Team Snipers Double EXP Weekend Returns

Hot off the tail end of some technical shenanigans, we kick off a classic Double EXP weekend.

Starting right this very second, Team Snipers is awaits you as the Halo 3 Double EXP weekend of the... Er... Weekend. If you've somehow managed to miss this playlist in the past, Team Snipers is 4v4 slayer and objective games where everyone spawns with a sniper rifle (and a different secondary weapon depending on the gametype). May the most accurate shot win!

Team Snipers is available from 11am PDT Thursday, October 2nd until 2am Monday, October 6th. Heroic and Legendary map packs are required.

PlaylistsHalo 3 10/2/2008 11:00 AM PDT permalink

EXP and TrueSkill issues in Matchmaking

Users in Matchmaking since Xbox Live's recent downtime are noticing a lack of EXP rewards for their gameplay. Rest assured we're working on it right now. [UPDATE 2] Issues Evolved

Since Xbox Live's scheduled maintenance ended this morning, gamers playing Halo 3 have noticed that TrueSkill and EXP are not being rewarded properly (which is to say, EXP is not being rewarded at all). We are currently working with the Xbox Live team to identify and resolve this issue, and we hope to have you earning your EXP again as quickly as possible.

Note that this is not the same as an EXP ban. If you have been banned from gaining EXP for boosting as part of our recently evolved Banhammer, you will receive a message informing you so quite clearly from the game itself. If you have not seen this message (which reappears often), then you are not banned.

There is nothing further to add at this time, but I will update this post as updates are warranted.

UPDATE: 3:46pm PDT
Further investigation suggests that this is a larger problem with the Xbox Live service that is affecting more games than just Halo 3. We will continue to work with the Xbox team to resolve the issues, but ultimately the ball is in their court, and that rings true for more than just Halo fans.

UPDATE: 6:42pm PDT
Sorry, folks. The Live team is working really hard to resolve issues, but there is no ETA for a complete resolution at this time. Further, when these issues are resolved, there is no guarantee that EXP gained in the interim will be retroactively rewarded. Thanks again for your patience.

Hooray! It appears that all issues have been resolved. People playing since late last night should notice that they are now properly being rewarded for EXP.

Unfortunately, EXP earned over the last couple days will not be retroactively rewarded, nor can we adjust TrueSkill for the games played. On the bright side, you can make up lost time by playing this weekend's Double EXP playlist!

Thanks again to everyone for their patience while the matter was resolved.

UPDATE: 2:56pm
It would appear that not only have the issues with EXP not been solved, but new issues with matching have arisen. Rest assured that we are aware of what's going on and are doing everything we can to help Microsoft resolve this quickly. We're sorry for the downtime especially in light of the double EXP weekend and we'll update you the moment things are locked down.

UPDATE: 6:00pm
It would appear that things are mostly back in order. The Xbox Live team is continuing to work on the problem and hopefully people should see their EXP streaming in at a proper rate soon.

PlaylistsHalo 3 9/30/2008 11:20 AM PDT permalink

Bungie Weekly Update: 9/26/08 is getting some exciting updates and our team reflects back on a year of Halo 3. All this and more inside.

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Bungie Weekly Update 9/26/2008 5:19 PM PDT

Happy Birthday Halo 3!

It's hard to believe a whole year has flown by since Halo 3 was released! To commemorate the occasion, Hawty McBloggy held a very interesting screenshot competition that yielded some awesome results.

The contest premise was to re-create memorable moments from Halo 1 or Halo 2 using Halo 3 screenshots.  There were hundreds of entries but some of the better ones were assembled into a chronological order depicting memorable scenes from the first two games. There are some really great images and a lot of nostalgia to be enjoyed. Check out the results here!

Congratulations to "Halcylon" for the winning screenshot!

Halo 3 9/25/2008 2:39 PM PDT permalink

Double EXP back on track with Legendary Brawl!

So many targets, so many new achievements. It's like we planned it this way.

With TU2 out of the way, we're now back on track for Double EXP weekends. And sure enough, we're kicking off the party today with Legendary Brawl. Twelve-man FFA insanity in several flavors. It's all the fun, without the fat!

Legendary Brawl is available from 11am PDT Thursday, September 25th until 2am Monday the 29th. Heroic and Legendary required. Have fun!

PlaylistsHalo 3 9/25/2008 11:00 AM PDT permalink

Teaser Trailer

Enjoy the teaser for one of our current projects.

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CommunityHalo 3Halo 3: ODSTEmotional Support 9/25/2008 7:07 AM PDT


Now that the Halo 3 update has had time to sink in, many of you have questions. Fortunately we have answers.

There are a lot of common questions surfacing in our forums in the wake of the recently released title update. In an effort to address these queries in one fell swoop, here is the official TU2 FAQ.  We will update this with new information as needed.

Halo 3 TU2 Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Can you please clarify exactly how the “7 on 7” achievement will be earned?

A:  You will get this achievement once you hit 7 EXP in any single playlist on the 7th of the month. For example, you could have 5 EXP in Team Slayer and then on 10/7 go in and win 2 more games, hitting a total of 7 EXP and unlocking the achievement. If you already have 7 EXP or greater in a playlist before the 7th of the month, you won’t be able to earn the achievement in that playlist. We will be releasing a new playlist on the 7th of the month in which everyone will start with zero EXP. In this playlist, you have a clean slate and can just focus on earning 7 EXP before the end of the day. The first chance to earn this will be on 10/7. 

Q:  I’m confused about the “Annual” achievement. How does that work?
A:   For starters, please note that we made a change on the back-end and decided to enable this achievement as of the release of TU2(rather than waiting until 9/25 as was initially advertised).  We'd prefer to err on the side of letting people get it early than having some people left out since 9/25 occurs at different times all over the world.  To get it, play a Legendary co-op Halo 3 game on LIVE with four people and finish the level “Halo” in Ghosts, with the Iron Skull enabled.  You don’t have to beat the entire game in a Ghost, but feel free to try if you want.

Q:  Now that you have a per-playlist rating system and an achievement tied to earning a Lieutenant rating in a playlist, there seems to be more people EXP boosting than ever before. What is being done about this?

A:   Boosting or doing anything to manipulate the way in which you earn EXP is considered a violation of the terms of use for playing Halo 3 matchmaking.  As a result, we will be detecting and punishing people who are guilty of this.  Our new system is nearly online and when it’s unleashed it will automatically detect and deal with this issue. In the interim, we are manually reviewing player activities and unleashing the Banhammer as appropriate. The base penalty for first time offenders will be a two week EXP ban – this means you will not be able to earn ANY exp for two weeks.  You will also be under close scrutiny for any future infractions, potentially resulting in harsher punishments.  If someone manages to slip through the cracks and boost their way to General before they are caught, we will dish out appropriately stricter punishments up to preventing you from playing entirely. Play the game the correct way or you will end up riding hard on the business end of the Banhammer. You have been warned.

Q:  Halo 3 seems to have more/less lag than it did before the TU2. What gives?    

A:  There is nothing in the update that impacts or changes the networking code or performance for Halo 3. It’s possible there’s an influx of people who haven’t played in a while and might not have current hosting history data for their profile yet.  It’s also possible that the population influx is leading to better host selection. Choice is powerful!

Q:  My Security Shoulders/Katana never unlocked when I originally earned my 750/1000 gamerscore. Will they finally unlock when I earn the new achievements? 

A:  Unfortunately there is a known bug with these two unlockable items that sometimes results in players not getting them when they should.  Our testing has shown that in some cases, people do get these items as they earn additional gamerscore through the new achievements but sometimes they do not. This is being investigated further. 

Q:  I should have the Spartan Officer Achievement but it did not unlock for me. What gives?

A:  The Spartan Officer Achievement used to require a GLOBAL ranking of Lieutenant (not to be confused with the new “Lightswitch” achievement which is earned by obtaining a rating of Lieutenant in a single playlist). We are aware of some problems with people disconnecting/powering down too soon after they finished the game that earns them the achievement. The problem is that the actual results of the game and awarding of the EXP happens on the back-end and is arbitrated by the LIVE service. If you disconnect before that completes, you won’t actually get credit.

   The good news is that now the Spartan Officer, UNSC Spartan and Graduate achievements are all tied to the new per-playlist rating. So if you have already surpassed those milestones on a global level but never earned them, you can do it again by earning the appropriate EXP level in a specific playlist.  However, the pin that shows up in your Service Record is still tied to a global rating. So you can unlock the achievements by earning EXP in a playlist but you won’t get the pin unless you satisfy the original global criteria.  Whew. Got all that?

Q:  Bungie only talked about 10 achievements and 250 gamer points but shows many more achievements for Halo 3 now and a total of 750 new points to earn. What’s up with that?

A:  The work for the Halo 3 Title Update and the new achievements began long, long ago. At that time, we had one view of the future of Halo 3 and a general plan for how, when and where some of the remaining multiplayer maps would get released.  Those plans have since changed. We do have new maps still coming to Halo 3 but the release specifics are still being worked out with our partners.  We didn’t want to delay the release of TU2 as there are still a lot of cool things about it that do benefit players immediately so we decided to forge ahead.  The downside is that you now have to stare at mysterious achievements with no context until all is revealed at a later date. Rest assured though that they aren’t going anywhere, they will still be there, ready to be earned when the time is right. 

Q: I just did XYZ in a game on Cold Storage but I didn't get the achievement. Why not?

A:  Cold Storage has been lumped in with Legendary DLC maps for the purposes of matchmaking but it is not really a "Legendary" map in terms of the achievement requirements.  Avalanche, Blackout and Ghost Town are the three eligible maps for the new achievements.

Q:  Why did you do X to Matchmaking!? It's awesome/terrible!

A:  If you have questions or suggestions regarding matchmaking playlists, please head over to the Optimatch Forum and share them there.

We will continue to monitor our forums for other common questions and issues and they will be addressed in the weekly update on Friday.

Halo 3 9/24/2008 3:57 PM PDT permalink

Halo 3 Title Update

The title update for Halo 3 is now available on Xbox LIVE. New achievements and more await. Details inside.

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Halo 3 9/23/2008 2:15 AM PDT



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Help 9/22/2008 7:07 PM PDT

New Achievements! From a Certain Point of View

Just a reminder, folks. You may see some new achievements popping up in your Halo 3 Achievement List. You can earn some of these when TU2 goes live (around 2 a.m. on Sept. 23).

For more about these new Achievements, see some vintage Weekly Update action!

Halo 3 9/22/2008 6:41 PM PDT permalink

WETA Halo 3 Contest

WETA is putting together one hell of a contest for Halo fans. Details inside, act quickly before time is up!

WETA, the makers of awesomely amazing movie stuff and the soon to be released Halo 3 statues, are offering fans the chance of a lifetime. Two lucky winners will each receive an incredible prize package including roundtrip air to New Zealand (courtesy of Air New Zealand), a VIP tour of the Academy Award winning WETA workshop, a ride in WETA's real life Warthog and a whole lot more.

You have two ways to enter: pre-order a Halo 3 statue on the WETA website or enter by sending an email. (include your full name, age, physical address and phone number)

A few important points of interest:  (note - these are THEIR rules, not ours. Don't get mad at us if you live in NY or FL or if you're not 21, etc...)

  • Registration ends on September 30, 2008. Hurry!
  • Only one entry per person.
  • Must be a legal resident of the 48 contiguous United States (excludes Rhode Island, New York and Florida)
  • Must be 21 years of age or older as of February 1, 2008
WETA will randomly choose two winners from all eligible entries during the first week of October.

For more details, please visit the WETA website.

NOTE : Bungie is not responsible for this contest. We can't answer your questions or assist you. Please direct any inquiries and your entries to WETA.

Halo 3 9/22/2008 4:20 PM PDT permalink



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Help 9/19/2008 7:07 PM PDT

Bungie Weekly Update: Rare Thursday Edition

The Weekly Update arrives a day early and a million words short?

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Bungie Weekly UpdateCommunityHalo 3 9/18/2008 11:17 AM PDT

Halo 3 Single EXP Weekend Begins!

This weekend on Halo 3 Matchmaking: Play Halo 3 online, and earn the same amount of EXP you get during the week!

This is a general reminder for everyone that there is not a Double EXP weekend this week as we continue to work toward the release of Title Update 2 and the September Matchmaking Update. Double EXP weekends will be back on schedule next week starting with Legendary Brawl. Until then, thanks for your patience!

PlaylistsHalo 3 9/18/2008 11:00 AM PDT permalink

Win Halo 3 Stuff!

Bungie is teaming up with our friends at Halo.Bungie.Org to make it rain prizes and swag. Check out their contest page for full details!

Between the swag fallout from PAX and the slow, steady stockpile accumulating at my desk, we have nearly reached the breaking point for the amount of loot that can be contained without taking out a lease on a new building.  Right now at this very moment, mountains of action figures and miscellaneous gear are looming over my head, poised to topple over at the slightest disruption.  Poor Luke and Shishka can barely get to their desks as my fortress of cardboard boxes continues to grow.

Enough is enough. It's time to purge. And we need your help.

Our good friends over at have stepped up to organize and host the"TAKE OUR STUFF" contest. There are a variety of prizes up for grabs and a variety of ways you can score some sweet loot.

You can get the full rules and details by visiting the official contest page over at 

Act quickly, all entries must be received by 9 PM PST on Monday, September 22nd.  Please read the rules carefully. 

If you have any questions or concerns about this contest, please contact a member of the staff. Bungie is pimping this out and making it rain prizes but they have taken on the more complicated responsibility of organizing and managing this.  Again, please do not contact any of us regarding this contest.

Thanks and good luck! 

CommunityHalo 3 9/17/2008 3:46 PM PDT permalink

Reclaimer 87 - with a Contest!

Silent Vandal writes:

This Reclaimer comes bearing gifts.

Today's Reclaimer is now available - with a visit back to Ferial that ties a few things together. Reclaimer is also happy to announce its first contest - so be sure to check the site for official details!

Community 9/17/2008 9:04 AM PDT permalink

Ascendant Justice's The Architecture of War, Part III: The Enemy

Cocopjojo writes:

vociferous of Ascendant Justice continues with "The Architecture of War," his three-part breakdown of the encounters of the Halo trilogy; the final piece of this series, "The Enemy," has just gone live.

"The Enemy," the third and final piece in Ascendant Justice's "The Architecture of War" series, takes a closer look at the antagonists of the Halo trilogy; what do they look like, and do their actions reflect their physical attributes?  In what manner are they distributed on the battlefield? And how intelligent and authentic are their mannerisms and characteristics?  vociferous answers these questions, and, in doing so, gives us a better glimpse at the blueprints that make up Halo's Architecture of War.

Halo 9/17/2008 9:04 AM PDT permalink

The Return of Podtacular

Dust Storm 117 writes:

Podtacular Returns in audio format with a new episode.

Podtacular is back with an all-new crew from the Unofficial Halo Universe.  The audio podcast has been reborn from some of the community's leaders, and they aim to reclaim the glory once held by the podcast as a leader in the podcasting community.  There latest episode can be downloaded on iTunes or can be found at their site here.  Keep on Fraggin' Trucks

Community 9/17/2008 9:04 AM PDT permalink

The Hawtest Recon around?

Yoozel writes:

Wait, did someone say Recon?

Yep that's right, fire up your favorite image editing software, start cracking off screen shots and boot up those classy Halo cinematics. Hawty Mcbloggy is presenting you a chance to land the coveted Recon armor for serving up the best recreation of a Halo: Combat Evolved or Halo 2 using Halo 3. Check out her blog for all the details!

Get some marines!

Community 9/17/2008 9:04 AM PDT permalink

Red vs. Blue Reconstruction 14 is out!

The latest Red vs. Blue Reconstruction episode has been released by Rooster Teeth, check it out here.

The latest Red vs. Blue Reconstruction episode has been released by Rooster Teeth, check it out here.

Community 9/17/2008 9:02 AM PDT permalink

Bungie Weekly Update: 9/12/08

This Weekly Update will sweep your leg. You got a problem with that?

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Bungie Weekly UpdateCommunityHalo 3 9/12/2008 6:17 PM PDT

Double EXP Weekend on Vacation

Work on the September update means a couple "regular old" Halo 3 weekends.

As I'm sure most people are aware at this point, the September Matchmaking update is slated to be released at the same time as TU2 later this month. Due to the fact that we did not release a Matchmaking update on our standard cycle (on or very near the beginning of the month), both this weekend and next will be mostly Double EXP free. By "mostly," I mean that Ranked Big Team Battle is and shall continue to be worth double until it retires with the September update. However, there will not be a bonus Double EXP weekend this weekend, and tentatively there is not one planned for next weekend as well.

Our apologies to DEXP fans, but we assure you that after the update is released, Double EXP will be back on schedule! We appreciate your patience.

PlaylistsHalo 3 9/11/2008 11:16 AM PDT permalink

Bungie Weekly Update: 9/05/08

New Achievements in Halo 3? Say it ain't so!

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Bungie Weekly UpdateCommunityHalo 3 9/5/2008 5:13 PM PDT

Three Ball's back!

Three balls, four teams? Well, this is awkward.

Starting now, 3 Ball returns to Halo 3 as a Double EXP weekend. There's lots of oddballs laying around, but not enough for every team. Sucks to be the odd team out!

3 Ball begins at 11am PDT Thursday, September 04 and lasts until 2am Monday, September 08. Heroic and Legendary map packs are required.

Have fun!

PlaylistsHalo 3 9/4/2008 10:49 AM PDT permalink

Bungie Weekly Update: 8/29/08

Also Known As: "We're at PAX right now," edition of the Weekly Update.

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Bungie Weekly UpdateCommunityHalo 3 8/29/2008 1:55 PM PDT