By B is for Bravo -
The pre-E3 Community Update is a ritual. It is a calm before the storm. By the time you read this, many from the 343 and Xbox team will already be down in Los Angeles preparing for the ceremonious week ahead. Others will soon follow. Like many before it, this one will be a brief update that will ensure you’re ready for the week ahead. I’ve also spent some time this past week with devs that you have yet to hear from in a weekly update, and we spoke about a specific something they’ve been working on. All that and more today. Cue cool music.
It is time. Booths are being built, stages are being lit, and tens of thousands of gaming fans, media, and devs are en route to Southern California for the biggest week in games. We’re on our way, too, and we hope we run into many of you there. Whether you’ll be joining us on the show floor or watching from home, here’s all of the info you need to know.
Xbox E3 2016 Media Briefing
The annual presentation will include everything from in-depth looks at previously-announced games to trailers for unannounced titles coming in 2016 and beyond.
Monday, June 13
9:30 AM PDT
Watch: Spike TV, Xbox One, Xbox.com
Play Halo Wars 2
Halo Wars 2 will be playable on the E3 show floor, on both Xbox One and PC. Come hang out and play a few games at booth 4100 in the West Hall. You’ll have a chance to battle it out against other players at the show, and the winners of each match will receive a pin from the faction they played. You’re likely familiar with the below, and I do believe you’ll be seeing more very soon.
Xbox Daily: LIVE @ E3
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Major Nelson and Acey Bongos bring you the latest news from the day, with guest appearances, reveals, and more.
Tuesday, June 14 and Wednesday, June 15 4:00 – 5:00 PM PDT
Watch: Xbox One, Xbox.com, Xbox 360, twitch.tv/Xbox
Next up, we’ll detail something we haven’t yet talked about. It’s coming with the Warzone Firefight release, so we should get into the details.
Campaign Score Attack
There’s something beautiful about racking up points for eliminating foes, and this certainly applies to both the multiplayer battlefield as well as the caverns and crawlspaces of Campaign. A few folks here have been hard at work on a new Campaign mode, and to get the details, I sat down with Gabe Deyerle after playing a few round myself.
Gabe Deyerle, Campaign Engineer
Following off of the work the Sandbox Team did with the Campaign balance update, and with the big focus on PvE in this month's update, the Campaign Team had an opportunity to resurrect a particular passion project of ours: Scoring.
We're big fans of scoring in past Halo games, and we wanted to bring it back to Halo 5: Guardians, but with a few new twists. We call it: Score Attack.
First of all, thanks to the work going on in parallel with Warzone Firefight, we were able to expose a large suite of the medals you can earn in Multiplayer to campaign for the purposes of earning points. With over 50 medals to earn in Score Attack, you'll earn the most points for defeating your foes as stylishly as possible.
Second, we love playing with our friends, and we know you do, too - but who doesn't like a little friendly competition? You and your friends will all earn score independently, but you'll probably want to work together if you want to beat the game on higher difficulties with lots of skulls on to maximize your points (and, ya know, survive). We've found this creates a fun tension between helping your friends and taking advantage of their fumbles. But you'll know who the true heroes were after the game in the PGCR where you can see how you stacked up against each other, as well as a full medal breakdown.
This is probably a good time to mention that after a lot of playtesting, we decided to make LASO (Legendary All Skulls On) a *little* bit easier by enabling revive if you go down while the Iron skull is on. It's still pretty brutal (as we think LASO should be) but now there's hope of having a second chance if you go down in a safe location where your allies can get to you.
And last, but most certainly not least, we've been a huge fan of speed runs for years, and we wanted to do everything we could to streamline the game to those dedicated players who find crazy ways of breaking our game wide open, all in the spirit of shaving off those few precious seconds. So in addition to the on screen timer, in Score Attack, we disable cinematics entirely. This meant we could optimize our loading times to get you into the game considerably faster than in the normal campaign. And we heard you, it's a terrible feeling to *just* miss your personal best or a world record because you failed a trick, so we added "Restart Mission" into the pause menu to ease that pain, if only a little bit.
Oh! And before we go, there's one more little thing, and it might be a bit hard to find, so we're glad we got a chance to tell you all. We added <REDACTED: ONI CLASSIFIED INFORMATION> which we're all pretty happy about. Let us know what you think of it!
From all of us on the Campaign Team, we hope you have fun <3
In addition to the above, Score Attack will also include a set of Achievements in which you may be interested. Here they are:
Score Attack Achievements
Lastly, here’s a look at some of the Score Attack multipliers. Prepare to rack up some points, and maybe even think about get some practice runs in before the update drops.
Score Attack Multipliers
The mode will also feature a variety of stats in your Service Record. They’ll live here, under Score Attack Summary. Per mission, the stats will include:
- Best solo score by difficulty
- Best solo time by difficulty
- Best Co-Op score by difficulty
- Best Co-Op time by difficulty
- Skulls used
Score Attack will soon be here, and we hope you enjoy competing with your friends, putting together epic solo runs, and racking up the highest of scores as you re-play some of your favorite missions.
“Summertime Funtime with Forge is coming…”
- Tom French
Next up, we toss over to Grim for the latest on…whatever Grim has been up to.
Thanks Bravo! While the epic struggles and top-talent showcase of the HCS Pro League has already provided multiplayer fans with any incredible array of Halo competition, this week also a different flavor of friendly fire took place as four popular community podcasts pitted themselves against each other to fight for gain, glory, and goodwill. The inaugural Halo Bowl featured a showdown between the crews from Podtacular, Delta Halo, Podcast Evolved and Drunken Halo. Following official Halo Championship Series formats, each podcast crew fielded a fireteam made up of hosts and loyal listeners, competing not just for bragging rights, but for also for Gamers Outreach, an organization that provides recreation to children in hospitals through the power of video games and the gaming community. It’s an incredible cause that was matched by an incredible effort from these four Halo community outlets.
As for the tournament results themselves, the stalwart crew from Drunken Halo took down the veteran Podtacular team members, closing out the Finals with a fantastic 50-46 Slayer victory on Regret. But the real victory belongs to each of the four teams and the Halo fans they inspired to donate, helping raise over $1,600 for Gamers Outreach. I checked in with representatives from each podcast to get their thoughts on the experience overall.
GRIM: First off, this is a really incredible thing you guys put together and pulled off in a relatively short period of time – and just goes to show the depth that the Halo community will go to in turning a shared passion into a force of sheer goodwill. Can each of you tell us a bit about your community and the experience you gained from the Halo Bowl event?
PODTACULAR: When we were first asked to be a part of the Inaugural Halo Bowl, I thought, "Sure, it would be cool to play for some friendly competition," but after thinking after thinking about it a little more, it reminded me of something we haven't seen in a while: clan matches. I managed to pull together some members from our Spartan Company to form our team and we had a wonderful time playing. Even though we showed up late to the finals losing the first three games, we fought back in the fourth and made a great effort in the final fifth game, where we lost to the champs, Drunken Halo. Needless to say, I was proud of our team and applaud everyone for playing their best, making this a wonderful night of playing Halo with friends.
To top it off, it was awesome that over the course of the live stream we raised over $1600 for Gamers Outreach. The support we had from them while we got the word out about this tournament was amazing and we are more than excited to be working with them again in the future for similar efforts. Big thanks to 343 Industries, Gamers Outreach, the participating podcast teams, the viewers, and most importantly, the donors.
DELTA HALO: We're kinda the new guys in the Halo podcast community – having just published our 29th episode. The fact that Drunken Halo, Podtacular and Podcast Evolved thought to bring us into the fold for the inaugural event blew us away. It really reinforced the hard work and commitment that we've put into our content to date. Halo Bowl showed that not only is the community alive and well, it showed that we are able to come together in support of each other as well as a great cause like Gamers Outreach. With the incredible response we received and the amount of money we raised for GO, we hope for this to be the first of many community events to come.
PODCAST EVOLVED: The Halo Bowl was the first of what will surely be a regular celebration of Halo content creators gathering to throw down HCS-style in a grassroots tournament in effort to bring our communities together and raise awareness and money for a good cause. This year we partnered with the AWESOME Gamers Outreach team. The goal was to raise money for a GO Kart, which is a portable gaming system for bed-ridden kids in hospitals. We raised over $1600 so far and will be taking donations until the end of E3 2016. Halo Bowl has been an incredible experience for Podcast Evolved; we're a relatively young community in the Halo world and are just thrilled to participate with our friends and fellow podcasters to help start something that I hope becomes ubiquitous with Halo content creators and the Halo community as a whole. To me, the Halo Bowl is a shining example of the positive nature and comradery that I feel when I think of the Halo Community. I can't wait to get involved in future events and help build a positive connection between fellow content creators, gamers in general, and the Halo community that I love to represent every day. EVOLVED!
DRUNKEN HALO: The Halo Bowl was a night that I will always remember. This was an idea that we have had for a few months and we all worked extremely hard to organize all this. To see it play out the way it did was amazing. Not only did team Drunken Halo win the title, but more importantly, we raised more money than I could have ever imagined for Gamers Outreach. I know video games, especially Halo, is my escape from reality and to be able to help provide that to kids who need it more than anyone else is truly an honor and a privilege. I want to give a big shout out to our community, I know a lot of our listeners donated and supported this cause. A big thank you is in order to Podtacular, Podcast Evolved, Delta Halo, our casters Mudcat and Reiku, all the players involved, all the people who watched and donated, and especially to Gamers Outreach. We look forward to doing this again towards the end of the year! Stay golden!
If you’d like to be part of helping the Halo Bowl teams realize their goal of paying for a GO Kart, head here to donate. Events like this make us incredibly proud of the generous and passionate community, and we’re certainly looking forward to hearing more about events like this in the future. Big congrats to the Drunken Podcast crew of Drknhalopodcast, THE Bl2AVE, KaptainMalcolm, and M3diocr3 IA for taking home the title, and to each podcast team for their enthusiasm and involvement.
Also this week, keen-eyed collectors caught interweb wind of Mattel’s upcoming exclusive figure for San Diego Comic Con. The brightly colored HELIOSKRILL-armored Spartan-IV will certainly be a highly sought-after addition to any carefully curated collection, so if you’re interested in that sort of thing, make sure you keep a close eye on the Matty Collector website for more news in the very near future. Stay tuned!
And before we close, as is tradition, we must highlight a few goodies from around the community.
This week, we’re taking a look at a Community 2v2 map that has recently been found in the 1st floor playlab undergoing multiplayer feedback and testing. It’s Purple Reign, and it comes from storied Forger A Polish Korean. Click here for the map.
Before we move on, we also must give a shoutout to Laser Maniac, who’s back with a Warzone Turbo montage. (Speaking of, Warzone Turbo is live this weekend! We’ll see you in the playlist).
Play of the Week
This week’s play comes from nt RUNNINGWOLF, who starts off a Stasis match down 0-4, but luckily doesn’t afraid of anything.
That’ll do for this week, friends. We’ll see you in LA for E3!