From Halopedia, the Halo wiki
The shardstorm launcher operates similar to other needle weapons, firing large shards of Subanese crystal (or "blamite") which track a given target and explode in a "supercombine" reaction. The launchers are mounted on the back of Goblin vehicles developed by/for the Unggoy, with eight large launchers for use. Unlike other needler weapons, the blamite crystals do not protrude out of the eight holes, only emerging once fired.
In operation, the Shardstorm fires a large number of Subanese crystal projectiles at once, homing onto various targets and individually tracking them. Destroying the Goblin's backpack destroys the launcher, and prevents it from firing.
The Shardstorm launcher is a common fixture in the various iterations of the Goblin battlesuit - primarily the Pnap-pattern used by Covenant Unggoy forces. The Eklon'Dal Workshop Goblins employed by the Banished do not fit this feature as standard, and must have it upgraded.
The shardstorm launcher was first envisioned for inclusion on the Grunt Goblin Warzone Firefight boss in Halo 5: Guardians. The weapon was originally developed as a prototype for an unnamed then-future project and internally known as the Multi-Target Tracked Attack, and came to useable state around the time of a studio internal "hackathon" (a period of time in which developers are free to prototype potential new Halo franchise features). As such, the weapon was taken by Halo 5 Senior Systems Designer Chris Proctor and his team applied to their then-prototyping Grunt Mech enemy. Due to the vehicle being built to fight eight players in Warzone Firefight rather than a usual 1-4 players of campaign, the weapon was a unique consideration as no others in the game had the ability to target so many players at once.
List of appearances
- Halo Wars 2, Phoenix Logs: Grunt Goblin
- Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 277
- Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 466
- Halo 5: Guardians, Grunt Goblin in-game enemy
- Halo Wars 2, Grunt Goblin in-game unit
- Polygon, Meet Halo 5's new boss, then kill it with this new vehicle (Retrieved on Jun 9, 2023) [archive]
- Halo Waypoint, Warzone Firefight Preview (Retrieved on Jun 25, 2016) [archive]