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.

NOTE: NEW WEEKLY CHALLENGE!


ENDERTORIAL




As I mentioned in a previous Update, the lads from the ManeXGaming Channel on YouTube are on holiday this week, so you won’t see our typical Manex Monday Video Of The Week; instead, though, we’ve got something EVEN MORE SPECIAL: Our first-ever Guest Columnist, an art pro named Artful Fiver whose work has graced the Screenshot Of The Day feature more than once with his astonishing in-game camerawork.

Hi, I'm Ender Xer0. Do you want fries with that?

And that’s what first suggested to us the idea for this column: We noticed a sizeable community of folks who really dug this site — posting comments here and on the Bungie.net message boards, sending us emails and/or Friend Requests over Xbox Live — but who never submitted any Screenshots. When I suggested it to them, as a way for me to thank them for such amazing support by showcasing them on the Front Page, some of them actually declined, concerned that their Screenshots just wouldn’t measure up.

That had never actually occurred to us, and we realized there were probably all sorts of readers who felt the same way. So, we invited Fiver to fill our standard Screenshot Of The Day space with something special: The Official HRD Screenshot Guide, with all the advice you’ll need to create that ass-kicking, holy-crap, this-is-going-in-my-File-Share Kodak moment.

When we first ran one of Fiver’s Screenshots, we commented in passing that it showed such skill that he could probably teach an art class. Guess what? He does! So, yeah — not only are we preternaturally psychic, but the man knows what he’s talking about. Fiver’s now a VIP here aboard the Pillar Of Awesome, the guide’s loaded with cool pix and interesting info, and you can click on any image to enlarge — so check it out! You’ll be glad you did.

And, just one quick administrative note: For all you amazing folks who tackled our special Christmas Challenge on Saturday — we’ll be posting our list of winners and prizes later on today. We had hoped to have it ready for this Update, but the fact is that so many people took it on and joined in the fun that it’s taken a bit of extra time to organize all the entries, winners and prizes. So stop by in a few hours and check out the results!

Cheers,

Ender Xer0
* * *


SCREENSHOT OF THE DAY: SPECIAL EDITION!





TAKING EFFECTIVE SCREENSHOTS

Artful Fiver here. One of the coolest things about Halo Reach Daily is the Screenshot Of The Day feature, showcasing us, the members of Halo Nation in pitched battle. However, not all Screenshots are created equal. Here is one Spartan’s advice on how to create compelling Screenshots of you doing your thing and maybe score yourself some front-page action.



Bungie made your Spartan model a statuesque tank who strikes poses just standing around, so your job is to supply the game play that yields explosions, shattered vehicles, flying bodies, stuff like that. At the same time you should keep an eye out for interesting moments in the game play in between those big, loud, dramatic moments. The first lesson of the Theater is that you can learn from watching Halo as well as playing Halo. Watch yourself play campaign, watch yourself in multiplayer, watch your opponents in multiplayer. Watch and learn.



Photographers talk about the “Rule of Thirds.” Psychologically, the human eye naturally drifts to a point two-thirds of the way up an image. A good rule of thumb when composing your Screenshot is to put your horizon line on a “third”: one-third from the top (emphasis on the sky) or one-third from the bottom (emphasis moves to the sky). See the two diagrams at left (stacked top and bottom) for examples.

Advanced applications: Imagine the page is divided into three columns and three rows; the intersections are the compositional sweet spots. (See the diagram with the red dots for an example.) Try to compose your image with the key action or focus falling exactly on one of these spots and you’ll already be ahead of the game.

This just represents the basics, and all you’ll need to get started; if you want to learn more, look up “The Golden Section” on Google as it applies to visual composition; lots of great stuff on the concept — you’ll be amazed how much you already knew without realizing it.



You lookin' at me? 'Cause I'm lookin' at YOU!

Camera placement is probably the next most important consideration.

As the “cinematographer”, you’re in charge of framing the shot. A camera placed low and looking up will generally make your Spartan seem more grand and iconic. Placing the camera at eye level can create the impression that behind the visor, that Spartan is looking at YOU, mister.

Look below at the sample images from the same opening moment of Nightfall and notice how camera placement radically changes things.





Bungie spent a lot of time making Reach a highly detailed world for you to play in. The background of your Screenshot can accentuate your portrait (explosive action with busy background) or contrast it (simple, uncluttered backgrounds will focus the eye on the detailed figure). Artsy-tartsy folks will talk about each picture having a foreground, middle-ground, and background, and remind you to make deliberate choices for each zone when designing your image.

The Screenshot of the shotgun kill in Reflection (below) is an example of background supporting the action. If I were a snooty art professor, I might claim: “the repeating geometric architecture rendered in three-point perspective is echoed in the angled limbs of the tumbling figure in the foreground, whose legs frame our protagonist”. Or you could do away with the artsy mumbo-jumbo, and just say, “That dude got owned! He landed on his head!”

Other times the background can become a framing device if you strategically align the action with scenery, distinct architecture, or even empty space.

Busy background on Reflection


Architectural accent on Countdown


Quiet sky on Nightfall




Negative space (the empty area surrounding a figure) is important; always give your subject room to look into. The Rule of Space says that a person looking off stage and placed too close to the edge looks like he’s exiting. The more dramatic the pose, the more asymmetrically you can place the figure and still maintain balance.

How many knives can you spot? Give the man some room!


Depth of field can be another powerful device: Remember that you can click the right thumbstick to zoom the camera in. This is great for close-ups as well as compressing distances. Consider placing something (or someone) large in the foreground, then using the zoomed-in camera to peer over their shoulder.



Over-the-shoulder depth, figures placed on thirds, simple background highlights action... wait, is that a shotgun? *BAM!*




The pose you see the most while playing and watching Halo is your running Spartan with weapon shouldered. The only thing wrong with this pose? Everybody uses it.

Halo: Reach has built in model animations for all kinds of things. When you climb in or out of a vehicle, you see an animation different from 90% of your regular gameplay (running and gunning). Most of the Screenshot examples in this article capture specific animations that come and go in the blink of eye when you’re playing. Assassinations, melees, sprinting, jumping, assassinations (and did I mention assassinations?) — even hitting the button to change weapons will allow you to capture your Spartan with his gun down in a “resting” stance, and where you can see his face from either side.

Wait...did I mention Assassinations? OK, just checking.


Did you see my Melee animation? Wanna see it again?




So next time you have a great game, head for the Theater for the play-by-play. Remember to slow down and view potential Screenshot moments from different angles, making use of the right-click-to-zoom technique when needed.

When you get to a Screenshot-worthy event, watch it a couple of times so you can be sure you’re capturing the pivotal moment. Be aware of your background, the placement of figures, and the lighting. Hopefully we’ll see some of your excellent Screenshots here on Halo Reach Daily soon!



About the Author: Artful Fiver has been playing Halo since 2001 and is currently a Field Marshall in Halo: Reach. If you play with him in matchmaking, chances are you’ll never see him coming. Because, oh yeah, he DOES love those Assassinations!

GRATUITOUS ASSASSINATION OF THE DAY: Artful Fiver


Our regular Screenshot Of The Day feature returns tomorrow, so send ’em 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!


DAILY CHALLENGES


Summary

TYPES: Completion, Kills, Killstyle, Multikills
SETTINGS: Campaign, Firefight, Multiplayer
AVERAGE DIFFICULTY: Easy
TOTAL TIME: 60-80 minutes
OVERALL VALUE: ★★★★★
TOTAL CREDITS: 4850 (14850 with Weekly)

MORE THAN A HANDFUL

Multiplayer

Kills

Type: Kills
Setting: Multiplayer
Difficulty: Grind
Time: 45-60 minutes
Value: ★★★★
Reward: 1750

Kill 77 enemies in Multiplayer Matchmaking.

A basic, straightforward Challenge; how long it takes simply depends on which playlists you prefer and how good you are at them. So, our standard recommendations:

  • Your best bet remains Rumble Pit or Multi-Team, since the kills come fast and furious and you don’t have to worry about K/D — both the game and Challenges only count kills, not deaths, so trading one-for-one with double-melees will rack up points while scattering your own deaths (more or less) among the other players. Rumble Pit’s slightly better for kills, Multi-Team is slightly better for Assists (and the A Great Friend Challenge, below), so take yer pick.
  • Most Pit Objective gametypes (King Of The Hill, Oddball, etc.) also usually increase your kill-count, since they concentrate combat into small zones, making it easier to spam grenades, death-blossom your Assault Rifle or pickpocket kills from a gunbattle between other players.
  • However, skip Juggernaut — a low-kill-count option that can leave you with no kills at all.
  • For a change of pace, head into the Team Slayer playlists (Slayer, Swat, Snipers), but Avoid Team Objective, since games usually take longer and generate fewer kills.

ONE SPARTAN ARMY

Firefight

Kills

Type: Kills
Setting: Firefight
Difficulty: Easy
Time: 10 minutes (Concurrent with Heroic Killagruntjaro Challenge)
Value: ★★★★★
Reward: 1000

Kill 100 enemies in Firefight Matchmaking.

Pretty simple: Just fire up a Gruntpocalypse in Score Attack and start making confetti. With 120 enemies per match, you’ll hit the Challenge mark just after the boom-chuka-boom music starts up for the final Wave. You’ll also be able to pocket the Heroic Killagruntjaro Challenge (see below) at the same time, so make sure to coordinate those Multikills.

Corvette, atop one of the platforms, and Overlook, on the lower of the two sheds near the silo, both provide wide lines of sight for sending Grunts to their birthday party; the big guns or main deck on Outpost and the far-end walkway corners on Courtyard also offer excellent defensive positions. Use your Drop Shield liberally to keep the party going, and focus on headshots, since the medals register bonus cRedits.

HEROIC KILLAGRUNTJARO!

Firefight

Single Match

Multikill

Type: Multikills
Setting: Firefight
Difficulty: Easy
Time: 10 minutes (Concurrent with One Spartan Army Challenge)
Value: ★★★★★
Reward: 1000

Earn 10 multikills in a Firefight Matchmaking game on Heroic or harder.

You’ll already have fired up the Gruntpocalypse of your choice for the One Spartan Army Challenge, so might as well DMR your way to 10 Multikills while you’re there. The Grunts go down with one shot, travel in packs and maneuver like Bristol Palin on Dancing With The Grunts, so if you can’t manage 10 Multikills out of a single match, you’re just not trying.

Tip Of The Day

ONE NOTE: Unlike some similar Challenges, chaining Multikills together here WILL register multiple points on your Challenge meter. The coding counts Medals, not actual kills; so, while a previous Overkill didn’t register a second Double-Kill Medal — and thus counted as only one point for the DK Challenge — this Challenge registers ANY Multikill. That means a Double-Kill that stacks into a Triple and eventually an Overkill nets you three Challenge points, not just one.

Just don’t shoot at Bristol; it’s not her fault.

SWEEP THE LEG

Multiplayer

Assassination

Type: Killstyle
Setting: Multiplayer
Difficulty: Easy
Time: 5-10 minutes
Value: ★★★★★
Reward: 1100

Perform an Assassination in a Multiplayer Matchmaking game.

Probably the most fun you’ll have snaring a Challenge all day, although this one, like life itself, will be over in the blink of an eye. There’s at least as many ways to perform an Assassination as there are Karate Kid sequels, but you’ve got a few options in front of you to make-it-quick as you show no mercy and go Cobra-Kai on your enemies.

  • Head into Rumble Pit and look for smaller, tighter maps: Anywhere you can sneak up on someone, catch them by surprise as they come ’round a corner or make a straight Sprint toward their unsuspecting spines will offer all sorts of banzai backstab openings. Just remember: If do right, no can defense.
  • As noted, you can select Sprint for a cheetah-like takedown, though if you don’t mind alerting your prey to nearby danger, you can stalk with Active Camo just as easily. In fact, Camo-crouched near a doorway or corner for a lightning strike will make the Discovery Channel highlight reel as well.
  • Though it often goes wax-on-wax-off with Rumble Pit recommendations, avoid Multi-Team for this one: There’s just too much damn gunfire everywhere, and you could easily find yourself Yoinked — or worse, Showstopped — as the animation plays.
  • And, an excellent point from MAL in our Comments section below:

    Choosing a ‘Pro’ game in Matchmaking Rumble Pit, like Crazy King Pro or Slayer Pro, will make it extremely simple to perform an assassination. The lack of a radar will make it easy to sneak up on opponents and get multiple assassinations.

Thanks, MAL!


WEEKLY CHALLENGE


THIS IS HOW WE DO IT

Campaign

Heroic

Type: Completion
Setting: Campaign
Difficulty: Grind
Time: More than Normal; Less than Legendary
Value: ★★★★★
Reward: 10000

Complete 9 Campaign missions on Heroic.

NOTE: NEW CHALLENGE!

This is actually a replay of the first-ever Weekly Challenge issued by Bungie when Reach first dropped; that week, players had one fewer day to complete it, since the game didn’t see release until Tuesday — so if you accidentally missed it then, this is your chance to take care of it.

Because of the length of today’s Update and this Challenge’s complexity, we’re going to go ahead and initially post without the bitchin’ in-depth guides you’re accustomed to; we figure it’s better to get started on the Dailies rather than wait for strategies on completing missions that you’ve most likely done already. Check back in later today for the first set of HRD mission guides, with further sets as the week progresses.

And no, before you ask: Noble Actual and Lone Wolf won’t count. But do ’em anyway — because, yeah, they’re cool.

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Comments
  1. WBJ says:

    Does anyone know if Legendary will count? I still need to play the whole game solo Legendary.

    • Ender Xer0 says:

      Yep; Legendary will automatically qualify for anything that requires Heroic. (And Heroic and Legendary for Normal, etc.).

      • WBJ says:

        FYI…I just did Winter Contig. on Legendary, solo, and did NOT get my 1/9 for this. Can anyone else confirm these findings?

        PS-you’re welcome for the 10,000cR note

    • Will Lee Wonka says:

      Out of curiosity I tried it on Legendary and it counted as 1 of 9.

      • Will Lee Wonka says:

        I wanted to add though, that when I did Winter Contingency this morning on Heroic, I did the save and quit glitch.

        That first time I completed the mission it did NOT register the 1 of 9.

        However, when I resumed the campaign (to activate the glitch) it registered at that time and all of the subsequent resume campaign restarts as completions.

      • WBJ says:

        So the glitch can defeat the purpose of legitimately earning these? That’s slightly annoying but at least we know the workaround. I need to beat the whole campaign on solo Legendary so I guess I will just keep on trucking.

  2. MAL says:

    The ‘Sweep The Leg Challenge’ is not difficult but choosing a ‘Pro’ game in Matchmaking Rumble Pit, like Crazy King Pro or Slayer Pro, will make it extremely simple to perform an assassination. The lack of a radar will make it easy to sneak up on opponents and get multiple assassinations.

  3. Ron says:

    I just did the midnight run to get a heads up on the weekly challenge. I was at end mission- video when I saved/quit to step away for a bit. I came back and finished my game and received credit for completing the mission [1/9].

    Back at the main menu I hit the a button by mistake and it took me to the credits earned screen again. No biggie, it showed that i got a few credits but it also gave me credit for beating that mission again [2/9].

    It’s hard to resist doing this over again and getting the weekly challenge done in a matter of minutes but I have no idea if this is bannable. However, if you are willing to give it a try then by all means…

    • dukemeiser says:

      Just checked the Bungie.net forums. It looks as if the Flawless Cowboy Glitch in NOT a bannable offense. It is similar to Owning on ONI. In that while you ARE exploiting the Checkpoint game mechanic, you are actually PLAYING the game. Bungie has said before as long as people play the game, they don’t care what people do. Modding and network manipulation will get you banned, not this.

  4. Matt says:

    Ron, that’s how I took care of the weekly challenge already, and I don’t think its a ban-able offense. I’ve done the same thing in the past to build up commendations, like flawless cowboy.

    • dukemeiser says:

      Could you explain it a little better? You Save and Quit when it’s playing the cutscene? Or right before the cutscene? And then what? Restart the mission at that spot 9 times?

      • Matt says:

        dukemeiser, basically, just Save & Quit right before the level ends, like on Winter Contingency right before taking out the 4 Grunts and the 2 Elites at then end. Then just resume playing at that point, kill the rest of the enemies, finish the level, then relaunch the campaign at the last save until you’ve done it 9 times.

      • Ron says:

        For instance I was playing nightfall. When the mission ended, a cutscene started. I immediately saved and quit. when i resumed the mission it just skips the cutscene and gives me the carnage report. When back at the main menu again just resume the mission and you will go right back to the carnage report again with some credits but it will also count as completing the mission.

        Don’t know if this has been verified but I’ve also heard you can use this trick if you die in a mission it will count as you beating the mission without dying.

    • Will Lee Wonka says:

      You can do the glitch on Winter Contingency even bypassing the final room each time.

      After you’ve cleared out the last room, go press X to activate the final cutscene. Count to 2 and then press start, save and quit. Then start up the mission again (resume campaign) and you even skip the last room. It just shows black with a Y Skip in the upper left hand corner and then the credit screen shows.

      That way you even can skip the last few grunts & elite.

  5. dukemeiser says:

    Sweep the Leg: Avoid Multi-Team? Ha! I got TWO in the first 20 seconds of Multi-Team, the first one didn’t use the animation, it was just a beat down in the back. Second one got me the challenge. Because there ARE so many bullets flying around, nobody notices when you run up with Sprint and attack them. I played 4 games of Multi-Team today to get my 77 kills. Every game I got at least one assassination.

    • Augie says:

      I also did the Winter Contingency glitch and quickly racked up the 9/9 missions. I don’t think it registered the first 1/9 mission but resumed again and it started counting it. 10,000 cR in 20 mins of work, not too shabby.

  6. Ender Xer0 says:

    “Because there ARE so many bullets flying around, nobody notices when you run up with Sprint and attack them.”

    Aha, good point. It never seems to happen when *I’M* in Multi-Team, of course! 🙂

    And just for the record: I didn’t say it couldn’t be done in Multi-Team, only that Rumble Pit was far less problematic. In fact, like you, I did my ninja rountine in Rumble Pit in the first 60 seconds, then had two more as safeties before the game was over.

    Not much of a Challenge, but it did give me the chance to wax poetic about the best teen movie of the 1980s! (Sorry, Pretty In Pink.)

    • dukemeiser says:

      I alway prefer Multi-Team over Rumble Pit. Usually RP votes for Slayer, 25 kills to win. In MT it’s 50 so if your teammate sucks (mine usually do) you can get way more than 25 with 10 opponents on the map. Objective is even better. 10 people running blindly to the objective is great target practice. My personal best is 42 kills on Oddball. Makes short work of the kill count challenges.

      Plus it gives you 3 extra opponents to target and a teammate to distract them while you do your duty.

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