Update on Halo: MCC
We’ve got some unfinished business...
Last year, we announced that Halo: The Master Chief Collection would move away from seasonal updates following the release of Season 8: Mythic—but by no means were we done with this legacy project.
The Publishing Team at 343 Industries is dedicated to helping build and maintain the MCC, and over the last few years they have worked tirelessly to help fix pesky bugs, release new legacy-focused updates, bring the collection to PC, and deliver all-new content alongside fan-requested features.
With many of those goals accomplished, we have set to work on maintaining and wrapping up some of the plans we didn’t quite finish last year.
So, let’s dive right into the future of the MCC in 2022!
ODST Firefight – ‘FloodFight’
In Halo 3: ODST, we’ve done more than just add the Flood to Firefight!
To support this fan-favorite mode, we’ve made numerous networking improvements which benefit Firefight across the board. We’ve also fixed several issues with enemies getting stuck or not seeking out the player properly.
Players can now use the VISR map to see enemy locations, even while waiting to respawn, in Firefight matchmaking. Players can now use the Energy Sword and Sentinel Beam in ODST for the first time ever, and can even spawn with these weapons in Fiesta Fight. We’ve also mixed new enemies (such as Elites and Flood) into the wave lineup for various Arcade variants in Firefight matchmaking.
A handful of these fixes and improvements have been imported back to Halo: Reach as well. For example, players can now trade weapons with allies (Covenant units in Firefight Versus, and the friendly Marines on the Installation 04 map) and evict them from vehicles to take over their seats in Firefight matchmaking.
The Flood in Halo 3: ODST have also received numerous upgrades over their counterparts in Halo 3.
First, players will notice that Flood are accompanied by dense fog which gives each Firefight mission a new and spooky ambiance. Players will see this fog dynamically fade in when a Flood wave spawns and fade back out when a regular Covenant wave spawns (in variants which mix Flood and Covenant enemies).
Flood can now occupy vehicles for the first time since Halo 2 and players will encounter (and potentially commandeer) these across multiple Firefight missions. Flood enemies now have a few new animations which allow them to pilot these vehicles, traverse the environment more effectively, and even wield support weapons like turrets.
In ODST, there are also three new types of Flood Combat Forms—the infected civilian, the infected ODST, and the infected Elite Major which sports red armor and energy shields.
The Flood can employ all their familiar strategies as well. Stalker Forms can climb on walls and deploy as Ranged Forms in unexpected locations, totally changing the way the classic Firefight missions play. Flood can also drop onto the map via dispersal pods.
Lastly, unlike the Master Chief, ODSTs can be infected and resurrected by the Flood. Beware, as you may have to fight your own resurrected allies—or even yourself!
The Flood may be more ferocious than ever, but thankfully you have a few new options to combat them as well. New “boons” are available across the Firefight missions to aid you against the undead onslaught. These boons include things like weapon racks containing assault rifles and battle rifles (neither of which were available in Firefight in the original Halo 3: ODST release).
On some maps, players will find Flamethrowers to fend off the Flood. On others, players will be assisted by allies. Marines and NMPD officers will help combat the Flood and can help you by manning vehicles and turrets. On night missions, allied Elites are delivered via insertion pods to aid you. If matchmaking isn’t your thing, these allies can help even the odds in solo Firefight and they can be enabled in any Firefight game variant, not only in Floodfight. Lastly, some Flood enemies will be generous enough to drop any grenades they may be carrying which you can then use to restock your inventory.
We can’t wait for everybody to jump into this expansive new addition to the legacy Firefight experience!
We’ve made a number of UI presentation adjustments across MCC’s front end. In the customization menus, we’ve improved the presentation of the Firefight voice preview behavior for Halo: Reach and how items are previewed.
We’ve updated and redesigned numerous icons used throughout the menus, as well as fixed some performance issues which could occur in the main menu and the pause menu after returning from gameplay.
CGB Full Title Support and Quickmatch Flow
For the Custom Game Browser, we’ve added support for “Automatic” team changing which allows game hosts to avoid manual team changes in favor of automatically evening teams out when a new match begins.
This is available across all games, including Halo 2, Halo 2: Anniversary, and Halo 4, which are new to the Custom Game Browser with this update.
Forge and Mod Tools
We’ve made several changes to empower Forgers and modders as well!
In Halo: Reach, Halo 4, and Halo 2: Anniversary, we’ve added support for team-based kill volumes. Forgers can now set a kill or safe volume to a given team and the boundary will only affect players on that team. For example, you can now enclose an Invasion spawn location in a soft kill volume that makes it inaccessible to the opposing team. We’ve also fixed several legacy bugs across these three games which caused object colors to be lost on subsequent rounds or otherwise conflict with the object’s team.
In Reach, we’ve also added proper support for the Target Locator to reset on new rounds in multiplayer and to be synchronized properly across devices.
Modders may also notice that weather now synchronizes properly across devices in Reach as well.
Campaign Crossplay for Halo 3 and ODST
Players on PCs and Xbox consoles can now play these campaigns cooperatively online.
Note that while this feature has been tested internally, the team requires additional insight from real players with different networking setups. Please submit Bug Report tickets if you encounter any issues in-game and share your feedback on this feature in the Halo Waypoint forums.
Campaign Customization for Halo 4
Weapon customizations allows for players to use their skins when starting levels and when picking up weapons.
In Halo 4, campaign customization will work similarly to how it already works in Halo: CE and Halo 3. Whenever a player picks up a weapon, their selected skin will be applied to it. This skin will persist until the weapon is picked up by another player (at which point their skin will apply instead). This means that you can trade weapons with allied Marines and see them using your skins.
This contrasts with Halo 4 multiplayer and Spartan Ops where a weapon’s skin is immutable, allowing players to scavenge weapons from defeated opponents and use the weapon with the opponent’s skin (just like in the original version of Halo 4). In campaign, players will still play as Master Chief and will not see their custom armor, visor, or armor effects.
Speaking of Halo 4 multiplayer, we’ve made a few improvements to how weapon skins work there as well. Previously, skins were only available in game variants with loadouts enabled (though we made the upgrade in 2020 to allow skins to be applied to Map and Game loadouts, whereas they were only available for Custom loadouts in the original Halo 4 release). Now, skins are applied in all game variants. For example, spawning with a random weapon in Fiesta or acquiring a weapon in Escalation Slayer will now use your selected skin.
Halo 3 Medal Update
We’ve added support for 51 new multiplayer medals (full list in patch notes), as well as fixed issues with the existing Steaktacular and Triple Double medals. These medals are always tracked, but players have control over if and how they are displayed.
These additions range from kill medals, to style medals, to gametype-specific objective medals, and have allowed us to normalize medal XP across games and better support medal-based Challenges. Players can now enable the full Unified Medal Display setting to see all of these medals in the MCC HUD overlay in Halo 3.
For players who prefer the legacy medal style but want a bit more feedback in the killfeed, the “Original+” medal display setting can be enabled. This setting displays all legacy medals, plus three of the more common new ones (Headshot, Assist, and Supercombine), in Halo 3’s HUD. Purists can simply enable the “Original” medal display setting for the legacy experience.
Lastly, if the only reward you seek is the kill itself, players can now set the medal display setting to “Off” to see no medals whatsoever.
Adjustments to Monthly Challenges and Exchange Rotations
Monthly Challenges, now Tactical Exercises, will grant points which you can spend in the Exchange to unlock new armor and customization items.
The current seasonal challenges will shift to a 28-day cadence and award XP and/or points that you can spend in existing tiers for previous Seasons or The Exchange to unlock new armor or customization items.
We will be adding many of the skulls that were previously exclusive to Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary and Halo 2 Anniversary to some of the other games as well.
Note that some of these will be marked as ‘use at your own risk’ skulls with a red warning icon, the warning message will read: "You have turned on an experimental skull which may produce unexpected scenarios or hinder your ability to complete this mission. Experimental skulls may be disabled to return the game to a normal state."
- Acrophobia – The Corps: Now issuing rifles AND wings...
- Anger – Enemies fire their weapons faster and more frequently.
- Bandanna – Infinite ammo.
- Bonded Pair – Co-op skull: When one player dies, the other player gets a large damage boost that lasts a while.
- Boom – Increase explosion radius x2.
- Eye Patch – Auto aim features disabled for all weapons.
- Foreign – Players cannot pick up or use opposing factions’ weapons.
- Ghost – AI no longer flinch from attacks.
- Jacked – Players can only enter ground vehicles by boarding.
- Malfunction – Every time you respawn, a random element of your HUD is disabled.
- Master Blaster – Co-op skull: One player’s shields recharge to overshield level and can only melee while the second player has no shields and infinite ammo. Roles switch after a number of enemy kills.
- Pinata – Punching enemies makes them drop grenades.
- Recession – Every shot is worth twice the ammo.
- So... Angry... - Enraged Brutes explode like frag grenades if not dispatched within seconds. Base Brute score values are increased.
- Swarm – Hunters are much stronger. Base Hunter score values are increased.
- That’s Just... Wrong – Increase enemy awareness of player.
- They Come Back – Flood Combat Forms spawned by Infection Forms reanimating a corpse are much more dangerous.
Halo 3: ODST
- Same list as above, minus the They Come Back skull.
Last year, we set out to do a lot of things and completed the majority of them. As we went into the holidays and the beginning of this year, the team has worked on bug fixes for these new features and has been developing the remainder of what we've got slated for release.
Below is a list of key features and content the team has up its sleeve to release over the course of this year.
Mod Support – Remaining games
Our goal is to support modding and Steam Workshop for every game in the MCC.
In CU58, we are adding support for Halo 3: ODST. During this year, our goal is to also add support for Halo: Reach, Halo 2: Anniversary MP, and Halo 4.
Remaining Customization Content
We still have some leftover armor and customization content that wasn’t in our previous seasonal releases, we will be endeavoring to bring these items to the MCC.
Campaign Collectibles – Remaining games
The code and content to support these “shootable” Moa collectibles in all remaining games (Halo: CE, Halo 2, Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach, and Halo 4) is complete.
The collectibles themselves have not been placed or configured for any of the games aside from Halo 3 yet, however. In Halo: CE and Halo 2, these will only appear in classic visuals. In ODST, these will receive the yellow outline when using VISR mode like the existing audio log collectibles.
Post-match customization screen – Remaining games
This is a new category of post-match customization for multiplayer which allows players to set a pose for the post-game carnage report. This feature will support poses for both Spartans and Elites.
In the future, we are looking to include improved mission subtitle support across all games, controller remapping, and we are exploring additional campaign accessibility options.
For this year as well, with our move away from MCC’s seasonal releases, we will be making some UI adjustments and changes to how things from the seasonal model appear in the game.
Along with these updates, we are working on a variety of customization improvements to simplify the UI as well as make a clear distinction between legacy and new content that are available to players in the game.
There will undoubtedly be some shifts to these plans over the course of the year as things change, but we will be sure to keep everyone apprised of the key bits and pieces that we are working on.
Once we have wrapped up the updates throughout this year, the team will continue to engage with the community and find areas of opportunity to adjust as needed for MCC.
We have had an amazing journey updating these games and bringing them to PC, and so we greatly look forward to continuing to hold up our end of the bargain and delivering high-quality features to MCC through the rest of this year.
As seasonal content updates are no longer the update model for the MCC, we are aiming to deliver multiple updates sprinkled throughout 2022. These are focused on delivering key features, quality-of-life updates, and bug fixes alongside the unreleased content from last year. Our aim is to balance our release windows at times where these do not conflict with ongoing updates to Halo Infinite.
As we move forward through the year, we will make sure we keep the community in the loop as we get closer to final timings on future updates and any potential realignment or content changes that are planned.
As always, thank you so much for stopping by! We will see you in the near future with our next major MCC update.