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Community Update

Among Flood

Photo of Alex
  -  a month ago

Welcome back to another Halo Community Update!

For those of you who may just be joining us, this is our monthly round-up of all the latest information, events, previews, and releases for Halo. Game updates, upcoming seasonal content, the television series on Paramount+, partnerships, employee spotlights, esports, and much more—it all finds its home here.

Prepare to be Flooded with information..


UPDATE ON HALO: MCC

Key art image of MCC Flood Firefight

Once upon a time, there was an ancient fleet of automated starships containing a mysterious powder. As humans are wont to do, they experimented with it on their domestic animals. This made a lot of people very angry and has widely been regarded by the civilizations of the galaxy as a ‘bad move.’ 

That powder was, in fact, a survival strategy for the godlike Precursors who had seeded galaxies with life, and the passage of ten million years corrupted this method of regeneration into a hideous parasite hellbent on delivering misery and pain unto their creations. 

Thus, the Flood was born, and you can now take the fight to them with your ODST squad in Halo 3: ODST’s Firefight mode! 

'FloodFight’ not only added these new enemies, but also brought a host of improvements to the mode as well: 

  • Enemies visible on VISR map 
  • Sentinel enemies added 
  • Friendly Elites added on maps with allies 
  • Players can now use the Sentinel Beam and Energy Sword 
  • Spooky ambient fog added during Flood waves 
  • Flood can drive vehicles 
  • Three new Flood enemy types added 
  • Networking improvements for Firefight in Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach 

The update also delivered a vast suite of improvements across the board to the MCC experience. UI adjustments have been made; Forge and modding tools have been enhanced; campaign crossplay has been added to Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST; more skulls (including the boots-off-the-ground Acrophobia skull) have been added to other campaigns, and more!

You can read more about the full list of additions to the MCC (and our plans for the rest of 2022) in this blog: AN UPDATE ON HALO: MCC

Oh, and those ‘Flood factoids’ we’ve been putting out there on our social channels to inform folks about this update? Apparently you’re quite keen on that... Maybe we should do that sort of thing again?


HALO INFINITE

Key art image for Fracture: Tenrai

Fracture: Tenrai returns to Halo Infinite for its sixth and final week!

Jump into the Fiesta event playlist from April 19 to April 26 and complete event-specific challenges to unlock exclusive cosmetic rewards to outfit your Samurai-themed YOROI armor core. Whether you're returning once more or just joining us, the time has come to finish this fight!

On the subject of Tenrai, take a look further down at our Halo Gear section to see a truly awesome collection available on the Halo Gear Store...

Complete all of your challenges this week and you’ll be awarded the Foxwood Seal coating for your Mark VII armor, with the capstone challenge being to kill 50 enemy Spartans in Fiesta PVP. Go forth and carry your team to victory!

In the shop this week, you’ll find the Crimson Serpent weapon coating pack.

We’re all counting down the days until “Lone Wolves”—Season 2 of Halo Infinite—releases on May 3 (that’s just twelve days from today!), and we’ve already shown off a few things that you can look forward to.

Let’s start with the Lone Wolves announcement teaser, which shows a damaged Phantom dropship arriving at the Avery J. Johnson Academy of Military Science and dropping off two new characters who you’ll start getting to know soon enough. New story elements, maps, modes, and cosmetics—you'll be getting hands-on with it in less than two weeks.

But before you do, we’ve got a few extra previews of our own to show you.

The two maps coming with Season 2 are Catalyst and Breaker. The former is a symmetrical arena map set in an overgrown Forerunner structure that evokes the likes of Epitaph, Haven, and Guardian; the latter is a quasi-symmetrical BTB map set in a Banished ship breaking yard with a dynamic and dangerous laser cutting across the middle.

Joined by Tyler Ensrude (he/him), Multiplayer Level Designer, we talked about the process of creating maps for Halo and some of the great experiences that players can look forward to having in Season 2. Find the full discussion here: Season 2 Map Previews: Catalyst & Breaker.

Plus, you can also get a closer look at these stunning spaces in the map preview video dropped alongside the blog!

Of course, it’s not just about the maps, but the modes you’ll be playing on them too…

King of the Hill, Land Grab, and Last Spartan Standing are the trio of modes coming in Season 2, along with several new Slayer variants.

We got to sit down with Zach Boyce (he/him), Multiplayer Modes & Systems Designer, to talk about these new modes and get some insight into how and why some of them have changed, and what new experiences players can look forward to in Season 2, “Lone Wolves.”

Read the full details about these modes here: Season 2: Modes Preview

Lastly, we’ve received a lot of valuable feedback from the community about Season 1 of Halo Infinite, which will enable us to continue to improve the game experience as we move forward.

To that end, we’ve got two recent Outcomes Report blogs for you to feast your eyes on about all the lessons learned and changes coming in the future! We want to be transparent about the feedback we’ve received thus far, and you can read the team’s responses to emerging themes in the community.

This Outcomes Report dives into the team’s responses to feedback around Multiplayer, Sandbox, Audio, PC, Academy, and Accessibility.

This Outcomes Report details the changes coming to Customization, the Store, Battle Pass, Progression, Challenges, Ultimate Rewards, Events, Theater, Observer Mode, and more.


HALO TV SERIES

Photo of Master Chief hologram

The Halo television series continues! The fifth episode released today on Paramount+, so be sure to hop on over to give it a watch!

While we’ve passed the halfway point for the first season, the story of the Halo TV series will continue in Season 2.

Every Monday, we’ve been releasing Silver Debriefs—a blog series dedicated to the show itself where you can catch up on the latest happenings in the show with our summaries, alongside other features like Declassified (the official aftershow hosted by Sydnee Goodman), Dr. Halsey’s Personal Computer (which contains a trove of Silver Timeline background fiction details), and more.

You can check out our Silver Debriefs for each episode thus far below:

Earlier this month, our own Kiki Wolfkill did a live AMA on Reddit, answering questions about all things related to the Halo TV series. In case you missed it, you can watch the recording here!

They say that Spartans are larger-than-life heroes, and if you happen to be based around Sao Paulo, Toronto, Mexico City, or the Sydney Harbor, then you might’ve understood that literally on April 17 as sixty-foot-tall holograms of the Master Chief materialized across the world.

In partnership with Minute Media, Wavemaker, and Kaleida, Paramount+ paid tribute to humanity’s greatest hero in what has been dubbed ‘The HALOgram.’ Here’s a look at the display at Sydney Harbor...

And finally, folks have been asking about whether there will be any tie-in content coming to Halo Infinite. While it was indeed stated that this will be happening further down the road, we’re able today to let you all know that “Lone Wolves” will feature a series of show related cosmetic items for players to acquire.

We’ll have more to share on that soon!


AMONG US/HALO

Key image for Halo Infinite x Among Us partnership

We worked with the amazing team over at Innersloth to bring official Halo cosmetics to the much beloved Among Us. As a free exclusive to all Xbox players, jump into the game and you’ll automatically get:

  • Spartan Helmet
  • Spartan Armor
  • Guilty Spark Pet

Check out the official Innersloth blog here! Now, go forth, Crewmates, and--

//EMERGENCY MEETING//

mastur-cheeks-117: “Spartan-117 reporting in. While seeing to a wildcat destabilization of the ship’s fusion core in engineering, single hostile was briefly spotted entering a vent. (Also, who changed my username?)”

FredTheSled: “Who was it, Chief??”

Blue_Rabbit_087: “bit quick to respond there fred, pretty sus”

FredTheSled: “Oh yeah? We vented James-005 last time and it wasn’t him, meanwhile Linda’s just sitting there. Menacingly!”

Lonewolf-058: “...”

FredTheSled was ejected.

FredTheSled was not the Impostor.

Blue_Rabbit_087: “how does she do this every time?”

Lonewolf-058: “PEACE WAS NEVER AN OPTION.”


HALO ESPORTS

Header images for HCS Major Kansas City

HCS Major Kansas City

From April 29 to May 1, the top teams from around the world will be descending upon Kansas City, MO to compete for their share of the starting 4v4 prize pool of $250K.

The first major of ‘22 will feature Open and Championship bracket play along with an FFA Tournament. Will Cloud9 continue their dominance? Will OpTic, FaZe, and others finally take down the reigning champs or will rising stars from the Open bracket challenge for the throne?

Catch all the action across four streams including official broadcast channels on Twitch and YouTube. This event is already shaping up to be even bigger than Raleigh with a larger spectator audience, more partnered team booths, new merch drops, and more! Read more here: On-Site Experience

If you’re interested in attending as a spectator or competing, visit the links below:

HCS Exclusive Twitch Drops

Your chance to earn new exclusive Twitch Drops is just around the corner with opportunities to be awarded in-game items on all official Twitch broadcast channels, co-streamers, and HCS Grassroots members all weekend long during the HCS Major Kansas City. Stay connected with @HCS to learn more.

In the meantime, be prepared and connect your Waypoint account with your Twitch account. Learn more here!

Image for introducing the Groups of HCS Major Kansas City
Image for introducing the Teams of HCS Major Kansas City

Recap: FaZe Clan Halo Invitational presented by Nissan

Congratulations to OpTic Gaming for winning the $75K invitational that hosted by FaZe Clan!

This star-studded four-day event featured the top 12 teams competing in group play with four teams that qualified earlier in the week.

This was noteworthy not only for OpTic putting a pause on Cloud9’s win streak, but also the $25K provided by HCS via community supported in-game crowd funding efforts!


HALO GEAR

Halo Infinite Emblems Gear

Image of Halo Infinite emblems gear

New in the Halo Gear Shop, some of our favorite emblems are now available on a range of products from apparel to accessories.

Halo Infinite Fracture: Tenrai Gear

Image of Halo Infinite Fracture: Tenrai gear

To celebrate the final edition of Fracture: Tenrai the Halo Gear Shop team dropped a new collection.

Check out the Halo Infinite Fracture: Tenrai collection and pick up some brand-new gear from the Halo Gear Shop to commemorate the occasion!

Halo Encyclopedia

Image of the Halo Encyclopedia cover

The Halo Encyclopedia is available now in Standard and Deluxe Editions!

Thanks to the amazing work of the teams at 343 Industries and Dark Horse, we pulled together the definitive guide to the Halo universe. And because of all of you, the Halo Encyclopedia is an Amazon Best Seller across multiple categories!

Pick up your own copy of the Halo Encyclopedia here or secure the impressive Deluxe Edition here, elegantly enshrined in a mysterious Forerunner cylix slipcase.

You can also find the official Glossary page on Halo Waypoint, a helpful guide to understanding Halo nouns (and we do have the best nouns).

Additionally, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sit down with the authors on our amazing Franchise team to discuss all things Halo lore around the Halo Encyclopedia—you can watch that in the video below.

Halo Cookbook

Front cover of the Halo Cookbook

We recently announced the official Halo Cookbook, published by Insight Editions and recipes by video game cookbook author Victoria Rosenthal. Soon you can begin your great culinary journey through the expansive Halo universe!

For now, we’d like to share a first look at the recipe for a tasty treat you might have noticed on the cover, and also in the second episode of the Halo TV series, Full Moon Churros.

Stay tuned to @HaloGear for more sneak peeks and food fun in the near future!

A variety of food images from the Halo Cookbook
Recipe for the Full Moon Churros

Halo Gear on Instagram

@HaloGear is now on Instagram! Follow us for the latest on all things Halo Gear.


RADAR BLIPS

  • EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT: What do 3D printing, competitive weightlifting, and track racing have in common? They’re all hobbies of RJ Ranola, Senior Environment Artist, who tells us all about his journey, from graphic design to animation and storyboarding, to eventually arriving at the shores of 343 Industries where he works to immerse players into the spectacular worlds of the Halo universe.
  • WE'RE HIRING: Come join us on this great journey to build the future of the Halo franchise—check out our available roles and apply!
  • CANON FODDER: Our latest issue dives into the opening scene of Halo Infinite’s campaign, provides a round-up of information for the Halo Encyclopedia, details some lore for the Shields of Requiem, and answers another round of community questions!

THE ARTIST’S CORNER

This month, we’re highlighting this piece from Halo Mythos from Leonid Kozienko, depicting the way the world ends—not with a bang (from a thunderous volley of in-atmosphere MAC strikes), but with a whimper (as the Anodyne Spirit opens a portal to the Ark where the Prophet of Truth intends to fire the Halo Array).

Folks will undoubtedly know this scene in its various forms, from the E3 2006 reveal teaser for Halo 3 to the end of The Storm in the game proper.

What you might not know is that the portal at Voi—"the Excession," as it came to be known—is a mystery that ONI continued to study after the end of the Covenant war.

After the Forerunner known as the Librarian stranded herself on Earth, her Gargantua-class transport was deconstructed by its complement of sentinels over the course of many years—even after the Halo Array was fired by the IsoDidact to defeat the Flood—where generations of human descendants would witness the construction of this great machine that would one day ferry them to the place where the Librarian hoped they would learn of the Mantle of Responsibility they had inherited.

Some stories that folks can seek out to learn more about this mysterious artifact are Halo: Silentium by Greg Bear, Halo: Hunters in the Dark by Peter David, and Halo: Renegades by Kelly Gay.

The fine folks over at Halopedia have also done a great job of archiving the Halo 3: The Cradle of Life website from 2007, a web comic that was part of the Iris ARG depicting a tribesman known as N’chala who witnesses the Excession’s construction.

'Siege of Voi' art piece by Leonid Kozienko

Thank you for joining us for another Community Update! As we speak, the gears are spinning into motion for Season 2, which will be here before you know it!

We’ll see you on the other side...