Weekly What's Update: BANHAMMER!
Posted by Frankie at 1/14/2005 5:32 PM PST
The Bungie Weekly What's Update

The Bungie Weekly What's Update is a forum to answer Halo 2 players' most pressing and urgent questions. Lots of info can be found here , regarding more frequently encountered issues, but this feature serves as a more organic, interactive forum. Note that we will answer questions that we have clear distinct answers to, as soon as we have answers. Nobody wants to read, "I don't know." As the answer to a question, after all.

Chimps ask,

I just got banned from Xbox Live, WHY!?

Good. Most likely because you were doing one of the following: Cheating, network-exploiting, cursing, swearing, threatening or abusing other players. The points below cover most of the stuff Xbox Live will ban or suspend people for and frankly, you know who you are. If you've been suspended temporarily, with any luck, you might think twice about cheating again.

Today, we are dropping the ban hammer on a significant number of cheaters. That number is thousands, not dozens or hundreds. Some of them will receive a short suspension of their service; others will be advised of more serious measures. In every instance, the Xbox Live team has gone to great lengths to prove, where possible, severe terms of use violations. If you have been banned, you have not been banned for anything minor, like flag bouncing, or glitch-grabbing an object. If you've been banned or suspended, there's a very good chance you know what you were doing was wrong and that you did it multiple times.

Is this all we're doing to prevent cheating and service abuse? No. A more universal, permanent solution is in the works. However, clearly there's no anti-jerk system – people will continue to be idiots, and this banning and suspension process might slow them down.

We don't care why people are rude, arrogant morons online, the reasons stretch from Ritalin deficiency to sugar-high overload, but we do care that the service be as fun as possible, so kudos to the majority of pleasant, polite players out there who make Halo 2 games a joy.

And yes, saying "Y'all can kiss my ass," in the lobby counts against you. The negative feedback will build and you will be punished. It's easy. DON'T DO IT. Racism? This is particularly galling, and you should know, it is frequently and highly reported. If you're one of those slack-jawed troglodytes who uses racism as his main form of discourse you probably won't even understand this sentence, but note that you should keep your vile, bilious crap sealed up. Nobody wants to hear how stupid you are.

So we encourage the good responsible players (and the vast majority, I should point out) to use feedback. It works. Slowly but surely.

Still confused about why we're allowed to do this? Look at these gems from the terms of use agreement. You may not:

  • Interfere with or disrupt networks connected to the Service or violate the regulations, policies, or procedures of such networks.
  • Defame, abuse, harass, stalk, threaten, or otherwise violate the legal rights (such as rights of privacy and publicity) of others.

And just for good measure:

  • Microsoft may terminate or suspend the Service at any time

If you didn't read the terms of use before you signed up for Xbox Live, you can read all the details here. It's in pretty plain language and doesn't contain any real surprises.

Terms of Use details

If you want to know what specific issues can get you in trouble, look here:

Bad Behavior descriptions

I wish I could express in words the rage that Live players feel about cheating and other abusive behavior on Halo 2. The offenders are jackasses, plain and simple. There is no defense or reasonable explanation for that kind of behavior. Quite what is going through the "minds" of these drooling halfwits escapes me, and forgive the editorializing, but I hope that every last one of them gets his fingers slammed in a car door on a cold day. MORONS.

However, if you think you were banned unfairly, try visiting Xbox Live Support

Dozens of you asked,

Sometimes when I try to accept a party invite, I get a blue screen with an error message saying something about, 'Sorry, we're having network troubles." What are these troubles, exactly?

One of the reasons players will sometimes encounter the infamous "We're experiencing network problems" message when trying to accept a party invitation is NAT type incompatibility. This unfortunately is one of the ways we ensure good, solid connections and is unavoidable. Below is a somewhat dry explanation of what a NAT type is, but before you lull yourself to sleep here's a possible solution it works for us quite often.If an invitation fails, you can try to get a NAT compatible host or player to start a brand new party then have everyone join him instead. When everyone rejoins this new party they simply have to keep their fingers crossed that a new host can invite the failed invitee successfully. It's annoying, but it's usually for someone who's worth the extra effort.

How do you know who this host will be? In many cases, simply having an excellent connection a T3 line for example, will often ensure hosting duties and compatibility, but there's no surefire way to know. One other solution, which is less drastic, is to start a custom game and then immediately quit and start again Halo 2 will always try to find a best-case host, and that may fix the invitation failure by auto selecting a new, better host. We used this method last week because Shishka connects to the internet through a damp newspaper, apparently.

Again, we wish there was a way around this, but it happens at the router level and it happens on other systems and games. The reason we don't identify the host is obvious to anyone who's suffered through other forms of router and modem-related cheating.

NAT is an acronym for "Network Address Translation" and is also known as Network masquerading or IP-masquerading. This is a technique in which the IP addresses of network packets are rewritten as the packets pass through a router or firewall. This technique is used to enable multiple hosts on a network to access the internet using only one IP address. Now, even though routers aren't really supposed to do this, sometimes they do anyway, since it's a very convenient little trick. The problem is that this incompatibility in NAT types causes communication problems between hosts, and that's where the "Network Problems" message is encountered.

We should note that other factors can contribute to this problem, but NAT type is the main culprit.

People having second thoughts ask,

My Clan or individual games are missing from the stats page on Bungie.net, why?

Possibly because we blacklisted you for cheating. It has begun. Also note that this means we're watching you. And we're not doing this arbitrarily, we're doing it carefully. You will not be blacklisted because somebody falsely reported you, it doesn't work like that. We know when you're cheating. If you're an innocent player on a guilty clan, your clan is cheating. Join one that isn't. Occasional update glitches may cause some stats to temporarily vanish, so to those honest folks, our apologies YOUR stats will be back soon.

However, if you think you were blacklisted unfairly, try emailing bnetbugs@microsoft.com

Bosox asks,

How do you guys decide who you play for the humpday challenge?

We use a method called, "Oh crap, the Humpday Challenge is tomorrow? Who's on right now…?" Occasionally we go look for opponents and occasionally they find us. We check our PMs and emails and we're building a catalog of potential challengers. We WILL be playing regular players in the future, and continuing to challenge organizations like websites, clans, magazines and so on.

Josh asks,

Hey guys, I'm just wondering if you guys have a problem with dust developing around the rear of your Xbox. If so, how do you take care of that problem? I try using a wet Q-tip to try and clear the dust every once in a while, but the dust just keeps coming back. Also, if the dust actually got INSIDE the Xbox, would that affect my Xbox in any way?

I personally have never had that problem. Dust is attracted to the static charge built up in your Xbox, but the system is designed to minimize the entry of dust into the system. However, we don't recommend sticking ANYTHING into your Xbox, least of all a wet Q-Tip, since even with the power turned off, the system may contain a significant charge. To clean the exterior, use a clean, dry lint-free cloth. It's also important to keep the system well ventilated to prevent unnecessary build up of heat. I know from personal experience that the inside of my TV is about an inch thick in dust and continues to function perfectly. And just to gross you out, household dust is primarily made up of dead human skin cells.

Erica asks,

I received a automated phone call from supposedly someone regarding being a winner of Halo 2! They supposedly have been trying to get in contact with me regarding the prize of either £1000, a jaguar, or a trip for two to New York. To claim these prizes I have to phone CENSORED 092 448 at £1.50 per minute to claim the prize and the total minutes the call takes is 5, what a surprise there! have you ever heard of this number??

Nothing at all to do with Bungie. I wouldn't call if I were you and again, it ain't us.

Kenny asks,

I have a question about Halo 2. How do we get the bungie.net words behind our name in the Xbox live play?

Link your Gamertag. Sign up on Bungie.net. Go to "My Settings" and click the "Web Settings" tab and then click the "on" button where it says " Show Bungienet User Status in Halo2." (yes I know I keep answering this, but people keep asking it.)

Jose asks,

I had a player join my clan without my consent. Well it turns out it was one of my clan mates son that accidentally let him in and made him an overlord. Can I get rid of them?

Nope. Once they're an overlord, that's it. The only way to rid the clan of them is to get them to leave voluntarily. Does not seem like that's going to happen, so your best bet is to leave, start a new clan, and don't let your friend's kid near it.

Michael asks,

I really think that putting a clock in the upper-right corner of the game that would just read the system clock off of my xbox would help me to know when to call it quits for the evening.

Hmmm. That might get messy in four player split screen. And how do we know what time zone you're in? But sure, OK, we'll just cancel work on a cool new map and give you your crazy clock instead….

Stephen asks,

Who are the Guardians?

Them what kills you. Stick to the path. Beware of the moon.

Shifty asks,

I don't know if I'm Emailing the right department, but I have a copy of Halo2(Very Impressed!!) and have formed my own Xbox Clan via the service "SumOfYourFears" but for some reason I'm not allowed guests in the game?

You cannot have guests in Clan games or in ranked games. Custom or unranked only. Why? Because you could jack up your ranking by killing your "guests." If you're referring to unranked games or custom games, then I'm baffled.

Eric asks,

Can someone tell me if there really is a Race in multiplayer of Halo 2 like in Halo or at all?

Nope, Race is gone baby. Some people liked it but it was the least popular game mode. So out it went in favor of Assault and Territories. That said, people do build custom race variants with their own previously agreed to rules.

ElBastard asks,

Why did it take so long to send the "Guess the Desk" prizes?

Last year, Frank suffered a tragic medical condition known as Kinesophobia. His recovery from that was the hold up.

Simone asks,

Any news on Downloadable Content?

Nothing to report right now. All I can tell you is that a lot of excited screaming and yelling is coming from the multiplayer test lab. And let me leave you with a single word that you may in future come to use: "Trench."

And finally, somebody asked for some Mister Chief wallpaper. here's a preview. Full file coming next week.

Top 10: Online Multiplayer Console Games 

Posted by urk at 11/3/2010 9:21 AM PDT

ScrewAttack shows us some love.

If you're not familiar with what ScrewAttack does, it's about time you got acclimated. And what better way to introduce yourself than with a video where they sing our praises? Bam!

Cover your ears if you aren't into naughty language. Thanks to HBO for pointing us in the right direction.

Tags: Halo 2 (Xbox)


Backwards From Dawn, Part 1 

Posted by urk at 4/20/2010 9:17 AM PDT

I Hardly Knew Thee...

Forward Unto Dawn is taking a look back at Halo 2 with a fresh perspective. Get your own eyes on at the jump below. Thanks to HBO for the heads up (and the bandwidth).

I Hardly Knew Thee...

Tags: Halo 2 (Xbox)


One Final Effort 

Posted by urk at 4/16/2010 1:51 PM PDT

There are those who said this day would never come...

Read Full Top Story

Tags: Halo 2 (Xbox)



Posted by urk at 4/15/2010 10:10 AM PDT

Halo 2 is still going strong!

Looks like the Xbox LIVE team has yet to flip the switch. Halo 2 is still online and operational. If you're looking to get some last minute games in, now's the time - there's no telling when it's going down!

Tags: Halo 2 (Xbox)


Walshy's 2nd - Halo 2 Montage 

Posted by urk at 4/15/2010 9:19 AM PDT

Goodbye to you.


"This is the amazing Walshy's second montage on youtube. No description needed, but I'll give one anyway. Walshy is an amazing Halo 2 player, and is on one of the best teams, Final Boss, with players like him, Ogre 1, Ogre 2, and Strongside. This montage is a very honest montage with great editing and gameplay. Many snipes, sticks, multikills, and no scopes etc. I hope you enjoy it and leave a comment for me to read!?"

YouTube - Walshy - 2nd Halo 2 Montage

Tags: Halo 2 (Xbox)



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