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MCC Development Update - October 2019

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With today being candy-filled and costume covered for many folks here in the United States as part of Halloween, we are going to get this blog out ahead of the trick-or-treating rush. But that's not all, to celebrate Halo-Ween, the new art director on the Publishing Team here at 343 Industries, Horia Dociu, has some pretty awesome art to share! Enjoy!

Now onto all the words outlining how development is going for Halo: Reach and MCC for PC. Many months ago, the Publishing Team here at 343 Industries embarked on a “Great Journey.” Publicly, nobody knew about this journey until Ske7ch walked onto a stage at Inside Xbox with a box of pizza in hand to announce that MCC was coming to PC. Since then, there have been 7 monthly development blogs published covering the progress that the teams involved have made. Today we are going to touch on many different pieces across the board and how everything is shaping up.

This month we are going to drop on in with a flighting recap as well as talk about the current PC flight. Then, we will move into how crossplay will function within MCC when it comes out (being tested in flight right now), what the matchmaking launch offerings are shaping up to be, and when and where you will get access to all of the legacy content that was migrated over the summer. To close out this month’s blog, we touch on character customization, what options and settings you will be able to use in MCC when Halo: Reach joins the collection, and what the current suggested minimum PC specifications are to run the game in various resolutions.

Let’s get this thing started by getting two more stamps in our passports from the flights of October!

October Flighting Recap

Earlier this month, we flighted Halo: Reach’s Multiplayer on the Xbox One. This flight’s main goals were to test the backend and each of the matchmaking offerings that are going to be available when Halo: Reach joins MCC on the Xbox One. We invited more users to play Halo: Reach than any prior flight. Participants did not disappoint with this one by helping us shatter our initial goals and helping us adequately stress test the backend services. Feel free to check this post HERE for more details and a summary of the Xbox flight!

Currently, we have a flight on PC underway aimed at helping us validate a myriad of PC-specific elements. It started on October 29th and will continue through November 5th and includes slices of each major mode and content offering for Halo: Reach.

Our goals for this flight are to test Firefight, social, and ranked matchmaking on PC for both the Steam and Windows Store versions. Our flight groups will be split, some will be participating with the Steam version and others will be invited to the Windows Store version. This will help us to adequately test the flows for both platforms as well as our crossplay functionality across the PC ecosystems. We are looking to gather feedback from players on the experience provided. Our offerings also includes the work in progress Season 1 which means users can unlock and be able to begin customizing their character in game.

The scope of this flight includes two campaign missions, multiple offerings for social and ranked matchmaking, custom games, and Firefight matchmaking. All three types of content will be available over the course of the flight but select offerings for Multiplayer and Firefight matchmaking will change daily. Here’s the specific breakdown:

PC Flight Content

Campaign Missions

  • Halo: Reach Campaign Missions
    • Noble Actual
    • Winter Contingency.

Firefight Matchmaking 

  • 4-player Heroic Firefight 
    • Beachhead
    • Corvette
    • Holdout
  • 4-player Normal Arcade Firefight 
    • Beachhead
    • Corvette
    • Holdout

Multiplayer Matchmaking

  • 2v2 Social
    • Game Categories: Slayer, Flag and Bomb, Zone Control, and Asset Denial
    • Maps: Countdown, Powerhouse, Zealot
    • Settings: Title Update
  • 4v4 Social
    • Game Categories: Slayer, Flag and Bomb, Zone Control, Asset Denial, Action Sack, Swat, and Snipers
    • Maps: Countdown, Powerhouse, Zealot, and Tempest
    • Settings: Title Update
  • 8v8 Social
    • Game Categories: Slayer, Flag and Bomb, Zone Control, Asset Denial, Action Sack, and Snipers
    • Maps: Tempest, Breakpoint, and Ridgeline
    • Settings: Title Update
  • Halo: Reach Team Hardcore
    • Game Categories: Slayer and Capture the Flag
    • Maps: Countdown and Zealot
    • Settings: Hardcore ZBNS (Based off MLGv7)
  • Halo: Reach Invasion
    • Game Categories: Invasion
    • Maps: Breakpoint
    • Settings: Vanilla

Each day of this flight will have unique offerings for playlists in social, ranked, and Firefight matchmaking. For matchmaking offerings, users will want to be online during the scheduled play sessions for the best bet to find a match.

Scheduled Play Sessions

October 29, 5:00 PM PT - 9:00 PM PT

  • Social: 4v4
  • Competitive: Team Hardcore
  • Firefight: Arcade

October 30, 10:00 AM PT - 1:00 PM PT & 5:00 PM PT - 9:00 PM PT

  • Social: 8v8
  • Competitive: Team Hardcore
  • Firefight: Heroic

October 31, 10:00 AM PT - 1:00 PM PT & 5:00 PM PT - 9:00 PM PT

  • Social: 4v4
  • Competitive: Team Hardcore
  • Firefight: Arcade

November 1, 10:00 AM PT - 1:00 PM PT & 5:00 PM PT - 9:00 PM PT

  • Social: 2v2
  • Competitive: Invasion
  • Firefight: Arcade

November 2, 10:00 AM PT - 1:00 PM PT & 5:00 PM PT - 9:00 PM PT

  • Social: 4v4
  • Competitive: Team Hardcore
  • Firefight: Arcade

November 3, 10:00 AM PT - 1:00 PM PT & 5:00 PM PT - 9:00 PM PT

  • Social: 8v8
  • Competitive: Team Hardcore
  • Firefight: Heroic

November 4, 10:00 AM PT - 1:00 PM PT & 5:00 PM PT - 9:00 PM PT

  • Social: 4v4
  • Competitive: Team Hardcore
  • Firefight: Arcade

November 5, 10:00 AM PT - 1:00 PM PT

  • Social: 8v8
  • Competitive: Team Hardcore
  • Firefight: Heroic

The PC flight runs from October 29 through November 5. After 1:00 PM PT on November 5 matchmaking will become unavailable

MCC PC Crossplay & Cross-Progression 

When Halo: Reach comes out and is available on the Xbox One, Steam, and the Windows10 Store, crossplay will be available for multiplayer between the Steam and Windows10 Store versions of the game. At launch we will not support Xbox/PC crossplay, but as we’ve said previously, this is something the team will monitor and evaluate over time. If you own on both the Xbox One and PC version however, you will be able to load up on either and your campaign progress will be unlocked appropriately on each platform as progress is made. Please note that mid-mission saves will not transfer between PC and console builds as they are not compatible.

Below is a handy dandy graphic that explains exactly how Crossplay Progression will function within MCC and where/when it will be enabled.

 

If there are any questions on how crossplay will work, please feel free to reach out on the Halo Waypoint forums here.

Halo: Reach Matchmaking

When Halo: Reach joins MCC on both PC and Xbox, several new playlist options are going to become available for players. I sat down with Dana “@The_Psycho_Duck”Jerpbak to chat about the goals for the new Matchmaking offerings all the way back in the MCC May Development Update. Since then, the playlists have been heavily vetted by the public via flighting, internal teams, and everyone in between. Here’s the latest snapshot of the current Matchmaking offerings the team is planning for Halo: Reach’s launch.

Social Games

  • 1v1 Matchmaking
    • Game Categories: Slayer
    • Maps: Countdown, Zealot, and Forge World (MLG Element, MLG Sanctuary)
    • Settings: Hardcore ZBNS
  • 2v2 Matchmaking
    • Game Categories: Slayer, Flag & Bomb, Zone Control, Asset Denial
    • Maps: Countdown, Powerhouse, Reflection, Anchor 9, Battle Canyon, Solitary, and Forge World (Asylum, Select)
    • Settings: Title Update
  • 4v4 Matchmaking
    • Game Categories: Slayer, Flag and Bomb, Zone Control, Asset Denial, Action Sack, SWAT, Snipers, and Grifball*
    • Maps: Boardwalk, Countdown, Powerhouse, Reflection, Sword Base, Zealot, Anchor 9, Tempest, Condemned, Battle Canyon, Penance, Solitary, High Noon, and Forge World (various)
    • Settings: Title Update (Grifball is Vanilla)
  • 8p FFA Matchmaking
    • Game Categories: Slayer, Zone Control, Asset Denial, Action Sack, SWAT, and Snipers
    • Maps: Boardwalk, Countdown, Powerhouse, Reflection, Sword Base, Zealot, Anchor 9, Condemned, Battle Canyon, Penance, Solitary, High Noon, and Forge World (various)
    • Settings: Title Update
  • 12p FFA Matchmaking
    • Game Categories: Infection
    • Maps: Boardwalk, Countdown, Powerhouse, Reflection, Sword Base, Zealot, Anchor 9, Condemned, Penance, Solitary, and Breakneck
    • Settings: Vanilla
  • 8v8 Matchmaking
    • Game Categories: Slayer, Flag and Bomb, Zone Control, Asset Denial, Action Sack, and Snipers
    • Maps: Boardwalk, Boneyard, Spire, Breakpoint, Tempest, Highlands, Ridgeline, High Noon, Breakneck, and Forge World (various)
    • Settings: Title Update

Competitive Games

  • Halo: Reach Team Hardcore
    • Game Variants: Hardcore Slayer, Hardcore CTF 3, Hardcore CTF 5, and Hardcore King
    • Maps: Countdown, Zealot, Battle Canyon, Penance, Forge World (MLG Sanctuary, MLG Pit, MLG Nexus)
    • Settings: Hardcore ZBNS (based on MLG v7)
  • Invasion
    • Game Variants: Invasion
    • Maps: Boneyard, Spire, Breakpoint, and Forge World (Broadcast, Floodgate, Overgrowth, Refinery)
    • Settings: Vanilla

Firefight

  • Heroic Firefight Limited
    • Game Variants: Firefight Limited and Generator Defense Limited
    • Maps: Beachhead, Corvette, Courtyard, Glacier, Holdout, Outpost, Overlook, Waterfront, Unearthed, and Installation 04
  • Firefight Arcade
    • Game Variants: Arcadefight, Fiestafight, Fistfight, FRGfight, Nadefight, Plasmafight, Rocketfight, and Sniperfight
    • Maps: Beachhead, Corvette, Courtyard, Glacier, Holdout, Outpost, Overlook, Waterfront, Unearthed, and Installation 04

Please note that these Matchmaking settings are subject to change between now and launch and of course, the team will be actively monitoring game data and listening to player feedback for ongoing post-launch adjustments and additions.

We have received feedback from flighting in relation to the damage models for melee in the Halo: Reach Team Hardcore settings and we have resolved this inconsistency. Specifically, in the flight build it took 4 shots and a melee to defeat an opponent compared to legacy where it was 3 shots and then melee. This issue has been investigated and I’m told a fix has been made to the settings based on your feedback. So, thank you for bringing it to our attention!

Legacy Content & How to Access It

Back in August, we copied all Xbox 360 legacy Forge content in public file shares which totaled over 6.6 million maps and 2.6 million game types from Halo 3, Halo: Reach, and Halo 4. This content will become available in MCC once Halo: Reach is released, and the game update is applied to your current Xbox copy of MCC (or upon booting up Halo: Reach on PC for the first time).

Here is a breakdown of where you will be able to access the legacy content and what will happen with content that you have created in MCC if you owned it prior to this update.

Legacy Migration

Xbox 360 Maps & Modes in File Share: They have been copied to our database and are ready to join MCC following the release of Halo: Reach for Xbox and PC. When this happens, they will appear in your File Share on both platforms.

Xbox 360 Maps & Modes not in File Share: These files were not copied and won't be transferred to MCC. If your legacy content was not in your file share at the time the one-time process was initiated, that content will not be migrated.

Xbox One MCC Migration

Xbox One MCC Maps & Modes Currently in File Share: These current files will stay in your File Share after the MCC update for Xbox One and will require you to boot up MCC on your Xbox One to have them available on PC after the game update including these changes.

Xbox One MCC Maps & Modes not in File Share: These Private Files will be copied to your local storage on your Xbox One as Local Files after the MCC update for Xbox One. They will only be available on the first Xbox One you launch after the game update occurs. If you do not launch on an Xbox One, this process will not be performed. To share these files across platform or to another console, you will need to download the MCC update on Xbox One, launch the title on that Xbox One, and then once the copy operation is completed you will need to upload it to your file share. Only once they are uploaded to your file share will you be able to access this content cross-platform.

Although Forge and Theater will not be available on PC at launch, we are happy to say this content will be available to provide countless hours of community made fun and enjoyment.

Customization and Progression

When Halo: Reach joins MCC several new key features will go live for the entire game. One of these new features is an all new progression system that will keep track of and allow you to level up a global rank across all titles available in MCC. For PC, you will only have Halo: Reach to start, but for those playing on the Xbox, all multiplayer matchmaking in the collection will give you experience points to level up. For the first season, you will earn points to unlock content for character customization in Halo: Reach.

Customization is something the teams really strived for in MCC to deliver a true spiritual successor of Halo: Reach. We do not have a final list available for the armor pieces you will be able to use, but in terms of parts of both Spartan and Elite customization – it will mirror what is available in the original Halo: Reach on Xbox 360. This means that Spartans will be customizable to very specific slots for your armors while Elite customization will be at a set level like the original title. Below are the Spartan customization slots.

  • Helmet
  • Left Shoulder
  • Chest
  • Wrist
  • Utility
  • Visor Color
  • Knee Guards
  • Armor Effect

In the future, when the final armor pieces are in game and verified, we will share out a complete list for you. Below is a glimpse of the work-in-progress seasonal progression system and how you will view and unlock new armor pieces for your customization pleasure. 

WIP Image of Season 1

WIP Image of Unlock Screen

 Image of Later Tiers of Season 1

New Settings and Updates to Options

A new seasons progression/customization isn’t all that’s new -there are quite a few additional changes and features coming to MCC including some new and expanded settings. When Halo: Reach is ready, the update will bring many new settings you can customize to play how you see fit. Below is a list of settings being added to what currently exists to MCC.  These will be coming when Halo: Reach joins MCC.

Note: Anything with a * next to it is a PC only option and all others are available to Xbox One and PC.

Accessibility

  • Speech to text dictation for text chat
  • Text to speech narration for text chat

Enhancements to HUD to Support Ultrawide Monitors*

Settings & Options

  • Configure Mouse & Keyboard *
    • Configure Bindings *
  • Gamepad Controls
    • Jumper Jumper
  • Mouse Controls*
    • Mouse Sensitivity*
    • Zoomed Mouse Sensitivity *
    • Vehicle Mouse Sensitivity *
    • Mouse Acceleration *
    • Acceleration Min Rate *
    • Acceleration Max Rate *
    • Acceleration Scale *
    • Acceleration Power *
    • Mouse Smoothing*
    • Crouch Behavior
  • Video Settings
    • Field-of-View *
    • Vehicle Field-of-View *
    • Window Mode *
      • Resolution Scale*
      • Aspect Ratio*
    • V-sync*
    • HUD Anchoring *
  • Experimental Settings *
    • Framerate Limit *
  • Graphics Quality Settings
  • Audio Settings
    • Game Volume*
    • Game Music Volume*
    • Effects Volume*
    • Voice Chat Volume*
  • Gameplay
    • Crosshair Position*
    • Show Invite Notifications*

For the accessibility options, if you have these enabled on Xbox, they will automatically be enabled as they are settings determined at the platforms level. For PC, you will have a settings screen that will be displayed as such to enable them.

Reach Min Spec for PC

Halo: Reach for MCC has been played on many configurations and types of PCs ranging from bleeding edge to near potatoes. Our goal has been to optimize it to run on the lowest possible specs and we believe we have reached our intended goal. With the help of the Halo Insider program we have received feedback and monitored how the title has played on a wide range of systems and below are the currently recommended minimum specifications for the Steam version of Reach on PC. We are in the process of testing more options with integrated graphics but are not ready to share that information quite yet. The specs will be slightly different for the Windows Store version as well and will be shared at a later time.

Closing Time

Closing out papers in college was probably the most difficult part of writing any of the lengthy reports I drafted. Writing blogs on MCC honestly aren’t any easier now that I think about it. Especially when we are closing in on nearly three thousand words. It can be hard sometimes to come up with what I think I want to say in order to get many of the nitty gritty specifics’ folks want to learn about.

In closing, I hope that this blog has the answers you have been looking to uncover about Halo: Reach joining MCC and MCC coming on over to PC. If not, feel free to reach out and let’s see if we can get that to you in our next monthly update. Until next time friends, we will see y’all online!

Cheers,

Postums

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