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[Locked] MCC Development & Flighting Updates

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Hey Friends,

It’s Friday which means we’re back with another mini-update to share the latest status on MCC PC development and where we are at for the next Halo Insider flight. If some of you have paid attention to my posts over on Twitter (1st and 2nd) and even last weeks news article, you have been gaining some insight into the process and where we have been tracking towards for flighting.

In case you are joining us for the first time, you can catch up on what has been going on over the past few months with these helpful articles:
Now that we are all caught up on what’s happened, let’s talk about where we are at right now.

Where are we at?
Currently, we have completed our Ring 2 testing and have verified that previous blocking bugs have been resolved. The Test Team received a new build yesterday and is currently working through a full verification of the build. If verification completes today, we will go to Ring 1 this weekend to verify the changes and assess readiness for the Ring 2. If all goes well there, we will continue in the following week moving through our rings. If no showstoppers are found – we will be able to move to Ring 3 soon once all previous Rings have been cleared. Below are a handful of bugs that have been resolved this week which were Ring 3 blockers.
  • Users were able to matchmake after editing various files
  • Soft Lock when pressing Alt + Tab while in full screen
  • Crash when loading into a match
  • Certain scenarios caused the Roster to disappear and not be accessible
  • Inviting a friend to play would cause the invitee to crash when accepting it
All of these are currently being verified by our internal team as being fixed now. We are looking good to go out to Ring 1 tonight and if verification that all critical bugs have been fixed and no new major issues present, this could be the build that goes out to Ring 3 soon barring no issues.

Looking Ahead!
Even though we are working on the FireFlight, we still have progress being made on the following flight to test out PvP. The key goals for the next one will be to validate Halo: Reach PvP networking within gameplay and through the matchmaking flow. This next flight is currently planned to be an Xbox One flight only. Below is the current spec for our first offerings for matchmaking we are working towards.

Social Games
  • Halo: Reach
    • 2v2 Matchmaking
      • Maps: Countdown, Powerhouse, and Zealot
      • Game Categories: Slayer
    • 4v4 Matchmaking
      • Maps: Countdown, Powerhouse, Zealot, and Tempest
      • Game Categories: Slayer, Flag and Bomb, Zone Control, Asset Denial, and Actionsack
    • 8v8 Matchmaking
      • Maps: Tempest, Breakpoint, and Ridgeline
      • Game Categories: Slayer, Flag and Bomb, Zone Control, and Asset Denial
Competitive Games
  • Halo: Reach
    • Reach Team Hardcore
      • Maps: Countdown and Zealot
      • Game Variants: Slayer and Capture the Flag
    • Invasion
      • Maps: Breakpoint
      • Game Variants: Invasion
We are excited for the future and are all hard at work bringing these games to all of you. Thanks for joining us and we look forward to chatting more with you in the following weeks!

Cheers,
Postums
Hello Halo Insiders,

Welcome back to another Friday mini update where we are going to discuss all the latest and greatest in MCC PC development as we march towards the next flight! The team has made a lot of progress this past week.

But before we begin, if you haven’t been following our previous updates, I highly encourage you to take a few minutes and get caught up on some important background info about the Halo Insider Program, public flighting, and the overall project itself. Consider this a pre-requisite and required reading before you get any further in today’s blog:
Now that you have gotten through all that light reading, let’s get into some new goodness.

Where are we at?
Yesterday, we shared our current proposed build for Ring 3 to our Ring 1 & 2 users. Testing went quite well over the evening with improvements being seen over past builds.

This is the same one that was streamed on Wednesday’s 343 Social Stream. If you missed that, please feel free to check out the VOD HERE. The Reach goodness starts around the 28-minute mark.

As it stands right now, all Ring 3 blockers are currently resolved, and we are very close to getting the build out to the Halo Insiders. The current snag we are working through involves how we support the flight roll-out. These issues were identified early in the day, and some have been resolved, but not all. The good news is that we are very close and once all our ducks are in a row, we will be able to get the party started!

Thank you everyone for waiting patiently. I know we can’t wait to get this out into your hands to try out shortly!

Cheers,
Postums
Good Morning Halo Insiders,

In case you haven’t heard about it, you still can register for the Halo Insider program. Sign-ups are always available if you want to participate in future flighting for Halo titles. Currently flighting is focused on Halo: Reach as part of the Halo: The Master Chief Collection, but it will also serve as a testing ground for all titles that make up the Master Chief Collection.

What does the Halo Insider program entail? How does one sign-up (or opt-out)? Get the answers to these questions and many more on the Registration page HERE, or in the Insider forums HERE.

In addition, if you haven’t been following our previous updates, I highly encourage you to take a few minutes and get caught up on some important background info about the Halo Insider Program, public flighting, and the overall project itself. Consider this a pre-requisite and required reading before you get any further in today’s post:
Now that you have gotten through all that light reading, let’s get into some new goodness.

Flight Two – FireFlight
When undergoing major updates such as adding an entirely new game to MCC or bringing MCC to PC, a critical component in this process is to get community involvement early and often. This means you to get hands-on time to play, test, and provide feedback for our in-progress builds via the Xbox Insider app on console and via Steam on PC.
Since the conclusion of Flight One the team has been working on the next, affectionately dubbed FireFlight. Today we are happy to say that this flight number two will begin today!

Participants
Invites have started to roll out for the FireFlight participants that have been chosen. With this flight, the team has increased the size of the user pool to 10,000 invitees. Those who were invited to Flight One may have not received an invite again to this flight as the requirements the team has chosen for participants has changed.
However, even with this bigger group, most of the overall Halo Insider population will still not be included quite yet. For Flight Two we’re continuing to intentionally limit the number of users as we gradually ramp up in size and scope to appropriately test various hardware configurations, operating systems, and other various scenarios we are looking to test at scale. Should you not be invited this time, we sincerely appreciate your interest and eagerness to help. There is more to come.

Scope
In the Halo Insider MCC Flight One we focused entirely on the Halo: Reach campaign mission, Tip of the Spear. For the second PC flight we will be focusing on verifying Firefight and Firefight matchmaking at scale.

Maps
  • Beachhead
  • Corvette
  • Holdout

Firefight Playlists
During this flight we will rotate two different Firefight playlists throughout the duration with only one available at any given time.
  • 4-player Heroic standard Firefight
  • 4-player Normal grab bag Firefight
As with all flights, keep in mind that this represents a snapshot of an in-progress build at a specific moment in time – which is not as current as what’s being actively developed at this very moment. Flights are also clearly limited in scope which means many of MCC’s features and broader offerings are not included. Participants will want to check out the “Known Issues” post on Halo Support for the latest and greatest details to be aware of for this flight.

Feedback
In conjunction with the Halo Insider MCC flights, we are also beta testing the all new Halo Support site. This is a new site that allows you to learn about known issues and how to troubleshoot them. It also provides a forum to discuss feedback you have around the game, and lets you submit support tickets for technical issues that have not been previously reported. To learn more about the Halo Support site, please take a look at this post all about it HERE.

Those who are participating in the MCC flights will be granted access to the Halo Support site using that same account that they registered with for Halo Insider. If you have feedback during the flights, please take some time and post in the Community section over on the Halo Support site. Otherwise, we look forward to getting your thoughts as part of the survey that will come after the flight has concluded.

Dates & Play Sessions
  • August 24, 10:00 AM PT - 1:00 PM PT & 5:00 PM PT - 9:00 PM PT
  • August 25, 10:00 AM PT - 1:00 PM PT & 5:00 PM PT - 9:00 PM PT
  • August 26, 10:00 AM PT - 1:00 PM PT & 5:00 PM PT - 9:00 PM PT
This flight has gone live today, Saturday, 8/24, as we set our cruising altitude for the duration of the weekend. We will come in on our final approach on Tuesday, 8/27 before clearing all rows at 10 AM PT and sending out a survey in the following day or two asking users about their experience for the duration of the flight.

The FireFlight invites to all participants have begun rolling out at 10AM this morning. So, check those inboxes (spam folders included) and get ready! Thank you everyone who has registered to participate and to those who are invited. Your time and efforts along with your feedback are helping to shape MCC on PC! Next week, we will discuss how the flight went and start ramping up discussions around the next planned Xbox One PvP Flight the team will shift focus over to.

Cheers,
Postums
Hello Halo Insiders,

Today’s update on flighting is going to be quite brief.

Where are we at?
Well, a new blog dropped last week right HERE. In that blog we talked a little bit about three things as it related to flighting.
  • FireFlight had come to pass
  • There were some inner discussions of a FireFlight 2.0
  • Looking ahead to the first Xbox flight for Halo: Reach which would be PvP focused
We have some updates on these points today.

FireFlight 2.0
With bleeding edge transparency often comes pivots and changes on the drop of a dime. Prior to analyzing all the data of our Fireflight we thought we might end up needing to conduct a second one. However, after further investigation, we identified the information we needed to properly evaluate our goals from the results we had collected. This means, we have decided to not conduct a follow-up FireFlight and press onwards, to focus on PvP flighting.

Xbox PvP flight
I was in a meeting this week (Thursday 9/5) where we discussed the status of the Xbox build. Currently the team is working through determining which build they would like to branch with, to begin hardening for the next flight. QA runs daily tests and the team is reviewing reports on the most recent builds to assess which features/bug fixes they would like to be in before the first branch.

For those who are like, “why is he talking about trees?” that is a very fair thought, let me explain.

In the code world, you can create what is called a “branch” which at the time of its creation can be a carbon copy of the core code for a project. But after that branch happens, the code is isolated from your main project. This allows you to fine tune, to pick and choose, what pieces you want pulled into it. Branching for a flight is one of the core steps for each flight to lock everything down and work to more easily stabilize the code base. This concludes my Ted talk. Back to news!

Once a branch is successful, the team will do a full evaluation of the proposed candidate and begin gathering the top issues they would like to resolve in preparation for flighting! Currently, the team has only conducted tests internally to Ring 0. I look forward to discussing the Xbox PvP flight build more next week.

Until next time, we’ll see y’all online!

Cheers,
Postums
Hey Friends,

Back again with another update on how flighting is shaping up. I touched base with the QA team to be brought up to speed on all the issues that were submitted by those who participated in the FireFlight. As well, I talked to the team about the next planned flight for Xbox One which will be Halo: Reach Matchmaking. All the juicy details can be found below!

FireFlight Bugs Recap
From the last flight, we had over 400 issues get reported by the community. There were many duplicate reports of the same problem users were encountering so the unique was much smaller in comparison. Below are the top issues that were reported by count.
  • Stability issues on launch, match start, and match end
  • Settings not working as intended
  • Audio issues
  • Intermittent freezes and enemy display issues
All of these issues are being investigated by the test team and have bugs logged against them to have additional information entered to be fixed in the future.
Below is a full list of issues reported by the community that have already been fixed. Thank you for sharing all the information!
  • Exiting out of settings menu guns continue to fire
  • UI had multiple medal displays
  • Game incorrectly gives “host disconnected” message in certain network situations
  • Picture in picture on weapons like scopes do not match up with view
  • Players could get locked in menus after selecting various sub-menus
  • Death screen camera sensitivity is too slow
  • You could run faster running diagonally while holding the turret
  • Misspellings in the “Change Profile” description
  • Using an Xbox controller can cause crashes
  • When hovering over the roster it is in focus, but when moving away from it, it stays highlighted
  • Firefight Matchmaking menu had placeholder titles
  • Brutes seem to drop invisible armor lock pickups
  • Text sometimes appears as “Breadcrumb text Breadcrumb” instead of “Choose Game Type”
  • During match, UI offset on Ultrawide monitor is present.
Again, thank you so much for all the feedback that you have had! We are excited to hear about things you had issues with so we can put as much polish on the features we have as possible.

Xbox PvP Flight
Currently the team is still working to identify the best build to branch from right now. There are a handful of key bugs they are waiting to get fixed as well as pieces of content that may or may not make it into the flighting build. As bugs are fixed and additional work is happening, they may wait a little bit longer to get some key features in so more systems can be stressed and looked at by the community as they come online.

Currently the team has been having regular Ring 0 play test, which means internal testing only for feedback and stability checks so far. Once a branch build is identified, we will be able to move towards flighting and work through any bugs we have backlogged that are blockers. As we move into the following week, we will have more progress updates to share on the status of flighting as we get ready to push towards the PvP flighting.

Until next time, we will see y’all online!

Cheers,
Postums
Hey Friends,

This week the team has continued working on the Xbox PvP build for our next upcoming flight. So far, all core systems required for the flight to happen have been completed. A new build from the branched state was kicked off Thursday and made its way into test today. The team still has a couple isolated bugs that they are working through which are deemed ring blockers, but this week they went from 10 down to 2 blocking bugs so far. But before anything can even move forward from bug fix to flight, the team must isolate the content for the next flight and trim the build down to just the content wanting to be shipped out for it.

Xbox PvP Flight Ring Status – Ring 0
Right now, there is 1 Ring 3 blocker and 1 Ring 1 blocker that have been identified within the build that is in test.
  • Title Softlocks after completing a match
  • Reach Multiplayer installation issues
Once these have been fixed, and the build has been locked down to the planned content, things on that front will be moving forward quickly!

Please Delete Old Xbox Insider Builds
To those who have participated in previous Xbox Insider flights on the Xbox and still have the old ones installed, you will want to delete these entirely from your Xbox. This will help alleviate some issues that may arise if you try to update that old build to the next flighted build. A fresh install of the next flighting build is what you will want to do.

Xbox Flighting Differences
One key difference from Xbox and PC is the delivery method for the game. With flighting that was conducted previously on Xbox for MCC’s prior game updates, the setup was slightly different to how testing is being conducted now. The last series of flights on Xbox were setup to allow for anyone who owned MCC on Xbox to have access to it via the Xbox Insider program. We still will continue to use that program, but in order to target only the select Halo Insiders we want to have access, we have had to remove that setup and the satisfying entitlement flow for testing.

With the Setup being taken down, it required rebuilding the pipelines and requirements from scratch for our new flow of how we test builds. The great news is our partners have worked closely with us to ensure all is set back up properly and will be good to go as soon as we are ready to move into our first Ring 1 test soon. We are targeting next week to enter into Ring 1 testing.

As we move closer to the Xbox PvP flight and the Ring 1 testing, we will give more updates on how things are going. Stay tuned!

Cheers,
Postums
Welcome back Friends,

This week we are on the bleeding edge of entering our next public flight. The team is currently day-to-day on getting the go-ahead to put out the next flight. The current plan of record is as soon as all blocking bugs are resolved and it has made it through the Ring 1 testing, we will look to move to Ring 3. But before we get into where we are at status wise, we want to remind everyone to delete all your old Halo: MCC Insider builds on Xbox!

Please Delete Old Xbox Insider Builds
To those who have participated in previous Xbox Insider flights on the Xbox and still have the old ones installed, you will want to delete these entirely from your Xbox. This will help alleviate some issues that may arise if you try to update that old build to the next flighted build. A fresh install of the next flighting build is what you will want to do.

Let’s hop on over to see where the team is at right now!

Xbox PvP Flight Ring Status – Ring 1
Right now, there is currently 2 Ring 3 blockers that have been identified within the build that is in test. This week the team has been working actively in the flighting branched build, a paired down the build to be the exact content we want to target for the flight. This branched build has allowed rapid iteration on issues and the team has tackled many bugs over the course of the week.

In great news, all Ring 1 blockers have been resolved this week and later this evening the team will be pushing the latest build out to our Ring 1 participants. The teams will be in over the weekend also testing and resolving Ring 3 blockers in hopes of flighting to Ring 3 as early as next week. The below issues are currently active bugs that the team is working through prior to a public flight and are the only identified Ring 3 blockers as of now.
  • Forge menu loses functionality after closing the PGCR.
  • Halo: Reach Multiplayer is not installed properly in some scenarios
Once these have been fixed and Ring 1 testing is successful, we will plan to get this next flight out quickly. No promises or dates, but things are looking good for as early as next week if all goes well over the weekend. Thank you for swinging by and checking out the latest info for flighting! We can’t wait to get this flight out to our Xbox users. Once this next flight wraps up, we will be working rapidly to our last planned flight over on PC for PvP!

Cheers,
Postums
Hey friends,

Welcome back to our regularly scheduled Friday flighting updates. October is a busy month in terms of flighting for sure! Last week we wrapped up our Xbox One Multiplayer flight for Halo: Reach and we are moving full steam ahead on getting the next PC flight out the door as well. Below are updates on both. Before I dive in, if you haven’t recently updated your Halo Insider profile, please go HERE and make sure you have done the following:
  • Verified your email
  • Opted into communication
  • Opted into PC flighting
  • Provided an updated DxDiag
To be considered for a flight, the first two must be true and the third simply helps us select from the latest and greatest configurations for PCs including OS versions. Let’s dive on in!

Xbox One Flight Recap
Early on in October we flighted Halo: Reach’s Multiplayer on the Xbox One. This flight’s main goals were to test the backend and each of the matchmaking offerings that are going to be available when MCC comes to PC and Halo: Reach joins MCC on the Xbox One. We invited significantly more Halo Insiders to play Halo: Reach than any previous flight. A few different user groups were selected with different criteria. One included a percentage of users from previous Halo Insider flights and actively participated. Also, many users were selected who had not received invites previously. A second, more specific, set of users with high engagement in MCC over the past 90 days was also curated in case we needed to expand our flight to reach goals we had set.

We invited approximately 50k users who have registered for the Halo Insider program. Beyond that, we manually added just over 100 individuals for this flight ranging from streamers, content creators, professional gamers, casters, and other individuals who are vocal about Halo. Their numbers are a mere drop in the bucket compared to who was chosen by specific criteria.

With this flight, we sent invites out in waves to test engagement and better understand who would participate at what rates. This roll-out not only allowed us to validate our theories, it helped us reach the goals we set internally. After the first round of invites, we saw low engagement levels and made the call to double the audience and invite even more players. As we opened the floodgates and expanded invites, we did push our flight services to the limit and even saw a brief moment of (expected) instability as a result where new dedicated server instances were having a hard time keeping up. This is to be expected and is only an issue given the intentionally limited scope for a flight environment.

One mistake we did make (and have since rectified) is we selected users who had not verified emails. So even though we chose you, we couldn’t email you to let you know you were invited! Please make sure you verify your email and opt in for communication in the Halo Insider program. Help us help you!
Additionally, there was an extra special stress test where we asked folks to come out Saturday, October 5th to help us put Halo: Reach’s updated networking to the test. Thank you, Spartans, as you did not disappoint!

We hit our goals, and then some, for concurrent users playing that day (nearly 4x over!) and were able to effectively test the new infrastructure brought online to help support MCC for the future of the title. Your time playing helped us effectively see how leveling worked during the flight and verified that our progression system worked as intended at scale.

All in all, this test was very successful, and we are excited to say that quite a few folks showed up and played lots of matches during the stress test. In total 3,720 users played 5 or more matches, and as a thank you, received the MCC Insider nameplate. On top of that, 1,713 additional folks hit the bar of completing 12 matches during the stress test’s time window earning themselves the MCC Insider Pro nameplate. Thank you to everyone who came out and participated so much. Your efforts are very much appreciated and are helping us shape Halo: Reach!

That being said, there were quite a few folks that went above and beyond in terms of participation. Below are the top 10 players from this flight who all played well over 200 matches during the flight. The top 3 though went all-in and put in over 300 matches. The top player, Bound, took top marks and was the only one to break 400 games played, completing a total of 429 matches!
  1. Bound
  2. Mint Blitz
  3. Rammyy
  4. LUKEPOWA
  5. Fazel 2
  6. ASS1STED
  7. Reclaimants
  8. The DiZZeL
  9. Th3 LiE
  10. MrJaycoooo
We can’t state enough how much we appreciate everyone’s efforts in helping us to test this flight so extensively. As a token of our appreciation for playing near constantly through entire duration of the flight, if you see your gamertag in the list above, we have granted you each an extra special nameplate for your efforts. Thank you!

As one final note to all participants, you can go ahead and delete the old MCC Insider build from your console. This build will not be used again and any flight in the future for Xbox will require it to be deleted.

Update DXDIAG and Verify Email
Before I jump into anything around this, please take some time right now and go update your Halo Insider profile if you haven’t recently with a new DxDiag, ensure you have opted into PC flighting, and have a verified email that we can contact you at! We need this info to help target specific goals we are trying to reach in our upcoming PC flight.

I know this is the third time I’m asking, but literally please click HERE and do it now. I swear it’s the last time I will ask in this post. Now back to our regularly scheduled update!

PC Flight Update
The team is moving very rapidly preparing for the next Halo: Reach flight. Yesterday we received our first branched build for the next PC flight, and it has been getting hammered on internally with our 2nd Ring 0 test happening today. The teams will be in over the weekend hammering away identifying any blocking issues to resolve prior to going to Ring 1 & 2. If no issues are found, the team plans to go out to Rings 1 & 2 on Monday. Our goal is to get this flight out as quickly as possible, so hang on to your seats!

This PC flight, in terms of scope, will have the most content to date for players to enjoy. This flight includes two campaign missions, multiple offerings for social and ranked matchmaking, custom games, and Firefight matchmaking. All types of content will be available over the course of the flight – which we anticipate will last a week – but select offerings for Multiplayer and Firefight matchmaking may change.

Campaign Missions
  • Noble Actual
  • Winter Contingency
Firefight Matchmaking Offerings
  • 4-player Heroic standard Firefight
    • Beachhead
    • Corvette
    • Holdout
  • 4-player Normal Arcade Firefight
    • Beachhead
    • Corvette
    • Holdout
Multiplayer Matchmaking Offerings
  • 2v2 Social: Slayer
    • Countdown
    • Powerhouse
    • Zealot
  • 4v4 Social: Slayer, Flag and Bomb, Zone Control, Asset Denial, and Action Sack
    • Countdown
    • Powerhouse
    • Zealot
    • Tempest
  • 8v8 Social: Slayer, Flag and Bomb, Zone Control, and Asset Denial
    • Tempest
    • Breakpoint
    • Ridgeline
  • Halo: Reach Team Hardcore: Slayer and Capture the Flag
    • Countdown
    • Zealot
  • Halo: Reach Invasion
    • Breakpoint
Closing
As we get closer to the flight’s target date, more information will be shared out in terms of days it will span, what offerings will be present on what days, and all the additional details we know you want. Please stay tuned and we will catch y’all online!

Cheers,
Postums
Hello Friends,

I’m going to keep this week’s flighting update short and snappy because we are on the cusp of putting out our final scheduled flight for MCC on PC! But, if you haven’t updated your profile recently for the Halo Insider program, go do it now. This means verifying your email, updating what platforms you are interested in, and if you select PC – update your DXDIAG. It’s in your best interest to always keep this up to date, I promise!

This week the team has been flighting to our Ring 1 & 2 user groups outside of the studio. If you don’t know what Ring 1 or 2 means, please read THIS article I penned a few months back explaining it all. For those who know, we only have a couple blocking issues we are working through right now preventing us from going out to Ring 3.

Best case scenario, they will be fixed in a new build over this weekend and the flight goes out early next week! Worst case, the flight starts later once the issues are fixed. I don’t have an exact timeline as we are quite agile when it comes to flighting and fixing bugs. Regardless, below is some info about the flight, the offerings and the daily plan.

Flight Three Goals
The primary goals of this flight are to test matchmaking on PC for both the Steam and Windows Store versions. This flight will include Crossplay between the two versions and we are excited to see how it goes. We are also looking to gather feedback from players on the updates that have been made.
This flight will also include the work in progress Season 1 so you can play around and begin customizing your character in game. The teams working on the project have made many bug fixes since the previous flight and are looking to hear what areas we can continue to improve on and gather your precious feedback.

PC Flight Content
The content for this flight includes two campaign missions, multiple offerings for social and ranked matchmaking, custom games, and Firefight matchmaking. During each play session you will be able to play using a keyboard and mouse (or with a gamepad should you choose), on your PC. All three types of content will be available over the course of the flight but select offerings for Multiplayer and Firefight matchmaking will change daily. Please see the next section for daily matchmaking options.

Campaign Missions
  • Halo: Reach Campaign Missions: Noble Actual and Winter Contingency.
Firefight Matchmaking Offerings
  • 4-player Heroic standard Firefight: will be played on Beachhead, Corvette, and Holdout.
  • 4-player Normal grab bag Firefight: will be played on Beachhead, Corvette, and Holdout.
Multiplayer Matchmaking Offerings
  • 2v2 Social: Slayer will be played on maps Countdown, Powerhouse, and Zealot.
  • 4v4 Social: Slayer, Flag and Bomb, Zone Control, Asset Denial, and Action Sack will be played on Countdown, Powerhouse, Zealot, and Tempest.
  • 8v8 Social: Slayer, Flag and Bomb, Zone Control, and Asset Denial, will be played on Tempest, Breakpoint, and Ridgeline.
  • Halo: Reach Team Hardcore: Slayer and Capture the Flag will be played on maps Countdown and Zealot.
  • Halo: Reach Invasion: Invasion will be played on the map Breakpoint. Our flight goal is to test our PvP matchmaking and get your feedback, so be sure to load in and play with us!
Flight Schedule
Each day of this flight will have one unique offerings for playlists in social, ranked, and Firefight matchmaking. This is our preliminary schedule for the days of the flight, but the final schedule will be a part of the emails when they go out. Try to play during the scheduled sessions as this will be your best bet to find a match!

Day 1
  • Social: 4v4
  • Competitive: Team Hardcore
  • Firefight: Arcade
Day 2
  • Social: 8v8
  • Competitive: Team Hardcore
  • Firefight: Heroic
Day 3
  • Social: 2v2
  • Competitive: Invasion
  • Firefight: Arcade
Day 4
  • Social: 4v4
  • Competitive: Team Hardcore
  • Firefight: Arcade
Day 5
  • Social: 8v8
  • Competitive: Team Hardcore
  • Firefight: Heroic
Day 6
  • Social: 2v2
  • Competitive: Invasion
  • Firefight: Arcade
Day 7
  • Social: 4v4
  • Competitive: Team Hardcore
  • Firefight: Arcade
Day 8
  • Social: 8v8
  • Competitive: Team Hardcore
  • Firefight: Heroic
The duration of the flight is subject to change but may be 8 days. After 1:00 PM PT on the final day, matchmaking will become unavailable. So, if you have been invited, be sure to hop online and jump into the action for any of the listed offerings. The final schedule will be available in the emails sent to those who are invited. We hope you enjoyed this update and look forward to flighting real soon!

Cheers,
Postums
Happy Friday Friends,

And welcome back to another weekly flighting development update! This week will actually be very light as we are currently flighting! Full details for scheduled play sessions and content for the current Halo Insider MCC Flight Three can be found in this post HERE. Over the past few days we have sent waves of invites out to folks who have been invited to participate. As of just a few hours in fact we sent out an additional 10k invites, so be sure to check your emails (spam folder too) to see if you have access to jump in on the last scheduled flight for Halo: Reach.

After flighting wraps up, we will take a more in depth look at what we found out from our end as well as review some of the feedback and issues the community has collectively called out for us from this flight. So stay tuned! Thank you for stopping in and as always, we'll see you online!

Cheers,
Postums
Happy Friday Friends,

Welcome to another flighting update! It feels like it has been a while since I’ve written one of these. So with that being the case, today's is a long one that requires 2 posts in total. This is the first with the 2nd directly below. Everyone at the studio has been heads down listening, reading, gathering sentiment, and reporting on everything that’s been going on around the longest flight in the history of Halo Insider! But, this is not what you are here for. So, let’s get this flighting update rolling.

Since October 29th, we have been flighting on PC as it received 2 extensions to help gather even more info. One public patch, two extensions, and one giant release date drop later – we are here. Oh, and I can say more feedback than you can shake a stick at has come in from those in flights. Today’s flighting update is going to discuss what is happening as we approach launch, talk about what is going on with some of the reported issues from the flight, and the latest word on the street for the next flight.

Halo: Reach Releases December 3
After months of development and flighting, the core experience for Reach has continually improved and is on track for December 3rd.

With each flight for Halo: Reach, overall feedback and impressions from players have been positive for the title and all the experiences it offers. We have also heard about issues from some players in the current PC flight around areas you would like to see addressed and we share this sentiment. We want to be crystal clear that we are hearing you loud and clear on this and are working to improve these areas based on feedback we have heard.

Bringing every Halo title to Halo: The Master Chief Collection on PC will be a journey we all go on together. The teams involved in this are committed to iterate on, improve upon, and add to the title beyond “launch.” While the team won’t be able to tackle every issue reported from flighting for day 1, know that we have a plan as we move forward and your feedback is top of mind for all of us involved in the project and at the studio.

As a studio we have changed a lot over the past few years. We have found new avenues of how we interact with and grow our relationships with all areas of the community we serve. Whether it is how we take feedback from the community to how we directly inject your input into our titles, this something that will continue to be a focus for us and improve over time.

Many folks didn’t know it, but they started this journey with us last year when we began updating MCC on console and began our flighting program. These events began driving the ideology of constant evolution of a game for MCC. Halo: Reach and each title that will join MCC on PC will be no stranger to this process.

Today, we are going to continue the discussion of top issues reported by Halo Insiders, what we are doing, and how we are handling them. But before we dive into those, we would like to give a gentle reminder to players who participate in flights. Please be sure to report issues you are having via the www.support.halowaypoint.com.

This is the best way for issues to be raised and quantified when looking to address feedback. A great example of this is that we have seen discussions around input latency on social media, but in terms of tickets reported during the flight, this topic only represented roughly 1% of all tickets entered. If you have an issue you would like to see addressed, please make sure to submit a ticket. HERE is an article where you can read on how to do so.

Alright - please continue to the reply directly below for more on today's flighting update!
Important Issues and Where They Stand
Below are a handful of the top issues reported by players in the Halo: Reach flights and discussed by many across the Halo community. Each of these areas, and some additional issues, will be discussed again in more details in the November update blog later this month. Our goal is to continue our transparency over key topics that are important to the community around our titles and continue to share what the status is for each area.

Please remember that while Reach is launching on December 3rd, the work is not done - from current flighting feedback to new issues reported after release - Reach will see more improvements and updates beyond launch (including the addition of Forge and Theater for PC later next year).

Push to Talk
Last week we talked slightly about this and that we were investigating a solution. Work on this feature is already underway.

VSync
During the flight based on user reports associated with what settings options were in effect we identified an issue with VSync in some scenarios where it was not functioning appropriately. In some cases, it was not appropriately being turned off and added additional input latency because of it. We believe to have fixed this issue and will discuss it more again in the future.

Getting Stuck in Menus / Misc. Crashes
We believe the known issues reported during the flight have been fixed for launch. The team has spent a significant amount of time investigating and resolving issues related to this over the past two weeks. Many were resolved in the most recent mid-flight update, but the ones we have investigated and able to reproduce have been fixed at this time.

Input Delay Issues
The team is currently investigating and iterating on multiple ways to address player feedback and improve mouse and keyboard input between now and launch. The live flight is behind our current code we are releasing with, so many of these improvements have already been implemented. The team has confidence in how these investigations are progressing and will keep a close eye on this. We’re committed to making this a great PC experience and will continue making additional mouse & keyboard changes - and flighting them post-launch - as needed.

Controller Aim Assist on PC
We are not currently planning to make changes to auto-aim when using a controller on PC. The team is currently investigating the best way to handle input types (keyboard & mouse, controller, or both) when playing. Looking back to the legacy Halo CE and Halo 2 PC titles, these of both shipped with a similar level of controller and mouse aim assist.

If we make any changes to aim-assist values for controller, it will essentially close the door on implementing crossplay between Xbox and PC down the road. We have heard from the community about a suggested “opt-in” and are discussing the impacts this would have on matchmaking by splitting the population and increasing search times. If we do choose to pursue an “opt-in” feature post-launch, we’ll be sure to flight them and ensure it is implemented correctly.

Concerns about Frame Rate Locked to 60fps
In the current flight, we were able to further test our experimental implementation and the feature does not meet our quality expectations. From our learnings we’re currently investigating and working on fundamental improvements. When we have a solution that meets our quality bar we will first flight it with the community before releasing it more broadly.

Audio Issues
To update Halo: Reach required changing the encoding for audio entirely which has made it sound different from its original release. We are aware that areas of the title don’t sound like we ideally want them to. It will take some time to investigate ways to improve the overall experience for audio and when it is ready we will flight to test fixes we can make prior to updating the title.

Server Latency Issues
This was a topic that we received many tickets on over the duration of the flight. To help address this we are planning to upgrade the servers used for our launch. We also are continuing to investigate and make improvements based on reports surrounding server latency, delays, and various network related issues before launch. We intend to have several improvements made before December 3, but since we feel this is an area that can always be improved on, we’ll continue listening and chasing down reports as time goes on.

Flighting is Wrapping up Monday, 11/18
Public flighting currently is going to be going offline on Monday for Halo: Reach. This flight has been the longest one we have done to date on PC and we have received the info we need now to go get things done. We do not have a specific date for our next flight yet, but as we resolve various topics discussed in the previous section, we will look to flight them and get them out as quickly as possible.

As well, we have just a few other titles that will be joining MCC in the coming year. With the additions of those titles we will be bringing them through flighting as well. As soon as we have news on when those flights will begin to kickoff, expect lots of juicy details.

Before we sign-off on this week’s flighting update, we all wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped in shaping Halo: Reach. We can’t wait to get Halo: Reach into everyone’s hands and get this party started on PC! We’ve still got a ways to go on this journey to bring MCC to PC and we look forward to your continued partnership.

Cheers,
Postums
Hello Friends,

A New Year means new news for development on Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Today we are returning to our weekly updates around development, feedback, and flighting for the MCC. This update will be pretty light since we are all settling back into the office this week and picking up where we left off after the winter holiday.

To kick things off in this update we are going to recap the last in-game event of 2019.

Ugly Sweater Nameplate and Double XP
Last month we held an event for players that was all about getting into the wintery spirit. Players were challenged to play either matchmade games on snow dusted maps or beat par scores on snowy campaign missions across all titles in MCC on Xbox or PC to earn the Ugly Sweater nameplate. To make this endeavor even sweeter, we held a Double XP event through the month of December. As we have seen across social media this was well received and allowed many to quickly climb the ranks, working towards seasonal unlocks across the collection.

To those who participated, we want to offer a thank you for spending your time with us in game. The final series of grants has gone out and in total, roughly 150,000 Ugly Sweater nameplates were granted to members of the community. Wear those sweaters proudly to stay warm during these wintry months!

Flighting Updates
Progress is being made towards public flighting, but no official dates are on the books just yet. As always, flighting is ready when it’s ready and as we get closer we will be sure to communicate in blogs like this one. Keep an eye out!

Bad Apples
In the month of December, we took action against a number of players who were abusing, exploiting, and committing nefarious behavior. We have investigated and seen that there are a number of folks who didn’t seem to learn their lesson and think it okay to continue this behavior. In the very near future the Ban Hammer will swing again, and harsher penalties will be leveled against these bad apples

As a reminder, HERE is a direct link to our official rules statement as it relates to bans and why it may have happened to you.

Community Feedback
Since launch, the community at whole has been talking across all areas of the internet. This has been everywhere from online clubs, Discord servers, Twitter, Reddit, HaloWaypoint feedback threads, and so many more social media platforms. We have been listening and taking note of the many hot topics including everything from discussions around Veto, progression, aim assist, key rebinding, server selection, and many more. I’m currently tracking feedback themes on over 100 unique trends being discussed in the community.

One area that has been gaining a lot of traction since Halo: Reach’s release is the discussion of DMR starts and Title Update settings. I would like to say to players that your feedback is being heard and ongoing discussions are being had internally regarding this topic.

This post however will not be one where we address individual topics, these items are more suited for a larger discussion. Each month we write a development blog as it relates to Halo: The Master Chief Collection, this is where you should be looking.It is in these articles where we will be taking a more robust look into these topics with the development team.. In case you missed it, please look at the MCC Development Update for December 2019 HERE.

The teams here at 343 are always listening, discussing, and evaluating the feedback that comes from the community. It is something we take pride in and are constantly looking to improve. Being a large franchise with a lengthy history of working with all areas of the community, topics that come up from the community aren’t always an easy solve, and require much more extensive discussions. That along with the sheer amount of feedback and requests means that it does take time sift through all of it. But I can assure you that we are discussing feedback that we have been hearing from the community.

More news on these items will come through the January 2020 Development Update blog for Halo: The Master Chief Collection. When this comes out, we will be sure to spread the information far and wide.

News and Information Locations
Since the first release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection on PC with Halo: Reach, there has been a large influx of players who have been looking for information as it relates to the different parts of development. Below are a few key locations where you can get information at about Halo.

Matchmaking Updates
  • Occur Wednesday mornings with explanations posted in the respective Game forums.
Development/Flighting Updates
  • This is one of them!
  • Occur weekly, usually published on the Friday (PT) of each week.
  • As we have more definitive schedules/news to share around flighting, they will come from here.
Additional Informational Activities
  • MCC Development Update: A monthly in-depth look into the development efforts for Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
  • Community Update: This blog discusses current news across all the Halo franchise every few weeks.
  • Community Spotlight: A showcase of community creations that goes out every few weeks. People who are highlighted in this blog earn the Fire Unicorn skin for Halo 5 and nameplate for MCC.
  • 343 Social Stream: Every Wednesday, join us from 1:30-3:00pm PT and if you match us in-game, you can earn the exclusive Ice Unicorn skin for Halo 5 and nameplate for MCC.

To ensure you know exactly when these come out, be sure to follow the @Halo account on Twitter and join the conversation in the Official Halo Discord. For up-to-date support related articles including Known Issues, technical issue work arounds, and known outages, please be sure to follow the @HaloSupport account on Twitter. To discuss technical issues, please be sure to visit the Halo Support site HERE to find out if your problem is a known issue or if you should submit a ticket.

Until next time Spartans, thank you for stopping by and we will see y’all online!

Cheers,
Postums
Hello Friends,

Welcome back to another Friday Development Update! This week’s update is going to focus on a few different areas. We will start with the plans for the next update to Halo: The Master Chief Collection (MCC), what is going to be flighted next, and an update on Known Issues the community has been wanting more information on.

Let’s dive straight into info on the next Game Update for MCC!

Halo: The Master Chief Collection Game Update
At 343 Industries, we value the inclusion of anyone who wants to participate and play the games we love building. With this value being a pillar of Xbox and Xbox Game Studios, the core of our next update includes improvements to MCC focused primarily on improving its accessibility. These changes may not be something that directly impact you as you may not use these features, but for those who want to enjoy the worlds of Halo, many for the first time, these are ones that will change their world. 343 is helping to lead the charge in these efforts and we hope our fans support us in making Halo more accessible.

We are continuing to make improvements to other areas of MCC and are making strong headway on several Known Issues across MCC. Some of these will changes are ones we will be flighting in our next PC flights while others have a slightly longer lead time and we will be able to speak to a little later in the blog. We know players are very eager to get some updates and improvements to key areas – and we are too – but a lot of these areas are fairly complex and just take time to work through. But now, let’s close those tray tables and bring our seats to their full upright positions for today’s flighting update!

MCC PC Flighting Update
The team is currently working towards having the first Halo: CE PC flight to Rings 1 and 2 by the end of this month with the goal of expanding to Ring 3 in February. For those who are wondering, “What are these rings you are talking about? Do we need to locate the Ark to join these flights?” No, you are safe from the Great Journey with this test. These Rings are different external groups we work with to help validate the builds we are wanting to flight and help us isolate critical issues prior to expanding to large scale flighting. A full breakdown of Flighting Rings and can be found in this previous Flighting Update from last year, HERE.

The content planned for this flight will include both Halo: Combat Evolved (H:CE) and Halo: Reach on PC.

Our goal is to kick off flighting in January for Rings 1 and 2 but it’s possible it could end up slightly delayed. Recently, a new crash has been identified in Halo Wars 2 on PC that is stopping play for keyboard and mouse players. You can read a bit more about that in this thread HERE. To help fix, test, and deploy a new build that fixes this will require the expertise of some of the team members that help us with making flighting possible. Once we have determined the dates and full scope of content for flighting, we will share those details. Continued below is our current scope for content and goals for the next planned PC flight. In the meantime, it’s always good to make sure your Halo Insider preferences are up to date so we have a means of contacting you once flighting is ready to begin.

Halo: ReachFlight Content
With the addition of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary coming to PC in the near future, we will be validating our Intelligent Install systems on PC as both games will be in the same packaged build. This will allow you to choose which titles and parts of each you want to install to help personally scope your install sizes to include the content you want to play.

The second part of this flight is to get improvements and updates we have made to Halo: Reach into your hands for feedback. An example of one change that will be included is that there is a new crouch behavior that has been added which allows players to crouch while moving. This change is supported for both mouse and keyboard and Gamepad players and is a change we’re excited to roll out as it’s generated a lot of community feedback.

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary PC Flight Content
For this title, we are looking to flight and gather feedback on a wider range of content prior to its launch this year. These areas are focused into the following gameplay elements which will include validating dedicated servers, peer-to-peer connections, crossplay between Steam and Windows version, new UI for customization in H:CE, and the next season’s progression for H:CE. Below are the core pieces of content that we are aiming to validate and receive feedback on:
  • Single Player and Cooperative Campaign
  • Multiplayer
  • Customization
  • Progression
Like our last flight for Halo: Reach, we are flighting multiple areas of limited content to participants of the flighting program for H:CE. If you are interested in flighting Halo: Combat Evolved content on PC, please make sure your Halo Insider profile is up-to-date with a verified email, you are indeed opted in for us to contact you, you have opted in for PC flighting, and have your latest DXDIAG uploaded to your profile HERE.

Known Issues and Feedback
Since the December Development Update, many have inquired regarding updates on the Known Issues lists (PC & Xbox) across all channels. Please make sure to read through them for information on what we are actively working on for future patches and as detailed above in our next flight!

If you are looking for dates on the other Known issues at this time, the team is making significant progress on several of them, but I don’t have optics yet as many pieces are being targeted once our accessibility focused patch is completed. As well, fixes of this nature and feature requests do take time to design, develop, and work towards getting into game. As we get closer to resolving or flighting these gameplay elements that require updates to the game, we will be able to share more details around them.

For those that are reading the above and thinking, “Why is it taking so long for this simple fix!” I would like to gently remind folks that game development takes time. Whether it’s a new or old game, there is no “cut and paste” in bringing a requested feature to MCC. The games themselves have been effectively re-built to co-exist and run in one of the most complex multi-game suites in the history of gaming. We understand the desires of players wanting things now, and we are working on the Known Issues (PC & Xbox) as discussed in the December Development Update and will provide updates as we approach resolutions to them. Thank you for your continued patience.

In lieu of new features joining MCC we have been actively considering player feedback and making changes to Multiplayer options in MCC. Please take some time to check out the most recent Playlist Updates that happened on January 8 and January 15 to learn more about these recent changes. Each week our goal is to update matchmaking based on feedback provided by the community and improving the experience. If you have changes you would like to see in matchmaking or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to stop by and leave feedback for Xbox or PC. Also, don’t forget to keep an eye out for the next Matchmaking update that happens each Wednesday in MCC!

Thank you for stopping by and checking out the latest news. As always, we will catch y’all online!

Cheers,
Postums
Hey Friends,

Welcome back to another Friday Development Update. Apologies for missing last week’s update. I was a bit busy working on just blogs. If you missed them, please check out Modding Halo: A Community Tradition blog and the MCC Development Update – January 2020 blog. There’s a whole lot of great info to go around.

Being only 2 days out from the latest information dump, we actually have quite a bit to share! Today we touch on next week’s planned flighting (Ring 1 & 2). As a reminder, please register for the Halo Insider program if you haven't, or if you have – please update your profile now! Then, read all about today’s XP changes that are live on both Xbox and PC right now. Let's get started!

February Flighting
Since returning to the office this month, folks have been hard at work across the titles in MCC. Some of this work includes driving flighting through planned fixes, testing, and getting ready to go out to Rings 1 & 2 for Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary and latest feature work changes for Halo: Reach. We aim to enter Rings 1 & 2 next weekend. This may change but it is our goal. Keep an eye on my Twitter account HERE as I will Tweet out updates similar to what I have done in the past. Now let’s dive into the content for H:CEA.

H:CEA Campaign:
There are several key goals to the flighted content for H:CEA. With flighting we look to expose a large slice of the game’s weapon sandbox, vehicle sandbox, enemy combatants, and environments to gather feedback from the community. In addition, we want to use consecutive missions so that players can progress mission-to-mission naturally and help us verify at scale that this is fully functional. Lastly, we are including some key fan favorites in terms of content to encourage participation. Campaign missions are as follow:
  • The Truth and Reconciliation
  • The Silent Cartographer
  • Assault on the Control Room
  • 343 Guilty Spark
H:CEA Multiplayer: The maps that were chosen for flighting have been prioritized on how they fit into our hopper offering through reusability. We want to make sure to keep installation sizes small and use maps with crossover where possible. As with Campaign, we have chosen several fan-favorite maps to keep the experience enticing to players. Multiplayer maps are as follows:
  • Blood Gulch (8v8)
  • Chill Out (2v2, 4v4)
  • Damnation (2v2, 4v4)
  • Hang ‘Em High (2v2, 4v4, 8v8)
  • Prisoner (2v2, 4v4)
  • Sidewinder (8v8)
We are excited to get this flight out and into everyone’s hands soon. Look for more details and information to come next week!

Progression System Update
Earlier this week in the MCC Development Blog, we had designers from the Publishing Team discuss key changes that we have been investigating and working on to bring to the public in the future. Well the future is NOW! Today, we made updates on the backend to how XP is received across all titles in MCC. These changes are now live for both Xbox One and PC players alike. Here is what Max Szlagor, the Design Director for MCC had to say. Take it away Max!

Thank you to everyone who has played Halo: Reach and engaged with our new progression system. There are several goals for the progression system that we want to deliver on:
  • Centralize formerly spread out unlocks into a single easy to understand interface.
  • Give players access to content that was previously gated by a variety of apps and requirements, some of which are no longer supported in legacy.
  • Create a central location for new content unlocks. In the past, we have granted new customization content like nameplates for events. We are looking into ways to integrate these into the progression system as well as investigating what other types of content may be possible to include.
  • Reward players for time invested, skilled play, and helping the team.
  • Maintain the security and integrity of the system so all players can earn rewards fairly. This is the reason there are caps in place. Without caps, it can be difficult to ensure the health of the overall economy and the player experience.
  • Reward all types of play with roughly equal XP and rewards.
The last one will take us more time to implement for modes such as campaign and custom games because it has conflicts with our goal of security and integrity. In the mid-term, we will introduce challenges, which will be earnable in all game modes.

That said, work is underway on challenges and we can’t wait to share more in the future. We are also looking into other ways to enhance both the rewards and functionality of the progression system beyond challenges.

Today we are upgrading the progression system XP rewards to better align with the design goals and player feedback. We have added the capability to modify XP values independently for each game and mode.
For this update, our primary goals are:
  • Increase XP caps to give more room for players to earn XP in each match.
  • Rebalance Firefight medals, time XP, and caps to better reflect the goals of working together over a longer game to defeat as many enemies as possible.
  • Increase medal XP for Halo 3, which currently has a lot fewer medals than the other games.
  • Adjust tiers and categories for several medals to better reflect their frequency and criteria.
The net result is that XP should feel more balanced across games and modes, with more potential for earning XP in all the modes that are currently supported by the progression system.
Specifically, we are making the following changes:
  • Multiplayer performance and teamwork caps increased to 12,000 each from 8,000.
  • Firefight medal values lowered to better reflect the volume of medals earned: Tier 1 medal XP reduced from 250 to 100. Tier 2 medal XP reduced from 500 to 150. Tier 3 medal XP reduced from 1000 to 250. Tier 4 medal XP reduced from 2000 to 350.
  • Firefight performance and teamwork caps increased to 18,000 each from 8,000.
  • Firefight XP per minute increased from 100 to 250.
  • Halo 3 medal XP increased for each tier: Tier 1 medal XP increased from 250 to 625. Tier 2 medal XP increased from 500 to 1250. Tier 3 medal XP increased from 1000 to 2500. Tier 4 medal XP increased from 2000 to 4000.
  • EMP Assist medal category changed from Teamwork to Performance: While this medal can be used as an assist, it can also trigger when a player fires with the EMP and then gets a kill without being an assist.
  • Comeback Kill medal category changed from Performance to Teamwork: We want to ensure a good balance between Performance and Teamwork medals, so we are moving this one to Teamwork, where it seems to fit better with its criteria.
  • Grenade Kill medal moved from Tier 1 to Tier 2.
  • Several objective medals increased in tier to increase their overall contribution to the Teamwork category.
Please note, these values will appear to roll out over time like the double XP events we have run in the past. Please close and restart the game to increase the likelihood that these values roll out faster across players. We look forward to your feedback on these changes and will continue to update and adjust values going forward. We will also continue to run bonus XP events in the future. Stay tuned for more info.

-Max

Closing Time
It’s always very exciting to help tell the stories of what goes on behind the scenes in the making of the games we know and love. Well that wraps this week up with a bow! Have a great weekend everyone. As always, we will see y’all online!

Cheers,
Postums
Hello Friends,

This week has been a busy one for everyone working on Halo: The Master Chief Collection. All teams are heads down working on building all the games for PC and many are laser focused on getting ready for our next public flight. The good news is that there are zero Ring 1 & 2 blockers and, as of 4PM PT today, we've sent out invites to all of those Rings 1 & 2 players. As a reminder, these invites are for a private flight and not for our public Ring 3 flight, which is planned for later this month.

If all goes well over the weekend and no major blocking issues present, public flighting (Ring 3) will begin as early as next week. As with all flighting dates and times these are subject to change based on the reality of what is found and needs to be done to support the games we are building. When being transparent we also want to set expectations accordingly as flighting to the public could start later depending on revelations that come from our weekend of testing with our first groups outside of the studio.

As a reminder, if you haven’t already registered, please do so for the Halo Insider program if you want to participate in flights. If you have, make sure you update your profile from time to time. It helps us ensure we are selecting a variety of players with different specifications. Make sure to check back for more news early next week for when public flighting for H:CEA and Halo: Reach will take flight! As always, thank you for stopping by and we will see y’all online!

Cheers,
Postums
Happy Friday, Insiders!
Postums is deployed on a Flight mission so I'm stepping in to keep the weekly update train rolling and keep you plugged in with the latest and greatest happenings.

The biggest news we have today is the fact that WE ARE NOW LIVE WITH OUR LATEST MCC PC FLIGHT!

Invitations went out yesterday, 2/13, to approximately 100K registered Halo Insiders. As of this morning, our data shows that a lot of folks haven't opened those emails or installed a build yet so please check your inbox, your spam folder, etc.. and make sure you didn't miss the mail. On the flip side, please keep in mind that we can't include everyone in the program in every flight so despite this being a large audience, it's still only a fraction of the overall Halo Insider group. If you didn't get selected this time, please hang in there - we've got plenty more on the horizon. As a side note, the team did specifically work to prioritize folks who haven't had a chance to participate in prior flights along with carrying over players who have a history of active engagement.

This flight is only on PC (both Steam and Microsoft Store) and includes a few updates to Halo: Reach but the bigger source of excitement is around the chance to get hands-on with Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary! Here's a quick breakdown of what's included in this current flight:

Halo: Reach Updates / New Features:
  • Message of the Day added
  • Datacenter pings are now visible
  • Push-to-talk voice chat and Push-to-talk key binding
  • New crouch-while-moving behavior for mouse+keyboard
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
  • Includes support for several missions of Single Player and Co-Op Campaign
  • Multiplayer (Matchmaking and Custom Games)
  • New Customization (3D model viewer)
We're excited to get H:CEA and these Reach updates into the hands of Insiders to gather more feedback and data as the team works towards the next game update and release.

As a reminder, if you're participating in this flight, please remember to file bug/issue tickets at INSIDER version of the Halo Support Site (we've separated this out to keep bug tickets for MCC PC retail separate from the flighting builds). Head to insidersupport.halowaypoint.com to read the Known Issues List and file bug tickets. Please note that the Insider version of Halo Support is ONLY accessible to folks who are in the current flight.

Speaking of Known Issues, it's a good time to remind everyone that this is a work-in-progress build and has various aspects that are still coming together. If you're in the flight, please be sure to familiarize yourself with those issues - it'll save you time from potentially filing redundant bug tickets. And for folks who aren't in the flight but are seeing some of these issues being talked about on social and forums, keep in mind that the team is aware of and already working on many of these areas (some of which are already resolved in more up to date internal builds).

We also know there have been a few issues with the Halo Insider emails that went out yesterday. Some folks only received the initial invite but never got the follow-up code for Steam. If you still haven't, please file a ticket at the insidersuport.halowaypoint.com site and we'll help get you sorted. Thankfully many players have let us know that eventually that 2nd mail did show up but in some cases it was 5-10 hours later. And if you got invited to the Microsoft Store version, note that you don't need a second mail. However, we've heard that some email clients/browsers may have stripped out the link that would take you to the store page to download. You can complete that process by visiting the Microsoft Store on your PC and manually searching for the "Xbox Insider Hub" app and installing it. We're working on putting these steps up on the support site as an additional resource.

Lastly, we're also aware of some Insiders being invited despite not opting-in for PC. We apologize for any confusion - we're looking into why that occurred. But overall, we believe this is a fraction of the flight group so please don't feel like a huge amount of "legitimate" PC users were somehow slighted by this minor issue. :)

Thank you for your continued support and helping us bring MCC to PC! Keep an eye out next week for more info on how H:CEA flighting is going and later this month Postums has another great development blog coming as well.
Hello Friends - welcome back to another Weekly Development & Flighting Update!

February’s Flight
As most of you already know, Flight Four officially kicked off on February 13 and is still ongoing. So far we have invited over 150k players to participate, submit issues via the Insider Halo Support site, try out new features, and let us know how things feel with this work-in-progress build of the game. For full details around the flight, please see the above posts where we have outlined times, dates, play sessions, as well as known issues. One key new piece though since that post is that we have heard from the community and updated the flight with a lot of new bug fixes and additional feature work.

Community Issues and Flight Update
Thank you for submitting issues! I can’t say this enough and won’t ever stop saying it. Thank you so much for taking the time and submitting tickets that are not on the Known Issues list. This helps us make better games which is something we all want to do. Submitting tickets makes a world of difference in helping identify areas we need to fix to make your experience as players, better!

Since the flight was released on the 13th, just over a weeks’ time, flight participants have submitted over 3,000 tickets via the Insider Halo Support site! For those not invited, you probably just hit an error when trying to click that first link. That site is NOT the same Halo Support site that folks are used to. We have two separate sites. The Insider Halo Support site was built specifically for flight participants. The intent of our dual support sites is to filter specific technical issues reported by players so we can address them efficiently and effectively.

After the first weekend, we were able to review, isolate, and begin to assess what we already had fixed, were planning to fix, or were entirely new issues being reported. In great news, many of the issues reported from this flight had already been fixed or were able to be fixed in our main code base for MCC PC. The build that was used for this flight was built out of a separate code base, also known as a branch, that is isolated. This branch was created from code several weeks old then, was then stabilized, flighted to rings 1 & 2, and was only updated with very targeted bug fixes the central code base to it. Earlier this week we were able to confidently take that main code base and cut a new branch for flighting from it directly.
With this update, we opened the gates for not just bug fixes, but also additional feature work, a playlist update, the resetting of ranks, and even the inclusion of new features. This next section outlines some of the top bug fixed in yesterday’s update.

Resolved Issues for Build 1.1367

If you are not on Build 1.1367, you will need to update your game in order to see the following fixes. Here is a KBA on How To Update Steam and Microsoft Store Games.

Global
  • When using Mouse & Keyboard, you will see Xbox button prompts instead of the correct keys on the character customization screens.
  • Ranks will be displayed when connecting to a ranked match for all players
  • Debug text is present in the Gameplay Settings menus when set to Non-English languages.
  • Halo 4 loadouts were present in the customization options.
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
  • When opening the character customization screen, Halo: Reach's options appeared briefly.
  • Service IDs are not displayed on the scoreboard appropriately.
  • Classic Team Slayer settings and CE Team Slayer are flip flopped for custom games settings.
  • Customization preview model proportions are inconsistent with the in-game model.
  • Respawn beep sound effects have a lower pitch compared to legacy.
  • Swapping weapons after reaching the 10x zoom with the sniper rifle can cause zoom to not function on other weapons and cause them to not render.
  • When using Mouse & Keyboard, the vehicle function 3 key binding (Space Bar) is not respected when rebound.
  • When using Mouse & Keyboard, any action that is rebound to Vehicle Function 1 (mouse click 2) is not usable.
  • Gamertags will sometimes appear in the Score column instead of the Name column on the scoreboard.
  • After completing the Campaign mission “343 Guilty Spark” a black image will be displayed on the loading screen instead of the proper image.
  • When set to unlocked framerate while using a controller, the hold time for Hybrid Zoom was too short.
  • While viewing the character customization screen, the Spartan's hands appeared to display at low quality.
  • While using a gamepad, upon releasing the zoom button from 10x zoom with the sniper rifle, you would zoom all the way out instead of returning to 2x zoom.
  • The incorrect icon would appear when an action needed the user to use a mouse's scroll wheel.
Halo: Reach
  • Occasionally, inputs from a controller on the Pause Menu will not be reflected in Halo: Reach Multiplayer and Campaign.
  • Audio is silent or too quiet during intro cinematics when playing from mission to mission.
There are many more issues that were addressed but these are some of the top ones we wanted to highlight and share. But, before we close out this section, I wanted to inform folks that the “Ghost Ghost Bug” fix didn’t make it into the flight. I have been told it has been fixed internally though. So, keep an eye out for a fix on that in the future.
Now, let’s hop over to Max who will share some insight into the inclusion of a new feature that has been added with this update. Here is a design breakdown of how Zoom is handled in Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary and Halo: Reach inflight right now.

Updated Zoom Controls and Bindings for MCC PC
One area of control we wanted to improve upon from the launch of Halo: Reach is the way we handle zoom. We are pleased to announce an update coming at the launch of Halo: CEA that gives players 3 fully rebindable zoom actions on PC:
  • Zoom – For each press of this action button, the scope will zoom in until reaching maximum magnification. If the action button is pressed again, the scope goes back to 1x magnification.
  • Zoom In – For each press of this action button, the scope will zoom in until reaching maximum magnification. Further action button presses will not cause a zoom out.
  • Zoom Out -– For each press of this action button, the scope will zoom out until the scope is back to 1x magnification/fully zoomed out. Further action button presses will not cause a zoom out or a zoom in.
What this means is that you can now zoom in or out one level at a time with separate actions or you can use a separate action to cycle back out to an unzoomed view. This implementation was inspired by the work that was done for handling zoom in Halo 2 Vista and player feedback around wanting more granularity in zoom controls on PC. Flighting and playtest feedback around this change has been positive and we hope to roll it out for Halo: Reach and Halo: CEA soon. It is also our goal to bring this level of zoom granularity to the other games in Halo: MCC as they release on PC going forward. We hope you enjoy these new zoom actions and we look forward to your feedback on this feature.

Closing Time
Thank you, Max, for that update! That’s all I have for this week. If you haven’t already, please update your flight build to the latest version – 1.1367. If you are already on it, let us know about any issues you encounter. Instructions on How to Submit a Ticket live here!

Thank you everyone, as always – we will see you online!

Cheers,
Postums, from Uny's account
March 6, 2020

Good afternoon Insiders!
Ske7ch here with a short and sweet update to recap an exciting week for MCC. Now I know the question on everyone's mind is "WHEN IS H2A FLIGHTING GOING TO BEGIN!?" and I'll just let you know up front that you won't find the answer in this forum post. H2A is indeed the next title on the horizon, and there will indeed be flighting for Halo Insiders, but we're not quite ready to start spinning things up. Rest assured that as soon as we are ready to put the first H2A build into Rings 1 and 2 for initial testing, we'll let you know. In the meantime, it's always good to make sure your Halo Insider profile is current and complete and you have a valid, verified email on file.

In the meantime, here's a quick update on what happened this week in case you missed it.

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary for PC
H:CEA for PC surprise launched this past Tuesday, 3/3, and is available via Xbox Game Pass for PC (Beta), the Microsoft Store, and Steam. Be sure to check out our LAUNCH BLOG for more info.

Please check out the KNOWN ISSUES list at the Halo Support site to get a better idea of some of the current issues and areas the team is continuing to work on. This list was just updated again on Wednesday with a few new entries based on player feedback and support tickets. If experience an issue that's on this list, you don't need to file a support ticket. But, if you're experiencing issues that aren't currently listed, please do head over to the Halo Support site and file a ticket to help us help you! As a reminder, please only file ONE TICKET PER ISSUE - this really helps our agents more efficiently help identify, track, and address community issues.

While you're at the Halo Support site, be sure to also check out some of the Knowledge Base Articles (KBAs) - these are helpful resources the team has put together to address common questions and issues from the community. For example, if you've encountered an issue where you can't pick up weapons on the ground we have a KBA to help you resolve this problem. (it's related to Windows updates)

MCC PC Update
In addition to the Halo: CEA release, MCC for PC also got a few additional fixes and some improvements to Halo: Reach (thanks for the feedback on crouch/movement using mouse+keyboard - this is now implemented!). Check out the full PATCH NOTES for more details.

Xbox One Update
Today, 3/6, the MCC update for Xbox One was released. This update includes some of the same H:CEA features that came to PC (classic MP audio options, new 3D model viewer) in addition to a few misc. fixes. The patch notes are largely the same as the ones from Tuesday and you can check out more details HERE.

NOTE: PC players also downloaded a small patch today but it didn't include any player-facing changes. This patch was for some back-of-house updates to bring the PC "title ID" back into parity with Xbox.

What's Next?
In addition to readying Halo 2 Anniversary, the team is continuing to work on a number of different issues and areas of community feedback. If you missed it, check out the February Development Update blog for more info on the ongoing work to address audio issues in Halo: Reach (along with general updates on a number of areas that are top of mind for the community). Additionally, the team has made great progress on Forge and Theater for Halo: Reach PC which is getting closer to release. The team is also working through various current known issues for H:CEA in addition to investigating new support tickets and areas of community feedback. Remember, the work doesn't stop once a title is released - you should expect the games within MCC to continue to improve and evolve over time.

We're excited to have H:CEA on PC and to have the most recent update available on both PC and Xbox. We truly wouldn't be here without your support and partnership. Thank you for your feedback, for participating in flights, for filing support tickets, and for helping us make MCC as good as it can be! We look forward to continuing work together on MCC and kicking off H2A in the near future.
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