Halo Community Update: Community Battlegrounds

This is a reblog from HaloWaypoint:



Greetings! Welcome Back. Glad you’re here. We’ve got a quick update today, but some good stuff inside. Let’s dig in.

We’ve returned from the Halo World Championship, which was a glorious celebration of fine-tuned multiplayer skill. This weekend was not only a historic time for Halo esports, but also a special weekend for me as a fan of competitive Halo. On the finest Halo stage yet, 16 teams from around the globe met in Hollywood to determine which was the best squad in all the world. Between Allegiance’s comeback in the quarterfinals and road to the finals, Epsilon achieving the first top 8 finish at a major North American event, and CLG’s dominance all weekend, the event was one for the history books. Memories were made, champions were crowned, new features were teased, and the HCS Pro League was announced. In short, we are indeed just getting started, and there’s plenty more where that came from. Thank you all for tuning in and making the Halo World Championships the most-watched Halo tournament in history. To catch the finals video on demand, head here.

Over the past few weeks, our teams have been preparing for the Ghosts of Meridian update, keeping an eye on feedback on things like Warzone Assault gameplay, sandbox tuning, region-specific matchmaking (we’d love your feedback in topics/region-specific-matchmaking-reports/36f63c75-36f8-4fc4-b970-995e39f2cd7b/posts%20″ target=”_blank”>this thread), and more. The MP team continues work on new modes,topics/torque-map-update/a91c4ec0-9946-47c2-a6d4-0d7147fb5449/posts%20″ target=”_blank”> has recently updated Torque and the topics/mantis-req-level-lowered/059a5dfe-f3ee-42b3-9168-524d65fb669c/posts” target=”_blank”>Mantis REQ level, and just today, based on feedback, we’ve loosened the parameters within social playlists to make them feel “a bit more social,” and also added some of our favorite community maps to BTB and Grifball. More on that later.



The next free Halo 5 content release draws nearer, and as such, we’re showing you more of what’s to come. You’ve already gotten a peek at Skirmish at Darkstar, the new Warzone map, as well as the Hannibal Mantis, in the last blog. This week, we’ll show off a few more items are inside.

Ghosts of Meridian will bring with it not only new maps, vehicles, weapons, weapon skins, armors, helmets, emblems, and more, but also game updates such as Forge improvements, multiplayer adjustments for both Warzone and Arena, sandbox and weapon updates (such as Spartan Laser tuning), UI updates, and more. Teams across the studio are wrapping up the release, and we’ll keep you updated as work completes and we get ready to send this sucker out the door.



There are a few new things above, and several that are yet to be fully revealed. Let’s take a closer look at a few.

HFFL: I’ll have a closer look article about these soon!

TARTARUS’ GAVELhammer-7b0d1f3a52694c609f69e7d64bb80b28HFFL: Wow, this is an awesome looking Grav Hammer!

HANNIBAL SCORPIONscorpion_hannibal_large-8bb255e08be24f4c807dbc071609bcea

mantis_hannibal-0700bd7295eb48d0be50c66e070937eeHFFL: Both of the Hannibal vehicles looks fantastic! Hmm….with corporations getting their hands of this UNSC military tech though…could it bring about the second Insurgency? If I had to make a guess, I’d say so.

dynast-front-back-f68fc77d219c44a4bb7787e8b0568c46HFFL: Okay, I’m a little perplexed why the “y” wasn’t added on to this to make it “Dynasty”? Still, take a close look at the armor. This is CLEARLY a nod to the Elite armor as seen in Halo 5’s campaign! The helmet is definitely the human representation of that Elite helmet. The armor is close as well. Certainly the shoulder pads are near exact. The way the thigh armor was designed, it looks much like that armor. Even the chest armor has great similarities.

So…if you can’t actually play as an Elite, with this armor, you can look as close to one as possible in Mjolnir armor. I am definitely liking it! And yes, before some of you bring it up, this could also be a nod to the CQB armor of Halo 3, slightly. I think it looks more like the Elite Storm armor though.


And lastly, the glorious Steaktacular emblem. Everyone loves a good steak.
HFFL: Who doesn’t like a good steak? Well, when I’m being “steaked” in matchmaking, I’m not too fond of it, LOL. 


For this week’s spotlight, it is only natural that we highlight the brand new community maps that have just made their way into the Big Team Battle and Grifball playlists. To start, let’s highlight the new BTB battlegrounds, and start with a fantastic trailer from ForgeHub:


Altar by WyvernZu

The largest new map in the playlist, Altar is a reimagining of Halo 3’s classic Sandtrap. Adjustments were made to create a more symmetrical experience for Capture the Flag while preserving the large-scale vehicular mayhem its inspiration was known for.
HFFL: I’ve played on this one, it’s not a 1:1 exact replica of Sandtrap from Halo 3. However, it’s a very good reinterpretation of it. Most of the map IS the same. It’s really at the ends of the maps where the bases are, are where the changes happen. Now if only we could get working Elephants on the map!

Boulevard by alex quit

Fans of Halo 3: ODST will feel right at home in this nighttime urban setting. Boulevard’s asymmetrical layout creates exciting vertical gameplay for infantry and light vehicles alike.community-btb-boulevard-c1188bef85fd4aa89e04d12ae39ec798HFFL: This is a good map. Visually it’s pleasing. Lots of variation in height and sight lines make this one of the most dynamic of the community BTB maps.

Eagle Square by SHIFTY time

A sniper’s paradise, Eagle Square provides large-scale urban warfare which truly shines in symmetrical objective modes.community-btb-eagle-square-d39b73dd4fde4544ad03a8c72e2f9267HFFL: I’ve played the most on Eagle Square so far. I really like it! It’s visuals are one of the best in this bunch. The bases are EASILY recognizable. Varied levels and nightlines also make this one dynamic. This could fast become a community made classic, IMO.

Fracture by Squally DaBeanz

Heavy vehicular warfare heats up the snowy surroundings in this symmetrical map set in a mountaintop research station.community-btb-fracture-fa89f6acfae5418fb314c5580a8c0497HFFL: Finally we have a BTB map with Mantises in it. I do have a few issues though with the map. For one, spawns are pretty bad. I spawned at the same location nearly the whole game after being killed. It was easy for the other team to spawn kill. That’s a BIG knock against this map. Also, the color are a bit bland and drab. As you can see form the pic above, it’s mostly steel, ice and snow. Makes for a boring color palette. As for gameplay, I never got the chance to get to the other side of the map. Way too many ways to be picked off. This is my least favorite of the community made BTB maps in this set.

Scavenger by CommanderColson

The rusting hulks of crashed starships create a perfect backdrop for the intense asymmetrical engagements found here.community-btb-scavenger-ea749becdacd4ab29e2e86360122910dHFFL: Now THIS map is one I’ve been wanting to talk about for awhile!  It’s similar to Wreckage from Halo 4 in that is has, well, a lot of wreckage. But that’s where the similarities stop. I have to say this map is BETTER than Wreckage. Why? Not only for the verticality, of which there is a lot, but the visuals are fantastic! Lots of HUGE chunks of debris. There are even moving parts on this map. Find the pistons and you will see what I’m talking about. Now, the color palette is a bit limited. However, it works for this map. It’s supposed to look like an old crash site, with pieces rusting. It accomplishes that in spades! For those of you who are snipers, there is ample opportunity to do as such. Need to get your Ground Pound commendation up? Oh yes…THIS is the map for that! There are plenty of places for long and/or trick jumps here. Of the maps I’ve played in the community BTB set, this is my favorite!

Viking by no god anywhere

Halo 3’s Valhalla makes a triumphant return in this impressive remake.community-btb-viking-c45bbb6ea6434bf59521d2ae5aa1b52bHFFL: While I haven’t had the chance to play this in the official Community BTB playlist, I HAVE play tested it. It is a most awesome remake of the classic Valhalla. In testing it was named Halvalla. This map is so good, it nearly looks Developer made! The interior of the bases is where you will find slight difference to the original. Other than that, this is nearly spot on. The only thing needed is a working waterfall and the river to come alive. Sadly, we as Forgers do not YET have the ability to recreate that.


Bloodsport by NLTROOO and Creative F0rce

Bloodsport is a remake of one of Halo 3’s most controversial Grifball courts: Chichén Itzá, or “Mayan,” as some might remember it. Resurrected by Nitro with help from Captain Punch and the Creative Force team, Bloodsport will bring back fond memories and create even better ones. Don’t forget to ground pound!
HFFL: I can’t wait to play on this map. I play on the original one from Halo 3. It was different for sure, however there was a coolness factor to it that separated itself from all other Grifball maps.

Blue vs Red 2003 by JA50N 0, The222v and ImDuhUnicorn

Like the first Halo: Reach Grifball court Bloody Grifball, suspended high above Blood Gulch, this court pays homage to the origins of Grifball.
HFFL: I’m curious to try this one out. The looming Spartan helmets though…LOL.

Crow’s Court by xNFx Monsta and RBG Persian

Crow’s Court, a monument to all the men and women who died protecting Earth during its darkest hours throughout the Human Covenant War. The court is particularly favored by the Grifball community inside the Infinity’s training simulation centers.
crows-nest-949882b38c1647ec816ee93406e8da03HFFL: Okay, if the rest of this map looks as good as this preview pic, I’m going to LOVE it! I haven’t yet played on it, but it looks stunning!

Grif Temple by Caustic Kirby

Meditate this tranquil spring evening in the elegant and peaceful temple to cleanse yourself of all thought except to vanquish your enemies with honor in the battle that is Grifball.
grif_temple-7a2eb16bafdc46868ee4a8dd8a63c5c7HFFL: Ha! Grif gets his own temple? Again, I haven’t played on this, but visually it looks great. An exquisite nod to the pagodas of the Orient.

Frontier by CaptainPunch374 and Creative F0rce

A lone ONI research station still stands among the mountains of planet Harvest, somehow untouched by Covenant plasma. The facility was tasked with testing the application of gravitic technology in weapon systems. Test sessions took place outside of ONI safety regulations, with subjects pitted against one another in the outpost’s arena as their superiors watched from the stands.

High Charity by Darkprince909 and Creative F0rce

Just before the Great Schism, there was a monumental shift in the Covenant’s penal system. If you were lucky enough to be taken prisoner, and not exterminated immediately, you would be forced to fight to the bitter end for the Prophets’ amusement. Thanks to the effort of the Creative Force team, you can enjoy all the mayhem this sport provided, without any of the lasting injuries.

high_charity-700dbeeb036142d0bf4305b13760f07fHFFL: I’m intrigued by this one. Nice to see a Covenant themed map!

Sandwich by Darkprince909 and Creative F0rce

Until recently, this wasteland held an ancient secret. Excavations uncovered what appears to be a large Forerunner arena. Leading researchers theorize that it was created for theatrical productions. But what do those eggheads know? If you ask me, it looks like a good place to smash stuff.
sandwich-e489e4e975ea4acdad705b41e8ee2018HFFL: I HAVE played on this one. It’s like a mini Sandtrap. Certainly looks like it belongs in the same place as Sandtrap is. Nice visuals.

The Arbiter’s Court by guss br

Inspired by Parallax’s new theme Ascendance The Arbiter’s Court, featuring launch cylinders and a 8bit Arbiter, takes to the skies to represent the limitless possibilities Halo 5: Guardians’ Forge provides.

arbiters_court-6410e887f65c4b77b0adacdd204022d6HFFL: um…okay… Well, I’m not a fan of the 8-bit style. We’ve progressed so far with graphics, that this is a step backwards, IMO. Yes, I know there are a lot of you out there that like 8-bit. Halo was never in that stage though and I actually lived through the 8-bit stage. I’d rather we keep moving forward with graphics.

Underpass by Katanga

Underpass is a Halo 5 Grifball court set beneath a busy overpass in a dense urban setting. The aesthetics of the map feature tall buildings, graffiti, homeless settlements and even a small playground, all contained around the outside of the map. This means no single section of the map looks the same, allowing for players to orient themselves without detracting from the gameplay.

underpass-5a7da7e1dbc049c59f55e1fc901b59b9HFFL: This reminds me of somewhere? It has a bit of the look of the Los Angelos canal. I want to play on this one to see it closer up.


This week’s play is a well-executed clip from NoodleWeird. After some well placed attention-drawing DMR shots, he puts up a play that earns quite a few style points.

HFFL: Now THAT is a shotgun SHOT! Fantastic KILL!

That’ll do for this week. We’ve got lots more on the way, so let’s chat again next week.

Until then,

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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