Thursday, December 2

Bungie gives up some detail on Noble Maps

The Noble Map Pack plays nicely with the existing Halo: Reach matchmaking maps and playlists, but there are a few things you should be aware of if you're planning on, or already have purchased our new maps. Said topics of interest are discussed in thorough detail below.


For launch, there is a dedicated DLC Grab Bag playlist available for Gold Xbox LIVE subscribers that will contain nothing but DLC maps. If players wish to play DLC in matchmaking, this is the sure-fire way to do it.

Many other playlists will contain DLC maps as well, but since you are not gated from entry to these playlists by having DLC, you could match with people who don’t have the maps. If that happens, you will not get them as voting options for that session. 

Also notable is that if players enter the matchmaking lobby and select a playlist that uses DLC, but where DLC is NOT required (just optional), they will see a pulsing warning message on the left side of the screen letting them know that they are missing recommended downloadable content. This does not block them from entering matchmaking in that playlist, it just warns them that the playlist uses some maps that they do not have. This should have no negative effect on that user.

If a player does NOT have the DLC maps and selects a playlist where the DLC maps are optional (not required), it will result in a pulsing warning message appearing on the left side of the screen letting the player know that this playlist uses extra maps. This informs users that they can increase their map selection in the playlist by downloading the additional maps. This does not prevent the player from playing in this playlist.

Selecting a DLC required playlist will result in another warning message appearing in the same location as the one described above. This warning message will inform the user that they do not have the maps required to play in the selected playlist. The option to Start Matchmaking will be grayed out until they select a playlist that they have the required maps for.

If a player without the Noble Map Pack selects a playlist where the DLC maps are required, they will get the above warning message and the option to Start Matchmaking will be grayed out.

DLC Manifest

Players who do not have DLC will still see DLC maps in their map selection screen while they are connected to Xbox LIVE. The maps will have stars next to them which indicate that they are new. If a player without the DLC maps attempts to select one from the map selection screen (in the Custom Game lobby or the Forge lobby), an Xbox LIVE Marketplace window will appear with the Noble Map Pack offer. At this point, players can purchase the maps.

This player does not have the DLC maps, but they will still appear in their map selection screen while they are connected to LIVE. Selecting one of the DLC maps will bring up the offer for the Noble Map Pack.

DLC Films

Users are able to download films, film clips, and map variants for all the DLC maps, even if they don’t have the map pack. If they attempt to select a film file that is associated with a map they do not have, they will receive a pop-up informing them that they are missing some required content (required to use the file they are selecting). The pop-up will let them decide whether to go to the Xbox LIVE Marketplace and view the Noble Map Pack offer, or ignore the warning and select a different file.

If a player selects a film of map variant that requires the Noble Map Pack and they do not have it, they will receive this pop-up informing them of the situation and give them a direct link to download the Noble Map Pack.

If the player dismisses this warning, they will return to the Theater Lobby where an error message will be displayed due to the film load error. The error message indicates that the film failed to load. In this case it was due to missing content (you need the map to watch the film).

This error message will appear for players that attempt to select a film from a DLC map that they do not have.

Attempting to select a DLC map variant for a map that you do not have has slightly different behavior. The map selection will simply not change from whatever was previously selected. There is no error message. The game reacts as though the player had canceled out from the action and not selected anything. 

Playing With Friends

If a player without the Noble Map Pack attempts to join a session where a DLC map is selected the session will be prevented from starting with an error message informing the party that someone failed to load content (in this case, the map). If the game is already in progress when the join is attempted the player without DLC who is attempting the join will immediately be removed from the session and returned to their own lobby.

Content Tied to DLC

If a player has the DLC maps and has created content for them (map variants, films, and film clips) then deletes the DLC, those content items will disappear from the game’s UI. This only impacts players while they are offline or failing to connect the Halo: Reach servers. The content is not actually gone, but it will not be displayed in the in-game UI. If they re-download the maps or get online and successfully communicate with the Halo: Reach servers, the content will reappear. No special action needs to be taken to communicate with the Halo: Reach servers aside from connecting to LIVE and launching Halo: Reach.

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