The Closing of One Door…

Hey everyone. I haven’t been playing Halo 4 as much, which also means that I haven’t been blogging about it as much either. I’ve come to realize that I have more to write about than Halo. There are other video games I enjoy as well as other activities and experiences that I want to share with everyone.

So it is with a bit of sadness that I bring this short-lived blog to a close.

The Good News is…

I’ve started up another blog whose name pays obvious homage to Halo. And I look forward to re-connecting with you all there. It’s called Fighting Rampancy. It will be the home of my life story and subsequent “success story”. It’s going to be about my thoughts on setting goals, health, fitness, relationships, finances, etc. and inspiration from anime, TV shows, movies, and, of course, video games.

I was hoping to have create some awesome Blog Grand Opening before dropping this news, but instead I wanted you all to know that I’m still alive and lurking about the interwebs. I thank each and everyone of you who have been supportive of Halo Observatory. All the awesome Matchmaking and Spartan Ops games we’ve played together have been fun and memorable. I can’t wait see you all on the Infinity again soon.

Oh, and just to be clear, I’ll still write Halo-related stuff in the new blog (which reminds me Silentium is out and I haven’t read it yet…curses!). It’ll just be intermingled with a whole bunch of other stuff.

Hooray for Halo Updates!

Check out this week’s Halo Bulletin for reference.

How’s everyone enjoying this week’s episode of Spartan Ops and the new missions. Absolutely fantastic in my opinion! Although, please spread the word that in Mission 3 called “Need To Know” you can call in an air strike by assassinating the Elite that’s controlling a Covenant terminal in the cave wall next to the light barrier. Calling in that air strike will greatly reduce the number of Covenant you fight before you hit the switch at the door. HOWEVER, if you cause a ruckus and the Elite turns away from the terminal to attack, you lose access to that terminal and Sarah Palmer says something like “Guess we gotta do this the the ol’ fashioned way”.

Maybe, just maybe, letting other people know about this will encourage them to use their mics and ask “So hey, how should we do this?” Then again, some people may not care and just want to go in guns blazing. I can’t deny them their fun if that’s the case, but still…just wanted to share that little tidbit.

Also, the RvB easter egg for episode 6 is in the map called “Cyclone” (the nighttime variation of Vortex). For the exact location, I’m sure you can find it online somewhere.

In regards to this week’s Halo Bulletin, I personally don’t understand the need for the CSR. Remember, I did not play Halo 3 Multiplayer so I don’t see the point of having my skill rank advertised for all to see. I’d like to think my player skill has improved in Halo 4 over Halo: Reach, but that’s due to playing more and playing with a group that I like. My goals as a Halo player usually doesn’t include putting myself on the competitive ladder. As it is I struggle and compete in real life enough that I don’t feel the need to do so in-game. But I know I’m more the exception than the rule. And that’s fine by me.

You Know Nerds Have Hit Mainstream When…

…they have their own reality show (the good),

Which I’m actually looking forward to since I did enjoy watching WCG Ultimate Gamer. This one will, obviously, go beyond video games to the nerd universe in general. Check out the long trailer below.

I’m sharing this because at least two of the contestants reference Halo in some way. One of them, which I already plan to cheer for, is Celeste (aka BiiTTERSWEET on XBL and missceleste on Youtube). I followed her YouTube channel years back when I flirted with the idea of competitive gaming and wanted to learn more from various players in the pro circuit. I particularly enjoyed how prepubescent newbs troll and challenge her online only to get slaughtered in 1v1 Slayer.

And speaking of sexism in online gaming, this is actually the perfect segue into a blog topic I’ve been meaning to post for sometime now.

…their online behavior conforms to society rather than rebels against it (the bad),

We, as gamers, experience derogatory language and vulgarity all the time when we’re playing online. Just because we accept it as “normal” behavior doesn’t mean it’s the “right” form of behavior. There’s a huge difference between trash-talking amongst friends and/or competitive colleagues and being straight-up asinine. The old adage “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” doesn’t quite cut it these days. The version I prefer is, “If you can’t say it in front of your mom, don’t say it at all.” Feel free to substitute “your mom” with whoever you admire if that’s a better example for you, but you get my point.

And seriously, since when did it become OK for prepubescent brats to cuss at total strangers for no reason? A few weeks ago I got a nasty voice message on XBL that was mostly incoherent except for a few high-pitched squeals of expletives. Did I do anything to deserve it? Not that I can think of. It was a game of Spartan Ops Matchmaking, for crying out loud. The point of that mode is to work cooperatively, not to throw tantrums over little things.

While I’m not out to tell people how they should live their lives, it would behoove others to consider the following:

If you are a heterosexual male who is single: Casually using terms that refer to female body parts, female animals, or the forcing of one’s will onto someone does not score you brownie points in a female’s eyes. In fact, it just makes you look like a sexist a-hole. And guess what, gents, more and more ladies game online now but you don’t know that because you’re too busy bragging about your K/D ratio.

If you are a heterosexual male who is in a relationship: If you still talk like the previous example, your girlfriend/spouse should kick you to the curb. Some women still think of video games as a childish pastime, so don’t let your behavior further perpetuate the stereotype. Even cougars want men, not boys (again, generally speaking).

Before anyone starts thinking that I’m trying to kiss up to the ladies, I will also like to mention that women are just as prone to vulgarity as men.

…when picking on other other people becomes the “cool” thing to do (the ugly).

Homophobia sets me off just a bit more than sexism does because it is present in both sexes when it comes to multiplayer. I recently left a gaming group and refused an invitation from another gaming group because of the overuse of the words “fag”, “faggot”, and “gay”. I’m confused as to why being gay was ever and is still considered a bad thing. I’m so comfortable with my heterosexuality that being called gay would actually be considered a compliment. Why? Because gay guys know how to get to a girl’s heart without getting into their pants, a skill every straight guy should learn.

Again, I don’t claim to be an expert of any kind. I just hope these words encourage more gamers to think about how society and culture affects their behavior and vice versa. We don’t need to wait for a reality show to put nerd culture in the spotlight. We can represent it positively in the way we interact with others both offline and online.

Happy 2013!

I hope everyone had a fun, safe New Year’s Eve and weren’t too exhausted (or hung over, for those of you of legal age to experience such a condition) on New Year’s Day. I saw the new weekly challenges in Halo 4 but haven’t started on any of them yet. I’m almost at SR-99 and I find myself not wanting to rush to SR-130. Actually, I’m less inclined to play solo now that I have a few buddies close to home that I game with.

I’m looking forward to the second half of Season One of Spartan Ops and hopefully news of Season Two! Looking forward to a full year or blogging and connecting more with the Halo community. To quote my man Cal over at Auspicious Eagle, see you all on Infinity.

Regards,
Cy

How to Score Free XP and Armor in Halo 4 (Pt. 2)

Story – Continued from Pt. 1
In the recent months prior to Halo 4’s launch, more Forerunner glyphs were placed in Halo Waypoint videos, hinted at in the Halo Bulletins, and sighted in Spartan Ops maps. The difference between these glyphs and those found in Halo: CEA is that each glyph is placed within a jigsaw puzzle piece. These pieces align to make strings of 10-glyph codes. In some cases, prerequisites need to be met in order for the Forerunner keyboard to accept the code (by playing certain Spartan Ops missions, a certain number of War Games matches, etc.)

Several glyph pieces were given to participants (aka “ONI operatives”) if they solved codes and puzzles handed to them by 343i employees disguised as mysterious UNSC AIs and ONI members. These discussions were conducted in the Halo Waypoint forums and in IRC chat.

I’m usually patient with my posts, especially the long ones, but right now I’m not feeling all that patient and so I will get right to the point of the matter. Before, I do that however, please take a moment to visit the Halo 4 ARG Info Tracker website. It gives you more information about what has transpired and shows you the complexity of the codes people have had to crack. Also, if you like deciphering codes and riddles I highly encourage you to join their team. It’s really nice to see 343i go out of their way to reach their fans in this manner. It’s sad that this little gem is being overshadowed by all the complaints and nitpicking people have about the game (some concerns more legitimate than others, of course)

So in order to get free xp and armor in Halo 4, you’ll need to log into Halo Waypoint.

How to login to Halo Waypoint via internet
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er:

  1. Go to http://www.halowaypoint.com
  2. Click on “Sign In” on the upper-right hand corner.
  3. Login using the email address and password associated with your Xbox Live account.
  4. You should see several blue tabs on the upper portion of the website. Move your mouse cursor over the tab that says “Career”.
  5. A menu opens up. Click on the section marked “Classified”
  6. Click on “Enter Code”
  7. The Forerunner keyboard opens up
  8. Enter the codes below and voila! (Remember: Some codes won’t work unless prerequisites are met, which are also listed below)

How to login to Halo Waypont via Xbox Live (aka “The Faster Way”)

  1. From Halo 4’s Main Menu, select “Waypoint”
  2. From the first screen in Waypoint, press the X button.
  3. Another screen opens up, press the X button again.
  4. The Forerunner keyboard opens up
  5. Enter the codes below and voila! (Remember: Some codes won’t work unless prerequisites are met, which are also listed below)

 

Again, visit the website and thank the people there who spent hours of time and energy finding the glyphs and cracking the codes. There are plenty of YouTube vids and forum discussions out there about these codes, but hopefully now you know the source. Enjoy.

Regards,
Cy

 

How to Score Free XP and Armor in Halo 4 (Pt. 1)

Halo 4 ARG (Augmented Reality Game) – A Story

You may or may not be aware of this, but 343 Industries has been playing an interesting mini-game with fans for several months before the release of Halo 4 and shortly afterward. It has since been completed in time for the Holiday season, but will certainly start up again after the new year. *The game first started with Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, when they inserted terminal videos into every level of the Campaign. Each video ends with a string of strange symbols. See example below:

It all looked like gibberish at first until it was revealed that these were Forerunner glyphs. By watching all ten terminals and entering their corresponding codes into Halo Waypoint (via either logging into the website or Xbox Live), you unlock a secret eleventh terminal and earn yourself a whopping 134,000 credits in Halo: Reach. Of course, the terminals themselves are story-related treats of 343 Guilty Spark’s time as Monitor of Installation-04 (aka “Alpha Halo”).

The ARG game has upped its ante in the wake of Halo 4, which I will continue in my next post. Apologies folks. I was going to complete this article, but sadly I must rest for the night. Oh, how I wish I could be a armor-clad Forerunner right now and not need sleep. But, as they say, I am only human.

Regards,
Cy

*Note: I’d be lacking if I failed to mention Bungie’s contribution to the easter egg/ARG thing by adding Halo 3’s terminals, Halo 3:ODST’s Sadie-storyline datapads and Halo: Reach’s datapads.