Posts Tagged ‘award’

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


SCREENSHOT OF THE DAY: SlaGG3R

Ah, if only the weather looked this good. Screenshot Of The Day this morning courtesy of SlaGG3R, who obviously received a new Hammer for Christmas. Thanks, SlaGG3R! Everyone, click to enlarge!

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!


DAILY CHALLENGES


Summary
  • TYPES: Assists, Kills, Killstyle, Special Enemy
  • SETTINGS: Firefight
  • AVERAGE DIFFICULTY:
  • TOTAL TIME: 50-75 minutes
  • OVERALL VALUE: ★★★★
  • TOTAL CREDITS: 6350

A FRIEND IN NEED

Firefight

Assists

Type: Assists
Setting: Firefight
Difficulty: Grind
Time: 20-30 minutes (Concurrent with other Firefight Challenges)
Value: ★★★★
Reward: 1300

Earn 5 assists in Firefight Matchmaking.

This is actually harder than it sounds, though made more manageable by the generously low number required and the fact that you can tackle this at the same time as your Demon Challenge (see below). The underlying 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 less likely 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.

    Plasma Pistol: The Assist's Assistant.

  • Brutes represent more solid candidates for Assist-farming: a steady DMR stream will remove their headgear, setting them up for a teammate’s coup-de-grace. The problem isn’t so much that 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, making it 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. The Dinos — while otherwise remarkably crafty — for some reason stand and howl when they lose their Shields like a pro wrestler who just lost to the guy with the folding chair, giving an ally an easy headshot.
  • The problem eases up once the Mythic Skull powers on, since that doubles enemy health, including for even the lowliest DMR fodder; but — because 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 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 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 will cut down on both your Challenge times, taking turns flashing an Elite’s shields while the other readies a headshot; and, since Demon requires you to kill Elites, the two of you can work both Challenges at the same time. It’ll be the one time when the Firefight playlist actually becomes cooperative.
  • A SATISFIED THIRST

    Firefight

    Special Enemy

    Kills

    Type: Kills
    Setting: Firefight
    Difficulty: Grind
    Time: 20-30 minutes (Concurrent with other Firefight Challenges)
    Value: ★★★★
    Reward: 1800

    Kill 250 Grunts in Firefight Matchmaking.

    A simple Challenge with a decent reward that you can pocket just by playing enough, though you can save time using the right game mode. Gruntpocalypse in Score Attack represents your best bet: you can dispatch enemies quickly, and nobody’s around to score them out from under you.

    Corevette, 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 on Outpost and the far-side terrace on Courtyard also offer excellent defensive positions; a larger open map like Waterfront will work too, but it’ll take longer. Use Drop Shield liberally to keep the party going, and for added fun, pretend that all the Grunts are named Justin Bieber.

    Each Round of Bieb– ah, Grunts— features 120 of the little tykes who waddle toward their Great Journey, so you’d ordinarily need more than two matches to notch your 250. Because of that, we recommend tackling your A Friend In Need and Demon Challenges first, since you’re certain to blaze your way through at least 10 Grunts on your way to the Elites, eliminating the need for a third Gruntpocalypse.

    DEMON

    Firefight

    Special Enemy

    Kills

    Type: Kills / Special Enemy
    Setting: Firefight
    Difficulty: Grind
    Time: 30-45 minutes (Concurrent with other Firefight Challenges)
    Value: ★★★★
    Reward: 1250

    Kill 10 Elites in Firefight Matchmaking on Heroic or harder.

    As with all Demon Challenges, the primary hassle remains that only a few Elites emerge in any Firefight Round. In Score Attack only a handful show their faces at all (usually five or six), and in a standard three-Round Firefight you’ll have three “teammates” (no, we won’t call them “allies”) competing to take them down. Even if they’re not angling for the Challenge, they’re still going to get in the way.

    • Your best bet, then, is to find enough friends for a Co-op Firefight and go into a Sniper or Rocketfight as a group of four: you can coordinate efforts, and with three Rounds worth of Dinos you can share generously amongst each other. You’ll still need at least two matches (and maybe three) for everyone to share-and-share-alike, but you’ll shovel a heap o’ cRedits into your wagon along the way.
    • By the Great Journey, why were we not invited to your New Year's Eve festivities? Ghaack? Ghaack is not an answer!

    • Without familiar partners, your best bet becomes Score Attack, where you control the map, gametype and who gets to score the Elites. Of course, it’ll still be a headache: Score Attack requires that you survive to party with the Elites, and when it’s you against the galaxy your chances grow slimmer with each Wave.
    • Ordinarily, this would mean a change in tactics, from run-and-gun to stealthy sniping, but you’re also racing a countdown timer; methodically thinning the herd while taking cover when your Shields crash could lead to surviving the fight…but never actually pwning any Dinosaurs.
    • So, veto until offered Sniperfight: it’ll clear Covie fodder faster, as well as efficiently rack up Elites. (There’s little point in a standard solo Firefight; Score Attack doesn’t feature Ordinance Drop.) Also look for a larger map, since close-quarter Firefights tend to become hot zones of clusterfuck explosions, with you inconveniently at the center of the fiesta.

    HYPER LETHAL VECTOR

    Firefight

    Headshot

    Type: Headshots
    Setting: Firefight
    Difficulty: Grind
    Time: 30-45 minutes (Concurrent with other Firefight Challenges)
    Value: ★★★★
    Reward: 2000

    Kill 100 enemies with headshots in Firefight Matchmaking.

    You’ll headshot your way through this at the same time as your other Firefight Challenges, particularly A Satisfied Thirst, which sets you against 240 confetti-throwing Grunts, so chances are you’ll pocket this Challenge without even noticing. Which is a shame, because Hyper Lethal Vector sounds way cool.

    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


    SCREENSHOT OF THE DAY: KountKriztofer

    We’re not sure why, but we’ve been in a Master Chief mood all week, and KountKriztofer had the perfect Screenshot Of The Day to satisfy our Sierra-117 frame of mind. But, wait…what’s he doing on Breakpoint? What kind of Christmas magic is this? You know what — we don’t wanna know. We’re just happy to see him. Everyone, click to enlarge!

    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!


    DAILY CHALLENGES


    Summary

    • TYPES: Kills, Killstyle, Single Match
    SETTINGS: Firefight, Multiplayer
    AVERAGE DIFFICULTY: Easy
    TOTAL TIME: 30-45 minutes
    OVERALL VALUE: ★★★★★
    TOTAL CREDITS: 6850

    FIRE WHEN READY

    Multiplayer

    Kills

    Type: Kills
    Setting: Multiplayer
    Difficulty: Easy
    Time: 15-20 minutes (Concurrent with other Multiplayer Challenges)
    Value: ★★★★★
    Reward: 1000

    Kill 30 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.
    • 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: 15-20 minutes
    Value: ★★★★
    Reward: 1500

    Kill 150 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 into the second Wave of your second game.

    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 and multikills, since the medals register bonus cRedits.

    T-HUG IT OUT

    Multiplayer

    Single Match

    Close-Quarters

    Type: Killstyle
    Setting: Multiplayer
    Difficulty: Easy
    Time: 15-20 minutes (Concurrent with other Multiplayer Challenges)
    Value: ★★★★★
    Reward: 1350

    Kill 7 enemies with close-quarters combat in a Multiplayer Matchmaking game.

    Close-quarter combat includes any form of melee — that means Pummels, Beat-Downs and the ever-spectacular Assassinations. It also includes hand-held weapons like Swords and Hammers, and will even register a point from a Shotgun ambush.

    • Though I normally only reserve this recommendation for enemies and ex-wives — ah, what the hell, I’m still in a holiday mood: get your Zombie on in the Living Dead playlist, where you should be able to notch seven close-quarter kills before your brain cells consider suicide.
    • If you’ve got no love for Infection — and why would you want to use the words “love” and “infection” in the same sentence? — Rumble Pit and Multi-Team remain your other best bets. It’s crazy simple to Sprint-rush opponents for the double-melee, since even if you trade knockouts you’ll score a Challenge point in addition to the regular kill. You can also more easily work the Fire When Ready and Aggressive Negotiation Challenges, so consider saving time by combining then all here.
    • If you’d rather rely on weapons, you’ll find Swords littered liberally throughout the Rumble and M-T maps (Zealot, Sword Base, Countdown, Asylum, Reflection), while Powerhouse offers an easy-access Hammer. One obvious advantage of is that, after you’ve wrapped the Challenge, you’ve still got a power weapon to rack up additional kills.
    • You can tackle this Challenge in Team games as well, but you’ll be disadvantaged by the fact that team-shooting from the other side will seriously limit your ability to rush them, and a teammate with the Sword or Hammer removes the weapon from your list of options; in Free-For-All, you can fire on the carrier from range, then recover it from his shuddering corpse.
    AGGRESSIVE NEGOTIATIONS

    Multiplayer

    Single Match

    Kills

    Type: Kills
    Setting: Multiplayer
    Difficulty: Medium
    Time: 15-20 minutes (Concurrent with other Multiplayer Challenges)
    Value: ★★★★★
    Reward: 3000

    Earn at least 17 kills in a Multiplayer Matchmaking game.

    Nothing to say here that hasn’t been covered up top in the Fire When Ready Challenge — the only difference, of course, is that you’ll be looking to register 17 of those kills in one match, so map and gametype selection become that much more important. But, if you’re decent enough at Pit matches, you’ll find yourself hitting the 17 mark simply by playing.


    HALO REACH DAILY SCREENSHOT GUIDE!


    (Heya, we’ll be running our new Screenshot Guide by guest columnist Artful Fiver in this space every day this week for those who have been on holiday and missed it, or just for quick reference. It’ll take up a permanent space along the top of our Front Page in the New Year. Enjoy!)



    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

    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.

    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: WEEKLY CHALLENGE LAST DAY!


    ENDERTORIAL


    Just wanted to post a quick note to say THANKS TO EVERYONE who participated in our special Christmas Daily Challenge. We’d never done something like it, we weren’t sure if it would work, and it turned out to be a HUGE success, way more than we anticipated. Cheers!

    Likewise, we wish we could give gifts to everyone; but, Santa was so pleased with your courage defending his Workshop that, even if your number doesn’t come up, your efforts will not be wasted: Because this was a bit of a test-run for something we have slated to launch Jan. 1, credit for your success will carry over, and you’ll start this new feature already ahead of the game.

    So, what is this new thing? We can’t make a formal announcement yet, but that’s coming in just a few days. In the meantime, we’ll say that we think it’s incredibly cool, and that you’re gonna like the hell out of it too. Thanks again for tackling the Christmas Challenge, look for the list of winners tomorrow, and hope you had a safe and merry Christmas!

    Pax!
    Ender Xer0
    * * *


    SCREENSHOTS OF THE DAY


    SCREENSHOT OF THE DAY: Naughty Spartans

    Santa's Killtacular

    Though our group Brotherhood Screenshots Of The Day officially ended yesterday, we couldn’t let the holiday weekend pass without showcasing this killtacular moment, depicting what kind of present Santa leaves for Spartans who have been naughty. Hint: It ain’t coal! Everyone, click to enlarge!

    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!


    DAILY CHALLENGES


    Summary
    • TYPES: Assists, Completion, Kills, Killstyle
    • SETTINGS: Any Game Mode, Campaign, Multiplayer
    • AVERAGE DIFFICULTY: Easy
    • TOTAL TIME: 60-90 minutes
    • AVERAGE VALUE: ★★★★
    • TOTAL CREDITS: 6950

    SHOOTIN’ AND LOOTIN’

    Any Game Mode

    Kills

    Type: Kills
    Setting: Any Game Mode
    Difficulty: Easy
    Time: 5 minutes
    Value: ★★★★★
    Reward: 1500

    Kill 150 enemies in any game mode in Reach.

    Take on this one last. You’ll rack up most kills simply by tackling today’s other Challenges, so no point duplicating your efforts. For your leftovers, our standard recommendations:

    • By far the most convenient carnage can be found at the opening of the Campaign’s ONI Sword Base mission. If you know it and don’t like the stigma of naked credit boosting, skip down. If you don’t know it, you can find a detailed rundown in the Owning On ONI permanent link on the top of this page.
    • But, if you don’t like the open credit farming that goes with Target Locating, simply rack up some quick kills in a Custom Game instead. Click on the Grunt Game Settings link at the top of the page for instructions on the best settings; you’ll also find a Custom Game there already set up for you.

    A GREAT FRIEND

    Multiplayer

    Assists

    Type: Assists
    Setting: Multiplayer
    Difficulty: Grind
    Time: 30-40 minutes
    Value: ★★★★
    Reward: 2000

    Earn 15 assists today in Multiplayer Matchmaking.

    The usual Challenge, with our usual comments: Working toward Assists can always be a hassle, since your natural instincts and gaming skills focus on putting down your enemies, not passing the kill off to another player; nobody makes the highlight reel by almost scoring 15 times. Despite that, Bungie intends to pay you today to help out players who haven’t really earned it as they cash in on your setup.

    You’ll be able to work the Shootin’ And Lootin’ (above) and Headshot Honcho (see below) Challenges at the same time, so there’s some consolation in that. Just click on the Assist-O-Rama standing link at the top of the page for our in-depth guide to Not Closing The Deal.

    HEADSHOT HONCHO

    Multiplayer

    Single Match

    Headshot

    Type: Killstyle
    Setting: Multiplayer
    Difficulty: Medium
    Time: 20-30 minutes
    Value: ★★★☆
    Reward: 1700

    Kill 9 enemies with headshots in a Multiplayer Matchmaking game.

    Tip Of The Day

    Only four letters really make a difference here, and they’re spelled SWAT. Bungie has been kind enough to make this its own playlist for the laggers and aimbotters among us, since both the DMR and Magnum can take out opponents with a single headshot no matter what kind of fantastic armored-helmet-from-the-future they happen to wear.

    If SWAT doesn’t blow your hair back, you could just as easily pocket this in any Multiplayer match, although drift toward either Objective gametypes or larger-team playlists to make sure the game’s score-limit doesn’t cut short your Challenge progress.

    IRON WITH FRIENDS

    Campaign

    Skull On

    Type: Completion
    Setting: Campaign
    Difficulty: Easy
    Time: 10-15 minutes
    Value: ★★★★☆
    Reward: 1750

    Complete a Campaign mission Co-op on Heroic or harder with the Iron Skull on.

    The Iron Skull can be a huge hassle when playing solo: die once, start over again. In Co-op, however, it merely reverts you to your last Checkpoint, which — while inconvenient — is really no more than a nuisance, especially on the right level.

    So, with that in mind, go in as a four-player team: the chance that you’ll all die simultaneously is virtually zero, and the weaker players can hang back to provide support fire while the stronger players take point. The trailing players will even Checkpoint forward if they lag too far behind, allowing them to skip past certain parts of the map entirely. Just don’t do anything supremely retarded, like all piling into vehicles and driving together off a cliff, and you’ll do fine.

    • For Campaign completion Challenges, HRD often recommends the speed-run on Nightfall — but because the Challenge requires Co-op, the Midnight Run can Checkpoint straggling players forward at peculiar and inopportune moments; so instead, we’re going to suggest Winter Contingency: As the Campaign’s first playable level, it’s by design the easiest, and the open-ended geography both lets weaker players hang back and take cover as well as allowing all players to bypass most encounters entirely.
    • In fact, after the first faceoff with the Covenant, players can Sprint past the next skirmish, off the small cliff that leads to the Warthogs, then drive directly to the firefight at the last compound before the Falcons arrive; other than the occasional bloodthirsty Moa, you’ll hardly encounter any gunplay at all.
    • The Falcons take you directly to another firefight, where you’ll have ample cover and ammo inside the bunker of the final building of the level; from there, you need only dispatch a few butch Elites and their entourage to reach the final cutscene.

    WEEKLY CHALLENGE


    Firefight

    Type: Completion
    Setting: Firefight
    Difficulty: Easy
    Time: 180-200 minutes
    Value: ★★★☆
    Reward: 4000

    Complete 100 Waves in Firefight Matchmaking.

    NOTE: LAST DAY!

    Remember that nightmare grind from early October, when you had to complete 50 Firefight Rounds in a single week? It had been the most tedious Weekly Challenge until last week’s 200 Multikill task. So now Bungie wants 100 instead of 50? Yikes!

    Well, as the Hitchhiker’s Guide says on its cover: Don’t Panic. These are merely Waves, and there’s five of ’em in every Round. So, play Gruntpocalypse in Score Attack and you’ll collect five; finish a standard Firefight and you’ll net 16. (Yes, you notch one for the Bonus Round; no, you don’t need to survive.)

    That works out to only six full Firefight games, plus part of a seventh to clean up the remainder — Jiminy Christmas, that’s EASY, even on its last day. In fact, chances are, the Challenges so far this week have already perched you narrowly close to to completion, if you haven’t finished it already.

    But, this has always been a Challenge you could tear through in a single day; so if you haven’t started it yet, that’s what you’ll have to do. You’re looking at three-and-a-half hours at your XBox, so prepare for a time commitment, and alternate with the other Challenges just so you’re not struck with boredom.

    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.

    * * * MERRY CHRISTMAS! * * *


    ENDERTORIAL




    HAPPY HALO-DAYS TO EVERYONE! Hope it’s been a fun and exciting Christmas season. As we announced yesterday, because of the holiday we won’t be featuring our regular Daily Update today.

    BUT, WE HAVE SOMETHING EVEN BETTER!

    It’s our first-ever HRD Daily Challenge, an extra-special Fifth one added onto Bungie’s other four. Complete it successfully, and you won’t get imaginary, space-buck Bungie cRedits; you’ll get the chance to win real, actual prizes bought with cold HRD cash! We told you yesterday how much we appreciate your support during the site’s first few months; now here’s our chance to show it!

    So, check out the HRD Christmas Challenge contest below, and keep in mind the most important rule: Have a good time! Winning entries that do not have fun will be disqualified.

    Merry Christmas!

    Ender Xer0
    * * *


    CHRISTMAS CHALLENGE SPECIAL


    CHRISTMAS CHALLENGE SPECIAL: Save Santa's Workshop!


    SAVE SANTA’S WORKSHOP

    Headshot

    Firefight

    Zero Deaths

    Type: Completion / Zero Deaths / Killstyle
    Setting: Firefight
    Difficulty: Easy
    Time: 10 minutes
    Value: ★★★★★★
    Reward: Christmas Spirit (and prize drawings)

    Save Santa’s Workshop without dying. (BONUS: Score as many headshots as possible.)

    With Santa Claus away during Christmas delivering presents, evil Dwarves have stormed Santa’s Workshop at the North Pole, intent on killing all of the helpless and exhausted Elves. Their only hope: YOU!!

    Here’s what you need to do to Save Santa’s Workshop, including the chance to win special presents from the Big Guy, such as BradyGame Strategy Guides, Gold Membership cards and free Microsoft Points.

    1. Go into Score Attack Matchmaking on Glacier (the North Pole!) anytime today, Dec. 25, before the new Challenges update for Sunday
    2. Load up Gruntpocalypse, in which 120 Dwarves will storm the Workshop
    3. Repel all five Waves, finishing the game, without ever needing to be brought back to life by Christmas Magic (zero deaths / no respawns)
    4. Send us a link to your Game Record, like this one, at haloreachdaily@live.com, anytime before Monday.
    5. We’ll review your record to verify that you saved Santa’s Workshop, and enter your Gamertag into the prize drawing. Only one entry per Gamertag, so don’t submit multiple games from the same account! Sorry, no guests.
    6. Winners and prizes will be announced Monday, Dec. 27, in the regular HRD Daily Update.

    BONUS PRIZE! The Dwarves have been tricked into attacking the Elves by Winter Magic, and they cheer and throw confetti when freed from its spell correctly. The first player who successfully saves the Workshop by freeing the most Dwarves in this way automatically wins a special present from Santa for his good work. (Award goes to player with the most headshots; tie scores go to first player to email the winning Game Report.)

    And, just because we know you want to do the regular Bungie Daily and Weekly Challenges today as well, this one will score you the entire Where There’s Smoke… Challenge, as well as notch five more Waves toward your Ride The Wave Weekly! So what are you waiting for, Spartan? Santa needs your help!!


    BROTHERHOOD SCREENSHOTS OF THE WEEK


    BROTHERHOOD SCREENSHOT OF THE DAY: Bark At The Moo

    Our final Brotherhood Screenshot Of The Day this week courtesy of Bark At The Moo (far right), who along with his allies (from left to right) x 37 Stitchez x, Noh Wai and BigPimpn2113, suddenly make us want to listen to the Beatles album HELP! (Not that these guys would need any help; they look like they can kick your ass.) Everyone, click to enlarge!

    Thanks to everyone who sent in Screenshots for our special Christmas Brotherhood week. If you didn’t make it on to the Front Page, it’s only because we didn’t have room to run them all, and we’re hanging on to them to run during our regular Screenshot Of The Day feature.

    As usual, 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!

    In the meantime, as promised, here’s a replay of all the special Screenshots that ran on our Front Page this week. Thanks again to everyone for sending them in!

    BROTHERHOOD SCREENSHOT OF THE DAY: x Hells Harp x


    BROTHERHOOD SCREENSHOT OF THE DAY: ODST Alpha


    BROTHERHOOD SCREENSHOT OF THE DAY: KillaMox


    BROTHERHOOD SCREENSHOT OF THE DAY: Sliderz105


    Click to enlarge all of them!

    ***


    WEEKLY CHALLENGE


    Firefight

    Type: Completion
    Setting: Firefight
    Difficulty: Easy
    Time: 180-200 minutes
    Value: ★★★★★
    Reward: 4000

    Complete 100 Waves in Firefight Matchmaking.

    Remember that nightmare grind from early October, when you had to complete 50 Firefight Rounds in a single week? It had been the most tedious Weekly Challenge until last week’s 200 Multikill task. So now Bungie wants 100 instead of 50? Yikes!

    Well, as the Hitchhiker’s Guide says on its cover: Don’t Panic. These are merely Waves, and there’s five of ’em in every Round. So, play Gruntpocalypse in Score Attack and you’ll collect five; finish a standard Firefight and you’ll net 16. (Yes, you notch one for the Bonus Round; no, you don’t need to survive.)

    That works out to only six full Firefight games, plus part of a seventh to clean up the remainder — Jiminy Christmas, that’s EASY, even this late in the week. In fact, chances are, the Challenges so far this week have already perched you narrowly close to to completion, if you haven’t finished it already.

    You can even tear through the entire Challenge today — the HRD Christmas Challenge will net you five Waves for starters, and time’s running short — the Challenge ends tomorrow, so get on it!

    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.

    HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVE!

    ENDERTORIAL



    Hey all, it’s been a while since I posted one of these, so I wanted to pass on just a few quick notes:

      • Special thanks to EVERYONE for all the great things people have been saying about this site on the Internet. Every day I’ll see a new incoming link, and I’ll follow it back to find that somebody somewhere has recommended the site to friends and strangers, either to answer a question about a Challenge, or just to give us a shout-out we didn’t expect, and usually with effusive praise that nearly embarrasses us for our humble efforts.

        So, I just wanted to say to so many people who have spread the word: Thanks, it’s incredibly appreciated, and it convinces me that we have some of the coolest readers of any Halo site on the Internet. After we’re done with the site each day, we don’t have a huge amount of time left for “marketing” or “promotion” or anything like that, and the completely unanticipated success and rapid expansion of the site is due almost entirely to the word-of-mouth you folks have given it. Thanks again, everyone.

        My name is Ender Xer0, and I approved this message.

      • I mentioned this once before, but it’s been a while, so I might as well repost it: I get tons of Friend Requests on Xbox thanks to this site, but I also get what is likely a fair share of randoms too — except that on Xbox Live, there’s no way to tell the difference. If you want to send me a Friend Request, go right ahead, I’m always happy to play with whoever’s available; in fact, when I sent someone who had Friended me through this site an invite yesterday, he actually replied asking if it was a button mistake and whether I really wanted to game with him. Yes, indeed, that’s actually why I have people on my Friends list.

        But — and this is the important part — when you send a Friend Request, also send a separate message, so that I know you’re from HRD, and not just a random who has spammed his Recent Players list. That way, there won’t be any chance of me saying, “Who’s this?”, and deleting the req.

      • As with Thanksgiving, there probably won’t be an Update tomorrow, Christmas Day; In fact, count on there not being one unless Bungie does something either incredibly good or incredibly stupid and we feel like mentioning it. Remember that producing HRD every day doesn’t accommodate weekends or days off, and there’s no way to prepare it ahead of time — so thanks in advance for cutting us a break.
      • However, as with Thanksgiving, there’ll be some special surprise content anyway — and this time, it’s REALLY special. We’ve never done anything like it before (and if it doesn’t work out, we may not do it again); but all of us here on the Pillar of Awesome think it’ll be INCREDIBLY cool, so definitely stop by — you won’t want to miss it.
      • Also, like HRD, the lads over at ManeXGaming on YouTube have a holiday break, so they won’t be posting their regular Video Of The Week for ManeX Monday; instead we have an AMAZING guest column that we asked one of our readers to prepare for us, and he really hit it out of the park. MXG will return the next week, but in the meantime make sure to check out the special feature replacement on Monday — it’ll knock your socks off.

    Okay, thanks for listening, but enough of my yakkin’. Let’s get to Challengeering!

    Pax,

    Ender Xer0


    BROTHERHOOD SCREENSHOT OF THE DAY


    BROTHERHOOD SCREENSHOT OF THE DAY: Sliderz105

    Brotherhood Screenshot Of The Day this morning courtesy of SLIDERZ105 (left), who along with comrades Laraxa (right) and Unrealch13f (across from Carter), surprised us with this great pic from the opening moments of Winter Contingency. Remember how you felt when you fired up the campaign for the very first time? That’s what this shot did for us. Nice work, Sliderz! (Everyone, click to enlarge!)

    In the spirit of Holiday Brotherhood here aboard the Pillar Of Awesome, we’re showcasing Group Screenshots all this week featuring not just YOU, but your ALLIES as well. (It doesn’t matter if you’ve already had one on the Front Page; this is open to everyone.) ID’s for the other players in the pic would be great, but not necessary.

    As usual, 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!


    DAILY CHALLENGES


    Summary
    • TYPES: Assists, Completion, Kills, Special Weapon
    • SETTINGS: Campaign, Multiplayer
    • AVERAGE DIFFICULTY: Easy / Grind
    • TOTAL TIME: 100-130 minutes
    • OVERALL VALUE: ★★★★☆
    • TOTAL CREDITS: 6750

    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, mostly 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.

    A GREAT FRIEND

    Multiplayer

    Assists

    Type: Assists
    Setting: Multiplayer
    Difficulty: Grind
    Time: 30-40 minutes
    Value: ★★★★
    Reward: 2000

    Earn 15 assists today in Multiplayer Matchmaking.

    The usual Challenge, with our usual comments: Working toward Assists can always be a hassle, since your natural instincts and gaming skills focus on putting down your enemies, not passing the kill off to another player; nobody makes the highlight reel by almost scoring 15 times. Despite that, Bungie intends to pay you today to help out players who haven’t really earned it as they cash in on your setup.

    You’ll be able to work the More Than A Handful (above) and Light Fuse, Run Away (see below) Challenges at the same time, so there’s some consolation in that. Just click on the Assist-O-Rama standing link at the top of the page for our in-depth guide to Not Closing The Deal.

    LIGHT FUSE, RUN AWAY

    Multiplayer

    Single Match

    Special Weapon

    Type: Kills / Special Weapon
    Setting: Multiplayer
    Difficulty: Easy
    Time: 10-15 minutes
    Value: ★★★★★
    Reward: 1000

    Kill 4 enemies with grenades in a Multiplayer Matchmaking game.

    Okay, this one’s pretty straightforward.

    1. Get a monkey.
    2. Go into Matchmaking.
    3. Give the controller to the monkey.
    4. Go get a sandwich.

    If you’re having trouble finding a monkey, you can actually do this yourself, though it may take longer. Load up Rumble Pit or Multi-Team and look for close-quarter maps that specialize in clusterfuck explosions, as well as gametypes like Oddball or King Of The Hill that encourage players to run into the middle of the body-part fiesta.

    Also vote for game variants with Plasma Grenade loadouts, since they’ll score more direct kills with a successful stick — Pro-style games remain your best bet, since the Warden option includes Covie grenades and the matchtype doesn’t offer Armor Lock. Any Elite game can also work if you’re smart about it: save your stickies for enemies wielding Plasma or Needle Rifles, since the basic Needler remains a tipoff that the player may have loaded up Armor Lock.

    And, oh yeah–don’t forget: Return the monkey. You don’t want to find out what those guys use for grenades.

    I NEED SOME AMMO

    Campaign

    Skull On

    Type: Completion
    Setting: Campaign
    Difficulty: Medium (Solo) / Easy (Co-op)
    Time: 10-15 minutes
    Value: ★★★★★
    Reward: 2000

    Tip Of The Day

    Complete a Campaign mission on Heroic or harder with the Famine Skull on.

    OK, only one Skull on, so lets take a quick look. Famine reduces the ammo clip of recovered weapons to one-half their usual rounds. Ordinarily, a pain in the ass; where we’re going, it’ll hardly make a difference.

    Decide ahead of time if you intend to do this solo or co-op. If flying solo, your best bet will be to take the Midnight Run on Nightfall, which has become so common for Challenge completions that it’s now taken up residence as a permanent page on the site. Just click on the link along the top for our complete intel, including a video walk–er, runthrough of the route.

    On co-op, the Challenge becomes even easier. You’ve got a couple of solid options, but we prefer either New Alexandria or Winter Contingency.

    As the Campaign’s first playable level, Winter Contingency is by design the easiest, and the open-ended geography allows players to bypass most encounters entirely.

      The Moa: Yeah, we know you're the guys who betrayed Reach to the Covenant. (Moacide courtesy of V Translanka.)

    • In fact, after the first faceoff with the Covenant, players can Sprint past the next skirmish, off the small cliff that leads to the Warthogs, then drive directly to the firefight at the last compound before the Falcons arrive; other than the occasional bloodthirsty Moa, you’ll hardly encounter any gunplay at all. (You can even skip most of the first clash, if you’re quick about it.)
    • The Falcons take you straight to another firefight, where you’ll have ample cover inside the bunker of the final building of the level; there’s bonus ammo in there too, and the Covenant will have dropped dozens of weapons all across the battlefield, so the Famine skull will make even less of a difference.
    • From there, you need only dispatch a few butch Elites and their entourage to reach the final cutscene. You’ll actually be able to wrap the entire Challenge in 10 or 15 minutes.

    The New Alexandria level, meanwhile, features long stretches of aerial combat unaffected by the size of your ammo clip (ahem).

    • When you need to take an Objective on foot (three times total), leave one teammate behind with the Falcons. Most of the time you’ll simply be able to Sprint past enemies to reach the Objective switches; but in any event, the real hardcore combat only occurs once you’ve hit the switch and reinforcements storm your location.
    • Hey, look at that! If you get killed, you simply respawn back up with the teammate who’s making sure no one steals the Falcon’s hubcaps. Hop back in the choppers, job done.


    WEEKLY CHALLENGE


    Firefight

    Type: Completion
    Setting: Firefight
    Difficulty: Easy
    Time: 180-200 minutes
    Value: ★★★★★
    Reward: 4000

    Complete 100 Waves in Firefight Matchmaking.

    Remember that nightmare grind from early October, when you had to complete 50 Firefight Rounds in a single week? It had been the most tedious Weekly Challenge until last week’s 200 Multikill task. So now Bungie wants 100 instead of 50? Yikes!

    Well, as the Hitchhiker’s Guide says on its cover: Don’t Panic. These are merely Waves, and there’s five of ’em in every Round. So, play Gruntpocalypse in Score Attack and you’ll collect five; finish a standard Firefight and you’ll net 16. (Yes, you notch one for the Bonus Round; no, you don’t need to survive.)

    That works out to only six full Firefight games, plus part of a seventh to clean up the remainder — Jiminy Christmas, that’s EASY, even this late in the week. In fact, chances are, the Challenges so far this week have already perched you narrowly close to to completion, if you haven’t finished it already.

    You can even tear through the entire Challenge today — though since you’re certain to face other Firefight Challenges over the weekend, it’s probably not the best use of your time; might as well wait to see what comes up, and let this one come along for the ride.

    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.


    BROTHERHOOD SCREENSHOT OF THE DAY


    BROTHERHOOD SCREENSHOT OF THE DAY: KillaMox

    Brotherhood Screenshot Of The Day this morning courtesy of KillaMox, who shows that Elites can get into the spirit of the holidays too — though that usually means decorating the tree with the entrails of their enemies. Thanks, Moxy! Everyone, click to enlarge!

    In the spirit of holiday brotherhood here aboard the Pillar Of Awesome, we’re showcasing Group Screenshots all this week featuring not just YOU, but your ALLIES as well. We’ll run them all week, culminating in all of them appearing together on the Big Day. (It doesn’t matter if you’ve already had one on the Front Page; this is open to everyone.) ID’s for the other players in the pic would be great, but not necessary.

    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!


    DAILY CHALLENGES


    Summary
    • TYPES: Assists, Kills, Special Enemy, Special Weapon
    • SETTINGS: Any Game Mode, Firefight
    • AVERAGE DIFFICULTY: Grind
    • TOTAL TIME: 30-45 minutes
    • OVERALL VALUE: ★★★★★
    • TOTAL CREDITS: 8300
    BLASTIN’ AND RELAXIN’

    Any Game Mode

    Kills

    Type: Kills
    Setting: Any Game Mode
    Difficulty: Easy
    Time: 5 minutes
    Value: ★★★★★
    Reward: 2500

    Kill 500 enemies in any game mode in Reach.

    Take on this one last. You’ll rack up most kills working your way through today’s other Challenges, so no point duplicating your efforts. For your leftovers, our standard recommendations:

    • By far the most convenient carnage can be found at the opening of the Campaign’s ONI Sword Base mission. If you know it and don’t like the stigma of naked credit boosting, skip down. If you don’t know it, you can find a detailed rundown in the Owning On ONI permanent link on the top of this page.
    • But, if you don’t like the open credit farming that goes with Target Locating, simply rack up some quick kills in a Custom Game instead. Click on the Grunt Game Settings link at the top of the page for instructions on the best settings; you’ll also find a Custom Game there already set up for you.

    A FRIEND IN NEED

    Firefight

    Assists

    Type: Assists
    Setting: Firefight
    Difficulty: Grind
    Time: 20-30 minutes (Concurrent with other Firefight Challenges)
    Value: ★★★★★
    Reward: 2000

    Earn 10 assists in Firefight Matchmaking.

    This is actually harder than it sounds, though made more manageable by the generously low number required and the fact that you can tackle this at the same time as your Heroic Demon Challenge (see below). The underlying 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 less likely 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.

    Plasma Pistol: The Assist's Assistant.

  • Brutes represent more solid candidates for Assist-farming: a steady DMR stream will remove their headgear, setting them up for a teammate’s coup-de-grace. The problem isn’t so much that 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, making it 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. The Dinos — while otherwise remarkably crafty — for some reason stand and howl when they lose their Shields like a pro wrestler who just lost to the guy with the folding chair, giving an ally an easy headshot.
  • The problem eases up once the Mythic Skull powers on, since that doubles enemy health, including for even the lowliest DMR fodder; but — because 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 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 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 will cut down on both your Challenge times, taking turns flashing an Elite’s shields while the other readies a headshot; and, since Heroic Demon requires you to kill Elites, the two of you can work both Challenges at the same time. It’ll be the one time when the Firefight playlist actually becomes cooperative.
  • HEROIC DEMON

    Firefight

    Special Enemy

    Kills

    Type: Kills / Special Enemy
    Setting: Firefight
    Difficulty: Grind
    Time: 30-45 minutes (Concurrent with other Firefight Challenges)
    Value: ★★★★★
    Reward: 2000

    Kill 20 Elites in Firefight Matchmaking on Heroic or harder.

    As with all Demon Challenges, the primary hassle remains that only a few Elites emerge in any Firefight Round. In Score Attack only a handful show their faces at all (usually five or six), and in a standard three-Round Firefight you’ll have three “teammates” (no, we won’t call them “allies”) competing to take them down. Even if they’re not angling for the Challenge, they’re still going to get in the way.

    • Your best bet, then, is to find enough friends for a Co-op Firefight and go into a Sniper or Rocketfight as a group of four: you can coordinate efforts, and with three Rounds worth of Dinos you can share generously amongst each other. You’ll still need at least two matches (and maybe three) for everyone to share-and-share-alike, but you’ll shovel a heap o’ cRedits into your wagon along the way.
    • By the Great Journey, Demon, why does Bungie hate us so? Do they not know it's Christmas?

    • Without familiar partners, your best bet becomes Score Attack, where you control the map, gametype and who gets to score the Elites. Of course, it’ll still be a headache: Score Attack requires that you survive to party with the Elites, and when it’s you against the galaxy your chances grow slimmer with each Wave.
    • Ordinarily, this would mean a change in tactics, from run-and-gun to stealthy sniping, but you’re also racing a countdown timer; methodically thinning the herd while taking cover when your Shields crash could lead to surviving the fight…but never actually pwning any Dinosaurs.
    • So, veto until offered Sniperfight: it’ll clear Covie fodder faster, as well as efficiently rack up Elites. (There’s little point in a standard solo Firefight; Score Attack doesn’t feature Ordinance Drop.) Also look for a larger map, since close-quarter Firefights tend to become hot zones of clusterfuck explosions, with you inconveniently at the center of the fiesta.
    BLAST RADIUS

    Firefight

    Special Weapon

    Type: Special Weapon
    Setting: Firefight
    Difficulty: Grind
    Time: 20-30 minutes (Concurrent with other Firefight Challenges)
    Value: ★★★★★
    Reward: 1800

    Kill 40 enemies in Firefight Matchmaking with grenades.

    You can work this one at the same time as today’s other Firefight Challenges — by itself, we’d ordinarily recommend Gruntpocalypse in Score Attack, since it’s easy to nail the waddlin’ tykes while they’re still in a spawn pack — but if you’re combining Challenges, the opening Waves of each Round in a typical Firefight will do the trick just as well.

    Just make sure to regularly farm some Plasmas from the battlefield between Waves or during a break in the action; otherwise, you’ll have only two standard grenades to do your fragwork. We also haven’t yet tested out whether a recovered Plasma Launcher will register grenade kills, but we here at HRD have never really been able to figure out that damn thing anyway, and even Auntie Dot thinks it’s weird. If you have a chance to try it out, let us know how it goes.


    WEEKLY CHALLENGE


    Firefight

    Type: Completion
    Setting: Firefight
    Difficulty: Easy
    Time: 180-200 minutes
    Value: ★★★★★
    Reward: 4000

    Complete 100 Waves in Firefight Matchmaking.

    Remember that nightmare grind from early October, when you had to complete 50 Firefight Rounds in a single week? It had been the most tedious Weekly Challenge until last week’s 200 Multikill task. So now Bungie wants 100 instead of 50? Yikes!

    Well, as the Hitchhiker’s Guide says on its cover: Don’t Panic. These are merely Waves, and there’s five of ’em in every Round. So, play Gruntpocalypse in Score Attack and you’ll collect five; finish a standard Firefight and you’ll net 16. (Yes, you notch one for the Bonus Round; no, you don’t need to survive.)

    That works out to only six full Firefight games, plus part of a seventh to clean up the remainder — or, put another way, just ONE Firefight game per day this week. Jiminy Christmas, that’s EASY.

    You can even tear through the entire Challenge today — though since you’re certain to face other Firefight Challenges during the week, it’s probably not the best use of your time; might as well wait each day to see what comes up, and let this one come along for the ride. For example, if you’ve been completing the Challenges all week, today’s Firefight-O-Rama will likely close this out for you, if you haven’t finished it already.