Halo Community Update: Hammer Storm Preview

This is a reblog from Halo Waypoint (With what I think is some EXCITING NEWS!):


Happy weekend, friends. It is my hope that this update finds you well. Today, we’ve got a short blog celebrating all things love, and also a preview of the update dropping later this month. We’ll start this week with the ultimate Double Date, and the only plans you need for this Valentine’s Day weekend.



To celebrate the occasion, our multiplayer team took some time to create a special Valentine’s Day weekend social playlist, and having played myself in the lab, I can say that it does hit a certain soft spot. Something about the pink hues combined with a Halo 2 BR in my hands just does it for me. To ensure that you’re ready to take your relationship to the next level, here are the playlist details:

Valentine’s Double Date
Playlist description: Steak is for dinner. Losing team picks up the check.

  • 2v2 Social Slayer
  • Custom-themed and colored Breakout maps, with modified geometry and weapon placement
  • Halo 2 BR starts
  • Score to win: 30 Kills

We hope to see you in the playlist this weekend, and that each one of your Double Dates finds you ending up on top (of the scoreboard, cut it out).

HFFL: Hmm, I don’t know of too many couples that would play this playlist. As one of my friends put it during HFFL’s community night last night, “There will be a lot of Bromances in that playlist.” 

While on the topic of playlists, as a result of community feedback from a variety of sources, the Multiplayer Team will be making some adjustments to make social experiences more available (and more varied) moving forward. This means that rather than featuring weekend playlists every week (which often take our MP team away from the development of future full-blown game modes), an additional permanent social playlist will be offered, starting with Social CTF next week. This social playlist will offer an additional experience throughout the week (especially helpful for those who can’t play too much on weekends), and also allow another test bed for new playlists (including additional community playlists and more). Weekend playlists won’t be going away entirely, though. Valentine’s Double Date is a good example of a limited-time playlist candidate, and the team will still be building a few special weekend playlists here and there.

Before we move on, bs angel is up to her usual tricks, and has a selection of Halo themed Valentine’s Day cards. Head over to her Twitter to scope ’em out.



The Hammer Storm is coming, and nobody can stop it. Our aptly named February update includes new weapons, new game modes, a brand new map, tons of new REQs, game updates and other new goodness. Today, we’ll preview just a bit while still saving some for next week as well as this month’s live stream (currently scheduled for 2.26).

HFFL: Hmm, well then, we know that this won’t go live until at least then. 🙁

New Game Modes

As a reminder, the February update brings with it new modes such as Assault and Grifball, as well as the ability to create game types like Oddball and Ricochet thanks to custom game options. Also included is Fiesta Slayer.

HFFL: This is great news for ball handlers…snicker… Seriously though, Assault has been missing for awhile and it’s fantastic that it’s back. Grifball is of course another game type that many are happy to see return. Me included.

To hold you over until the live stream, I was able to grab an Assault screenshot from a recent Coliseum bridge charge. Soon, the ball will be in your court. Literally. Especially if we’re talking about Grifball.



As we teased last month, the February update brings with it a brand new map, named Torque. While we’ll be showing it off in this month’s stream, and there are a few sneak peeks scattered throughout this update, I also got the okay to show off a slice of the concept art for the map:


HFFL: This concept piece is by Sparth. Just fantastic, but then you longer time readers know I love his work.

Be sure to join us live in a few weeks to see the 343 gameplay premiere.


As has become tradition, we’re revealing the first look at Hammer Storm REQs in today’s update, which will give you a small peak at what’s to come, and some blurred images that will allow you to speculate wildly.


HFFL: I’m going to do a break down of these when the full reveal happens. For now though let me just make a couple of quick observations. Decimator looks like Athlon quite a bit to me (the helmet). The Maruader helmet looks a lot like Raijin while the armor like Atlas. Again, just at a glance. Hmm, a Legendary weapon? What could that be??? Lot’s of skins including those for weapons and armor/helmets. I see at least one new visor. A slew of emblems are coming. Yikes, this is the only area of REQs that I’m still a bit behind in. Not including this update, all of my REQ sections, except emblems are in the 90%-100 range. Emblems you ask? 70%…



In addition to the above content, Hammer Storm also brings with it a number of game improvements across Forge, fixes for issues with player warping and game de-sync in some rare cases, UI (user interface) improvements, and more. This week, we’ll preview some of the work that the latter team has been doing.

In each meeting I attend around the new building, it always seems like teams around the studio are grabbing me to let me know about something they just finished that is slotted for a future update. I then get very excited, and ask when I can tell all of you about it. The most recent example comes this week, when our UI team said “Hey, by the way, we’ve got some cool stuff coming in this month’s update!” So I then got the details.

HFFL: Now we come to the part that is particularly exciting to me. Well, the casual player part of me.

Like many teams at 343, the UI team is one that is generally well aware of community feedback before the community team can even send it to them. Here’s a summary of feedback we had seen after launch on colors as it pertained to Spartan customization, and some context from the UI team:

Kevin McGinnis, UI Art Lead

In an effort to give players more choice and control over the look of the Spartan and Emblem the UI team worked to expand the color palette. For Armor, we now allow individual selection of Primary and Secondary colors, and for Emblems, individual selection Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary colors. There are no restrictions, so players can choose 2 of the same color to create a totally different looking emblem.

  • Players couldn’t make their armor color similar to the Master Chief or other major characters
  • There was no brown, orange, purple, or black
  • There were not enough greens, and too many blues and pinks
  • Emblem “harmonies” (pre-set combinations) restricted player choice

So, then team has made the following changes in the February update.

HFFL: This is were it gets GOOD!

Changes in February Update:

  • Expanded the color palette for armor and emblems from 32 to 60 colors YES!!
  • Replaced the emblem harmonies with simple, primary, secondary and tertiary color options (see below) OMG, THIS SO MUCH!
  • These new options have no restrictions – you can make any 2 of them the same color and get a completely different looking emblem shape Hmm..wait, no restrictions? So we can’t make the tertiary color the same too???
  • These new colors carry over to Waypoint as well Okay cool.

HFFL: Okay, I know some of you may be saying, why get excited over a few more colors? Well, it may be the artist in me. But I think it’s more so that we have more CHOICE. That is something that needs to be in the hands of gamers as it makes I feel more empowered within the games we play. Doing away with the Emblem Harmonies to me is a significant change for the better, with regards to choice for players. Upping the range of colors from 32 to 60 really benefits us, especially with being able to make our spartans have the same color as Chief. That for me is probably the number one change that I’m looking forward to in this whole update. Yes, even more than the ball modes, though I’m of course happy for those too.

Here’s a look at the new Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary color selection for emblems:


HFFL: This is a fantastic color chart now. Colors are sectioned off nicely with 12 main colors, and 4 more shades of each. That will most definitely cover most of the spectrum for us and I can’t see much of a need for any further expansion on this, once it goes live.

Here’s another sneak peek at some of the new Spartan colors:


HFFL: Bear in mind the above screen was taking with a slight blueish tint. Still, you can definitely see the better range of colors being added here.



If you’re like me, you’ve been pretty darn excited to jump into Rocket League on Xbox One, and the game is coming on February 17. Xbox One owners will also be the proud owners of two exclusive rides, including the Warthog as well as the Armadillo from Gears of War. To get you excited for release, here are two more exclusive screenshots (thanks to the guys and gals over at Psyonix):



For more on Rocket League’s Xbox One debut, head here.



Each week, we stumble upon new amazing community Forge creations, and it is very hard to choose which to include in the community spotlight, so we choose a bunch! Let’s dig in.

HFFL: Hah, this is one time I got ahead of 343. I posted this very video yesterday…


By SplinterBL

This mini-game has been gaining some serious steam over the past few days, and we are blown away by the amazing creativity and absurdity of this game type, as well as Paranormal’s fantastic delivery of the video. Banshee Spatulas go up against Flapjack Hogs, and the rest is beautiful. Watch for yourself, and download from SplinterBL by sending them a friend or follow request on Xbox Live and selecting their File Share from your Active Roster.

HFFL: Okay, from here a couple of links Bravo put in don’t work. I’ve tried them in three browsers. So for now, until those are fixed, I’ve just put in placeholder text.


By ChewyNutCluster

Reaper has us amazed, creeped out, and laughing hysterically. Check it out below:

(Video link not working)

If you’re looking for more, here are some additional recent favorites:

Run to the Shrine (Obstacle Course / Run for your life map)
By Ry Ryno Ryry

HFFL: This map looks like a lot of STRESSFUL fun! LOL.

Departed (2v2 Slayer)
By The Slammerss

Description link

Castle Wars (this CTF variant is a bit older, but an instant classic as well)
By ProngedVermin0



This week’s play is an incredible display of determination, focus, and pounding from blake_brown:

(Video link not working)

Before we go, we’ve also gotta give a shoutout to Hidden Xperia for his Rig TS opening.

That’ll do for this week – let’s talk again soon. Until then,


This entry was posted in Halo Waypoint by Sal. Bookmark the permalink.

About Sal

I’ve got tons of experience with Halo gaming and collecting. I feel I have something to offer to the greater Halo fan community. Posts along the way will be about tips and tricks in the games as well as collecting and many more Halo related things. I’ll also repost interesting articles from the official site, Halowaypoint.com, or from fellow Halo fan sites. As I continue this blog, I hope to help gamers who want advice on the games, as well as any collectors with regards to where to find collectibles as well as deals, coupons and so on. You can also follow me on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/#!/HaloFanForLife or Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/halofanforlife11. Welcome to my blog and I hope you’ll come back again and again. -Sal