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Halo: Reach update for December 18th improves aiming

Halo Reach

The newest update for Halo: Reach, the Halo: Reach December 18th patch, is live. It’s mostly a bug fix patch up front, but there is another set of changes of note. The update not only fixes ongoing issues and exploits, but also retools some matchmaking playlists to add more variety for players in various pools. And with more than 3 million players flocking back to the collection with the recent Reach launch, there’s a lot of reasons to keep people interested by shaking things up.

The biggest bug fix in the patch is that a mechanic for mouse + keyboard players has been tweaked. Prior to the Halo: Reach December 18th patch, players who took damage wouldn’t be able to control their aiming as well on this control scheme due to the way the game applied visual effects, that’s been patched out. The Halo: Reach December 18th patch also fixes an issue that could cause players to be kicked from a matchmade game under certain network conditions.

Players also previously abused an exploit that bypassed the anti-cheat in the game, allowing them to unlock seasonal and other restricted content by using a modified EXE file. This exploit has now been patched out in the Halo: Reach December 18th patch. This bypassed the seasonal rankings and earning of locked rewards, so it’s obvious why 343 removed it, so as not to poison the post-launch plan they have in place. The game is currently in its first season of post-launch content.

Being that it’s a multiplayer-focused shooter, we can also expect some adjustments to matchmaking and various game modes. Social pools for 2v2, 4v4 and 8v8 game modes in matchmaking have been reworked. A handful of maps in both sections have either been removed or added. For example, the Asset Denial list has removed Oddball on Solitary. Slayer in 2v2’s removed Solitary and added Synapse (Forge World). 8v8 Socials by far got the most changes, with many maps being removed and added, and some having their prevalence adjusted. Check the patch notes for the full list of matchmaking changes.

Also, some adjustments were made to game types and maps in Hardcore playlists, with a major focus on rebalancing the weight some combinations held in the pool.

Those interested can find the full patch notes below.

Halo: Reach December 18th Patch Notes
Main Fix
  • Addressed a mechanic for mouse + keyboard players which improves precision of aiming when taking damage.
Additional small fixes:
  • Fixed an issue which prevented the sound effect for unlocking a season tier from playing.
  • A stat error has been fixed that was causing multiplayer kills in Halo: Reach to increase the deaths in your service record.
  • A new Halo: Reach themed splash screen has been added to celebrate the inclusion of Reach, our sixth title into Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
  • Resolved an issue that could cause players to be kicked from a matchmade game when an intermittent loss of Xbox Live connectivity occurred.
  • Fixed an exploit where season items which were manually made available while Easy anti-cheat (EAC) was disabled and were able to equip them after launching on an EAC enabled exe.
Playlist Updates

Social 2v2

  • [Slayer] Removed Solitary and added Synapse (Forge World).

Social 4v4

  • [Slayer] Added Think Twice (Forge World).
  • [Asset Denial] Removed Oddball on Solitary.
  • Made various weighting adjustments. Players will spend a bit less time on Anniversary maps and a bit more time on vanilla maps and classic forge map variants.

Social 8v8

  • [Slayer] Added default variants of Boneyard and Spire. The updated variants (Scrapyard and Spear Broken) will see additional playtesting and refinement before reentering the core map pool.
  • [Slayer] Added classic Forge World variants Delta Facility and Wayont.
  • [Slayer] Added new Forge World variants Brick and Hivemind by MythicFritz and Hexduster respectively.
  • [Slayer] Removed Paradiso (Forge World).
  • [Flag & Bomb] Replaced Neutral Bomb Assault with Multi Bomb Assault on Tempest, Highlands, and Hemorrhage (Forge World). This will reduce the number of matches which end in stalemates.
  • [Flag & Bomb] Added Multi Flag CTF on Brick and Hivemind.
  • [Zone Control] Removed Territories on Breakpoint and High Noon.
  • [Action Sack] Fixed an issue where players could spawn out of bounds on Spear Broken (Spire) and reenabled it for Elite Slayer.
  • Retuned weighting to better balance DLC and vanilla maps.
Halo: Reach Hardcore
  • Retuned weighting based on player feedback. Previously, each map / gametype combination held equal weight.
  • Zealot and Sanctuary CTF hold very high weight.
  • Countdown and Pit CTF, Zealot and Sanctuary Slayer, and Nexus KotH also hold high weight.
  • Countdown and Battle Canyon Slayer hold medium weight.
  • Battle Canyon KotH holds low weight.
  • Penance Slayer also holds very low weight.
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