News

Eye-Opening Exhibitions

By -

We're back for another Community Update! The past two weeks have been filled with constant discussion around Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Halo: Outpost Discovery, a real-life Warthog exhibit with mixed-reality, and what seems to be an infinite amount of extra Halo goodness. That said, let's dive in and talk about a handful of the projects that have been going on across the studio!

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

april development update

Two days ago Postums published a deep-dive on our journey to bring MCC to PC. In this dev update, he touches on what it means to make this a true PC experience (and not just a port), interviews our partners at Splash Damage, shows off some behind-the-scenes shots of us testing our builds, and gives an early look at our plans to improve how we collect your feedback during flighting and beyond. Click anywhere on this sentence or on the photo below to learn more about the current state of MCC PC!

As a reminder, if you want to participate in MCC PC and Reach flights, be sure to register for the Halo Insider program. While our timeline for flights has shifted recently (ske7ch provided details on that in the dev update above), we're continuously pushing to get it in your hands as soon as possible. 

Xbox One UPDATEs

We've made some solid quality of life improvements over the past two weeks, including implementing a change that will reduce the chances you'll play the same map multiple times in a row. You may have also seen the launch of a ranked Halo 3 DreamHack FFA playlist, implementation of FFA Snipers in Social Games, placement of Yappening game types in Action Sack, return of Infection, and many other community-requested matchmaking changes.

Click here to read our April 24 Update and click here to read our May 1 Update!

Halo 5: Guardians

May Calendar

  • May 2: Head to Head returns to Ranked
  • May 2: Halo 3 Classic Throwback rotates in for Shotty Snipers
  • May 9: Halo 2 BR Slayer rotates in for Covenant Slayer
  • May 16: Core Play rotates in for Halo 3 Classic Throwback
  • May 16: Warzone Assault goes live for the weekend
  • May 23: Roaming King rotates in for Halo 2 BR Slayer
  • May 30: Castle Wars rotates in for Core Play
  • May 30: Warzone Turbo goes live for the weekend

One last note for you to mark in your calendars, we're planning on moving to the next Arena Season on Tuesday, June 4. That means you've got just over a month to prepare for the Summer 2019 Season and knock out any placement matches you haven't completed yet.

Head to Head

The Head to Head playlist has returned with improvements to its seven maps as well as its game mode and custom-made Power-Up. This playlist has replaced Hardcore Super Fiesta and will remain active until the end of the Spring 2019 Arena Season.

Read up on the full changes in the Matchmaking Feedback & Discussion Forum!

Big Team Battle Refresh

There isn't too much to say other than the fact that the Big Team Battle Refresh is coming this month!

Here's a closer look at the type of overhauls you can expect on these maps when it rolls out in the next few weeks:

Before

After

We're launching these maps and are looking to get your input on them before Big Team Battle becomes ranked in the Summer 2019 Season. Keep an eye out for a blog outlining the changes to the maps and modes when the refresh goes live!

Halo Championship Series

DreamHack Dallas

Now that it's May, you'll probably start to hear more and more about the HCS Grassroots event that's taking place at DreamHack Dallas later this month on May 31 - June 2. I provided these links in my last Community Update, but thought that it may be worth sharing again just in case you lost them:

In addition to the $50,000 4v4 tournament, there will also be a $5,000 Halo 3 FFA tournament for the lone wolves out in the crowd. If you're interested in making the solo run for that smaller prize pool, you should start practicing in MCC today with the new ranked DreamHack Dallas H3 FFA playlist. It's a carbon-copy of what will be played at the event and will be a great training ground for you to pick up some new strategies.

MICROSOFT STORE TOURNAMENTS

To cap off our competitive Halo news, I wanted to remind you that the next Halo 3 2v2 at Microsoft Stores is coming up faster than you probably realize. While we usually host these events on the last Sunday of the month, we'll be shifting this month's up a week, to May 19, in order to not interfere with Memorial Day in the US. While we have plans to continue these events, we haven't locked in future dates just yet. Stay tuned for more on these local tournaments in subsequent Community Updates.

As always, you can stay up to date with the latest information and register online for free by heading to aka.ms/MCCHalo!

Halo: Outpost Discovery

Behind the scenes

Grim flew to Blue Whale Studios to pull back the curtain on a few props being build out for Halo: Outpost Discovery. If you click here or on the image below, you can see the construction of our Master Chief and Elite statues that will be inside the Hall of History.

Honeybee

Last Friday we gave people a first-look at the UNSC Honeybee, a state-of-the-art surveillance drone, which will help prove extremely useful while you explore a Halo ring.

Training Grounds (VR)

This is the bee's knees. Bonnie, Kiki and Frankie took on the infamous "ske7ch squad" consisting of Rob SemseySean Baron, and ske7ch himself in a showdown for the ages. While I don't want to spoil any of the surprises (or strategies) that they talked about afterward, I can't say I've ever heard people be so excited to play VR with each other.

After getting to play a few rounds mid-Community Update, I can confirm it sorta feels like this:

COMMUNITY PANELS

At every Halo: Outpost Discovery location we're giving you a platform to host Halo-related panels with fellow community members. Whether it's on cosplay tips and tricks, a round-table discussion on Forerunner lore, or 'how-to' on becoming a Halo content creator, we'd love to help you share your knowledge with the rest of the community. Once you've got a topic in mind, visit HaloOutpostDiscovery.com to begin your application.

Submissions for these Community Panels are open until the end of the month, May 31!

Halo Gear

HALO: OBLIVION

Back in early March, Grim helped me reveal Troy Denning's sequel to Halo: Silent Storm, Halo: Oblivion, and now we finally get to reveal its cover!

Denning continues John-117's storyline as he and Blue Team continue to take on enraged and emboldened Covenant forces. While Grim, and probably a handful of you may know the official description by heart, I'm going to leave its second paragraph here for those of us who aren't as familiar.

If the UNSC has any chance of stemming the tide of the war, the Master Chief and Blue Team must drop onto an empty, hellish world in order to capture a disabled Covenant frigate filled with valuable technology. It has all the makings of a trap, but the bait is far too tempting to ignore—and this tantalizing prize is being offered by a disgraced and vengeful Covenant fleetmaster, whose sole opportunity for redemption lies in extinguishing humanity’s only hope of survival…

If you haven't read Silent Storm yet, I'd highly recommended it – and so does Grim – so you know it's good. Regardless, you can catch Master Chief's next heroic steps in Halo: Oblivion when it comes out later this year on September 24. Preorder your copy today by tapping anywhere in this blue sentence!

Halo Omnibus Volume 2

The second half of the Halo: Escalation comic book series has been compiled into one convenient package. This twelve issue compilation is in comic book stores now and will be available online on May 14!

To secure the entire Halo: Escalation collection, here are links to both omnibuses:

community

Grifball

The community-run PlayGrifball.com is hosting another season of competitive Grifball in Halo 3 on Halo: The Master Chief Collection! This season, the AGLA will be a draft league which opens up a chance for newer players to compete on teams alongside veteran Grifballers and have a shot at a Grifball Championship. The Spring League 2019 Season opened for registration yesterday and will have matches beginning the week of May 20.

If you can't commit to a full season, they organize custom lobbies every night and are always open to helping out new community members!

  • Employee Spotlight: We spoke to Robbie Elias, a Technical Sound Designer here at 343, about his start in the gaming industry and his role at the studio. Read up on what he had to say!
  • Community Spotlight: Our latest compilation of incredible community-created content is live thanks to snickerdoodle. This one is filled with hand-drawn art, screenshots, tattoos, tricks and so much more. Give it a look!

Warthog

One of our real-life Warthogs will be on display for all to see at the legendary Petersen Museum in Los Angeles as part of their Hollywood Dream Machines Exhibition starting this Sunday, May 5. Our beloved ride will be joining other memorable machines from other franchises like Star Wars, Blade Runner, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

If for some reason that isn't enough to get your attention, we've worked with the HoloLens team to make it a mixed-reality experience which is narrated by 343 Guilty Spark. That's right, Tim Dadabo came back to reprise his role as our favorite floating frenemy at this already mind-blowing exhibit.

All I know is that I'm going to do everything I can to get reunited with my ride, and I sincerely hope you get the opportunity to see it in person too. If you happen to be in town and want to attend the Opening Celebration this Saturday, May 4, you can purchase tickets on the Petersen Museum's website at aka.ms/WarthogLA. (Don't forget to use discount count "MSFT_343" to get 20% off!)

Thanks for joining me for another Community Update!

Until next time,

Uny

Related


Spring Seasonings

Halo Community Update

Spring Seasonings

By Unyshek -

Today, just like any day, seems like a great day to talk about Halo. I'm glad we're doing this Community Update now, because it's quite possible if we waited another week it would become too much to handle in one post. We've rolled out a new Arena Season in Halo 5, released another update to MCC, added a map to Halo Wars 2, begun final preparations for back-to-back HCS events, unveiled the title of our next Halo novel, and gained two more members for the Halo Infinite Pro Team. Since a simple...

Insider Information

Halo Community Update

Insider Information

By Unyshek -

Is it me or does 2019 just keep geting better and better? Baseball is back, the sun is breaking through the clouds, and MCC is definitely still coming to PC. With so many cool projects being worked on inside the studio; Halo MCC on PC, continuous MCC updates, and Halo: Outpost Discovery, it just keeps adding to the feeling that we're in for a good year. However, as much as I'd love to write more about all of our plans for this year, let's just take a closer look at all everything happening...

Big Broadcasts

Halo Community Update

Big Broadcasts

By Unyshek -

We're wrapping up a fairly hectic two weeks at the studio, but I couldn't be more excited for what's to come. We continued our partnership with Limbitless Solutions, launched a gigantic Big Team Battle Refresh in Halo 5, updated MCC's online playlist offerings, and that's only the tip of the public-facing work we've been doing. Sadly I don't get to dive into the secret stuff in these Community Update too often, but I do enjoy keeping everyone up to date with the latest and greatest. With that...