D0616 T1132 Y2010The Battle of Los Angeles

On Tuesday, the 15th day of June, in the year 2010, Tied the Leader was called upon to investigate a Firefight in progress in downtown L.A.

Upon receipt of the top secret mission briefing, we dispatched our very own stabmasterarson, West Coast Gunslinger and top gun commercial actor [that’s him in the green vest, pushing the junk food]. The scene of the skirmish was The Edison nightclub. The hosts were agents of Microsoft and BUNGIE, on an away mission to E-3.

The venue, in all its historic glory, was home to a demonstration of one of the many components to be featured in Halo: Reach. Correspondents from various media outlets descended upon the darkened social spot to report on the finer details of the improved offering. Several representatives from notable gamer communities were also invited to infiltrate. TTL was humbled to be able to send the stabmaster, say thankya.

By now, it is likely that you have heard that Firefight is making a return to BUNGIE’s impending killer application. Familiar to those who played ODST, this multiplayer scenario will once again pit players against waves of Covenant invaders in an offworld setting. As always, BUNGIE is placing the power in the hands of the gamers, with some exciting new features, including more robust options for customization.

Do you want to know more? Has the hype failed to reach you yet? If the past 24 hours have seen you in a cave, click any of the following links:

[Gamespot, NeoGAF, Halo.Bungie.Org, IGN]

Rather than search for something about Firefight that has not already been said, stabmaster has provided us with a boots-on-the-ground account of the gathering. Gunslingers love a good LAN Party. When Microsoft Points are used to plan the affair, the attention to detail must be recognized. His first person shoot follows below. First, please enjoy a scroll through this slideshow of the new hotness…

...Did you see the size of that Hunter? Firefight 2.0 looks like a blast. But you already knew that. For a sampling of the event that gave rise to this announcement, we must yield the floor to the distinguished gentleman from California.

because i was invited to the party, i thought that everyone wearing a bungie shirt was my friend.

the club was amazing. there was one room with all these old school generators that, for a second, i though bungie had brought in as set decoration for the party. turns out they just picked a good spot.

not only did they have an open bar, but they had a nice open bar. not just well drinks. they had ketel vodka and goose and such. i stuck to beer.

the gaming stations were set up so that you could play with the other four people who were in your party.

the first time i played i was instantly betrayed with a rocket launcher by a chick that was at this party. she looked over at me and laughed.

I didn’t get to talk to Brian [Jarrard] for very long. he seemed pretty busy. “I have talked a lot about this game today…”

all in all, it was a great time. i like how down to earth these guys were. love “stabby”

Posted by XerxdeeJ

Comment 5

D0215 T1836 Y2010Calling All Lone Wolves

POP QUIZ: What is the most dangerous weapon at your disposal in the playing of Halo 3 on Xbox Live?

The Battle Rifle? The Sniper Rifle? The Spartan Laser? In the right hands, each of these impliments of war can certainly be deadly factors in the outcome of a match.

At Tied the Leader, we would submit that none of these are the ultimate power weapon. In our experience, Teamwork is that which wins battles. The Headset and the Friends List are mightier than the Sword, or the Rocket Launcher. The wingman off your shoulder is more reliable than the weapon in your hand.

When a squad of gamers agrees to cooperate as members of a unified team, something magical happens. Their respective skills are amplified to a higher degree. When the individual functions as something larger than themselves, they become more formidable than they could be on their own.

I am talking, of course, about Clans. Now, it is no mystery that Clans are often reviled by the general population of gamers that inhabit Xbox Live. There are some that suspect them to be bully cliques that thrive on shaming newcomers into a submissive posture. There are poor sports who bemoan the tactical advantage that they create for their members. In response, some gaming bodies eschew the very notion of the word “Clan”, due to the bad static assigned to the term.

The Clan System has long been a backbone of the Halo Nation. In the playing of Halo 2, our rosters and command structures were built right into the game. As the title that launched our mission goes the way of the Forerunner, it is up to us to sustain the momentum that was put into motion for us on the plains of a place called Coagulation.

Enter the Good Game Network. Throughout our campaign against randomly matched warring parties in Halo 3, we have banded together to keep our home fires burning. At the time of this posting, 16 venerable clans still share war stories and create action for one another in the games that we love to play. We are also assisting one another with recruitment. That is where you, the reader, comes into the picture. Long-time-reader, no-time-poster? Well screw that. Ante up and Get Some.

It has been said that the Halo Nation is in a state of recession. Those loyalists who still play Halo 3 week in and week out may detect a thinning in the ranks of willing SPARTANS at the ready on their Friends Lists. This is a failing of no one. It is simply the way of things. Attention spans shorten. New options lure XP-hungry gamers to devour fresh gamerscore every season. Virtual warriors migrate to new and unstained battlefields. The world moves on…

When a population of gamers shrinks, what you end up with is a group of people playing a game because they truly want to; not because it is the only option in the marketplace. The fat is burned off the body politic – the awesome boiled down in a crucible. We have weathered these long winters before at Tied the Leader. In the twilight months of Halo 2, we took on gamers from various other clans that had succumbed to their own intertia. We padded our rosters with ringers and new friends like the spoils from a war of attrition.

In the opinion of this gamerblogger, there is nothing more rewarding than being a member of a Clan. The finest moments of my imaginary career in the service of the United Nations Space Command deal not with personal glory or imaginary medals. They are memories of flawless performances on the part of a real team working together to execute a maneuver cultivated in their very real playbook. Over time, the Clan stops being the means to an end, and starts being the reason why you play.

If you are a “mature” gamer over the age of 21, you are invited to join this party. This is a time ripe for consolidation. Now is for getting organized to sustain the Oo-Rah. Perhaps you have always thought that joining a clan was for other people. Yet, here you are… reading a blog about a video game. That must have taken at least two of three curious jumps. If your interests took you this far, perhaps you can come a little further.

Consider the MidWorld Forum your placement agency in the middle of a pretended warzone. We are in the Nation building business every day, finding good homes for the solitary soldier in search of an army. In a time of stark opportunity, we are hiring… so long as you speak your lesson and say it true.

Staffers from over a dozen Good Game Network Affiliates are standing by, anxious to make your acquaintance. New clans waging their upstarts in our house need boots on the line for inspection. Some are casually recreational. Others are fiercely competitive. Some are brand new. Others were matching their players icons when you were asking “What’s this Halo thing that people always talk about?” There is a flavor on our menu to suit the tastes of anyone who plays a good game. You need only knock on the door.

As Bungie dropped the curtain between us and their next killer application, an unmistakable challenge was issued: “You can leave that Lone Wolf stuff behind.” The good news is that you don’t have to wait for the street-date of the next bout to take the first step in that direction. The following question can be answered now:

When we Fall into Reach, and all of the citizens who fled the Halo Nation to answer a different Call come back to roost, who will be covering your six?

[click to answer]

Posted by XerxdeeJ

Recruits 10

D0223 T2352 Y2009Mythoramics

Welcome back to the sprawling vistas that are pastiched together for us, courtesy of El Burritoh and Photoshop. It took a map pack of Mythic proportions to inspire its return, but we are proud to announce an update to the hidden gem of the TTL webring at Haloramics.

This is but a sneak preview of what awaits you, and what is yet to come. The horizons of Assembly, Orbital, and Sandbox have been stretched to reveal their majesty. Once these environments join the lineup of potential matchmaking battlegrounds, their beauty will become an afterthought. For now, let’s gaze upon them from the relative peace and quiet of the full Haloramics gallery.

As always, if you like what you see, our site provides a full tutorial for how you can switch to a wide-angle lens of your very own.

Posted by XerxdeeJ

Comment 12

D0216 T1502 Y2009The Sands of Myth

Last week, Tied the Leader was invited by Bungie Studios to joyride through the environments to be included in the Mythic Map Pack for Halo 3. Our local agent in the Seattle area, L0com0tive, infiltrated their press event. This gamerblogger was welcomed to join remotely via Xbox Live. We both say thankya!

The following is a report on the endless potential of the map aptly named Sandbox – a modular playground for the Halo Nation. Why just Sandbox? The scope of this map is staggering. It is not an exaggeration to proclaim that we have never seen a virtual environment with so much potential for customization. To do this map justice, we will have to talk about Orbital and Assembly later.

Let the exploration begin. Be sure to access the Hi-Res by clicking on the images! It takes more than 400 pixels to tell this tale.

In game development vernacular, the notion of a “sandox” suggests the ability for a gamer to do whatever they want. This map lives up to its name. As promised, everything you can behold can be deleted and/or rearranged in Forge. Nothing is nailed down. The only thing that remains constant is the very ground on which you walk. Or does it?

The default arrangement for this battleground is merely a starting point. This is not rigid hard-code geometry. This is our world, to mold and tweak as we see fit. The flow of traffic and the tone of the battle is at the mercy of the user. Choke points and high-ground are things of our choosing.

Drawing from a diverse palette of design elements, each gamer becomes an arm-chair architect. Equipped with only a game controller; structures can be wrought from stone, wood, iron, and even light. Colorful elements can be put into place to indicate team territory. The layout of your base is by your design.

You can tell a lot about a gamer by what they create when given complete control. For my part, my first attempt at Forging the Sandbox led to the sweetest jump ever negotiated by this vehicle hound. Skill and finesse take a back seat to my desire to catch some air on a Chopper.

For those of you keeping score, that lineup includes 3 (three) Warthogs, 2 (two) Wraiths, 2 (two) Scorpions, and 3 (three) Gauss ‘Hogs. Channeling the soul of Evil Kenevil, this gamer wrought a venue for a record-setting stunt. Of course, it’s easy to set a record when only a few hundred people have access to the fairgrounds.

And, yes… I stuck the landing. This map will be in my fileshare upon release of Sandbox. Check back and help yourself to a download. I challenge you to best my distance. No fair using Gravity Lifts!

Sandox is billed as “an endless wasteland that still holds many secrets – some held more deeply than others.” Heed this warning, all ye who enter here! Similar to its dessert cousin, Sandtrap, this map has an out-of-bounds zone. Justice is not dealt in the form of pressure mines. On Sandbox, it is the Towers that do the talking.

Any Gunslinger would be proud. These Towers don’t miss, and they shoot repeatedly until nothing moves outside the bowl over which they stand gaurd. If Stephen King references are too esoteric, just imagine that you are Frodo, and the ring is around your neck. Either way, your ass is toast.

While we are on a literary kick, anyone up for a romp through the Well of Souls? Unlike Indiana Jones, you don’t need a team of Egyptian diggers to open the crypt. A little Forge magic is all that is required to removed the capstone.

From there, the only thing between you and a subterranean cavern is a quarter-mile descent through a forgotten shaft. Thank the Forerunner that there is no fall-damage in Halo 3, because it is a long way down. Once your boots hit rock bottom, you have arrived in yet another environment that awaits your mastery of Forge. Commence Geo-Glitching!

The obvious question becomes: How big is it? Since there is no defacto unit of measurement in Halo, we can only answer this question as a matter of forced perspective. It’s bigger than than your house, but smaller than Texas.

It’s big enough to pull some sweet maneuvers at the controls of a Banshee. This is not advised, however. In fact, what did Mom say? I am sure that she has a rule against barrel rolls in the house. What? You think Banshees grow on trees?

It’s big enough to allow you to really stretch your legs in a match of Griffball. No longer will League Commissioners need to speak at length about the folly of glitching beyond the confines of the court, as the walls are now wrought from solid rock. Behold the cheater’s prison.

It’s big enough to allow for a firefight that will require some steady aim, or at least some target-seeking ammunition. This is not a close-quarters affair. They crypt below Sandbox will have you on the move to close the distance between your and your target.

It’s big enough to erect a temple that can be used as a venue to sacrifice n00bs at the Altar of Bungie. The stone blocks and spires in the Forge palette lend themselves well to the creation of a mood that clearly deserves the name “Mythic”. Let those Mayan sensibilities run wild!

Please follow me back to the surface, if you will. We are not even close to finishing our expedition. In Forge mode, you will see a teleporter that is set in mid-air against the horizon. This leads to the final frontier that Sandbox has to offer.

As you can see, the sky is truly the limit. Another plane is set well above the dunes that enables a gamer to create a high-altitude battleground. Thus, Sandox becomes a three-tiered landscape that can support endless skirmishes that cover an unprecedented amount of virtual real estate.

Be not fooled by your experience in the crypt. If you fall from this height, you will experience a point deducted from your score, followed immediately by death. The Forge plane doesn’t just uphold your structures. It also doubles as an invisible killer of Man and Elites alike.

Afraid of heights? You may find the vistas at this level almost vertigo-inducing. These sights are lovely, if you have the stomach for the elevation. The sunset if quite a thing to behold from up here. Just try not to look down, if you can avoid it.

Depicted Below: Yours truly is murdered by “KP” (HBO Mainstay, Bungie Alum, Gunslinger Emeritus, and Xbox Team Member) while I smell the roses.

Do yourself a favor on your first outting, and don’t get killed enjoying the vantage points. This is still a warzone, after all, and the locals have itchy trigger fingers. Amidst preview matches with agents from various press outlets, the choice was between taking in the scenery, or returning fire.

While the metaphor for empowing the gamer with options holds true, it is also safe to say that this sandy battlefield is far more than just a box. There is an entire world in play on this map that is ready for the inspiration of its inhabitants. We will fight them in the skies, on the groud, and in caverns hidden away deep below the surface.

Sandbox will be unrecognizable to itself as many times as it is twisted, shaped, and bent in Forge. From top to bottom, the options are only as limited as the number of gamers that download the content. Any user who claims that they don’t like this map will only be telegraphing their own lack of imagination.

Oh, and let’s not forget the Golf. This should give new meaning to the notion of “Handicap” in Halo 3.

Thanks again for the new toys, Bungie. And for the advanced recon. We can’t wait to see what we do with them.

Almost forgot: For those of you want a tutorial on where to find the new skulls, just click here.

Posted by XerxdeeJ

Comment 22

D0106 T0008 Y2009The Gamer Behind the Reclaimer

Greetings, webcomic fans! Do you dig on the Reclaimer? How could you not? For well over a year now, TTL Demag0gue has been spinning a yarn through a meticulous fashion that utilizes the game engine that we all know and love.

In a bid of cyber-anthropology, our own TTL Venus sat down to explore the deepest thoughts that drive this gamer to express his creativity week in and week out. You are invited a little deeper into the TTL Webring to partake in the dialogue.

Find out what makes him game.

Find out what life is like beyond the game.

Find out why he almost got arrested in Chicago!

I would say more, but the interview really speaks for itself. So, stop wasting your time here, and start getting acquainted with the man behind an online graphic novel set in an alternate Haloverse.

Posted by XerxdeeJ

Comment 2

D0921 T0232 Y2008On a solid Foundation.

Fellow gamers, enemy combatents, trusted allies: Lend me your scroll wheels. Take a moment of respite from the battles we pretend to fight, and entertain an update on the other mission at Tied the Leader.

Mind you well, this is not a donation drive. We do what we do because we wish to add weight to our interactions as a community. Consider this is a reinforcement of our original statement of intent.

There has been much talk on the numerous points of this webring about the TTL Foundation. It’s a pet project that the founders of our community created together some time ago. Since then, we have stood fast to our pledge to raise money for the warriors that fight without the luxury of a respawn. Our most recent distribution came on the heels of the LAN Party we produced on Memorial Day.

As gamers seek to express themselves at TTL, it has become inevitable that money changes hands. When any of that money ends up in our hands, the proceeds of that revenue do not benefit this gamerblogger – or anyone else who calls themselves a Gunslinger. It does not pay server fees. It does not line our pockets.

Rather, it goes to charitable institutions that benefit wounded combat veterans. Do you want to know more? Our current partner is Azalea Charities. It is their hands that deliver the aid for which we pay.

Much to our surprise, this altruistic experiment has caught the attention of gamers beyond the borders of our community. Take My7hos, for instance. He’s a gamer we hardly know. Yet. The carefull placement of the 7 in his tag indicates a Bungie loyalist, and that is a fine place to start.

If you cruise the boards of HBO [and how else would you know this article went live?], you may have seen mention of his auction. Halo schwag is up for grabs, friends. When the bidding war goes silent, the fruits of My7thos’ labor will come our way. There, it will not stay long. From our coffers, it will be dispersed in total to the charitable partners that do the work that makes our wishes become reality.

One gamer will not change the world. Yet, as a community, we are capable of truly great things. We are grateful to My7hos for his solidarity, and for his support.

And we wanted you to know.

Game on.

Posted by XerxdeeJ

Comment 1

D0421 T2328 Y2008Keeping up with the Gunslingers

If you have found yourself reading this column, but have never interacted with the TTL Community, you have tasted only a sliver of what lies behind the curtain of this domain. Over the weekend, the TTL Gunslingers completed a full facelift and overhaul on the portal that they use to write their own story about a never-ending battle.

Of course, this story is not just about one clan of gamers. It is about all of the clans that they meet in their quest for a good game. It is about the challengers who come to our house to represent theirs. The players in this tale leave their own round tables to make imaginary war against ours.

Led by a tireless Staff of Captains, the Gunslingers answer all takers of our open challenge. One by one, we match ranks and select matches. Maps and gametypes are exchanged for an evening of rivalry and friendly competition. Relationships are formed. One by one, we sample their game to see if it is good. Amidst the ever changing landscape of the greater gaming community, clans come and go. Alliances rise and fall.

A gaming community is lost without worthy opponents, left to wander matchmaking playlists in search of combatents who finish the fight and speak their lesson true. When the Gunslingers make new friends through the exchange of simulated gunfire, we hold on to them. We follow their respective campaigns, and keep them close for joint strike forces into the madness of Xbox Live.

Of all our lost time spent fragging faceless strangers via the world wide web, it is the friends that we have made along the way that best insure the good game. At the center of this storm is our forum. It is there that we share best practices and fresh recruits with our allies, in the hopes that will not disappear from the virtual landscape. New faces arrive in MidWorld every day. While our own imposed limitations prohibit us from issuing gunbelts to all of the TTL Allies, there is not one among them that does not fit the profile.

Our goal is to unite the clans. Xbox Live is a fascinating platform for social interaction. When gamers form up into platoons, the roleplay takes on a richness that goes well beyond your average free-for-all scenario. For the clans that patrol multiplayer playlists for Halo 3, we want to meet you. For the lone wolves that have always wondered what the clan system is like, we offer a unique shelter that is shared by many.

Posted by XerxdeeJ

Comment 10

D0410 T2325 Y2008DLC Combat Briefing

Welcome to an Official Warfare Briefing from the Tied the Leader Institute of Combat Excellence.

What you are about to see is Classified – Access Level: tango-tango-lima.

Prior to the release of the Legendary Map Pack, Bungie Studios welcomed a delegation of crash-test dummies from the ranks of the gamer-centric media. Having conned ourselves a press pass, TTL sent our man on the street – Combat Correspondent L Askan – to conduct advanced reconnaisance on the impending DLC. Below the line, you will access full tactical analysis and file photos for the next three theatres of combat to host the Battle of the Halo Nation.

Blackout!

We may think we know everything about this map from our storied exploits on Lockout, but there is bound to be a surprise or two hidden away among those elevated ramparts. Perhaps the most oft-requested rebuild from Halo 2 is finally being given its due treatment in Halo 3. The Halo Nation is about to learn if they can ever go home again.

TTL: What games did you play on this map?

L Askan: Team Slayer, 1-Flag, Team Ball, 2v2 Slayer, and Free-For-All.

TTL: What was the most striking difference about Blackout that prevented you from porting your Lockout playbook to Halo 3 gameplay?

L Askan: Games on this map were very similar to games on Lockout in H2. In a match of Team Slayer, setting up crossfire between Sniper Tower and Battle Rifle Tower was still the key to victory – with the Sword playing a large role in close-quarters engagements.

We didn’t see any Final Boss-esque Team Ball setups or Carbon-inspired dominance from Battle Rifle tower. But, it did seem that coordinating fire from a position on one side of the map often led to victory. Team Ball is still an absolute blast to play on this map.

TTL: What were your favorite modifications? Which ones will take the most effort to get used to?

L Askan: The small changes made to the ledge areas [around the center] are a welcome change, as well as the removal of some of the jumps that exploited geometry in the original iteration. Some jumps, like the shortcut from top-center to the flag-plant atop the old Battle Rifle tower, are more difficult. Other jumps, such as the one that led from the top-center to the Sniper spawn, have been simplified.

As small a change as it seems, respawning energy cores will also take some getting used to. Lockout had some choice placements for cores. Now that they respawn on a timer, you will need to pay close attention to them [as well as where you’re standing in relation to them] throughout the entire match.

[Editor’s Note: Killing Snipers who camp next to the cores that spawn next to their favorite weapon is still as satisfying as it ever was.]

TTL: Assuming that gamers can ever really be satisfied; will the lads at MLG be pleased with Lockout’s facelift?

L Askan: Pleased? Yes. Satisfied? Never.

Bungie really did us a solid by giving us the most popular H2 map in H3. It would be a shame if this remake was used as an argument to have Midship revived or Warlock remade.

TTL: What was the most effective tactic you observed during your day of playing on this map?

L Askan: The use of grenades and equipment to control doorways and halls. The effective radius of the power drainer makes it an absolute monster on Blackout. Halo 3 equipment adds an entirely new dimension to this map, and should be prioritized as power weapons in an initial rush. The difference between a flag-carrier and a flag-carrier escaping through a bubble shield is one we’re all too familiar with.

Avalanche!

Lesser known but equally revered, Sidewinder is finally being given the Xbox Live treatment. Multiplayer memories from Halo: Combat Evolved include endless flag matches and vehicular battle royales set in the deep freeze. Two games later, the icy horseshoe is back in our arsenal.

TTL: What games did you play on this map?

L Askan: Team Slayer, 1-Flag and Multi-Flag.

TTL: The screenshots for this map absolutely dwarf the vehicles. Is it as big as it looks?

L Askan: As big, and as beautiful.

[Editor’s Aside: Thanks for the brevity, Jerk! That’s what I get for sending a Sqaud Captain, instead of a Poet.]

TTL: Will vehicular dominance be unquestioned? Are there enough countermeasures strewn across the lanscape to stop the motorpool?

L Askan: Unfamiliar with the term “vehicular dominance”. Please explain.

[Editor’s Retort: You know, that’s when ‘Hog Pilots like me splatter the ever-loving life out of field grunts like you, over and over and over and…]

Vehicles will undoubtedly play the biggest role on Avalanche. The absence of Missile Pods means that the Spartan Laser is of the utmost importance. It will likely be the most sought-after item on this map. Gamers who remember where the Rockets spawned on Sidewinder will know exactly where to go to find them on Avalanche – and there are teleporters in each base to enable a shortcut. Expect many very memorable vehicular battles on this map.

Also, in one-sided objective games, the team on offense has Human vehicles while the defending team has Covie vehicles. It’s a great twist!

TTL: Tell me all about my Snow Hog! Does it really handle differently? Or is it just decorated with new winter camouflage?

L Askan: The snow hog may or may not have a fully automatic Gauss Cannon mounted on it… Kidding, kidding.

While it is sporting a new paint job, it does not seem tp handle differently than on Valhalla or Sandtrap. Avalanche, however, is a cold, snowy place. Where there’s snow, there’s ice… While the ice does threaten a momentary loss of control [and brakes] it is not the skating rink we knew on Sidewinder. Wheelmen are less likely to splatter flag-carriers who choose the wrong patch for dust-off.

TTL: What was the most effective tactic you observed during your day of playing on this map?

L Askan: Air support. The Hornet has been gentled for matchmaking, but it is still an absolute beast. Tanks are important, and hogs are still the best way to transport troops; but air support is going to make or break a rush.

Ghost Town

This is the only true mystery to behold in the Legendary Map Pack. Ghost Town is the new guy that your two old friends bring to the party. Introductions all around, as we start from scratch on this one.

TTL: How would you describe this map in relation to other environments from Halo multiplayer?

L Askan: Ghost Town has a “Sanctuary-ish” feeling to it in terms of the limestone-style buildings, but is infinitely more detailed in its state of decay. The light shading alone is mind-blowing.

Much like Zanzibar, it’s a perfect one-sided objective map, and carries with it the distinction of being equally playable by 16 gamers as it is by 8 gamers. That’s not an easy feat to pull off, but it was mastered through what must have been countless hours of design and test.

TTL: What was the preferred method of negotiating this map? Is this a vehicular scene, or an on-foot engagement?

L Askan: Ghost town is certainly an on-foot affair. A skilled mongoose driver may be able to assist in negotiating a flag extraction from time to time, but the way to “do work” on this map is going to be with your boots on the ground, grinding for a toe-hold and earning your positions.

TTL: What do you foresee being the most popular gametypes on this map?

L Askan: 1-Flag and 1-Bomb first. Because of the numerous routes and defensive positions, one-sided objective games are going to be favorites on this map. It shouldn’t be overlooked for Slayer either, as it played very well in both Team and Free-For-All. You may even reconsider your Auto-Veto-Reflex after playing VIP on this map. It’s just that good.

If you haven’t played Team Duel in DLC slayer yet, I suggest spending some time in that playlist. That gametype would also be barrels of fun on Ghost Town.

TTL: What can you tell us about this map that we don’t know to ask, since we haven’t played [something similar to] it?

L Askan: There is a strong emphasis on multi-level combat in Ghost Town. High-ground advantage is going to be crucial in both Objective and Slayer games. In more than one of the structures on this map, there are three levels. Access between them are fast, fluid, and intuitive.

I suspect that there are going to be new grenade bounces discovered on this map for years.

TTL: What was the most effective tactic you observed during your day of playing on this map?

L Askan: On offense, be sure to use all of the assets you’ve been given. Leaving Rockets or Active Camouflage could come back to haunt you halfway through a round. You’ve got plenty of choices on a route to take, so if you’re encountering a solid defense one way, work another angle.

On defense, keep your head on a swivel and don’t think you’re safe because you’ve got one access point covered. Be prepared to fortify a different position if a teammate goes down. Camping could cost you a ten-second respawn or a lost flag.

Thanks to Bungie Studios for a chance to preview thier latest round of downloadable content. Cheers on a job well done, and keep up the great work. Good games on these new maps are sure to be a slam dunk.

[Editor’s Final Note: The above screenshot is a joke, and in no way meant to imply that Legendary DLC will be host to a basket-odd-ball gametype.]

See you 04-15-2008!

Posted by XerxdeeJ

Any Questions? 18

D0407 T2056 Y2008The Maps of Legend

A brief from the Tied the Leader Intelligence Agency:

It’s fitting that our newest round of Downloadable Content for Halo 3, Produced by Bungie Studios [heretofore referred to as DLC] has been branded the “Legendary Map Pack”. More than the obvious successor to the Heroic DLC Pack, it features two maps that have achieved “legendary” status among the warring citizens of the Halo Nation. Finally, after thousands [millions?] of units of impassioned feedback, gamers will get the chance to view Sidewinder and Lockout through the next-gen prism of Halo 3.

As revealed in advance press from Bungie.net, the names have changed but the simulated combat scenarios are the same. Avalanche is a tunnel-ridden horseshoe of snowbound mayhem that some will remember from Combat Evolved. Blackout is the multi-level thunderdome and competitive standard that most will recall from Halo 2.

The remaining questions are to be answered later this week, through the impressions of those test subjects who have had a preview of what will be downloaded in the land-rush scheduled for April 15th. For many a gamer, this DLC is the answer to a plea or a prayer.

Any surfers curious enough to brave the waves at Bungie.net have witnessed the desperate cries of die-hard fans who could not fully love a new Halo game without a return to the scenes of their old favorite crimes. Never let it be said that Bungie Studios [a limited liability corporation] does not listen to the troops who fight in their cause for global domination.

Of all the new battlefields to be seen, this gamerblogger is most curious about Ghost Town. While it is intriguing to see our favorite battlezones put back under the microscope, this matchmaking denizen is more curious about the new tricks that the makers have up their sleeves. Launching a game and seeing it played has an inevitable impact on a creative process. It was late in the game of Halo 2 that my favorite map, a foreboding island we knew as “Relic”, exploded [very literally] onto the scene. It may be that our next favorite theater of pretended warfare is a place that no one has yet to see.

For the rest of you, April 15th represents your chance to put your money where your forum petition is. You issued the call. Bungie has answered with retro-teraformation of two legends from the lore of Halo multiplayer. Perhaps they even gave rise to a new classic amidst all of that decaying concrete. We need not debate the vaue of this offering. Price is set. Nothing left to do now but shoulder the flame thrower and vote with your wallets.

You thought you finished the fight? That propaganda was there to sell the story. So long as the online census remains strong, and the respawn clock ticks down, the fight need not end. Sound off if you will be on the front lines on opening day with an Oo-RAH! and a Battle Rifle. Time to muster for launch, ye Halo Gamer.

Check back with Tied the Leader this Friday, April 11th to receive a full tactical combat briefing from a Squad Captain in the ranks of the TTL Gunslingers who has experienced the gameplay that will spin off from these maps. Until then, he is sequestered in an undisclosed location with a zombie shotgun and a zippo – you know, in case he has to burn his notes.

Posted by XerxdeeJ

Legends 12

D0322 T2354 Y2008The Gunslinger Theme

Did you hear the one about the contest to create your own Xbox 360 operating system theme?

We did. We even created an entry of our very own.

Of course, when I say “We”, I am just taking credit for the work of our very own El Burritoh. I do that a lot on this blog. I make no apologies for this. After years of berrating the Halo Nation for having bad manners, it’s nice to hand the reigns over to an artist.

Everyone should enjoy Mr. Burritoh’s art. He’s got a knack for texture. He deals in lead, and wood, and stone.

If you want to vote for him, make your way to 360 Theme.

Maybe you are a TTL Gunslinger. Perhaps, you are an Ally in our Community. Or, it could just be that you have a weakness for cowboys.

Mmmmm…

Cowboys!

Posted by XerxdeeJ

Voters 1

Previous