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Halo 2 Auto-Updates

From Halopedia, the Halo wiki

This page lists all Xbox Live Auto-Updates for the Xbox version of Halo 2. The updates were released by Bungie as free downloadable content, though the release of the Halo 2 Multiplayer Map Pack did come with Auto-Updates 1 and 2 as disc installations for players who are not connected to Xbox LIVE.

The number of Auto-Updates released for Halo 2 is unclear, as many sources list five updates as having been released for the game. These lists typically posit a second auto-update released between the November 2004 and April 2005 patches, though no information on this update's content and release date can be found in any official Bungie.net source; as such, it is likely that this confusion arose from Bungie's labelling of the final two patches as Autoupdates 4 and 5, despite being the third and fourth patches to have been released.

To see a list of the updates released for Halo 2 for Windows Vista, see here.

Auto-Update 1 (1.0)[edit]

Auto-Update 1 was released on November 17, 2004.[1]

  • Matchmaking: Some players have experienced irritating delays while waiting for a game to be found while in Quickmatch and Optimatch. This is caused by a combination of factors, including connection speed and other detailed nuances of matchmaking. We have isolated the cause and applied a solution to the autoupdate which should normalize that wait time.
  • 480p Support: The autoupdate will improve support for 480p resolutions on a wide range of HDTV and EDTV displays, correcting a flaw that the software encountered with some sets causing part of the HUD to be obscured. This problem does not currently occur on all HDTV sets, so it is possible that your specific set is unaffected right now and it will therefore not be altered or changed by this autoupdate. If you are seeing the HUD clip or bleed off the screen in 480p widescreen and 4:3 modes) this should address that problem perfectly.
  • Foundation: As something of a treat for players, we’ve decided to make the unlockable multiplayer map, Foundation, available to everyone. Previously, to unlock Foundation, it was necessary to both complete the game and activate a “training event” on the final level. We reckon that was too tough for most, and wanted very much to share Foundation – inspired by our old shoot ‘em up Marathon – with Halo 2 players everywhere. Once you have the autoupdate, you’ll be able to play this rarely seen arena map with anyone you wish. And be sure to try a game of four-team CTF on this map. It's a hoot!

Auto-Update 2 (1.1a)[edit]

Update 2 was released on April 18, 2005.[2][3] Due to the lack of full patch notes, the below text is presented verbatim as written in the sourced Bungie posts.

Split Screen Enhancement[edit]

Split screen players have long complained that their screens are too muddled with interface and messages to see what's going on clearly. The Autoupdate also removes the more trivial pop-up messages (like ammo pick up, for example) that have plagued split screen gamers. The downside is that they no longer see those messages, but in testing and polling, we've found that the cleaner screen presentation makes that a small price to pay. "Important" messages will continue to display as before.[2]

Geometry Glitches[edit]

  • Flag Bouncing: We're fixing the super high flag bounce caused by collisions with certain objects – like the conveyor belt in Colossus. Teams would often simply bounce the flag from one side to the other, thus ruining a vital aspect of that map's intrinsic design.
  • We've fixed the flag-grab-through-solid-walls problem (although you can still toss a flag through legitimate places, like gates and windows). This will have a huge effect in CTF games on Beaver Creek, Zanzibar and Coagulation.
  • Elite melee ghosting – a glitch allowed a player (using a short sequence of button presses) to exit a vehicle and continue to an objective while all other players viewed the player as an invulnerable stationary "ghost" at the original point of disembarkation. This was caused by forcing the Xbox to "lose track" of the player.
  • Sword flying will be gone from multiplayer, though we'll keep it in Campaign mode. This was basically an exploit that allowed players to "fly" by locking onto a target with a Sword while riding in a vehicle – then later releasing a pent-up Sword lunge, and basically soaring, unhindered through the air. Although a noisy part of the community feels this was a fun, unexploitable bug, we have witnessed it used for cheating, and when we fix other problems, any we left in deliberately would be exploited all the more.
  • We've addressed the "ghosted dropped weapon" problem, which was caused by a difference in object location tracking between different machines - a gun you just couldn't pick up, for example – and is easily encountered during games between Pal and NTSC machines.
  • We've fixed the tie resolution problems that automatically defaulted the red team as winner in a tie.
  • We've made some changes to the way our system works when entering Clan matches – basically making it easier to enter even when conditions are less than ideal. The measures used before were perhaps too strict and prevented some players from entering games with their clan.
  • We've addressed the bug on Beaver Creek that caused double-teleporting – this was related to poor bandwidth, and it would cause a player to bounce back out of the teleporter rather than passing cleanly through.
  • We've fixed the glitch that would allow seemingly destroyed gun turrets to be used before they respawned.

Cheats[edit]

We've addressed the modem standby cheat. Can't say how, but we've implemented several fixes to help alleviate this problem. We can't stop people from pressing suspend modem, but we can make it less worthwhile to them. We've also added a number of ways to make it more difficult for players to abuse the fact that they are the host of a game.[2]
This is just a sampling of what we're fixing. Some things are insignificant, some you won't even have heard of, and others we don't want to discuss at this time. All in all, it should be a very pleasant and painless experience and one that improves your experience significantly.[2]
This is a partial list. Many of the changes we've implemented will be invisible to players. Some are simply minor tweaks to networking or performance code. Some are more important, but happen in the background. Some fixes will simply remain undisclosed to prevent further abuse of the system, and we realize that even this tremendous run of changes won't be entirely complete and that abuses by unsportsmanlike players will continue, but we're confident that these tweaks and adjustments will improve the experience for beginners and experts alike.[2]

Balance changes[edit]

  • Melee Damage: Melee damage has been increased across the board as a counter measure of sorts to close-up dual wielding. Jumping strikes are now much more powerful, often resulting in instant kills, while the general potency has been increased for normal melee attacks and the Brute Shot has been given a specific melee attack boost, in recognition of the fact that it has a huge scythe attached to it. This actually makes the Brute Shot a go-to weapon in a lot of new situations.[3]
Examples of the increase in power include one-hit kills from many jumping strikes, two-hit kills from the Brute Shot melee attack, and far more power on torso and head strikes from all other weapons.[3]
  • Grenades: Grenade attacks will be one of the most significant changes for the 1.1 version of Halo 2. In many ways, the new grenade balance is a reflection of the way we really wanted them to be. Grenades were not only weakened in the previous iteration, they didn't address the balance difference between a grenade-throwing player and a dual-wielding attacker.[3]
A common complaint amongst critics (and Bungie employees!) was that grenades felt very weak and often simply ensured that a player would be hurt rather than killed. Some unfortunate side effects of this, apart from a difference in "feel" between Halo CE and Halo 2 were unpredictable damage and difficulty making accurate, long distance throws have any significant impact. The grenades, both plasma and human, have been improved in a number of ways and are significantly more powerful.[3]
The fuse timer has been SHORTENED on the Frag and Plasma Grenade to increase their value in combat and in last-ditch efforts to defeat an attacker. In most instances, this new fuse timing will reduce the harm they cause when accidentally tossed at the start of a new round. The shortened fuse also makes using grenades for attacks slightly more predictable and accurate.[3]
The damage caused by plasma grenades (frag grenade power is increased slightly) is significantly increased. In testing, we found that players equated it with the type of damage caused in Halo 1. A plasma grenade detonating at a player's feet will likely kill that player outright, even with full shields. The shortened fuse and small damage-boost on the frag grenade means that a well-thrown 'nade is more dangerous.[3]
We feel that this, more than almost all the other changes will be noticed, and incorporated into the widest range of player skill. The grenade goes from being a dangerous distraction to a potent, flexible weapon and will change the balance of Slayer and objective-based games dramatically. We expect to see a lot of criticism initially, as we understand folks are used to playing one way – but long term testing has shown that it improves the experience in the vast majority of maps and game types.[3]
Plasma "sticks" will continue to be utterly deadly. And note that there is a knock-on effect to Brute Shot ammo from the power increase on frag grenades. It's subtle but enhances the Brute Shot nonetheless.[3]
  • Magnum: Magnum bullet damage has been slightly reduced to emphasize accurate headshots over a simple dual wielding combo. The auto-accuracy of the Magnum has also been toned down slightly when dual wielding.[3]
  • SMG: Other slight reductions include the softening of the Plasma Rifle and SMG combo, to bring it in line with other combos. Experts will notice the difference.[3]

Auto-Update 4 (1.1b)[edit]

Auto-Update 3 was initially intended to be released in the second week of July 2005 following the release of the Maptacular Pack and Halo 2 Multiplayer Map Pack, though was delayed and eventually released on July 20, 2005. In the official Bungie.net announcement, this autoupdate was referred to as "Autoupdate 4", though is the third known auto-update to have been released.[4]

Auto-Update 5 (1.5)[edit]

Auto-Update 4 was released on April 12, 2007.[5] This update was referred to by Bungie as "Autoupdate 5", though is the fourth known update to have been released.

Sources[edit]