7hanks, ske7ch! I’m sure folks are beyond eager to learn more in the coming weeks – stay tuned!
LEGACY OF ONYX
One of Halo’s most beloved and unsung settings has been a magnificent and enormous Forerunner installation catalogued as Shield World 006 – or as many others know it, Onyx. First encountered in the novel Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, the enigmatic Dyson sphere has played host to epic adventures in several stories, including the Kilo-5 trilogy and a short story by Matt Forbeck in the Halo: Fractures anthology. In fact, that short story actually sets up the shield world’s next chapter, Halo: Legacy of Onyx. This Forbeck-penned full-length novel features an awesome new cast of characters – with a few returning old favorites – a reality that you can see displayed right on the gorgeous cover by Benjamin Carre.
Fans will recognize old favorites sporting new GEN2 duds in Tom-B292 and Lucy-B091. However, lore lovers will likely not be as familiar with the other two characters. Eager to know a bit more? Don’t worry, my dear friends, we’ve got you covered…
Molly Patel was only seven years old when the alien alliance known as the Covenant destroyed her homeworld and killed her family. As one of the few to escape the glassing of Paris IV, and despite the United Nations Space Command winning the war on behalf of humanity, Molly never forgot how much she had lost.
Nine years later, when her adoptive parents—research scientists specializing in ancient Forerunner technology—are called to the mysterious and wondrous place known as Onyx, Molly vehemently objects. It’s not so much that Molly’s concerned about relocating to inside a spherical construct the diameter of an entire solar system, but the fact that she also has to live alongside members of the same alien species that murdered her family.
And when the Servants of the Abiding Truth—a violent ex-Covenant sect under the guidance of the notorious Pale Blade—somehow makes its way inside this supposedly impregnable sphere, Molly is now forced to consider if she and her new parents have made a terrible and fatal mistake in coming here…
Halo: Legacy of Onyx is slated for release this November, and features a story that focuses on a vantagepoint rarely experienced in Halo stories – the plight of young civilians trying to find their place in a rapidly changing interstellar landscape. We’re excited to get the story in your hands, and hope you’re as excited to read it. See you on Onyx…
Speaking of books, the release of Halo: Retribution by Troy Denning is nigh upon us! To help hype folks up for the latest lore load, Troy himself actually posted a sneaky little excerpt of the book to whet the appetites of Halo fiction fiends. You can find it below, and you can order a copy of the book yourself – slated for official release Aug 29 – right HERE.
[tweet]<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">RETRIBUTION coming 8/29. Time for an excerpt: <a href="https://t.co/nKgxjuhFBn">pic.twitter.com/nKgxjuhFBn</a></p>— Troy Denning (@TDenningauthor) <a href="https://twitter.com/TDenningauthor/status/897831587651497984">August 16, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>[/tweet]
“MATCHMAKING, MATCHMAKING, FIND ME A MATCH…
…but not against Uny – please be Grim or ske7ch.”
Truly a classic musical number (points for anyone who knows the song – or the Robin Williams movie that snuck it in). Anyway, 343’s Josh Menke dropped by with some news of some matchmaking tweaking about to go in place, all designed to help improve player experience. Here’s the gist:
As many of you will recall, back in July we loosened our matchmaking parameters a bit, expanding from roughly one tier (e.g. Gold to Silver) to two tiers for some lists, and four tiers for others. We did this to help alleviate an issue affecting players with a skill so high that they couldn’t find matches at all.
After monitoring match data and listening to community feedback, we have decided to make a change that will tighten matchmaking back up again, but with additional adjustments to try and make sure we don’t orphan our high-skilled Spartans:
- Expand to only 1 tier separation (roughly since this is MMR-based).
- Treat mid-Onyx and up as the same for matchmaking purposes.
For 99.9% of players matchmaking will be much tighter than it has been. The exception is, for example, a 2100 Onyx team will look the same as an 1800 Onyx team in the matchmaker, which should allow those two groups to now match instantly if available. We’ll be continuing to monitor this effect, and we’re also working on a solution to have higher-Onyx players try for high-Onyx before dipping down, though in reality, this only affects approximately only the top 0.1% or so of players. The changes began rolling out yesterday, so jump in, try it out, and let us know what you think!
WAR NEVER CHANGES.
Filed under the “Of Interest to Large Squads” department, we’ve got some pretty noteworthy news bits for fans of Halo 5’s Warzone mode. To get info straight from the source let’s hear from our favorite Ottawa Senators fan – 343 Lead Multiplayer Designer Lawrence Metten – who has some details on a particularly interesting experiment heading to the mode very soon. Take it away, Lawrence!
“Over time, the Warzone battlefield has changed as players have become more and more skilled at the game mode. However, not all of these changes have benefited all parties – since launch, we’ve slowly seen the Warzone “blowout rate” (how often matches end in lopsided or blowout scores) continue to rise. The Warzone team is experimenting with some significant changes to the way REQ Leveling works to facilitate more balanced Warzone matches.
“These changes adjust the REQ Level awarded for match actions and add a REQ Level “drip” that slowly increases everyone’s REQ Level over the course of each match. In our internal playtesting, these changes have resulted in more back-and-forth Warzone matches with considerably fewer players stuck at low REQ Levels over the course of each game.
“These experimental REQ Level changes do not impact Warzone Firefight or Warzone Assault. We’ll be monitoring game data closely and welcome players to share feedback regarding these changes over in the Waypoint forums.”
Thanks, Mr. Metten! These changes to Warzone are currently targeted for implementation late next week, so stay tuned for more specific info as we approach that timeframe.
Keen-eyed Halo collectors have noticed information rolling out for the next Halo Legendary Crate. Nicknamed “Flood Warning,” the crate will center largely around everyone’s favorite galaxy-threatening parasite. Punctuating the crate from a visual standpoint is this awesome key art that features an epic yet-unrevealed Banished general taking on a localized Flood threat. Supplies are limited, so make sure you order by Oct 15 to secure yours.
We’ve had a few new additions to the HCS news lineup over the past few days – if you haven’t seen it yet, let’s catch up on what you might have missed.
The pillars of Autumn – Late last week, we put out some updated information regarding the HCS Pro League Fall 2017 season, including new details about the Fall Finals at DreamHack Denver. Check out the full scoop HERE.
Full house – HCS London by Gfinity team passes have sold out! The blistering brawl across the pond gets underway Sept 15-17 at the swank new Gfinity Arena, and you can catch all the action online at mixer.com/Halo and twitch.tv/Halo.
Circuit Breakers – Speaking of the Fall 2017 season, we also just released brand new and updated information on the HCS Open Circuit for the upcoming season. Check out all the details HERE.
What other deets are worth blippin’ about? Let’s hit the motion tracker and find out.
Double-Down Days – This weekend (beginning tomorrow), we’ll have three playlists in Halo 5 once again bountifully bestowing extra experience for players looking to grind. This weekend’s DXP offering includes the Infection, HCS, and Mythic Warzone Firefight playlists – jump in and earn more!
Life’s a beach, then you respawn – We’ve mentioned it before, but there’s an awesome grassroots Halo event taking place right now back in my old stomping grounds in the Tampa Bay area (the best Bay Area): Beach LAN 6. If you’re unfamiliar, the Beach LAN is an annual week-long Halo CE LAN that features some pretty talented Halo players simultaneously vying for glory and having a comradery-filled blast. This year’s event, as one might expect from the name, is the 6th annual LAN event, and is taking place just outside Tampa, FL in the cozy confines of a couple of beach houses. Now, if you’re just reading about this now, odds are you aren’t able to attend, however that doesn’t stop you from tuning in to check out the action yourself via their Twitch stream at twitch.tv/BeachLAN. Give it a watch and support an awesome community event!
- Back-Compat – It’s still a thing! No new news to report from the Xbox BC team, but making sure everyone knows it's still progressing.
Model Citizens – Been looking for an awesome UNSC Pelican model to put together and display? Our friends at Revell have got you covered… check it out!
[tweet]<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">HALO model kits from Revell. Coming 9/1/2017 <a href="https://t.co/FQzKsgn65M">pic.twitter.com/FQzKsgn65M</a></p>— Revell USA (@RevellUSA) <a href="https://twitter.com/RevellUSA/status/897922605868433408">August 16, 2017</a></blockquote>
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Das FPS Summer Montage Edited by Captur
o Sh3 Wolf o
Timmy the k1d
[tweet]<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Big Green Killing Machines. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HaloHotShots?src=hash">#HaloHotShots</a> <a href="https://t.co/WwJDXbMOnE">pic.twitter.com/WwJDXbMOnE</a></p>— MrSkits (@TheSkits94) <a href="https://twitter.com/TheSkits94/status/896412684501086212">August 12, 2017</a></blockquote>
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That will do it for today, we’ll be back next week with more bits and bobs from around the Halo-verse for you to discuss, dissect, and dwell on – hope you all have a wonderful week. Be excellent to each other. <3
Until next time… Live well, play Halo, and don’t forget about the solar eclipse!