Greetings, my blue fellows. It's been a while since we served up a steaming platter of HaloCustoms news for you, but the wait is finally over. You may not have heard much from us lately. The staff have been quiet, and this is something which has been reflected throughout the Halo community. The bitter winter that is Halo 4 is almost over, though. Soon, the snow will melt and usher in a fresh, beautiful spring (ironically enough, we'll actually be heading into winter when the Master Chief Collection drops this November). Don't worry, we will be ready for that spring. None of what we are proposing today is set in stone, but we figured it was about time we gave you guys a glimpse of what to expect come November.
On the eleventh day of the eleventh month of this year, it will be time for many of us to say our goodbyes to Halo 4. Instead, we'll be turning to Halo 2: Anniversary, a game who's multiplayer component will not only allow us to revisit the classic Halo sandbox, but to create new experiences of our own. You'll continue to see options for posting maps and hosting custom games on all Halo games, but our focus (and likely yours as well) will be on H2A. You'll see this reflected in a few key areas around the site.
The maps section
One of the first areas of discussion when we began planning out changes to be made alongside MCC's launch was the maps section. The maps section has always acted as a nice cozy place to house your custom maps and help them make friends, but with the advent of a bundle containing three forge-ready Halo games, we'll be making some changes to ensure that things remain as organized and cozy as possible. Maps will be organized by two descriptors. The first will be a prefix applied to each map denoting which game the map is in. These prefixes will then be applied across all map categories. If you open up the Infection category, you'll easily be able to see maps made in Halo 3, Halo 4, and Halo 2: Anniversary. If you want to compile a backlog of maps from all three games and rotate through them in your lobbies, be our guest. If you'd rather simply grab maps from a single game, you'll be able to do that just as easily.
The other change will be to the map categories themselves. They will be organized as follows.
- Mini Game
You may see some other changes to the maps section as well, but nothing else has been set in stone. I wouldn't be surprised if some changes were made to the map review feature, though. We'll get back to you when more has been finalized, and we encourage you to weigh in with any suggestions in the mean time.
The customs section
While we're pretty set on what we want to do with the map section, there is a bit less certainty regarding the custom games section. We're discussing a few different options on how best to incorporate a lobby rating system. We have a few ideas on how we could do that, but we'd like to get some input from you guys, this is the heart of HaloCustoms after all. My new pair of flashy red (and gravity-deprived) shoes has one idea which you can find below, but if you have an entirely different option in mind we'd love to see it posted below.
Flying Shoe ILR said:
After hosting a custom lobby, players from the lobby can rate the host as good or bad. Each good rating will be worth 1 point, and each bad rating will take away a point. Hosts can have a range of points from 25 to -25. A positive point score will show players that you have a reputation for hosting good lobbies, while a negative point score will show that your lobbies have had problems in the past. Points gained or lost beyond this range will not be counted, so a good reputation can be lost if hosts do not keep to the same standards and a bad reputation can be turned around without lasting damage. All hosts would start with a slight positive rating to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and to avoid discouragement.
Events and contests
This is another area where we don't have any plans set in stone quite yet. You can expect the return of Staff vs Community game nights and other weekend custom gaming events similar to the THFE Throwback Weekends you've likely seen taking place over the last few months. You can also expect to see things like front page map spotlights return, and to see caption contests and other mini-competitions continue. Once everyone has had a chance to ease into Halo 2 Anniversary's forge mode, you'll see the return of the Meet Your Maker Forge Contest series, co-hosted by us and our friends at The Halo Forge Epidemic (yes, I am my own friend). As the launch of MCC draws nearer, you can generally expect front page activity to increase with mini-articles becoming common once again. We'll also have more site updates before November to share more details with you as our proposed site changes become finalized.
As we prepare for the Master Chief Collection's release, we want to ensure that our staff team is the best it can be. We have recently bolstered our orange ranks with SOLIDSNAKEee and Auburn in order to ensure continued SvC dominance make sure we have an active, friendly, and committed staff team in place as we prepare for the launch of a new Halo game. We have also fired up the fruit transformation machine once again to turn Flying Shoe ILR from a lowly orange into a delicious red apple admin. We'll make sure everyone is geared up for November. Much of the staff activity between now and then will take place behind the scenes in order to prepare the site for launch, but you can still expect to see plenty of interaction with the staff team in the mean time. As always, feel free to ping any of us with questions, concerns, or suggestions about the site.
With a new Halo game on the horizon, we decided it was time to give HaloCustoms a bit of a facelift. Several of these changes can already be viewed from the comfort of your very own desk chair, but we aren't done quite yet. Alongside the sexy H2A Ascension skybox banner and redone custom font laden site logo will soon be joined by some new H2A-inspired front page banners. Most of us don't seem to get too excited about this, but if you're interested you can feast your eyes on some of the new visuals in the spoiler below.
The new logo, complete with proprietary custom font:
Some of our new front page banners:
Some of our new front page banners:
If you've read through this entire update and wondered what the hell all of this gibberish about MCCs and H2As is, you may want to take a gander at some of the videos and discussion threads linked below. Get excited!
- Halo: The Master Chief Collection Discussion Thread
- Halo 5: Guardians Discussion Thread
- H2A Forge Details from PAX
- MCC Halo 3 Campaign in 60FPS
- H2A Zanzibar gameplay
- MCC page on Halo Waypoint
- Halo 5: Guardians page on Halo Waypoint
November is going to be a big month for Halo, and we will be working hard to make sure that is reflected on HaloCustoms. If you want to do your part, weigh in below with your thoughts on our proposed changes to the maps and custom games section and with whatever other thoughts you have. Help us make HaloCustoms the best it can be come November. Thanks for sticking with us through the bit of a rut we've been in lately, we promise we'll be out of it soon.