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Spectral Jester

Halo Reach TU Date Confirmed

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Halo: Anniversary, which is coming bundled with Breakneck and six additional Multiplayer playspaces, will be on a store shelf near you November 15th. According to my extremely precise and detailed calculations, that’s in roughly two months. Before that, though, on September 21st, you’ll be prompted to download a Title Update for Halo: Reach. It’s important to note that you won’t see any perceptible changes in Halo: Reach Matchmaking immediately after the download. In an effort to provide some much needed clarification, here’s a brief timeline of what you can expect in regard to the upcoming Title Update and beta matchmaking playlist:

 

September 20th

On this day, you will play Halo: Reach. You will lose a few games, primarily because of the jerkface that took the sniper and sent the bullets whizzing by the heads of your enemies, instead of directly through them.

 

September 21st

On this day, when logging into Halo: Reach, you will be prompted to download the Title Update. You’ll start playing, notice nothing seems different, and then recall that I said, in this here Bulletin as a matter of fact, “You won’t see any perceptible changes in Halo: Reach Matchmaking immediately after the download.” The majority of players will only complete the first two steps, though. Curses.

 

October 3rd

‘Twas the night before the Beta Hopper, when all through the game, not a creature was stirring, even the Gúta were tame. The AAs were hung on the selection screen with care, in hopes that the hopper soon would be there. The Spartans were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of zero bloom danced in their heads…

 

October 4th

On this day, you will log into Halo: Reach and immediately notice—assuming you’re the observant type—a brand spankin’ new playlist. Changes will be isolated to that one particular area, so should you want some Vanilla Reach, you will simply access your regularly frequented playlists. Should you want a new flavor, though, I recommend diving directly into the beta matchmaking hopper. This 4v4 playlist will feature both Slayer and Objective gametypes, with DLC maps being optional. In an effort to provide an environment conducive to soliciting Title Update-specific feedback, all Objective gametypes will have DMR starts. Throughout the time this playlist is active, we’ll be watching not only the decisions you make in Matchmaking, but also the thoughts and opinions you leave in our forum. And it’s with that data that we’ll continue crafting the best possible playing experience for you and your Halo-loving buddies.

 

Here are the specifics of the beta matchmaking playlist, if you’d like to drill further down. Please note all gametypes utilize 85% bloom (unless otherwise noted) with all the Title Update changes implemented—minus the addition of the Combat Evolved Magnum. It’s also worth noting this hopper is not intended to represent the makeup and content of the non-beta hoppers, and that all things are as ever, subject to change based on test data and numerous other super-secret and highly scientific factors—a few such things being whether or not the sun is shining and if Frankie has facial hair that day. (Just kidding, by the way. Well, for the former at least.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beta Matchmaking Playlist Specifics

 

Team Slayer (AR Start)

• Condemned

• Tempest

• Unanchored

• Asylum

• Uncaged

• Reflection

• Countdown

• Boardwalk

• Powerhouse

• Zealot

 

Team Slayer DMRs

• Condemned

• Tempest

• Unanchored

• Highlands

• Asylum

• Uncaged

• Reflection

• Countdown

• Boardwalk

• Powerhouse

• Zealot

 

2 Flag Slayer

• Condemned

• Zealot

 

Multi Flag

• Tempest

• Unanchored

• Highlands

 

Neutral Flag

• Asylum

 

1 Flag

• Reflection

• Boardwalk

• Powerhouse

 

Speed Flag

• Zealot

 

3 Flag

• Unanchored

• Asylum

• Zealot

 

3 Plots

• Tempest

• Countdown

• Boardwalk

 

Neutral Bomb

• Tempest

• Asylum

 

Team Oddball

• Asylum

• Reflection

• Countdown

 

Team Hot Potato

• Unanchored

• Asylum

• Countdown

 

Team Crazy King

• Condemned

• Reflection

• Countdown

 

Zero Bloom Team Slayer DMRs

• Condemned

• Tempest

• Unanchored

• Highlands

• Asylum

• Uncaged

• Reflection

• Countdown

• Boardwalk

• Powerhouse

• Zealot

 

We still have some tuning and testing to do before the beta hopper is rolled out, but in the interim, our not-yet-uploaded custom game file should give you a hint of how some of those beta features will feel. Shortly after the Title Update releases on September 21st, you will be able to download, share and play this gametype in custom games, taking advantage of the variety of options offered in the Title Update.

 

Oh, and if you were looking for your favorite three-shot weapon, the official Anniversary playlists, along with the classic Magnum from Halo: Combat Evolved, will be released alongside Halo: Anniversary on November 15th

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Title Update Changes:

 

Make damage bleed to health through shields possible.

 

In regard to non-ordnance weapon damage in Vanilla Reach (i.e. not the Rocket Launcher, Grenade Launcher, grenades, etc), the damage system is divided into shields and health. If you have 10 points of shield left, and take 25 points of damage, your shields are eliminated, but the remaining 15 points of damage are not inflicted upon the character. With this change, however, said 15 points transfer into health. This is consistent with the behavior of previous Halo games.

 

Example: Say the player has 5 health points and 10 shields points. If you hit him with 25 points of damage, he dies.

 

 

Make reticle bloom configurable.

 

Reticle “bloom” is more than just the way the reticle expands when the player shoots. What we actually have done is take control over the maximum radius of the cone of error that expands as the player fires. The actual UI “bloom” is just a representation of a feature that has been in Halo since the beginning. The colloquial “BR Spread” from Halo 3 was this same set of variables, just implemented differently. The same goes for the Halo CE magnum, where holding the trigger down resulted in less accuracy than pulling the trigger rapidly.

 

What makes Reach’s implementation different from previous games is that it was applied to medium range headshot weapons with the goal of enforcing a “cadence.” Cadence here refers to the pacing and pattern in which the player is expected to fire the weapon to maintain accuracy. For the Needle Rifle, for example, the optimal cadence is to hold down the trigger for three shots, then let go and hold it again for three more shots, then deliver the seventh shot to the head.

 

Ultimately, bloom and cadence (among other features) were specifically designed to give Reach a slower pace than previous titles. However, a couple of notable features have arisen from this decision: for starters, cadence is easily interrupted in Reach. In fact, many of the Armor Abilities are almost explicitly designed to do that and waiting for that fifth DMR shot to be ready can be really frustrating when you lose the race against your opponent’s Armor Lock energy recovery. Second, shooting to cadence is really only a valid tactic at range; the closer you get to your opponent, the less cadence applies, and players both casual and competitive can attest to how spamming the trigger actually becomes the more reliable option here. So, ultimately while the goal was to make the weapons feel more sophisticated and add a layer of skill required to use them, the net result has been that medium range weapons such as the DMR feel unreliable at their intended range, and trigger spam has not been discouraged.

 

What we can do is adjust the maximum cone of error on all headshot weapons (except sniper rifles) for any gametype based on a percentage of its default value. The obvious example that we used at Halo Fest is 0% bloom, which guarantees that the DMR, Needle Rifle, and Magnum are going to shoot exactly where you point them, every time. We could, if we wanted to, raise the bloom to 300%, making it so that said weapons become even less accurate over sustained fire, and take longer to recover their accuracy. Not that we’d do that. Especially not to the MLG playlist on April Fool’s. Why are you looking at me that way?

 

Anyway, this is a powerful tool that we plan to use in very controlled instances. Our primary goal is not to simply strip away bloom from all gametypes. What we’ve found is keeping some bloom actually allows the headshot weapons to feel more rewarding and reliable without overpowering them. In fact, the number we’re currently sweet on is 85%. At a 15% reduction, the DMR feels a lot better, without the Needle Rifle becoming Dolphin Gun, Destroyer of Worlds. In that way, we may find ourselves with a happy medium. That’s not to say that “Zero Bloom” doesn’t have its place in this new world order. It certainly does, but trust us: with zero bloom in place, the Needle Rifle becomes (and should be treated like) a power weapon. As such any implementation of zero bloom will be in a place where we don’t likely expect players to necessarily want to pick up anything other than what they start with. Unfortunately, we can’t make this user-facing, so players will not be able to experiment with bloom themselves, but we plan to release multiple gametypes with varying bloom settings

 

 

Modify Armor Lock.

• Sticky grenade will not be nullified if you use Armor Lock after being stuck.

• Damage received while in Armor Lock is transferred to remaining Armor Ability energy.

• How much the damage depletes your Armor Lock energy is configurable.

 

In Vanilla Reach, an armor locked player is completely invincible. Further, they can even cancel a death they were about to experience if they were stuck, simply by locking. To address this, we’ve made a few changes. First and most notably, damage taken by an armor locked player is fed to their ability energy. What this means is that you can cause a player who is armor locked to run out of energy faster by attacking them. We are also able to cap the amount of damage transferred to ability energy based on the percentage of their total energy. For example, we can make it so a player can “damage” 75% of a player’s energy. If a player locks with full energy, and someone hits them hard enough, a 75% cap would leave them with 25% energy that would drain over time, like ability energy normally does. If that player only has 50% energy left in that same situation, however, the damage will knock them out of Armor Lock and expose them to take normal shield/health damage. 50% here is only an example and is something we can fine tune.

 

Also worth mentioning is that if a player is stuck and then armor locks, rather than shedding the grenade and surviving unhurt, the player will die, and the player that stuck him will get his stuck medal. This works for both Plasma Grenades and the Plasma Launcher. The net result of these changes is that we are changing Armor Lock in a way that makes it (to quote one Greg Hermann) “a block button, not a pause button.”

 

 

Modify Active Camo.

• Reduce the bonus time the player gets in Active Camo while standing still.

• Reduce the overall length of time the player can be in Active Camo.

 

When you initiate Active Camo, it depletes faster if you’re moving. If you stand perfectly still, however, it depletes at a slower rate. We are able to modify these rates, and in testing have reduced both by about 15 seconds. This encourages a more sparing use of the Armor Ability, as opposed to in Vanilla Reach where players might camp in one place for upwards of a minute just waiting for someone to run by. Instead, its usage is better saved for quick escapes, or quick surprise attacks.

 

 

 

Remove Sword block.

• Disable the ability to block Sword attacks using melee with anything other than another Sword.

 

Removing sword block brings the sword back to a better version of a power weapon. This change was implemented simply to make the sword feel more reliable—and the outcome, of course, is that the sword is more reliable. Keep that in mind when you see the sword guy charging through the battlefield!

 

 

 

Implement the classic Magnum from Halo: CE.

• Can make the Magnum automatic.

• Can modify rate of fire of the Magnum.

• Can modify Magnum damage.

 

Whereas the other features of the TU are there to assist in the transition to 343 steering Reach’s future, the Magnum features are simply meant to enhance the “Anniversary” experience when the game is released. Ultimately, the only way to completely match the Halo CE experience would be to completely rerelease Halo CE Multiplayer, exactly as it was. For a number of reasons, that wasn’t an option but the TU presented us with at least an opportunity to nod toward the multiplayer experience that started it all. As such, we added some additional features that specifically affect the Magnum that allow us to imitate the behavior of the Halo CE Magnum. In conjunction with the bloom settings, making the weapon fully automatic, and adjusting its rate of fire and damage allows us to give the weapon a behavior consistent with the Halo CE death machine.

 

The net result is that we can make gametypes that feature the Magnum in a unique way. As with something as dramatic as zero bloom, it is our intent to keep the three-shot Magnum in a controlled environment. It’s certainly not meant for default Slayer (where it’d be more effective than either the Needle Rifle or the DMR), but it has a special place in the Anniversary gametypes, and there’s probably other niches where it’ll work as well.

 

 

Enable playing Co-Op Campaign and Firefight without requiring a HDD.

 

Soon those without an HDD will be able to experience all the Xbox LIVE features of Halo: Reach, including Co-op Campaign and Firefight. Bam, said the lady!

 

 

And there you have it: the lowdown on the upcoming Halo: Reach Title Update. Please note some of these options may not be included in the beta hoppers, but will be available with the Anniversary playlists.

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wow. so much information its awesome! glad to know the exact specifications for when this is all going down. i still think the armor lock fix ruins armor lock altogether but whatever. now ive decided to never use it again. but definitely thanks for the info spectral.

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Not sweet..they totally rendered armor lock useless...and why ? because a bunch of babies whined because they didn't get their way. So i guess i can just get a few hundred people to whine about how sprint + sword is cheap as hell and i can get that taken out ? awesome i might just do that. Since it's kinda BS that they made something tons of people like to use ineffective because of some little children. So what if someone tries to splatter me ? that hurt/kills me too ? Awesome thanks for that /sarcasm

 

I'm REALLY not usually so negative but it's ******** me the eff off that childish people that can't think through a simple strategy whine and whine and end up getting their way :veryangry:

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Not sweet..they totally rendered armor lock useless...and why ? because a bunch of babies whined because they didn't get their way. So i guess i can just get a few hundred people to whine about how sprint + sword is cheap as hell and i can get that taken out ? awesome i might just do that. Since it's kinda BS that they made something tons of people like to use ineffective because of some little children. So what if someone tries to splatter me ? that hurt/kills me too ? Awesome thanks for that /sarcasm

 

I'm REALLY not usually so negative but it's ******** me the eff off that childish people that can't think through a simple strategy whine and whine and end up getting their way :veryangry:

Who's whining now?

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Not sweet..they totally rendered armor lock useless...and why ? because a bunch of babies whined because they didn't get their way. So i guess i can just get a few hundred people to whine about how sprint + sword is cheap as hell and i can get that taken out ? awesome i might just do that. Since it's kinda BS that they made something tons of people like to use ineffective because of some little children. So what if someone tries to splatter me ? that hurt/kills me too ? Awesome thanks for that /sarcasm

 

I'm REALLY not usually so negative but it's ******** me the eff off that childish people that can't think through a simple strategy whine and whine and end up getting their way :veryangry:

Well when kids armor lock when i need 1 more shot to kill them they stay alive for a few extra seconds because their gonna die because they suck. I can easily 5 shot a kid using sprint and sword.

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hmm gears of war3 releases the day bofore the title update does and 4 days bofore beta hoppers... difficult choise.. Y U do This To Me!

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Guest Aj8234

in all honesty i thought 343 would screw halo up but if they keep it up i might buy halo ce but i think i will already get halo 4 depending on whether 343 wants to make another release on the info i mean cmon we all want more info on the rest of the upcoming trilogy

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All I have to say is, CAN'T WAIT! Not so much for the reduce of bloom, or the elimination of falling damage, but I wanna see Armor Lock getting trashed more than anything.

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Guest michael

I would like to say thank you 343 halo has been so gay with all the things they did to reach a if you make these changes halo can finally go back to the real skill game that changed the gaming world for the better

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So stoke to get off work at check this out...from everything I saw here it is going to be an epic winning update... Finally!!! Bring on the mutlikills!!!!!!

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Guest The Unknown

Really sucks.. It's a LOT easier to get kills, and basically every weapon got stepped-up in damage.. My kills basically doubled, and it was boring as hell. Bad news for Halo 4 if this is how it's gonna play. First Bungie stopped making it, than the Creative director quits, now we have a **** system that makes it too easy to get kills. Where's the challenge? Where's the feeling of achievement when you kill that guy that's been camping through the whole game?

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Guest garvo

I think a lot of these changes are great, and really makes it fell more like a previous installment. My first impression is that you've really taken armor lock down a few rungs, though I'll really have to play it more to find out. Having taken two critical things from it really hurts its stock. I think the real advantage of armor lock was having a way to pause a battle and bring reinforcements, but if you take away that and the ability to stand in a grenade pile for even an instant and the ability to repel a quick stick, the only use you really have for it is in a one on one or against melee. Even that would be okay, but it strikes me that the trade for this against the value of the other armor abilities is mobility. Every other option, save the medic layout, gives you that, and I've always felt that was kind of the point to armor lock, to trade being able to scramble for a better o-line. Just my two cents, and like I said, I really haven't played enough to see if that holds true.

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