Bungie Weekly Update: 09.18.09
Posted by urk at 9/18/2009 3:29 PM PDT
Kanye West joke goes here. Newborn Internet meme out of the way, let’s dig in.

Less than four days left until you get your hands on a copy of Halo 3: ODST. Under eighty hours to go. You prepared to drop?

We sure hope so. We’ve poured it on pretty thick over the last couple of months, providing you with as much information about ODST’s campaign and Firefight as we’re willing to comfortably part with. You’ve had ample opportunity to read previews, see tons of screenshots, and get acquainted with plenty of interviews and gameplay videos. The green light is lit. The hangar bay is open. All that’s left to do is suit up, strap into your chair, and prepare to drop into New Mombasa.

Godspeed and good luck, Seventh Column. We’ll see you on the ground early next week.

Halo 3: ODST Launch Pajama Jammy Jam

Hey, remember earlier in the week when we told you about this sweet Halo 3: ODST launch party that was going down right here in Seattle? This is your subtle reminder. Nudge, nudge. 

If you didn’t save the details in your calendar, here they are once again:

We’re going to pack more than a hundred dudes (and a handful of lovely ladies) into some buses and show up at EMP in full Bungie force. If you’re gonna be in attendance, look for the dashing lads and lasses rocking the Bungie and ODST tees.  Step up and say hello between rounds of Firefight.

We’re going to have all kinds of festivities to celebrate launch too: a Firefight tournament, 36 Firefight stations, Halo 3: ODST campaign on display, tons of signed swag to give out (some for Child’s Play), panels for you to attend, and tons of other stuff to make sure we ring in Halo 3: ODST all proper like.

Oh, and please don’t really show up in your pajamas. It was just a joke. Jerome will throw you out on your thinly clad ass. Feel free to wear your ODST armor though. There’s a costume contest going down.

If you can’t make it, we’re gonna do our best to bring it to the web. If you’re not following us on Twitter, you’re gonna miss a whole mess of sweet tweets. We’re also hoping to get as much guerrilla-style footage canned as we can, same as we did at the PAX panel, so look for some of that coming your way next week.

The Smell of Hero

One thing we haven’t really covered – at least not here in the update – is how you can get the most out of your inaugural run through ODST. First thing first, if you’re going in solo, Heroic is still the sweet spot. The enemies will be formidable, the encounters rewarding, and you’ll have to rely on tactics and skill to successfully fight your way through to the end.

In other words:

To me, Heroic is like a make out session. It's where I start things slow, take my time to explore the nooks and crannies. It lasts longer, and maybe isn't as satisfying as a Legendary run, but it gets me familiar with the game's rhythms and structures, which help me enjoy it more when I take it to the next level. I always head into Legendary on the follow-up play session, as that's where the magic is.” – GhaleonEB

Legendary, indeed.

Going in with a group? Legendary is your best option straight away. You should also keep in mind that it’s a bit more difficult to wrangle four players from start to finish, and should you decide at any point to bow out of the group and go it alone your save state begins anew and you’ll be forced to drop back in at the start of an already completed mission. You’ll probably want to re-read that last sentence, just in case.

Personally, I think it’s best to experience things at your own pace, solo-style. Disconnect the phone, turn the lights down low, and fire up some potpourri. (I prefer cinnamon spice.)

Plus, if you tackle things yourself you won’t have to worry about some loudmouth blathering on during a cutscene (let alone skipping one altogether), some chump lagging behind the whole way through, or an overeager showoff blazing a trail and getting too far ahead of the squad. You’ll be able to take things nice and slow, hanging on every word, letting the orgiastic feast of sight, sound, and storytelling work its entertainment magic on you in the way that only a video game can.

Whichever way you ultimately go, you should pick your difficulty straight away, lock it down, and then stick with it until you complete the game. You should also be playing on an HD set with 5.1 audio if you can swing it. Optimal experience and all that.

Lost Platoon

Brad Rigney cooked this up for us.  Not going to waste words describing it.  It's amazing.  Click it to make huge.

One Final Effort

If you’ve made it this far without coming across any significant story spoilers, you’re in for a treat. If you haven’t, we think you’re still in for a ton of fun.

If you've pre-ordered your copy of Halo 3: ODST, followed along with us throughout its rather unique and interesting development cycle, or you’re just planning on heading down to the local shop at your own leisure to pick up our game when you can, thank you. We say we make games that we want to play, but we’re pretty pleased you want to play ‘em too.

Firefightin’ for Braggin’ Rights

Last week word came down from on high (from Michael Williams) that we needed to gather up some games to give our stats back end one last workout before we pushed it live. (Back end joke goes here) Fortunately for us, that meant playing some more Firefight. Seemed like a good opportunity to run a little impromptu internal tournament.

The rules were simple:

Four man teams, no warm-ups, on Heroic difficulty. Since Crater (Night) was the only map showing up on the live side (as some of you have already noticed), all the games took place in Dare’s darkened crash site. Oh, and there was a thirty minute time limit in place.

Here are the four teams and their Firefight breakdowns (click any of the images to make big):

Ken Taya, Matt Bennier, Cameron Pinard, and Lars Bakken

"I would like to point out that we were the only team that managed to survive up to the 30 minute cutoff, which is probably why we won. Of course, the only reason we made it that far was because of Ken "Hero" Taya for bringing the team back from the brink. I don't care what anyone else on the team says. You are my Hero, Ken. ;)" - Lars Bakken, Neurosurgeon with the M6C.

"As our team's weakest link, I am going to blame my teammates for the trouncing of our competition. Ken gets extra props for a crazy clutch Hero moment. I'm sure Team Longshore is ready to step once more into the breach and again crush the competition. " - Cameron 'get rockets at any cost' Pinard

“What can I say? We had the winning combo. Lars was point with pistol and plasma, ready to take down Engineers at a moment’s notice. Ken and Cam covered the high ground and defended it like it was their homeland. As for myself, I mostly played the part of distraction in the pit luring the attention of any Chieftain or Hunter within line of sight. If there was a medal for how many Chieftains you could get to activate their invulnerability and not get destroyed in the process, I’d have too many to count.” - Matt Bennier, Agro Activator

Ben Thompson, Christian Diefenbach, Dave Candland, and Josh Hamrick

“The key to a good game of Firefight on Crater (Night) is to always have somebody with a plasma pistol and a rocket launcher. On Heroic you can 2-shot Brute Chieftains with a charged plasma pistol shot followed by a rocket. Also with crater night having one person always carrying around a plasma pistol means that you should be able to clear engineers very quickly. If you have some extra rocket ammo, keep your eyes peeled for those free points when a dozen grunts and jackals are dropped in the middle. Finally, as the person on plasma pistol and rocket launcher duty you can round off your killing potential with some time on the turret. In later waves, feel free to rip that sucker off its stand for some fun times.” – Ben

David Aldridge, Luke Timmins, Brad Fish, and Paul Lewellen

“We demand a rematch. Brad was drunk, and Aldridge lost his temper and kept screaming at Paul to ‘sack up.’ We just had a bad game all around.” – Luke Timmins

Dave Lieber, Pat Jandro, Javier, Chris Alderson

“I would like to point out that the 3d art contractors that were playing before our sucky mcfailfail team totally looked like they were doing worse off than us. Non-score-reporters, Fail!

P.S. And in related news, Bungie is always hiring talented 3d artists (to provide low scores to make my own look better). Also, I blame teammate Chris Alderson for ever making that damn Engineer…" -Dave Lieber

[Eds. Note: We didn’t want to embarrass them, but you're right, they didn't report in.  Understandable though, they scored under 30k. And check out our Career Opportunities Page everybody! – urk]

“Chris was too busy admiring art! Pat was too busy throwing grenades at teammates, and Dave, well, he was just Dave. Word of advice… get rid of those damn Engineers!” – Javier

"I beat Kapture24.” - Pat Jandro

Once More, With Feeling

If you’ve yet to watch the final pre-launch ODST ViDoc, “Terra Incognita,” now’s the time. Tick tock. (Did we mention that we’re less than four full days out from launch?) The best viewing experience is definitely found on your Xbox 360, especially if you have a crystal clear HD television and a nice, crisp sound system, but if you simply can’t wait to dig in and get the final word from the Halo 3: ODST Strike Team, here it is in our YouTube flavor:

While I’d love to leave off right there and head out to enjoy the last weekend before launch week, I know that you’re a pretty surly bunch. No matter where we happen to be in the grand scheme of things, you demand more words from us each and every Friday. Who am I to deny you your perceived share?

Since some of you were kind enough to provide me with some of your own copy via our Submit News feed on the front page, I figured I’d return the favor and use your own words against you. And hey, free copy. Let’s do this.

All the News...

halo 3 odst comes out on next tuesday
ratatattat writes: halo 3 odst comes out on next tuesday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Halo 3 odst comes out on next tuesday

halo 3 odst is cuming in the 22nd england cant wait
Gangreener writes: i love odst its da best

need odst in 22nd people get ready

Well, the best might be a little bit strong. It’s certainly good. We think it’s great even. But the best? Stop, you’re making us blush.

And Halo 3: ODST isn’t just coming out in England. It’s dropping worldwide. Available in all stores, everywhere.

Of course, the second chap’s eager opinion might not be enough to sway you if you still fancy yourself a fence sitter. If you’re anxiously awaiting reviews, get ready - they’re coming in hot. Expect to see impact online over the weekend.

how can i get recon
writes: Hi me name i [redacted] and i really wont recon and all m friends have it not my friends fried ave it so can u tell me me how and my gamr tag is [redacted] an i wont tell no one k

plz help my gamer tag is [readacted] i wont tell

Great news. You can have Recon. All you gotta do is snag every Vidmaster achievement from Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST. You like achievements, don’t you? Of course you do. But it’s not all sunshine and gamerscore. It’s not going to be easy. You’re gonna have to work for it. But in the end, isn’t it always best to earn the things you want the most?

Why Bungie, why?! :(
writes: Your Launch Party location, Bungie.

Bungie! I love you so much but WHY?! :(  Why only Seattle? :(

I know that is your base of operations but can't you do a world wide, or at least nation wide, event? :(

It's really unfair for those who have to work, are in school, or just don't live in Washington. :(

Only those within a 20 mile radius experiences a really cool launch party while everyone else has to

crawl under a rock and weep. :(

Man, we love you so much too. But we told you this is how it had to be when we first got into this long distance relationship. We were gonna make games and send word out to you each and every Friday and you were gonna totally be cool about it, baby. Love knows no bounds and all that. Ringing any bells?

On a serious note, it really would be something if we could get out and about on a regular basis to a ton of major cities and throw dozens of launch parties to make the whole world happy. For a million reasons, it just doesn’t work out.  It's a matter of logistics.

What did work out was the Halo 3: ODST Transport Truck Microsoft sent steamrolling all over this land loaded for bear with a bed full of Firefight. Of course, plenty of our team made it across the Atlantic for some European tours, including Cologne’s Gamescom.  Stateside we had a presence at Comic-Con, MLG Dallas, E3, and PAX this year.

So, yeah. We do get around when we can. But you’re right, we certainly can’t be everywhere.

New Hawtness
writes: I r gun explode!

I am in lvoe with the new layout!!!!

Man, me too. Our web team kicks some serious ass. I’ve been looking at mock ups of the site overhaul in one form or another for many months now and I’m still amazed at the swift and brutal efficiency with which these guys pull this stuff off.  It's like some kind of digital magic trick.  One minute it's the Bungie.net we all know and love and the next it's even better.  Bam.

If you haven’t already, you should take a few minutes to have a look around. Maybe check out the guided tour we whipped up a few weeks back. Of course, the ODST stats side is a bit barren right now, but that’s just an issue of timing. Once you get your hands on the game, we’re pretty sure that’ll change pretty dramatically.

And please don’t explode. Sounds messy.

Hi bungie

wow i hate u Bungie i just typed all this in the summary and now i have to copy and paste it i hate

Hey Bungie this is [redacted]. I like your games and such. They are pretty cool. My favorite part is the mongoose, and the openable doors on
Standoff. I think you should bring back the Halo: CE Needler melee by the way. Stabitty stab stab


shout-outs: [redacted] and [redacted]. there purty cool guys

byby bungie

wait im not done yet

Copy and pasting is difficult, we know, but it’s a valuable skill and you should practice up. In fact, guess how I got your message out of the news feed and into the update? That’s right! I copy and pasted. Also, hate leads to anger and I shouldn’t have to tell you where that leads.

The Mongoose is pretty sweet. Doors are rad too. Especially ones that open.  Oh, and Luke’s around here somewhere.


hey guys
writes: hey guys wats happening?

we need more info please on halo: reach cuz i think alot of us are really confused on it but if you dont then w/e its still goooooood

Not much, man. You?

We hear you on the Reach front, but you've probably noticed we’re in full-on ODST mode right now. Besides, what’s there to be confused about? Bungie, FPS, 2010.

Oh, and make sure you hang onto your Halo 3: ODST disc. Not only is it your invitation to the Halo: Reach Xbox LIVE multiplayer beta, but we plan on dropping some intel into the Extras menu early and often. Stay Tuned.

bungie -blam!- sucks
writes: why bungie -blam!- fails for a good gaming time

i hope you guys read this and send it all over ur asses because u guys are -blam!- dumbasses and dont give a -blam!- about playing fair or anything.

Well, we did read it. We did not send it all over our asses. You’re kinda scary and more than a little strange. Get well soon.

writes: forge



Blame Stosh

Two weeks in a row with no Blame Stosh, but we had heart and brought him back. Made him promise to deliver this week. I mean, here you are trying your best to get your sweet screenshots noticed what’s Stosh doing? Anyway.  Let him know what you think of this one.

Prepare to Drop

We Out

We’re gonna go rest up for next week. If you’re gonna be at the launch party, see you there. If you’re not, see you when you get boots on the ground in New Mombasa.

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