Oldtimers Halo 2 Review Chat Transcript

haveblue3: can you see this?

Randall Glass has joined this chat.

narcogen@mac.com: yesyesyees

haveblue3: narc says he can't see some people

haveblue3: is it working?

narcogen@mac.com: yeah. I see claude (greyed out-- away?)

louiswuathbo: what... the chat?

narcogen@mac.com: you and randy

louiswuathbo: I'm here.

Tom Van Sinden has joined this chat.

haveblue3: wierd

Sep7imus has joined this chat.

haveblue3: so we're all here except mig

narcogen@mac.com: yeah, strange, I see claude and mnem in the chat, but their names are ghosted

louiswuathbo: losar

narcogen@mac.com: wait, I see mig now

louiswuathbo: you see mig?

haveblue3: yeah there he is

louiswuathbo: oh.

louiswuathbo: online

louiswuathbo: yeah.

rgmontag: rg's here

vansinden5: It's the Ghost skull

sep7imus: I see him.

sep7imus: Where's Froggie?

rgmontag: bottom of Halo?

haveblue3: hmm... miguel looks like a cat to me

louiswuathbo: he's activating BSODs on regret

tehFrogblast has joined this chat.

louiswuathbo: he's back now.

tehfrogblast: hi:)

louiswuathbo: nice new trick, fb. :)

tehfrogblast: thanks

Miguel Chavez has joined this chat.

haveblue3: yeah hehe

rgmontag: so who exactly do i bill my time to? ;)

louiswuathbo: mig

haveblue3: when does the pizza arrive?

rgmontag: got my beer

narcogen@mac.com: is it GOOD PIZZA?

sep7imus: mmm... pizza.

jmchavez: sorry for pulling you guys over

narcogen@mac.com: heh.. I'm going to have to make do with coffee, it's almost 9 AM :)

rgmontag: 6:41 pm tuesday

jmchavez: aright, I klilled those invites

haveblue3: 9:40

louiswuathbo: lol

rgmontag: so i'll start... Half-life 2, while lacking Multiplayer, is still a pretty good game.

narcogen@mac.com: I thought we were reviewing Metroid Prime 2?

haveblue3: it's not lacking multiplayer any more... they posted some new maps

narcogen@mac.com: and anyway HL2 has MP now

rgmontag: KOTOR 2?

sep7imus: I thought it Was Prince of Persia 3...

haveblue3: you can kill people by hurling toilets at them

jmchavez: ok my isight is up and running

haveblue3: obviously this is far better than halo 2

vansinden5: I thought we were talking about anime

sep7imus: oh joy.

narcogen@mac.com: in SOVIET RUSSIA, toilets hurl into you!

rgmontag: nasty

tehfrogblast: lol

narcogen@mac.com: ok, we're never going to get anywhere if we start like this :)

louiswuathbo: eww

jmchavez: aright

jmchavez: so lets try to use old style

sep7imus: oh, I see.. Narcogen@MAC.COM.

rgmontag: i was hoping to go thru Halo 2 again but didn't have time

jmchavez: chatting etiquette

jmchavez: are we cool witht htat?

narcogen@mac.com: yes, it's a semiactive mac.com account

louiswuathbo: ...

louiswuathbo: what's old style?

narcogen@mac.com: Mig is evoking the no mom jokes rule

rgmontag: yeah

Sep7imus has left this chat.

jmchavez: sept left chat?

jmchavez: rules are

jmchavez: one person gets to talk at a tiome

Sep7imus has joined this chat.

jmchavez: when done,

jmchavez: types g/q

jmchavez: er

jmchavez: g/a

jmchavez: for go ahead

jmchavez: and then next person that wants to say something does so

jmchavez: my excuse for a poor performance tonite is that I just got back from a much longer work day than I expected

jmchavez: so I just barely had time to get here and setup the chat

jmchavez: i have no notes, and I WANTED notes!

jmchavez: ah well

jmchavez: so

jmchavez: I'll make an opening statemtn

jmchavez: and then hand it to whoever wants it next

jmchavez: and so we being

jmchavez: begin

jmchavez: It's the 7th btw... gah

narcogen@mac.com: well, 8th here :)

haveblue3: you don't count

narcogen@mac.com: yeah yeah

rgmontag: america rules

sep7imus: he said "ga" not "g/a"

narcogen@mac.com: I know, we're waiting for the opening statement.

sep7imus: (actually, "gah")

jmchavez: we're here assembled to try to make sense of the community and our own personal reactions to the game that was, for many of us, a focal point of energy over the last few months

vansinden5: months?

narcogen@mac.com: years...

rgmontag: years

haveblue3: he said months not g/a

jmchavez: that game of course is Halo 2. It goes without saying that many of probably played it the very nite we received it in our grubby hands

jmchavez: reactions to the game have been pretty much all over the radar

jmchavez: and it's confusing in a way to see just how varied a reaction it has received

jmchavez: so under the old adage that more heads are better than one

jmchavez: we are here assembled to fight it out to the death... er, no.. to calmly discuss this thing called Halo 2

jmchavez: Before I hand it off

jmchavez: let me ask that we first start from way way back

jmchavez: sorry.... let me retype that

jmchavez: not to the fine details of the game, but to the game itself. what kind of luggage did it bring with itself, and how did it 'set itself up' for the position it's in now?

jmchavez: g/a

louiswuathbo: Well, some of that is easy.

louiswuathbo: We were expecting brand-new AI...

louiswuathbo: a continuation of the Halo story (for me, that included the novels)...

louiswuathbo: new goodies, and new ways to use them.

louiswuathbo: it was billed as everything Halo should have been, had they had more time

louiswuathbo: I think what came out was Halo, redone, but just as rushed as the first version.

louiswuathbo: g/a (for now :) )

jmchavez: anyone else?

narcogen@mac.com: That sound about right.

haveblue3: ::typing::

sep7imus: Apparently, it was going to about bacon... and ninjas.

vansinden5: I remember there being fire involved somehow, too

jmchavez: HB, break up the sentences dude

The AIM service could not send the message: A message or picture is too large to be transmitted.

narcogen@mac.com: It does seem just as rushed, and it seems as if the production of new assets (models, textures, locations) trumped anything else

narcogen@mac.com: as if huge portions of the game were thrown away at the last minute, eating time that would have been used to create those things Claude mentioned

narcogen@mac.com: Mig, perhaps you should act as moderator and hand off from one to the next, lag is meaning we all think we're picking up the hat :)

jmchavez: ok narc, you go tthe floor

narcogen@mac.com: I agree, it seemed rushed

narcogen@mac.com: lots of old elements got reused, apparently little touched, like AI

narcogen@mac.com: some elements that seemed to work well in the old game, except for minor points

narcogen@mac.com: say, the physics engine, aside from death animations

narcogen@mac.com: got completely replaced

narcogen@mac.com: and whole portions of the game seem either divorced from the story, or at least do very little to advance it

narcogen@mac.com: If I could get Bungie to answer one question, I'd want to know what ate up the time-- why three years was not enough for Halo 2, given what they did with the first game under what seemed like more pressure

narcogen@mac.com: g/a

jmchavez: ok, let me ask then

haveblue3: daammit

haveblue3: too much text :(

louiswuathbo: rotfl

haveblue3: One of the biggest factors that affected "how the game set itself up" was the tricky balance between how much Bungie wanted to reveal of the game and how much the community wanted to know about it.

jmchavez: g/a mark

haveblue3: The desire to surprise and to be surprised (witness the furor over spoilers in media and online after the game leaked)

haveblue3: necessitated marketing and releasing material that focused almost exclusively on a very small segment of the single-player campaign.

haveblue3: This was, in my opinion, the major factor that distorted expectations of that aspect.

jmchavez: what do you think

jmchavez: would have been our reactions

jmchavez: if we had been told that half the game we played as MC and the other half as Arbiter?

sep7imus: We would have been looking forward to it.

louiswuathbo: I'm not sure about that.

tehfrogblast: I wouldn't have liked to have had that spoiled.

haveblue3: I would have been initially opposed to it

sep7imus: We would have thought it was going to be the coolest thing possible in a game... that was the reaction to almost everything Bungie leaked.

louiswuathbo: hehe - fair enough.

jmchavez: would that have prepped us in advance of knowing it was no longer going to be us AS the MC?

narcogen@mac.com: I also would not have wanted that spoiled

narcogen@mac.com: Besides, the fans that did not want it would have wanted their voices heard

narcogen@mac.com: and game design is not a democratic process, I don't think :)

haveblue3: you nailed it, mig- that's what playing as the arbiter takes away from the first game

haveblue3: even when you go back to the chief

rgmontag: i digged the Arbiter story

jmchavez: I would have had to balance the reaction to the coolness of being an elite....

vansinden5: I think they (and probably us too) worried too much about "spoiling" stuff

jmchavez: vs the distortion of storyflow and immersion as we bopped back and forth from mc to elite

louiswuathbo: I would have found playing as the arbiter far more interesting had there been ANY change whatsoever in my gameplay when it happened.

louiswuathbo: (besides HUD color.)

vansinden5: bingo

tehfrogblast: yes!

narcogen@mac.com: the HUD color changed?

sep7imus: I don't think that playing as the Arbiter was something that should NOT have been spoiled. It's not like it was a plot twist. It was a narrative decision.

jmchavez: there's of course another possibility, as Claude is mentioning now... could it have been done better?

vansinden5: we shouldn't be able to use human weapons, can jump farther, etc.

narcogen@mac.com: I thought it was a way of living up to the old promise of playing either side of a massive battle

rgmontag: well, the Covenant are carbon copies.. look at the vehicles (and some of the weapons) g/a

jmchavez: that's of course speaking to those folks that think it was a problem to begin with

sep7imus: Yeah, I LIKED playing as the Arbiter.

haveblue3: The cloaking device does make a pretty big difference in playing as the arbiter

haveblue3: it lets you do different things from the chief

louiswuathbo: I might agree with you, mark... if I remembered to use it. :(

narcogen@mac.com: or would if it lasted longer... but it was still a small change

narcogen@mac.com: true

vansinden5: except for the naggy Elite who is constantly telling you where to go

sep7imus: It DID detract from the identification with the Chief, I guess. But that's a pretty simplistic identification, I believe.

narcogen@mac.com: sometimes I hit the button expecting a flashlight

jmchavez: I didn't mind it in terms of playing as him... I did mind it as how it broke up the story

louiswuathbo: they kept CALLING you chief, even when you were the arbiter.

louiswuathbo: that was annoying.

louiswuathbo: and broke immersion.

vansinden5: I thought the story flowed nicely back and forth

sep7imus: (they did?)

haveblue3: louis- I never saw that myself, and I'd count it as a bug

narcogen@mac.com: etiquette... breaking... down!

haveblue3: it's also pretty hard to trigger

narcogen@mac.com: me neither, I never heard them call arbiter "chief"

jmchavez: I don't know... one minute I'm being sucked down into the water by the gravemind... the next? I'm back with the elites

louiswuathbo: happened to me at least twice.

louiswuathbo: the bad one was the endgame.

narcogen@mac.com: Mig, I think it has to do with changing gameplay

narcogen@mac.com: aside from the fact that not all grunts attack you, it's difficult to even be reminded that you're the arbiter

narcogen@mac.com: hence, I think, all the chatty elites

vansinden5: and how come, if we're the big-deal Arbiter, we have the crappy active camo?

narcogen@mac.com: speaking of which, where the heck are those 20k lines of combat dialogue?

sep7imus: (old armor)

tehfrogblast: I understand that it breaks up the story, but the story opens with the Arbiter... following both stories is consitent throughout... from beginning to end.

narcogen@mac.com: I've only played the game through ONCE and I keep hearing the same stuff

jmchavez: well this only my personal experience, but the other thing that bugged me as I was told there was an exponential growth in dialogue, yet I felt heard even less in Halo 2

narcogen@mac.com: yes

sep7imus: Dialogue is also harder to hear...

louiswuathbo: same here, mig.

haveblue3: The problem is that the chief's stories tend to end on cliffhangars, and the Arbiter's chapters are pretty self-contained

narcogen@mac.com: "coward" "we have little time arbiter" "it is well hidden" "stupid jackal, say thanks"

sep7imus: because of the proximity voice thing.

haveblue3: you're always anxious to see what happened to the chief, and not the other way around

jmchavez: ok, let's switch tracks

jmchavez: graphics wise, any comments?

jmchavez: why don't you take

jmchavez: the floor, frogblast on this one if you wish

tehfrogblast: Ok...

tehfrogblast: One of the first things I did when playing the game was to check out a texture while zoomed in.

tehfrogblast: I rmember zooming in on a boulder in the original Halo (on the level Halo) and I was amazed by the level of detail.

tehfrogblast: But the first time I tried it in this game, I wasn't blown away by the detail that I saw

jmchavez: was it the same or less?

tehfrogblast: It seemed less :(

jmchavez: did anything make up for that loss of detail?

louiswuathbo: that would make sense... they upped the bumpmapping, so they could reduce the number of polygons

jmchavez: any more to say FB?

rgmontag: what's cheaper to process, more polys or lots of bumps?

tehfrogblast: Things seem shinier, as mentioned before. g/a

louiswuathbo: bumps are cheaper

jmchavez: how about the geometry itself, FB? since

jmchavez: you spend alot of time pouring over the nooks and crannies of the levels

tehfrogblast: I'm very satisfied with the geometry...

jmchavez: is it 'tighter' or the same as before in terms of areas that you could take advantage of?

tehfrogblast: they spent a lot of time filling in those nooks and crannies when they didn't have to.

jmchavez: in Halo 2?

tehfrogblast: Yes. I don't feel like it is tighter..

tehfrogblast: although I hear that alot.

sep7imus: (Agreed. They seem to have anticipated the Frogblast style exploring of the entire maps.)

vansinden5: why on earth would they want to guard against that?

jmchavez: does anyone know if the modelers in halo 2 were all new to Halo? Did some level makers in Halo 1 work on Halo 2?

sep7imus: I would assume so...

jmchavez: to which?

rgmontag: well, let me bring up the credits

haveblue3: and I'll look in the manuals

sep7imus: and I'll wait for you guys to answer.

tehfrogblast: Ferrex has his name hidden in at least two maps.

jmchavez: we don't have to dig too deep, just curious. I wasn't sure if some of the new modeling blood in the game were from architectural backgrounds

narcogen@mac.com: heh... more rex rooms?

rgmontag: halo 2: Design Leads Paul Bertone ,Jaime Griesemer

rgmontag: halo 1: Lead Designer John Howard

louiswuathbo: they had all these environment artists for halo 2.

jmchavez: a lead to me means they don't do actual nitty gritty of creating the levels

louiswuathbo: there weren't any for halo.

narcogen@mac.com: speaking of Jaime, anybody else hear peasant voices yelling "woo" when they gave Sarge and Chief their medals?

jmchavez: don't recall

haveblue3: the credits are organized differently

jmchavez: the hierarchy is different because the number of folks on it is way different

rgmontag: i'm sure the leads define the feel of it

sep7imus: In any case, when I replayed a few levels today, I felt like they were really quite wide open, with a lot of choices about how to approach battles and explore and stuff.

jmchavez: aye, but not the actual making sure this vector is closed off properly...

sep7imus: What's anyone else's sense of that.

jmchavez: right, Sept, go ahead and chat a bit about that

jmchavez: well ok

jmchavez: I'll say this

jmchavez: it feels big, but it feels like clever trickery to make me think it's big. That doesn't mean...

jmchavez: I think they're evil for doing so, I'm sure there were justifications for it, but I had no sense of sweeping areas, unless they were also very narrowly defined as to how I could go

jmchavez: the obvious is the metropolis bridge

narcogen@mac.com: yes

rgmontag: levels felt too confining, constricted. i didn't feel that there was as much space to move around in as Halo 1

narcogen@mac.com: and the Regret gondolas

jmchavez: that's a HUGE amount of acreage

jmchavez: but it's just one long tunnel really

narcogen@mac.com: but most of it not playable

haveblue3: I felt that Halo 2 is careful to funnel you into a set of approved ways

haveblue3: to beat a scenario

jmchavez: aye, the gondolas as well

louiswuathbo: I was replaying the beginning of delta halo this weekend... and I was pretty disappointed at one point.

haveblue3: whereas halo 1 had fewer obvious ways but more general possibilities

narcogen@mac.com: there's no play area as large or flexible as the open areas of AotCR/TB

louiswuathbo: I had gotten stuck on the last dropship - I was nearly out of ammo, and the red sword elite kept coming up and kicking my ass before I could figure out how to kill him.

haveblue3: there's nothing like the AOTCR banshee jack in halo 2, where it completely changes

sep7imus: Those (bridge, gondolas) are the exceptions, though.

jmchavez: Sept is there an area that you think is in contrast to those?

louiswuathbo: Finally, I headed over the hill (on the road to the bridge) before the dropship landed. Killed the jackals... picked up a sniper... came back.

louiswuathbo: and none of the last wave were still there. :(
That's bad design, and it rarely happened in Halo.

sep7imus: Yeah, there is...

sep7imus: /me struggles to remember the level, though.

jmchavez: general descrip will be fine, I'm sure

jmchavez: while you think about that

jmchavez: I'd like to pour some rage at one group

jmchavez: the MEDIA

jmchavez: if these aren't people that aren't some of the stupidest folks on earth

narcogen@mac.com: for overhyping it before release, or overrating it post-release?

jmchavez: to think that they are bending over backwards to give Halo 2 the uber-awards and all that

louiswuathbo: the overrating bugged me.

sep7imus: Numerous times, approaching the "Library" as the Arbiter, there were a bunch of wide open spaces with bridges, and choices about which vehicles to take to each new encounter.

sep7imus: (just had to get that off my chest)

louiswuathbo: (I'd finished the game by the time those first reviews came out, and I coudln't understand the scores.)

jmchavez: and yet, in my mind, Halo 2 has the *same* amount of repetitiveness that Halo 1 had. I had no problem with it in 1, I don't care about it in 2, but in 1 everyone ragged on Bungie for it

sep7imus: yeah, there was some pretty hyperbolic press coverage.

narcogen@mac.com: yes, mig, same here

narcogen@mac.com: in fact, I think 2 has MORE repetetiveness

jmchavez: that's actually a good point Sept, sorry to co-opt your thinking on that

haveblue3: I don't think Halo 2 is as repetitive as Halo 1, although it's definitely still in there

rgmontag: when you get a free trip to Bungie HQ to play the game early, who's gonna rag on em later in the magazine?

sep7imus: It's not as repetitive as Halo1. I sort of miss it, actually.

louiswuathbo: I think the gameplay was as repetitive, but the environments were not. It was a bit deceptive.

jmchavez: but yes, those open spaces as the elite are just that, open spaces... but what killed me about it is that they were the least creative in terms of what could be done with those open spaces

haveblue3: and I think the stratospheric ratings are including multiplayer, which we haven't gotten to yet

narcogen@mac.com: and I agree with sept, the whole SI/QZ set was much better than h1's library for that reason

narcogen@mac.com: mig, can I grab the floor for a bit on repetition?

jmchavez: I know we've said it over and over again

jmchavez: let me just finish this thought

narcogen@mac.com: sure

jmchavez: but there was some hidden bit of genius, whether accidental or not, in levels like AOTC or T&R. I felt like they took their time in making it

jmchavez: juicy enough to play over and over again. But those library levels in those wide open spaces in H2 just don't have that flavor

jmchavez: unfortunately, and of course in my opinion.

jmchavez: g/a

narcogen@mac.com: just to follow, I think it has to do with being rushed

narcogen@mac.com: Bungie KNEW h1 was going to be rushed

narcogen@mac.com: so I think they scaled back their ambitions

narcogen@mac.com: and polished everything they had

narcogen@mac.com: H2 seems much more ambitious

narcogen@mac.com: ended up being much less than envisioned, and is ROUGH.. everywhere

narcogen@mac.com: everywhere there are signs of things that look as if they needed more tweaking

narcogen@mac.com: But on the repetition

narcogen@mac.com: It's probably the most common complaint about Halo 1

narcogen@mac.com: But I think there were really two kinds of repetition

narcogen@mac.com: the repetition of level geometry, which was either made convenient or dictated by the plot

narcogen@mac.com: and the repetition of textures in interior areas

narcogen@mac.com: the former never bothered me much, although the latter did

narcogen@mac.com: H2 las less of the former, but just as much of the latter

narcogen@mac.com: When Cortana told me I have to go back through High Charity as MC

narcogen@mac.com: Just having finished it, with only one Arbiter level intervening

narcogen@mac.com: knowing I was going to see the same geometry and the same interiors and the same textures

narcogen@mac.com: except now in the dark, against flood

narcogen@mac.com: I wasn't scared or excited.. I was just peeved

narcogen@mac.com: I was wondering how to get through that part as quickly as possible

narcogen@mac.com: g/a

tehfrogblast: (btw I think High Charity is one of the shortest levels)

narcogen@mac.com: thank goodness, too

jmchavez: shall we jump to something else, or anyone else wanna say something?

sep7imus: I just want to say that...

vansinden5: Can anyone tell me why H2 was rushed? Three years is a long time with no buyouts, platform changes, etc.

rgmontag: halo 2's lighting wasn't bright enough

vansinden5: Why did they come away from E3 (2003?) thinking they had nothing and had to start over?

narcogen@mac.com: I think we all want to know why it's rushed

jmchavez: let sept speak

sep7imus: I LIKED the repetition in Halo 1 because it felt like a real place. The bouncing around in Halo 2 from one planet to another made it feel less real.

jmchavez: I just felt amazed

jmchavez: that folks slammed the repeition in 1, but in 2 they didn't even notice it

sep7imus: It made sense to go back through the levels (which played REALLY differently backwards) in Halo 1.

jmchavez: just because the levels are bigger and more interesting in shape

louiswuathbo: but in reality were tunnels. :(

louiswuathbo: (with pretty walls.)

sep7imus: Well, they ARE bigger and more interesting in shape.

jmchavez: if they're stacked a-b-c-d that's still repetition!

narcogen@mac.com: interesting in shape, but not so much in play

louiswuathbo: I never felt lost in AotCR

tehfrogblast: actually . . .aa-bb-cc

tehfrogblast: hehe

narcogen@mac.com: thinking of "nothing but jackal"

sep7imus: And yeah, there are tunnels but each tunnel leads you to the next different encounter.

louiswuathbo: When playing the Sentinal area, I got lost a LOT.

louiswuathbo: kept reversing, covering the same ground.

jmchavez: pi repeated 10 times is no different than 7 repeated 10 times

sep7imus: agreed... that was confusing, Claude.

haveblue3: I didn't really have a problem with that, but Halo 2 has far too few nav points

narcogen@mac.com: and some of the nav points are confusing

sep7imus: And that's something that the press DID complain about.

rgmontag: Cortana provided the Nav points.

narcogen@mac.com: at the end I thought I was supposed to land the banshee on the scarab or something

narcogen@mac.com: yeah... where the heck is cortana?

jmchavez: I didn't really care, just amazed at those same magazines for not seeing it

louiswuathbo: hehe - I tried that too. :)

narcogen@mac.com: she hardly gets any lines

rgmontag: well, not in the Arbiter, and hardly ever in the MC

haveblue3: that's how I beat it on legendary... hide in the scarab and kill the banshees one by one

narcogen@mac.com: and why are there holo generators every 100 yards in HC?

jmchavez: yah dialogue really bothered me, but anyway

sep7imus: I landed the Banshee on the Scarab... and then had to hijack another one to complete the level.

narcogen@mac.com: yeah, sept, me too

louiswuathbo: Narc mentioned lots more content, but rough...

sep7imus: /me points out that that is the kind of variety of approach that isn't possible in Halo 1.

louiswuathbo: when we were out there in August, I remember talking to CJ Cowan about this

rgmontag: has everybody seen the DVD?

jmchavez: y

haveblue3: y

sep7imus: yes

narcogen@mac.com: y

vansinden5: y

louiswuathbo: they were less than two weeks from 'content complete'

louiswuathbo: and cj was amazed that 'new content kept getting checked in'

louiswuathbo: I was thinking, if they're still bringing in new stuff... how are they integrating it?

louiswuathbo: it's like they were just trying to fill the gaps with as much junk as they could,

louiswuathbo: hoping nobody would notice it didn't all fit together.

haveblue3: In Halo 1, there were hardly any "unique" things; in Halo 2 there are a ton of things that are used rarely or only once

rgmontag: according to the DVD, we know that Bungie basically had nothing after E3 2002.

narcogen@mac.com: I think there's a conflict in the design between verisimilitude and "fun"

haveblue3: now we're back to the idea that it was so much more massively ambitious than the first

haveblue3: that even the extra time wasn't enough

narcogen@mac.com: they've made more realistic environments.. busier ones

rgmontag: levels/missions-wise

narcogen@mac.com: but in a game or story, you need to know what is important

narcogen@mac.com: detail draws your eye and says "this place/object is important"

narcogen@mac.com: H1 had lots of blank walls

narcogen@mac.com: because the walls didn't need to be more than walls

jmchavez: i think it proves that you can have all the money, people, talent, track-record, and time and it still doesn't guarantee a homerun

narcogen@mac.com: but EVERYTHING in h2 has a silly amount of detail

sep7imus: yeah, there may be TOO MUCH detail.

narcogen@mac.com: in Cairo I can't even tell what I'm supposed to shoot at sometimes

rgmontag: (hence the pop-in graphics)

narcogen@mac.com: or where the DOORS are

louiswuathbo: but not where it counts... as frogblast noted.

narcogen@mac.com: and.. and the pop-in vs load times?

narcogen@mac.com: GIVE me a load screen

sep7imus: agreed.

vansinden5: lousy trade

narcogen@mac.com: I can't even tell where levels end

jmchavez: that's the same problem I had with Halo PC/Mac

narcogen@mac.com: I want to feel like I accomplished something

narcogen@mac.com: give me a break to go pee and get another beer

vansinden5: I liked the kind of "framed

rgmontag: give us a load screen especially when you flip-flop between characters

vansinden5: beginning of Silent Cart.

narcogen@mac.com: yes.. divided the game up into chapters nicely

haveblue3: or some sort of indication that you've done so

vansinden5: Nothing like that in H2

jmchavez: I don't care about loading times, gimme a break..

haveblue3: usually it's not obvious

sep7imus: Yeah, I remeber stopping

haveblue3: until you spot the chief or the arbiter on the screen

sep7imus: the game and being surprised that I was on level 5.

jmchavez: heh

narcogen@mac.com: the level lists are intentionally misleading

louiswuathbo: level 1 was a friggin' cutscene.

rgmontag: first 2 levels are essentially cutscenes

sep7imus: yeah.

narcogen@mac.com: level 2 was a tutorial

jmchavez: i was amazed that the opening level was just that a level!

vansinden5: same with Arbiter

tehfrogblast: I kept checking to see how many levels I had finished. I had no idea.

jmchavez: did anyone notice that... something else that bugged me...

narcogen@mac.com: yes, and you can't tell what difficulty you've completed each on now

sep7imus: It IS weird, from a narrative perspective...

narcogen@mac.com: h1 had a lovely level UI and they trashed it... why?

sep7imus: that they chose to break up the narrative with the Arbiter narrative...

jmchavez: even after I was many levels in... I would stil occasionally get tutorial windows pop up?

sep7imus: but refused to do so with load screens.

narcogen@mac.com: yeah, I got a tutorial popup in the last level

vansinden5: yeah, I got reminded to reload, on Legendary, on Delta Halo.

louiswuathbo: hehe - mig, before the first online update, in order to unlock foundation, you had to get the banshee roll tutorial in the LAST LEVEL!

sep7imus: yeah...

haveblue3: it constantly reminds you your shields are down

vansinden5: Like I hadn't done that yet.

jmchavez: I think I was more than half way finished, and I'm flying a banshee and it's telling me how to flip it

narcogen@mac.com: I got the banshee bomb tutorial on the last level, just as I was coming in to land at the control room

haveblue3: louis- are you saying that's deliberate? I thought it was a workaround for a bug

louiswuathbo: it was a mistake.

rgmontag: i think turning on subtitles adds extra tutorial pop ups

louiswuathbo: (I think.)

tehfrogblast: Yes a bug last i heard^

jmchavez: i played it first time with no subtitles, and got alot of tutorials

sep7imus: I think it was a msitake, too.

rgmontag: easy mode or normal?

jmchavez: normal

haveblue3: I have the subtitles set to auto and played on heroic, and I never got tutorials or subtitles

jmchavez: heroic this second time

sep7imus: I ended up doing the workaround where you play TGJ on co-op with a new profile, to get the tutorial.

haveblue3: but the guy still ran me through the "view calibration" in the beginning

louiswuathbo: I'm still working on heroic.

sep7imus: me too.

jmchavez: yah, calibration is always there it seems

haveblue3: except on co-op

jmchavez: sheesh, lets move on to something else

narcogen@mac.com: I did most of the game on heroic, then switched down to normal for the last two so I could finish before this chat :)

haveblue3: there it skips the tutorial and the first half of the opening movie

narcogen@mac.com: ok, yeah, mig.. next topic

jmchavez: multiplayer

sep7imus: no complaints.

jmchavez: mark plays that alot, so I'll let him chat about that

louiswuathbo: this is where the effort went.

vansinden5: 'Virtual Couch' sucks ass

louiswuathbo: k, g/a mark

jmchavez: strengths and weaknesses

rgmontag: wish there was some shield damage when you fall from a great height.

haveblue3: The biggest thing about multiplayer is that it creates an even greater

haveblue3: split in the community between those who have it and don't

haveblue3: lanparties were a pain in the ass, XBL is either right there all the time or not affordable/available

haveblue3: and this time the have-nots are literally left with half a game

haveblue3: it's also unfortunate that Frankie admitted they don't plan to patch gameplay issues over Live

haveblue3: just new maps

rgmontag: (halo 2, best marketing tool for XBL)

haveblue3: so most of the irritants are here to stay

jmchavez: g/a?

haveblue3: yeah, g/a

haveblue3: thinking

jmchavez: i play it alot as well

jmchavez: maybe 4 hours a nite

rgmontag: nerd

tehfrogblast: (wow)

sep7imus: really? I never see you on.

narcogen@mac.com: I'll say XBL is impressive and robust.. I've had good games with a 200 ping.. that is impressive

louiswuathbo: my last game was that humpday challenge. :(

haveblue3: I usually do a couple hours

jmchavez: i think, like Halopc, the game in total has issues, but the MP is so sweet, that even despite the problems I play it again and again

narcogen@mac.com: damning with faint praise

jmchavez: i can't really speak to have/have-nots issue... that's something that is always there with any multiplayer game

narcogen@mac.com: yes, but I see mark's point

rgmontag: like gspawn on hbo forums speculated, Halo 1 focused on campaign and tacked on Multi, Halo2 is the exact opposite

jmchavez: but I know I have had a great time with MP, and feel like I'm back to my old days of Myth

narcogen@mac.com: with h1 you had more people willing to put up with the pain of doing lanfests because there was no other viable option

haveblue3: yeah, it's clear that all the final, down-to-the-wire hours were spent on multi

jmchavez: hanging out with the same guys, playing over and over again

narcogen@mac.com: now XBL cuts down that population-- the lanfest-only crowd may not have critical mass any more

jmchavez: meeting rabble, kicking ass and moving on

haveblue3: yes, that's the only way I play. I rarely stay on for long unless I can hook up with 2 or 3 friends

jmchavez: I dunno

louiswuathbo: I'm still planning on hosting one in a couple of months, narc

rgmontag: multiplayer is basically what grants any modern game its longevity]

louiswuathbo: and mig just had one last month

jmchavez: the fact that, much to my surprise, the microphone still works in Lan

rgmontag: IMHO

jmchavez: really makes it great for our lan parties

louiswuathbo: yep

jmchavez: we used to have walkie-talkies between rooms

jmchavez: the headsets really make a difference

tehfrogblast: Well Multi is the thing that will be keeping Halo 2 played for a much longer time than Single player, I can understand why so much energy would go there.

jmchavez: I'm glad they kept that working in system-link

haveblue3: Regardless of what the peanut gallery and MLG may think, removing the pistol was the best change they made

sep7imus: can i jsut say... proximity voice is awesome.

haveblue3: now there is more than 1 viable strategy

narcogen@mac.com: well, I don't know about best, but it was a positive move

jmchavez: if i may

jmchavez: back at E3 '04

jmchavez: we had a chance to play with Frankie and Sketch

jmchavez: and even at Claude's last huge LAN, Sketch was there

jmchavez: they always said the same thing after we played a ton of Halo 1

jmchavez: 'i'm always dying, it's no fun for me'

jmchavez: and I couldn't get what was going on

jmchavez: is it that their skills aren't as good (if they ever where, honestly speaking for all of us of course)

jmchavez: or was Halo 2 really different in some way that made them die less

haveblue3: The elite top-level players have already discovered

jmchavez: now honestly, when I first played the betas and all that, I had the opposite reaction, I'm dying ALOT! Dammit!

vansinden5: I think they walked away from Halo 1 and never looked back

jmchavez: it was really bugging me

haveblue3: that there is no way to absolutely dominate in halo 2

narcogen@mac.com: *cough*CARNEYHOLES*cough*

haveblue3: every weapon has a weakness and a way to baet it

haveblue3: every strategy can be countered

narcogen@mac.com: so.. Bungie nerfed h2 multiplayer so they won't suck?

narcogen@mac.com: :-/

louiswuathbo: lol

rgmontag: the halo 1 pistol was too powerful. i like the weapon balance in h2

sep7imus: heh... but it's NOT nerfed, really.

jmchavez: and thenI think i just got it... the cacophany of the pistols and weapons has been replacing by the anarchy of soldier movement and strategizing

haveblue3: it's possible to do *well*, but not 50-3 slayer well

vansinden5: they began working on H2 and ONLY played that. Maybe they forgot what was fun, gameplay-wise?

jmchavez: halo1 wa ALL about hearing weapons constantly fire... on and on and on

haveblue3: no, it was about hearing pistols constantly fire :/

rgmontag: sniper pistols

jmchavez: yes, because pistols were default

sep7imus: and about eerie moments of silence.

louiswuathbo: but you're right... halo 2 has a lot more running around.

jmchavez: but now I see that MP has the same chaotic energy but not centered around weapons

haveblue3: halo 2 is a a less intense game, but that's not a bad thing

haveblue3: reflexes are de-emphasized

rgmontag: i actually think it's more intense

rgmontag: h2

haveblue3: people with very good reflexes, who depended on them, got a rude surprise

sep7imus: I think it's more intense, too.

jmchavez: I had to eventually figure that out, because I was so immersed in the MP yet I could obviously see with my own eyes that I wansn't using the pistol anywhere near as much

narcogen@mac.com: Halo 2 has a pistol?

rgmontag: you can still rock with the h2 pistol

haveblue3: by "intensity" I mean the constant, neverending exchange of fire that mig mentioned

haveblue3: in Halo 2, high-level strategy is important. where you are, what weapons you are carrying, where the rest of your team is

louiswuathbo: someone needs to explain to me why max would say something like this: http://halo.bungie.org/oldnews.html?item=11565

haveblue3: (halo 2 tried its darndest to ruin slayer, I'm sure)

louiswuathbo: they spent how much money and how many hours on testing... and he's willing to admit a decision like that came down to 'well, we were used to it'?

tehfrogblast: I thought that was hilarious.

haveblue3: a lot of his answers seem like that

jmchavez: that's something I was goign to touch on later... bungie as developers... the happy accidents and the like

sep7imus: thank GOD for ruining slayer... the stategic team games are WAY more compelling.

vansinden5: See? They haven't played H1 in so long, they've completely forgotten some of the good things about it.

narcogen@mac.com: yes

louiswuathbo: they were playing without fall damage because it hadn't been implemented yet. ;(

haveblue3: they either didn't think an issue was important or didn't put much thought into it

jmchavez: I actually remember them saying that when I was in their offices

louiswuathbo: that's nuts.

narcogen@mac.com: heh... it's a new trick

jmchavez: it was something that... it was like

narcogen@mac.com: Sword Diving

rgmontag: weak

jmchavez: 'we're testing the maps, but not everything is on yhet'

narcogen@mac.com: that a good segue into physics?

jmchavez: like the flags were sticking half-way out of the ground

jmchavez: that kind of thing

sep7imus: yeah, fall damage should have been kept in.

narcogen@mac.com: I remember Bungie hyping their physics, especially vehicle physics

narcogen@mac.com: in Halo 1

vansinden5: this goes back to the same question: Why start over, and why run out of time?

narcogen@mac.com: and now they use havok.. like everybody else

narcogen@mac.com: why?

louiswuathbo: is it just me, or do hogs not fly any more?

jmchavez: they don't fly

rgmontag: didn't h1 use bits of havok?

narcogen@mac.com: they don't

vansinden5: parts of them do

louiswuathbo: that part sucks. :(

louiswuathbo: I miss the jumps.

jmchavez: they explode and the parts go flying

narcogen@mac.com: nothing behaves like an h1 player would expect it to

haveblue3: I think that the greater part of the complaints over the physics will go away as people adjust to the change

tehfrogblast: they fly :P

haveblue3: exactly

jmchavez: but the days of 3 rockets sending a warthog flying majestically are gone

louiswuathbo: I was watching a hog jousting match, though. And before the vehicles exploded, they just bumped into each other.

narcogen@mac.com: I dunno, mark

jmchavez: as we forget halo1, yes

louiswuathbo: it looked like bumpercars.

narcogen@mac.com: watch the grunts on Cairo station

sep7imus: Randy... any thoughts on the aerodynamic abilities of hogs?

rgmontag: i like the physics of h2, but it only seems to be used for boxes falling over

narcogen@mac.com: they roll out of the boarding ships like marbles

jmchavez: or the fusion cells

narcogen@mac.com: yeah, I'm still not sure what the real point of that is

haveblue3: I mean, complaints over the hog handling

rgmontag: well, i haven't really played with any hog jumping or jousting

haveblue3: it's different, yes, but I'm not convinced it's better or worse yet

narcogen@mac.com: flying or handling?

haveblue3: driving

narcogen@mac.com: I like the hog driving better

sep7imus: I like the brake.

rgmontag: the hogs certainly seem more grounded

sep7imus: I sucked at driving, before.

narcogen@mac.com: I do NOT like the way ghosts and banshees handle now

jmchavez: h1 had brakes

tehfrogblast: I feel like the hog gets caught up on walls much more.

narcogen@mac.com: h1 brakes were largely pointless, though

haveblue3: yeah they did something wierd with the ghost physics

haveblue3: it gets caught up on stuff a lot more

jmchavez: is it less 'squishy' now, the hogs?

haveblue3: much less

jmchavez: we still have time to keep chatting guys?

louiswuathbo: I'm beginning to hate boarding, too - in crowded areas, I always lose my ghost, because I'm not paying attention to the guy behind me.

haveblue3: and they completely changed how rollovers work, and how you get flipped out

rgmontag: the hogs in h2 have better traction

tehfrogblast: indeed. Driving through the tunnel in outskirts seemed more difficult than it should have been

narcogen@mac.com: yeah, mark, but I think that's better-- I seem to get flipped out of rolling hogs less easily now, I like it

sep7imus: given how light you are, everything else seems really heavy, including vehicles and crates, and such.

sep7imus: they seem like they should move more when grenaded or even just meleed.

haveblue3: I actually think that's more realistic

rgmontag: i like the vehicle boarding.. makes multiplayer more fun

vansinden5: the vehicles seem to have an assist to landing right way up

haveblue3: the increased weight

louiswuathbo: I gotta call it quits, mig - but I'm happy to leave this window open for logging purposes. :)

jmchavez: sure

jmchavez: you miss the part...

vansinden5: boarding is a good way to get rid of red elites in Ghosts

rgmontag: l8r wu

jmchavez: where we try to save this chat from being one long ass bitch session

louiswuathbo: lol

louiswuathbo: I was wondering when we were gonna do that.; )

sep7imus: I've been trying to do that all along.

sep7imus: :P

jmchavez: i was getting to that part

jmchavez: :)

louiswuathbo: yeah, you've been doing well, actually.

haveblue3: probably when we switch to formal moderation, and miguel TELLS us when to talk, because everyone's ignoring the g/a rule

jmchavez: heh

narcogen@mac.com: yeah

louiswuathbo: I'll respond to pertinent points by email tomorrow.

jmchavez: shall we tackle the storyline itself?

narcogen@mac.com: let's

sep7imus: sure

jmchavez: mnem wanna try that

vansinden5: heh

louiswuathbo: /me is gone

vansinden5: er... story?

tehfrogblast: cya Louis

haveblue3: I'm actually about ready to declare this a failure and suggest we switch to a non real time medium, maybe a private forum thread

vansinden5: bye

jmchavez: does it work... is it a success, could it be better, etc.

vansinden5: As has been said...

jmchavez: this is fine mark, wait til I edit it

vansinden5: It's a great middle part of a trilogy.

vansinden5: Problem being, we weren't expecting a trilogy.

rgmontag: you mean a Thrillogy?

rgmontag: ;)

haveblue3: the story, like everything else, was vastly more ambitious this time around

jmchavez: tom has the floor

vansinden5: Some parts are weird. Gravemind, for instance.

vansinden5: Is that some Flood form, or just a kind of uber-zombie thing?

sep7imus: It's a deus ex flora, to bring the two plots together.

haveblue3: feeeeeeed meeeeee

vansinden5: If it's a Flood form, why does it have no specific, Flood-survival purpose?

rgmontag: lol

rgmontag: Gravemind looked much better in the Art of book

vansinden5: It sure was lucky to be on THAT Halo.

narcogen@mac.com: heh

vansinden5: If MC and Regret ended up on, say, installation 02 or something, the Flood would be SOL

haveblue3: unless 02 has its own gravemind

narcogen@mac.com: if it does, why didn't 04?

jmchavez: is that more the fault that the story couldn't explain if there were more GMs?

sep7imus: who says 04 didn't?

vansinden5: then it'd be something like "Cryptbrain"

vansinden5: or CemetaryHead

haveblue3: cortana names it gravemind, we don't know how it refers to itself

rgmontag: 7of9

narcogen@mac.com: if 04 had one, why does 05's manage to find MC and the arbiter but 04's doesn't find... anything and gets blown up?

vansinden5: exactly

narcogen@mac.com: but we're losing etiquette again here

jmchavez: do you think something triggered GM to assert itself that didn't occur in H1?

sep7imus: anwyay, we can agree that Gravemind sticks out as something unexplained that seems like a big loose end.

narcogen@mac.com: Mig, I think it depends on whether GM was something in the original story or something added on

rgmontag: it's clearly written in the Halo Bible, new testament

vansinden5: Maybe Arbiter dying was something the GM had to react to, but I dunno

jmchavez: interesting

vansinden5: And MC, for that matter

tehfrogblast: ooh, I like that

vansinden5: They COULD have just NOT had them dying

sep7imus: Nah... when I play Arbiter and MC die ALL THE TIME, with no reaction.

narcogen@mac.com: heh

vansinden5: heh

haveblue3: yeah I never thought either of them died

haveblue3: the chief was unconscious and the arbiter was falling

jmchavez: or the possibility of the index actually making it that close to activating the ring?

haveblue3: neither of them had a scratch on them

vansinden5: MC was blown up by the Covenant ship hitting slipspace from inside orbit

narcogen@mac.com: well, since the arbiter eventually stops Tartarus from activating the ring

tehfrogblast: scratches use up too much rendering power

vansinden5: Arbiter was knocked out by Tartarus

sep7imus: This conversation is a perfect example of the problem with Gravemind...

narcogen@mac.com: isn't having the Flood combat forms try to kill him prior to that a shocking lack of forethought on GM's part?

vansinden5: Unless he's not Flood, but just plain 'ol dead people

sep7imus: we've got NO real information about him, so he's just a blank sheet onto which anyone can tack any speculation they want.

narcogen@mac.com: Right

haveblue3: not really... if it can keep anyone from getting the index, it still wins

narcogen@mac.com: assuming he controls the flood

jmchavez: aright

narcogen@mac.com: which everyone seems to assume, but I am not convinced of

narcogen@mac.com: ML> yes, but since T can only be killed in a specific way, it doesn't seem as if any number of Flood would manage it :)

vansinden5: Anyway, there are other stoory points that are a bit wonky, but not much more than was wonky in H1

haveblue3: yeah, don't forget the introduction of the flood in halo 1

haveblue3: that was as big a swerve as gravemind

jmchavez: was there anything NEW in the game that you thought just shined?

vansinden5: I think one of the things that will define this game years from now will be the lack of an ending

jmchavez: and bump-mapping is a smart-ass answer :)

sep7imus: the sword is damn fun... especially in single player.

haveblue3: specular is an even more smartass answer :P

narcogen@mac.com: uhh.. moving geometry?

haveblue3: the background paintings are simply breathtaking

jmchavez: i agree with that

narcogen@mac.com: Bits of Cairo were damn impressive

haveblue3: I really would stop and stare at them

jmchavez: and the music

vansinden5: Skulls. ;-)

narcogen@mac.com: uh.. well.. hmm

narcogen@mac.com: the music

sep7imus: It was, overall, a really pretty game.

tehfrogblast: I was going to mention the moveable geometry, which I thought was a nice addition.

narcogen@mac.com: yes, very pretty

sep7imus: I'm a little on the fence about the moving geometry, though.

narcogen@mac.com: the outside bits of Cairo were damn impressive

haveblue3: the cloaking device, again. that's fun

sep7imus: I wish we had more control over it, since sometimes ti made the game feel like a ride.

narcogen@mac.com: very Marathonesque, too

jmchavez: like the gondolas?

rgmontag: weak

vansinden5: I've spent hours on rooftops in Outskirts, just wandering around

narcogen@mac.com: I realize that I *should* hate the gondolas

haveblue3: way too much of the game took place on giant moving objects

vansinden5: Even though the game has that tunnel quality that has been mentioned,

narcogen@mac.com: since they are just as cheap a trick as the Metropolis highway

narcogen@mac.com: just as linear.. they make it into a rail shooter

vansinden5: there's a lot of stuff to go look at around the fringes

vansinden5: I like the gondolas

narcogen@mac.com: BUT Regret is still one of my favorite levels

narcogen@mac.com: And I like the gondolas in spite of myself

sep7imus: I spent a while trying to hijack a banshee from one of the gondolas, but never managed to do so... jsut to get off of it and fly around.

haveblue3: yes, I don't think Halo 2 is any more linear than Halo 1

haveblue3: they just don't disguise it as wel

narcogen@mac.com: it SEEMS it, though

jmchavez: AOTCR -

vansinden5: One of the things I thought about while playing the underwater part, was how much the game reminded me of Myst.

jmchavez: when you get the tank...

narcogen@mac.com: I can't think of any open expanse of territory as large as the fields in AOTCR or TB

haveblue3: sep> I'm pretty sure the banshees on that level cannot be hijacked. I was trying too

vansinden5: Which was a wierd relation

jmchavez: you can go one of two ways... even though they're not so wildly divergent... it still added something to the choices

tehfrogblast: The only non-linear part I can remember from Halo 1 was being allowed to pick which marines to rescue first-last in the level Halo

haveblue3: some parts of the quaratine zone were pretty big

jmchavez: that's another good point

vansinden5: You rescued them?

narcogen@mac.com: big... and dark

vansinden5: ;-)

tehfrogblast: heh

jmchavez: i did notice that in the small corridors, there were always side-corridors that you could use if you wished

jmchavez: not a big deal, but worth mentioning to be fair

sep7imus: little places to duck into and recharge your new improved shield...

narcogen@mac.com: you're reaching, now, Mig :)

jmchavez: so let's wrap some of this up, shall we?

sep7imus: okay.

sep7imus: on the one hand, Halo2 is teh best game evar!!!

rgmontag: errr

narcogen@mac.com: heh

sep7imus: on the other, OMG it suxx0rs, they took out teh pistol.

haveblue3: can I talk about MP some more?

vansinden5: Exactly!

jmchavez: i'll give each of you a chance to say what you will about Halo 2 that is not negative. Take anything into consideration.

jmchavez: yes, RG?

narcogen@mac.com: pick me last, I need to think

jmchavez: Mr. Glass??

rgmontag: multiplayer is great

jmchavez: I was responding to your "errr" commment, don't know if you had something else to say

rgmontag: oh, the err was in resp to "halo2 is teh best game evar"

jmchavez: ok

jmchavez: so you done?

rgmontag: sure

jmchavez: ok, Mark you next

rgmontag: you've read my review

rgmontag: g/a

vansinden5: hater!

haveblue3: I think the "authoritarian" matchmaking was a gamble that paid off hugely

haveblue3: it solves all the problems of the server list system

rgmontag: ditto

haveblue3: if Bungie can keep up their end

jmchavez: too late RG :)

haveblue3: and you play with good people, which they have no control over

haveblue3: I've had virtually no truly sucky games online

sep7imus: I agree.

haveblue3: the servers are not 90% running the same gametype

haveblue3: the focus on short, frantic matches is way better than hour-long CTF stalemates

haveblue3: g/a

jmchavez: Tom?

vansinden5: Okay, I guess I've got to say that, as much as I agree with most of the bitching tonight, I'm having a lot of fun wandering through the game.

vansinden5: I'm guessing that some, if not much, of the negative and sort-of-negative feeling from Halo 1 players is due to our own expectations of H2, fueled by Bungie's own desire not to spoil ANYTHING.

jmchavez: (feel free, the rest of you, to compose something in text editor while you're waiting, then c&p)

vansinden5: Is that non-negative enough?

jmchavez: if that's all you got, then that's all you got

vansinden5: I'm having fun, but still wonder about it once in a while

haveblue3: (and not giving themselves time to get some experience and unlearn their halo 1 habits)

vansinden5: ga

jmchavez: sept?

sep7imus: What I really admire about the game is the narrative. I don't know if doing a complicated narrative that shows both sides of a war is the best way to make a FPS game, since it does take away from immersion.

sep7imus: But the real levels of complexity that we got out of seeing the inner workings of the Covenant, the destruction of the "good humans" versus "evil aliens" idea, is a real step up in ethical and intellectual interest.

sep7imus: (I'm a VERY fast typist) (g/a)

jmchavez: good

jmchavez: FB?

vansinden5: oh, yeah, I liked that part too!

jmchavez: 2 L8

jmchavez: Frogblast?

tehfrogblast: pass

jmchavez: heh

jmchavez: Narc?

narcogen@mac.com: once sec

jmchavez: ok I'll say something then

jmchavez: As much as I nitpick over some elements of the game, it's still hit enough of the right spots where I am constantly playing the MP...

jmchavez: the campaign may be lacking, or it could be me that hasn't adapted to it enough, but the MP has not had any trouble keeping

jmchavez: my attention. The music is improved and the changes to the physics, for the most part, are improved as well.

jmchavez: Dual wielding adds alot to the choices you can make while in game, which I like.e

jmchavez: These all make up for stuff like boss battles, pop-in, glitches here and there, that detract from the game.

jmchavez: My stats on bungie.net will be proof enough that I will be playing H2 for quite some time.

jmchavez: g/a narc

narcogen@mac.com: Halo 2 has lots of fun moments. And it's a very pretty game; I'm constantly calling to my wife "honey, come in here, look at THIS" at something.

narcogen@mac.com: There are some great new bits of music (although I'd stop short of calling it improved from H1).

narcogen@mac.com: The Bungie.net stats interface is superb; the inclusion of RSS, although I'm sure it was not done at my request, feels like it was, and makes me feel warm and fuzzy :)

narcogen@mac.com: And XBL is simply awesome, as it allowed even me, in this part of the world, with a 200+ ping, to have Miguel smack the back of his head against the butt of my SMG four times in my first game online.

jmchavez: :)

narcogen@mac.com: g/a

narcogen@mac.com: :)

jmchavez: ok I ask for only 2 more things

jmchavez: i'll make it quick

sep7imus: good... /me needs sleep.

jmchavez: what do you hope Bungie takes away from our (and all the other) reviews/discussions out there?

jmchavez: go ahead and type out your answer, ok if it overlaps

haveblue3: that jackal snipers suck (but seriously folks)

jmchavez: i imagine you're all typing

sep7imus: Good question. I think that Bungie really responded to their fans with Halo 2. There's something in it for everyone (tricksters, multiplayers, moviemakers).

narcogen@mac.com: That there needs to be a balance between the secrecy needed to keep story elements fresh and surprising, and useful fan feedback on things like gameplay and interface

narcogen@mac.com: I don't mind being kept in the dark about Gravemind, or the Flood coming back

vansinden5: I'd like to see them acknowledge that the story just stops, without anything remotely like the thrill of the Maw run, and reassure us that the end of the story is on its way, soon(tm).

tehfrogblast: Seriously reconsider if pop-ups are an acceptable trade for no loading time.

narcogen@mac.com: I do mind having tradeoffs like popin vs loading time being made in total isolation

sep7imus: sec... uh, thirded.

rgmontag: make halo grand again. large, explorable, non-linear environments. give us an ending that'll feel like we accomplished something after 15 hours of gameplay. put more bungie humor and charm in the game.

narcogen@mac.com: So far I've only seen ONE positive review mention the lack of loading times as a positive

jmchavez: all fall-damage vs problems with sword

haveblue3: I'd like them to spend more time examining why people play the games and what attracts them to it and keeps them playing, and be more careful about what gets removed or tampered with

jmchavez: all = or

rgmontag: g/a

narcogen@mac.com: Don't reinvent what already works, or change things for change's sake

jmchavez: last thing... pretend you are NOT a bungie fan

haveblue3: I actually would vote for pop-up; it's not that noticable either on my xbox or to me personally

narcogen@mac.com: pick a select few additions improvements, and polish them to death

jmchavez: you are just regular joe consumer

sep7imus: i think they shoudl readjust their schedule a abit, so that they stop adding in new things earlier in the development cycle. Then they can spend longer tweaking and trimming.

jmchavez: now, with that mindset involved.... rate halo 2 on scale of 1-10

jmchavez: i give it a 9

vansinden5: ...and keep things consistent from books to game, etc. (or just come out and say that the books AREN'T canon)

narcogen@mac.com: 8

haveblue3: 9.5. The vast majority of criticism is only comparing it to Halo 1

narcogen@mac.com: I'd give the original a 9

tehfrogblast: at least a 9

jmchavez: now... you are back to being a Bungie fan

sep7imus: I'd give it a 9. There aren't that many games that compel me to finsih them. Both Halo games really did that, and remained fun afterwards.

rgmontag: 8

jmchavez: now rate the game 1 - 10

rgmontag: (multi = 10)

jmchavez: i give it a 7

narcogen@mac.com: yeah, if not a bungie fan.. a 6 or 7

vansinden5: regular consumer: 9.something

narcogen@mac.com: without being steeped in the mythos, I'm probably wondering what the heck all the fuss is about

haveblue3: 9. The SP was just "very good" but the multiplayer is stellar

vansinden5: Bungie fan: 7

sep7imus: wait, how is this a different question?

rgmontag: bungie fan also 7

narcogen@mac.com: oh, now we're just picking 7 to pick 7

sep7imus: oh... well, I'd give it a little lower, I guess, then as a regular joe... maybe an 8.

rgmontag: as non bungie fan, i will actually say 9.. i revise my rating

vansinden5: that's because we're BUNGIE fans!

haveblue3: so phrase the question as "once you rate halo 2 a 7, what scale is that on?" ;)

jmchavez: you are either well versed in Halo1 and know Bungie games... vs, someoene with no expectations just an xbox player

narcogen@mac.com: on a scale of 7 to 7, I give Halo 7.. a 7!

rgmontag: wait... the ending was lame... back to 8

jmchavez: hah

sep7imus: okay, got to go to bed.

jmchavez: interesting answers

jmchavez: OK Sept, the rest of you

sep7imus: I have a WAY too early day tomorrow.

jmchavez: thanks for taking the time out to do this

haveblue3: again, 9.5 from a n00b, 9.0 from an oldschool

sep7imus: stop answering, MArk.

haveblue3: hey not everyone types as fast as you

jmchavez: i'll try to edit it and submit back to you all to correct and fine tune

sep7imus: i'll hold my breath.

rgmontag: what's going to happen to this log?

vansinden5: do you want more written stuff?

tehfrogblast: I'll replace that "pass" maybe :)

jmchavez: heh

jmchavez: just wait for the email to the list

haveblue3: we post segments on the forum to embarrass each other

vansinden5: FB: the slowest typist

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tehfrogblast: i am very slow yes

tehfrogblast: :(

jmchavez: heh

jmchavez: ok good nite all

tehfrogblast: night

haveblue3: night all

vansinden5: 'sokay :-)

narcogen@mac.com: nite all

rgmontag: l8r

vansinden5: night

jmchavez: good afternoon narc

jmchavez: :)

narcogen@mac.com: good morning still

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haveblue3: heh... now to jump on xbl ;)

rgmontag: errr

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rgmontag: was this productive or what?

narcogen@mac.com: well, I thought so

vansinden5: sort of

narcogen@mac.com: Perhaps not the end-all be-all of Halo 2 reviews, but it was something at least

narcogen@mac.com: I think it's moral support

rgmontag: i think mig just needs a hug

narcogen@mac.com: we have to convince ourselves we're still Bungie fans even though we say bad things about Halo 2

vansinden5: heh

rgmontag: well, there's always 2007

narcogen@mac.com: yeah

vansinden5: and Wideload

vansinden5: ;-)

rgmontag: ;)

narcogen@mac.com: I am rofl'ing over some of the forums insisting that h3 is already done and will be out in six months or less

vansinden5: man, I wish

rgmontag: that was the missing piece from halo 2. the wideload guys

narcogen@mac.com: the humor?

rgmontag: that too

narcogen@mac.com: there are attempts at humor.. mostly they seem to fall flat

narcogen@mac.com: Grunts are just not funny any more

rgmontag: the grunts weren't as funny

rgmontag: yup

vansinden5: I think that boss battles perfectly describe the "new" Bungie and the difficulty with Halo 2

narcogen@mac.com: another thing we didn't mention... was the scale of encounters

narcogen@mac.com: I fully expected larger encounters with more units

rgmontag: well, oni had boss battles.. maybe that's their bungie west contribution to h2

narcogen@mac.com: but the scale of h2 seems the same, or even smaller

vansinden5: There are just too many new, younger people working there who have a less "mature" sense of humor

narcogen@mac.com: well, oni was in a genre replete with boss battles

rgmontag: h2 definitely seemed smaller scale

narcogen@mac.com: the "nothing but jackal" bit of Delta Halo, for instance

rgmontag: yeah, the halo 2 bungie had first time leads working on the missions and levels

rgmontag: not enough senior level experience

rgmontag: imho

vansinden5: I wonder if the 'grizzled ancients' are still enjoying working there, and for how long?

rgmontag: well, microsoft stock ain't what it was pre-acquisition.

vansinden5: (not that *I* wouldn't want to, of course)

vansinden5: Well, I'm out. 'Night.

rgmontag: me 2.. l8r guys

narcogen@mac.com: cya

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narcogen@mac.com: odd

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