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Multiplayer Menu with Custom Game Browser
MP Menu:
MP Menu

Custom Game Browser Menu:
Custom Game Browser Menu

Browsing and Viewing Details with Custom Game Browser
Browse Menu:
Browse Menu

(Note: This is a test environment so we populated it with lots of the same games)

Game Session Details:
Game Session Details


Create a Game Flow with Custom Game Browser
Selecting the Game Menu:
Selecting the Game Menu

(Note: This will only be available for Halo: Reach initially)

Selecting the settings, maps, and game variants for your match:
Setting up Custom Games in CGB


Testing CGB with Bots
Earlier this week, some players noticed a UI image that was in the game files over in a modding Discord. It quickly got picked up on Reddit and was discussed a bit over on Twitter, so we wanted to discuss it a bit today as mentioned in my response over on Reddit HERE.

Bots can be a useful tool for testing some of our features such as CGB and they have a ton of potential, but we are not ready to talk about any future plans for them yet. We are encouraged by the discussions online from the community and taking that into consideration when discussing them internally. I can personally confirm that in their current form you do NOT want to play against them in SWAT.

Closing Time
Before we go, Halo is celebrating Earth Day by giving away the “Hog Wild” nameplate in MCC. Players who log into MCC between April 21-25 will receive the nameplate - so go get yours now!

Thank you everyone for stopping in and checking out our latest Friday Development & Flighting Update. We can’t wait to get CGB out there for the upcoming scale test next week and hope you are as excited as we are! Have fun out there Spartans, and as always, we will see y’all online!

Cheers,
Postums
Hey Friends,

Welcome back to another Friday MCC Development & Flighting Update! This week we are in the middle of the Custom Game Browser (CGB) scale test in MCC. Last week, we discussed to a great extent what CGB is all about and where it’s at in development. If you haven’t read up on it, please check it out HERE. There’s a lot of good questions answered in that interview conducted.

CGB Scale Test
Yesterday, April 29, the CGB scale test kicked off with players from all platforms jumping in and launching into custom games on dedicated servers. Between now and Monday, May 3, at 10am PT, CGB will be online and available for players in MCC for Halo: Reach. Everyone has the opportunity to go into the Multiplayer menus and select the CGB option to Create or Join on custom games to their hearts delight!

We are very excited about this test and want everyone to have the opportunity to get in on the action and help us make sure it’s running smoothly.

Once it is completed, CGB will be taken offline Monday morning at 10am PT, and we will begin evaluating how our systems handled the scale test. Based on these findings we will determine what (if any) additional work is needed to turn this feature on permanently. We cannot wait to for everyone to try it out, so make sure to pop in game now!

If you have feedback, be sure to head over to our feedback threads either on Halowaypoint or Steam and let us know what you think! If there are any technical issues you encounter, please take some time to head on over to the Halo Support site HERE and let us know what’s going on by submitting a ticket on the issue.

H3 Hardcore Doubles
Starting next Wednesday, H3 Team Doubles will be rotating out for H3 Hardcore Doubles. We have heard a lot of feedback of wanting both, so we plan to rotate these two playlists in and out for each other moving forward.

Thank you all for stopping in and we hope you enjoy this weekend’s CGB scale test. We can’t wait to hear from you! As always, we will see y’all online.

Cheers,
Postums
Hey Friends,

Welcome to another weekly edition of the MCC Development & Flighting Update! This week we are going to talk quit bans, take a look back at the most recent scale test for Custom Game Browser (CGB), the flight plan for Season 7, how to get in on future flights, and let players know what we are doing on the front for players that are cheating in MCC.

To start things up, let’s talk about the upcoming changes to bans!

Quit Bans
In MCC, when a player quits out of a matchmade game, they can either be banned or quit without penalty. For players who have already had half of their team quit from in game, you are free to quit the game without penalty of a ban. This is done so you don’t have to sit in a game that isn’t very fun. But, for the first half of a team that quits early, and then wastes the time of the players who wanted to play, we issue incremental and increasing bans. We have a known issue around the quit message stating you will be penalized however.

We've seen an increase in players quitting and going “AFK” in matches and are increasing our ban times to support fair play with full teams in our matchmaking hoppers. Next week, we are updating them for players who are habitually quitting out of games.

The following are the new levels of bans based on the number of times you quit out of a match:
  • 1st offense: 5 minutes
  • 2nd offense: 15 minutes
  • 3rd offense: 30 minutes
  • 4th offense: 60 minutes
  • 5th offense: 180 minutes
  • 6th offense: 16 hours
We know that sometimes life happens, or a game type is one you don’t really want to play so you leave a game. Just know that if you quit out of a lot of matchmade games, your ban length is going to increase for each new quit until you will need to wait a very extended period of time before playing again.
Now, onto CGB!

Custom Game Browser – Next Steps
Earlier this week, we wrapped up the CGB scale test in MCC for Halo: Reach. This was the first version of our Phase One implementation. We expected a lot of feedback on it, and the community delivered! This past week, we have spent a lot of time discussing this feedback and evaluating it from across social media.

Today, we are going to hear an initial assessment from Bradley Grey, UX Designer, and Dana Jerpbak, Software Engineer, on the Publishing Team at 343 Industries. So, let’s kick this one off!

Postums: From this CGB scale test, what were some of the top pieces of feedback and technical items we saw form themes in the community?

Bradley: Feedback about CGB seemed centered around the following themes:
  • Desiring the ability to quickly find the exact game, or types of games that players wanted to play (Searching, Sorting, Filtering).
  • Friction surrounding full game sessions (Lack of clarity in error messages, inability to join game sessions, desire to have a queuing function).
  • Friction surrounding game session details.
  • Desire for additional host controls.
From the feedback we received, are some of these items already planned and in the roadmap for future phases for CGB?

Bradley: Refinements surrounding the first two feedback items listed above were already in progress before we began our scale test. In terms of additional items for future CGB work, we already are focused on several. We are designing our filters, which are meant to give players the ability to configure preferences that narrow down the entries they will see on the Browse screen. This work is still ongoing and the feedback from our community will help shape these moving forward.
We also are designing a “Quick Match” option, which aims to help players who want to get into any match and start playing without having to look through the listings on the Browse Screen.


With the scale test completed, a big question is, how did our systems and all of CGB hold up at scale?

Dana: There were two key areas we wanted to observe at scale: concurrency – that is, how we perform with a large number of players interacting with the feature and hosting sessions at once, and uniqueness – what emerges when we throw a large number of individual players at the feature.

On the concurrency front, our systems held up quite well. We didn’t observe any nonlinear behavior – that is, our backend performed largely the same with a high number of concurrent players and sessions as it does with a smaller number. We did not surpass or approach any thresholds that would’ve resulted in failures or other concerning behavior. We did observe a few small areas for improvement in our backend performance as a result of the test, and we intend to take action on them ahead of the full release of this feature. This is one of those areas where “no news is good news” so we were pleased by the relatively uneventful results we observed here.

On the uniqueness front, this test was really important. As thorough as we can be in our internal testing, we can’t possibly predict every eventuality. Throwing players in the retail scenario at a feature is immensely helpful in this regard. During the scale test, we observed (and fixed) two separate issues which were resulting in dedicated servers crashing. If you experienced a session you were playing in abruptly end, it was probably due to one of these. We also observed cases where high numbers of players joined over the course of a session which resulted in some unexpected behavior which we have since fixed. All of this will result in a much smoother experience when we fully launch the feature.

Thank you both for stopping on by and sharing how things went and are going! As we work through the feedback and our planned work relating to CGB, we will be sure to provide more updates on when and where players will be able to get their hands on the next iteration. Thank you to everyone who hopped online to check it out earlier this week!

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Flighting Season 7
As we get closer and closer to the next season, we are gearing up for our next flight for MCC! We are still a ways out, but wanted to spotlight some of the content we plan on being in there.

Key Areas of Focus:
  • Improvements to visuals for Halo CE to better mirror legacy.
  • Improvements to the maps Waterfall and Edge.
  • Season 7 Customization Content.
  • Various bug fixes
As we get more finalized in what is making its way into the flight, we will breakdown the details a bit more. Players will hopefully be quite happy with the update as well as the content coming with Season 7!

Update Halo Insider Profile for Flighting
If you want to get in on the action, please make sure all of your Halo Insider information is accurate and current. We are seeing a large number of players who are pending verification of your profile emails. Verifying your email address and making sure it's up-to-date is the only way we can contact you when the time comes to send out flighting invites. Please make sure to confirm this. Or, if you have confirmed and have made recent hardware changes, such as picking up an Xbox One Series S|X recently or new parts for your PC, be sure to update your profile!

If you haven’t registered to be a Halo Insider, that’s not a problem! It’s quick and easy to opt-in – just head HERE and enter your info. Make sure to opt-in for communications and complete your email verification, and to participate via PC, please make sure to include a DXDIAG hardware snapshot. See y’all in flight soon!

Hacking/Cheating
Big thanks to everyone that has brought examples of people cheating in MCC to our attention. Please continue to report on https://aka.ms/HaloPlayerReport. Although we haven’t publicly talked about this a lot, know we are not ignoring these issues. We are working with our partners to make improvements to cheat detection, actively banning those that we confirm are cheating, and are investigating the causes of these issues.

Thank you everyone for stopping in. As always, we are happy to share a look behind the scenes and towards the future of our next Halo Insider flights! We will see y’all online!

Cheers,
Postums
Hey Friends,

Welcome to another MCC Development and Flighting Update. This week is going to be very brief as we just dropped our latest news yesterday, in the Community Update - Spring Scoops. Be sure to check it out as we touch on the following key items:
For more news, be sure to stop on by each Friday and check out the latest and greatest going on in the world of MCC.
Happy Friday y’all, and as always, we will see you online!

Cheers,
Postums
Hey Friends,

We are back again with another MCC Weekly Development & Flighting Update. This week, we kicked off a weekend of flighting for players to hop in and check out some awesome new content, bug fixes, and more!

Season 7 Flight
Going on right now and through Monday morning at 10am PT, MCC is flighting across all platforms. This flight is primarily focused on a variety of upgrades. If you are in the flight, you can jump into Social Matchmaking for the new updates to Halo 3 maps Waterfall & Edge or check out the new visual updates to Halo: Combat Evolved using the classic graphics in both campaign and matchmaking. Updates were not made to Anniversary graphics. Also of note, you can check out the latest bug fixes across the game, the new Season 7 customization content which includes new Energy Sword customization and Elite armors over in Halo 3, and the Halo 4 Champions Bundle armors, and so much more!

All of these pieces of content are live in the flight right now!

Not a Halo Insider yet? Well – unfortunately you have missed out on this flight, but you can get in on the next ones! To become a Halo Insider, it’s a quick and easy opt-in process. Just go HERE and enter your info and follow the outlined steps. Make sure to opt-in for communications and complete your email verification, and to participate via PC, please make sure to include a DXDIAG hardware snapshot. We look forward to having y’all in a future flight!

We hope everyone is out there checking out the flight in game or watching the content show up on social media. We are eager to hear what players think and evaluate the feedback from this one. So don’t be shy and let us know how things are going out there. We are all ears!

As always, thanks for stopping by, and we will see y’all online!

Cheers,
Postums
Hey Friends,

Welcome back to another MCC Friday Development & Flighting Update. This past week, we wrapped up our May Flight! It included everything from the new Elite customization content to new sword skins, Halo: Combat Evolved’s fog to bump maps, and then over in Halo 4 the Champion bundle content coming and armor effects!
Players have been discussing pretty much everything that was last weekend and it’s been great to hear from the community. This week, the team has been heads down going over the feedback.

In good news, there are not a lot of problems that require significant changes ahead of Season 7. The team’s focus has been around planning for future content updates, bug fixes across the collection, and continuing work on the Custom Game Browser. We’re also continuing to investigate additional modding tools, and looking at more ways to bring games in the collection in closer parity with the original releases.

The sheer amount of feedback that we’ve received in the past month has been encouraging. While not something new, we’ve been working even harder to get this feedback into real changes in game. As time goes on, we will be able to share what changes players can expect to see, but for now, know that we are listening closely to what players are telling us and focusing on making very impactful bug fixes across the board.

Halo Insider
If you missed out on the most recent flight, be sure to go and register now for future ones! It’s quick and easy to opt-in – just head HERE and enter your info. Make sure to opt-in for communications and complete your email verification. And, if you want to participate via PC, please make sure to include a DXDIAG hardware snapshot.
If you already are registered, make sure all of your Halo Insider information is accurate and current. This includes if you have picked up an Xbox One Series S|X recently or new parts for your PC. Verifying your email address and making sure it's up-to-date is the only way we can contact you when the time comes to send out flighting invites.

Feeback Loops
Continuing for Halo Insiders, we are requesting some feedback around our flights all up for MCC! We are looking to hear from players on some of our most recent flights. If you would like to share with us why you may have not participated much or at all, we would greatly appreciate it! We have two dedicated feedback threads where you can drop in and let us know a few things! Leave feedback for us over on Reddit or over on Halowaypoint.

On the Horizon
It’s almost summer which means sunshine, sundaes, and, at least here in Washington, still enough rain to keep things interesting. It’s also a great time to be celebrating our community, so when you login to MCC anytime in June, you’ll unlock the UNITY nameplate and find it in your inventory.

Thank you everyone for stopping in this week and as always, we will see y’all online!

Cheers,
Postums
Hey Friends,

Welcome back for another MCC Friday Development & Flighting Update! This week, we have sweet new development goodies for players with news about some social matchmaking changes coming to Season 7. Without further ado, let’s jump straight into it!

Match Composer – Firefight Added
With Season 7 coming up, we have an update to the match composer to add in Firefight as a new option. This will allow us to do several fun things and allows players to get in on the action in a much more streamlined and accessible way.

The feature is in its final stage of testing this week and the team is wrapping up polish bugs around it. Crossplay is also enabled for this offering. Below are our current placeholder options which can be changed on the fly and possibly rotate weekly when released.

Firefight Match Composer

This change is being done for a handful of key reasons:
  • This adjustment is aimed at helping to bring the Firefight communities between ODST and Reach closer, so they can all find more matches.
  • Lower the time to find a match for Firefight.
  • Provide an option for players to have more granularity in the game types searched.
  • Open the door for potential rotational Firefight options and categories.
  • Centralize Firefight within the core destination for social matchmaking experiences rather than in a separate menu. The existing Firefight matchmaking menu flow will now redirect to Social Games with the Firefight game preset selected.
We are excited to give players improved search capabilities for Firefight matchmaking with Season 7 and will continue to look to augment the player experience in MCC, so please be sure to let us know your feedback over in our game forums!

Thanks all for stopping in, and as always, we will see y’all online!

Cheers,
Postums
Hey Friends,

Welcome back for yet again another MCC Development & Flighting Update. There’s a lot of buzz in the air lately as we are getting ready for the video game showcase season to go into over-drive. For stuff in the world of Xbox, be sure to check out the showcase happening this Sunday! Beyond the weekend happenings, work on MCC since our Season 7 flight has continued to make headway and the team is very eager to get a lot of new content out into the wild!

One topic we have talked about before is the Custom Game Browser (CGB). For the first phase of this endeavor, the team has been heads down on making updates in preparation for the next time we show it off, which happens to be with Season 7! Now we don’t have a date to share yet, but we do have a handful of items the team has addressed from feedback we wanted to share with players today.

Feedback Fixes – CGB
With Season 7, CGB will launch with the same feature set that was available to players during the scale test conducted last month. It will be available for Halo: Reach and allow for players access to the Browse and Create options within it. To augment that, we have a nice list of polish items the team has been working on!
  • Full sessions will sort to the bottom of the Browse list.
  • Several issues around the ordering of sessions when a sort column is selected have been fixed.
  • CGB now has addressed an exploit where cheaters flagged by EAC were not removed from sessions.
  • The naming for “End Game” is now replaced with “Next Game” in the pause menu when “Repeat Game” is enabled.
  • Improvements for party handling during gameplay with voice and text chat.
  • Many other polish fixes.
We are excited for players to get their hands on this for use with Halo: Reach and are looking forward to turning it on with Season 7. The team is still hard at work to bring additional titles, bug fixes, and implement further improvements based on your feedback in the coming months.

Thank you all for stopping in this week and as always, we will see y’all online!

Cheers,
Postums
Hey Friends,

Welcome back to another MCC Friday Development & Flighting Update! This week, we have a handful of items to get you ready for Season 7, which goes live on Wednesday, June 23rd.

Mid-Mission Saves and Theater Films
As always, both mid-mission saves and theater films can become unusable with an update. With this one, there are various content rebuilds and updates that will be impacting mid-mission saves and theater films. Please make sure to record all theater films ahead of the 23rd and complete all in-progress campaign missions before it happens. Both will be invalidated for all titles with this next update.

New Mod Tools
As part of Season 7, we will have a new set of mod tools that will become available to players over on Steam. We are targeting to have some additional information out next week in a basic overview that dives into what they are and how you can use them. Keep your eyes peeled for that to drop next week!

Server Locale Update
Earlier this week, players in the United States may have missed it, but a regional server came back online. Players with a keen eye may have noticed that the North Central server is now available again. If you are in that area, make sure to update your server selection to include it!

Seasonal Challenges
If you haven’t already, make sure to wrap up Season 6’s Seasonal Challenges to earn your rewards. This is the last weekend that they will be available for players. Be sure to pop online and knock them since the clock is ticking!

Thank you everyone for stopping in again for the last update for Season 6. We will see you back here next week when Season 7 is live and underway. As always, thank you for checking in, and we will see y’all online!

Cheers,
Postums
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