Bungie Weekly Update 12/21/07
Posted by Frankie at 12/21/2007 3:28 PM PST

Short and lite update this week and don’t expect any better next week, because it’s Special Frankie Time. I will be in Atlantic City, New Jersey for Xmas. Which I am told by Luke is a beautiful warm beach resort! I can’t wait! I’m soooo lucky!


The next batch of DLC is coming along nicely. I can pretty much guarantee that fans of arena style competitive gameplay will be taken care of. But I can also guarantee that my all-time favorite ever Halo map will be included too, if yesterday’s playtest was anything to go by. A large map with some vaguely familiar features just rocked my world. It was AMAZING fun. Any time I am in an hour long standoff against an equally matched team and it never becomes frustrating, is evidence enough for me that we are onto something special. Hopefully we’ll be able to share more details early in the New Year.

So there won’t be a Holiday playlist in the vein of our fun Halloween list – the reason being that nobody is around here or at Xbox Live to make sure it doesn’t assplode. But there is a lot more to do in Halo over the holidays thanks in part to the new maps, and also to the new playlist.


When we released Forge with Halo 3, we knew we’d see some cool stuff, but the plan was always to expand upon that with Forge DLC. As Foundry began to take shape, we, or at least I, thought it was going to expand the use of Forge geometrically – but the increase has been exponential. Forge use is now so prevalent, that we’ve heard tale of the first Forge Vandalism Crimez. An unlucky Forger left his party set to “open” and went to have a snack before continuing his map creation. When he returned, some idiot had joined his game, wrecked the creation and left.


There are two lessons here that are simple enough to follow: First – save frequently.  Second – limit your party to friends only, or close it entirely.


The playlist contains a lot of things people were asking for – some visible, some not so easy to spot. Examples of the more subtle but vital changes are that in Team Hardcore, shotgun camping in Snowbound has been eliminated along with the shotgun itself.


A bunch of people asked what the specific changes we made to the map defaults are. This is the list, which is useful material for people who don’t want to just guess when they’re in the map, or find out to their cost when they go looking for a weapon that’s no longer there. If you want to really drill down into detail, it’s possible to save a map as a Forge variant and look at every single detail. This list ought to save you the hassle.

Making changes like this always produces some controversy and it’s a classic case of “can’t please all the people all the time.” All we can promise you is that we expended a lot of thought and test resources to make sure that most people found this fun. We test hardcore differently than regular map variants, to look at things from a more competitive angle. And finally and most importantly – this is a process of evolution. It is not going to be perfect first time around and we will continue to tune and make changes. And our actual sincere apologies if we changed something you like. Sometimes we have to sacrifice little things for the greater good.

As ever we’ll watch these changes to see how folks like ‘em and keep an eye on things that need to be fixed and altered.


General Map Changes (see Team Hardcore for its differences and details)

1.       We removed the Flare and Radar Jammer from Guardian, Last Resort and Narrows respectively (see below).

2.       Changed out Maulers for other, less powerful dual wieldable weapons

a.       Construct

                                                               i.      Removed both Maulers from the top level.  No replacement.

                                                             ii.      Changed both Maulers on the bottom level to respawn time: 60 seconds.

b.      Epitaph

                                                               i.      Removed both Maulers, replaced them with SMGs. SMG respawn rate – 30 seconds. Two spare clips.

c.       Guardian

                                                               i.      Removed Maulers (3 Maulers total). No replacements

                                                             ii.      Removed Flare (see issue #1)

d.      Isolation

                                                               i.      Changed Mauler respawn time: 60 seconds. (2 Maulers total)

                                                             ii.      Removed flare (see issue #1)

e.      Narrows

                                                               i.      Removed one Mauler from beside the barricade.

                                                             ii.      Remaining Mauler centered behind the barrier.  Respawn time 60 seconds.

                                                            iii.      Duplicated on either side.

                                                           iv.      Removed Radar Jammer

f.        The Pit

                                                               i.      Increased Mauler respawn time to 60 seconds. (4 total Maulers)






Other map variant changes

Creation of Covenant vehicle map variants (Tanks enabled in Big Team Battle. Disabled in Team Control):

  • Sandtrap
  • Valhalla


Team Hardcore map changes:


  • Low Mauler version as base
  • No other changes


  • Low Mauler version as base
  • Hammer removed


  • Low Mauler version as base
  • Remove Hammer, replaced with sword on a weapon holder
  • Respawn Rate: 180 seconds


  • Low Mauler variant as base
  • Shotgun respawn time: 60
  • Replaced regenerator with Bubble Shield
  • Respawn time 60
  • Two Assault Rifles – top of the base
  • 30 second respawn rate


  • No Equipment version as base
  • However, Active Camo is there.
  • Respawn rate: 120


  • Low Mauler version as base
  • Replaced Active Camo with Overshield
  • Respawn Rate: 180
  • Replaced Power Drain with Bubble Shield
  • Respawn rate:  90 seconds
  • Placed Power Drain in Radar Jammer spot
  •  Respawn rate: 90 seconds


  • Maulers:
  • Removed central one near underground area
  • Two Side Maulers: Respawn rate 90 seconds
  • Moved Beam Rifle into Shotgun spawn area
  • Shotgun: Removed
  • Replaced Active Camo with Overshield
  • Respawn time: 180 sec
  • Replaced battle rifles with carbines (2 on the low base, one above the high base)
  • Respawn rate: 30 seconds
  • Removed Spartan Laser

The Pit

  • Use Low Mauler variant as base
  • Replaced Regenerators with Bubble Shields


  • Replaced Regenerator with Bubble Shield
  • Respawn Rate: 60




Bungie Brand Holiday Gifts


We noted this in the news yesterday, but a reminder for the Forge-Curious:


Before heading out for the Holidays, a few Bungie guys wrapped up work on their own variations of Foundry via the Forge, those maps have been put into Bungie Favorites for your enjoyment.

Magic Manufacturer Tom Doyle on "Anvil":

Anvil is a slayer and team slayer map best suited for two to eight players. Although it’s primarily set up for slayer, it also lends itself to CTF, Assault and Territory modes. Climb the rocket tower or sniper duel from the catwalks to gain an upper hand over the opposition. Tactical players should enable BR starts on this one.

Multiplayer Designer Lars Bakken on "Deathpit":

This is an old school deathmatch map specifically designed for 1 v 1 battles, but it also works in a 4 player FFA. Controlling the power weapons is key to survival. The Rocket spawns in the center high walkway, and the sword spawns down below. Each side has a shotgun and grenades. At its simplest, it is a maze filled with tight corridors, and lots of action. I hope you enjoy it.

Mission Designer Dan Miller on "Pac-Man":

In this parody/homage we built the level to be as faithful to the original "Pac Man" map as possible, complete with two-way teleporters on the sides and even the four "Power Pellets" in the corners! This infection variant allows one person to play as "Pac Man" with Gravity Hammer, the rest are ghosts with Swords. Pac Man's goal is to get to each of the four corners and grab a Power Pellet floating in the air (look for covenant equipment holders on the ground). Once he's obtained a power pellet, he'll become invincible for a short amount of time and be able to eat up the "ghosts." 4-6 players recommended.

Alkaline Prodigy and MDK 2002 contributed to the creation of the map and gametype.


And finally, we also added one or two new polls to our dusty old Voting Booth poll-focused forums. So make sure you go vote (and opine) in here. For example, Sketch just posted a poll about the value or lack thereof, of split screen in Halo 3: http://www.bungie.net/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=15350545


Anyway, you guys have an amazing holiday and celebrate whatever the hell you like. With Bungie Blessings. Thanks for spending a great year with us and we’ll see you in ‘08!

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