:02 AM PDT

You want a rematch? You got it, sister! (Updated!)

Read Full Top Story

Tags: HumpdayHalo: Reach


Humpday: HaloCharts 

Posted by urk at 12/2/2010 1:54 PM PST

Stat attack, mothasuckas!

We’ve made a whole lot of noise about how much play-testing our DLC team put into the Noble Map Pack. Last night we made them put their Microsoft Points where their mouths are. Recruiting players from their ranks proved easy – the DLC team’s roster is deep with talented players who were more than eager to help show off their Noble handiwork.

On the other side of the orbital space coin was HaloCharts – a fancy, community focused website dedicated to tracking stats and leaderboard information you might not find on Earlier in the week we brought their site to its knees, sending our stat hungry community over to indulge in a newly crafted Halo: Reach Player Analyzer app. But while I have the utmost confidence in the power of the Bungie Community to beat up on some poor, unsuspecting website, I had no idea what to expect out of HaloCharts’ own Halo: Reach skills.

Team Noble

Did we mention that the DLC team played the -blam!- out of the Noble Map Pack? Stepping up to get deep into the action this week, Jason Sussman, Matt Bennier, Derek “Don’t call me Mantis” Carroll, Ken Taya, David Aldridge, and The Artist Formerly Known as Tomo, were all ready to lay down the law on their newly birthed multiplayer triplets.

Rounding out the team was hired gunslinger TTL L askan and yours truly.

Team Silver
Team HaloCharts

It should be noted that HaloCharts could have pulled an HBO and rolled out “admins” and “moderators” who boasted some stupefyingly spectacular kills-to-death ratios. Instead, they went with the more Zion-esque contingent of coders and programmers who seeded their website and continue to bend the rules of the web to bring you more stats than you can possible imagine.

Team Gold

Game 1 – Team Slayer on Anchor 9

Fast and Furious.

I took four of our players out of the mix to prevent both teams from having to endure some Big Team Battle shenanigans in Anchor 9’s cramped interiors. Derek simply would not allow us to suffer sixteen players. So, while one half of Team Noble threw down against HaloCharts’ administrators, the rest of us dropped into matchmaking proper and got warmed up.

Orderly Chaos! Ken not having a working mic didn’t help the first game since we never really had a strategy. Thankfully it seemed like the HaloCharts guys were playing the similar “find the enemy and shoot” game plan so it worked out for us. At one point I was one shot so I retreated behind a shield door, not knowing Ken was running up behind me, a second later I was push back into the firefight and died.


I had a great time sniping and Hoggin’ on Tempest in our warmup game. You shoulda been there.

A couple of games later, Tomo fired off a message letting us know the Humpday game had wrapped and invited us back into the party. To my delight, we learned that we not only won the kickoff match, we sent HaloCharts’ hopes for a good beginning spiraling out into the cold, blackness of space with a certified Space Steaktacular.

Step 1. Rockets

Step 2. Explosion

Step 3. ???

Step 4. Plasma

Bungie wins 50 – 27.

Just Right.

Challenger’s choice, HaloCharts went with Stockpile. They chose poorly. Stockpile is one of Team Noble’s most favoritest games, and one they know extremely well on Tempest. There was a little bit of debate about game length and score to win in the pre-game lobby, with Derek unwisely reminding us of our previous, premature defeat at the aged and callous hands of Father Time, but we settled quickly on 25 flags and 15 minutes. Just like Tempest itself the settings turned out to be a perfect fit.

Stockpile is my favorite gametype in Reach, and Stockpile on Tempest is so, so good.
You know it’s getting rough out there when there’s a point (~3 minutes in) when someone asks “Do they have all 8 players?” It was then that we switched from ‘just playing the game’ to playing to get the “You Ate All the Chips” achievement. We got close a few times, but we never managed all four at once.

I was mad that BrownV edged me out in total captures at the very end, but my Carry Time stat was off the charts!

I love Tempest! Especially with the Sniper Rifle. Another enjoyable game and this time Stockpile was our friend. Good job setting up the game timer this time Derek. ;)

Snatch 'n' Grab

Tomo working on his K/D.

Stockpile Standoff

Self Destruct

Bungie wins 26– 6.

Game 3 – Invasion on Breakpoint

Guilty Pleasures.

The HaloCharts crew admitted at the outset that they’d yet to play any Invasion on Breakpoint. Too busy coding, they claimed. Unfortunately for them, Team Noble already had a few hundred games under their belt before the map pack even shipped. While HaloCharts did eventually make it out of the first phase, avoiding being skunked (after Matt urged us to lay off a little), we found them squatting around the research facility in the designated zones, without the Covenant bomb. Oops.

That’s a shame. It did not, however, prevent me and Derek from circling their position in the Warthog for the rest of the round, or Matt, who appeared to have shed his benevolence in favor of a Banshee, from raining death down upon their entrenched position for the remainder of the phase.

Hmmm should this be called Game 3 or Game 4? Either way we seemed to do very well on Breakpoint.

Oh, the humanity! We showed how fast a round of Invasion can go against an uncoordinated defense. WORT WORT WORT! I’d never taken down a Falcon with a Wraith until that game (or am I imagining that…?).

They avoided the dreaded Skunk in their Offense round, but we put them out of their misery in the second phase. Apparently they didn’t get the memo about the purple bomb. (You bring it to the bomb points!)

Spinal Attack

Served Cold

Fair Flight

Bungie wins 3– 1.

After the match, we admitted it was a little unfair of us to roll out a map and game mode HaloCharts was thoroughly unfamiliar with, so we offered up a rematch. Though HaloCharts was down with more map pack play, they remained a little gun shy over Invasion and decided to roll with Invasion: Slayer instead.

Game 4 – Invasion: Slayer on Breakpoint
Ice Cold.


So, Breakpoint is a big icy map full of triple kills and splatter sprees. Invasion Slayer went our way pretty soundly.

Bungie wins 100 – 43.

So, HaloCharts were great dudes and good times were had by all – except Ken, who played from the office and couldn’t get his mic to work.

I was IWHBYD19, which sucked, because that awesome record did not go onto my sarukaze GT. HaloCharts definitely would have had a better chance had they known the maps. We had played them over and over and over again and we all were sprinting from spawn to exactly where we wanted to go.

Our Anchor 9 strategy was to control the power weapons, Tempest was to double double BR, and Breakpoint was all about aggressive early bomb planting. At one point in the rematch of Breakpoint Slayer we had two Wraiths in the tunnels.

Yea, I started feeling bad for them. And then I started thinking about pink monkeys riding unicorns pissing glitter and I was all happy again.

Editor’s Note: I have no idea what “double double BR” means and I have no idea what's up with the monkeys and unicorns- Urk

Oh yeah, and we discovered that two Wraiths don’t fit in the main tunnel. I’ve never seen two Wraiths even survive long enough to try that before.

As it turns out all my misgivings about being able to defeat HaloCharts were misguided. Do I even want to mention that we tried to let them plant the bomb in the second phase of Invasion on Breakpoint? And even then we offered a rematch, which went… well you know. In all fairness, we’ve been playing these maps for months and as a member of HaloCharts aptly pointed out larger maps such as Tempest and Breakpoint are harder to control when you’re not familiar with all the nuances of the environment.

I could only imagine how it might have been different if they had known the maps and game types better. A couple times I came across three of them in a group and went down immediately due to well-coordinated team shots.

The guys from HaloCharts were awesome and we had fun playing against them last night! They do an amazing job for the Halo community, so thank you guys!

Key takeaways: Map knowledge is important. We know these maps pretty well. Therefore, we are important.

Sussman gets the final words:
It was great. I shot at some strangers and hit a few. There was some giggling and rough housing. But in the end we hugged it out.

Whoops! Looks like Aldridge and Lionel weighed in and made a liar out of me.


The first game saw Ken showing off his comprehensive knowledge of power-weapon spawns on Anchor 9. I don’t think I ever saw him without a Rocket Launcher.

The second game was a fine demonstration of the awe-inspiring griefing power of a Bungie 8-man team. Derek kept trying to get us to focus on achievements.

The third and fourth games were not pretty… the less said about them, the better.

I was fully expecting to be stomped by the hardcore veterans of HaloCharts, but it seems that they’ve been playing too much COD recently…

Editor's Note: O SNAP - Urk


HaloCharts are always a great group of guys to play against - we were probably a little on the lucky side considering that a few of their aimbot assassins didn’t make their way into the games.

Stockpile on Tempest with a bigteam twist, 25 flags or 15 minutes. The fellas at HC did a great job of holding us down kills wise for the first third of the game while we banked a couple of flags sneaky-style. The middle of the game we began to build a nice lead, Tomo fell into a rhythm with the Sniper and we continued working on our lead. I think it was about 12 flags or so in that HC started making a bigger push to grab flags. With the lead we had built we were able to slay a bit more towards the end of the game.

Invasion on Breakpoint is really fun, the added twist of the assault based second round is a cool addition and plays very well… if you know that there is an assault phase. We may have neglected to mention that to the HC fellas. While we were aiming for a shutout they managed to clear phase one pretty convincingly and even though they took a bit to get their bearings during phase two they almost pushed us to the final phase by arming the bomb in the last moments.

In an attempt to give them a better shot at the invasion game we offered them a mulligan. They instead opted for Invasion Slayer. Ken went crazy in this game, using his hands early and then a wraith late to put up an impressive 18-4 performance. Our teamwork was very strong during this game and as a result we had strong numbers and good assists all around.

Good games with some great guys over at HC, I look forward to running into them again.

Humpday Challenge: Seattle Fire Department 

Posted by urk at 11/11/2010 3:50 PM PST

Fight fire with fire!

Some Humpday Challenges are executed as part of our ongoing (and often fruitless) quest to find worthy Halo: Reach competitors. Some are played for honor and glory. Last night’s Humpday didn’t travel down either of those two well-worn paths. Instead, they went the way of admiration and respect. And a buttload of rockets.

Team Bungie

Elements of Team Onyx returned to bolster an hodgepodge assemblage of employees and two hired guns. Gasca told me that deploying TTL L askan was totally cheating. I say otherwise. He’s one of ours now, even if he still rolls deep with Tied the Leader during his off hours. So, suck it Dave!

Team Fire Fodder

We didn’t name this crew – they bestowed the name upon themselves. Before the match got underway their fearless leader, RAZE 2 RUINZ, mentioned that they’d been so wrapped up in Firefight recently, he wasn’t sure if his squad would put up much of a competitive fight. Since we were just coming off a bye week ourselves, I figured that would help keep things nice and even.

Boy, was I wrong.

Game 1 – Team Snipers on Boardwalk
The Quick and the Dead.

This match was a great reminder that my reflexes have atrophied to an almost unresponsive state. I couldn’t seem to land a single shot, but it didn’t matter. Team Onyx went to work, and this one was over well before the bell rang.

Before we started the match, Drew noted that he had just come off of a double Steaktacular in a warm up game on the same map and game type. He was worried that he’d exhausted his store of luck prior to playtime, but this time practice paid dividends.

Shot in the back!

Never tell me the odds!

Insult, meet Injury.

It seemed like there were some audio problems with some of Team Fire Fodder, so we didn’t get much of the pre-game vocal stylings that usually happen. We just launched into Team Snipers on Boardwalk. Some of Team Onyx was scared because they have lost a number of times on Boardwalk. I assured them, this time “everything was gonna be k.” The game turned out really well for us, not so much for our real life firefighters.

While I don’t normally dive into this play list, hearing Tomo mention that he had just had enough alcohol to make himself a better player (or think he is a better player) gave me hope that we could pull it off. #HaloGogglesFTW

Oops, we forgot to set the score to win to 100 instead of the default 50. It ended up not hurting us though so, no harm.


And I finally won a game on Boardwalk! Definitely enjoyed playing this game.

Snipers was my idea - even though I was personally very rusty, I liked our lineup for it. The map choice was concerning, but I was optimistic, particularly after Harrison and I dominated that exact pairing in a warm up match. In the end, everyone did their job, and it set the tone for the next two games.

I spent the first half of game one looking for a place to be (hide) where I wasn’t being shot at, they met me at two-tree early and kept pressuring us for positions the entire game. It’s probably lucky that we had the low score snafu because they were poised to start making their comeback just as the game ended.

We explored the space.

Bungie wins 50 - 29.

Check out Game 1 from Tomo's POV

Game 2 – Team Rockets on Hemorrhage
You have chosen, poorly.

Typically, Game 2 is selected by the challengers, but a confluence of NAT issues and outright indecisiveness led to some confusion on the part of Team Fire Fodder. After what felt like two and a half hours, they passed the helm back to me and we ditched the Long Rifles in favor of some much bigger guns.

Rockets with unlimited ammunition with a side of Golf Club might fit the description for what some consider a palette cleansing game mode. I say this is staple Halo. From the moment we spawned in, our curious gorge was instantly covered with a warm blanket of comfortably explosive carnage. Nearly everyone went with Jet Packs and the race to 100 kills was peppered liberally with laughter on both sides of the gulch.

Teeing Off

Carnage Everywhere.

Man, I love a Rockets game. People flying around in Jetpacks raining down death is a thing of beauty. The Golf Club secondary ended up being really funny in the up-close battles. The firefighters score in this game was a little better, but they still were feeling a bit beat down.

8v8 Rocketfest was probably my favorite. It’s just so much fun to watch your rocket scream across the map only to be deflected by another explosion and jink into the side of a warthog that just got loaded up. I was thoroughly impressed with how many times I was blasted out of midair, on the ground, or in vehicles.

I remember Urk trying to call out some strategy for us to pull away in this game and I thought to myself “Really? Strategy for rockets?”

Editor’s Note: aim for the head!

In the aftermath of Game 1, the firefighters decided that Team Rockets might help level the playing field, and we agreed to go with it. Rockets and jetpacks are so awesome together that this gametype belongs in matchmaking. Tomo and I led the way to another solid Bungie victory paved with hilarity, explosions, and betrayals.

So many explosions. Jetpacking with rockets makes for some awesome battles, especially if you get close enough to your enemy midair and switch to the “Golf Club.”

The second game was a blast. (See what I did there?) Grassy knoll saw the most action, with plenty of Jetpack skirmishes and even a couple of sweet Golf Club kills. Our attempts at vehicle pushes into their base area were met with a firm resistance of the rocket variety. As fun as the kamikaze hog runs were, the highlight of this game had to be watching both teams cross map rockets randomly hitting opposing Jetpackers midair.

Little bit lopsided.

Bungie wins 100 - 52.

Check out Game 2 from Tomo's POV

Game 3 – Elite Slayer on Countdown

Poppin’ and Lockin’.

Our Game 3 strategy was cemented before we ever set foot in matchmaking for the evening. Since we didn’t have access to any of our opponents’ gamertags, save for RAZE 2 RUINZ, we didn’t know just how stiff our competition would ultimately be. We figured if we’d lost the Snipers game on Boardwalk, they’d have an already handy advantage in the skill game, and Elite Slayer, for all of its fast pace shenanigans, is still a curiosity for many players. And it features tons of Armor Lock, everyone's most favoritest AA.

Halcylon assumes the position at the start of the match.

And Team Firefodder returns the favor.

For the final game, we chose one of our favorites, Elite Slayer with 16 people on Countdown. Serious chaos for serious times. I love the Plasma Pistol punch out, and this game gave me many opportunities to fulfill that desire.

Elite slayer is just so much fun. The amount of explosions, pink mist, and Armor Lock going on just makes you laugh at the madness ensuing around you. #PopAndLock

Editor’s Note: #tweetingtoohard

Elite Slayer on Countdown was a madhouse, as expected – there was locking, rolling, and a chaotic festival of explosions around every corner. Fortunately, this team apparently thrives in such conditions, and our Dinos completed the sweep.

Since we had already won the first two games now it was time for some klowntown, as Urk calls it. Rolling around on Countdown with 16 players makes things a little hectic! Weapon of choice was mainly melees and plasma grenades.

Managed to get hands on the sword first in game three, and slap chop our way to an early lead. Add a dash of Evade, double serving of Armor Lock and all the stickies you can eat, then bake for 5 minutes @ 360 degrees on Countdown. Elite slayer is the perfect recipe if you’re planning a get-together this holiday season.

Bungie wins 100 - 58.

Check out Game 3 from Tomo's POV

Another Wednesday. Another victory for our highly-skilled Bungie Humpday Team. But as much as we do enjoy the sweet afterglow of yet another night of total domination, the real win for our squad was the opportunity to play with such a great group of guys. Even as we were thanking these fine fellows for their upstanding community service, they were busy heaping praise on our nations veterans – marginalizing their own bravery by pointing out the sacrifices of others.

Thanks for everything you do, Team Fire Fodder. It was our pleasure to play some games with you.

I’m glad we got the chance to play with these guys. They were really good sports, and put up with our shenanigans. We’re lucky to have them protecting the city of Seattle. Our hats off to you.

I was so glad to play with some of our nation’s finest. It really was a treat to have them put out some of our digital flames.

All of us really enjoyed playing in this week’s Humpday. Our local firefighters are great sports, and while we’re busy making games, these heroes are out saving homes and lives. We owe you guys some huge thanks, and even though you kept extinguishing our flames, we knew you were just keeping us safe.

Thanks again to the firefighters for playing with us. We had a great time and appreciate everything they do for our safety!

Lionel gets the last words:
Firefighters are heroes, real life heroes that are willing to risk their lives to save ours. It was an honor to get games with these gentlemen.

Humpday Challenge: Naughty Dog 

Posted by urk at 10/28/2010 5:14 PM PDT

There's only one treasure buried deep within this Humpday...


Late last night, four grown ass men from the award-winning gaming studio Naughty Dog took some time away from crafting their next totally unannounced, super top secret project to square off with us in Halo: Reach. Would their stylishly half-tucked shirts be enough to finally topple our incredible Humpday winning streak? Read on to find out!

Team Bungie

Forming our foursome was nice and easy compared to previous weeks. We only needed four players and Naughty Dog had a hit list of employees that they’d personally requested. While Rob Adams was too engrossed in our DLC efforts to play, and while Chris Opdahl spent the evening plunging into some much needed restroom upgrades, David Aldridge and Lars Bakken accepted the challenge and immediately began preparing themselves for an epic showdown filled to the brim with death-defying one-handed catches.

Bolstering the dynamic duo was a supporting cast comprised of the illustrious Ben Wommack (of last week’s Humpday fame) and yours truly (that’s me).

Team Totally Not Working on Uncharted 3 Right Now

  • Justin Richmond
  • Rodney Reece
  • Matt Morgan
  • Troy Slough

Game 1 – Elite Slayer on Zealot
Wort! Wort! Wort!

I’m just gonna say it. Elite Slayer is hands down my favorite game type in Halo: Reach. There’s just something about the zaniness that unfolds when you shove eight bulky Dinos into a cramped space and turn them loose with Plasma and Blamite weapons. Add in Evade’s audio cues and there are more LARPing opportunities per second than in any other gametype, period. Pu Ritsu (or whatever)!

Our strategery for the night’s first outing was pretty simple. Team shoot from the perimeters. Don’t chase into space.

Dino Might!

At the outset it seemed that everything was going exactly as we’d planned… then Rodney got his mitts on the Plasma Sword, rammed it down our throats, and Naughty Dog pried the lead from our cold dead hands. From then on out, it was a nail-biting back and forth affair, and by the time the match concluded, my heart was nearly beating out of my chesticles.

Came from Behind!

“I thought we would have an overwhelming advantage because of the lucky two Elite Slayer matches we were served in matchmaking just before the Humpday began, but it turns out Naughty Dog knows how to roll and stick with the best. Somewhere after the halfway point we Bungie players lost our focus and the ND's solidified theirs, making me believe we'd lose the first game of the night in I don't know how long. But amid cries of ‘stick together!’ and a whole lot of team shooting, we somehow caught up and squeezed off the last kill with only 26 seconds left on the clock.”

The two teams exchanged thundering blows like Rocky and Apollo Creed with blood and spittle raining down all around us. In the end, we somehow managed to stay on our feet and walked out of Zealot swollen and bruised, but not yet beaten.

It's just a little prick!

“We had just played a game of Elite Slayer before forming up where I went +8 and came out in first place. Unfortunately, the ND guys know their Elite Slayer and it was a close game. There was a point where we were down, and I started getting worried. I switched out my standard Needle Rifle/Evade Loadout for Needler/Camo and got sneaky. I think the match turned when we finally took out the sword guy. I grabbed the sword, hunkered down in Camo and then waited to spring. My first action out of the gate netted a Double Kill, and that kicked us back into the game. It was super close, and my heart was pumping after the match ended.”

Final Score: 50 – 48. Bungie Wins.

Game 2 – Team Slayer on Reflection
Above you! Above you! Below you. Below you.

For game deuce, Naughty Dog selected classic Slayer on Reflection. Have we ever mentioned how big the cube map for Reflection is? It’s massive. The largest in the game, in fact. And while I myself might have put up big numbers in Game 1, the second outing of the night left me feeling small and inadequate. (Even more than usual.)

But while I was busy reflecting on my own personal failings, Lars was in the fight of his life. He called Rockets from the start and put them (and all our other wonderful toys) to good use en route to pulling off Team Bungie’s only positive performance.

The bigger they are...

Close Call

Lars Doubles Down

“They chose Reflection for the second game, which was just fine because I know that map really well. I started off by getting a Sword Spree (hmmm, is there a trend here?) and we were up 6 to 1 in the first few minutes. They scrambled back into the fight, however and really made us work for it. At one point we were tied at 40 with only one minute left, as I think they forgot to set the time limit. This would be their undoing. We got up by 1, and then I started yelling at everyone to NOT engage. As the time ran out we ran into them again, but it was too late. Once again, super close game.”

“Not my best performance this match; I recall missing with the rocket launcher and shotgun multiple times while constantly being flanked. The Naughty Dog crew definitely knows Reflection really well. Another super close game; time ran out with us in the lead and me surrounded by the other team while in Armor Lock. Watching the clock count down from 6 seconds holding down the AA button, over party chat I asked ‘how long does armor lock last again?’ Just enough apparently.”

“Most memorable moment was scampering away from Naughty Dog on Reflection as time ran out.”

That’s right. We ended up turtling for the last thirty seconds like chumps – cowardly hearts thumping out of our chests – ultimately squeaking out our second win of the night.

Final Score: 42 – 40. Bungie Wins.

Game 3 – Team Headhunter on Boardwalk
Fountains of burning skulls.

Just like last week, sitting on an insurmountable lead we decided to finish up with something fun.

“I don't care what anyone else says, Team Headhunter is awesome.”

On the Hunt

“Unfortunately, Lars forgot to set the match time to greater than 8 minutes, so this Headhunter game ended a bit early. The scores were pretty close in the beginning but we pulled ahead after playing tug-a-war with some power weapons. It's just fun seeing a sniped Jetpacker spout a fountain of burning skulls; I never get tired of seeing that.”

So Close!

“Wommack is a filthy liar. Yes, the time limit was set to 8 minutes, but we hit the score cap at around 7 minutes. We won fair and square by hitting 25 skulls (well 28) before they did. Ben was right about one thing, and that was nailing someone in midair and seeing skulls pop up and fly all over Boardwalk. Soooo good. I love Headhunter, so this was a great way to end the Humpday.”

Aerial Assault

Guys, there’s no need to fight. We won! Not just because we’re amazing Halo players, but because we are gracious and humble as well. Suck it down, Naughty Dog!


Final Score: 28 - 20. Bungie Wins!

“Their teamwork was astonishingly good. If they got better at the basic 1v1 combat cycle (especially knowing when to use headshot weapons), I think they would have beaten us handily.”

“Thanks again for playing, Naughty Dog. We're totally looking forward to whatever you guys put out next. :)”

Ben gets the last word:

“Post-match there was banter about how we should have a re-match in the future, though in Uncharted 2 multiplayer rather than Halo: Reach. These guys were super fun to play with, and I would go out and buy a PS3 just for that opportunity—though ironically I already own the game. A great Humpday indeed.”


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