Halo 3 is an FPS MMOG

NOTE: because of all the idiotic bile-filled comments this post attracts, i just want to take a second to point something out.  the original prediction was made almost a year and a half before bungie announced what they were making. in other words, when i originally wrote this, we were just coming out of HOLIDAY 2005!

it’s called reading, people.  it’s a REALLY cool skill.  some of you should look into it sometime.

now, back to the original post…

another “you heard it here first” moment.

bungie’s new project is a massively multiplayer fps based on the halo universe.

there are several reasons for me coming to this conclusion. take, for example, prior expertise shown by the folks at bungie:

  • backend server integration with live – these guys are the best at running complimentary xbox live servers tracking megawatts of data. there is no other company around who has this much successful experience bringing external servers and xbox live’s internal servers into harmony.
  • creating party based play – their virtual couch. forming a party. why doesn’t anyone else adopt this? that’s why nobody plays other fps games on live other than halo 2. it’s good to easily play with your friends.
  • heavy, heavy investment in developing the halo world ip – halo books. halo movie. halo character crossovers. they have a fully fleshed out world.
  • the end of halo 2 set up ‘matrix online’ like mmog world ready for war – was it just me or can the ending to halo 2 be interpreted as ‘okay, here is your playground to battle in?’ here are tons of ‘events’ that can be happening. look how open ended it is.

now, let’s look at some of the things frankie was talking about in his last update.

  • extreme ui work going on – there is no greater ui problem than translating something like an mmo interface to a console. my guess? some kind of radial menuing system similar to a neverwinter nights and kameo (when selecting your warriors) cross. can you imagine selecting options by moving one of the analog sticks through a radial interface? hold it over the selected icon for one of dave’s “half second” intervals and it jumps to the menu below. no button push needed.
  • ease of inputing text – why would you need to input text on a 360 in halo? workin’ through text commands in the heat of battle’s not cool. hanging out in a social situation, tho, is much more understandable. social fps?
  • not necessarily split screen – split screen ‘normal’ fps? yeah, duh! split screen mmo? not really.

m3mnoch.

UPDATE:

a few other bonus thoughts.

  • make it subscription free, helping to legitimize live as a multiplayer service. no more of this “why do i have to pay?” nonsense.
  • hottest property (halo) + hottest console differentiator (xbox live) + hottest game type (mmo) = badass.
  • can you think of a better company (one who perfected online console multiplayer) to make the first fps mmog?

UPDATE 2:

so. evidently i’ve touched a nerve with the halo faithful. well. them and a whole ‘nuther crowd: lemmings.

anyway. i thought i would layout a couple of thoughts on how it might work. since some folks *cough* brian *cough* don’t have any imagination.

to get you in the right frame of mind, there are 2 memes to keep at the forefront.

  1. the same blasting, dodging, grenade throwing, first-person, non-rpg fun.
  2. world of warcraft pvp servers.

speaking of wow, think along the lines of aliance vs. horde. only, instead, it’s arbiters vs. spartans. pve could include the flood and the Big Freaky Tentacled Thing™. lots of pocket missions involving the second class citizens — grunts, soldiers, elites, etc.

it’s that third faction (the flood) that makes things interesting. they could act as the lever to counter-balance the world just in case the spartans or arbiters get too powerful as a faction. just enough to keep the state of the universe in chaos, and thus, fun.

they could still have arenas.

they could have big, epic battles pushing the war one way or the other.

they’ve already implemented leveling – based on skill, not time invested.

ranking and feedback? handled by xbox live.

fits right along with their entire “30 seconds of fun” over and over and over, don’t you think?

UPDATE 3:

oh, and of course, it’s not going to be called halo 3. they will still retain the right to make that one. to finish the universe. in the meantime, we’ll all be playing out the big final war on some game named something much more creative than “halo online.”

there’s a reason they keep referring to it as “their next project” and not halo 3. they sure didn’t mind calling halo 2… well… halo 2.

1/31/06 UPDATE 4:

a few things i’m tired of reading about in other people’s comments.

  1. yes. i know planetside was the first fps. i’m not talking about pc games here. i’m talking about xbox games. please pay attention to the context.
  2. legitimizing live as a multiplayer service. everyone who plays online in the pc world or on the playstation has the same argument “my online is free.” bungie, being first party, would be the one company who could legitimately make an appeal to microsoft for them to subsidize their server farm. it’s a benefit to microsoft as they can now combat the “free” counter to live by saying, “look! you get halo online for free when you sub to xbox live!” no other ip has that kind of leveragability on the xbox.
  3. mmo gameplay. previous implementations of mmo fps type gameplay all came out before wow damn near perfected pvp. and, having one npc faction eliminates many of the game design hurdles other non-rpg mmo’s have had. the whole multiple bases multiple ‘ring worlds’ theme allows for single player play. maybe the single player could just be set on a different outpost. maybe beating it unlocks the mmo aspects. there are lots of cool things you could do here.
  4. finally — FIRST PERSON SHOOTER. not rts. not rpg. not abc or xyz.

2/2/06 UPDATE 5:

sweet. an mmo that can be played on the pc too!

http://www.bungie.net/Inside/Page.aspx?section=Jobs&subsection=Main&page=1

they are hiring pc developers. presumably to port ‘halo online’ over to the pc. hmmm… broad platform support. play with your pc only buddies.  sounds good to me.

69 comments so far

  1. Simon on

    a fps mmog halo 3 would be awesome, i look forward to finding out more.

  2. jeff on

    a mmo for halo would suck big time. When I sit down to play halo I don’t want turn based action, I want running, jumping, dual wielding, grenade throwing FPS action.

  3. Bob on

    First MMO FPS = Planetside

  4. suckafish on

    To the writer of this article: You’re a fucking idiot.

  5. Alex on

    Seriously, this is a bunch of BS. Halo 2 got multiplayer right, and plus, Halo was always meant to be an FPS franchise. There is no way that Bungie would make a MMOFPS out of Halo.

    An also, this article thinks that Bungie would make the first MMO FPS? Not true. Webzen is making the first MMOFPS,called Huxley, to be released around late 2006-early 2007.

  6. Alex on

    I screwed up on my comments.
    Correction: PlanetSide by SOE was the first MMOFPS.

    To the writer of this article: Get a f*cking clue that people don’t want Halo as an FPS, and Halo as a shooter is theoretically much more fun than Halo as an MMO.

  7. camp on

    Interesting possibilities. Good job linking the clues…it will be interesting to see how Halo 3 pans out. Hopefully we’ll see something about it at E3.

  8. m3mnoch on

    obviously i should clarify first fps mmo for the xbox.

    and, i’ve been following huxley since e3 last year. webzen is always one of my favorite booths to visit. their stuff is so high quality compared to the other crap in that hall. they stand out like a sore thumb.

    turn based action? what? fps, man. not talking wow or guildwars here. just all the same intense action, just basically with a story and missions layered on top of the multiplayer in a persistent world.

    and, yeah. kinda like planetside.

    finally, i guarantee i have more of a clue than you do.

    m3mnoch.

  9. Zero Iscariot on

    Why it could be: don’t forget Halo started out as a strategy game on Mac!!!!!!!

    Why it’s not: Dev time. If it’s out at Xmas, it’s Halo 3, if it’s out in 2k7, it’s Halo: MMO, simple.

  10. m3mnoch on

    hmmm. excellent thought, zero iscariot.

    hasn’t microsoft been setting expectations long for the release of halo 3? that whole ‘not gonna counter the ps3′ thing?

    m3mnoch.

  11. Tokamak on

    Bungie is a game developer, not a Halo x developer. Get this; they might make a game that isn’t Halo 3. Maybe they have a 2nd team working on another project which is due to come out before Halo 3, which is why they don’t call it Halo 3 but ‘our next game’.

  12. peteremcc on

    what halo 2.5? heh

    would certainly be interesting and possibly quite good however as Zero Iscariot pointed out, if it’s coming out this year, I can’t see it being a MMO.

    Peter

    oh btw, I got a button for my blog too now :)

  13. Isurus on

    I like your theory m3mnoch. I think you tied together the clues in the Bungie updates rather nicely. And, for all of you saying “Halo is meant to be this and that”, it doesn’t have to be a game continuing the Master Chief Saga. This could simply be a game based on the Halo universe. Like m3mnoch says, they could hold off finishing the Halo story until a later date. I for one would welcome something new from Bungie.

  14. Isurus on

    Also, not only are they not calling their next title “Halo 3″, but they also haven’t really released any information about it yet. They certainly had no problem doing this with Halo 2. We haven’t even got a trailer yet like we did early on with Halo 2. My guess is that it is because this is something radically different than the previous Halo games and they are being sensitive to the fan base and want to make sure things are right and fairly polished in order to make a good first impression. They realize they could alienate fans, so they want to get it right before showing it to the world.

  15. Grudgenog on

    Maybe some of Nintendo’s smart rubbed off onto Bungie. Nintendo’s new “radical” strategies seem to work. Halo III better have some amazing new features to make it not… suck. Halo II had the Live capability. Halo I was just an amazing game. If Halo III were just another good FPS, sure, fans will dig it… but fans will be yearning for more. If this is the last Halo, then they want to end the series with a bang and have an amazing story, with amazing gameplay to back it up. Perhaps that amazing gameplay could be an MMO-styled mode. I don’t think that Bungie wants to sacrifice what they have going though. I mean, playing deathmatch after deathmatch with a few buddies is pretty fun once you get into it. We’ll see what happens.

  16. Kila on

    Just further expanding on Frankies own comments

    ” And we want you to play our next game for years” Taken from Bungiw Weekly update circa Jan 27th 2006

    They want us to play the game for years? So does this mean Halo 3 maybe more than 4 hours long? This is a reach but you can see where this is going.

    This next quote of Frankie practically seals the deal and is MOST Shocking of all

    “And that’s something else we’ll be paying careful attention to – how to input text quickly and easily. The Xbox 360 Live interface has its own conventions, so we’ll bear those in mind when implementing text within our next game. It’s possible for example, to input text into the Live virtual keyboard using a USB keyboard – although personally I seldom bother – it’s a pain for me to grab a keyboard and bring it into my game-hole.”

    Why in the FING world do we need to enter text quickly and rapidly in Bungie next game which we all can guess by now what it is.

    If I text message the Flood “I surrender” will they take me prisoner?

  17. m3mnoch on

    ?And we want you to play our next game for years?

    nice find! i totally missed that one. i’ll add that up into the ‘from frankie’ part.

    mad props kila.

    m3mnoch.

  18. ZippyZee on

    I don’t like your theory. I think your really reaching for ways to make it sound like it will be a mmo. If they change the game up so drastically, they run the risk of losing a core audience. I personally hate mmo games, I find them time consuming with no big payoff.

  19. Grudgenog on

    So because MMO’s are time consuming… they’re bad. That makes sense. God forbid there is a game with an ounce of longevitiy in it. Good call ZippyZee. Halo I and II didn’t have any groundbreaking length for singleplayer, but it was the COOP play, and the different tiers to play levels on that made you want to go back. That’s what I personally love; that addicting feel to the game that makes you WANT to play. Halo II on the other hand didn’t have so much of that. Partially because the Arbiter missions felt silly. Whatever. m3mnoch, I like what you are doing. Keep it up!

  20. [...] M3mnoch tipped Joystiq whom agreed the possibility that the next Halo will not be Halo 3 but instead be Halo Online. Halo will become a first-party MMO. How could anyone come to this conclusion you may be asking yourself. Simple, in the last update, there was talk about some very MMO-like features. There was talk of extreme UI work going on: MMO’s have very complicated UI’s. There was talk of ease of inputing text: Halo has never needed text before, but MMO’s use text to a great extent. There was talk of it not being necessarily split-screen, which would means that offline multiplayer is not necessarily a given: there is no multiplayer in MMO’s because the entire thing is online multiplayer. [...]

  21. Makari on

    Another detail that helps fit the bill of a fps mmo that i thought of without even reading any of this is pete parsons description:

    “Describe Bungie’s next project in exactly seven words.

    It’s like a cake filled with pies.”

    A cake filled with pies sounds like games within a larger game.

    Although this sounds like a strech, i believe its accurate.

  22. Jeffrey_Lucero on

    Risky move from bungie if the do it they might flop. I dont think it a good idea whit PS3 on the way y take such a big risk.
    But on the other side it might be a great oppetunity for them too kick the PS3 and nintendo’s (i still love u) A$$ imagine a MMORPG where u can decide to be a Grunt Hunter Humans (I really dont think that playing as master chief be possible(there’s only 1)) and do battle for contries etc….
    That can set a part the XBox 360 form the PS3 Nintendo big time and be a syteme seller and maybe impact japan to buy 360s well maybe not. Just my two cents wadday think ppl.

  23. Jeffrey_Lucero on

    I dont belive it no really every one look it says in a offical stament that «HALO 3 WILL NOT BE RELEASED IN 2006» O_O wow it got this news from here http://www.kotaku.com/index.php?page=3

    The MMOFPS may no look so stupid now…

  24. Isaac on

    Holy shit… and I thought that we would have needed too much time for a Halo MMOFPS! M3mnoch, I’m not a fan of Halo nor FPS for that matter, but MMOFPS on a console sounds amazing; what do you think the limit of people at the same time in one scenario could be?

  25. talkislam on

    sounds right. but one thing is that i think it’ll be 2 cd’s actually. they’ve got the money and creativity to make a perfect halo. and one disc would be an awesome sinlgeplayer, with a bunch of features. And the other disc would be composed of all the very anticipated mmo. but thats just me.

  26. Halo man on

    That is absolutely stupid to make halo 3 a MMO i love halo2 the way it is and i reckon there next project definetly is halo 3 because if youve read this weeks weekly update you will notice at the bottom there is a picture of a spartan and every 2 seconds he puts up 3 fingers and winks. And they havent brought trailers out because it is not ready. i reckon it wont come out till 2007

  27. Doug teh H-Nut on

    If you turn out to be correct (and I would love those bragging rights) then this will be awesome. I love Halo: Combat Evolved’s multiplayer. Its single player campaign leaves something to be desired. If they would make an entire game based around the multiplayer, it’d be sweet. (I’d just need to get broadband…)

  28. [...] In other news, Addicting Entertainment is claiming that Halo 3 will be a First Person Shooter MMORPG [...]

  29. Kila on

    m3mnoch, I’ve been further disceting Frankies comments from the Weekly Update and found this intresting.

    “The ability to rapidly prototype gives Dave the flexibility he needs to test, hone and tweak the UI right up until the last second. It may sound a little detail obsessed, but we’re very concerned with making the entire experience of our games a pleasant and intuitive one.”

    He said “our games” alluding to possibly more than one game?

    Maybe a Single player True sequel to Halo 2 Halo 3 cuz the Story has to finish.

    And a Standalone MMORPG FPS Hybrid as you stated.

  30. Kila on

    “It looks very different from anything we’ve done in the past.”

    Also taken from the last Weekly Update where Frankie states that the next game will have
    Split screen Co-op, and Four PLayer Split Screen

    We’ll he did say What if? but that seems it was just to cover up

  31. Oncnawan on

    If for no other reason, this is most probable because FPS games will HAVE to evolve. We have a plethora of FPS games on the market, with many more coming out. Each is trying to differentiate itself in some small (or medium-sized) way. For Halo 3 to be the big splash that Bungie and MS want it to be, it will have to be bigger than Halo 2. Do any of you naysayers truly believe that the next Halo game will be nothing more than Halo 2 with prettier graphics and a more complete single-player campaign? Maybe it will just be shinier?

    Part of the reason why many gamers complained that the launch titles for the 360 seemed current-gen is because they only received a graphical upgrade. Where else is there to go? Gameplay? Is adding some quirky time altering mechanism really “mind-blowing” gameplay? Is gravity shifting enough to make a game “next-gen”?

    Why do games suck? Better said, why do all games lose appeal with time? Because, without some grander context, that 30 seconds of fun that Bungie tries to nail becomes very repetitive after a while. Think of it as a story. Most games have stories. Books tell stories, too. Some books tell short stories. Some books are part of a series of books that tell a longer story. Some books, take comic books for instance, release hundreds of books over a period of decades, telling one great story. There are some pretty great short stories out there. The Gift of the Magi is one of them. My family reads the story every Christmas. It is a touching story. I don’t read it every day.
    Games share many similarities with books in that sense. Many tell stories, some are more engaging than others. Some are longer, some are shorter, some are not worth playing. Ultimately, however, the story gets told (you finish the campaign), and if you want to play some more, you have to “reread the story.” Therein lies the appeal of the MMO. An MMO blends the story arc of a single-player campaign with the community, intensity and freshness of multiplayer. Or, they can. Some just make you grind forever in order to extract monthly subscription fees. But, I digress.
    More games are trying to expand their story arc beyond Bungie’s thirty seconds of fun. Take Battle for Middle Earth II, or Empire at War. Each has a global or galactic (respectively) strategic paradigm which lends immediacy and materiality to the standard RTS action in a skirmish battle.
    Short stories aren’t enough.
    The future of great games, truly next gen games, is in the multi-player element. When the lasting appeal, the adrenaline, the competition, the community of multiplayer gaming is blended with the poetry of the singleplayer story, gamers have great reason to play a game.

    There will still be games that are single-player only. But they will target casual gamers, for the most part.

    Until a drastically different interface is developed for gaming (both input and output), gaming is going to retain its appeal by going online and creating compelling worlds in which to game.

    This is the vision that MS has (and has forced the competition to adopt, at least in part) of the gaming experience. Within the universe of the Xbox 360, all games are to be Live enabled. There will be a community around each game, even if only on the leaderboards for an offline game (Kameo). But, to reiterate, the truly GREAT games will be a complete online experience, with a persistent world. Genres will blend. Current generation MMOs will seem bland and shallow by comparison. As an example, let us take what today or tomorrow is known as an MMOFPS, in this glorious future I have painted for you it will incorporate elements of:

    Racing games through more realistic physics for vehicles and a more specified role for vehicles in and out of combat

    a limited version of RPG level gain, with higher level characters having access to positions of command and maybe even access to higher level vehicles (think of qualifing for a tank license)

    Sim elements, like managing the economy and politics of the world where your troops are garrisoned

    RTS elements for commanders of troop units from squads up to armadas, as well as construction of defensive fortifications, to the shipment of reinforcements to the front of a hot battle

    Modding, through tapping player talent to give the game new life through new resources, travel technologies, spell casting methodologies, and, yes, guns. Think of a game where the technology available to the playerbase evolves over time (over the 4-6 year life of the game). This would be determined by choices made by high ranking officers within the faction, shaped by players who act as in-game “engineers” that create skins and specs for the new gun or new vehicle, guided and balanced by game company employees to blend into the game world

    Media integration: think live concerts, in the game world, with bands playing live and the tunes being patched into an ampitheatre in the central city. Bands can reach millions of potential listeners in one giant virtual event.

    This is where games are headed, technology just has to catch up. In the meantime, the short-sighted gamer runs rampant on the fora shouting his “Igno-Rant”. Back in the day, the cry was “FPS is (sic) only for PC, they will never work on consoles.” Riiiight. Now, I hear, “RTS belong on PC. Battle for Middle Earth II will never succeed on a console, because in my myopia, I can only see what is and not what should, can and must be.”

    For all of you who want to recycle the same gaming elements within a closed universe, never fear. These great games of the future will incorporate “arena” like battles similar to current online play. No story, no context, just shoot to kill, or score, or whatever.

    Catering to a crowd like this, however (evidenced by half of the posts on this forum), visionary game and console developers who are pushing this envelope must feel as though they are casting their pearls before swine (no offense to the other half). In the meantime, game on.

  32. Corvall on

    The MMOFPS model has been working for 5-6 years (before Planetside) for World War II Online (click link on my name). Yeah, you may not like WWIIOL because of the emphasis on realisim that can lead to downtimes, but a Halo MMOFPS wouldn’t have these constraints, so it could appeal to a broader audience (read: rabid Halo fans).

    There is definitely a LOT to consider, but the fact is that it can be (and has been) done, and it can be VERY fun.

  33. Master Mike5280 on

    GTA MMOG, that would also be sweet!

  34. Kila on

    lloks like you are on to something hot m3mnoch. Even FRankie has started a Thread on the Bungie forums Call Frankies Proof Thread.

    I’ve had these same assumtions of Halo 3 being an MMOG FPS hybrid 6 months ago, But until now the last weekly update did it solidify with your Kotaku story.

    http://www.bungie.net/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=6076046

  35. m3mnoch on

    i think frankie started that thread to prove that was him on #hih. not to say anything about halo 3.

    m3mnoch.

  36. Daft on

    Not sure if I like the idea. I think an RPG/FPS game would be incredible. Mix KOTOR and Halo and you have an addictive single player mission that can lead you on different battles and different outcomes. MMO may be too much for the campaign and would put a sizable dent in matchmaking, the thing that made Halo 2 one of the most popular games ever. A MMO (WOW) model might be a little too much. An RPG/FPS would be a little less radical. Going too radical would be a mistake, IMO. I think people like the instant grtification of Halo deathmatches. MMO would become to much for what is essentially an instant gratification type game.

  37. hmaster on

    This is one of the most idiotic things I have ever seen. The logic here is absolutely ridiculous. You speculate way too much.

  38. Corps on

    This is a very interesting theory. And it definatley would be a Next-Gen type game that everyone’s been looking for. A completely new look at things.

    This is also the most believeable theory as it ties into everything else. The fact that Bungie originally said they wouldn’t be working on Halo 3, just their Next Project.

    This article makes me want to play Halo 2 again just for the story line. It would explain the open ended ending.

    Halo online would be the war between the spartans and covenant and could take place on any one of the rings, on earth or anywhere else.

    Halo 3 could be released later and “end the war” so to speak.

    Halo 1 was next-gen because it brought FPS to the console. Halo Online could be next gen because it will bring MMOs to the console. (Yes, I know there were other FPS’s and MMOs on consoles before, but none of them were very successful in mind.)

    It also wouldn’t surprise me if it came out this year. I’ve been working as an MS Partner for the past few years and if there’s one thing I’ve learned from them, it’s that they always think at least 5 years ahead. After the success of the first Halo, I’m sure they had already planned out it’s future.

    Great article even if it isn’t true!!!

  39. Kila on

    This weeks most recent update was just a bunch of questions. Bu I know that Bungie/Frankie addmitedly drops hints to the next Project every week, we just need to digg deep.

    m3mnoch you have inspired me, As well as others Credit for this goes to richcrickez of the Bungie forums.

    Scarab asks,
    Are there other kinds of Hunters that we haven’t seen yet? Cool ones with different armor and weapons. Or do they just have the one shape?

    As for the hunters, we’ve only seen them deployed combat type. Hunter society is complex and we have seen but the tiniest fraction of it. There are some fundamental facts about Hunter biology that mean the combat type is just the tip of the iceberg.

    “There are some fundamental facts about Hunter biology that mean the combat type is just the tip of the iceberg.”

    Thast section of the Weekly Update symbolizes possible configurations of Hunters and the first legit mention of Halo3

  40. Kila on

    This loosk long but it takes 2 minutes to read. Definitely fits with m3mnoch theory that Halo 3 is some type of Hybrid MMO.

    I will remind you HAlo was originally meant to be a RTS.

    This post is by “WHAT KID” in the xbox.com forums.

    It fits in perefectly with FRankies Extensive UI comments text comments etc.

    As you may recall, before I posted a tiny bit of insider info on Halo 3 and was
    caught by the mods for doing so. Fortunately for me, I’m fairly anonymous on
    here anyways. I don’t care whether or not you believe me and I unfortunately
    can’t tell you any specifics about who I am without risking my job but there is
    a memo/mission statement circulating between Bungie’s various development teams
    in order to get input from fellow Bungie employees on the various features
    planned for Halo 3. I’m one of the lucky people who got a chance to read
    through the memo. And outlined below are as many of the details as I could
    remember from it. Nothing here is confirmed, just several of the things being
    considered by Bungie for Halo 3. And don’t even expect to hear any solid
    details on Halo 3’s features till the game is well into development. Though
    almost all of this is still in the planning stages, I just thought that it
    might be nice to get the word out and get some input from the hardcore Halo
    fans.

    Changes to Online Play…

    Xbox Live games will have many more options and players can choose to play with
    31, 15, or 7 other players in the game type and the map of their choice. In
    Halo 3, players will also be able pick such rudimentary options as whether
    music tracks on their HDD will play in the background, whether they want
    infinite grenades and whether all starting primary and secondary weapons as
    well as the heavy and light vehicles are randomly determined each respawn.
    Everything in the game from the trees to the giant skyscrapers will be fully
    destructible in the multiplayer maps as well. Another feature mentioned was an
    online co-op and counter-op mode with up to 16 players. These 16 player co-op
    and counter-op modes will only be available for a select few massive open ended
    single player missions. There will be a ton of additional gameplay modes as
    well, including one where you spend the whole time on the back of a warthog,
    one where your job will be to accompany and protect certain individuals. In
    co-op 15 players play along side you as fellow marines while the counter-op
    team will assume the roles of elites and other units all over the massive map
    with the job of preventing your team from completing the mission in the
    allotted time. When one of the co-op or counter-op players die, they simply
    assume the role of one of the computer controlled allied or opposing characters
    should one be available.

    Changes to Level Design…

    In addition to dual wielding and stealing vehicles (and steal weapons as well
    using a new disarm attack), Master Chief will be able to swim very quickly and
    will able to sprint this time and will also be able to quickly duck and roll
    out of the way in order to avoid charging vehicles and hunters.

    Various weather and particle effects including snow, rain, lightning, dust
    storms (presumably for a desert level), fog (presumably for a rainforest level)
    as well as many ambient life forms found on Earth, including fish, sharks,
    alligators, birds, rabbits, stampeding rhinos (in jungles), and civilians in
    complete panic and disarray (in urban settings) will be included.

    The levels will be truly massive in scope, completely destructible (down to
    every last wall of every building), fully interactive (you can climb to the top
    of and fight in the rooftops or through the windows of virtually every
    building) and allow for full free roaming. All of Earth’s armies are immersed
    in a war to determine the fate of Earth itself, and the levels, the tone, and
    the scale of the gameplay will truly reflect this.

    The flood are making an reappearance possibly on Earth!!! (only they’ll now be
    faster, scarier and more hideous than ever before). And their numbers will be
    so massive at certain areas that the only way to survive is to sneak past them
    while destroying critical light sources to be able to hide in the shadows.

    The game will center on repelling the covenant invasion of Earth. The levels
    will be much bigger as will the number of enemies and the number of allies by
    your side. This will be a full blown massive war between the covenant, humans
    and flood with tons upon tons of units from each faction engaged in combat at
    any given time all over the massive levels. The outdoor levels also allow
    players to free roam and choose which battles they wish to engage in thus
    giving players the sense that they truly are fighting an epic war for Earth’s
    survival. To facilitate this, the game will be less scripted, the AI will be
    ramped up quite a bit more (to a degree that bots will require no additional
    programming time), the multiplayer games will support atleast 32 players at
    once, and there will be multiple playable characters with unique strengths and
    weaknesses.

    The playable characters being considered include Hunters (bigger targets,
    slower except when charging someone without a weapon, but they have more life,
    are much faster and have more varied melee attacks) and the flying Drones found
    in the first level of Halo 2 (weaker but faster and possessing the ability to
    fly limited distances). But there is talk that all the characters in Halo will
    be playable characters.

    The bots and AI allies and opponents will be so advanced that not only will
    they be able to drive realistically, every thing about their actions makes you
    feel as though you are facing a real human opponent. A feature being considered
    that’s tied to this includes voice control of nearby marines and bots. If
    implement, it’s possible that by utilizing the headphones used on live, nearby
    bots and marines will be able to recognize and obey simple commands such as
    defend this area (whatever area the crosshair is pointed to), retreat and take
    cover, follow me, drive this vehicle to enemy flag, provide cover fire, wait
    here, attack in line formation etc.

    A map/mission maker is also strongly being considered.

    New Weapons…

    Bungie is considering just having one type of grenade on the map. But these
    standard grenades can be made into the sticky plasma grenades, EMP grenades,
    proximity grenades, or bouncing grenades based on which button the player holds
    down as they press the trigger to launch the grenade into the air. If no button
    is pressed, they are launched as standard grenades

    EMP grenades – a much larger blast radius that are ideally suited for
    temporarily disabling all nearby vehicles including planes and helicopters

    Proximity grenades – explode whenever someone approaches them

    Bouncing Grenades – Bounce all over the map for 10 seconds until they hit a
    player or vehicle.

    Also under consideration…

    A gravity gun

    A flame thrower

    A new controller exclusively for Halo 3!! It’s a light gun shaped like Master
    Chief’s rifle complete with a scope through which to look through and zoom in,
    but with two triggers and two shafts, one to be gripped with each hand. The two
    triggers allow for independent control of dual weapons, or a weapon and
    grenades. And each shaft houses the two analog sticks and all the buttons that
    would found on the controller to allow you to do anything you could do while
    playing the game using a standard controller. If you’ve ever played Silent
    Scope or any of those games, that’s likely how the controller will be set up.
    But they’ll be a analog sticks that you can use to control Master Chiefs
    movements. And obviously… THE GAME WILL BE PERFECTLY PLAYABLE THROUGH THE
    STANDARD CONTROLLER.

    New Vehicles

    A helicopter that basically serves as the human answer to the banshee

    A large transport boat for the humans with a cannon and the ability to carry up
    to three people (expect there to be some extraordinary battles over water)

    All of the covenant vehicles (the spectre, wraith, ghost (basically the
    equivalent of a jet ski) etc.)

    can now hover over water as well

    The Pelican, Covenent Shadow, Phantom, and Scarab can all now be driven by
    human players. In fact, occupying and driving the Scarab to the enemy base so
    that you can destroy it while the opposing team tries to board and regain control
    of the Scarab (in order to do the same) will be one of the key multiplayer
    modes available online.

    A fast ATV/Motorcycle type vehicle that serves as the human answer to the Ghost
    is being reconsidered. Only now, it may be in the form of a small fast hover
    craft that can be driven over bodies of water as well.

    The plan seems to be use much of the 360’s processing and graphical power to
    create much bigger, much more populated, fully destructible levels with a great
    many enemies, realistic AI, and many simultaneous battles. Halo 3 will not be a
    scripted action FPS. It will be a dynamic world with combat going on
    simultaneously at all parts of the world at all times. The player will be able
    to roam to any part of the level at any time and still find plenty of battles
    to engage in. The exact same level will pack a very different experience each
    time you play it depending on the route and strategies you use to get to your
    objective. In addition, all actions and events will be stored to the HDD so
    that players will be able to review their gameplay from multiple angles at any
    desired speed after the level ends and players will even be able to store their
    favorite clips of gameplay to the HDD. You know how during Live matches, you
    get to view the gameplay of a fellow teammate from a more aerial perspective.
    That seems to be similar to what Bungie is going for only you can zoom in on
    the footage from multiple angles. And while this alone is enough to make the
    gameplay revolutionary for an FPS, it actually seems to be a part of a
    revolutionary new gameplay mode that Bungie is trying to implement.

    So why am I putting so much emphasis on the zoomed out camera mode and the
    massive level sizes? Why is Bungie dedicating so much time to programming in an
    AI smart enough to literally take over for a human player for short periods of
    time? Why are there going to be so many characters engaged in combat all over
    the level at any one time? Why did Bungie spend such a large part of Halo 2
    introducing a new covenant ally that is also a playable character? Because
    Bungie’s current plan is to take the Halo universe back to it’s original roots
    in some of massive outdoor maps in the single player campaign. And by it’s
    original roots, I’m referring to how Halo originally started as an RTS. This
    caught me by surprise when I first read it as well. Fear not, a top priority
    seems to be (and I say so because it was emphasized multiple times on the memo)
    is that this will be integrated into the gameplay seamlessly so that players
    can easily switch back and forth from the aerial RTS perspective whenever they
    desire. Halo is still fully designed to be an FPS first and foremost and you
    will be able to play through the entire game without once having to try the RTS
    aspect of the game if you so desire. Every level starts from the FPS
    perspective and ends with the FPS perspective. Sure in some of the massive
    outdoor single player levels, you will be able to zoom out to a more aerial
    perspective for some RTS functionality at any time, but this is by no means a
    critical component of the game, just a fun diversion of sorts.

    So how will this feature be implemented? From what I can gather, everything
    about this mode, including whether or not it will even be included, is still
    very much up in the air. Several Bungie employees are unsure how fans will
    react to this addition, no matter how well it’s implemented or how unobtrusive
    it will be to the FPS mode. So if you’re indeed interested in seeing this
    feature be implemented, I strongly recommend that you contact Bungie with your
    opinion. But here’s how the mode is being approached for now. Cortona will be
    rescued early on and will take charge of coordinating Earth’s forces against
    the invading hordes. She will be observing the entire battlefield from an aerial
    perspective. And in certain levels, you can opt to switch to her perspective by
    pressing a button (likely the black button) giving the AI control of Master
    Chief or the Arbiter or whichever character you were commanding. The AI plays
    far more conservatively with these characters than a normal human player so
    they won’t die on their own losing you the mission. But since they are not
    nearly as aggressive as human players, assuming their character will be
    essential to complete missions. As Cortana, you will assume Cortana’s various
    duties but can at anytime opt to switch back to your character, or possibly any
    allied character found on the battle field that you select.

    So what exactly will you be able to do as Cortana and how will you be able to
    execute these commands with so few buttons? According to the memo, this seems
    to be the current plan. Cortana’s primary job will be coordinate troop
    movements. All allied forces will be divided into various squads that Cortana
    can cycle through with the press of a button. You use one joy stick to move the
    pointer around the map and the other to change the camera angle and zoom in and
    out. While the various squads will use their AI to direct their general actions
    and will often follow Master Chief or the Arbiter’s lead, Cortana will be able
    to order the selected squads to go to any point selected by the pointer and
    will be able to command them with basic voice commands such as defend this
    area, assault or attack this area etc. Cortana will also be able to select individual
    units on the map using the pointer and give them commands such as (using the
    pointer as an indicator) drive this vehicle, man this turret, take this sniper
    rifle, leave your squad and go to this high point and snipe this area, be the
    gunner of this vehicle and she can then use the pointer to select the entire
    vehicle and order it to attack a certain point etc.

    Good squad coordination to take advantage of choke points, good sniping spots,
    defend critical buildings, provide supporting fire to another squad in trouble,
    sneak into and destroy critical enemy structures, destroy critical vehicles
    will all make the level much easier for Master Chief and/or the Arbiter. In
    addition, there will be various drop ships all over the battlefield that pick
    up newly built vehicles or newly trained troop squads and drop them off in
    needed regions on the battlefield. While this process is completely automated,
    Cortana can use a button to cycle through and take control of active drop ships
    to ensure that the drop ships take the safest, fastest route possible and drop
    off supplies to the squads that you intend to use for future assaults etc.
    Bungie is also considering implementing an influence bar for Cortana.

    While new squads of troops may be trained at the barracks on the battle field
    and dropped off for deployment, Cortana can also use up her influence (with the
    press of a white button) to request additional troops, weapons, or vehicles be
    dropped off to the area indicated by the pointer via drop ships from bases that
    are some distance away from the battle field and thus out of the level’s view.
    Her influence bar will increase as allied forces destroy enemy vehicles, units
    and buildings. And this bar is depleted slightly everytime Cortana requests
    additional units or vehicles. Cortana will not be able to construct new
    buildings or rapidly repair entire buildings as is possible in most other RTS
    as it’s not realistic having a building pop up in the middle of a battle. But
    there will likely be various buildings already on the map that Cortana will
    have to defend and utilize. And Cortana will be able to cycle through the
    various buildings on the level with the press of a button.

    For example, there may be various powerstations on the battlefield that you as
    Cortana will have to defend. Should one of them be damaged or destroyed,
    Cortana will choose which of the support buildings will be powered down
    (indicated by all the lights inside the building going off). These support
    building will likely include turrets surrounding key choke points, various
    factories that can produce a couple of vehicles of Cortana’s choice throughout
    the course of a battle, repair facilities that can fix damaged vehicles.
    Cortana will be coordinating both human forces and allied covenant forces led by
    the arbiter and will thus have access to human drop ships on some levels and
    covenant drop ships and units and vehicles in other levels. All of these tasks
    are automated and most of these actions occur without you having to order them.
    Squads attack nearby enemies on their own. Drop ships drop off supplies on
    their own etc.

    When playing as Master Chief or the Arbiter,
    players won’t even really notice all this stuff going on in the background.
    Occasionally, Cortana tells you where to go. Occasionally, drop ships drop off
    additional marine squads, weapons, and vehicles for you to use. This aspect of
    the game will feel identical to how Halo 1 and 2 feel. They maybe able to
    request additional supplies or troops dropped off by cortana. And it’s likely
    they will be able to request air strikes from support ships onto specific
    locations. But these won’t significantly alter the gameplay. The only key
    differences will be more open ended level design, gameplay, fully destructable
    environments, and more enemies on screen for those particular levels where the
    Cortana mode is available. Other levels such as indoor levels will feature
    objective based gameplay with various check points as before. But as Cortana
    you can take charge and coordinate how these all background tasks occur.
    According to my friend, Bungie really wants to find a way to incorporate this
    new mode into online play (perhaps having one player on each team play
    Cortana’s role for the team defending various buildings and commanding all the
    drop ships while all the units on screen are played by real people). But this
    is a task that’s far easier said than done.

    There were some other stuff but this is all that I can remember at this time.
    If I get another look at the memo or remember anything else, I’ll add an
    update.

    Some feedback I received from Halo players that I’ve told about this and my
    responses to them…

    “In Single player, it maybe awesome but playing as hunter or drone in
    Multiplayer is going to fail , the cool thing in Multiplayer is that Spartans
    are all equal, no one is more powerful than the other ones, I don’t want this
    to be unbalanced.”

    First, I’m not sure if you will be able to play as these characters in
    multiplayer too or be able to take on their role in some of the large outdoors single
    player levels by switching to Cortona and then clicking on any allied character
    on the map and pressing the black button. Even if your character is choosable
    in multiplayer custom games. I’m sure that in ranked games, everyone playing
    will have to play as either MC or the Arbiter to keep it fair. But in custom
    games, it doesn’t seem like a bad idea to let a human army with 16 players many
    using different characters, take on a diverse covenent army.

    “I love the RTS aspects of it that may offer a nice change of pace, but
    only if it means that when I want to play it the game as an FPS, I can play
    through the game in it’s entirety as a FPS.”

    Like I said, this seemed to be a top priority at Bungie as well. If they do go
    ahead and implement the RTS components, they will make certain that everyone
    that wants to can play through the whole game as MC or the Arbiter without ever
    once having to play as Cortana atleast from what I got off the memo. And in the
    indoor levels, playing as Cortana probably isn’t even an option. Those players
    who don’t want to play from the new perspective likely won’t have to. That’s a
    lesson that Bungie learned from the feedback they got on making people as the
    Arbiter. The memo mentioned a lot of people loved it, but some hated it. So
    this time, they’re going to make sure those that hate it can simply opt to
    ignore it without it changing their gameplay at all while keeping those that
    like the idea satisfied. And the memo mentions that Bungie’s research suggests
    even those that didn’t want to play the RTS elements still really liked the
    notion of being able to request additional troops, or call down air strikes
    which such a mode would make possible. You will probably be able to request air
    strikes and such as MC as well.

    So there is no reason to ever switch to Cortona, unless you geninuely want to.
    And I believe that the plan is, that even when you’re Cortana, things will be
    automated as if you were MC. Dropships will automatically drop off supplies and
    possibly pick up damaged vehicles for repair. You just have the ability to
    redirect the squads or dropships to go on a different path, in order to make
    the game easier. Bungie seems to want to keep this simple and entirely
    optional. Even for those that don’t opt to play the RTS component, this will
    provide a means for them to play as any character in the map, rather than just
    MC.
    AND I DONT KNOW IF THIS IS TRUE OR NOT

  41. m3mnoch on

    heh. right on, kila! nice work. oh, and i’m completely flattered by the inspiration comment. thanks, man.

    m3mnoch.

  42. Kila on

    I’ve got an update for you m3mnoch the post above my really long one that I too from “WHAT KID” in th xbox.com forums and posted in the Official Bungie forums ha been upgraded from teh FLOOD forum which is just for random imateur BS to the UNDERGROUND which a more serious froum where actual Bungie employees liek Frankie talk. Looks like its making waves and has more to it than we even know.

  43. jCsickZ on

    the “next project” is halo 2 on windows vista. what a let down, huh? That explains the whole text entry and pc programmer part :(

  44. MrNobody on

    you guys are idiots. A Halo MMOFPS would kick ass. It would also be exactly like Halo and Halo 2 in the sence of running and jumping, shooting, and throwing grenades… the maps just wouldn’t be as extravagant as the ones in Halo 2, well, because they would need to make them bigger in order to occomodate over a million players.

    Just think of Halo 2 online, except bigger. (and porbably objectives that give you vehicles, better weapons or certain checkpoints etc.)

  45. [...] The speculation comes from this article about the possibility that Halo 3 is an FPS MMOG. Of most interest is this great little quote about why Bungie would create a virtual world for Halo: creating party based play – their virtual couch. forming a party. why doesn’t anyone else adopt this? that’s why nobody plays other fps games on live other than halo 2. it’s good to easily play with your friends. [...]

  46. HALO FAN on

    THEY SHOULD HAVE IN MULTIPLAYER YOU CONNECT 2 XBOXES TOGETHER AND ONE MAKE TEAMS.FOR EXAMPLE 1 TEAM HAS A TEAM OF COVENANT AND THE OTHER HUMANS AND CHEIF.AND YOU HAVE A LIMIT OF ELITES SAY 2 AND GRUNTS 4 AND HUNTERS 1. AND THE HUMAN TEAM.ROKET TROOPERS, SNIPERS,SMGS,BATTLE RIFLES AND OF COURSE CHIEF.

  47. HALO FAN on

    i THINK YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO PLAY AS GRUNTS,hUNTERS,MARINES,FLOOD,ELITES,CHIEF.

  48. HALO FAN on

    They should tell you the whole starting of halo and what happens to the four runners and keep some of it a mystery

  49. Kane on

    Gears of War – 8 on-line players (voice like robot)
    Resistance – 40 on-line players (lag free, voice like telephone)

    PS3 online gaming just begun and its kicking the competitors a*s

  50. Zakerii on

    Forgive me if I’m wrong, but the next “big thing” would be Halo Wars, an RTS-style game (you control troops and vehicles, think Empire Earth in the Nano or later ages) based on what was discussed in the (very good) books that fleshed out the series. It, like Halo 3, will be Xbox 360-based, so I’m fairly certain that was where all the hints went. Don’t believe me? Google it or something, watch the trailer for it, drool s’more.

    To be clear, the books focus on what led up to and the events between Halo 1 and 2.

  51. Zakerii on

    Typoed.

    To be clear, the books focus on what led up to Halo 1 and the events between it and the sequel.*

    Fixed. Yay grammar.

  52. m3mnoch on

    um. yep. i’d agree with you zakerii.

    you did notice that this post is a year old, right?

    m3mnoch.

  53. Kaine Wolfblade on

    Well, on the side of “rts” games…. i think that we can agree that the rts game AvP(aliens vs. predator, for those that don’t know) for Xbox was a big waste of time… It didn’t sell really well, and i really believe that it didn’t translate well from a computer FPS to a console RTS… Halo Wars (In development by Ensemble Studios, makers of Age of Empires) could very well take a turn for the worse… I’m NOT saying that Halo Wars will FLOP, I’m just saying that it COULD happen… oh and F.Y.I., Blizzard tried they’re hand at a console rts, STARCRAFT 64, for none other that the Nintendo 64…. they haven’t even looked at a console since then….

    And as far as an MMO halo game, that would be sweet, giving the war a more “hands-on” approach for gamers, rather than just playing as the MC, or the arbitor and running around shooting everything that moves (which is still fun ^.^)…..

    But the rumor of Halo 3 being the last…. I’m not too sure that’s accurate, considering if u remember in the first Halo, that ring was destroyed(they mentioned it again in Halo 2)…. So if the Arc is in fact activated, there’s still that whole section of the galaxy that’s left untouched… PLUS, the ring in Halo 2 malfunctioned, so NO ONE (other than the Bungie crew) will know if that one can even still fire…untill the next chapter…. If it cannot fire, then that is a second section of the galaxy that would be untouched….

    Hope that this was helpful in some way…..Keep up the good work m3mnoch!!!

    Kaine

  54. me on

    halo 3 is not an MMOG. you create different little games with little rooms and groups of up to 16 or something like that to be a massive multi-player online game you have to have massive amounts of people in the game think wow or planet slide or everquest…

  55. God on

    You sir are a fucking moron.

  56. naruto84 on

    I think you should make more predictions, you are doing well.

    There is one connection you are missing. A piece of information that is in front of everyone’s eyes that no one has connected yet.

    Here is your hint.

    Bungie is not making a Halo MMO.

  57. m3mnoch on

    good lord…

    okay, people. all of you dorks with brilliant comments like “You sir are a fucking moron” or “Here is your hint” — do me a favor — look at the original date of this post.

    the original prediction was made almost a year and a half before bungie announced what they were making. in other words, when i originally wrote this, we were just coming out of HOLIDAY 2005!

    hooked on phonics can work for you too!

    m3mnoch.

  58. naruto84 on

    There is a misunderstanding here. I was being completely serious.

    I thought you might have wanted to have some fun.

  59. m3mnoch on

    um. the only misunderstanding here is on your part. in that you thought you were funny. now, tho, you know you just look stupid.

    m3mnoch.

  60. naruto84 on

    Fair enough, here is your answer. I’ll give you the key after the announcement and it will be your turn to look stupid:

    Teehhmbboerotniouhbege’ e’h hatste lnsshacepes tmdrk emlfaah c o ee oneeooeg oio pmdurg tbew etlm ‘twf g o’;nrteoth b acistafaee tltostmuhlstmnea huwitohgsbhlu s vemse dfsKoahne.

  61. Zakerii on

    Haha, another delayed post on my end. Sorry for my part in not looking at the date and all. =P

  62. Zakerii on

    Just to follow up, after checking back randomly on a whim, why is there so much flaming over this in the first place? Sure, some people (myself included) commented pretty freakin’ late, but I was just trying to be informative, thus the lack of flamespeak, and then it went off topic and turned into how stupid people are.

    Yes, people should check dates and read, but they should also learn how to speak to other human beings properly. A discussion about games shouldn’t be used as an excuse to seem “cool because you can insult.”

    Anyway, really looking forward to Halo Wars and Halo: Forerunner among other things. There’s been sources saying Bungie really is considering an MMO, but it isn’t a priority ATM. Probably old news, but I figured I’d say something constructive on this thread.

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