The Yappening: Two Yaps This Time



It’s ME, the famous Yapyap THE DESTROYER! HERE is a story about somethin’ that happened to me, so PAY A TENSION so you understand THE TWISTED REALITY that your puny lives have become!!

Now, I ain’t want to be somuch technical that you can’t understands me, but I been usin’ the Domain to access human communications for 365 earthdays now! And I been learnin’ up on all KINDS of human secrets! But more than any secrets, I learned that humans are MEAN TO ME!!! They’re always doin’ talks about Master Chief THIS and Demon THAT and makin’ fun of how I breathes! WHO DOES THAT? JERKS do that, because Yapyap THE DESTROYER answers his OWN historical questions! 

And so I spent all the earthyear gettin’ my feelers hurt by mean humans. But I remembered back when I did THE YAPPENING and ohhhhhhhh did you humans ever PAY! So I wanted to do it AGAIN but EXTRA BAD to make ‘em know that I think HATE at ‘em pretty much all the time! (Even when I think somethin’ nice there’s a little bit of hate in there somewhere.)

I figured out from my memory that there was a Forerunner artifact that made things happen last time, so I thinked up that a LOT of artifacts would make a LOT of things happen THIS time! That’s simple mathematics, mm-hmm. So I ordered ALL my local units to bring me the artifacts that are just floppin’ around all OVER the Ark – for seriously, this place has a CREASEload of artifacts.

And my loyal troops bringed me all KINDS of mystical garbage. There was stuff that I didn’t even know what it was! There was a sprinklin’ of slipspace flakes and some probability mirrors and some pistachios and FIVE Janus Keys and a thing called a Fragment of Divinity and some MORE pistachios!!! And I put it allll in a real nice pile outside.

And I looked at that big ol’ pile and did my most important shouting. I said “HELLO” and “ACTIVATE” and “OH BOY LET’S GO OKAY” and everything like that … but there was nothin’ happened.

Stupid artifacts of un-measurable power! What good are they? NO GOOD they’re ALL STUPID so I did a very natural thing when I’m mad and THREW PLASMA GRENADES AROUND and I was YELLING WITH MAD and tellin’ everything to RUDE OFF and the grenades EXPLODED!

But then it was like things was frozen? Not COLD frozen, but the kinda frozen when you’re little and get caught lickin’ the levers of the gruel chute at night and the lights turn on and it’s everybody settin’ up a trap to see who was lickin’ and all you can say is IT’S NOT ME DOIN’ IT but everybody’s already mad and you’re just holdin’ still hopin’ they’ll fall tosleep but they DON’T and there’s CONSEQUENCES

So it was just like that, with all the artifacts kinda frozen in the middle of exploding, but I could move. And I figured this was a GREAT time to go and sneakily lick the levers of the gruel chute so I turned around to go BUT THEN!!!!

There was a shimmery kinda energy all overs that shimmered and shammered and then a voice came out, a big deep croaky voice, and it sounded like this: “As foretold, He has come. Yapyap. One heeds His call. Bend to Him, holder of the zenith geas, ruler of all thema.”

I thought maybe this was like a important moment! So I said, real bravers, “GO AWAY YOU IDIOT OR I WILL CRY!”

And the deep voice rumbled and said “Yapyap. The last living synchron. The Mantle is His. One awaits His command. The world-lines shall be remade at His will.”

I didn’t understand all of those words, but it sounded serious so I knew it was time to very carefully choose my talking!!

So I took a nice breathin’ calmdown and got ready to say somethin’ REAL important, like that a real ruler of the everyverse would say. And I was thinkin’ maybe like “My proud people have been underfoot for too long, let us rise as one!” That sounded pretty GREAT but then I thought that “underfoot” was a funny word because you don’t say OVERFOOT! But why not? If I wanted to say it NOBODY could stop me! Maybe I’ll just say “I wish everybody said overfeet!!!!” because that’s VERY much important!

And while I was thinkin’ my mouth did a big burp and I just kinda said “YAPYAP IS BEST!!!”

And everything just kinda fizzled away and the deep voice said “Uh … thus speaks the Ur-Reclaimer, and so it shall be.”

But I was kinda zoned out thinkin’ about how if a meatball hatched, what kind of bird would come out?? And I yelled WAIT my REAL wish was that I knew all about MEATBIRDS!!!

But the deep voice was faraway-quiet and fading and saying something like “can’t believe that was the right guy” but it was TOO LATE ANYWAY because I seen a rock on the ground that looked a LOT like a gray potato and so I was commanding my troops to come look at it!! And I forgetted all about the other thing.

So the mortal of the story? Well, just ‘cuz things didn’t change HERE maybe doesn’t mean they didn’t change someplace else! Maybe things changed THERE a whole LOT and all the pathetic humans have to DEAL WITH THE CHANGES!! Probably FOREVERS!!!

But out here, things are pretty much the same. Maybe there’s somethin’ different in the stars, but I kinda feel like they’re how they was always supposed to be. I just hope that everyplace looks at the stars and knows YAPYAP IS BEST!!

Your Overfoot,




Hey Friends, I’m not quite sure what is going on here right now and will be taking some time to investigate what is going on with this blog. I’m pretty sure I didn’t fall asleep with my computer open again… But the office does smell kind of… Methaney…

- Postums


Oh, please don’t be Yappen... I mean happening again. I just looked at my inbox and it’s blowing up with check-in emails for MCC... This blog is not the only bit impacted it looks like. BRB, going to go see what’s going on in game and will update soon.

- Postums


Is anyone else seeing this? I just booted up MCC and yeah…   - Postums


Can confirm Yapyap took over not only the splash screen, the main menu, and has his own game type selection in Social Matchmaking that appears to be tied to some new nameplates?

- Postums


So there’s a new game type in social matchmaking it seems.

It looks like if you select 4v4 in Halo 2 Classic you can choose “The Yappening” as a game type there are a bunch of changes Yapyap has made… But it also looks like there are changes we were planning to make rolled in as well? Not sure, but here are game types that I’m seeing have been added and what we think they mean.

Head-pop Party!

People cheer when you lose your head, now you know how Grunts feel when you make them dead!

This appears to have temporarily replaced standard SWAT for Halo 2. The gameplay is the same, but every time you get a headshot, Grunts can be heard cheering in joy.

Yappening Wargames

It’s a party, but with more methane! Stuff breaks and things change, but ya still just gotta make the other team super dead to win.

This appears to be a Fiesta variant. However, in addition to spawning with random weapons, a random HUD element is also missing after each respawn. Additionally, each round fired appears to subtract two from the magazine. Players will need to scavenge weapons from fallen foes.

Brute Shoot

Grab your Brutey Shooties and make the bad guys boom! Atriox must be even jealouser of me now!

Players have Brute Shots (Brutey… Shootey?) with bottomless clips, and the physics impulses from the projectiles and explosives appear to be greatly magnified. Launching crates at foes seems to be at least as effective as shooting them directly.

Methane Moshpit

It’s King of the Hill! Except the kings fly and the hill hates you.

This is a King of the Hill mode with a single stationary hill. Players can survive a lot of damage, but spawn with Needlers with bottomless clips. Supercombine explosions from the Needlers push players away from the hill or even off the map. Player gravity appears to be reduced while physics impulses appear to be exaggerated.

Yapyap’s Ball Grab

Rules is simple – make boom, fly high, grab ball! Hold on tight the longest to win.

This appears to function like a normal multi ball Oddball mode. However, players can launch themselves (and their opponents) around the arena with rocket launchers.  

Beamish Bonanza

Invented by the only good human on a message board for birds – lots of vehicles to ride, lots of heads to pop!

This appears to be some form of big team invisible low gravity SWAT vehicle fiesta mode… Players have no shields but have active camo. Players spawn with a BR and a random secondary weapon. The vehicle set is randomized. Players do still appear on radar, so that appears to be the best way to keep track of them.

The Yappening playlist as well as Campaign appear to have two new nameplates called Yapyap THE DESTROYER and Shut Your Yap associated with various in game tasks. The unlock date for them isn’t filled out yet though. But here is what they look like and what appears to be required to get them:

Nameplate: Yapyap THE DESTROYER


Participate in Yapyap’s Grunt Rebellion to unlock.

Unlock Criteria: Complete seven Social matches using the Game Category “The Yappening” in Game Size 4v4 and/or 8v8

Nameplate: Shut Your Yap


Revolt against Yapyap’s Grunt Rebellion to unlock.

Unlock Criteria: Headshot 250 Grunts on Heroic or higher in Campaign and/or Spartan Ops

- Postums


Yapyap has taken over our game, but in stepping through the logs he appears to have been “kind enough” to bring our latest patch changes along for the ride. Thankfully I can just tag onto the blog he started! Thanks for doing some of the work? Please stop doing this though and don’t Ban me this year please!?!?!?

Anyways, below are the notes we had previously written for what today’s blog was supposed to be about which includes new loading screens, various networking improvements, new known issues, and bug fixes that span the whole collection!

Enjoy! - your friendly neighborhood Postums

New Loading Screens

Since MCC work began, we have received many bits of feedback on what information players want to see while they are loading into a game. We have taken this feedback, discussed what makes the most sense internally, and have crafted what we believe will satisfy these requests without overwhelming users with information while a game is loading. These changes upgrade the type of information we are giving you before a match starts while maintaining the minimalistic readability for our screens. Changes are here for Multiplayer, Campaign, and Spartan-Ops. Below are the details of what each screen now has to offer and what it looks like.

MP Loading Screen

MP Loading Screen Details

  • Map name
  • Primary starting weapon
  • Time limit
  • Score to win
  • Gamertags in session
  • Loading states (configuring, connecting, joining, validating, and loading)
  • Data center hosting dedicated server of match
  • Game type and description
  • More tool tips related to what you are playing

Campaign Loading Screen

Campaign and Spartan Ops Loading Screen Info

  • Mission name
  • Difficulty
  • Skulls turned on
  • Gamertags in session
  • Game type and description
  • Loading states
  • More tool tips related to what you are playing.

Networking Evolution

From years spent working and talking with engineers of various disciplines, network engineering sounds like one of the most difficult pieces of a game to work on as you are quite literally at the mercy of real-world situations and non-optimal scenarios. When networks are having connection quality issues, whether it be a dedicated server poorly communicating to everyone in a match or a player dropping packets or sending them slow to the server – it can cause a poor experience for everyone involved. For several months the Pub Team has invested large amounts of time looking to find areas of improvement to better the networking experience all up in MCC.

Each of the titles in MCC has had its framerate doubled since its initial release, but until now the rate of network transfer hasn’t been adjusted to match. Today’s update applies the same concept as the increased framerate to the existing networking model from each of our titles. Specifically, we’re changing the size and frequency of the packets by which information is sent between clients and hosts in multiplayer for both dedicated servers and peer-to-peer scenarios across the titles. 

To break down all of the technical aspect in regards to this change we will defer to The Publishing Team’s own Dana Jerpbak, or as some know him online, “Duck.” Dana brings many years of history in the Forge community, experience working on several projects with The Publishing Team, and has been spearheading the efforts to update playlists in MCC for quite some time now. Without further ado, we bring you a new blog portion to discuss the technical details of today’s networking update aptly named…

Duck Tales

A technical breakdown of what a 60 hz tick rate means for MCC.

Thanks, Postums. For the record, I will always be on Team #Mongooses and can confirm that official text strings in MCC support this. But before we finish that fight, I want to tell the tale of the journey we have been on together with the community. In this piece, I will be breaking down some recent improvements we’ve made to networking and how information is currently being passed between clients and server in Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

Actions in classic Halo games fall into categories of being client authoritative or server authoritative.  Client authoritative actions are recorded by each user’s game client and are then sent to the server.  Server authoritative actions will combine the data received from clients, simulate the new game state, and then send the results of the simulation back to all clients in the session. Simulation can take place asynchronously (as it does in PvP modes within MCC) or synchronously (as it does in co-op campaign). In synchronous or “lockstep” simulations, the server receives player action requests from a client, then sends those actions back to the client (along with other players’ actions) to ensure the game simulates the same for all players in the session. In asynchronous sessions, clients can see certain actions immediately while they must await server simulation for others. The animations of your player character or biped are typically client-authoritative while the creation and positioning of projectiles is server authoritative. For example, in a high-ping scenario, a grenade throw animation is immediately observable by a client, but the grenade object itself will be delayed in spawning until its creation is simulated by the server and sent back to the client.

We’ve upgraded the rate at which network packets are sent by the server in Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 4, and Halo 2A. We have also increased limits on how much data each individual packet can contain. This includes data about the position of bipeds, where they’re aiming, what projectiles they’re firing, etc. The server prioritizes what data is contained in a packet until it reaches a maximum size. In gaps where the client hasn’t received a certain type of information from the server (due to latency or prioritization), the client predicts what this information should be based on the last data received. It then corrects its predictions upon receiving new data. This can result in cases of “rubber-banding” where a biped’s position is predicted locally and then corrected by the server. By increasing the allowed size of packets as well as their frequency, we have significantly reduced these gaps. This results in less prediction and correction due to more frequent and more complete updates from the server. In Halo 3, the clients would send 15 packets per second to the server, while the server would send 30 packets per second to all clients. Now both servers and clients will be networking at 60 packets per second, aligning with the framerate.

Packets transfers between clients and servers are dependent on the network quality and topology. As such, there will still be cases where rubber-banding and other network artifacts occur in cases of high ping or packet loss. However, the increased send rates should generally result in an overall smoother online experience. This improvement affects dedicated servers as well as peer servers in peer-to-peer matches.

After extensive internal testing and external flighting, we are confident this will positively impact the online experience in cases of good and poor connections. Please feel free to take time to share with us your experiences in matchmaking once you have tried out these changes in our Pinned Feedback Thread. As always, let us know! We love to hear from you and look forward to finding ways to continue to improve the experiences for everyone in game.

Known Issues

Today’s update has a few issues that we are tracking to resolve in a future update and involve language packs in Intelligent Install, icons in HCE’s loading screens, and H3’s Forge loading screen. These are now updated on our Trello Page.

  • After selecting a new voice language to install, the title must be closed and relaunched before it will be installed.
  • Weapon icons are not displayed on Halo CE's loading screens. Due to CE using weapon sets rather than standard starting weapon settings, an alternate set of icons is being developed for CE to be released in a future update.
  • Weapon icon is always displayed as Assault Rifle on H3 Forge loading screen

Patch Notes

Today’s patch notes are a plethora of changes. The team has touched on various Menus, gameplay elements, matchmaking for both social and competitive games, and fixes across every game in the collection. Read on for individual fixes.

Global Menus

  • Yapyap and his Grunt Rebellion have taken over Halo 2 and the main menu
  • Added an idle indicator "ZZZ" icon to denote idle squad members in the roster
  • Added a new game icon for Halo 3 ODST
  • Fixed an issue where users could attempt to load a custom game with no game type selected
  • Fixed an issue where the wrong error message was displayed when attempting to use as forbidden term in the Service ID
  • Fixed several capitalization inconsistencies, spelling errors, and other text string issues

Global Gameplay

  • Disabled a host standby prevention measure that was incorrectly running in dedicated server scenarios that would temporarily force clients into a joining state.
  • Fixed an issue where the exit loading screen after a matchmade game could persist for an extended period


H1 - 2v2 - Social Games

  • Slayer: reduced time limit to 15 minutes
  • Oddball: reduced time limit to 15 minutes; increased respawn time to 10 seconds

H3 - 2v2 - Social Games

  • Slayer: Added Assault Rifle as secondary weapon
  • Multi Flag: Reduced sudden death timer from infinite to 30 seconds
  • One Flag CTF: Reduced flag return timer from 30 seconds to 15 seconds; reduced flag reset timer from 60 seconds to 30 seconds
  • King of the Hill: Reduced score-to-win from 150 to 100
  • Oddball: increased respawn time to 10 seconds; increased ball carrier speed to 90% of base speed

H1 - 4v4 - Social Games

  • Slayer: Increased score-to-win from 50 to 75
  • Multi Flag: Fixed issues with starting equipment; split between 3 Flag on Battle Creek and Hang Em High, 5 Flag on Longest, and 5 Flag with Pistols only on Derelict and Wizard
  • Snipers: Modified variant name and description to be more accurate
  • Team Muskets: Removed from Rat Race and added to Prisoner
  • Team Reign: Added starting grenades; increased score-to-win to 5 minutes; removed from Rat Race and added to Damnation and Derelict
  • Rocketball: Disabled radar; reduced ball count from 3 to 2; increased score-to-win to 5 minutes; removed from Chill Out and added to Derelict
  • All: Reduced time limit to 15 minutes.  Action Sack modes are 10 minutes

H4 - 8v8 - Social Games

  • Slayer: Reduced time limit from 16 minutes to 15 minutes

H2C Hardcore - Competitive Games

  • 3 Flag: Disabled turrets on Sanctuary
  • 5 Flag: Disabled suicide and betrayal penalties to align with other modes

Social Matchmaking

  • Infection appears to have been replaced by the Yappening... We are working to resolve this as quickly as possible and make some improvements in the process.

Halo CE

  • Added new loading screens displaying more game mode and map info
  • Disabled a function which overrode the selected vehicle settings based on the name of the game variant

Halo 2

  • Added new loading screens displaying more game mode and map info
  • Raised packet send rate to 60 hz
  • Fixed the game settings of the built-in H2C game variant accessible in Custom Games
  • Added Skull Options to custom game settings. The following skulls can now be enabled:
    • Grunt Birthday Party
    • Blind
    • Black Eye
    • Sputnik
    • Boom
    • Eye Patch
    • Foreign
    • Grunt Funeral
    • Recession
    • Malfunction
    • Streaking
    • Feather
  • Added World Gravity to custom game settings. This tweaks the gravity of all bipeds, vehicles, and props on the map on a scale of 25% to 300%
  • Added Player Gravity to custom game settings. This tweaks the gravity of all bipeds on the map on a scale of 25% to 300%
  • Added Vehicle Gravity to custom game settings. This tweaks the gravity of all vehicles on the map on a scale of 25% to 300%
  • Added Infinite Ammo, Bottomless Clip, and Grenade Regeneration to custom game settings
  • Added 'None' Starting Weapon option to custom game settings
  • Added indestructible vehicle setting

Halo 2 Anniversary

  • Added new loading screens displaying more game mode and map info
  • Raised packet send rate to 60 hz

Halo 3 / Halo 3 ODST

  • Added new loading screens displaying more game mode and map info
  • Raised packet send rate to 60 hz
  • Added built-in H3 MLG v8 map variants accessible in Custom Games
  • Added built-in H3 Epilogue (Epitaph), Sand Tarp (Sandtrap), Boundless (Snowbound), and Pit Stop (The Pit) map variants accessible in Custom Games
  • Fixed instant respawn setting for Assault Bomb

Halo 4

  • Added new loading screens displaying more game mode and map info
  • Raised packet send rate to 60 hz
  • Fixed an issue where the mission completed difficulty badges for Spartan Ops missions were not displayed.

Looking Ahead

As many of you know, Halo: Reach is coming to Halo: The Master Chief Collection and MCC is coming to PC via the Windows Store and Steam (read more HERE!). This means the team is quite literally heads down and hard at work on this new journey. We must ensure these experiences not only meet our standards, but that our work meets the expectations of a PC audience. 

This doesn’t mean we are stopping work on MCC on Xbox - what it does mean is that large updates will happen at a slower pace while we ramp up to bring Halo: Reach to life on Xbox and bring all games to PC. The Pub Team is still continuing work on MCC features we have discussed such as a Custom Game Browser, improved Post Game Carnage Reports, and others. However, in order to deliver the best experiences possible with Reach on Xbox and MCC on PC  – the Publishing Team has to prioritize these new major projects over ongoing MCC updates.

We also need the community to continue the journey we started together last year with our MCC Insider program. Everyone at the studio shares in the excitement (and pizza) to play Reach in MCC and flighting as part of Halo Insider is coming soon. As with our MCC flights last year, we will start small and scale up over time. We are aiming to rollout our first public flights for Reach on MCC later this month and can’t wait to have ya’ll get your hands on it! If you haven't signed up for the Halo Insider program, you can do that HERE. We're excited to kick off this partnership and tap into our passionate community to help make these games and future Halo offerings the best they can be. 

Thank you again for all your continued feedback, thoughts, and being a part of this experience together with us. It isn’t finished yet. In fact - No, I think we’re just getting started.

P.S. 4K Image for the Splash Screen and Background.


Halo Wars 2

Community Halo Wars 2 Tournament Program

By Postums -

There are so many awesome things going on in the community for Halo Wars 2, from amazing gameplay videos and streams coming in from all over the place to fan art, story breakdowns, and much more. It not only enhances the community's experience and interaction with the game as a whole, but also inspires each of us internally at 343 as well. With that in mind, let's kick things off today with a huge thank you to everyone who loves and shares the same passion for Halo Wars 2 that we here at the...

Halo Wars 2

The Yappening...



Halo Wars 2

The Nightmare has Awoken

By GrimBrother One -

The hotly anticipated arrival of Halo Wars 2’s new expansion is finally here, and with it, a new opportunity to take one of humanity’s oldest adversaries: The Flood. Halo Wars 2: Awakening the Nightmare is now available on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC, and we can’t wait for fans to get in on the action.