18 NOVEMBER 2010

Posted: November 18, 2010 in Firefight
Tags: , , , ,

Check in here for strategies on completing the Daily and Weekly challenges in Halo: Reach. If it’s your first time, click through the About HRD link above; and add comments below if you’ve got a good idea of your own for tackling the Challenges today.



Screenshot Of The Day today courtesy of ODST Alpha, one of the more active members in the HRD Comments sections, and who departs from the standard action portrait for a (non-)atmospheric shot, this one in the airless void outside of Zealot.

Send your screenshots to haloreachdaily@live.com, or just make a file recommendation to us on XBox (Gamertag: Ender Xer0, with a zero), and we’ll take care of the rest. Remember: we’re not looking for Forge art or pix from the Internet; it should be a screenshot of YOU!


You know what I really like about these all-Firefight days?

Yeah, I don’t know either…

  • TYPES: Kills, Killstyle, Assists, Special Weapon
  • SETTINGS: Firefight




Type: Kills
Setting: Firefight
Difficulty: Easy
Reward: 1500

Kill 150 enemies in Firefight Matchmaking.

You’re almost certainly going to burn through this one simply by taking on the other Challenges. For leftover kills, fire up a Gruntpocalypse in Score Attack and start making confetti.




Type: Assists
Setting: Firefight
Difficulty: Grind
Reward: 600

Earn 30 assists in Firefight Matchmaking.

This is much, much harder than it sounds, and the Challenge that’ll take the most effort today.

The problem: most Firefight enemies — Grunts and Jackals — go down so easy that it’s difficult to coordinate an Assist without killing them outright. Even shattering a Jackal’s energy buckler with a plasma burst won’t register, since it’s not calculated as actual “damage” to the enemy.

Complicating matters is that there are so many of them — an Assist requires at least 40% damage to the target’s combined Shields and Health, and then for a teammate finish the kill within five seconds of your last strike. With Covies swarming the map, it’s unlikely an ally will be firing on the same one at the same time as you.

When tougher enemies do arrive fashionably late, they’re often too few or too resilient to rack up too many Assists. A Hunter, for example, often involves all teammates ripping into him at once, making it less likely any single player will strip off more than 40% before the beast goes down.

Brutes represent more solid candidates for Assist-farming: a steady DMR stream will remove their helmets, setting them up for a teammate’s coup-de-grace. The problem isn’t so much that the Brutes don’t know how to put their helmets back on; it’s that most don’t carry regenerative Shields, so you won’t know how much damage one’s taken already. Plus higher-ranking Brutes require more setup, so it’s difficult to gauge when you’ve crossed the 40% mark.

  • With all that in mind, your best bet remains to target Elites, crashing their Shields with an overcharged Plasma Pistol for a teammate to close the deal. Elites — while otherwise remarkably crafty — for some reason stop and howl like a drag queen who’s lost his wig when their Shields go down, giving an ally an easy headshot.
  • The problem will ease up once the Mythic Skull turns on, since that doubles enemy health, including for even the lowliest DMR fodder; but — since they don’t have regenerating shields — it’ll still be difficult to gauge when you’ve peeled a Grunt or Jackal by 40%. So, better to keep steady with what’s worked for you, rather than try to shift strategies in the middle of the match.
  • You can also steal cheap Assists throughout the match by targeting a Phantom’s main gun: taking it out registers as a kill, so damaging it — a single sniper shot, or several with the DMR — will generate an Assist; you can even take care of it as the Dropship approaches, before it empties its troops, so you won’t have a Wave of Covies firing on you. With three Rounds of play now in Firefight, that’s 30 Dropships; more than enough to notch the Challenge.
  • And, by all means, go in with a friend if possible; coordinating with a partner on microphone will cut down on both your Challenge times, taking turns flashing an Elite’s shields while the other readies a headshot. It’ll be the one time when the Firefight playlist actually becomes cooperative.



Special Weapon

Type: Special Weapon
Setting: Firefight
Difficulty: Easy
Reward: 600

Kill 30 enemies in Firefight Matchmaking with grenades.

Not much to say here; load up Gruntpocalypse in Score Attack on a smaller map (Courtyard, Corvette), since it’s easier to nail the waddlin’ tykes while they’re still in a spawn pack. Also regularly farm some Plasmas from the battlefield carnage between Waves or whenever there’s a break in the action; otherwise, you’ll be left with only two standard grenades to do your fragwork.

We haven’t yet tested out whether a recovered Plasma Launcher will register grenade kills, but really it won’t matter: you can die with regularity or reload a new match as often as you like and it won’t make a difference to your Challenge count. Besides, we here at HRD have never been able to figure out that damn thing anyway, and even Auntie Dot thinks it’s weird.



Special Weapon

Type: Special Weapon / Killstyle
Setting: Firefight
Difficulty: Grind
Reward: 1000

Kill 70 enemies with a Supercombine from the Needler or Needle Rifle in Firefight Matchmaking.

Ah, the beloved Needler. An an unusual weapon ever since designers buffed it for Halo 2, with a Supercombine effect that results from needles microbursting moments after they hit; if enough pin a target, the first burst sets off a chain reaction for an instant-kill explosion. At the same time, this only works if enough hit before the first burst; stagger your shots, and you can empty an entire clip without ever triggering a Supercombine.

The effect also works differently based on the enemy. Six needles will Supercombine a Grunt or Jackal; but Elites wear shields, so it requires seven to strip their protection before six more take them out. (And let’s not even get started on Hunters.) But at the rate the needles fire, it’s not like you’ll really be able to count them anyway.

The DMR Wannabe.

The Needle Rifle, meanwhile, Supercombines after only three shots against an unshielded opponent, but it lacks its cousin’s automatic fire, meaning all three need to score prior to the first burst triggering. Miss a shot, and you’re likely to miss the Supercombine; and against an opponent without shields, why not just take aim for a headshot anyway?

That said, it’s still not difficult to register Supercombines — particularly with the hand-held Needler, which features a homing reticule that aim-assists even stray shots to zero a target while the circle stays red. This also allows needles to bend around corners a bit, so both its targeting and secondary explosions can dispatch an enemy even after you’ve lost line-of-sight. In fact, the needle bursts themselves will spray nearby opponents with splash damage, so a Supercombine burst can actually score a Multikill — both the enemy you’ve perforated, and any weaker opponent lingering nearby.

The Halo 1 punchline, now packing some punch.

Instead, your biggest obstacle remains that, in Firefight matchmaking, you don’t ever spawn with a Needle weapon. You’ll need to recover one from the field, and particularly with the smaller gun the automatic fire empties its clip at an alarmingly rapid rate. It’s also a medium-range weapon at best, so you’ll find yourself abandoning the much more sensible strategy of picking opponents off from range to instead wade dangerously close to heavy enemy fire.

The Firefight setting further complicates matters, since most enemies — Grunts and Jackals — usually perish with remarkably little effort; in fact, unless the Mythic Skull switches on, it’s pretty damn hard to Supercombine a Grunt without actually killing him first. (Grunt leaders will sometimes hang on until the blast; standard Grunts, not so much.) So, unless you’ve got an open, uninterrupted shot, you might kill them accidentally with a few careless rounds before the Supercombine registers.

  • With all that in mind, your best bet becomes a standard Firefight, rather than Gruntpocalypse — which doesn’t feature Needle Rifles, and the little tykes will tend to swarm you as you recover a standard Needler from the field. Even after you do, you’ll burn through its ammo so fast that it’ll hardly seem worth it; and, with only one Round in Score Attack, you’ll likely not register the Challenge’s full 70 kills and need to fire up another Round (or two) anyway.
  • Look to recover both a Needler and Needle Rifle early on — use the smaller weapon for a few close-quarter Supercombines, then the Needle Rifle to target opponents at range who themselves carry needle weapons. A scattering of Grunts will have armed themselves with basic Needlers, but the rifle version remains immensely popular among Jackals, so you won’t have any trouble acquiring these.

    A n00b combo, in a needle fight? Yep!

  • Elites, meanwhile, can be frustratingly wily in dodging fire; and, as noted above, they’re rocking energy shields, so you’d likely need a reload before a Supercombine even becomes possible. If you’ve hit a Wave of them, consider ditching one of your needle weapons for a secondary plasma pistol; flash his shields with an overcharge burst, then finish him off with the needles. When his shields go down, he’ll stop in his tracks and howl like a pro wrestler who’s just lost a match to the guy with a folding chair, making himself an easy, stationary target.
  • Vote for wider, open maps, since enemies will tend to spread out, giving you opportunity to farm for needle weapons without drawing fire from every Covenant on Reach. Since the Supercombine requires either an uninterrupted stream (Needler) or three steady shots (Rifle), taking aim without standing in the middle of a plasma crossfire will help register Challenge points.
  • Also, consider: A gametype like Sniperfight might seem counterintuitive; except that your Sniper offers unlimited ammo, which because of the way Halo game settings work means that in Multiplayer Firefights, every other weapon features it as well. Just snipe a Grunt, recover his weapon, and spend the rest of the match enjoying more free needles that a government giveaway program.





Type: Wins
Setting: Multiplayer
Difficulty: Grind
Reward: 5000

Win 50 games in Multiplayer Matchmaking this week.

Just like it sounds: play enough games and you’ll rack up 50 wins. That divides almost evenly into seven wins per day; considering that last week’s Home Field Advantage Challenge required eight wins, this one’s just a fifth Daily Challenge that you get paid for at the end of the week.

Tip Of The Day

TAKE NOTE, however: Despite what it may say on your Reach game stats page over at Bungie.net, simply finishing in the top half of a Free-For-All game will NOT register as a win for your Challenge progress here — you’ll need to place First, or not at all.

Likewise, avoid any Objective gametypes that frequently end in a tieCapture The Flag or Assault, for example — since although your score registers a win for both sides (that is, you both came in “first”), the Weekly Challenge is not so generous; either one team takes the top spot, or both sides lose.

Retarded? Sure. Just think of it like that airhead girl you’ve got to put up with just so she’ll, you know…give you 5,000 cR at the end of the date. Anyway, both of these glitches mean that Team Slayer gametypes become your best option:

  • Avoid Big Team Battle and Invasion; though generally worth more cRedits, they also take longer, and you’re targeting wins here, not just cR. Plus, you can spend twice as much time in a Big Team game and still have a 50% chance of finishing without any Challenge progress; two smaller-squad games will earn just as many credits in the same time, but double your chances at a win.
  • If you’re a weaker player, you can still play a support role to earn the Challenge. Stick by at least one of your comrades to help him team-shoot, watching his back and providing cover fire. Play defensively, helping allies with assists rather than charging in for a big kill; finishing with a low score but only a few deaths is far more important than letting the other team run up their number by stacking your corpses.
  1. ODST Alpha says:

    For the Needler, and it’s long-range cousin the Needler Rifle, remember this:

    It IS counted as a “dodge-able” weaopn, meaning once Tough Luck comes on, enemies will dodge your Needles like crazy.

    But this, also, works to an advantage. Once they dodge you can easily peg them once they get into the “stop-and-recover” phase after the dodge.

    Another handy tip: if you’re running low on shields/health and your enemy is within range, fire a non-tracked burst their way, and they’ll dodge the harmless projectiles, giving you ample time to find cover.

  2. Thom says:

    Hey, I was just wondering… does “Grind” mean like really hard or what? I know the word, but I don’t quite get what it means here as a difficulty measurement.

    • Ender Xer0 says:

      An excellent question, Thom. “Grind” is essentially an Easy task that becomes a hassle because of how many times you have to do it; so much so that it starts testing your patience, rather than your skill. In other words, WHAT you have to do is Easy; HOW MANY TIMES you have to do it (over and over again), becomes difficult.

  3. info says:

    Bungie removed the ability to pick up other weapons during sniper fight. That is a thing of the past. That makes this challenge so much more rediculous.

  4. V Translanka says:

    One thing to note is that Sniperfight’s been neutered (it’s just your Snipe, your Pistol and your starting nades) in Score Attack, so don’t go attempting either the Pink Mist solo unless you like running around looking for needles or Blast Radius since you can’t pick up any other grenades…

    • Ender Xer0 says:

      Yeah, that’s why I specified Multiplayer Sniperfight…but it’s certainly a point worth repeating.

      • Punjab2 says:

        FYI – Rocketfight has the same unlimited ammo and weapon swap options as Multiplayer Sniperfight.

        This is good stuff. Any chance you can wake up earlier, HAHA? I usually try to knock my challenges out by 10 AM ET and you rarely update by then (I’m guessing you’re west coast). In any case, if a challenge is giving me trouble in the morning, I’ve picked up some really good tips here for later in the day. Keep up the good work!

      • Avore says:

        Yup, just wanted to add my support for Rocketfight with the needle weapon pickups too. I found the needler to be far more effective for completing the challenge than the rifle – as Ender pointed out it’s pretty hard not to kill the weaker enemies with the NR before the combine. Also you can dump a full clip at an elite at near-to-medium range, and the second half or last third should hit them after their shields have dropped and while they’re doing their howl-in-rage.

        Sniper/Rocket multiplayer on a small map with a needler was great for the Pink Mist challenge, and sniper attacks are even better for the grenade one because the drop ship clumps can’t all be eliminated by someone else’s rocket before your grenade explodes. Corvette was wonderful for this.

  5. xxxthetoadxxx says:

    Just an FYI, the Needle Rifle DOES actually have automatic fire. If you hold down the trigger it will auto fire, just not as accurate. Works nicely in closer situations.

  6. Ender Xer0 says:

    Punjab — wake up EARLIER?? Are you and my cats in some sort of conspiracy?!

    Actually, a lot of it has to do with what other RL work needs to be done here. I’m a freelance writer by trade, so sometimes (lately in particular, in fact) I’ve got to work HRD around other stuff that happens here on Earth.

    And, thanks very much for the kind words — really appreciated.

    Toad — Wow, you’re right! I’ll have to try that on my cats…

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