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[Locked] Halo 2 / MCC Update

OP Postums

Hey Friends,

It’s been almost 24 hours since the Halo 2 PC launch and MCC update and it’s been a very busy time say the least. Many of you have been playing, tweeting, posting threads, filing support tickets, and letting us know how things are going. As you know, there were multiple Known Issues present going into release but unfortunately several new ones have come to light since last night.

Currently the team is prioritizing work on two key problems the community has reported: erratic projectiles in Halo 2 multiplayer that have a tendency to inexplicably betray teammates and degraded performance and experience with Halo 3 on Xbox One.

We know it’s frustrating to encounter bugs and it’s equally frustrating to not know what’s happening to address the problem or if anything is even happening. Unfortunately there is no instant fix for these problems – and both are actively being worked on - but we wanted to walk you through the timeline and status of the Halo 2 bug in particular to provide more transparency into what’s transpired since launch.

If you’re not aware or haven’t experienced this yet – this Halo 2 issue involves weapon projectiles and grenades not going where they’re supposed to. In many clips, a player can be seen throwing a grenade or firing a rocket only to have it disappear and then mysteriously betray a teammate elsewhere on the map.
Here’s a closer look at what’s been happening over the last 24 hours:

8:00 PM – 9:59 PM
We were on the phone with Steam and buttons were pressed at 7:58 to ensure the game was available at 8:00 pm. Over the next several hours we saw players installing, booting up, playing, and streaming the game. We saw small issues that we triaged in our “War Room” (a virtual Teams call with members of various teams across the studio) and were able to assess and mitigate a few minor things very quickly.

10:00 PM – First Contact
At approximately 10:00 PM, it was brought to our attention that a clip had been made where LEGIQN shot a series of rockets and they were betraying his teammates on the other side of the map. It happened a few times and he ended up getting booted from the match because of this. This was flagged in the War Room to the entire group of folks around 10:06 as a potential issue to be aware of as we continued to look across social and monitor streams.

11:00 PM – 1:59 AM
By about 11 we had compiled roughly 10+ clips of players who had experienced this issue on streams, created threads, and it was clear this was a real issue that was not present during flighting for Halo 2 just a few weeks back. Something had changed and not for the good. We ended up putting out a tweet from Halo Support @HaloSupport and it was added to our Known Issues to let players know we were aware and investigating.

QA, Community, Engineering, and Production were syncing together for a while to discuss, dissect, and come up with ideas of what could be causing this issue. Around 12:30 folks were in game starting to work on reproducing the issue on PC and while others jumped on a console. A group of us got together and were able to get into a match and find a reliable “repro” for this issue.

2:00 AM – 9:59 AM
Early in the morning, Production put together a detailed email to our development partners at Saber outlining the reproduction steps, a series of clips, and the area we believe the issue may have arisen from so they could begin investigation on their side. Saber was able to reproduce on their side, enter a bug, and then reached out and talked our teams through a potential fix. A new test build was created and sent over to 343 for our test teams to dig in and investigate the results.

10:00 AM To 7:00 PM
Teams have been continuing investigations and working through the issue itself along with other bugs that the community has been raising. Unfortunately, the initial fix we were validating did not resolve the issue in Halo 2, so our joint teams will continue investigating a fix. Additionally, a few of our other priorities also include investigating graphical and behavioral oddities in Halo 3 multiplayer matchmaking on Xbox One as well as some reports surrounding Keybinding on PC.

As a reminder, if there are issues you are encountering at any time including Halo 3 or Keybinding, please be sure to submit them over at aka.ms/HaloSupport. We are always looking for more pieces of information to help us understand and work to act on issues that the community is facing. The more details we have, the more efficiently our test teams can unravel these mysteries.

What Comes Next
Right now, we are still working towards a fix for the Halo 2 projectile issue. In addition, work continues in parallel validating fixes for other issues (some of the Known Issues were already being worked on at launch, etc..). Once the team feels good about the fixes for a handful of these key issues, we will need to spend adequate time internally and with our partners testing and verifying that these issues are truly resolved and there are no regressions elsewhere in the title. Once we get to that point, we’ll have a better sense of timing to release a hotfix.

Please know that our teams are working as quickly as they can to address issues and areas of feedback. The reality is that no two issues are the same – some end up being quick and easy fixes while others are far more tangled and complex requiring lengthier testing and more substantial release management dependencies. And of course, all of this comes at a time when our teams and development partners are scattered and working-from-home, without our standard resources and facilities, doing their best to navigate a new development and production reality.

Thank you for your continued support and for continuing to report issues as you encounter them. Please keep an eye on our Known Issues and stay tuned to @HaloSupport. We’ll share more information on the hotfix and what it will include as soon as we can.

Cheers,
Postums
Hey Friends,

5/14 Update
Yesterday’s efforts have continued into today with the team working late last night into the wee hours of this morning (some up until 4am) poring over code changes and investigating the root causes of some of these issues.

Halo 2 Projectile Bug Update
In the case of the Halo 2 projectile bug, being able to isolate unique scenarios is critical to help isolate what and where this issue is present. For example – are the conditions around this issue tied to unique surfaces, trajectory vectors, weapons, maps, which players are in a game, etc..? And what additional unique scenarios can be directly linked to or ruled out as a contributing factor?

Helping reduce the requirements to reproduce it helped engineers located some portion of code in an interpolation fix that was implemented. It was discovered in the code a portion that was meant for reading and writing to a local user’s interpolation state. However, it did not have bounds checking in place, so we didn't handle the 'no local user' case (-1). This then caused an unwanted biproduct of writing to memory when it wasn't supposed to.

The additional insights discovered during these investigations were passed along to our partners at Saber who then worked on another potential resolution. This new fix attempt was built and passed back to our team for test to review today. Our test team is currently reviewing and digging into the latest build and we are continuing to test the build to ensure it does not adversely impact other areas of the title. In great news, we have found the fix for this issue which has been signed off by Test and Production. It will be in a build update coming soon.

Halo 3 Bug Update
On the Halo 3 bugs front, our internal engineers and test team are still looking through all the various scenarios where these issues are present. We were able to reproduce this issue in custom games environments, so additional investigation in debug environments to acquire logging around the host player was needed.
After a meeting, this morning at 11am, the test team began transferring gigs of data across teams to get setup and prepped for testing. While this was transferring, a test to gather more information was unfortunately not valuable and ended up being a failure. However, this was done while transferring builds to help optimize time spent.
Once the new build preparation was completed, the test team then dug further into games and reproduced the issue several times and was able to produce the logs to pass over to engineering for a full analysis. The work is still in progress at this time along with exploring several theories of what may be the root cause(s) for the issue at hand.

What’s Next
As we learn more and progress is made, we will continue to keep the community updated around these various issues. Again, thank you for your continued support and for continuing to report issues as you encounter them. Please stay tuned to @HaloSupport as we will share more information on these issues and when to expect a hotfix for them in the future.

Cheers,
Tyler Davis
Hey Friends,

5/15 Update
Continuing from yesterday, team members have been knee deep in code, testing legacy behaviors, previous content updates, and isolating areas of change that we believe will help uncover certain bugs. The test team is verifying a potential fix for the Halo 2 bug and our engineers are actively investigating the Halo 3 issue. During our H2 investigations, we uncovered another odd legacy bug dating back to Halo 2’s original release and have logged it for further investigation.

Halo 2 Projectile Bug Update
Our test teams are continuing to verify the potential fix with our partner studios. We believe this issue is fixed internally but will likely push to resolve additional issues (like the Halo 3 bug below) prior to releasing a full hotfix publicly. Once we have these issues resolved, we will let you know when to expect the update.

Halo 3 Bug Update
On the Halo 3 front, investigations are continuing with multiple engineers working together to resolve the issue. The team has made a handful of fixes that we believe may solve many of the issues we have seen and checked the code changes in. A build will be kicked off shortly and test teams will be online tomorrow verifying the changes across Halo 3. Though we believe we are making good headway, we still need to verify if these resolve the issues at hand. As we learn more from tomorrow’s tests, we will share that information with you here.

What’s Next
As our investigation continues will continue to keep the community updated around these various issues. Again, thank you for your continued support and for continuing to report issues as you encounter them. Please stay tuned to @HaloSupport as we will share more information on these issues and when to expect a hotfix for them in the future.

Cheers,
Postums
Hey Friends,

5/17 Update
After a full day of testing changes implemented by our engineering team, we are seeing good results from the most recent bug fixes coming in. Below are updates on each of the bugs that will be fixed in an upcoming hot fix patch.

Halo 2 Projectile Bug Update
Our test team’s investigation surrounding the code changes to Halo 2 are complete. From our testing, this bug has been verified fixed in our latest development builds. This will be available in the upcoming hotfix patch.

Halo 3 Bug Update
QA has continued testing around a series of bug fixes on Saturday. The fixes involved appear to have resolved the rubber banding, desynced vehicles, objects, missing effects, and eventual instability in long matches in Halo 3. Our initial review of these changes show that these issues are no longer occurring in the Xbox One build.

The teams are still investigating a crash on Valhalla that is reproducing currently in both custom and matchmade game sessions. Engineers are working towards a resolution of this issue right now. This is the last remaining bug we are planning to include in the upcoming hotfix build.

What’s Next
Our teams will continue validating any changes implemented over this weekend on Monday and work towards resolving this issue as quickly as possible. Again, thank you for your continued support and for continuing to report issues as you encounter them. Please stay tuned to @HaloSupport as we will share more information on these issues and when to expect a hotfix for them in the future.

Cheers,
Postums
Hey Friends,

5/18 Update
After further investigation with our internal teams, we believe that we have fixes for all three of the issues outlined below; Halo 2 projectiles, Halo 3 match stability, and Halo 3 crashes on Valhalla. Pending further testing and verification, the build with these fixes will be sent through our certification pipeline and eventually released in an upcoming hot fix patch.

As the build moves through this standard release process, we will continue to share daily updates on its progress.

Thank you for your reports and continued patience as we work to address these issues. Please stay tuned to this thread and @HaloSupport for updates, including the expected release window of the hot fix, as they become available.

Cheers,
Postums
Hey Friends,

5/19 Update
The team is continuing with testing and verifications for the fixes targeted for Halo 2 projectiles, Halo 3 match stability, and Halo 3 crashes on Valhalla. The update is currently going through our certification pipeline and will eventually become available in an upcoming hot fix patch. We have not found any new issues today that would block us from releasing this patch once it’s through our pipeline.

As the build moves through this standard release process, we will continue to share daily updates on its progress.

Thank you for your reports and continued patience as we work to address these issues. Please stay tuned to this thread and @HaloSupport for updates, including the expected release window of the hot fix, as they become available.

Cheers,
Postums
Hey Friends,

5/20 Update
The team is continuing to test while our latest MCC hotfix patch goes through certification. This update will fix bugs for Halo 2 projectiles, Halo 3 match stability, Halo 3 crashes on Valhalla, and several other issues. As soon as we have completed certification we will share when players can expect it to be released.

Thank you for your reports and continued patience as we work to address these issues. Please stay tuned to this thread and @HaloSupport for updates, including the expected release window of the hot fix when certification is completed.

Cheers,
Postums
Hello Friends,

5/21 Update
Welcome back folks for another update on the latest MCC hotfix patch. We have officially passed certification this afternoon and will be releasing the update later tonight at 8pm PDT (UTC-7). This patch resolves the issues we have been discussing for Halo 2 projectiles, Halo 3 match stability, Halo 3 crashes on Valhalla, and several additional bugs we had resolved prior to Halo 2’s launch. Full details of the patch are available HERE.

Thank you for your reports and continued patience as we work to address these issues. Please stay tuned to this thread and @HaloSupport for updates, including the expected release window of the hot fix when certification is completed.

Cheers,
Postums