News

Fog of War

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Look, I know what you’re thinking… “what is he doing here? Where’s ske7ch? ARE WE GOING TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH MORE LORE?!”

Calm down. First of all, ske7ch is here and busy blazing away on a number of exciting bits and bobs, in fact we’ll hear from our fearless CM a few scrolls down to hash out a few recent hot-button happenings.

However, we’ve still got a myriad of morsels to munch on before we get to that, so let’s get moving, shall we?

VENTURED & GAINED

This morning, we made Halo Wars: Definitive Edition available for individual purchase on Xbox One, Windows 10 PC, and Steam(!). For folks still unaware, Halo Wars: Definitive Edition is an enhanced version of the beloved real-time strategy classic, and offers fans both new and old an updated chance to go back to the early beginnings of the Covenant War.

Needless to say, we’re super stoked to open up this beloved chapter of the Halo universe to a brand-new generation and platform of players, and look forward to seeing the experience evolve and grow. For more information on things like system requirements, as well as answers to some common queries folks might have, check out our full launch blog right here. Or, jump right in and pick it up now:

OFFICE OF NOVEL INTELLIGENCE

Hah! Surprise, you actually DO have some more lore chat coming your way this week (sorry not sorry), but in a format that we’ve not used in quite some time. Earlier this week I sat down in our podcast studio with two awesome friends and colleagues to chat Halo books. Click below to listen to Jeremy Patenaude (Franchise Team), Tiffany O’Brien (Consumer Products Team), and myself wax poetic about telling stories in the Halo universe through the medium of books and novels. We also chat ideal reading order for fans new to the series (or maybe just new to reading Halo books), discuss some of our own personal favorites, and maaaaybe even drop a few hints about content yet to come. It's not quite an "official" issue of Canon Fodder, but it's close. At any rate, enjoy!

Additionally, we've gone ahead and compiled a list of all current novels, sorted by publish-date order, for fans both old and new looking to jump in. Note that this only counts novels, novellas, and short-story anthologies, not comics, graphic novels, visual guides, etc. Enjoy!

CRATES OF WRATH

Recently, 343 and our friends at Loot Crate revealed the first details and key art for the next Halo Legendary Crate. To celebrate our latest remembrance of Reach, iconic Halo artist Isaac Hannaford has created another incredible piece of art, this time depicting Jun-A266 and Emile-A239 in full Covenant-shredding glory. Keep an eye out for more details on this latest crate’s contents soon, and head over to lootcrate.com/halo by 6/15 to secure your own!

JOINT-EFFORT

Earlier today, we launched our latest community-collaboration playlist into matchmaking – the frenetic and furious Extermination mode. In this round-based gametype, you and your squad will work together to eliminate the entire enemy team before any of their members can respawn. Extermination is an action-packed experience that adds a new sense of urgency to the already high-stakes energy of Slayer and Breakout. Wanna know more? Check out Unyshek’s overview blog to find out details on not only the mode itself, but also the sweet community-created Forge maps you’ll be playing it on.

Also, if you fancy giving yourself a chance to earn a sweet 343 Ice Unicorn AR skin, we'll be jumping in this brand-new playlist in an official capacity tomorrow, Friday, at 10:30AM PDT for a 343 Community Playdate. Hope to see you there! Oh, and Uny isn’t playing tomorrow, which gives you an extra advantage! On the other hand, yours truly will also be missing the fun, which actually negates other advantages you would have otherwise enjoyed, so, it’s probably a wash. Anyway, good luck!

HCS PREVIEW V2

Speaking of playlists, the team just applied some fresh tweaks and updates to the HCS Summer Preview playlist that plenty of folks should be eager to check out. If you want to check out the down-and-dirty details, we’ve got all the latest info right here – give it a look, then give it a whirl!

And now, let’s turn it over to our beloved and much-missed ske7ch for some key news and notes…

LET’S BE BLUNT

Hey thanks Grim, nice of you to leave the bad news for me to bear. :-) [Well, duh... - Grim]

By now you’ve hopefully already heard (or surely surmised) that the next new leader, Colony, wasn’t quite ready to go this week as originally planned. We know everyone was looking forward to unleashing this new Lekgolo force upon their foes but it turns out there were a few lingering pesky bugs interspersed with those worms. As much as we hate to let down players and fall through on a promise, holding the DLC to make sure these issues get addressed is the right, albeit painful, call to make.

Some of you asked what the game-breaking bug actually was so, here's the scoop: Initially the real show-stopper had to do with the new Skitterer units, which are basically little symbiotes that can be attached to any friendly unit that acts as a mini self-targeting turret and healer. During a final test pass, the team found something disturbing – it turned out that once an attached Skitterer started firing on a target, it could continue doing with so with zero regard to range or line of sight. Imagine equipping a few fast moving Banshees with Skitterers, flying up to your opponent’s base and taking a few quick shots, and then retreating across the map as your friendly Skitterers continue to fire away at their target from miles away. Some may call that awesome (I do!) but alas it’s also a cheap exploit that would immediately result in some really bad game experiences and whole lot of salt from players on the receiving end.

Good news is that the team is on track to release Colony next week and we’ll certainly keep you posted as things fall into place. In the meantime, have you heard about the two new achievements included with this upcoming DLC? No? Here you go:

  • Hunter/Hunted - User Hunter Captain's Taunt ability 50 times
  • Turrets Everywhere - Attach 50 Skitterers to squads

While we’re at it, you might also be wondering about the new Blitz Cards you’ll get with Colony. Wonder no longer. Here they are:

     

               

Remember that Colony's new units and abilities are avaialble in all competitive multiplayer modes, not just Blitz. In fact, Colony comes with several more abilities that are unique to Deathmatch, Strongholds and Domination modes of play. And speaking of competitive multiplayer, Colony's delay means that the current ranked season will last a little bit longer. This weekend will be your last chance to battle it out for your final placement in the inaugural season. Once Colony drops, the new season begins!

And lastly, be sure to check out Grim’s special Canon Fodder from last week for some Lekgolo Lore about some of the new units coming with Colony. You can also take a look at the game update that will coincide with the DLC which includes many fixes as well as a number of balance changes.

Waypoint

Ok I was a little bit hyperbolic earlier, I do have some good news – When the Colony DLC launches, Waypoint will be getting a little update which, among other things, includes the long awaited and oft-asked about Leaderboards for Halo Wars 2! Here’s a quick peek at what that looks like, courtesy of the Waypoint development team:

The Halo App will also get some love next week as it too receives an update with the addition of Leaderboards to the Halo Wars 2 stats summary page. The top players from each ranked playlist will be displayed, offering the ability to filter through platform, season, and playlists. The team also pointed out that they’ve made a few bug fixes to improve app performance and stability. Try it out for yourself next week! (Reminder: This is the last weekend of the current Halo Wars 2 ranked season, a new season will kick off with the Colony release next week!)

 

The Halo App shows some Lekgolo love for the upcoming release of Colony!

A "Developer View" Preview of the Halo Wars 2 Leaderboards coming to the Halo App!

And with that, my own personal fog is cleared and it's time to disappear in a blaze of glory. Back to you, Grim!

Community Spotlight

Thanks for the updates, ske7ch! I imagine the last thing anyone would want is a half-baked Hunter unleashed on the battlefield. Anyway, in this week’s Community Spotlight, we wanted to highlight a particularly heartwarming story we came across on the r/halo subreddit. Community member tsuto posted a series of photos documenting the adventures of he and a group of friends at an awesome old hangout they lovingly dubbed “The Trailer.”

Home to countless hours of Halo action, The Trailer would spawn a million more memories. Recently, the crew found themselves reunited for a Halo-fueled trip down memory lane, and while the circumstances weren’t quite what anyone would have wanted, this fireteam was determined to prove that age-old adage about Spartans.

In Summer 2002, after the Xbox and Halo had just come out, my friend Andrew's dad bought a disused doublewide trailer on a chunk of land in the middle of nowhere north Georgia with the intention of repairing it and renting it out. After the initial clean-up he told us that we could use it as our hangout spot and "The Trailer" was born.

Always young at heart, Warren aka "Raider" would drive his son to the trailer and stay and play with us long into the night. A year ago he was diagnosed with cancer and had to undergo several rounds of chemo and removal of his stomach and portions of his esophagus.

Now 14 years later, Raider has been diagnosed as being terminal with an estimated 6 months to live. We decided to have one more LAN party for old time's sake and throw down like we used to for him. The location and equipment have all been upgraded but one thing that will never change is the connection we all shared through a game for all this time.

Make sure you check out the full post and discussions linked above, and feel free to chime in on social and in the forums with similarly-themed memories of your own. In fact, r/halo user Tyrantt_47 had already posted a LAN-based fireteam reunion of his own. It’s no secret that moments like these are the true core of what makes Halo so incredible, and we’re honored to share great journeys like these with fine folks like yourselves.

In addition, we’ve got a few other awesome additions to the Community Spotlight lineup for this week. Check ‘em out!

Mister Chief & Locke!

The crew at Unsorted Gaming whipped up an awesome Rube Goldberg Machine using Forge! Check out the full video over at YouTube.

@Primordial117 captures some great mood in this HCS-themed tribute

@Plazma_Kill gets props for creative use of an EMP to add some cool effects to his Spartan pose

Also shout out to Primordial117 for providing today's Module image!

PLAY OF THE WEEK

This week’s Play of the Week is one of the most impressive eagle eyes we’ve seen in Halo 5. i MurphaliciouS, playing some Team Doubles against Onyx players, knows that he’s going to get pushed after his teammates death. Armed with this knowledge he snipes one enemy, and starts scouting out for the remaining camouflaged enemy. His map awareness and execution results in a play that is worthy of the Play of the Week. Check it out for yourself right here

And with that,

Until next time… Live well, play Halo, and don’t take random images from unaffiliated third-party private events too literally.

<3

Grim