November 4, 2004

My Experience at ESPNZone

As mentioned over at sister site HBO, I was one of the fortunate folks that got picked to play Halo 2 MP over in Times Sq today, at the ESPNZone during one of ESPN's morning shows, Cold Pizza. I heard that over 2000 folks entered the raffle, of which 50 were chosen and a handful of alternates. Maybe it was the requirement that you show up at 7AM during a work day, but astoundingly way less than 50 folks total showed up! Maybe more like 30 or so.

Read more of my experiences there, as well as how it segues into my next visit to Times Square in NYC... for the ToysRUs Midnite Madness event!!!

Folks that were watching the show on cable thought it sucked, which it did for those folks if they were expecting some new stuff revealed. It wasn't like that at all, it was a complete PR type thing... they just wanted Halo 2 there since it's such a hot item right now. But for those of us that were IN the studio, they just let us play from 7-10am. So no complaints from any of us IN the event. :) Only MP btw, no campaign. For the lucky guys that made it in, they were completely thrilled. It was good to see some of these guys, from all walks of life in the city, play the game for the first time and have a blast.

For me, I had a blast as well, but I was also trying to note any changes from the E3 build... thus explaining my sucky scores. :) One thing I definitely noticed is that they reduced the speed of the needler... like almost back to regular Halo 1 speeds. Which was frustrating because I wanted to own folks with that weapon since most of them were busy looking for the pistol (ha!). But the joke was on me. Until I discovered: DUAL wielding needlers! Never heard a nicer sound than the rapid staccato shots of unloading pink death on an opponent. Crap that was cool. Still, the weapon of choice is going to be the SMG and Battle Rifle.

Got to see Ryan and CJ from Bungie. Gracious as always, and a pleasure to personally shake their hands again and thank them for doing such a great job. Dolbex and the rest of the MLG gang was there as well. Awesome!

Gametypes played? All slayer matches, which was also sucky for me, I was hoping for some assault or plain ctf matches. But the real bonus was getting to see a map that wasn't shown before: BEAVER CREEK. This is an updated Battle Creek. And it *PERFECTLY* shows the difference between Halo 1 and 2. It's AMAZING. When you turn the corner in your base and see the exit door, the *sunlight* is shining through the doorway. It's gorgeous. And they got rid of the sniper perch ladders, instead there are soft rock ramps leading up.

One last thing... One of the folks in the MS PR consulting group was looking... for me! We chatted for a bit and when I mentioned I was coming to the ToysRUs midnite madness she was curious what I was up to. So I mentioned some ideas and she seemed really eager to see me pull it off. Since I was in Times Sq. after the ESPN thing finished, I walked over to ToysRUs with Jynx and Fuhrman and checked out the place. It's huge, and I did my little smooth-talking deal with some of the folks there and got them ready for us taking over the event. I think at this point, we're going to bring a tent, some lawn-chairs, a 100ft heavy-duty extension cord, portable heater, my projector, some large white setpaper sheets, gaffers tape, Xbox and Halo1, and basically have a mini-lan fest while we wait in the street online until midnite Monday. There are going to be news crews and they expect a seriously huge turnout. I'm pretty excited getting involved in this!

Posted by bs at November 4, 2004 10:25 PM

You lucky lucky sob!

Posted by: Samir on November 4, 2004 10:49 PM

Lucky, lucky Louis...

Posted by: ferory on November 4, 2004 10:56 PM

Wow--Beaver Creek sounds great. That's enough new info to make my day! Thanks!

Oh, and I'll reiterate the previous post: You're freakin' lucky.

Posted by: Sean-118 on November 4, 2004 10:57 PM

Who the hell is Louis? I'm ME. :)

Thanks guys. It's too bad more people didn't take advantage of the opportunity. So many folks didn't show up! Weird!

Posted by: Miguel on November 4, 2004 11:01 PM

What's you're live account name, cause I really want to play you, sweetheart!

Posted by: Kinotrica 'Mocka' on November 4, 2004 11:01 PM


Posted by: Chester on November 4, 2004 11:04 PM

I bet that the reason a lot of those people didn't show up is cause they actually have lives. Their lives probably aren't centered around video games like some nerd here..

Posted by: Foton on November 4, 2004 11:04 PM

That's so true! I especially wonder about the folks that come to obscure websites and take the time to pretend they can put others down for not having lives! Oh boy, what a laff-riot. I give you an A for effort though. Good try.

Posted by: Miguel on November 4, 2004 11:11 PM

I resemble that remark.

Posted by: narcogen on November 4, 2004 11:19 PM

Pink Death!! Dean will be so happy. :-)

Sounds awesome Mig! Glad it turned out great for ya. :-)

Posted by: mnemesis on November 4, 2004 11:51 PM

Beaver Creek.... that was the server name for Battle Creek in Halo PC. It was also the filename of the map, I think. I just remember seeing it when I pressed F2 in HBO - COERCE when it was shotties CTF on Battle Creek. Cool.

Light filtering? ... That brings up all kinds of cool ideas about what lighting situations will be in Halo 2....

I love the comment by Foton, but I love the response by a "stereotypical" ( I mean that in a good way) member of the Bungie web community even more - take an offensive remark, use it to turn the tables on the person making the remark. Kind of like verbal Judo. :)
You rock, Miguel.

Posted by: AngelicLionheart on November 5, 2004 12:03 AM

Sweet Job Mig!

Glad that all went well. I guess that is a good enough excuse to miss the gather. Maybe... ;-)

See you online with H2!

McGyver of Plaid

Posted by: McGyver#CP# on November 5, 2004 12:05 AM

Thanks folks. :) I did notice that Beaver Creek is the actual filename of the original Halo 1 map, which if you think about it makes you realize they named it that because in fact they consider THIS version of the map the *authentic* version. "This is how Beaver Creek was meant to be!"

I'd like to slightly backpedal as well and state that while yes you 'see' sunlight streaming through the doorway in Beaver Creek, I'm not positive it's actual light filtering. It could just be really really well done picture mapping on the wall textures there, etc. So it might be beautiful fakery, in other words. Guess we won't know for sure until we can actually play it non-stop in a few days.

Posted by: Miguel on November 5, 2004 12:14 AM

Sweetness, Free!

For a whole 3 seconds I lived vicariously through you--probably at the moment you got kilt. Or something.

Posted by: RevDotNed on November 5, 2004 1:22 AM

mabye if i had a broadband port in my house,and dsl, and xbox live i would be happy. but i dont care how poor i am, that is awesome, and your a lucky dude.

Posted by: Shadow on November 5, 2004 9:37 AM

Lucky, lucky, no Miguel...Ding! Who went again?

Hey Mig, send me a XBL invite, you are so be pwned!

Posted by: CYBRFRK on November 5, 2004 9:58 AM

What the frell?? I missed watching this, even after having read a post about it? I guess it won't be on again. Does someone hav filmz?

I have to stop being lazy and coming up with excuses not to participate in Bundom. I ignored the ILB Combat Training thing because I'd been reading HBO and ignoring bee news up to that point, so I'd just dilute the experience of all the players meeting each other, or something. Though I'm sure Enkidu would be there and know my name.

Posted by: Andrew Nagy on November 5, 2004 8:26 PM

I had/have no interest in ILB. For some weird reason I didn't consider it 'Bungie' enough.

Dude, filmz are up at HBO, be a better soldier man. :)

Posted by: Miguel on November 6, 2004 3:24 AM

There are going to be news crews? Don't forget to involve the phrase "frog blast the vent core" in the biggest way possible.

Posted by: Andrew Nagy on November 6, 2004 2:02 PM

I'm wondering if you've received the $11.50 from Xzzy for not playing naked.

Posted by: Andrew Nagy on November 6, 2004 7:43 PM

As far as ILB and it not being 'Bungie' enough is concerned, I'm with you, Mig. I also come by that opinion after having input from some particularly legitimate sources. Not that there wasn't a ton of creativity there, and not that they didn't start out from a sanctioned, Story-bible point, but it falls a bit more towards the fan-fic side of the fence, for me.

Posted by: mnemesis on November 8, 2004 12:12 AM

Good stuff. Great stuff.
I went to the Launch party, but the pictures went and done not come out good. But there is this good one of Chavez in his flood... costume.. thing.

Posted by: Liam Q (Beowulf) on November 29, 2004 9:06 PM
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