Community Spotlight - The Ghosts of Onyx
Posted by urk at 5/13/2009 10:39 AM PDT
Novel?  No? 

Okay we admit it, that was a terrible pun.  We'll make it up to you by introducing you to another fine group with this week's Community Spotlight.  As you're probably already aware from the title of this article, today we're talking with The Ghosts of Onyx, a group forged in the fires of Bungie.net that's since spread out and settled into their own burgeoning website.  But just because they took it offsite doesn't mean they're not contributors in the community-at-large.  Far from it.  Want to get the details?  Here's the lowdown on this fine group of guys (and gal), in their own words.

"The Ghosts of Onyx is a small, but growing, group of Halo players brought together by founding members Tender Bisquit, Furious D 18, and NeverlessWonder. Originally a select few guys (and gal) who enjoyed playing customs together and messing around in the Forge, The Ghosts of Onyx has grown to include many of the most talented Forgers out there.

The GoO (as we abbreviate it) are constantly producing new and unique maps and gametypes to further extend the Halo 3 player experience. From End of the Line to Pallet Parade, from Cyclopean to Verbatim, and from Teamwerks Arena to Class 6, GoO content offers some of the most painstakingly crafted and varied gameplay available.

Today, thanks to one of our leading members, Tesai, we have our very own homepage: www.ghostsofonyx.com. Through the site, we host monthly contests, bounce ideas off each other, discuss the latest Halo 3 goings-on, and even have our own system of achievements, the G-Mints. Vidmaster Annual in under 30 minutes: 40 points. Teabag Recon: 35 points. Best Tender Bisquit in a game of slayer: 10 points (he's not that good).

At its heart, though, The GoO are still just a group of guys (and gal) who enjoy getting some custom games going with other mature, respectful individuals in the world of Halo 3."

Q. What are your favorite maps from the world of Halo 3?

A. Aside from the ones we have already displayed here on Bungie Favs, to name our favorite maps is quite the daunting task. You have Furious D's innovative map, Solaris - a map that offers both competitive gameplay and strategic movement to players. There's Moon Waffle, created by Devinish, that makes Foundry's scenery work in mind-boggling ways. When it comes down to it, though, sometimes you just need to feel the cool, crisp air of Avalanche running through your hair as you whisk a flag away on a Mongoose.

Q. And what about Game Variants?

A. Some of the members of The GoO have created a few of the most imaginative and complex Game Variants available on BNet. Games like Teamwerks Slayer, Infantry and Clue were all created within our group and are played on a massive scale. To this day, our members regularly release new and exciting ideas that (we hope) keep the Halo 3 experience fresh for everyone. Other, more recent games that come to mind would be Trajectory Ball, Golf, Dr. Spy and Tremor Blast.

Q. What would you like to see in Matchmaking that isn’t?

A. A customs hopper, of course. We realize that it's a long way off, but it's nice to see ATLAS slowly putting more user-created content into the mix right now. A more specific customs casual/minigame playlist would be amazing, but we're not holding our breaths or crossing our fingers for anything. *Collective finger cross*


 
Held breath and collected crossed fingers aside, looks like the first week of The Ghosts of Onyx's Community Spotlight is over.  No worries.  Where their words come to an end, their pile of Bungie Favorites steps up to extend the GoO experience.  If you think actions speak louder than words and want to check out what these fine folks have on offer, they've got you covered.  Sample their wares by checking out the current crop of Bungie Favorites.

Humpday Challenge: HaloGAF 

Posted by urk at 10/14/2010 2:17 PM PDT

I won't belong to any organization that would have me as a member!

You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

A very wizened man once uttered those words. I can almost hear them echoing in my ear, even now, as if he were still here with me today. And they may as well have been spoken about our opponents for this week’s Humpday Challenge.

Comprised of players from all walks of life, HaloGAF is a certified industry institution – one where you’d expect to find the members ensconced in the warm, restraining embrace of a straitjacket, their unbridled Bungie enthusiasm leaking from their slackened jaws like honey oozing from a hive.

And yesterday morning – as one of their longstanding figureheads astutely noted – I hauled off and plunged my foot cankle deep into their business, issuing our official challenge a mere 12 hours before kickoff to send them into a chaotic frenzy.

“ORGANIZE OR DIE!”

In the end my own wizened words, much like those of the aforementioned Old Ben, would prove to be prophetic.

The Teams

For this week’s Challenge we relied on the four members of Team Onyx to organize our fighting force. For a while, it seemed they wouldn’t pull it together and that Brian or I would have to jump in to provide poor substitutes for competitive seventh and eighth players. Fortunately for our team, we didn’t have to saddle up. Instead, Andrew Harrison swooped in and scooped up four additional players to help pad out the roster. (More on Andrew’s dirty swooping in just a moment).

Team Onyx

1. Andrew Harrison
2. Paul Lewellen
3. Jon Cable
4. Tomo
5. Ben Wommack
6. Jon Weisnewski
7. David Gasca
8. Javi

HaloGAF

HaloGAF put together a massive roster of potentials, subdividing their ranks in haphazard fashion. The only clear organizational best practices they put to good use were those that already governed their established social cliques. Here’s how they ultimately broke it down:

Team Oonsk :3
It wouldn’t be completely accurate to label this squad NeedlerGAF, but with Dax on the team our guys knew that they’d be more than proficient wielding Halo: Reach’s more skill-based blamite weaponry.

  1. Dax01
  2. Total Sacrifice
  3. vhfive
  4. Merguson
  5. Sai Kun
  6. Shake Appeal
  7. teh Letters
  8. Slightly Live

Team Something Something Jesus Something
Formed out of the husk of our own TJ Scoot’s once mighty brotherhood of battle bros, Team 2 was beyond stacked. HaloGAF could have broken this team in twine and each half could have easily shifted the tide to their favor in either of the other two games. Alas.

  1. Thermight
  2. NYSTOFMIND23
  3. TJ Ram
  4. SpudxBud
  5. Oml3t
  6. TJ NutterB
  7. TJ Trasher
  8. TJ Capt Blood

Team Bad News Bladed
HaloGAF’s third squad seemed to have a little bit of trouble getting grouped together from the get-go. Chalk it up to late notice. Still, the talent pool at GAF is deep and we weren’t going to underestimate any one of their three teams.

  1. Laughtrey
  2. BladedExpert
  3. CrazedArabMan
  4. Hipster youth
  5. Hypertrooper
  6. godhandiscen
  7. Striker029
  8. Josef Redbeard

Rosters rendered, let’s review the Humpday Carnage.

Game 1 – Elite Slayer on Paradiso

Grief from Above

There’s really only one thing you need to know about the first match of the night. Andrew SF Harrison mounted his faithful purple people eating steed and rode hard, snagging himself the first ever Humpday Perfection. He flew like a bird, and as the kids at GAF say, “pooped on” the competition like a bloated, low flying albatross.



Paul:
“Cable surprised everyone with his choice of Elite Slayer (including us!), but with Harrison's skilled Banshee play going big and our determined Dinos on the ground staying positive, we carried the game in style. Wort Wort Wort!”

Tomo:
“Give Harrison the Banshee=automatic win apparently. He ended up going 22-0. For the rest of us pedestrians on solid ground the game was a little closer. Though we had a pretty good lead throughout the game, so our (my) lack of coordination didn't hurt us much.”

Ben:
“We forgot to set the time limit on the game to 15 minutes, so we didn't actually make it all the way to 100 kills, but the final score was 67-52 and we were keeping a decent lead the entire time. Blue team harassed us from the high ground for much of the game, but couldn't really dominate because of Harrison's expert Banshee tactics. He literally got into a Banshee at the beginning of the match and never left the skies.”

Jon W.:
“I think Cable was nervous when I got into the Wraith at the game start. During the warm up game I was on a Running Riot in the Wraith, but at the high(larious) cost of multiple betrayals against my team. I think I accidentally betrayed Cable three consecutive times that game. On the last one I heard "Really Jon? Really?" over the headset. Best part was I had no idea.

Luckily I was a bit more careful during Humpday and finished the match sans bro kill. Harrison in the Banshee was definitely the factor that granted us a comfortable lead and allowed for more reckless behavior.”

Andrew:
“Banshees! Fast and low!

You can tell from the film that I am playing ultra conservative. As long as we had air superiority, they didn't stand a chance. Only a couple times did I feel pressured. Getting shot at by needles feels like being tickled. The Plasma Launcher / Rifle were definitely causes for concern, but rarely made an appearance. I stuck on our side, took out all their vehicles, avoided boarding / Plasma Pistol takedown attempts and called it a Perfection.



P.S. Don't tell me there were no anti-vehicle weapons. It's called the Banshee. They went through three perfectly good ones en route to defeat...”



Final Score: Bungie Wins 67 – 52.

Game 2 - ???

DETECTING ULTRA HIGH LEVELS OF DPM. SERVER UPLOAD FAILURE.



Our online team is currently investigating why I can’t locate any evidence of the night’s second match. As soon as they provide me with some hard data, I’ll be sure to update this article with inline images and relevant statistics. In the meantime, we do have some fuzzy team recollections to offer to help set the stage for Game 2’s shenanigans.

Tomo:
“Not again. Well another match on Boardwalk, another loss.”

Paul:
“Well, it started off close, but once we let our focus slip they took the lead and won it. Definitely not my best performance of the night, but an interesting time nonetheless. I do wish I'd remembered to save that film for a screenshot of my opening snipe.”

Ben:
“I hate playing without radar, and therefore I hate Slayer Pro, but that doesn't excuse the ass-kicking their team gave us on Boardwalk. It was a slaughter, with every single one of us sporting a negative K/D by the end. I was constantly getting out DMRed and flanked; could barely kill anyone even with a group of teammates.

What's interesting is the group didn't even know they would be choosing the map and gametype before we all got in the party, but still managed to select our Achilles Heel to play. I can't decide if the group was a collection of ringers or if we all just sucked it up bad because of Slayer Pro and Boardwalk, or both.”

Jon W.:
“I'm pretty sure my grenades were shot out of the air and exploded in my face multiple times during this game. Everyone on our team went negative. Now I know what Vietnam was like.”

Javi:
“I felt like I was playing with two left thumbs. Not on my best or anywhere close. All I can say about the second game is... At least I got some assists.” :(

David:
“Seconded. 2 hits of 6 shots with a Sniper Rifle was not my finest hour. I should have given it to an adult.” ;)

Final Score: UNKNOWN

Game 3 – Invasion Slayer on Hemorrhage

Communications disruption can only mean one thing…Invasion.

Prior to the night’s challenge, GhaleonEB wished his HaloGAF compatriots luck and bestowed upon them the title, “Spartans.” And though ultimately his premonition of a Bungie victory was completely correct, it was our squad who would descend onto the tie-breaking battleground clad in Spartan’s armor. Lewellen put on a show with the Sniper Rifle on the way to a +19 performance and Andrew Harrison played selflessly, snagging a rare Broseidon for his generosity.



Tomo:
“When all else fails we play Invasion Slayer! We never got a Tank but still managed to win this thanks to well-timed Sniper and Spartan Laser drops to take out the Dino's Wraiths and Banshees.

P.S. Next time we should figure out our team and games before the day of.”


Can it be Sniper Timez, plz?

Ben:
“Having never played Invasion Slayer on Hemorrhage before, I was surprised at how the teams essentially had to trade off drop zones since without any Mongeese there's no way to get to the other side of the map and steal one. The tier one play was pretty painful, with each side essentially holing up around the blue base cave or teleporter exit since those were the only areas with cover. Once the levels started progressing, we saw a lot of Banshees and a couple Wraiths start bearing down on our side of the map, but thankfully there always seemed to be a laser or rocket at the ready. Aside from controlling their vehicles though, it was the sniping and excellent DMRing from our top four which garnered all the kills.

I also learned how the Grenade Launcher loadout sucks on Hemorrhage. :P”


Cave Men
Jon W.:
“We went with last week's strategy of Invasion Slayer as the Spartan team, which ended up being a good move for us. Personally my game was a bit shoddy, but Huevos more than made up for our bottom half with Sniper control. For a while I was getting pretty nervous because it seemed like all the reinforcement drops were spawning on their side of the map. They were pumping out Wraiths and Banshees, which we were fortunately able to keep under control with a few Spartan Laser/Sniper/Rocket drops.”


Battle Bros to the End

Paul:
“Happy days were here for myself, Tomo, and the rest of our riflemen. The Gaffers came back to take the lead at the beginning of Tier 3 while I was searching for more bullets, but it was smooth sailing after that. Relying on coordinated fire and power weapons to take out enemy vehicles worked out much better than I'd expected, but their wraiths still gave us some trouble. Fortunately, d1rtydr3w was there to seal the win again, this time with a clutch Broseidon.”


Shootin' and Lootin'


Bungie Wins 86 – 66.

Though the opening remarks were of the disparaging variety, we should note that it’s really all fun and games for us. Our guys had a blast. Had we given GAF more time to organize and prepare, we would be writing a very different story today. The last time we challenged GAF, they crushed us at our own game three to nothing.


Watch Your Step!

But not this time! Thanks for playing some games with us GAF. I take back every bad thing I ever said about you.

Lewellen gets the last word:
“That was one of our more disorganized Humpdays - we didn't even have a team selected until late afternoon, and we only had the full team together in time for two warm-up games before the first match. We also didn't decide on any maps or gametypes we wanted to play in advance, so we ended up picking them on the fly and learning them as we played. Luckily, everyone stepped up when it counted, and we got the job done.

It was a good time all around - those HaloGAF guys are always a classy bunch, win or lose.”

Next week, we’re sending out some of the old vanguard to take on 2old2play. Get out your Depends, veterans, we plan on forcing you to stay up way past your bedtime!

Note: Yup, we broke the trend of posting our victories as top news articles. Big DLC news today warranted a more subtle approach.

OTK's Week 2 Favorites 

Posted by urk at 6/9/2010 10:28 AM PDT

Carefully throwing objects in random directions.

Owners of the Katana return for round two of their group spotlight. As advertised, they come equipped with sharp and deadly weapons. Check out their Forge Q&A below and check into Bungie Favorites to see their most recent multimedia offering.

"OTK chose the map Butcherout as our Map Spotlight. Creator SonicJohn will let you know about the process, and where he sees Forge going."

What inspired Butcherout?

During the Community Carnages that used to run quite frequently, a bunch of people in the party I was hosting all had the great idea of making the best map ever, and someone joked that I should put all the filters on. So I hopped into Blackout on Forge, put on every single filter, and threw some furniture around the map. History and the best map ever were made that night.

Sometimes I like to think of it as the Rick Roll of Halo 3 Custom Games. I also think it would be the best map to insert into something like Actionsack. I mean, I do have another four maps styled in the same fashion as Butcherout, so we could totally make a playlist dedicated to professional blind gunnin', couldn't we?

How long did it take to "create?"

Five minutes. Probably less. There's really not much else to Butcherout other than the fact that it's a freaking hilarious map. Both for if you're just encountering it for the first time, or if you’re showing it off to a friend, with the air of pretending it's the best map in the world, whilst laughing hysterically the moment the map loads.

A monumental undertaking. Which bit took up most of your massive time investment?

Carefully throwing objects in random directions. But the hardest thing to get right about it is getting a no-scope (or, hell, even just a kill) is a fantastic achievement on this map, and it is actually completely possible. Exhibit A / Exhibit B.

How could Forge be improved?

Moar filters, please!!



You know, it seems as if you have plenty of filters to fiddle with. It also seems that we're done fiddling with OTK for today. If you want to look at their content without any flash bang filters applied, you know where to find it.

Tags: CommunitySpotlight

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Average Joe - AnT Flibaboua 

Posted by urk at 6/8/2010 9:45 AM PDT

Playing to win.

Whoa. Been awhile since we shined our spotlight on an Average Joe. And like a busted escapee splayed out against the wall of an island penitentiary, Ant Flibaboua's been caught in the act and he's ready to spill the beans on his whole nefarious operation. Let the interrogation begin!

Q. Who are you and what do you do?

A. My name is Ian Couture and I’m a professional blogger and website content writer for several different major automobile shipping websites. I write mainly for search engine optimization purposes, but it pays the bills so I’m not complaining that much. It’s a cool gig – I love to write, be it novels or blogs, so this keeps me doing something that I’m interested in. Aside from writing, though, I love just hanging out with my wife and daughter and playing video games. I also enjoy long walks on the beach and romantic dinners by candlelight.

Q. Sounds like a match so far. Tell me something interesting about yourself.

A. How I got my tag is actually a pretty interesting story. My good friend Matt let me borrow Diablo II (before the Lord of Destruction expansion, mind you), and I was sitting at my computer trying to think of a good name for my Barbarian. My friend Matt just randomly shouts out “Flibaboua!” and it stuck, I guess. That happened in…what, 2000 I guess, so I’ve gone by Flibaboua for over ten years now. Through Halo: CE, Halo 2 and Halo 3, plus my Gamertag is AnT Flibaboua, so…yeah.

Q. So, where do you hang out around here?

A. I’m actually a part of several different groups and am the leader of the private group ODST Recon, so I’m there most of the time that I’m on bungie.net. Also, I’m a moderator in The Backdrop, which is another group that was born from the ashes of Thee Warriors, so I spend a lot of time there as well. If I’m not in either group but still on b.net, I’m lurking in The Flood, because…well, sometimes I just have to get that “idiot” out of me.

But if I’m off b.net I’m on the mlgpro.com forums checking out the latest news and videos there. I’m heavily into MLG and it’s always interesting to see the stuff that those people come out with. I lurk the Forge Forum there as well, because I’m a stickler for custom games on awesome community maps.

Q. So, is that what compels you to game? The competitive and custom stuff?

A. I’m a competitive person by nature, so when I play I play to win. I have a few friends that I play with regularly, but for the most part when I play competitively I’m forced to go into the MLG playlist or the MLG FFA playlist by myself. I do enjoy Team Snipers and Team SWAT as well, though.

But my wife also likes to play video games, so more often than not we’ll sit together and play through Halo: CE together or Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (which is one of my wife’s favorite games). She also enjoys Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2, so I’ll play those with her as well, with me playing and her picking most all of the dialogue choices.

Q. What was the first Bungie title you played? (Keep in mind your answer may effect your Paragon status.)

A. The first Bungie title that I played was Halo: CE on the original Xbox. My good friend and neighbor, Perry, bought it to escape from work, so he would invite me over to play through the campaign together or play some 1v1 (shotguns and pistols, infinite grenades on Hang ‘em High) with him, because at the time I didn’t have my own Xbox. Once I got my own for Christmas (this was 2004, mind you; I found Halo: CE in 2002) he bought a 100 ft Cat-5 cable and we strung them between our carport (I lived in a duplex at the time) and played many a 1v1 on Coagulation and Lockout. We had some great times there.

What really sucked me in was the game play. It was the first true FPS that worked on a console, and it made me love using an Xbox controller as opposed to a keyboard and mouse for shooter games. Not only that, but the story of both Halo: CE and Halo 2 were absolutely fantastic to me at the time…but what really made me a true Halo fan was The Maw. I actually played that level last night, to be honest, and even after playing it dozens of times over the years I still found my heart racing during the final Warthog drive to escape the doomed ring. That’s what did it for me.

Q. Spoilers! Are you surprised by your current level of community involvement?

A. I am, to be honest. I’m a bit of an introvert; I work from home and don’t go out much, but I find myself lured to b.net seven, eight, sometimes nine times during any given day. I originally found it when I had some downtime at my 8 to 4 job at a lead generation company, and I’ve never looked back. Most of the time I lurk the forums, but in ODST Recon (the group that I lead, in addition to three others) I find myself trying my hardest to make things interesting for the members there. It can be hard work, but I’ve finally gotten a system down – that is, if I’m not feeling lazy, which to be honest is quite often. But the community here on bungie.net is absolutely fantastic; once I found that out, my level of involvement increased ten fold. I’ve met some really great people on this website.

Q. Do you check into any other online communities?

A. I’m a member on the MLG forums at mlgpro.com, but that’s really it. Those are really the only two forums that I visit – b.net and MLG. They have two of the most interesting communities that I’ve met, and their forums are always active. I’ve tried getting on the forums at places like Lionhead and BioWare, but to me the community just isn’t as fascinating or interesting as the ones here and at MLG. Most people on b.net are accepting and welcoming, but it’s not like that on other sites – which is why I spend most all my time here.

Q. Yeah, we put something in the water. Wanna make some shout-outs before you kick off?

A. I honestly was surprised when Urk sent me a PM saying I was up for an Average Joe interview – I didn’t know I had done that much to get me noticed! But I love b.net and hope it lasts forever, because I can’t imagine a better place to spend time when I’m online than here. I want to give a shout out to everyone in ODST Recon and The Backdrop – you guys are truly my home on Bungie. I want to thank my wife for her support of me, my daughter for being absolutely gorgeous. I also told DataBase90 that I’d give him a shout out, as well as mediocresniper, FearTheSwoop and gimballz, who are my co-leaders in ODST Recon, and Kodemyster, who heads up The Backdrop (formerly known as Thee Warriors). And I apologize to anyone I forgot to mention.

And, of course, thanks to everyone at Bungie for making some of the most amazing games I’ve ever played, and Urk for giving me a chance to speak my mind. And Eric Osborne for his help with ODST Recon’s Bungie Favorites submissions.



Urk's pretty cool, but I hear that Eric Osborne guy is a Grade A jurk. Thanks for the interview, Flibadibabouea. It was my pleasure. You can expect a throng of fanatic forumgoers to sing your praises in the discussion thread attached. Soak it up.

Community Spotlight - Owners of the Katana 

Posted by urk at 6/2/2010 10:14 AM PDT

I am your sword.

Not just anybody can be a member of OTK. If you want in, you'll have to prove your worth through a series of Halo 3 trials. Think you have what it takes? Keep reading, grasshopper.

"Owners of The Katana is a group for bungie.net members that have achieved 1,000 gamerscore in Halo 3 or have unlocked the Katana and Security helmet armor permutations. We were founded by XIX Goodeye XIX back around mid '07, and we've had tons of time to tweak and tune our community to fit the needs of the members. It’s become somewhat of a polished community, we hardly have to enforce our rules, and the majorities of our members have been around since the beginning years and are model citizens. Whenever we do have a rare community problem, it is swiftly handled by our collection of ancients, better known as 'the staff.'

What’s great about OTK is the unity. It’s been said before that we have the strongest sense of friendship and brotherhood of any other group. We also have core alliances with groups such as the Spartan I Project and Beast Mode On. We have come to build a group that most members refer to as their online 'home.' Every member is treated with equality, there are no high horses or pedestals, and new members are warmly welcomed. Your posts are actually acknowledged, and it’s very rare to find any negative feedback. Regardless of the age variance that may exist, 90 percent of our members are on the same level of maturity. We have a few members that people might be familiar with, such as lord snakie, Sonic John, HunkyandRich, and of course Foman. :)

Shout out to PiercingTiger, we miss you, my friend!

Urk we <3 you!

And the rest of the Bungie Team, you all are awesome!! Keep up the amazing work!"

What are some of OTK's favorite Maps?

Our favorite Halo 3 maps would have to be Valhalla, Heavy Standoff, and MLG Heretic v7. However we still love Blood Gulch/Coagulation! You simply can’t beat that map! It’s awesome!

What about Game Variants?

Our favorite gametypes would have to be Team Slayer, and Capture The Flag. We enjoy Slayer BRs, Team SWAT, Multiflag, and who doesn’t love some Grifball?!?!

I dunno. I'm sure plenty of people who aren't into fun. What else would you like to see in Matchmaking?

We would love to see a BUNGLE playlist!!! And if it couldn’t be a playlist of its own, maybe just throw some gametypes and maps into Action Sack! It would fit perfectly! We would also love to see more Zombies! It is a golden gametype that just doesn’t get enough attention!


B.U.N.G.L.E. Pro™? Afraid the league never really got off the ground. I hear it's still played behind closed doors, though.

OTK's favorite files have been freshly updated. Check out Bungie Favorites for all the new hotness.

The Bees Knees Bungie Favs Updated 

Posted by urk at 5/26/2010 10:08 AM PDT

Finally.

Talk about patience. These guys waited what must have felt like six months to see the second half of their favorites selections go live. Sorry, dudes. We had to Beta. Sorry about the nasty messages, too. Some of our fans are a little...energetic.

Anyway, if you're looking for more community generated favorites, The Bees Knees' latest files are now on offer. Go get 'em.

Tags: CommunitySpotlight

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