Bungie Weekly Update: 3/21/08
Posted by lukems at 3/21/2008 6:11 PM PDT

By now you’re probably aware that Avalanche (pictured above: rollover for the weapon/vehicle placements in one-sided gametypes) is the second map coming in the Legendary Map pack, available April 15th on Xbox Live Marketplace. Aside from the April 15th date meaning more new maps coming to Halo 3, it also means the Heroic Maps are going to be free as of March 25th at 2 a.m. Pacific. Remember, as of the April playlist update, the Free Heroic Maps will be required in Ranked Big Team, Social Big Team, Team Slayer and Rocket Race playlists. We’re requiring these maps in the following playlists to give players more options with the map rotations and by including a high population playlist like Team Slayer, we hope that the maps will permeate through the Community, resulting in more games played on these maps in Matchmaking.

Earlier this week we previewed Avalanche – a reimagination of Halo: Combat Evolved’s Sidewinder – and one of our Bnet artists, Stoshy, put together some comparison screens between Sidewinder and Avalanche that give a bit of visual insight into some of the map’s fundamental changes. For more on how Avalanche has grown from its Sidewinder roots, check out the wall of text.

Legendary FAQ

When are the Heroic Maps going to be free?

The Heroic map pack will be available on Xbox Live for free as of March 25th at 2 a.m., PDT. For a video on what you’re going to be getting into with the Heroic Maps (in case you haven’t checked them out) check out “Our Favorite Things.

You can also download the video courtesy of our friends at halo.bungie.org via the following links:

Quicktime Large (Mirror 1)
Quicktime Large (Mirror 2)
Quicktime Large (Mirror 3)

Quicktime Small (Mirror 1)
Quicktime Small (Mirror 2)
Quicktime Small (Mirror 3)

WMV Large (Mirror 1)
WMV Large (Mirror 2)
WMV Large (Mirror 3)

WMV Small (Mirror 1)
WMV Small (Mirror 2)
WMV Small (Mirror 3)

Huge thanks to our pals at halo.bungie.org for their help getting this file out there.

When will the Legendary Map Pack be free?

We are not currently aware of any plans to release the Legendary Maps for free.

When will we see Moonlight Sonata?

Moonlight Sonata, the third map from the Legendary Map pack will be unveiled next Tuesday, right here on Bungie.net.

I bought the Heroic Maps but rarely played them in Matchmaking, what’s different about Legendary?

Once the Heroic maps are free and then required to access certain playlists, we hope to see them played more frequently in Matchmaking. At the beginning of April, the DLC playlists will remain focused on Heroic, then just as the Legendary Map Pack releases, that playlist will be revamped to focus specifically on the Legendary Maps, again in two Social flavors – DLC Slayer a 4v4, Team Slayer-focused playlist and DLC Objective a 6v6 playlist with just objective games on the Legendary Maps. Additionally, the first weekend after the Legendary Maps ship will be a Legendary Map required Double XP Weekend, called Legendary Brawl – a ranked, 12-player Free For All playlist incorporating a mix of the Legendary, Heroic and shipped maps.

Additionally, Legendary Maps will be added to all of the existing Halo 3 playlists. However, keep in mind that in order for the maps to show up, all players in the game must have the Legendary Maps.  We will continue to do specialty weekends and find additional ways for you to enjoy your Legendary map purchase.

Weekend Warriors

Right now Team SWAT is live in the Double EXP Weekend playlist in Halo 3. For folks who haven’t played it, SWAT is a fast-paced variation of Halo 3 primarily focused on delivering headshots via the Battle Rifle or the Magnum (depending on the variation that comes up in Matchmaking). Players have no shields, and spawn with Battle Rifles (with infinite ammo) and grenades. However, two parts of the Halo tripod – grenades and melee – are significantly less effective because of the increased Damage Resistance (players are running around with no shields and 200% health in SWAT). Headshots are one-hit kills and are the best course of action for dispatching your foes.

MLG’s Top Ten Plays, Version 2

MLG is back with another episode of the ESPN Top Ten Plays from Halo 3. The standalone footage from the Top 10 list is now available over at MLGPro.com. If you’d like to have your films considered for the ESPN top 10, head over here and follow their rules for entries. Additionally, in conjunction with their announcement of a playlist coming to Halo 3 in April, MLGPro has put up a detailed discussion of the rules for their playlist and their reasons for implementing said rules at MLGPro.com/playlist.

Audio Adrenaline

The most recent episode of the Bungie Podcast is now available for download. This episode stars Bungie’s Technical Lead Chris Butcher and features a brief stop-in from Microsoft’s Larry Hryb AKA Major Nelson.

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A Garden of Earthly Delights!

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