Halo: Combat Evolved testing could begin in January, 343 Industries says

Have you been banned from Halo: Reach, and you're pretending that you don't know why? The latest Halo: The Master Chief Collection development update might be able to help clarify where you went wrong.

"We are committed to ensuring that players have a positive, fair, and safe experience playing MCC online," developer 343 Industries wrote. "While many of the behaviors we’ve seen may seem innocuous, the reality is that when a player participates in something like 'AFK farming' in Grifball, they’re creating a negative experience for all the other players in the session. Over time, this creates real issues and hurts MCC by driving away frustrated players."

To make sure that everyone is on the same page, 343 shared a list of three things that might not seem like big deal, but are:

  • AFK & Macros: This has been and will remain a bannable offense. For now, we have only issued temporary bans based on the egregiousness of the offense. We will continue to monitor this behavior and take enforcement action as needed.
  • Coordinated XP Boosting: This is a bannable offense and falls under category of unsociable and unsportsmanlike behavior. Many, if not all, of the reports we have received on these involved various forms of bullying, hate speech, intimidation, and betraying against players who joined a match and did not want to participate in the XP bossting activity. This is not behavior that we will allow or tolerate in any way and we encourage players to continue to report instances of this happening so we can investigate. Also remember to mute other players and on Xbox, you can ‘block’ and ‘report’ players who violate the Xbox online code of conduct.
  • Firefight Suicides: Intentionally suiciding in Firefight in an effort to exploit XP gains is another bannable offense and falls under the category of unsociable and unsportsmanlike conduct. Reports of this behavior will be investigated, and punishments will be issued if found true.

The update also runs down a number of new features 343 is working on for The Master Chief Collection, including an open mic option for voice chat, interface improvements, and Message of the Day and Server Ping lists for PC. Improvements to the progression system and text chat are also in the works, while mod support, zoom improvements, and more video options are "in active design iteration." Other features that are being discussed but not currently developed include:

  • Regional server selection
  • Cross-Play between Xbox & PC
  • Steam account linking
  • VFR Improvements
  • Idle System Improvements
  • Customization Improvements
  • In Game FPS Cap/Adjustments
  • Better ways to report players
  • Bringing PC features to Console (Like FOV Sliders)

"As we close the year out and start to look at what’s ahead of us in 2020, I wanted to give you an update on progress we’re making on the other games heading to MCC on PC. Right now, we have a good-sized army of developers working through different development streams to support our efforts across ongoing Reach updates and quality of life improvements in addition to Halo: CE Anniversary, Halo 2: Anniversary, Halo 3, and Forge & Theater support (Reach first). Halo: ODST (Campaign) and Halo 4 are a little further out but rest assured they’re also coming to MCC on PC in 2020," 343 said.

"If work continues on its current trajectory, we are looking good to start [Halo: Combat Evolved] flights in January."

Halo: Reach, the first part of The Master Chief Collection, came out earlier this month and is very good.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.