Return of the New Hotness
Posted by urk at 8/27/2009 4:51 PM PDT
It’s no secret that we love to share. Our web team tells us that from October 2008 to present – less than one full year – our stats database server alone has handled 1.4 quadrillion bytes of disk I/O. What’s a quadrillion?

It’s one thousand million million and it looks like this: 1,000,000,000,000,000. To put it in perspective, if you had enough means, money, and time you could create a cube out of a quadrillion pennies and the sucker would be more than half a mile tall, wide, and deep.

That’s a whole mess of pennies.

And of course, with the release of Halo 3: ODST, we’re once again upping the ante.

Return of the New Hotness

And as with all sneak peeks we should make mention that there may be minor differences between what you see here and what makes it into the final build. Don’t worry though. We’re not talking about features hitting the cutting room floor. More like small visual tweaks and maybe a minor repositioning of some stuff here and there.

The Welcome Mat

Click this tiny image for some size enhancement.  This technique will work for most of the images in this article.

The first thing you’ll notice is that our web and design teams have been busy giving the old digs a good old fashioned face lift. More than a nip here and a tuck there, they’ve made some big time changes to help you find your way around, check out how your skills are stacking up, and dig into some statistical information that charts the entire course of your Halo 3: ODST career.

Your identity bar has been given a fresh new coat of paint (more on that in a bit), top stories will now be even shinier (but less distracting and more elegantly integrated into the website), and yup, if you’re looking lower right, you’ve got your peepers trained on the return of the Voting Booth. Hilarity, our friends, is definitely going to ensue.

Goodbye Blog, Hello Comm Chatter

You might also notice that we're ditching the Bungie Blog branding. We’ve come to realize that the Bungie Blog is less about the news we’re making and more about the chatter coming out of the community (that's you). We figured a new name was in order. Enter the Comm Chatter.  What will live there will be up to you. Keep making content and we’ll keep showing it off.

Will the Bungie Blog fade away into the ether, never to be seen again in this world or another? Of course not. Stay Tuned.

Identify Yourself

Your future identity bar will now be fueled by magics. If the last title you played happens to be Halo 3: ODST, it’ll display relevant information for that title. If your last online affair was with Halo 3, it’s show off stuff pertaining to your faithful old gal. If you want to make the selection on the fly on your own, it'll accommodate that too. See? Magics.

You might also notice that in the case of ODST, there’s a pile or medals being shown and a grim skull on display. More on that last bit in a sec.

Under the ODST Hood

Ah, here’s where we really start digging in. It’s probably where you’ll dig in as well. Steel yourself for a stat assault unlike anything you’ve ever seen. It’s gonna get all numerical up in this, uh…section.  Leaderboards? Check. Line graphs. Check. Circle charts? Now come on, don’t you think you’re asking just a little too much? I mean, you know we don’t charge for this stuff, right?  Fine. Check.

Take an Overview

What you see is what you get. From the Online Stats Overview page you can get a glimpse at how many players are online, see some recent games, click into your Halo 3: ODST and Halo 3 service record, and search and sort custom content using the drop down and links provided.

Present and Accounted For

Once you make it a bit more personal by clicking into your own Service Record, you can check out a wealth of statistical data about your career performance, games played, and your own custom content.  Click into Halo 3: ODST and you can sort your personal data by mission and difficulty, see information covering your points total, your kills-to-deaths ratio, and get breakdowns of how it all averages out, per game. Averages include Points per Game, Kills per Game, Deaths per Game, Points per Death, Kills per Death, and Points per Kill.  You can also check out your Tools of Destruction, with each being sortable via a handful of relevant categories.

To the right, you’ll find your Chests that display information and statistics about the medals you’ve earned, the enemies you’ve dispatched, and the vehicles you’ve turned into scrap. These are also sortable.

Drilling Down

This same information will carry over into the game-by-game statistics as well, allowing you click on any of the relevant bits to get an even more detailed look. As you can see above, clicking on the Brute Hero nets you a look into how many of this enemy type each player in the game took down. Of course, there are plenty of other categories readily available from here as well.

If you’re a feeling overwhelmed by all of this, you can always just stick with the heatmaps. They’ve gotten a nice visual upgrade as well.

Fire in the Hole!

Livin' La Vida Leaderboards

Campaign and Firefight Leaderboards will let you get a good look at where your scores ultimately stack up. You can fiddle with some query values to return results based on difficulty, mission, and how many players were in the mix.

The blue-toned graph offers a Global Comparison, in this case the point values range from 0 to 840, 000. This data provides a visual representation of where the entire population falls in the overall scheme of things, and the orange line shows you where you live (lol, stosh).

The list below will default to those on your friends list, provided they have data from Halo 3: ODST games recorded. If you want to view other players’ totals, you can do that by looking at the stats section of their profile. When you do so, the system will temporarily add them to the list alongside you and the rest of your crew.

We haven’t gotten to the really detailed bits yet. Take a deep breath and let's go deeper.

Making History

Bam. We’re looking at a single game of Firefight here. You can see the navigation links at the top let you browse through older or newer games (and of course, you can step back and see them all in a nice, digestible list).  Top right is the player breakdown. To the left is the game overview and a handful of icons that will let you share your game date over social networking sites, email, and even the old fashioned way via your printer.

“Dear Grandma, today I played some Firefight. It was awesome. Love, Me.”

Line by Line

The line chart here is displaying Set 1, Round 2. Each colored line is attributed to one of the four players that were in on this game. You can see their point totals climb as they progressed through each wave. If you wanted to, you could use this same tool to check out similar data for Points or Deaths. Right now it’s showing Kills.  The default view will show the entire game, broken up into Sets. Clicking on a Set will drill down to display the data relevant for that time frame. And so on and so forth.

Too much? There’s more.

Round and Round

Round and Round She Goes

This one might be a bit tough to wrap your head around until you get some hands on time.  The beginning of each game is marked by the twelve o’clock position and mission "time" runs as you would expect, in a clockwise manner. You know about non-digital clocks, right?

The inner most ring represents Sets (in this case there are four of ‘em), the central band is rounds (three for each set), and the outermost ring is waves (5 per round). Just like the line chart described above, clicking into any individual segment will refresh the stats to display info relevant only to that segment of time, be it a full Set or a particular Round or Wave.

Is your head swimming yet? Trust us. It’s as intuitive in practice as it is mind-boggling in theory. You can see your stats from a lofty vantage, or you can zoom in and get as granular as you want. Your choice. Firefight Skulls

You may have noted the new skull icon in the title bar. You may have also noted that in some of the images on display, it’s been obfuscated so you can’t make it out. As you progress through Firefight, earning higher and higher scores on higher and higher difficulties, you’ll earn better and better skulls to show off. It’s bragging rights only, but we thought it best to reserve some of the higher tiered stuff so you can see them for the first time when you earn ‘em (or when your friends emasculate you by linking to the newer, better, hotter skull they’ve just snagged).

Road to Recon

It’s been a long time coming and this is where the answer to “Can I Haz?” becomes “yes you can.” But we’re not just giving Recon away. You’re going to have to earn it.

Once you’ve completed each and every Vidmaster found in Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST, you’ll be able to visit your profile page on and flip the switch yourself. We figured after all this time, it was only fitting that you did the honors. Take a few seconds to think about the journey before you make Recon happen for yourself. Good times, eh?  Consider our cryptic Halo 3 riddle a relic of the past. Go ahead and pull the trigger yourself.

Bungie Pro Video

You might have also noticed in the images above that Bungie Pro has been given some more prominence inside of your service record. If you have access to the expanded Bungie experience, all the pertinent information about your File Share and Bungie Pro Video will be much more visible now.

And if you’re wondering whether or not Bungie Pro Video will work with Halo 3: ODST’s Campaign and Firefight, the answer is yes. It’s in final testing as you're read this.  More details as they start to crystallize.

Hope you’ve enjoyed your brief sneak peek at your new home and all the new furnishings you’ll be checking out when Halo 3: ODST ship. We’ll leave the light on in the form of a discussion thread attached to this article just in case you want to chat about what you’ve witnessed here today.

'Under Fire' - ubald Render 

Posted by urk at 9/2/2010 9:00 AM PDT

Feet first into awesome.

Looks like ubald unleashed another render over at HBO. This one's a WIP and part of a much larger collection that will ultimately serve as a webcomic. But you should check it out now.

ubald: Halo Rendered Comic

Tags: Halo 3: ODST


Chronicles of ODS Steve #81 

Posted by urk at 9/1/2010 9:30 AM PDT

Faux Chief.

This week's Steve's getting all Batman on some Scarab carapace.

Chronicles of ODS Steve: Faux Chief (#81)

Tags: Halo 3: ODST


Chronicles of ODS Steve: #80 

Posted by urk at 8/25/2010 8:42 AM PDT


Today's Chronicles takes the direct approach.

Chronicles of ODS Steve: Charge (#80)

Tags: Halo 3: ODST


Halo: 3: ODST Mythic Guide: Data Hive 

Posted by urk at 8/24/2010 9:01 AM PDT

From here on out, you'll be playing in real-time.

The Tyrant is prepared to drop his latest Mythic Guide. If you've yet to make you way up to Data Hive, it looks like the next installment will be delayed, so you have plenty of time to catch up. More information at the link below.

Halo 3: ODST Mythic Guide: Data Hive

Tags: Halo 3: ODST


Chronicles of ODS Steve #79 

Posted by urk at 8/18/2010 9:03 AM PDT

Need Backup?

Looks like Steve is mixing and matching.

Chronicles of ODS Steve: Need Backup? (#79)

Tags: Halo 3: ODST



  • Careers

    Help us achieve World Domination.

  • Breaking In

    Find out more about Bungie’s Top Men and Women.

  • Publications

    Insight into building games the Bungie way.

  • Community

    Juicy gossip from or about the Bungie Community.

  • FAQs and Info

    You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers.