New Digital Short Novel Halo: New Blood Announced

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A new Halo novel has been announced and it’s taking us back to the Halo 3 days and ODSTs.  Following the story of Gunny Sergeant Buck after the events of Halo 3, this new Digital First Short Novel written by Matt Forbeck, Halo: New Blood is told from the perspective of Buck after the Human-Covenant war.  Here’s a short summary:

While Spartans get all the glory, no soldier?not even the legendary Master Chief?wins a war on his or her own. Gunnery Sergeant Edward Buck and his team of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers played a major role in saving the Earth from all-out invasion at the end of the Covenant War?acts of bravery and ingenuity that did not go unnoticed by the United Nations Space Command.

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Halo: The Master Chief Collection Content Update Beta

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

The next content update for The Master Chief Collection is slated to contain some major changes as 343 Industries is looking to use Xbox Preview members to do some additional testing on their next patch.  Xbox Live members who are part of the Xbox One Dashboard Preview Program now have the opportunity to opt-in to participate in a beta test for the next content update for the game by answering a short survey in the preview app.  The beta contains changes primarily affecting the matchmaking experience and party system.  The update is expected to be released to on January 23rd and run through January 26th and will be available to players that have the highest level of engagement in the collection thus far.  For more information on the update, head over to Halo Waypoint.

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MCC Patch Notes: Jan 19th

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

With the conclusion of the Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta, it’s time to turn our attention back to The Master Chief Collection, which has a whole new content update.  The update is a hefty 750+ MB download including fixes to almost every aspect of the game.  Here’s what you’ll get next time you launch the game:

Matchmaking

  • Improved matchmaking search success rates.
  • Made an update to reduce instances of “Awaiting Privileges” matchmaking errors.
  • Made an update to ensure player counts more reliably match the expected numbers for each playlist.
  • Fixed an issue where player would sometimes appear to be searching in an incorrect “FIND GAME” screen.
  • Added countdown sound effect to the voting timer.

General Multiplayer

  • Made an update to improve Halo 2: Anniversary network performance, specifically in regards to bandwidth spikes.
  • Made several improvements to party joining through the in-game Roster.
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Podtacular 458: Tangential

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The Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta is coming to a close within the next few days and we’ve been enjoying every moment of it, but with it’s inevitable end, we begin to focus on the Master Chief Collection again and the current state of Halo. It’s been a while since we’ve touched on anything that wasn’t official news or articles specifically relating to what 343 is doing with our beloved franchise, so this week we take a look at three different articles on this week’s show.  First is an article on Forbes on why people should not pre-order Halo 5: Guardains this far out.  There are many good points brought up on why it’s better for the consumer and the developer.  Second is from Develop with a look into the remastering of the Halo 2 Anniversary audio with Paul Lipton and how it has evolved.  Over three hours of new music and 16,000 audio assets is enough to perk your ears up.  Finally, an article on Kotaku brings a new video shining some light on some relics of the past with things that never made the cut for Halo: Combat Evolved and other little factoids.  Did you know there was a Harpoon and Gravity Wrench in Halo at one point?  We encourage you to all read through these at your leisure and discuss them in our forums.

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Podtacular 457: Happy New Halo

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We’re back after the holidays and we are feet first into the Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer beta.  At this point, we’ve been playing through Week two and three is coming very shortly.  As most of our normal antics go, the whole staff is on to kick off the new year of exciting opportunities and challenges we look to face head on and we hope you all will be there along the way.  We talk about our current experiences with the beta and catch up on our long abandoned mailbag for some lost gems finally making daylight.  We will be visiting the topic of Halo 5: Guardians in the coming weeks with more guests.

Shownotes will be available in the coming days. Thanks for your patience.

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Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta Week 3 Update

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Week three is here for the Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta and 343 has updated the playlists with new content.  Pegasus won the community vote for the Forge map that will be playable in the Slayer playlist alongside Truth.  Pegasus was one of the maps made in an early iteration of Halo 5’s new Forge system.  A new game mode Strongholds, which is similar to Territories is playable alongside Breakout from the Week 2 update and will be playable on Regret and Empire.  From Halo Waypoint, “To win, teams must control the majority of bases. Teams earn one point per second for every controlled base more than the enemy team.”  For those who are creatively inclined, 343 has released a batch of screenshots from both Pegasus and Orion for your viewing pleasure.

Pegausus

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Windows 10’s Next Internet Browser Codenamed ‘Spartan’

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While this isn’t related to any coming out of 343 Industries, Microsoft is developing a whole new web browser for Windows 10 codenamed ‘Spartan’.  It’s hard to pass this up as a coincidence since Microsoft’s new personal assistant available for Windows 8.1 devices is called ‘Cortana’, but don’t set your hopes on that becoming the final name of the new browser.  Both the new browser and Cortana will be built into Windows 10 upon launch later this year.  Below you’ll find an early build of ‘Spartan” loading Facebook.  It has a very minimalistic and sleek view taking a rather different approach from the different iterations of Internet Explorer.

microsoft-spartan

Source: Ars Technica

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