Posts Tagged Xbox Live

Halo Waypoint Top 5 Series returns

I’m a big fan of the community features introduced in Halo 3 and always check out the latest screen shots and videos whilst waiting for a game to start. When Halo Waypoint was released I was pleased to see a regular feature on community videos and it became a regular feature for my Wednesdays.

If, like me, you were disappointed when season 1 ended you’ll be glad to hear that it’s made it’s return today with a top 5 entitled “Welcome Aboard” focusing on the art of boarding.

The video at number 2 might look a little familiar to those that were reading (and watching) my exploits back in June 2009….

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Using the wonderful Render-to-Video feature at take a glimpse into my Halo life where I make a daring raid on an incoming banshee

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Staff Captains Don’t Suck – Asset-O-Matic continues

Halo 3 logoI found time to start work on the Halo 3 Asset-O-Matic yesterday between rounds of Team Swat and whilst there’s still a lot of work to be done it’s progressing at a nice rate.

Before I go on, I have to wonder why Staff Captain’s get such a hard time in Halo 3? I was sat writing some code whilst waiting for a match to start only to hear H4NNIBAL uk giving me grief about my rank. Not my skill rank, but my not very important military rank. I questioned him about this and he told me what others had also echoed, people incorrectly think Staff Captains suck at Halo 3. I’m certainly not the best player out there but I’m not too shabby and my lack of progression is down to the vast number of social games I’ve played and the fact I hate free-for-all (where I found it very easy and fast to reach the 20 skill rank I needed to get Staff Captain status). The rest of my playing recently has been in mixed Team Swat where it’s very hard to progress at times due to some poor performances by those random players you’re teamed with. Some people work great as a team, some don’t and I’ve played my own fair share of bad games.

Speaking of which; I explained to H4NNIBAL uk that I was in the middle of programming and he seemed to think I was making up a lame excuse and proceed to tell me he was eating. And having a drink. And watching TV. All whilst playing Halo 3. Sorry to break it to you H4NNIBAL uk, I wasn’t lying, I was actually working on a project and it happened to error during our game. I also wasn’t making excuses when I told you I suck at Schwatguns, I really do suck at it, give me regular Swat any day 🙂

Enough with Halo 3 and ignorance though, here’s a brief run down of the changes:
Saturday was mainly spent adding code to allow fast and effective ordering by date which meant another database schema change. After that was implemented and tested I set to work updating the popup menu items and adding their functuality. I’ve still got one popup menu item to work on but that’s on hold until I refactor the code into a nice tidy class.
Sunday was mainly spent working on the template code. Templates are a handy way to output your saved data in any format you wish. It’s mainly designed for creating html output like this:
Slayer on Valhalla (13:03 26/09/07) – 1 screens, 0 clips
Slayer on Sandtrap (13:31 26/09/07) – 2 screens, 1 clips
Hammerzeit on The Pit (16:17 27/09/07) – 5 screens, 0 clips
Oddball on Guardian (20:38 27/09/07) – 3 screens, 0 clips
Slayer on Snowbound (21:13 27/09/07) – 3 screens, 1 clips
VIP on Isolation (00:20 30/09/07) – 2 screens, 0 clips
Ninjanaut on The Pit (20:39 30/09/07) – 1 screens, 0 clips
Team Slayer on High Ground (21:45 05/10/07) – 3 screens, 0 clips
Big Team Slayer on Sandtrap (15:39 07/10/07) – 5 screens, 0 clips
Slayer on The Pit (22:30 09/10/07) – 3 screens, 0 clips
Territories on Last Resort (20:36 10/10/07) – 1 screens, 0 clips
Big Team Slayer on Sandtrap (20:55 10/10/07) – 3 screens, 0 clips
Slayer on Sandtrap (22:56 13/10/07) – 0 screens, 1 clips
Team Slayer on The Pit (01:53 14/10/07) – 0 screens, 1 clips
Multi Flag CTF on Valhalla (17:55 20/10/07) – 0 screens, 1 clips
Team Slayer on Narrows (21:26 21/10/07) – 1 screens, 2 clips
Team Slayer on Snowbound (21:53 21/10/07) – 0 screens, 1 clips
Shotty Snipers on Narrows (22:01 21/10/07) – 2 screens, 1 clips
Team Slayer on Narrows (21:48 23/10/07) – 0 screens, 1 clips
Eliminatio on Valhalla (20:45 24/10/07) – 2 screens, 0 clips
Big Team Slayer on Valhalla (20:29 03/11/07) – 0 screens, 1 clips
Multi Flag CTF on Valhalla (16:45 04/11/07) – 2 screens, 1 clips
VIP on Valhalla (23:56 04/11/07) – 3 screens, 1 clips
VIP on Valhalla (17:28 09/12/07) – 2 screens, 0 clips
Team Slayer on Rat’s Nest (19:32 11/12/07) – 8 screens, 0 clips
Multi Flag CTF on Sandtrap (19:01 22/12/07) – 20 screens, 1 clips
Big Team Slayer on Valhalla (22:59 26/12/07) – 1 screens, 0 clips
Shotty Snipers on High Ground (15:37 02/01/08) – 0 screens, 1 clips
Multi Flag CTF on Valhalla (19:59 13/01/08) – 1 screens, 0 clips
Team Slayer on Rat’s Nest (13:26 19/01/08) – 2 screens, 0 clips
Multi Flag CTF on Sandtrap (21:47 20/01/08) – 1 screens, 0 clips
Multi Flag CTF on Valhalla (23:23 04/02/08) – 3 screens, 2 clips
Team Slayer on Rat’s Nest (21:47 07/02/08) – 6 screens, 0 clips
Slayer on Isolation (21:56 20/02/08) – 0 screens, 1 clips
Multi Flag CTF on Sandtrap (00:40 24/02/08) – 0 screens, 2 clips
Neutral Assault on Standoff (18:45 24/02/08) – 0 screens, 1 clips
Team Slayer on Foundry (20:06 24/02/08) – 2 screens, 0 clips
Team Slayer on Rat’s Nest (22:57 03/03/08) – 6 screens, 0 clips
VIP on Rat’s Nest (22:03 04/03/08) – 0 screens, 1 clips
Multi Flag CTF on Standoff (22:27 05/03/08) – 0 screens, 1 clips
Team BRs on Standoff (11:03 08/03/08) – 1 screens, 0 clips
Team Rockets on Standoff (16:44 16/03/08) – 0 screens, 1 clips
Forge on Standoff (14:32 21/03/08) – 2 screens, 0 clips
Team Duel on Rat’s Nest (23:10 26/03/08) – 1 screens, 0 clips
Multi Flag BRs on Rat’s Nest (12:50 30/03/08) – 1 screens, 0 clips
Team Slayer on Last Resort (18:58 08/04/08) – 0 screens, 1 clips
Team Slayer on The Pit (22:55 18/04/08) – 0 screens, 1 clips
Neutral Assault on Avalanche (23:52 19/04/08) – 1 screens, 0 clips
Team SWAT on Guardian (13:39 08/06/08) – 1 screens, 0 clips
Team SWAT on Ghost Town (21:23 08/06/08) – 2 screens, 0 clips
Team SWAT on Ghost Town (21:59 16/06/08) – 0 screens, 1 clips

That’s every game I’ve played up to yesterday where assets exists. These assets can be made by myself or anyone else who played in that game, there’s a couple of videos I’m the star of that I didn’t know existed until I created this program!

The next stage is to start refactoring my code into a class as there is far too much duplication in places. At some point a public beta will arrive, until then I might start posting a few of the Bungie guys Asset-O-Matic results to keep you entertained ;)…

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Two Xbox 360’s, one router

Picture of Xboxc 360 ElitePiggle loves playing Halo 3 and I do to, you’d think this was a marriage made in heaven yes? Actually, as great as always having partner for team games is, sharing a screen on Halo 3 is very frustrating, especially on Team Swat. Halo not only halves the screen horizontally but also crops the left and right sides of the screen to keep the aspect ratio. Think of it as playing from the house across the road, peering at your TV through the window. So yesterday I surprised Piggle with her very own Xbox 360 Pro, welcoming the world of Strict NAT Hell into my home at the same time.

I have a 20mb connection, connected to a Linksys WRT54GL (V1.1) router. 1 Xbox, set with a static IP and placed into the DMZ gave a perfect Open NAT, adding the second 360 caused us both to have Strict NAT’s. Looking around no-one seemed to have any answers to this issue so I decided it must be possible, I just wasn’t trying hard enough. The first step was to play with Port Forwarding, don’t waste your time here, it doesn’t work. Next I changed the routers firmware to DD-WRT, after several issues (always read the instructions for installing on your router folks) I had it running but the best I could do was get us both to Moderate NAT status. Doing some more research I read a comment on someones blog suggesting that both 360’s be put into the DMZ of the Tomato Firmware. I’ve never seen a router firmware that allows two devices to be in the DMZ so I immediately installed it. Disaster! One 360 could get an Open NAT but the other couldn’t connect at all 🙁

After hours of router upgrades and configuration I was in a worse situation than before. I resigned myself to going back to the stock firmware. Checking out the US side of the Linksys website I noticed that they had a more recent firmware available than the UK side so decided to risk an install on my router. Everything installed fine but the NAT status for both 360s was Moderate/Moderate at best and Strict/Moderate at worst. I wasn’t happy with this and the fact that nothing was showing up in the UPnP log for either Xbox was bugging me. Not only that but I began to wonder what affect putting the 2nd 360 in a different VLAN would have. I immediately reinstalled the DD-WRT firmware and set to work.

The first option I changed was to put the 2nd 360 into a different VLAN to the other.

DD-WRT VLAN Settings

The final steps were to disable the DMZ option, enable the UPnP option and to set each 360 to DHCP. This allowed each 360 to use UPnP to configure it’s own ports. Tentatively I did a connection test on my own 360, the result came in, an Open NAT! Taking Piggle’s controller out of her sleeping hands I started the connection test on her 360, again, an Open NAT! Fearing it was too good to be true I started the sign in process on both consoles. Both 360s started displaying messages about signing out of Messenger and showed as being logged out. After a moment of worry my fears dissipated as both machines logged into Xbox Live and even better, both had Messenger running. I can only assume that the initial messages were due to the port forarding being set up for each machine. A quick look on the router confirmed, both had used UPnP to set a different port. Now for some tests.

I started Halo 3 on both machines and hosted a custom game, inviting Piggle in. No messages appeared about being unable to host due to my NAT, a great start. I started the game and watched both screens as I ran around and destroyed things, it was identical in every way. Next I fired up messenger from my chatpad and had a small conversation with myself from Piggle’s account, everything was working fine. Dropping back into lobby I changed the room to the Theater to see if that would complain or flake out. Well it certainly complained, apparently Piggle’s connection was better than mine and she would have to be party leader to start the film clip! We’re on the same connection and same router! Giving Piggle Party Leader status allowed me to start the video, it worked like a charm. The final test was to play a game, I kicked Piggle from the party and headed into DLC Objective. Everything worked exactly as it should, I could hear everyone I was supposed to and finding a game didn’t take too long. The game was over so quickly, we won of course, that I started another, just to test of course… We lost and I decided that 4:30am really was a good time to go to bed after a long struggle with the 360’s NAT settings.

If you’re struggling to get two 360’s on the same network with Open NAT’s, it can be done so don’t give up, I hope that my experience with it can be of some help to you.

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Tactics117, stupidest Halo 3 player ever?

Halo 3 logoI’ve just finished playing a ranked Big Team Battle on Halo 3 where I was team killed repeatedly by a player called Tactics117. After the match he sent me an abusive message indicating he’s racist, very confused about his sexuallity and he was very disapointed with my playing in that match. But why did this happen?

Up to the point where Tactics117 started team killing me I had amassed 0 kills. That’s right, nothing. Now this wasn’t because I’m rubbish at Halo as Tactics117 assumed but because I had spent almost the entire match driving other people around in a warthog. Whilst they were racking up the kills I was only getting medals for assisting. A quick look at the score boards medal section after the match would have redeemed me for my lack of kills but no, instead Tactics117 decided to throw a ranked match and start killing his own team because he thought I wasn’t playing well.

Here’s a lesson for all Halo 3 players, especially Tactics117, you don’t get many kills when driving the warthog around but you do help your team win. If you are unlucky enough to end up with this guy on your team, watch out, he’ll kill you whether you’re playing well or not based on something as misleading as your current kill count.

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Xbox Live Friends List Cleanout

Picture of Xboxc 360 EliteI’ve removed a lot of people from my Xbox Live Friends List today, if I haven’t played with you in the last 2 weeks or aren’t a long standing friend then you’re gone. Don’t take it personally, anyone I play with regularly will be added again, think of it as natural selection helping my friends list to be less cluttered. On a side note, I don’t accept friend requests from people who I’ve not played on the same team as unless I know you previously so you’re friends request will unfortunately be declined

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