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Bleep bloop, me again.

The Lekgolo - or Hunter - is one of the more formidable adversaries in the Halo universe and now you'll be able to have a full army of them in Halo Wars 2, lead by a deadly new leader: Colony, as well as a varitey of new units to complement the playstyle of their leader. These guys are the some of the tankiest units in the Halo Wars game, with units able to soak up massive damage and deal out just as much in return if you're not careful.

Here's a short summary of some of the new units and abilities
  • Hunter Captain - Hero unit with heavy armour and health draining siphon beam and a Taunt ability to redirect enemy fire
  • Skitterers - Lekgolo scout turrets that can attach to other units to provide additional health and firepower
  • Goliaths - Two hunters combined into one to create a massive tank style unit that has powerful melee attacks designed to take down anything in it's way
  • Living Barrier - Leader Power: Tank traps/area denial made from Lekgolo worms can provide intel to your team about enemy movement
  • Vehicle Symbiotes - Leader Power: Powering up vehicles with Lekgolo worms
Watch the vidoc below:


Following the World Championship Series finals last month, the 343i sandbox team began a mission to collect and document as much player feedback as possible on the state of the Halo 5 weapon balance and have come up with some possible solutions to address any balance issues or concerns players may have had. They spent time collecting information from top players around the world and have taken all their feedback into...

Evening ladies, gentlemen and those of an alternative nature. I invite you to sit down and read this wonderful update.

The Popular Web Series Red vs Blue has been going on for over 20 years and 14 seasons, and season 15 has just started with a whole new story line featuring everyone's favourite machinimated misfits. The Reds and Blues and they've come full circle back to the box canyon of Blood Gulch (again). Expect hi-jinks, hilarity and a whole lot of immature jokes. Watch it a week early on the Roosterteeth website with their First subscription, or wait a week and watch it on YouTube. Watch the trailer here:


343i Interviewed their UX Design Lead Vincent Hui on their website recently, giving us a new insight into what it takes to design and develop the interactive menus and player HUD in the game, how to make a good user experience and keep all of the legions of Halo players happy. Here are a couple of questions that might be of interest:

Q: How do you think about the user experience for a professional or aspiring pro Halo player vs. the day to day “casual” players that enjoy Warzone or Action Sack?

VH: Everyone can agree that they just want to have fun playing Halo. What’s fun for everyone is unique though so understanding where fun overlaps and where it’s in conflict is really important. To complicate things, the same user can be both an aspiring pro and casual player in the same session – you may grind FFA to earn Champion, and then play Action Sack with your friends just to unwind. As players, you shouldn’t really worry about these things. It’s our responsibility to make sure that you all have plenty of ways to experience Halo the way you want to even if you change your mind. Challenging, but that’s fun for me.

Q: With a such a diverse game community and a game itself that offers so many modes...

Evening everyone, it's that time again where we round up the weekly Halo news and bundle it up in text and image form for your occular receptors to enjoy.

APRIL FOOLS

Ok, got that one out the way.

HCS World Finals was last week and if you don't want spoilers, skip this section!

It was the Green Wall Optic Gaming who took the crown, beating a very strong Team EnVyus in a 4-0 series to take home $500,000. EnVyus were looking strong having a good lead in the first three games, but the Green Wall pushed back hard to take each game from behind (stop sniggering in the back!). Over the course of the entire event, Optic only managed to drop 2 games, which is an impressive feat to say the least. It was a well attended event even with attempts for certain people to make it seem otherwise. It could have probably been held in a nicer place (EU finals were in Wembley Stadium of all places!) but it seems there were possibly some issues with trying to get a good location to host, but hopefully next time they'll be bigger, better and bolder.

See the full event results below:


If you fancy having a crack at Halo Competitive yourself, get your butt down to HCS Daytona, sponsored by UMG where there will be open 4v4 and FFA tournaments with prize pools of $75,000 and $5,000. It's being held in the Ocean Arena in Daytona Beach, Florida.

The summer and fall Pro League Circuits are also being finalised so keep your ears to the skies and look out for the full roadmap on http://Halo.gg in the coming weeks.

For an actual April Fools joke, the US Marines uploaded the following onto their instagram:

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If only marines looked that cool......

I'm Back! (Sorry it's late, I had very little sleep)

The convention was a success and everyone enjoyed all those hens in some splendid ties. Here, I brought back some samples.
*walks around handing out free complimentary ties*

It's been a big weekend, with the Halo World Championship Series being played between the best of the best players in the world. The final match came down to the Green Wall that is Optic Gaming against their long time esports rivals: Team EnVy. At the time of writing they're currently locking horns for the title with EnVyUS making an amazing comeback from the losers bracket to get into the Grand Finals. Optic Gaming seem to be the runaway favourites, but everyone loves an underdog so here's hoping that EnVyUS comes along and knocks them down a peg. It's going to be a big one! It's been a mad tournament so far with some amazing plays, especially from Huke from Team EnVyUS with cries of HUUUUUUKE from the crowd each time that beast of a player pulls off an epic kill. That young kid has a glorious career of Halo ahead of him.

Here are some of the best clips from the tournament so far:






The Ghost in the Shell Forge contest winners were announced last week, with nearly 100 maps being submitted and whittled down to the final 5 that make up the winners list.

Honourable Mention: Ryilz noble 7 - Noburu 7

Honourable Mention:...

That's right; we aren't using a weird European date format for this one. ;)

Your regular roundup wrangler, ♥ Sky, is busy this week (he mentioned something about hens wearing ties) so I'm filling in to bring you your latest dose of Halo news.

Arguably the biggest news from the Haloverse in the last week is the new update coming to Halo Wars 2. This update will drop "early next week" and will include a new playable leader with several accompanying units and leader powers. Morgan Kinsano is a former Hellbringer who now leads armies with an emphasis on fire damage from the cockpit of her souped-up Cyclops. To learn more about this new addition to HW2's leader roster, check out the ViDoc below.


In addition to the new content shipping with Kinsano, the update will also include a host of bug fixes and stability improvements. For a full list, be sure to check out the patch notes here.

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Next week will also see the implementation of ranked hoppers in Halo Wars 2. To help ensure that ranked matches are as competitive as possible, the team is also rolling out numerous balance fixes which will affect units and leader powers in Multiplayer and Blitz modes. The TL;DR of these include buffs to Hellbringers (if you think they don't need them, you should probably be fired), tanks, and base turrets as well as nerfs for counter vehicle units and Anders' Sentinels.

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Beyond the world of Halo Wars, this week also saw...

It's that time again, open your ears and broaden your horizons for this week's Weekly Update.

Lets start off in the miniature world with Halo Wars 2, which received a patch/update on the 7th of March, bringing with it a whole host of patches and fixes for both versions of the game on Windows 10 and Xbox One. The patch also served as a preparation update for the future ranked multiplayer game modes. As well as a host of bug fixes and performance improvements, some small balance changes were made based on designer and initial player feedback.

Here's a list of some of the highlights for the balance changes:
  • Ramming Vehicles now take increased reflect damage
  • Bloodfuel Locust card cost increased from 60 to 80
  • Marine grenade secondary area of effect damage increased from 30% to 50%
  • Scout Vehicles deal reduced damage against Non-scout vehicles
  • Scout Vehicle cost changes: (100/50 = 100 Supply & 50 Power)
    • Banished Brute Chopper – 270/0 to 280/20
    • Banished Ghost – 250/0 to 265/20
    • UNSC Jackrabbit – 210/0 to 220/15
  • Scout Vehicle build time changes:
    • Banished Brute Chopper - 23 to 25 seconds
    • Banished Ghost- 23 to 25 seconds
    • UNSC Jackrabbit – 21 to 24 seconds

The dev team will also be keeping an eye on a few other units and abilities in the game and they are looking to implement some nerfs and buffs to other units further down the line. To see the full list of patch notes, click here.

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The Proving Grounds playlist was also released this week, with a some changes to the way the radar behaves being first on the list to go under the microscope, with some big changes to what's shown...

Roll up, roll up, one and all, come read our weekly update, I guarantee you'll have a ball!

First off, Halo 5 will be getting a patch on March 7th, with some sandbox tweaks and updates to improve the stability of the game. Here's a list of some of the more notable changes:
  • Movement speed and jump height now have 0% option in custom game settings
  • Added custom game option to control clean up times for weapons and vehicles
  • Lowered Sniper Rifle hip aim assist - no more 360 no-scoping kids across the map on Colliseum
  • Reduced Plasma Caster fall-off damage range
  • Greatly improved rendering performance on Forge objects with material swap that was causing framerate issues across many maps
  • Fixed issue where user maps were becoming corrupt/unloadable

There will also be a test for some changes to how the motion sensor works in Halo 5. Currently it shows the player quite a lot of information and there has been a lot of debate as to it's uses and how it should function. Some want to remove it all together, others would rather it stayed. The test settings will be rolled out in a special playlist dubbed "Proving Grounds" debuting on the 9th of March, where 343i will be trying out sandbox changes before adding them to the rest of the game.

The radar will be changed to only show two things: Unsilenced weapons being fired & players using Spartan abilities (Sprint, Spartan Charge, Ground Pound, Stabilize and Clamber). The range will also be extended to 25m to reduce the effectiveness of abilities like Spartan Charge. This test will be at least a month long, most likely longer until 343i have gathered all the information they require to make a decision. There will be feedback threads on the Halo Waypoint forums, but you can also Tweet at the devs with your feedback.

Read the full update...
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Yesterday, we embarked on our second endeavor to prove our superiority to the pathetic plebeians lovely folks over at 343 Industries Community Forum. After they wiped the floor with us we let them win at Friday's lobby, it was time for some payback. This time around, we brought in the big guns with special guests MATCLAN and Vetoed as well as SteelGreen, deathwish9x, CDX34, and Greenh2. Fellow staffer, Jesus in Malibu, was also on standby for moral support.


HaloCustoms - 47 | 343i Community Forum - 50
The first match of the night took place on the community-requested Stigma by Squally DaBeanz. Expecting an easy victory with Vetoed on our side, team HaloCustoms was surprised to be neck-and-neck with our evil assailants friendly competitors throughout this game. In the end, team 343CF pulled ahead with their moderator Church leading the charge with a k/d of 20/12.

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A heated battle over Red Tower

...
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Yesterday, we held our first Community versus Community event with 343i Community Forum. The lobby began with a few warm up matches on several maps including Brutalist, Solasium, and Citadel. It was at this time that I remembered how bad I am at Halo. Nevertheless, I was positive that Team HaloCustoms would claim this victory with the likes of Sky, CDX34 , and SteelGreen on our side. When the members of 343i Community Forum began to show their prowess on the virtual battlefield, however, that mindset quickly shifted. Thus begins the tale of the greatest rekking of our time...

Game 1 - Slayer on Perseus

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Game 1 was the storm before the storm (yes, you read that right). Those of us on Team HaloCustoms entered the match with our hopes high, but it was all for naught in the end. Our bullets just couldn't find their mark as we struggled to mount any form of a counter offensive. Team 343i's great weapon control proved to be a major threat throughout the game. Not to mention GermanShephard's excellent use of the Sniper Rifle. Had it not been for ♥ Sky and CDX34, this match would have been a complete blowout. Indeed, 343i wrecked us this round. We reassured ourselves that it was just a warm up match, though, and pressed on...

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Sky managed to pick up some kills after getting a hold of the Rocket Launcher...

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But we got sniped on several occasions.
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Game 2 - Slayer on Contract

HaloCustoms - 24 | 343i Community Forum - 50

Game 2 was played on a remake of Halo 3's Construct. Team HaloCustoms started this match out with a slight disadvantage as CDX34 was trapped...
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Hello, HaloCustards! Before you ask, no, I didn't spell "Staff" wrong in the title. Since you guys couldn't seem to beat the staff more than once in the past, we thought it was about time to take a break from SvC and to introduce a new, similar event; Community versus Community!

Community versus Community is a small event that'll provide the residents of HaloCustoms with an opportunity to represent our forum. The concept is simple; HaloCustoms and their adversaries will pool together a group of Spartans to fight for their honor in a series of three best-of-five matches over the course of this coming weekend. These matches can range from Swat on Riptide to race on Bowser's Castle! Now, this is where the community comes in. Each forum community can choose a total of seven maps and modes to be played during the event. The fun part is that we can choose ANY seven as long as they adhere to the criteria below.

• Must comfortably support 4v4 gamemodes
• Must be in working condition
• Map and Mode must be compatible with one another
You can nominate up to seven maps and modes here in this thread. Nominations will close on March 3rd at 12pm, so you have until then to select your battlefields! The maps that receive the most nominations will be used, but the staff team will choose from the pool in case of a draw.

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You're probably wondering who our worthy adversaries are. They'd be the wonderful people over at the 343 Industries Community Forum! Their forum is one of our oldest affiliates and friends, so it only made sense that they be the first group we ask to help us kick off this event. 343i has a lot of offer, from general...