Halo 4 fans can expect a number of changes being made to the game’s War Games multiplayer playlists in the coming weeks.
Looking forward to Halo 5 on the Xbox One, 343 Industries community manager Jessica “bsangel” Shea writes in the latest Halo Waypoint blog update that “focusing on the future also includes nurturing the current experience, so we’re in the process of tightening up Halo 4 multiplayer to ensure your online games contain more headshots and good times than you could ever hope to handle.”
Last week, we already saw the consolidation of the Slayer playlist as Legendary Slayer moved into the Infinity Slayer playlist as a Legendary BR variant. This Monday, September 16, the studio will be making similar changes to the Big Team Slayer playlist. Quite simply, Big Team Skirmish and Big Team Infinity slater will be merged into a single playlist called Big Team Battle.
Also this Monday, as a potential solution to increase the frequency in which DLC owners see purchased maps in matchmaking, 343i will be turning Infinity Slayer in to a DLC-required playlist, meaning that you will need the Majestic Map Pack in order to play Infinity Slayer.
The decision is not entirely final, as Shea stresses, “…this is an experiment, and is in no way, shape or form a permanent move at this time. The primary thing to note is we know you want to play your DLC more often, and we’re dedicated to doing everything we can to make that happen.”
Two weeks later, on September 30, the studio will be removing the Multi-Team, Dominion, and Champions Bundle DLC playlists. “As the numbers from those playlists shift into other ones, game quality will improve as skill matching and the other parameters used during the search phase (matching with other players that own DLC, for instance) become more effective,” writes Shea.
Here’s what the Halo 4 War Games playlist will look like as of September 30:
- 8v8 – Big Team Battle
- 5v5 – Capture the Flag
- 4v4 – Infinity Slayer (may be renamed to Team Slayer)
- 4v4 – SWAT
- 4v4 – Action Sack
- 4v4 – Team Snipers (next update on 9/30)
- 4v4 – Ricochet (next update on 9/16)
- 2v2 – Team Doubles (next update on 9/16)
- 8-player FFA – Rumble Pit
- 10-player FFA – Flood
- Community Playlist: 4v4 – Team Throwdown (next update in October)
- Community Playlist: 4v4 – Grifball
The studio will also offer a rotating playlist that will change every two weeks. Here is the tentative schedule for the rest of the year, which Shea notes is not yet final:
- 9/30 – King of the Hill
- 10/14 – Oddball
- 10/28 – Forge Playlist (specifics coming soon)
- 11/11 – Multi-Team
- 11/25 – Dominion
- 12/9 – Race
- 12/23 – Rocket Race
Shea explains that, “We know removing playlists might sometimes be painful, but it is a necessary part of sustaining a game and its multiplayer community, and we do it knowing the positive impact it will have on your online experience.”
Lastly, the team has publicly stated the issues they will be looking into that came into effect during the release of the Champions Bundle DLC last month. Shea writes that we can expect an update late September that will look into the following:
- Prefect, Mark V and Ricochet forearms display as ODST in first-person POV in Custom Games and Matchmaking.
- Some Forge items in the “Scenery” and “Gadget” palettes of the Majestic and Castle Map Packs will have incorrect labels.
- Non-host players in Forge mode will be unable to see other Monitors, though Gamertags will still hover. The host of the game is able to see all Monitors, and there is no additional gameplay impact – all other Forge features are fully accessible.
- Loadouts are reset and Spartan Points are refunded when a new Loadout slot is unlocked. This occurs at SR-6, SR-14, SR-26 and SR-41 (and at other times as well). When you reach these levels, you will need to re-purchase all items and redo your Loadouts. No Spartan Points will be lost.
Despite entering into the tail end of its life cycle on the current-generation Xbox, it appears that there is a lot to look forward to for Halo 4, as small as the upcoming changes might be.
With that, we want to ask you, how much longer do you see yourself playing Halo 4? Are you dropping everything Xbox 360-related when the next-generation consoles hit, or do you see yourself sticking with the Xbox 360 and Halo 4 well into the future? Let us know in the comments!