News

You Can Haz Recon!

By -

This week it’s a full on multimedia assault as we dual wield fully loaded salvos of Halo Wars 2 and Halo 5 goodness in our latest community update! We've got trailers, used cars, Q&As, spotlights, and new helmets incoming. Lock and load, Spartans, we’re going in!

Halo Wars 2

We’re barely a week away from the early access release for Halo Wars 2 for Ultimate Edition pre-order customers and things are really starting to heat up! The Marketing machine has kicked into overdrive on the heels of Monday’s amazing launch trailer. In case you missed it (or even if you didn’t, it’s totally worth a re-watch!), here it is:

War of Wits

Today marks the release of two new advertisements for Halo Wars 2 that you’ll soon start to see propagating across social and various websites as launch nears. These two spots represent a new direction for Halo marketing with a focus on real-world grounding and plenty of humor. Check ‘em out! 

As awesome I think those ads are, the thing I’m perhaps most excited about is the potential to get that amazing Atriox costume shipped to 343 and added to our Halo Museum! Stellar work by everyone involved, we hope you enjoy these ads as much as we do. And never forget, warranties are for suckers and never, ever go "full tongue." 

Blitz Beta Follow-Up

In the wake of the Blitz Beta many of you have had a variety of questions about Halo Wars 2 and what to expect when the game launches. I rounded up a number of queries from r/HaloWars and sent them over to the Halo Wars 2 team (both Creative Assembly and 343) to help us get some answers:

Are you happy with team colours at present? Some of us found it challenging to remember which units are friend or foe in the betas.

Great feedback! The clarity and readability of the battle is really important to us so we’ll be monitoring and reviewing players’ experiences from release and look for ways to improve the player’s understanding of the team colors in future

 Have you been able to reproduce PC UI bugs? (specifically, clicking on the minimap for unit orders or moving camera)

We want players to have the best possible experience so we’re very much focused on eliminating bugs and we think you’ll be pleased to see the tweaks we've made to the game to alleviate these issues in a Day 1 patch.

Has your team considered changes to Spartans? (Specifically how they take significant damage when their hijacked vehicle dies. Not saying this needs changing, but others have voiced it)

We want to keep an eye on all units (ALL UNITS!) as much as we can post-launch. Where there are specific balance and fairness issues, we certainly hope to tackle them as much as we can. Because the unit balance is mostly shared across all of our multiplayer modes, we hope to get lots of great gameplay data of the same units being used in a range of situations. Coupled with an ear to the community and an eye for design intentions, this gameplay data allows us to make informed decisions around the fairness of our gameplay. Specifically with the Spartans, it’s certainly something we’re keeping an eye on! Spartan’s should be awesome and true to the lore.

Will you introduce easy muting for PC players, and/or default a push-to-talk option?

Yes! We’ve added a push-to-talk option for PC voice Comms as the default option and you’re also able to mute yourself in the Roster or options screen.

I wanted to ask if you can tell us how the game release rank / experience system will look? On Halo Wars 2 what ranking system will we have is it like the first beta? I really enjoy competition thanks.

The Service Record rank is the player’s Gamertag’s progression rank. To level up, players earn XP by completing challenges, playing games and unlocking achievements. This is a good indicator of how long a player has been playing the game but it is not based on player skill. Halo Wars 2 matchmaking is based on skill but it's currently behind the scenes and there isn't a CSR value exposed to players at launch. New players start out with a provisional skill rating that will settle in after they play matches (just like Halo 5's ranked playlists) but initially can result in a "Rank 1" player matching against an opponent that's a higher rank. Again, this isn't an indication of skill, just XP / time played. Shortly after launch the team will be instituting a formal ranked competitive system into the game similar to what's offered in Halo 5.

This isn't going out at launch for a few different reasons: First, a social/unranked environment is going to be more inviting and less stressful and allow players a chance to get familiar with the game, the units and the multitude of strategies and tactics at their disposal. Second, delaying a ranked seasonal model also allows the development team to monitor and respond to any balancing issues that usually only arise after players have spent considerable time exploring units and developing strategies and synergies. It's easier for players to be exposed to these "hot-fixable" issues in a social, no-stakes environment than in the midst of heated ranked competition. Lastly, we're looking to time ranked playlists/seasons with DLC releases which allows the team to roll in any new fixes or tweaks that couldn't be addressed via a "hot fix" and the introduction of new leaders is a natural opportunity to reset and roll-over a new season. Overall this is definitely something the team is passionate about and takes seriously so for now, at launch, think of it as a "pre-season" and help us refine the game with your feedback and then we'll kick off a proper ranked playlist season cadence shortly after.  

Is Proving Grounds the only map that will be available to play Blitz on? If so, are any more on the way? Thanks!

Halo Wars 2 launches with Proving Grounds which is a Blitz exclusive map but we’re keen to hear what types of additional maps fans would like to see in the future.

Please can I get any details about the possibly of map editing software? I often imagine making my own map to play in RTS games and want to know if I will be able to do this in HW2

We have no plans to release a map editor at this time.

Are the factions for the flood/forerunners going to make it into the game?

Halo Wars 2 is focused on the battle between Cutter and Atriox; we’re really excited for players to finally get their hands on the game to fully explore the new strategies possible with the expanded UNSC roster and the new faction in The Banished.

I only have one question, will we be able to pre download the game if so when.

 Yes! Pre-loading for Halo Wars 2 will be available prior to early access launch on Feb. 17. Exact timing is still a little fluid but it could potentially be ready for pre-load by the end of this week.

Will we ever get to know the changes that were made because of our feedback in the beta?

The team is working on a detailed overview of tweaks and balance changes coming out of the Blitz Beta. Stay tuned!

Can we get a visual multiple movement queue? I would like to know my units' routes so I know where exactly they are going

 We have no current plans to implement this feature but are interested to see and hear how players interact with the game once it’s released.

What's the difference between a regular cyclops and a veteran cyclops? The card did not make it clear.

Whenever Blitz uses the word veteran, it’s for units that have a selection of unit-specific and global upgrades. They will almost always be more powerful than basic units of the same type that don’t have any additional keywords. For example: the Veteran Cyclops features the EMP upgrade and a Global Infantry upgrade.

It would be nice to be able to lock specified units into a group and have them labeled. Like if I manually put two hogs, two marines and a vulture next to each other, highlight them, and lock them into a group. Now, I can cycle through units types as well as groups and quickly dispatch them.

As with all modes, Blitz also features Control Groups. For Windows 10 Blitz uses keyboard control groups (5,6,7,8,9,0) as number keys 1-4 are used to play Blitz cards directly. For Xbox One (or Xbox controller on Windows 10), in Blitz, Control Groups function as standard (Hold Right Trigger and use the Dpad). Once you’ve selected your control group of units, cycle through selected units with the Right Trigger (Gamepad) or Mouse wheel (PC).

Will 21:9 cut off the top and bottom or will it add to the left and right? Essentially, will playing on 21:9 allow me to see more or less than on 16:9?

21:9 delivers a wider field of view allowing a bit more visibility.

Are there any plans to increase Pop. Cap on Xbox One?

Thanks to Beta feedback and performance optimizations we were able to increase the Pop. Cap between the Summer 2016 Beta and the final game’s upcoming release.

Have you considered increasing the score limit? Games felt like they ended too quickly.

Blitz has been designed as an intense and action-oriented experience which allows players to battle and quickly tweak their decks before heading back into the Proving Grounds. In Halo Wars 2, we have consciously designed a number of modes to deliver a variety of experiences – from the arcade action of Strongholds to the territory based Domination to the full test of RTS skill in Deathmatch. We believe this variety gives the player the option to find the experience which speaks to them at any given time.

Will any units from the Blitz Beta be re-balanced for the final game? (i.e. the Locusts)

Absolutely! The large amount of feedback from the community combined with the gameplay data gathered from the Beta really helps us make accurate assessments of balancing issues and causes. We’ve tweaked a range of elements in response to the Beta and have already made a number of balancing iterations.

Speaking of balance changes and general improvements coming out of the Blitz Beta, the team passed along this snapshot of some of the more noteworthy post-Beta adjustments you can expect when the final version of Halo Wars 2 lands:

  •          Reduced the Locust and Bloodfuel Locust DPS, health, and shields
  •          Scarab can now attack units at closer range
  •          Improved the responsiveness of Blitz card hand inputs
  •          Improved game performance
  •          Improved UI responsiveness
  •          Tightened skill matching to improve match quality of multiplayer games
  •          Improved initial loading times
  •          Bug fixes for card hand and units not responding
  •          Improved voice chat functionality on PC
  •          Improved PC performance, hardware detection, and compatibility
  •          Improved multiplayer and network reliability
  •          Lots and lots of additional fixes

Blitz Bonus Packs

By now I’m going to assume you have at least a basic familiarity with Blitz - the all-new card based game mode in Halo Wars 2. (if not, check this out)  We’ve talked quite a bit about the various ways you’ll be able to earn Blitz card packs in Halo Wars 2 such as completing tutorials, finishing daily & weekly challenges, playing the campaign, leveling up and real-world money if that’s your preference. However, there are a few ways to earn up to TEN Blitz card packs before Halo Wars 2 is even released!

  • Blitz Beta – If you participated in the Blitz Beta then you potentially have two card packs waiting for you when the game launches. You’ll earn one pack if you just launched the Beta and another pack if you completed one match.
  • Halo Wars 1 – The team also hooked up Halo Wars 2 Blitz Packs to two existing Halo Wars 1 achievements. You can earn one Blitz pack for completing the “Playin’ the Field” achievement and three packs for the “Adjudicate the Arbiter” achievement.
  • Halo Wars: DE – Get one Blitz Pack for completing the “Playin’ the Field” achievement and three packs for “Adjudicate the Arbiter.”

Speaking of achievements, would you like to see the full Halo Wars 2 achievement list? If so, Grim has you covered! 

Achievamento!

Hey folks! Just stopping in to deliver Grim tidings of good cheer, and the grabbing of Gamerscore. If you’re like me, initiating that perfect point of bleep meeting bloop is one of the more smile-inducing moments offered the Xbox and Windows gaming experience. I personally remember eagerly awaiting the unveiling of a new game’s Achievement list like a kid waiting for Christmas morning – especially if that game was a Halo title. And it’s memories like those that make me all the more excited to help you the same opportunity today, so without further ado, let’s take a look at the Achievement lineup that will help you knock out that initial 1000 Gamerscore in Halo Wars 2! Plus, you can enjoy a few juicy bits of Achievement art, hand selected from the image groves by Halo Wars 2 Arti Director himself, Jeremy Cook.

Wake up – 10 – Campaign Mission Completion

A history of decimation – 10 – Campaign Mission Completion

Dominated – 10 – Campaign Mission Completion

Guerilla tactics – 10 – Campaign Mission Completion

Stirring the pot – 10 – Campaign Mission Completion

All travel is suspended – 10 – Campaign Mission Completion

Behind enemy lines – 10 – Campaign Mission Completion

The setup … – 10 – Campaign Mission Completion

And the knockout punch – 10 –  Campaign Mission Completion

Fifth Floor: Tools, Guns, Super Weapons – 10 – Campaign Mission Completion

Sentinel size matters – 10 – Campaign Mission Completion

Last stop, this town – 10 – Campaign Mission Completion

Learn the ropes – 10 – Complete the Basic standalone tutorial  

Know the ropes – 10 – Complete the Advanced standalone tutorial

Two heads are better than – 10 – Complete a Campaign mission in Co-op

This war is over – 30 – Complete the Campaign

The hard fight – 40 – Complete the Campaign on Heroic

Surviving the long war – 60 – Complete the Campaign on Legendary

Gold rush – 20 – Earn a gold medal on any mission (except Prologue) on any difficulty

Palmer's Pure Gold – 30 – Earn a gold medal on every mission (except Prologue) on any difficulty

Lone Wolf – 40 – Complete any mission (except The Signal) solo on Legendary with all skulls activated

Comrades in Arms – 20 – Earn a gold medal on any mission (except Prologue) in Co-op on Legendary

A little bit extra – 10 – Complete half of the Campaign bonus objectives

A lot extra – 20 – Complete all the Campaign bonus objectives

Alas, poor Yorick! – 10 – Collect a Skull

Morbid curiosities – 20 – Collect half of the Skulls

Collecting a dream – 30 – Collect all the Skulls

The Scrappy Six – 20 – Complete a matchmade multiplayer match as each of the starting 6 leaders

First steps – 10 – Complete a matchmade multiplayer match

Natural intelligence – 10 – Win a Skirmish Match against only AI opponents (1 or more)

Two heads are better than none – 10 – Win a Skirmish Match with a friend against only AI opponents (2 or more)

You've got a case of the Birley – 20 – In a Skirmish Match against Legendary AI, recycle your base in the first 5 minutes and then win

The rank and file – 10 – Recruit or construct 1 of each UNSC unit in Multiplayer or Skirmish (Launch units only)

The tribe – 10 – Recruit or construct 1 of each Banished unit in Multiplayer or Skirmish (Launch units only)

Trash compactor – 20 – Destroy 100 Vehicles with Anti-Vehicle Units (Multiplayer, Skirmish or Blitz)

Flyswatter – 20 – Destroy 100 Air units with Anti-Air Units (Multiplayer, Skirmish or Blitz)

Meat grinder – 20 – Kill 100 Infantry with Anti-Infantry Units (Multiplayer, Skirmish or Blitz)

Spare change – 10 – Spend 5 Leader Points in Multiplayer or Skirmish

Big spender – 30 – Spend 100 Leader Points in Multiplayer or Skirmish

Space healer – 30 – Cast 100 healing Leader Powers (Multiplayer, Skirmish or Blitz)

Overkill – 30 – Destroy 500 units with Leader Powers (Multiplayer, Skirmish or Blitz)

The hand that feeds – 20 – Secret Achievement

Making the most of the day – 10 – Complete 3 Daily Challenges in one day

A strong showing for the week – 10 – Complete a set of 3 Weekly Challenges

Short-term commitment – 20 – Complete at least 1 Daily Challenge each day for a week

Long-term commitment – 30 – Complete at least 1 Weekly Challenge each week for a month

Duellist – 10 – Win your first Blitz match

Ante-up – 10 – Complete the Blitz tutorial

Card shark – 20 – Play 25 matches of Blitz

Full house – 10 – Play Blitz as each of the 6 starting leaders

All or nothing – 10 – Play all of the cards in your deck at least once in a single Blitz match

Stacked the chips – 10 – Gather 150 energy crates over any number of matches

Jackpot – 40 – Play 777 total cards over any number of matches

Firefighter – 10 – Beat wave 10 in Blitz Firefight

It just keeps going – 30 – Beat wave 25 in Blitz Firefight

On fire – 20 – Score 500,000 points in a single Blitz Firefight

Paint it red – 10 – Achieve the highest possible kill-streak in any Blitz mode (Blitz or Firefight)

Wooooo baby, hope you're ready to get your cheevo-hunt on – I know I am. Who knows, maybe we'll end up combining our efforts to earn a few here and there. Good luck!

<3 Grim

Thanks, Grim! Now before we change clips and set our sights on Halo 5, I did want to remind everyone to mark your calendars and plan to join us for Halo Wars 2 Live next Thursday, Feb. 16, at 4PM PST. Tune in to Twitch.tv/Halo or Facebook and join the 343 team as we celebrate Halo Wars 2 with behind the scenes special features, special guests, gameplay, giveaways and more! 

Halo 5 Classic Helmet REQ Pack

Today’s the day many Spartans have been waiting for – at long last nine glorious, classic and iconic helmets are available in Halo 5. The Classic Helmet REQ Pack includes all 9 helmets and can be purchased for 150K RP or for $9.99.

By now you probably know that we’ve tapped some friends in the community to help us build up hype and promote this latest REQ pack. To commemorate today’s release, Riley Hastings (@HastingsEditing) has been working with us behind the scenes to create a sweet hype montage. Check it out!

For the past 9 days, RECEPTOR17 has been lighting up Twitter with a daily barrage of glorious, eye-melting screenshots to help us get the helmet hype cranked up to 11. A huge shout out to him for some truly great screenshots and his help launching the Classic Helmet REQ Pack. You can see his full portfolio a little further below in our Community Spotlight. 

Timmy Time!

The community has been abuzz with whale tales since the Timmy helmet mysteriously began appearing in player inventories last week. Many eager fans have been trying hard to crack the code and solve the mystery of how one receives this cetacean headwear and today we’re happy to reveal the requirements.

The Timmy helmet has been granted to all players who’ve played at least 50 hours of custom games in Halo 5. From now through March 31st, we’ll be running a query on a weekly basis and granting the Timmy helmet to players who have hit the 50 hour mark. Please note that we plan to run this process once a week (and not necessarily a fixed day of the week) so you won’t immediately receive Timmy the instant you reach 50 hours played.

So, buckle in and start playing those custom games! A magical helmet, and a whale of a good time, awaits. 

WARZONE MYTHIC FIREFIGHT WEEKEND

This weekend’s Mythic Firefight playlist will take you and your Fireteam to Temple to battle against the most difficult foes Halo 5 has to offer. You know the drill – round up your fellow Spartans, stock up on REQs and venture forth for glory. 

Warzone Warnings

Recently it has come to our attention that players are working together to manipulate Halo 5’s matchmaking system to get 12 friends into a single Warzone team to wreak havoc on their opponents. In nearly every case, the intent is clearly malicious as these phantom 12-man Fireteams are farming their opponents and generally creating a bad experience for other players.

Please note that attempting to manipulate Halo 5’s matchmaking and bypass party-size restrictions will result in a cool-down ban being applied to your account. The 343 team will be monitoring this situation closely so please play by the rules. 

Arena Update

Online players will notice a few changes afoot in the Arena this week (actually these changes happened before we were able to publish this update, our apologies for catching players off guard!). The Halo 5 sustain team is working on more frequent, regular updates to matchmaking including consolidating some of the existing playlists to help maintain a positive player experience. While it would be great, in theory, to have tons of playlists spanning every possible niche of gameplay, the reality is some playlists just don’t have a consistent enough population to support a good matchmaking experience.

With this in mind, the team is looking closely at usage and will be doing a bit of optimization beginning this week. Triple Team and Shotty Snipers are being removed from matchmaking (for now) in part to make way for a new rotational playlists. We know there are players who enjoy the gameplay these two playlists offer but overall each of these hoppers attracts a tiny fraction of the online population and as a result can’t really sustain a permanent position in matchmaking.

A key focus for the team is developing rotational playlists that can roll into matchmaking on a regular cadence to keep the experience fresh and interesting while also allowing an opportunity to try out new ideas and explore oft-requested additions from the community (*cough* classic throwback *cough*). The first rotational Social playlist to get added is Assault, which hasn’t been featured as a standalone offering in quite some time. While it will essentially mirror the last version of Assault, one key change is upping the player count to 5v5 and of course the maps in the hopper will all reflect the most recent seasonal refresh. 

Going forward the team will be building out a variety of rotational offerings in addition to looking for opportunities to inject fresh content into existing playlists. These decisions will be driven by usage data in addition to fan feedback and generally monitoring what the community is actively building in Forge and playing in custom games. Ultimately, we hope to be able to share a calendar of upcoming rotational events to help the community plan and rally their Fireteams (similar to how Warlords was handled). Speaking of calendar, we can let you know that a special Team Doubles refresh is planned to coincide with Valentine's Day next week. A few 343 squads will be pairing up and rolling through the playlist next Tuesday afternoon and we’d love for you to join us. Stay tuned for more details! 

Halo World Championships 2017

In case you missed it, there were two big items of news this week on the competitive Halo front. First, final details were announced for next weekend’s HaloWC 2017 London Qualifier. The next stop on the HaloWC tour will bring players and fans to the hallowed grounds of The Great Hall in Wembley Stadium. With $25,000 and two invitations to the Halo World Championship Finals on the line, the stakes and competition will be fierce when the action kicks off on Feb. 17. Team and Spectator tickets are on sale now. Stay tuned to Halowaypoint for an event preview blog coming soon!

Second, details for the Halo World Championship 2017 Finals have also been released! This epic showdown is set to take place March 24-26 at the ESL America Campus in Burbank, CA. Tickets went on sale on Feb. 7 and are going fast! We hope you’re able to join us either in person or virtually on our Twitch stream. 

343 Team Spotlight

This week’s spotlight shines bright on the Halowaypoint team and software developer Simon Gordon who has been hard at work bringing the Halo Wars 2 companion experience to life on the web. Be sure to check out yesterday's "Waypoint & Halo App Features" blog for a preview of what's to come!

Hey Simon, welcome to the Team Spotlight! To kick things off, can you tell us a little about yourself? What’s your current role with 343? 

Simon Gordon: I am a software developer on HaloWaypoint.com. My main focus has generally been to work with other internal teams on showing stats and delivering an out-of-game companion experience for the Halo games.

How long have you been with the team? What prompted you to join 343?

SG: I have been on the 343 team for three and a half years. My wife and I moved to Seattle and while I was looking for a job I heard about a job positing at 343 for a web developer. Having just worked on developing a website, I figured it was a natural fit.

What’s your background prior to joining 343?

SG: I earned a Bachler of Science in Computer Science at Washington State University. I had an internship while at college and several years of job experience before applying for the job at 343.

Did you always aspire to do be a software engineer in the gaming industry? If not, how’d you make the jump?

SG: Actually no. My father was a software engineer in the gaming industry and warned me of getting involved with it as it can lead to very long hours. However, when the 343 job came up it was too good to pass up.

What’s a typical day entail for you?

SG: My typical day changes quite a lot depending on the season. Right now, as we are getting close to shipping the Halo Wars 2 features on HaloWaypoint and the Halo App, it involves a lot of writing, debugging and testing code. A lot of that testing means playing the game and making sure the stats show up correctly on HaloWaypoint.

What are some of the biggest challenges associated with being a web and app developer inside a game development studio? 

SG: The majority of the studio’s focus is on the game itself and this can create challenges as we have to prioritize the most compelling features for the web and app while being mindful of available resources and game team dependencies.

For Halo Wars 2 we decided to allow users to create and edit their Blitz decks on the web. However, in doing so we had to ensure that editing your deck on the web would not result in any scenario that would negatively affect the game. Halo Wars 2, just like Halo 5, creates the card images dynamically. They are not simple images as you see on the web. We worked with the development team to figure out how the game dynamically creates these images and then we created a service that mimics that behavior to create each card and then save off an image we can display on web. 

Can you describe the process of how you and your team interact with the game development teams to build complimentary experiences for fans outside of the core game?

SG: During the development of Halo 5 we had a meeting with several people on the game design team and they described their design for the Halo 5 Requisitions System. They suggested that a complimentary experience on the web where one could buy and open REQ Packs as well as view their inventory would be very beneficial for our fans. Our team then got to work building that system.

During the development of Halo Wars 2 we met we several people on the game team to discuss the possibility of getting a deck editor on the web and possibly the Halo app.  After several discussions with everyone involved we decided that a deck editor on the Halo app wasn’t particularly compelling since users will most likely have Halo Wars 2 already installed on the same device they’d use to access the app. Since they could use the game itself to edit their decks, building out this feature in the app didn’t really add to the experience in a meaningful way so we decided to focus on developing a more compelling stats package for the Halo app instead. 

As we were building the complimentary deck editing experience on Waypoint we decided that to fully support the feature, players should be able to create and edit decks on the site in addition to viewing cards, buying card packs and opening packs. We worked with the services team to integrate with their systems for deck editing as well as the game team to fully understand and support their scenarios. I hope all of our fans will really enjoy the work and effort we put in to create the Blitz Deck editing feature on Waypoint for Halo Wars 2.

When it comes to designing features for the web and app, where do you go for inspiration? How does fan feedback come into play?

SG: We try to determine what fans would want to do and what features would be the most helpful to our fans in doing the things they already do or helping them do it in a better way. Our entire team plays our games as well so we also have a sense of what we, as players, would like to get out of a Halo web or app companion experience. We always look at fan feedback to see what features they want on each platform and prioritize accordingly.

How does development for a game website or app differ from the engineering work done on the game itself?

SG: It actually differs quite significantly. The game focuses most prominently on 3D rendering while 2D interactions, such as the main menu, are the exception. Web and app development is mostly 2D and in the rare occasion 3D. This can cause unique challenges when trying to display something that’s in-game on the web and app. 

A good example of this is displaying a player’s Spartan on Halowaypoint. The game team hadn’t planned on us showing the player’s Spartan on the web and with the customization of the Spartan being a big part of Halo games, especially in Halo 5 with the REQ System, we wanted to be able to show the player’s unique Spartan on Halowaypoint. I worked with the lead character artist on figuring out how they made the Spartan models and how the game rendered them. I figured out how to take their process and branch off it to create models that could be rendered on the web and our team figured out how to get them to render on Waypoint to look as close as possible to what they look like in-game.

You’re currently working on building out the Halo Wars 2 experience for fans on Waypoint and the Halo App. Are there any features you’re particularly excited about?

SG: I am excited that we will be able to deliver game history and a PGCR on both Waypoint and the Halo App.  This is a great example of how we can extend and enhance the game.  There are some features coming to PGCR that I am personally really excited for being a competitive RTS player myself.  I hope our fans will love them as much as I do and that they enhance the competitive scene for Halo Wars 2.

Do you have a favorite Halo game and/or mode?

SG: My favorite Halo game is Halo 2 but my favorite game mode has to be Halo: Combat Evolved CTF on Blood Gulch

Fans always ask us how they can get a job in the industry. Any advice for aspiring software engineers? What kind of special training or experience did it take to get where you are today?

SG: I would highly recommend a Computer Science degree from any accredited university for anyone looking to become a software engineer in any field.  If you are looking to become a game developer I would highly recommend making and releasing a mobile game.  The mobile gaming scene is really a microcosm for “triple A” game development and through building and releasing your own mobile game you’ll get to learn about all aspects of developing a game from initial concept to release and even sustaining a released game.

Any final thoughts or parting words for our community?

SG: During my Summers while I was in high school I would lug my 20-inch CRT TV and original Xbox to my neighbor’s house where we would invite over all the kids in the neighborhood to play Halo.  I have played every Halo game and beat all of the numbered Halo games (Halo 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5) on Legendary. 

Thanks Simon! While I personally think you should give Halo: Reach a play-through, it’s easy to see that your longstanding history and passion for Halo has inspired great work expanding the game experiences onto new platforms. I’m looking forward to checking out the new Halo Wars 2 Waypoint and Halo App features first-hand when the game launches next week!

Now to kick it over to Uny for this week’s Community Spotlight and another spectacular Play of the Week!

  This week, the Community Spotlight shines on the two Classic Helmet REQ Pack content creators, Hastings and Receptor 17. Hastings, a Halo montage editor, produced the Classic Helmet REQ Pack Trailer that you watched this morning (and above). Receptor 17 took all of the screenshots that you saw during the nine days leading up to today’s release. Together, these two helped us give these helmets the feature that they deserve. Let’s take one more look at what these creative community members were able to do!

               

You should check out more of their work, because they are both so good at what they do. Following Hastings on Twitter and subscribing to his YouTube channel would allow you to see his montages at the exact moment that they are released. And, of course, following Receptor 17 on Twitter and Xbox Live to see his screenshots is definitely a wise choice as well. Please send them your thanks, because they put a lot of work in this announcement over the past few weeks, and we couldn’t be happier with the results!

Play of the Week

 We know that some marines think that a tank beats everything, but Warhead2220 goes pretty far to prove that Spartans beat tanks… and pretty much everything else.

[tweet]<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Spartan. Beats. Everything.<a href="https://twitter.com/Unyshek">@Unyshek</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/ske7ch">@ske7ch</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/GrimBrotherOne">@GrimBrotherOne</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Greenskull">@Greenskull</a> <a href="https://t.co/4Ny1WeCuIe">pic.twitter.com/4Ny1WeCuIe</a></p>— Warhead2220 (@Warhead2220) <a href="https://twitter.com/Warhead2220/status/826971351852445696">February 2, 2017</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>[/tweet]

Thanks, Uny! And with that our ammo is spent, our targets in ruin and our update is concluded. Thanks for joining us and we hope you enjoy rocking some classic Helmets in Halo 5, plant many bombs in the Assault playlist and prepare your body for next week's Halo Wars 2 Live and early access game launch! 

Before we go, we want to give a special shout-out to our own GrimBrother One who is celebrating a birthday today! 

 

Have a great weekend!
-ske7ch

Related


Cetacean Celebration

Halo Community Update

Cetacean Celebration

By ske7ch -

Join us for a whale of a good time as we recap the Blitz beta, dissect REQ changes coming to Halo 5, look at several upcoming Spartan helmets, hunt for eggs, meet a member of the 343 team and much, much more!

Blitzing the Night Away

Halo Community Update

Blitzing the Night Away

By ske7ch -

Welcome, friends! In this week's update we're talking advanced tips for Halo Wars 2 Blitz, Warzone and new helmets for Halo 5, meeting a 343 team member and a whole lot more.

Wars, Worlds, & Weaponry

Halo Community Update

Wars, Worlds, & Weaponry

By ske7ch -

Welcome one and all to the latest edition of the Halo Community Update! This week we’re celebrating the release of Halo Wars 2 but we’ve also got plenty of Halo 5 goodness to talk about in addition to a new 343 Team Spotlight, Community Spotlight and of course, a sweet new Play of the Week. Let's go!