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
- Mint Blitz
- Fazel 2
- The DiZZeL
- Th3 LiE
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.
Firefight Matchmaking Offerings
- Noble Actual
- Winter Contingency
Multiplayer Matchmaking Offerings
- 4-player Heroic standard Firefight
- 4-player Normal Arcade Firefight
- 2v2 Social: Slayer
- 4v4 Social: Slayer, Flag and Bomb, Zone Control, Asset Denial, and Action Sack
- 8v8 Social: Slayer, Flag and Bomb, Zone Control, and Asset Denial
- Halo: Reach Team Hardcore: Slayer and Capture the Flag
- Halo: Reach Invasion
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!