Bungie has always been committed to maintaining a strong presence and impact on their games post-launch, and their update launched today is proof that they've been watching. While many developers are happy to release a game with a hefty multiplayer component and let fans do with it what they will, Bungie takes dedication to a whole new level. We've already been given Forge, and with it the ability to remake the world as we see fit, which will also go a long way for the game's longevity should 343 Industries' follow-up to the franchise not meet our expectations.
Even though they are apparently already working towards their next blockbuster title, Bungie is still manning the reins of their farewell to the Halo franchise. With the sheer amount of people playing Halo:Reach on Xbox Live, it goes without saying that any hiccups or glitches in the system were soon to be discovered. Bungie has apparently been listening and watching closely, and as a result a healthy amount of changes have been made to make the experience better for everyone.
In a post on Bungie's forums, the developer let fans know that they can get used to this kind of service:
"Our first Halo: Reach post-launch playlist update has been successfully deployed to Xbox LIVE. This update addresses a variety of issues in addition to tweaking some of the existing core gametypes and playlists.
Please note that this is just the first of many updates. Our team continues to work on improving the Reach online experience and we're always listening to your feedback and reviewing the voting and game data we get from our servers. Reach will just keep getting better!"
The list of changes itself happens to be longer than the time between Halo releases, and it's likely that many of you will have no idea what the problems are that Bungie is changing. But that's exactly the point: someone noticed. And because their observation was valid, the problem will soon be fixed. Here are just a few:
Rumble Pit* Added Crazy King* Added Juggernaut* Removed Oddball on Asylum
Team Slayer* Removed SWAT* Removed Classic* Weights adjusted based on voting data
Team SWAT (New!)* Based on existing Team Slayer SWAT offering* Removed Hemorrhage* Replaced Zealot with Arena Zealot map variant
Team Objective* Added Crazy King* Added several gametypes on Powerhouse (CTF, Assault, Stockpile, Crazy King, 3 Plots)* Removed heavy vehicles from all 4v4 Team Objective gametypes
This is just a taste of the surprises that regular players will be in for, so check out Bungie's post for the whole host of others. Personally, I think the majority of the changes they've made (at least the ones I understand) will probably ease the frustration for many newer players, and hone some experiences for the more seasoned veterans. Having been booted from more than one match after accidentally betraying a teammate amidst a barrage of grenades, it's nice to hear that the betrayal system will now be a bit more "fair".
I'm interested to hear just how many of our readers dealt with some of these glitches firsthand, and just how disruptive they seemed to be. Is Bungie being a little too hands-on? Do you resent a developer changing the game after you've gotten used to it?
There is one change that Bungie says they'll be making with their next update in October that stands out to me. Especially after our Game Rant Game Night in Reach matchmaking, after more than a few rounds of 'Infection' that had many members of the staff screaming like schoolgirls:
"Also note that we have another small update happening later this month (either 10/12 or 10/19 pending final test pass) that will enable campaign matchmaking. And for everyone out there who doesn't love Infection as much as the rest of the players, don't fret, we have plans to move Infection into its own "Living Dead" playlist later this month."
Zombie lovers finally have a game to play online! Hopefully the next change will also include a larger payout of post-game credits, or else my chances of working my way up the ranks still aren't looking good.
If you were unaware, Halo: Reach is available now exclusively for the Xbox 360.