Revised Halo Starship comparison poster!

Hot on the heels of this week’s bulletin, I’ve added the Vindication, Poseidon, and Strident class ships to the poster. Click to make poster a lot bigger!!!

StarShip comp 5-14-14_smPlease feel free to download the graphic. If you share it elsewhere, please let people know where you got the graphic from. Post “By Sal Salerno of” and/or the link back to this article: Much appreciated!



The Halo Bulletin 5-14-14


The weather in the Pacific Northwest over the past few days has been fantastic. The sun is shining each and every day, we’re into the 70s, and there is no rain in sight. I know this because I’ve been checking the weather forecast on my computer from inside the studio, where we are prudently planning for things ahead, one of those things being E3. By the time everyone leaves the studio each evening, the sun has likely gone down, but we move closer and closer to being able to share things with you early next month in Los Angeles. Many of you have been sending us countdown tweets or reminders for the past few weeks (and for many of you, months) which generally read something along the lines of “100 days until E3 (insert really excited exclamation here!)” and while we’re excited to see the event draw nearer, we realize we now have less than 30 days before the show. This preparation has us quite busy, so we have a lighter Bulletin today, but I managed to bother the Franchise team to answer some lore questions, and we’ve got a few Matchmaking goodies to talk about. Let’s get into it!

HFFL: Yes, HURRY UP E3! I would like some news of the Halo XBOX One Edition and if it will come with or without the Kinect!

Matchmaking Playlist Update


This Monday, we introduced Dominion Light, a 4 vs. 4 playlist that features smaller maps and slightly modified settings for smaller teams. We hope you’ve been enjoying the game type and the hunt for any last commendations, as well as the Commando armor set. Additionally, we updated Halo 4’s “Select Playlist” screen UI to indicate which playlists are new, featured, and which have received new maps and/or game types. We’ll continue to update this screen to provide an easy way to see what’s been added. Next week, we’ll have some news regarding the upcoming King of the Hill playlist as well as some other updates to a variety of playlists, but for now, we’ve got a new Community Choice Poll. This week, we want to know which game type you’d like to see featured in the new upcoming King of the Hill featured playlist!

Community Choice


Shotgun King
In the same family as Shotgun Ricochet and Shotgun CTF, Shotgun King equips players with Thruster Packs, Plasma Grenades, and a Shotgun. Get ready for some up close and personal combat.

Rocket King
Rocket King is not a game type for the faint of heart. Players willing to get in the Hill in this game type need to be ready for immediate explosions as well as lots of respawns.

HFFL: YES! I love chaotic game types like this. I’m voting for this one!

Mosh Pit
A game type that will be familiar to Halo 3 players, Mosh Pit uses one central Hill that doesn’t move, and provides players in the Hill with increased shields. There is only one rule: if you’re killed, just head back to the Hill and jump right in.

HFFL: This is a pretty good choice too. I’m all for one hip and one hip only! Lots of predictability in this game type.

Head here to vote on the Halo Waypoint forums, where voting will be open for approximately four days. Check back next week to find out which game type is the winner and will be included in the playlist!

Knowledge Drop: Community Q&A

After last month’s Knowledge Drop, we received more questions than ever on Twitter and the forums, and I’ve been sending them over to the legendary Franchise team in search of some answers. Learn about some lore below, and if you have any questions of your own, send them over to us on Twitter or in the discuss link at the end of this article. If you already sent us your questions but haven’t been answered yet, fear not – they are patiently waiting in line with the other questions, and may very well be answered soon.

Question: Do the ships of Battlegroup Dakota have class names, or are they just “ship class A/B/C”?

Answer: Interestingly, these ships were all part of the most recent Visual Guide, but didn’t make it in due to space limitations. Here are their names, but alas, which is which? Some of the more vigilant of Halo spaceship fans will likely be able to tell.

HFFL: For those that don’t know, Battlegroup Dakaota was at Earth when the Didact attacked it and later joined with the UNSC Infinity for the mission back to Requiem.

Vindication-class Light Battleship
Length: 1,580m (5,183ft) 

Poseidon-class Light Carrier
Length: 719m (2,359ft)

Strident-class Heavy Frigate
Length: 1,887ft (575m)

One hint is that the ships are not completely to scale with each other as objects in the game, but the dimensions above represent their fictional sizes. It’s possible we may dig deeper one day.

HFFL: Okay, since they want to be a little secretive and you folks KNOW I love Halo’s spaceships, HERE are the ships: 

In the graphic below, they are in order as presented above, Vindication, Poseidon, Strident:

3 UNSC ships 2

(side note, I pulled the different images from the net. I don’t know who the person is who got the screenshots.)

Here they are in relative scale to each other: 

3ships scale size

HFFL: (I’ll be adding these to my Halo ships scale sized poster shortly. (Likely tomorrow)

Q: What ever happened to Endurance? Did she Compose herself to drive a Promethean?

A: Keeping in mind that the terminals in Halo 4 are impressions of reality created by the Domain, whereas the novels are far more literal in their interpretation of the universe, you actually get a glimpse of Endurance at the end of the terminals when the Librarian takes Requiem’s Prometheans under her control. Her fate is clearly conveyed here.

Q: In the 1st level, the Dawn has a vacuum resistant energy barrier. Was that tech taken from the Covies or made by humans?

A: A little of both. There had been early experimentation with these kinds of barriers, but recovered Covenant technology ultimately tipped the scales to actual production.

Q: What made everyone of every race/culture/ethnicity suddenly drop all hate for each other and come together to form the UNSC?

A: The UNSC is an imperative of the UEG and both are the offspring of the Interplanetary War (and really the answer to it), which actually saw humanity at a state where the above kinds of hatreds weren’t the main ones in circulation. Frieden and Koslovic ideologies dominated the landscape and produced a variety of kinds of animosity. The UNSC wasn’t forged during a time of peace, but rather as a solution to a violent war.

Screenshot Spotlight: Sticky Detonator

Last week, we turned the spotlight on Multi-Team. Take a gander at the following Sticky Detonator screenshots, and maybe even find inspiration to make your own.

Screenshot spotlight Sticky Det

HFFL: I like “Cast Glare” (more for the Spartan’s armor than the sticky set, “Out of Ammo” again, more for the Spartan (love that crackling effect), and “Shocking“. Great use of a light filter there!

For your chance at being in the next spotlight, take a screenshot featuring the Shotgun and then tag it with “Shotgun” and “Halo Waypoint,” and maybe, just maybe, yours will be featured in the next Halo Bulletin!

And with that, this week’s Bulletin comes to a close.
Until next week,


Halo Concept Art: Halo 4 UNSC, Cortana and Master Chief

Each of these articles I’ve endeavored to show you something new. Today might buck that trend, depending on what you’e seen before. Many of these were part of the advertising campaign for Halo 4. Still, I hope you enjoy them. As always, if you ant to see them bigger, click on the pic!

First up personnel of the UNSC.

halo_4_scientistmale_final_sheet_by_kory_lynn_hubbellThis is one of the official orthogonal views from Halo 4.This would have been a typical male scientist aboard the UNSC Infinity. We didn’t quite see this version. Though it’s pretty safe to assume it evolved into Dr. Glassman as well as the several unhooded scientists seen in Spartan Ops.

halo_4_scientistmale_variant_2_by_kory_lynn_hubbellAnd here’s the hooded version. While the previous is similar in detail, this version is much better, just by the addition of color. I can’t stress enough how much color application to concepts helps to bring them to like.

halo_4_unsc_fleet_officer_lasky_by_kory_lynn_hubbellCommander Lasky. Now this is a proper finalized concept. All the details are there. Heh, strangely though the right one is incorrect. Note the forearm device. It’s in the wrong spot on the right. Obviously the head of the character changed. I’m glad for it too as this one looks a bit bedraggled and war torn. I appreciate the friendlier face we got in the game.

Lasky Trivia:
• He was the leading character of the Forward unto Dawn miniseries.
• There was a planned action figure by McFarlane that got to the near final stages before being pulled. (Much to the chagrin of collectors, me included!)
• Mega Bloks included a micro action figure of Lasky in their Halo Mega Bloks Mammoth set. (You can see my multi-part review of it here: Pt1, Pt2, Pt3, Pt4.)

Next is a compilation of various Marines seen in Halo 4.
And a close-up of one of them. Now, while I wasn’t fond of many of the aesthetic changes made to Halo, I actually have grown to like this marine style. For me, I think the Halo 3 style will be the truest version of them, but these are definitely second to them. In the compilation pic, you can see through subtle changes in torso armor, helmets, and color, 343 achieved a varied look without having to redesign each particular version of the marines. That’s great planning there.

Now Cortana. Sweet sweet Cortana, what did 343 do to you… sigh. Before I talk about a few pieces, I have to add that I was disappointed that 343 found it necessary to kill her off. In my opinion, she’s the number 2 character in the whole of Halo. She’s only second to Master Chief. Considering her unique creation, I had hoped she would survive rampancy and achieve meta-stability. Or at the least as the campaign went on, Chief would have found a way to save her. It’s not going to be the same, without her. Okay…now the pics.

halo_4_cortanaThese 3, to me, almost appear to be a little evil. Now that could be the rampancy state starting to show through. The other thing is the face. She looks a lot like Christina Ricci, the actress.

halo_4_vinyl_cortana_ks_by_john_libertoIn the above, I get a feeling of a cross-over between the Halo 3 Cortana and the Halo 4 Cortana. I really like this version and would have been quite happy with it being in the game. The color work here, even in mostly blue hues is very well done. There is a lot of depth to the rendering.

halo_4_chief_cortana_final_by_john_libertoThe above was made popular as a wraparound magazine cover. The front half showing Chief, while the back showing Cortana. This has also been available as prints. I can appreciate the work that went into this one. Tons of detail. Also, if you take a moment to consider it, with nearly everything else being blue, except Chief, his seeming to walk away from Cortana and her just looking on, this seems to have been a clue as to the ending of the game.

Using that last one, we’ll segue over to Master Chief.

halo_4_master-chief-sketchThis early sketch of Master Chief shows his armor in a very different version from what was ultimately used. Here the helmet is a lot more simpler as are the shoulder plates. As a concept though, it’s a great place to start the creative process that eventually led us to the Chief in Halo 4 that we know.

halo_4_m-092_kill_small_by_kory_lynn_hubbellThis storyboard concept of the final battle between Master Chief and the Didact is quite fun to read. The Didact looks a bit like General Greivous from Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. I like the caption used for Chief in the fourth panel. (Second row, first column) I’d love to see more of this kind of concept art released as well as it shows the creative process really at work.

Many of the next 10 are well known, so I’m going to just post them with little commentary and let you appreciate them.

halo_4_chief_12x12_print_by_john_libertohalo_4_chief_cover_b_final_by_john_libertohalo_4_chief_miamivice_style_final_by_john_libertohalo_4_keyart_rgb_vert_finalhalo_4_knightbattle_final_by_john_libertohalo_4_tease_secondary_verticalhalo_4_vinyl_chief_by_john_libertohalo_4_mc_scouts_infinitygoingdown_jb_sized_by_jonathan_bachhalo_4_scanned_by_john_libertohalo_4_walking_on_cadavers_final_by_john_libertoIn all of those, the detail and color were thoroughly flesh out. Some of those have already become iconic to Halo 4. This is fantastic art, even if not so much in the concept phase.

Tomorrow we’ll look at other Spartan armor from Reach as well as some equipment concepts.

Thanks again as always for checking out There’s a lot more to come, so keep coming back to see loads more Halo stuff!