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Discovering Outposts

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Aloha and welcome to another Community Update! This time we'll be diving into the details of Halo: Outpost Discovery, our newly unveiled traveling Halo experience, as well as highlighting the work the team has been putting into all of our titles. Fans of each aspect of Halo will have something to love and get excited for today, so let's get right into it, shall we?

Halo: Outpost Discovery

Halo: Outpost Discovery is a touring fan experience for all ages, that brings the Halo video game universe to life like never before. This weekend-long event lets you step into Halo’s vast and epic world, with enthralling themed attractions, interactive in-universe encounters, the latest playable game releases and so much more. Before I go any further though, be sure to watch the announcement trailer and get a sense of what we hope people feel when attending one of our events.

  

To expand on some of the activities highlighted in the trailer, go no further than the list below. As a heads up though, there are even more experiences (like a Covenant Escape Room) that you can read up on HaloOutpostDiscovery.com!

  • Hall of History: The beating heart of Halo: Outpost Discovery is the Hall of History, where you immerse yourself in the achievements and tribulations of humanity through a combination of informative graphics, artifacts, and tangible visuals pulled directly from the Halo franchise. Featuring everything from United Nations Space Command (UNSC) weapons and accessories, uniforms, an iconic to-scale Warthog vehicle, life-sized sculptures, and more. This exuberant tour of the Halo universe is the perfect introduction to your journey. In the Hall of History, new and experienced Halo fans alike find something to discover.
  • Training Grounds (VR): Through the lens of virtual reality, teams of three will get to experience what it takes to be a Spartan, in an immersive, Halo themed combat training environment.
  • Pelican Training: Step into the Pelican Training simulation, an interactive experience that will require you practice your teamwork and decision-making skills while giving you an opportunity to get hands-on with some of the UNSC’s most battle-hardened hardware.
  • Post Exchange: If you’re looking for a unique retail space that has one-of-a-kind Outpost Discovery products, memorabilia, and collectibles, look no further! The PX (Post Exchange) offers a wide variety of exclusive items so you don't want to miss out! 
  • Combat Deck: Experience the rush of playing Halo in “real life” with this Halo-themed laser tag Combat Deck. Danger is present around every corner, as attendees use their cunning and coordination to win this fast-paced, squad-based, pulse-pounding activity. Two teams of up to twenty go head-to-head for a chance to claim victory in the ultimate “Big Team Battle” experience!
  • The Ring Experience: This experience lets attendees explore the story of the mysterious Halo Array through artifacts that leap off the levels and pages of some of your favorite Halo titles. At the center of the Ring Experience is a visually immersive, multi-projector, dome-based theatrical experience, featuring a never-before-seen exploration of a Halo ring, giving fans a brand-new appreciation for the sheer scale and magnitude of these ancient installations.

Now that we've piqued your interest. Here are our travel plans for Halo: Outpost Discovery this year:

If for some reason you aren't loving the idea of this, how would you feel if I told you our partners for Halo: Outpost Discovery are the same company that brings the Harlem Globetrotters around the world? Yeah... that's pretty freaking cool.

Lastly, for you hardcore community members out there, we compiled a ton of the concept art from the trailer into one convenient location here on Waypoint. Feel free to use them in your videos, tweets, and Forum discussions!

And just a final final reminder, you can find all the information you could possibly want, including answers to FAQs, by visiting HaloOutpostDiscovery.com and follow us at @HaloOutpost on Twitter & Instagram!

Halo 5: Guardians

Last Thursday Head to Head launched as a ranked playlist, Roaming King returned to Halo 5 for the second time, and Warzone Turbo made its usual end-of-month appearance. While last week was fairly busy, it looks like the rest of February will also be quite active as well. Let's break it down with a good, old-fashioned bullet point list!

  • Feb 7 (Today!): Mythic Shotty Snipers rotates in for Action Sack
  • Feb 12: Warzone XP Boost Packs will return
  • Feb 14: Community Doubles returns for Valentine's Day!
    • These community-made maps have received updates since their debut in November and should be prepared to enter ranked Doubles on March 5 when the Spring 2019 Season rolls around.
    • Jumping on Halo 5 during this Valentine's Day weekend will earn you a free giftable Valentine's Day Pack. In case it wasn't clear ahead of time, you're supposed to give this to your Doubles partner.
  • Feb 14: Warzone Assault returns for the weekend
  • Feb 21: Halo 3 Classic Throwback rotates in for Mythic Shotty Snipers
  • Feb 28: Warzone Turbo returns for the weekend
  • March 5: Spring 2019 Arena Season begins

We've slowly worked towards establishing a schedule for Warzone Turbo and Warzone Assault, which some of you have picked up on. We wanted to monitor the health of both playlists when in this rotation before locking it in as the official plan. Since they both continued to perform well, we'll be trying to run Warzone Assault during the middle weekend of each month and Warzone Turbo on the last weekend of each month. That means Warzone players should keep an eye out for one or the other rotating in every other weekend!

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

MCC is free to play this weekend as part of a Xbox Live Free Play Days weekend! Aside from the constant stream of content updates to the game, the team has also been hard at work to release playlist updates every week to address community feedback and improve your matchmaking experiences. You'll be able to find a recap of these past two updates just a few lines below. Also, to show the studio's support for Black History Month, which takes place in Februrary here in the US, the team gave our snowy main menu a nice, meaningful addition. To find a 4K asset of this updated main menu, check here!

As for the matchmaking updates, you'll notice that they include a lot of fine tuning that comes directly from your feedback. We're always trying to strike the perfect balance between matching legacy experiences and making improvements. Keeping a direct line with all of you in the MCC Forums here on Waypoint has helped us get closer towards creating the ideal matchmaking experience for everyone – so keep sending over your thoughts!.

JanUARY 30 PLAYLIST UPDATE

Social Games - 1v1

Teams have been enabled in head to head for the following games to make it so you can no longer view your enemy after dying.

  • HCE Slayer 
  • H2C Slayer
  • H2A Slayer
  • H3 Slayer
  • H4 Slayer

Social Games – 8v8 – HCE Slayer

  • Lowered time limit to 15 minutes
  • Enabled the Flamethrower and Fuel Rod Gun from Halo PC
  • Adjusted vehicle sets so each team receives 1 Warthog, 1 Rocket ‘Hog, 2 Ghosts, and 1 Scorpion

Social Games – 4v4 – H3 – Team Snipers

  • Beam Rifles are now present on map
  • Radar has been disabled

Competitive Games – H3 Lone Wolves

  • Slayer, King of the Hill, and Oddball have had a Magnum secondary added to all AR start variants

February 6 Playlist Update

Social Games

  • 4v4 – H3 – Assault: One Bomb Assault (BR) has been added for Ghost Town and Orbital.
  • 4v4 – H3 – Assault: Neutral Bomb Assault (BR) is replacing Multi Bomb Assault on Citadel, Heretic, and Isolation.
  • 8v8 – H3 – King of the Hill: Added Crazy King (BR) to Valhalla, Rat’s Nest, Standoff, and Longshore.

Competitive Games

  • H3 Team Arena: Neutral Bomb has replaced Multi Bomb on Heretic and Isolation.
  • H3 Team Arena: Blackout - Oddball: An exploit to get out of the map has been fixed.

Global

  • H3 – Epilogue (Epitaph): The Brute Shot has been placed on the top mid floating platform to align with the legacy behavior.

As a heads up, we try to get these changes made in-game every Wednesday morning and then share the details publicly here and on Twitter. That means, if this is the first time you're seeing these changes, be sure to keep a close eye on the MCC Forums and follow @Halo & @343Postums!

Next Content Update

The MCC Team mentioned that their next CU is coming along nicely and will add lots of goodness while simultaneously fixing some pesky problems, such as IP Masking. I can't make any promises on a release date just yet, but please know that they're working hard to continue the positive trend.

Halo Wars 2

Last week also saw a build update delivered for Halo Wars 2. This update incorporates prior balance patches into the build, improves backend systems to allow for better balancing in the future, and results in a smaller overall filesize for the game. As you can tell, our intention was to focus on addressing community-reported bugs and pain points.

BUG FIXES

Global

  • Fixed hardlocks encountered while downloading a balance patch update
  • Fixed hardlocks at the main menu while booting the title
  • Removing duplicate files
  • Fixing a desync issue that could occur after a balance patch
  • All balance changes of the past year included into the content update
  • Addition of 20+ MP tactic files to help balance units

Win10

  • Game start delay at launch of Multiplayer match improved for those with an AMD graphics card

Read the blog covering the details of the update to get the full SCOOPTM. Here's a link!

Halo Championship Series

That's right, I'm going to talk about the HCS Invitational at SXSW and Gamers For Giving again! Can you blame me though? These back-to-back events are coming up very quickly, so I have to make sure all of you are prepped and ready.

HCS INVITATIONAL AT SXSW: MARCH 15-17

We're bringing Halo to SXSW in Austin, Texas next month, and we're loading up the broadcast and booth with awesome events. Whether it's competing in a $5,000 Halo 3 FFA tournament or hanging out with our first HCS Grassroots content creators (Ac7ionManUberNickVetoed), we're trying to make sure there is something for everyone.  

  • $100,000 Pro Invitational featuring the Top 6 teams from UGC Halo Classic
  • Microsoft Store 2v2 Throwdown
  • Big Team Battle Bonanza
  • Rivals Showmatch: Snip3down vs Lethul

To join us, the pros, and fellow Halo fans that weekend, you can purchase SXSW tickets here or tune in online at mixer.com/Halo and twitch.tv/Halo all weekend long!

GAMERS FOR GIVING: MARCH 23-24

Our next 4v4 open Halo event is taking place at Gamers for Giving under the umbrella of the HCS Grassroots program. Just like UGC, Gamers Outreach has Halo tournaments down pat, as they've been including Halo at GFG events since Halo 3 came out. Find details on general event, travel, and location information here and pick up your team pass here!

Halo Gear

Halo Infinite

Last week we announced that Justin Robey would be joining us at the studio in a newly created position, Director of Player Voice. He joined me on the 343 Social Stream (you can catch the rebroadcast here) and we talk about his role, how he got in the industry, and plenty more. Now I think the only remaining thing for him to do is introduce himself and his role in a Community Update. Robey, want to tell us a little bit about yourself and what you'll be doing here at 343?

Thanks John. What a great question. It’s funny, since the announce of me joining the team about a week ago, I have gotten to see what everyone else’s perspective is on what my role will be and their expectations on what this means for the game. Some feel I should give them my number and take calls day and night, others think I literally decide who gets to play the voice of Master Chief (I guess that’s a way to interpret Director of Player Voice). The majority of the community though, understands fundamentally that I am on the team, as a director/leader, to represent the diverse group of players who interact with Halo now, in the past and in the future. Regardless of people’s perception, what has been energizing is how excited the community is about having someone represent them for Halo Infinite. 

The Director of Player Voice role is very multifaceted, it’s about becoming a unifying voice that takes in all the different ways we gather player feedback. That means working with Community, Esports, Flighting, Test and the multitude of other avenues we used to collect feedback from the player. Then using those perspectives to ensure the player is heard and represented in the design and production of the game as it moves through development. It’s also about ensuring that the game is verified against actual players in both very public and very behind closed doors methods, depending on what avenue make the most sense for the game and where it is at in development. This role represents a shift that has been happening in 343 for a while, and I know many of you who have been following the work “we” have been doing on Halo The Master Chief Collection. It’s critical to our success both as a studio and for Halo Infinite. 

Now I know words are cheap and I have seen some of that feedback already, so it’s about showing you, and we will. So stay tuned and you will start to see ways in which you can find ways to engage and ensure your feedback is heard. In the mean time I have been watching your videos on YouTube, hanging out in the Halo Discord server, reading threads on Waypoint and Reddit and of course all the feedback I am seeing on Twitter and social media. It’s not going to be perfect, we are going to make mistakes, but you guys are a critical part of making Halo Infinite great. That’s the part that excites me!

 So, thank you for the warm welcome and now it’s time for us to get to work!

Thanks for jumping in and giving us even more insight as to how you're approaching the role. I'm ready to get back to work too!

Art

That brings us to the end of another Community Update, but before I go... I wanted to give you a heads up that I've gotten approval to release even more Halo concept art in the future. I'll start by releasing by a full quality version of a piece that we all know and love so much. I hope you enjoy!

Until next time,

- Uny

p.s. I'm thinking I may include my best Halo play of the week at the end of each Community Update. What do you think?

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