This thread is for Halo 3 and Reach Multiplayer Discussion only. Firefight is included in this thread, please do not spoil where the Firefight maps exist in the Campaign. To talk about anything related to the Campaign or Forge, please refer to Fyre's Thread.
THE BEES KNEES
Established November 9, 2004
Forge World Variants on Disc
Asylum - Halo 2's Sanctuary
Grifball Court - It's a fucking Grifball Court. Catch the Fever!
Hemorrhage - Coagulation from Halo 2. They copied the terrain straight from the game files.
Paradiso - A Sidewinder or Avalanche inspired map with bases on the ends of a Horseshoe.
Pinnacle - Ascension, also from Halo 2.
The Cage - From the creator of Lockout/Blackout/Guardian, made in that style.
Credits (cR) System
Credits, or "cR", is the new experience/currency/ranking system of Reach. You've probably seen it hanging around the bottom of most Reach screenshots. cR is earned in all game modes: Campaign, Customs, Firefight, Multiplayer.. you name it. As you gain more cR, you can spend it on things like armor, effects, Firefight voices, kneepads, helmets.. the list goes on. You'll also go up in military rank as you gain CR. Spending cR does not drop your rank.
Since Trueskill ranks are no longer visible, they also no longer play into your unlockable items or rank. This means everyone will have to go up through the same ranks!
"But wait, isn't that copying off Call of Duty?" Well.. it doesn't really work like CoD's EXP system. You do not gain cR "per kill" or "per action". You gain cR only at the game over screen. You earn bonus cR for winning. You earn bonus cR as assigned by the playlist. You earn bonus cR for completing multiplayer commendations.
Yep. Reach is a lot more persistent about your actions over time than 3 or 2 were. You can now earn Commendations. Completing a level of commendations will award you thousands of bonus cR.
Here's what some of them looked like in the beta (screenshot from my Reach beta stat page)
Each category of commendation has different levels, a few of which you can see here. Onyx is the "top" level for a commendation, and awards the most bonus EXP. I earned through assists. I have a Silver level for Headshots, and so on. These are recorded over time.
The series that innovated usable matchmaking ... still has matchmaking! An important note: your Live party now exists everywhere in the game, including out in the main menu. No more accidentally backing out when wanting to change the gametype.
Most notably gone is the 1-50 level system from Halo 2 and 3. In Reach, Bungie is letting Trueskill work behind the scenes in it's intended format for getting you close games. The ranks you will see in matchmaking are entirely cR-based.
But don't fret. For those that liked ranked, there's arena.
Standard Matchmaking essentially works like the Social playlists from Halo 3 and the Unranked playlists from Halo 2. Standard allows parties of any size to join (although Bungie still has the option to restrict it to team size), allows guests to play, and is generally more laid back than Arena. All the usual gametypes exist in here, like Slayer/CTF/Ball, and will be the home of Firefight matchmaking. This is probably going to be the destination for most players.
Arena is Bungie's replacement for the broken Halo 2 ELO system and the misunderstood Halo 3 Trueskill system.
Each game in this area gives you a rating once the game is over. This rating can be anywhere from 0 to 2000, but in actuality will give you something between 700 and 1600. The rating is based off a formula (which can be changed by Bungie) and can be seen in real time during a game by looking at the scoreboard.
The point of the rating is to rank and reward a player's individual skill, although they take a penalty to the rating if they lose. At the end of the game, the players are sorted by Rating, and those standings are the ones fed into the Trueskill blackbox.
But it doesn't stop there. Each month in Reach, a new Arena "Season" will start. To get a Daily Rating, you must play at least 3 games. Get enough Daily games and you'll recieve a Weekly Rating and a Divisional placement of Steel, Bronze, Silver, Gold or Onyx. At the end of the season, the game will tell you your standing in your division and will add your final Season standing to your "baseball card" of stats. The next season, you start fresh.
Essentially, not only will buying a "high level" account be worthless, but it will also be very obvious.
The good ol' normal Halo multiplayer is here. The heavily sought Slayer. The frustratingly fun Flag. A tantalizing Territories that functions more like Halo 2's version. A reworking of the jampacked Juggernaut (now with flaming body and hammer!). The otherworldly Oddball. All awesome alliterations that describe Reach's normal game modes that we know about.
The Firefight mode returns from ODST in a big way. For one, it returns with matchmaking support, so no need to invite people to co-op it up! Another: the default mode now has a time limit. The general matchmaking version will be limited to One Set. You can still do "endless" just like ODST in customs.
Another big change is that you can now completely control your Firefight experience. Want to play to one set? How about two? Just want a quick fix of one round? Fine. Do you want Iron to be on for the entire game? You can do that. How about we start with Cloud and Tough Luck on the first round and take them away for the next set? Possible! How about an entire set of grunts only? DONE. What if you hate yourself and just want to face an entire round of Elite deathsquads? Sir, you've come to the right place.
And if you don't like the Bungie supplied skulls, you can now customize your own. the "Red", "Blue" and "Yellow" skulls come with options such as player health, enemy health, player ammo (Normal, Unlimited, Bottomless Clip), AI Awareness, AI Accuracy, AI Weapon Drop Behavior, and so on. It's definitely a mode that will offer tons of replayability.
Take Big Team Battle and turn it into a mix of Objective and Slayer. You have Invasion. Shipping as a 6v6 gametype, Invasion works on all maps (but some may be better suited than others). In the Beta, it took place on Boneyard. The first round of that gametype required you to stand in special zones to disable the generators, then the second phase had you disable the enemy lockdown (by also standing in zones). Then the last phase was retrieving the Core and taking it to a Phantom. So it essentially goes Territories -> Territories -> 1 Flag, with changing weapon loadouts and vehicle palettes along the way. We do not know if other maps follow the same pattern or not, yet.
There's also an Invasion Slayer mode where it's the same map, but Slayer with a bit of Objective spice added. Be the first team to 100 like any other Slayer gametype, but you can also capture drop points that move around the map for weapons and vehicles. New loadouts also unlock at certain kill point levels.
In both Invasion types, the spawn system is a blend of Halo Campaign and Battlefield. You can choose to either spawn at predetermined locations (Battlefield style) or one your buddy (co-op style). Did I say buddy? Yep, in Invasion you are assigned to a buddy and are formed into a 2 man fire team. a 6 v 6 game has a total of 6 fire teams, 3 fireteams to a side. The game points out your buddy to you with a HUD marker.
Infection is back. So far we can assume the usual FFA-style mode returns. However, Bungie have also talked about a new mode called Safe Haven where you have to move across the map to safe zones, watching for zombies to jump you along the way.
All the medals that you love and cherished from Halo 3 are back, usually with a new medal for 15 kills with a certain weapons added on top. Here's a video showing a bunch off.
Spartan to Elite comparison picture:
Both Spartan and Elite models will be playable in multiplayer. The change from Halo 2 and 3 is that you will almost always be a spartan in multiplayer, with the Elite model coming into play for certain modes like Invasion. Also unlike 2 and 3, the Elites and Spartans are now differently sized - Elites tower over the Spartans.
Spartans take 5 shots to kill with a DMR or Magnum (4 anywhere, 1 to the head) and recharge their health up to the nearest third. They must pick up a health pack to restore to 100%. Spartans also make exclusive use of the Sprint ability.
Elites take 6 shots to kill (5 to anywhere, 1 to the head) and recharge their health completely. They also run as fast as a sprinting Spartan naturally.
The Fairer Sex
Finally making their debut in Reach is female Spartans! Your female Spartan will show up in every game mode.
Instead of just being a different voice like in Halo 3, female characters actually look female now. The female Spartan also has full voice acting in Campaign, so there's full recorded lines for both male and female players throughout the story. Huzzah!
Reach will have a plethora of armor options to choose from for your character. All armor details and options will also be reflected in campaign, so your character will be the same across all game modes. The only change is that the Flaming Helmet effect for multiplayer will be turned off for cutscenes.
2 limited you to either Spartan or Elite. 3 had Chest, Shoulders, and Helmet. Reach will have Firefight Voice, Helmet, Shoulders, Kneepads, Chest, Gender, Visor Color and a few more options they have not shown yet.
Some armor pieces will only be unlockable through combined community effort. All armor is purchased via the cR system, and only cR-bought armor counts towards 100% completion (the bonus armors do not count towards completion)
Note that none of the armor grants you any traits. It's all just for show.
More details will come as Bungie reveals them.
Sprint - Allows a player to increase their maximum speed for a short duration. A cooldown is required before it can be used again. Sprinting into someone and meleeing them will throw them back farther.
Jetpack - It's a jetpack! What more can I say? You can either use it all up in one go for verticality or feather it to clear large gaps. Go too high though, and you'll die when you hit the ground.
Armor Lock - When activated, your spartan punches the ground and becomes invincible. And is stationary. And makes a loud sound and has a shield over him. The longer you hold the lock, the bigger your EMP blast when you come out of it.
Heal Bubble - Basically the Bubble Shield and Regen from Halo 3 combined. When activated, your spartan will drop a bubble shield that quickly heals anyone who steps inside of it. Once the haven deactivates, you can redeploy it. The shield now has a defensive threshold and will drop after a certain amount of shielding.
Evade - aka the roll ability. Allows players to quickly dodge incoming fire and players. In the beta, you could roll 2 times before having to wait for the short cooldown. You stay in the first person view when using this. This is no longer limited to Elites, beta players!
Active Camo - A retooling of the classic cloaking ability. Activing this ability will cloak you (duh). It's drain speed increases the faster you move, and your visiblity increases the faster you move. Standing still = almost perfectly cloaked. Running = poor camo from Halo 3. As an added bonus, you'll also jam the radar of any nearby enemies and yourself. Be warned that all your fake dots will show up on the same elevation as you.
Hologram - A fake version of you, demonstrated in the Deja View video. Works by pointing at where you want it to go. When activated, your fake self will walk to that spot and stop. It appears that it can take a few hits before being destroyed.
Your available abilities are dependent on the gametype. You can only "carry" one at a time, and they are not dropped when you die, although this may be avaiable as a custom games option in retail.