Weekly What's Update, February 11th
Every week we attempt to answer the most common and pressing questions in the Halo 2 community. This week cheating, cursing, matchmaking playlists and lots more.
An angry parent asked,
My children are constantly exposed to racism and cursing while playing on Xbox Live. I want to know why this is acceptable and what Bungie is doing to address it.
Well, strictly speaking, your children shouldn't really be playing a Mature-rated game, but the system is voluntary (in the US at least) and they're not actually breaking a law. It's up to parents to vet the media and materials their children are exposed to. The warning that "User experience may change online" is a serious one. The harsh reality of the world is that for every seven cool people you meet online, there's one idiot. Now personally speaking, I don't mind the occasional cuss in a mature environment, but it's grating when the cursing is nonstop, offensive, directed and pointless.
We DO have a system in place for dealing with gross offenders however, and it's the in-game feedback system. Xbox Live continues to suspend the accounts of repeat offenders, so if you find that a particular player is using nonstop, offensive language, racism, threats or anything you consider verbal abuse, you can select that player from your recent players list and leave feedback under a number of different options. Please use feedback prudently – it's usually quite obvious who the miscreant is, but make sure you're only leaving correct and true feedback for the offensive player. If you're not sure who it was, don't leave any feedback.
Now one complaint about a Gamertag is not going to get someone banned. A matrix of feedback about a player will. Xbox Live for obvious reasons, will not release the number of feedback responses required, but players should know that they cannot be banned because one individual has a grudge – a pattern of behavior, which is relatively easy for Xbox Live to observe, must be in place before suspension or banning occurs.
We've had good response so far, and while the complaints have not exactly plummeted, things are better out there. And they're going to continue to improve. That's our goal.
Some guys asked,
What are you guys doing to fix cheating?
Two things. One is technical and we've been working on it basically since launch. That technical fix is being tested and tested and tested. That process is ongoing and not as far away as you'd think. The other is to continue to police cheating. Both processes are slow and time-consuming, but they're having results.
When will there be new matchmaking playlists?
The new playlists are going to be inherently tied to downloadable content, so we can't give any firm details on timing at this time. However the changes to playlists will not be trivial. We'll be tweaking things you already like, fixing some of the things you don't and there will be one or two cool surprises. Like the all-invisible, overshield, reduced damage, plasma pistol, one-on-one, Waterworks only list. Just kidding…
hey read that u guys played halo ce'but i thought that modding was illegal??????????y would u play with them?plus is modding just illegal on xboxlive or all over illegal??????????
There are two types of "modding." One is building maps with the set of tools available for Halo: Combat Evolved on PC, and the other is "modding," or modifying your Xbox hardware so that it can play pirated games, for example. The latter is of course the bad one. Building maps for Halo on PC however, is cool.
First off, I’m an aged player, 34 to be exact. And the thing that bugs me (besides the bugs in Halo 2) is that I sometimes DO have to quit for legitimate reasons, because I have to take care of my two little children (no, they don’t see what daddy is doing). So when they wake up, I go, it’s a simple as that. But I get punished for that, and from reading some letters you got, we get judged from that. Please realise that some people CANNOT finish a game because of more important things we have to do.
This is a legitimate concern. I have to leave games all the time in the course of my work, and as a result, my rank suffers a lot. The single best thing to do, simply as a courtesy to your fellow players, is lock your children in a dark basement and ignore them. No wait! That's not right! Instead, tend to your kids, move your player into as safe a spot as you can find and pray nobody finds him. They will of course, but even if you finish last, it causes less disruption to the game.
There's also the chance that you're the host, and leaving prematurely will send other players into a short but annoying networking screen, while a new host is selected. So basically, play when you know you won't be interrupted, but do the right thing when you are.
After I die, I can briefly see the camera follow another player in the game. Sometimes he's on my team and sometimes he's not. Why is that?
Actually, the selection is sort of random, but you should know that you can press A to switch players and cycle through every player in the game if you have time. It can actually give you valuable information about who to go after when you respawn.
Lots of users ask,
Can you tell me if it's OK to use screenshots and pics of the Master Chief and Halo 2 on my website?
Generally, if you’re an individual with say a noncommercial fansite or a blog, we have no objection to you illustrating that site with images that are freely available and designated for use and download in the Bungie.net gallery sections. You aren’t allowed to use those images for any commercial purposes, including but not limited to use on a website that charges access or subscription fees, or reproduction on any items for sale. You also are not allowed to change, alter or otherwise modify the images made available for use in the Bungie.net gallery sections, except for sizing the images. You also cannot pass off any Bungie’s trademarks, logos, images, products or other materials as your own, and don’t use the materials in ways that would be illegal, libelous, or harm the reputations of Bungie and Microsoft. Note that everything on Bungie.net is protected by copyright and trademark laws and we will take actions to protect them.
When you use something from Bungie.net, we ask that you provide a notice somewhere on your page which says:
“[Whatever you use – usually Bungie and/or Halo] are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Certain materials are copyright Microsoft Corporation.
Also, Microsoft reserves the right to come after you if it thinks the use is unsuitable in any way. Happy fun times!
Is there any way to look at the stats of a recent game without going to bungie.net?
Yes and no. You can see the stats of the most recent game you played (even if you've left the game lobby) by pressing the white button. But for anything older than the last game played, you're off to Bungie.net. Or you could get an
feed and have them piped directly to your brain (if your brain can parse RSS feeds wirelessly).
I have bought the guide to Halo 2 and it shows that it is possible to get a Killimanjaro as a medal but it doesn't show it on the site. I don't know if it is possible to get Killimanjaro in the game. Can you please explain if it is possible or if the guide is wrong.
It is quite possible. I once got four Killamanjaros in a single game, by using a turret gun on Lockout in a game of King of the Hill. Did I make any friends that night? No. But I had a laugh. Anyway, to get a Killamanjaro you have to make an unbroken string of seven kills in rapid succession.
I recently heard that the first set of downloadable content will be released on the 14th or Valentine's Day. Since I play too much Halo 2 to get a valentine I was just wondering if this rumor was true.
I get a lot of friend requests, and there's no real polite way to decline new ones. Is there some way to send a nice message with a declined invite?
I'm afraid not. The one thing you can do is accept the invite, explain why you can't accept the invitation, and then remove the person from your friends list. It's built for expediency rather than diplomacy I'm afraid.
Black Mage asks,
I'm just starting out for Visual Basics but I don't know if you know anything about VB. I just decided since you were someone from Bungie you could help me. I know the basics to it and all and I use Microsoft Excel instead of buying it. But what I need is some info about if there's a book or something that comes with a teacher's manual. 'Cause I need some projects to do seeing that i'm homeschooled and my dad can't think of any projects, except for the Fahrenheit to Centigrade converter. But now that I'm done with that I don't know what to do. So are there any books with or without teachers manuals? Is there someone you could ask? Or where should I start searching?
Erm… are you sure you sent this to the right place? I'd MSN search Visual Basic for Dummies…
A concerned parent asks,
I was looking at my son's stats to see how late he was up last night. Is the time that he was last active in our local time zone (CENTRAL) or is that another time zone like (EASTERN)?
Also, am I correct in thinking that the date and time log is an indicator of each separate game played?
All times are PST… which I think means little Timmy is in even more trouble…
A few of you asked,
Does positive Xbox Live feedback cancel out negative feedback?
For reasons of common sense and security, Xbox Live does not make public information on the vagaries of its feedback system. Too much information would no doubt cause abuse of the system.
And finally, Mrs. Frank asked,
Can you paint Mister Chief in the style of Carravaggio?
No! I'm talentless. AgdTinman on the other hand...