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[Locked] MCC Development & Flighting Updates

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Hey Friends,

Today, a Development Blog was released and there will not be an expansive Friday update. To read it, please go HERE.

Cheers,
Postums
Hello Friends,

Welcome back to another weekly update here on all thing’s development and flighting! This week the team has been hard at work squashing bugs for our upcoming flight for Halo 3: ODST and Halo 3. Let’s dive on into how flighting is shaping up.

August Flighting
As discussed in the MCC Development Blog for July, the flight for August is going to be on both the Xbox One and PC platforms. This is being done since Halo 3: ODST Firefight is coming to both platforms. Having this flight will help us gather feedback from players and make any necessary adjustments to improve the overall experience ahead of launch. As of right now, we are not ready to bring take flighting to Ring 3 as Ring 1 has identified critical networking issues that we are working to improve at this time. As soon as those get squashed though, we will be ready to go!

We are hopeful to start the flight as early as next week. But as a reminder, sometimes these things can take time, so stay tuned for more news.

While the flight’s content will be primarily focused on Halo 3: ODST’s Firefight, we will be including Halo 3 content at some point during the flight. We’re looking to patch it in about halfway through, but as with all things, the timing of this is subject to change. Folks can look forward to some Halo 3 quality of life updates and an early look at Season 3’s content.

Halo Support Reminder
I’ve been talking with some folks from the Halo Support team and Producers on the Publishing Team about a series of crashes some players have been encountering. They wanted to have me let you know that we are aware of a crash on sign in for some Xbox One players. In really good news, a fix for this has been integrated into the patches slated for our next update. For everyone, if you do encounter technical issues, please take some time to head over to the Halo Support site and let us know about it by submitting a ticket.

By doing this, you help alert us to issues you are encountering. The members on the Halo Support team work directly with those developing the games and fixing issues. In many cases for issues reported by the community, we have been able to work directly with players to troubleshoot or raise awareness for bugs like this to get fixed in future patches. So please make sure if you encounter problems to let us know!

Short and sweet this week friends. Thank you for stopping on by and we will see y’all online.

Cheers,
Postums
Welcome Back Friends,

This week has been quite a busy one for the team as we move closer to getting this month’s flight out the door. The good news is that the team has been able to squash 80+ bugs associated with Halo 3: ODST across the board, including our previously discussed networking bug for Firefight. We’ve seen very positive reactions to this change in our Ring 1 & 2 groups that have it. This means that Halo 3: ODST has had more time to polish and will be even better by the time it goes out to the public for our August flight for both Xbox One and PC!

Change of Plans
With us taking additional time to resolve bugs, it's made us reconsider the scope of the flight and our initial plans for how we wanted to roll out the content. Instead of going out the door with just Halo 3: ODST and patching in Halo 3 later, we have made the change so that both titles’ content will be available in the flight from the start. As it stands right now, we have resolved all blocking bugs as of today across the entirety of the content. We are so close to getting this into your hands!

Start Packing Your Bags
We are confident that flighting is only a few days off. So close, in fact, that members will be online working through this weekend to help make sure no new bugs have arisen to block the public flight! Barring any new major issues, flighting should start next week. As a reminder though – things happen, and plans change accordingly.

Of course, we'll be sure to keep everyone apprised on how things go with this final push! Thank you all for stopping in to learn more about how things are going. As always, we will catch y’all online!

Cheers,
Postums
Hello Friends,

Welcome back for another weekly update on everything development and flighting. As many have noticed we began August’s flight for Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST. This week has been busier than most as we have had multiple rounds of invitations roll out, updates to our Known Issues for the flight, and a patch. Let us start with that shall we?

Patch Day
Earlier today, the flight received a patch to address various bugs found by our internal QA and participating Halo Insiders. Though this does not account for all of them, here is a list of the big fixes across Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST:

Halo 3: ODST
  • Grenades thrown by clients do not travel as far in Firefight.
  • When users are playing with the centered crosshair option, their crosshairs and zoom reticule appear more oblong when compared to lowered/legacy.
  • (Both Armor and UI) - The emblem on the armor is chosen randomly in ODST firefight.
  • Improved an issue that caused ragdolls to “bounce” during ODST FF sessions.
Halo 3
  • Season 3 weapon skins and visor colors for Halo 3 revert to default upon death.
  • Season 3 weapon skins for Halo 3 revert to default weapon skins while in active camouflage.
Issue Resolved in the UI
  • UI - Improved transitions between models in the UI that caused some T-Posing.
Feedback Loops
Thank you to everyone that has been submitting tickets during this flight. We are continuously monitoring your reports and regularly update our Known Issues for this flight. Each issue that is submitted helps us see what folks are finding to be problematic and helps us more accurately stack rank for assessment. Although not all issues are fixed in this latest patch, we will continue to make improvements. Thank you for helping make the games we’re working on even better!

Thank you everyone for stopping in for this week’s update, we will see you back here next week to talk more about how we are wrapping up August!

Cheers,
Postums
Hello Friends,

Welcome back for another weekly MCC Development and Flighting Update. This week has been a busy one in the world of flighting and development. We saw an extension to the flight until August 31, we saw invitations roll out to more Halo Insiders, and today an update was released to the flight build looking to address numerous issues reported by flight participants.

Below we are going to walk through some of the topics that the team has been looking at and wanted to discuss a couple of areas of concerns from players.

Addressing Concerns
As part of flighting, players report various issues that we look to address. Sometimes when you fix bugs, you end up creating new ones. Today’s update resolved several, but also introduced a few new one. Thank you to everyone that continues to participate in the flight and submit issues for us to review. The more you talk to us there, the better we can shift focus onto areas of concern from the community.

Halo Support Feedback
Silenced SMG and Automag view model positioning is not consistent between Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST in MCC: Our flight patch released earlier today has addressed a portion of this feedback. Changes have brought the ODST weapon position back in line with the legacy Xbox 360 position. One of the side effects however is that this change introduced a new bug for our PC players in flight. When playing at adjusted FOV values, the visuals on screen can be warped specific to the weapon position when FOV is set to higher values. The development team has already provided a fix for this internally which test is reviewing and is expected to be fixed when Halo 3: ODST is released onto PC in the future. While this may not have made the cut for today’s update, we didn’t want it to stop us from updating the title to include our latest changes for the last weekend of this flight.

Our goals are to maintain consistency as close to the legacy titles with positioning of weapons. We will continue to collect feedback and listen to what the community is discussing around these features as we move closer to launch. As an additional reminder, we are still tracking future work around providing more control to users on weapon view model offsets and will have more info to share in the future as this work gets closer to completion.

The animation for throwing equipment is not visible while wielding the Automag pistol in Halo 3: Getting the ODST weapons functional in H3 came with a few sacrifices which includes not having an animation present for the Automag. ODST did not support thrown equipment so animations were never created for use in the game. Both the Brute Plasma Rifle and Silenced SMG aligned with their existing counterparts in H3 and have these animations, but one specifically for the Automag does not exist. In terms of an overall impact here, it is fairly low and rather than not add the weapon to the sandbox, we have decided to let this live in MCC for the time being. We want you to know that we’re still listening to feedback through Halo Support, and if demand is high, we can open up this investigation again.

Thank you everyone for stopping in for today’s development and flighting update. We hope everyone who is in the flight has a great time this weekend and we look forward to the latest round of issues reported and feedback from the community. As always, we will see you online!

Cheers,
Postums
Hey Friends,

Welcome back to another Weekly MCC Development & Flighting Update! This week the team has been heads down on locking down Halo 3: ODST bugs from flighting, working on building new features for future releases, and marching along full steam.

Upon the completion of each flight the team goes through the feedback that players leave in our forum feedback thread, the support tickets submitted to the Insider Halo Support site, and through post flight surveys that we send out to a selection of participants. The team goes over these pieces and based on trends we see, work to prioritize work items we agree with ahead of future game updates and releases. A big thank you to all who come to us and let us know what areas you are having issues with and have feedback on. All of it helps us make better games!

Earlier this week I was a part of a couple different spec review meetings and I can say that there’s a LOT of goodness coming to MCC. There may only be 3 months left in 2020, but there’s a whole lot of content and features left to close out this year! Next week I’m going to try to get together some info for you on some of these features and if all goes well, show off some cool new screenshots.

Happy Friday everyone, and thank you for stopping in for another weekly update! We will catch you back here next week.

Cheers,
Postums
Hey Friends,

Welcome back for another MCC Development and Flighting update. This week we have some pretty pictures of the Custom Game Browser (CGB), a reminder about MCC Legacy UGC support, and a call to action to register for flighting if you haven’t already.

Let’s jump right in!

Custom Game Browser
This week my dear friend Wrensi, from the Publishing Team here at 343 Industries was able to share some awesome new mockups of the CGB. I want to remind you that this feature is in development with teams actively working on it and is not functional or in game at this time. We don’t have a definitive date of it coming online just yet but are targeting it to join with several other new features at or beyond Halo 4’s release onto PC later this year.

One of our key goals for the CGB, is to allow players to locate games you want to play quickly and easily so you can get into game fast without a headache of too many options and menus. To accomplish this, we are going to keep the tool simple. Below are some mockup screenshots of the menu flow showing what CGB could look like for MCC when it comes online.

Mockup Flow
These screenshots are part of our Design specification for the CGB that have been used by the Publishing Team working with our partner studio, Saber Interactive. These edited photos help illustrate what our goals are for this feature when it comes to life. As simple as the below picture is, making sure you define and display each detail we want is crucial in the development process. We are looking forward to seeing this added into the Multiplayer menu as much as you are!

Multiplayer Menu

(Mockup screenshot of updated options in the Multiplayer menu)

In the flow of the CGB, once players select Custom Game Browser, they will be taken to a new page in the Multiplayer menu: Quickmatch, Browse, Filter, and Create are the different options you will be able to select from.

Custom Games Menu

(Mockup screenshot of updated options in the Custom Games menu)

Quickmatch is an option that will take you directly into a custom game that is available at the time of activation. The Browse option will open a new sub-menu allowing you to view the current custom games available based on your filter selections and preferences. The Filter screen will allow you to, well, you guessed it, filter which custom games based on various options. When you make changes on your filter, they will be reflected the next time you open the Browse screen. The last option you will have, Create, lets you build a custom game that is hosted in the CGB. We don’t have mockups of this new flow, but will look to share more info on this as development proceeds in the future.
Below are two mockups for the Filter and the Browse screens that highlight some options. Please note that these specifics are subject to change for when the CGB becomes available later this year.

Filter Menu

(Mockup screenshot of options available for filtering for the “Filter” screen)

Browse Menu

(Mockup screenshot of what players will see on the “Browse” screen)

As stated previously, the above images are all subject to change and are mockups at this stage. Once we get everything in game you can be sure that we will share and flight it to you as quickly as we can.

MCC Legacy UGC Support
We first brought this up over in last month’s MCC Development Update, but we wanted to reiterate it here so players can spread the word to others. We’re approaching the one-year mark of MCC being on PC. Our first update which added PC support included many other changes for all platforms. One of those changes included a new UGC (User Generated Content) File Share cloud storage which wasn’t tied to Xbox. This is also where we migrated your old Xbox 360 UGC to behind the scenes last year!

In order to support this new File Share storage, we had to implement a migration plan specific to the Xbox One version of the game. Before the update last year, your “private” and “public” File Share items in MCC were stored in storage specific to the Xbox platform. Our MCC migration plan was to migrate this Xbox One-specific UGC the first time the user signed into the Xbox One version of the game. On sign-in, we would move “private” files to the local Xbox One device, and “public” files would be moved to our new cloud storage.

However, this means if you have *only* ever played MCC on PC since that update (December 2019) you have not had your old Xbox One UGC, if any, migrated. If you think you have UGC content you made on the Xbox One version of the game before the December 2019 update last year, we are encouraging you to login once on an Xbox One version of the game soon, as we will be deprecating this one-time migration process in November of this year.

Halo Insider Registration
As a reminder, although flighting isn’t going on right now, this will be the place where you can try out features like the Custom Game Browser and other features discussed in our monthly blogs. To get into future flights, you still can register right now! Please click the link to register for the Halo Insider program if you want to participate in future flights. Please make sure to only register once as we’ve seen some folks have issues when using multiple accounts and the same email address for contacting you. If you have registered, please make sure you update your profile from time to time. It helps us ensure we are selecting a variety of players with different specifications as well as shows us you are still active and are wanting to participate. Also, playing Halo games helps show us you are still interested in participating in future flights.

For future flighting news, make sure to check back soon! As always, thank you for stopping by and we will see y’all online.

Cheers,
Postums
Hey Friends,

Welcome back to another weekly MCC Development and Flighting Update! This week we have some information to share ahead of Halo 3: ODST coming to PC, including reminders and some talking points around a recent server configuration change for matchmaking. Let’s jump right in!

PC Server Configuration Update
Let’s briefly recap how server regions currently work in MCC. Right now each player has a list of available data center regions for matchmaking. You can see this full list of regions on the networking settings page. Availability is determined by ping to each region. Regions which fall under a ping threshold relative to the lowest-ping (closest) region are available for a player. Additionally, a number of regions are tagged as “fallback regions”. These are high population regions where matches can easily be found. If no fallback region inherently falls into a player’s available server list, the nearest one is added. This is to ensure that every player always has at least one region available to them that matches can easily be found on.

When a match is formed, the best server is selected based on all present players’ available servers. If eight players from a given region match together, the server nearest that region will be selected. However, if one player in that match is from a different region, that server which is optimal for the other players may not be available for everyone.
When we launched MCC on PC, we set Southeast Asia as a fallback region due to the number of preorders we saw from players in that part of the world. However, after monitoring the current population in that region, we identified that it no longer fulfills our goals for a fallback region. It was significantly less populated than any other fallback region. So, a few weeks ago, we removed this region from our fallback list.

This means that players in Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia will now have West US added to their available server list as it is the nearest fallback region. Again, this is a fallback and a match formed entirely from players in Oceania will be hosted on a more local server. But, if such a match is not found, players will fall back to West US.
Once our server region selection feature comes online, players will have the choice between faster matches or a better connection. This feature will be flighting fairly soon. Until then, it’s important that our fallback regions are ones where players can reliably and quickly find matches.

Register for Halo Insider
Although flighting isn’t going on right now, now is a perfect time to sign-up. For those looking to try out features like the Custom Game Browser and other goodness discussed in our monthly blogs, click the link to register for the Halo Insider program and get yourself entered to participate in future flights. Please make sure to only register once as we’ve seen some folks have issues when using multiple accounts/emails. And as always, please make sure you update your profile from time to time. It helps us ensure we are selecting a variety of players with different specifications. This helps shows us you are still active and are wanting to participate. Also, playing Halo games helps show us you are still interested in participating in future flights too as we know you are active.

MCC Legacy UGC Support
We brought this up in last month’s MCC Development Update, but we wanted to reiterate it here so players can spread the word to others. We’re approaching the one-year mark of MCC being on PC. Our first update, which added PC support, included many other changes for all platforms. One of those changes included a new UGC (User Generated Content) File Share cloud storage which wasn’t tied to Xbox. This is also where we migrated your old Xbox 360 UGC to behind the scenes last year!

To support this new File Share storage, we had to implement a migration plan specific to the Xbox One version of the game. Before the update last year, your “private” and “public” File Share items in MCC were stored in storage specific to the Xbox platform. Our MCC migration plan was to migrate this Xbox One-specific UGC the first time the user signed into the Xbox One version of the game. On sign-in, we would move “private” files to the local Xbox One device, and “public” files would be moved to our new cloud storage.

However, this means if you have *only* ever played MCC on PC since that update (December 2019) you have not had your old Xbox One UGC, if any, migrated. If you think you have UGC content you made on the Xbox One version of the game before the December 2019 update last year, we are encouraging you to login once on an Xbox One version of the game soon, as we will be deprecating this one-time migration process in November of this year.

Game Films and Mid Mission Progress
With Halo 3: ODST coming to PC and the next game patch we want to remind players that films for some games will become corrupt or unwatchable after September 22nd. You will still be able to play and create new ones though! If you have missions to complete or gameplay you want to make sure you have for later, the time is now to capture that theater film or complete those missions prior to the update next week.

Games with Affected Films:
  • Halo 2: Anniversary (Xbox, Microsoft Store, Steam)
  • Halo 3 (Xbox, Microsoft Store, Steam)
  • Halo 3: ODST (Microsoft Store, Steam)
Games with Films NOT Affected:
  • Halo: Reach (Xbox, Microsoft Store, Steam)
  • Halo 4 (Xbox)
Additionally, as with our previous updates, mid-mission progress for campaign and playlists may also be affected.
We will see you on the other side of Halo 3: ODST’s launch - just a few short days left before we’re live! As always, thank you for stopping by and we will see y’all online.

Cheers,
Postums
Hey Friends,

Welcome back to another Friday Development and Flighting Update for Halo: The Master Chief Collection. This week has been a busy one as Halo 3: ODST came out on Tuesday. Beyond that, the team is very heads down on prep for next month’s flights for Halo 4 and we have a preview of that content to share today. The wheel never stops turning! Let’s take a look!

Halo 4 Flighting
October is currently the target for when players will get their hands-on Halo 4 in flight. In preparation of this, today we are rolling out our initial builds to Rings 1 & 2! For this month we also are planning to flight several new features that have been discussed in previous updates (like this one) as well as mentioned in MCC Development Update blogs. Below is a sample of what players can expect to see in next month’s flight. As a reminder, it’ll first need to get cleared through our internal QA and external Ring 1 & 2 partners before it’s ready for Ring 3!

Flight Goals
The goals of this flight will be to test our distribution pipeline, test various new features and quality of life improvements, gather feedback on the content listed below, and ensure all supporting systems are functioning properly in preparation for bringing Halo 4 to Halo: The Master Chief Collection on PC.

Flight Content
Below is a first look at content for the upcoming Halo 4 flights for the Microsoft Store, Steam, and Xbox One. There may be some slight changes between now and when it is publicly flighted dependent on where we are in development, but overall, this is what we believe will be available in the upcoming public flight. Please don’t fuss if things change by then…. because they usually do to some degree.

New Features
  • Customization: Updated customization will be available for Halo 4.
  • Forge: Forge will be available for players during this flight.
  • Theater: Theater will be available for Halo 4.
  • Challenges: The complete Challenge System, including the Challenge Hub screen, will be available during this flight with new Challenges for Halo 4.
  • Season 4 Content: Currently TBD based on flight readiness for Ring 3. These pieces require evaluation with both our internal QA and Rings 1 & 2.
  • Input Based Matchmaking and Crossplay: These pieces require evaluation with both our internal QA and Rings 1 & 2 for if they are ready for flighting prime time.
  • Server Region Selection: Currently TBD based on flight readiness for Ring 3. These pieces require evaluation with both our internal QA and Rings 1 & 2.
  • Video Graphics Options: These pieces require evaluation with both our internal QA and Rings 1 & 2.
  • Disable Text Chat Option: A new feature for players to choose to see specific channels of in-game text chat in this flight.
Campaign & Spartan Ops
Flighting will support a subset of the Campaign missions and Spartan Ops with options for all difficulty levels, single player, and co-operative online play:
  • Campaign Missions: Currently we have not yet locked on which missions will be available but will update as we get closer to the flight.
  • Spartan Ops Missions: We are working to align on which missions will be available but will update as we get closer to the flight.
Multiplayer Options
Halo 4’s flight will support various maps and playlists for multiplayer. This will include Custom Games, Social Games, and Competitive Games. Below are the playlists and maps that will be available for each title across the various multiplayer options:
  • Social Games: 4v4, 8p FFA, 12p Infection, 8v8.
  • Competitive: We are still working through what Ranked playlists will be available.
  • Maps: We are still working through what maps will be available.
Settings and Options Supported
Below is a complete breakdown of Settings and Options included in the flight:
  • Settings – Controls: Configure Mouse & Keyboard and Configure Gamepad.
  • Settings – Video: Field-Of-View, Vehicle Field-Of-View, Gamma, Window Mode, Aspect Ratio, Resolution Scale, V-Sync, HUD Anchoring, Unified Medal Display, Framerate Limit, Graphics Quality, and more.
  • Settings – Audio: Game Volume including Menu Music Volume, Game Music Volume, Effects Volume, Voice Chat Volume. Also, Voice Chat Channel, and Push to Talk Voice Chat.
  • Settings – Gameplay: Show Challenge Notifications, Allow Untrusted Files, File Share Trust Level, and Credits.
  • Settings – Network: Network and Relays.
  • Settings Accessibility: Subtitles, Change Language, Convert Text-To-Speech, Convert Speech-To-Text, and Text Chat Availability.
We do not have final timing just yet for when flighting is going to start, but we are looking to get things rolling this October! Stay tuned for our MCC Development & Flighting Updates here in the Insider Forums to stay in the know.

Halo Insider
Don’t forget, in order to have a chance to participate, you need to be a part of the Halo Insider program. If you aren’t a Halo Insider already, please head on over HERE and register. If it’s been a while since you have visited your Halo Insider profile, please take some time to make sure everything is up to date with your profile including your PC specs (many folks have been upgrading their machines and I’m super jealous of those who got their hands on 3080s during quarantine so please make sure your profile is current!). Ensuring you are up-to-date and registered with a valid (and verified!) email, greatly improves your chances of being selected for flights.

Thank you everyone for stopping in again for another weekly MCC Development and Flighting Update. Next week is MCC Development Update blog week, so expect new news and the core information drop to live when that arrives. As always, we will see y’all online!

Cheers,
Postums
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