News

Debuting Discoveries

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Happy 4th of July and welcome to the latest Community Update!

Screenshot taken by Primordial 117

Normally we'd hold off publishing during a holiday weekend, but the team has been working hard on Halo: Outpost Discovery's launch in Orlando, HCS Grassroots events and MCC Flighting, to name just a few, so we wanted to make sure you could find all the info wrapped up into one neat location. Let's dive in and see what's in store for Halo!

HALO: OUTPOST DISCOVERY

Tomorrow marks the launch of our highly-anticipated travelling Halo experience, Halo: Outpost Discovery. I'm already down here in Orlando getting ready to walk through the event in just a few hours, and hopefully participate in some of the experiences, before they officially open their doors tomorrow. It's all coming together and it should be a great time for all kinds of Halo fans.

This immersive Halo experience will be touring the US, landing in these five different locations this summer:

We truly hope you'll be able to join us for one of them!

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

The First Flight 

This past weekend, we flighted a limited build of Halo: Reach on PC to a small group of Halo Insiders. The goals of this flight were to validate our delivery pipelines to a larger audience, beta test the all-new Halo Support site, and receive feedback on areas we need to improve as we move forward with the project. The Halo Insiders who were selected to participate were those with varying ranges of hardware and were using the Windows 10 operating system. Not everyone was invited to participate this time, but the groups will grow in size as we continue. We see the excitement and eagerness from the community to participate in these flights, and we hear you. Just know that we are going to continue more over time and get as many people in and providing feedback as possible, so please hang in there.

If you want to see what the raw gameplay of this flight looked like in all its 4K glory, here's a walkthrough that we recorded at the studio:

For those of you that can't wait to get your hands on the latest builds, we'll have them playable at all five Halo: Outpost Discovery events this summer. And as mentioned before, we promise that we will continue to flight the game to more and more registered Halo Insiders as development continues.

Additionally, you'll want to make sure you keep up to date with our monthly MCC Development Updates which outline our progress on the entire project. The June Update came out last week and it's loaded with tons of details on Progression, Forge, Theater, and community Q&As.

June Developement Update

Again, I highly recommend that you read the full Development Update to get the full context of the quotes and to better understand things, but I'll do my best to provide some high-level coverage here.

Progression

What is a season and when one ends, what happens to the content and unlocks around it?

This was something I also saw online that was being talked about. Our intent has and will always be that when a season is over, content doesn’t disappear. You will not lose access to the ability to earn content from a season or the ability to use previously unlocked content. A core design philosophy we have is to give more options to players and when it comes to earning things, we will not take this away from you.

When a season ends, nothing will be taken away in terms of unlocks. If a new season starts that has a new theme, such as the release of the next title for MCC PC, it will be additive and include new unlocks to work towards. For you, this means that if you haven’t finished unlocking all content for the first Halo: Reach season, and the Halo: Combat Evolved season has started, you now can choose to continue working on unlocking content in the Halo: Reach season or use your season points towards the unlocks from the new Halo: CE season. All content and unlocks are yours forever once they have been earned. If anything, we will look at new and fun ways to add content for you to work towards.

How will you earn the XP to rank up and earn additional season points? As well, what changes have been made to improve how much time it takes to earn the XP?

XP will be granted at the end of each completed game that is played on dedicated servers. This will include PVP multiplayer matchmade games and Firefight matchmaking. XP will be awarded based on the length of the match and medals earned, but the medals earned will account for most of the XP. Medals will award XP in two primary categories; performance and teamwork. Performance medals include things such as kill streaks, style kills, and objective medals like flag captures. Teamwork medals are awarded for in-game actions like assists, protecting another player, or contributing to a score in objective game types. XP will be capped for all the categories; time, performance, and teamwork per match.

What are the different ranks being used in game?

There will be a Global rank and a matchmaking per-playlist rank that players can level up. As players complete matches and earn medals, they will earn XP and eventually reach a new level for their Global rank with each level having a unique name and icon. Per-playlist ranks will be the same as they are in MCC currently, but will be reset at the beginning of each new season or if a playlist is added in.

Reach PC: Forge and Theater

What are the concerns the team has had about trying to launch Halo: Reach on PC with Forge and Theater? What were the key reasons behind deciding to bring them both to PC post-launch?

We need to properly give both features enough time, so they are a true PC first experience. When you look specifically at Forge and what it truly is, it is a 3D editing tool that was built completely for console. In some cases, it’s built to have mouse and keyboard support, and in some it’s not - And that’s one of our biggest challenges right now with the feature.

We’re investigating what the best solution is for both Forge and Theater on PC. We know that to create a true PC first experience for both where it’s full mouse and keyboard support is an undetermined amount of work at this point. And we haven’t done a deep enough dive to determine how much work it truly is due to the priority of getting the main game up and ready. What we suspect, is it’s a very lengthy amount of time. So with that in mind we have to go and figure out what we think is going to be the best experience for PC players that also gets it into PC players hands as soon as possible so that we can empower the community to create the content they want to. Our primary focus right now though is the main game and getting it done. Forge and Theater are going to be something we transition to post-launch working with Ruffian and Splash Damage for PC.

Will this have any impact on console?

No, Xbox One’s Halo: Reach Forge and Theater will remain the same and we will be shipping with both as you would expect on console.

Any final thoughts on when and where players will be able to experience these two features?

Basically, our goal is to get them out as quickly as possible with each title. While I can’t commit to a timeline right now, the underlying goal is a high-quality experience that it will empower PC players to create the content they want to.

Community Q&A

Will we flight Firefight?

Yes. We will be Fireflighting at some point. Currently no date set in stone as there is a lot of work going on around it, but our goal is for Public Flight 2 to be our FireFlight.

The big one, “When will Halo: Reach in MCC and MCC on PC be released?”

When it’s ready. This is a journey we are all taking together through development, flighting, and the inevitable release. When it is ready – we will release it.

Legacy MAPS AND GAME TYPES MIGRATION

Your favorite creations (maps and game types) from Halo 3, Halo: Reach, and Halo 4 are making their way over to Halo: The Master Chief Collection! We're doing a one-time copy of the maps and game types in your file shares to help bring them over to MCC. Due to the complex nature of this process, we will only be able to do a single one-time migration for each file type, so we’ve separated this into two separate days – one day for maps and one day for game types. By allowing players to fill up their file share with maps during the first pull and again with game types on the second pull, players can maximize their slots and bring over as many of each file type as they can fit in their file share. While we don't have a definitive date of when this will happen yet, you may want to begin loading up your file shares on each game (Halo 3, Halo: Reach, and Halo 4) as soon as you can.

Legacy Screenshots

After extensive exploration we were unable to find a workable solution to copy and migrate screenshots and videos to the new system – so unfortunately Screenshots, Film Clips, and Films will not be transferred to MCC during this process. However, even though we might not get them in-game, we are still investigating a way bring screenshots to Halo Waypoint and make them both viewable and downloadable.

Who would want to lose classics like these?

Playlist Updates

While the Score Limited Changes are fairly straightforward, our refresh of H2A Infection is a little bit more in-depth. Catch up on the two most recent playlist updates to MCC! 

Score Limit Changes

  • HCE 2v2 & 4v4: time limit reduced from 15 to 12 minutes in Slayer, Oddball, CTF, and KotH.
  • HCE 4v4: score limit reduced from 5:00 to 3:00 in KotH.
  • H4 4v4 & 8p FFA: Ninja Assassins score limit has been reduced in Action Sack.
  • H3 8p FFA Race: reduced lap count from 10 to 5, removed Saturn (Foundry), and added 12-minute time limit.
  • H3 8p FFA: Beehive and Lava Pit have been moved from 12p FFA Action Sack with adjusted round limits.

H2A Infection

We spent some time looking at the maps and game types offered in Infection, and noticed quite a bit of feedback surrounding the Halo 2 Anniversary experiences. As a direct result of that input, we've overhauled the entire offering to ensure both the Spartans and Infected players are able to enjoy their time. Here's a breakdown of the new maps and modes!

Halo 5: Guardians

Husky Raid

As we looked at our multiplayer offering in Halo 5, we realized a shortage in both raids and huskies. Even though that's not really true, we did end up giving Husky Raid its very own playlist with 23 maps – which is the most a new playlist has ever launched with in Halo 5. If you're not too sure what Husky Raid is, you can see what it plays like in this video by B JAWS and can read up on it and bookmark all of the community-made Husky raid maps by checking out the playlist's launch blog right here on Waypoint!

JULY CALENDAR

In case you missed it, the Halo 5 Sustain team has decided to leave Warzone Turbo up through the holiday weekend until Monday, meaning you'll have plenty of time to wreak havoc on the virtual battlefield. We've also placed Halo 3 Classic Throwback into ranked and rotated Grifball into social to ensure you have plenty of fun experiences to jump between.

To make sure you're never surprised by what's happening in Halo 5, here's what the month of July looks like: 

  • July 2: Halo 3 Classic Throwback enters into ranked for the month
  • July 2: Grifball rotates in for Rock 'N' Rail
  • July 11: Castle Wars rotates in for Husky Raid
  • July 11: Warzone Assault goes live for the weekend
  • July 18: Covenant Slayer rotates in for Grifball
  • July 25: Mythic Shotty Snipers rotates in for Castle Wars
  • July 25: Warzone Turbo goes live for the weekend

Halo Championship Series

Red Bull Rise Till Dawn | July 13

Next weekend we'll be taking over the Willis Tower in Chicago for an all-night Halo competition by Red Bull. Although we've never done an event with this kind of format, it's shaping up to be a memorable night of Halo 3 2v2 action, and I can't wait to watch the best duos duke it out 99 floors above ground level. Combining endurance, individual skill, teamwork, and sleep schedule management into one evening of non-stop gaming is probably something only Red Bull could pull off. Luckily, there may just happen to be a few delicious energy drinks on-hand.

Be sure to tune in next Saturday night, July 13, on twitch.tv/RedBull to watch the action!

Beach LAN 8 | August 10-17

Although we've featured the Beach LAN crew before in Community Updates and given them shoutouts on Twitter, we're happy to be bringing them in as an HCS Grassroots Community Tournament Organizer. They've hosted these week-long Halo: CE events before, and it's exciting to be able to give their staff and community the support that comes with being a part of the HCS Grassroots program.

Last year's Finals gave us a great series between some CE legends, and I expect this year's will do so as well. Give it a watch here and get ready for some Halo by the beach!

FACEIT Ignite: Halo European Open | August 17-18

Next month, while the Beach LAN event enters its final day, more Halo esports action will be spinning up across the pond. We've partnered with FACEIT to bring a major Halo 3 tournament to Europe, with $25,000 in prizing, for the first time in nearly a decade. At the event, there will also be a $5,000 Halo 5 2v2, so we're really hoping there is something for everyone to enjoy. For more information about the event all up, keep it locked on Halo.gg/Ignite2019 and @HCS on Twitter.

As a reminder, this event is just over a month away, so be sure to secure your spectator and competitor tickets now before they sell out!

HALO CLASSIC | SEPTEMBER 6-8

Keeping the competitive Halo train rolling, UGC just announced that they're bringing the Halo Classic to Atlantic City with a $50,000 prize pool. If you're keen on going, early bird tickets are already available for teams and spectators on UGC's website!

HCS Grassroots Content Creator Applications

Content Creator applications for the HCS Grassroots program have opened up for the month of July! To toss your hat into the ring, be sure to apply on Halo.gg/Grassroots before the end of the month, because after that it'll close so that the HCS Team can evaluate all the applications. Good luck, have fun!

Halo Gear

There isn't too much new in Halo Gear land, minus the exclusive Halo: Outpost Discovery gear that fans will be getting their hands on in Orlando this weekend. If you're a collector, you may just want to try and swing by one of those fives cities mentioned above.

Before jumping to the next section though, I did want to mention this giveaway we're doing on Twitter which contains all the Halo items we had at E3 this year. All you need to do to enter is follow @Halo & @HaloGear and then give that post a retweet and like. Yes, it's that simple!

Community

SpartanFest MX 2019

SpartanFest MX is returning to Mexico City next weekend for its fifth consecutive year! I asked Halo content creator, and friend, AtomicJorge to say a few words about the event:

For five years in a row the biggest Halo community event in Mexico, SpartanFest MX, has been a touchpoint for all the Halo fans in our country. Featuring tournaments, conferences, influencers, activities, and many more surprises, this year's will be a legendary event. It will take place next Saturday, July 13, at the Centro Cultural y Deportivo Sindicato SCT on naranjales Coapa street. Don't miss it, Spartan!

Por quinto año consecutivo el evento de Halo más grande en México regresa, SpartanFest MX 2019 es el punto de encuentro para todos los fans de Halo en nuestro país, con torneos, conferencias, convivencias, actividades y muchas sorpresas más harán que este sea un evento legendario, la cita es el sábado 13 de julio en el centro cultural y deportivo Sindicato SCT calle naranjales Coapa, ¡no faltes Spartan!

He also made a video for it, which you should be able to see on the right!

Single Halo Clips

I also wanted to shine a spotlight on SingleHaloClips, as it recently just hit a very cool milestone – 10 years of age. If you have never seen this channel on YouTube, you've really been missing out on some of the most unique plays ever pulled off in Halo. This acccount, which is run by SillyGoose, receives community-submitted clips and features the best of them all in one place: youtube.com/SingleHaloClips. Subscribe, enjoy sick Halo plays, and never look back.

Art

Chief boarding this Brute's ghost is one of my favorite action-focused pieces of concept art, mostly because boarding vehicles was a revolutionary game mechanic when it was introduced in Halo 2. From this scene you really get a sense of how dynamic and heroic this action is, and what an impact it has on the flow of combat. Plus showing Chief kick a Brute in the face is always a plus. Enjoy!

Thanks for joining me for another Community Update and Happy Independence Day!

Until next time,

- Uny

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