Alright, it's official - Waypoint vNext is arriving on November 1! For the uninitiated, what does that mean?
KP: The Waypoint that you know and love will be getting a complete overhaul, rebuilt from the ground up to support the growing needs of the Halo franchise. At the surface level you’ll notice a new look and feel throughout the web, with many returning features and a few new ones sprinkled in. Behind the scenes, this shift makes us better able to focus development efforts across the website, Android, and iOS apps.
Back during the Multiplayer Tech Preview, players had a chance to dive in early to take a look at the Waypoint vNext experience. But, even with that sneak peek, is there anything they should keep an eye out for at launch?
KP: Players who participated in the previews should expect a continued focus on their investments in our games. For Halo Infinite this means further investment in Customization and Progression. Additionally, MCC players can expect more connectivity with seasonal content and their progression. Even at the profile level on Halo Waypoint, we are rolling out Service Awards as way to show off your Halo career highlights.
This time around Halo Waypoint will exist as an app as well. What are some of the coolest features coming with its arrival?
KP: The design team spoke eloquently to this vision and their design intent back in our Inside Infinite article and it is worth a read. At a high level you can expect a lot of shared features between the web and app because we’re committed to reaching our players no matter where they are. You can expect the usual conveniences from an app, including (but not limited to) regular updates and push notifications for content that’s important to you.
Halo Infinite Customization shown on App (Left), Game (Center), and Web (Right). [Click here to download the full-size image.]
For those that don’t know, the Halo Waypoint app is already available on Android and iOS – but, the website still looks the same. How come?
KP: In this case, we released the app earlier than the new website because it was our best chance to reach players diving into the Multiplayer Tech Preview! Ultimately, this does mean that we have some updates still to make throughout the entire experience. We’re hard at work preparing for launch, but if you do see any bugs be sure to file a ticket with Halo Support!
With an update of this size there’s always a lot to consider. Among all the features that are coming forward to Waypoint vNext, are there any that won’t be there at launch?
KP: Whoa, comin' at me like a grappling BXB'er straight outta the Multiplayer Tech Preview! For context, today’s current iteration of Waypoint is the result of 8-years of continued investment into a single website, while vNext has only been cooking for a few years and spans web, iOS, and Android.
While we were able to bring forward many of our most used features by players, we haven’t been able to rebuild everything. The features that will not join the transition to vNext will be: Halo 5 Spartan Companies, browsing the Halo 5 User-Generated Content (UGC) features, the Halo Wars 2 Service Record, the Universe section, and some older News articles.
For Halo 5, what’s happening specifically with Spartan Companies and User Generated Content (UGC)?
KP: Spartan Companies will still appear in Halo 5 but without our interface you will no longer be able to edit your Company info or roster. (So, if you have any planned updates, we recommend you do them now.) Your Company's Service Record and Commendations will not be visible, but they will continue to tick behind the scenes and rewards (including Achilles) will continue to be granted. Your roster will be locked with no way to add, remove, promote, or demote members. Spartan Company forums will no longer be available.
Halo 5 UGC will be unaffected in-game, to be clear, but the Waypoint interface to browse your Halo 5 game variants, map variants, and Forge object groups will no longer be available.
For Halo Wars 2, what will happen with the Service Record?
KP: As we weigh all of the potential website features against every active Halo title, we often have to make difficult trade-offs to prioritize areas that directly benefit the largest audiences in our community. As we focus on robust support for Halo Infinite, this unfortunately means that we won't be able to maintain Halo Wars 2 service records on the new website. The good news is that the Halo Wars 2 public API and third-party services remain unaffected and that data will continue to flow.
But, if you want to archive your Halo Wars 2 Service Record, please do so soon.
Will there be any other notable parts of Waypoint that will change?
KP: The Universe section is something of a relic of a prior age of Waypoint, standing now only as a monument to Grim’s sins. Less dramatically, this content was central to previous video efforts and we have not maintained it as stand-alone web content. We also know the community has stepped in to fill this role, in greater detail and with more freedom for intrigue. Check out our friends at Halopedia, for example.
Lastly, only select News articles will be brought forward to vNext as only some will maintain relevance.