Outside of the studio, the Pacific Northwest days have begun to get shorter and colder. Within the studio, our days have instead gotten much longer as we push towards the release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, a major website update, the Halo Channel, and more. As each piece of the puzzle comes together, we’re beginning to not only see the light at the end of the tunnel, but also the full picture of Halo experiences that await, including the new Halo Waypoint, which will actually be here quite soon. Let’s get into it.
A New Waypoint
Last week, we announced that a major redesign is on the way for Halo Waypoint, and this week, we have more details. The new site will feature a wide variety of improvements, as well as a brand new look. For additional details, check out last week’s update.
The new freshness will arrive this coming Monday, 10/13, in the evening hours on the west coast. Because this is a massive update, the forums will become read-only for a period of time, as we’re importing all of your posts and private messages to the new site. The forums will become read-only this Saturday at 10AM PDT, and will return to full (and new and improved) functionality in the early morning hours (PDT) next Tuesday. Moving forward, all new (and imported) forum posts and private messages will feature a new simplified format.
We have new customizable user profile pages, a detailed events calendar, new search functionality, revamped forums, a community landing page, new Halo Universe content and more on the way, and we’re excited to roll everything out. We’ll have an overview of the new features on day one so that you can get nice and comfy right away. See you Monday.
The Medal Chest
You may have heard that we’ve teamed up with IGN to deliver Halo: The Master Chief Collection news all month long, and we kicked things off this past Monday with the announcement of Warlock (now called Warlord) as the sixth re-mastered Halo 2 map. Keep an eye on this page for the latest from IGN First.
Just yesterday, it was announced that we added medals to both Halo: CE and Halo 2 for Campaign and multiplayer within Halo: The Master Chief Collection. There are nearly 100 unique medals in both Halo: CE and Halo 2, which will give you more ways to track your progress and style. If you prefer a classic experience, in-game medal display can be turned off for Halo: CE, and Halo 2 Classic will have the option to toggle between classic medals, modern medals, and “off.” Campaign medals will be awarded for enemy and style kills as part of the unified Campaign scoring system, which is a new variation of the systems in Halo 3, ODST, and Reach.
Additionally, The Master Chief Collection includes a career section in the unified UI that allows you to track stats and accomplishments, and the new Medal Chest is one of the career screens that tracks your accomplishments across multiplayer and Campaign. The Medal Chest includes four categories - custom games, Matchmaking, Campaign, and Campaign playlists, across all games within The Master Chief Collection.
In thinking about multiplayer medal design for Halo: The Master Chief Collection, we wanted to be mindful of how players new and old want to track their accomplishments, and this is one of the reasons we allow medal display for Halo: CE and Halo 2 Classic to be toggled on and off in-game. When medal display is toggled off, medals are still tracked for the Post Game Carnage Report and Medal Chest, so you’ll be able to maintain a record of your accomplishments, even if you prefer the classic look when playing multiplayer.
All original medals from Halo 3 and Halo 4 are included, and legendary medals have been added to each. Halo 2: Anniversary multiplayer will also include new medals for game modes such as Race, Infection, Assault, and Ricochet.
Lastly, we’ve heard and understand feedback from some players who believe medals should represent serious accomplishments, and are happy to announce that each game will support legendary medals including Extermination, Perfection, Steaktacular, Killionaire, and Triple Double. In the Medal Chest, these medals will be designated with the “Legendary” banner, which indicates medals that recognize specific, harder-to-earn accomplishments.
Astro A50 Halo Edition
As we announced earlier this year, we’ve partnered with ASTRO Gaming to bring you the coolest headsets and speaker tags that you’ve ever seen, and we just happened to get our hands on one of the first production models for the Halo Edition A50 Wireless Headset.
Keep an eye out for upcoming pre-order info at astrogaming.com.
New York Comic Con
We’re deep in the final stages of Halo: The Master Chief Collection development, but we love New York Comic Con too much not to participate. Our own Frank O’Connor will be there Friday to meet you and provide autographs at the Mega Bloks booth from 4:00pm-5:00pm EDT and Dark Horse booth from 6:00 pm-7:00pm EDT.
Additionally, if you’ll be one of the lucky attendees, you can find all sorts of Halo bounties throughout the con. You can find our various items at our partner booths listed below!
Booth # 2309
Booth # 1628
Booth # 1636
Frank O’Connor Signing – Friday 10/10, 6pm – 7pm EST
Booth # 1869
Selling new Halo Journal signed by Kiki Wolfkill (only 40 available – they’ll go fast!)
Booth # 1654
Booth # 1528
Booth # 1804
Frank O’Connor Signing – Friday 10/10, 4pm – 5pm EST
Booth # 536
Simon & Schuster
Booth # 1828
Booth # 1813
Booth # 636
Last week, we began a new mini-series entitled “Canon Fodder” with one of our newest 343 Industries writers, GrimBrother One. In the coming weeks, he’ll be taking a look at the stories and events contained in Halo: The Master Chief Collection. If you’d like to catch the intro, head over to last week’s Bulletin. This week, we’re kicking things off by looking at events surrounding the discovery of Installation 04. Take it away, Grim.
Last week, we took a look back at the opening days of the Halo Conflict, covering events that take place largely in Halo: Combat Evolved. Today, we catch back up shortly after the Master Chief and Cortana are introduced to one of the most pivotal figures in the franchise, 343 Guilty Spark, monitor of Installation 04.
SEPTEMBER 21, 2552
343 Guilty Spark convinces the Master Chief that in order to stop the Flood, he must activate Halo, an act only accomplished by acquiring the Index from the center of the Library. The Master Chief procures the Index and is transported back to the control room with Guilty Spark. Before he activates the Halo however, Cortana halts the process and divulges the true purpose of the ring: to destroy all sentient life, thereby starving the Flood. After escaping Guilty Spark and destroying critical pulse generators which would hinder the Halo’s activation, the Chief and Cortana head to a lone Covenant battlecruiser to acquire the captain’s neural interface from the parasitic remnants of Keyes’ Flood-infected body in order to detonate the UNSC Pillar of Autumn’s fusion reactors.
SEPTEMBER 22, 2552
After commandeering a Covenant Banshee to return to the Autumn, the Master Chief and Cortana discover that 343 Guilty Spark has followed them there. The monitor freezes the self-destruction sequence, forcing the Spartan to physically crack the engines in order to destabilize the fusion reactor. Once successful, the Chief and Cortana manage to get to a UNSC Longsword fighter and escape the violent destruction of the ring. In the aftermath of the explosion, they scan the debris field and eventually find a small band of UNSC survivors (Sergeant Major Johnson, Lieutenant Elias Haverson, Corporal Locklear, Warrant Officer Sheila Polaski and even the cryotube-encased body of Spartan Linda-058) aboard a Pelican. Through a series of risky maneuvers, the Master Chief manages to get all of the survivors aboard the Longsword and eventually take control of the Covenant carrier Ascendant Justice, using its impressive slipspace capabilities to quickly return to Reach.
If perhaps you’ve only played the games, those last few details might not seem that familiar to you. If you find your curiosity piqued, you should absolutely check out Halo: First Strike, an awesome novel by Eric Nylund that takes place in between the events of Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2. It’s a great place to learn more about what was happening in the universe right after the destruction of Alpha Halo, as well as get the answers to questions that might have come up while playing the games. After all, didn’t everyone want to know how Sargent Major Johnson survived the first game? If you pick up the 2010 re-issue of Halo: First Strike, you’ll also be treated to a few extra bits of very intriguing additions to the fiction at the end of the book. In fact, First Strike’s ancillary additions in particular contains some details that are even more relevant to the current state of the Halo universe, and maybe even certain things to come.
Hope you’ll stick with us as we continue to dive deeper into the countless stories scattered across the galaxy. Until next time…
Screenshot Spotlight: Abandon
Last week, we turned the spotlight on autumn colors. Take a gander at the following Abandon screenshots, and maybe even find inspiration to make your own.
For your chance at being in the next spotlight, take a screenshot featuring Recon armor and tag it with “Recon” and “Halo Waypoint,” and maybe, just maybe, yours will be featured in the next Halo Bulletin!
And with that, this week's Bulletin comes to a close.
Be prepared for a change of scenery on Monday. We’ll see you then.