Bungie has invented new rewards for those of you who invest time in Halo: Reach's multiplayer. These will be based on earning Credits, Ranks and Commendations.
"Rank as you knew it in Halo 3 is dead," explained Bungie.net.
Ranks are now "divorced" from TrueSkill, while XP has been dumped altogether. "TrueSkill is the quiet machine humming under matchmaking's hood, churning to find you the most competitive match possible," the website added.
Overall, Ranks should indicate how much time you've invested in and across all game modes, and they will increase as you earn Credits.
Credits are earned for winning as well as finish games - for Achievements, for Challenges and for Commendations. Commendations are persistent awards for things like headshots. Commendations also offer opponents a glimpse at what kind of player you are.
Challenges will be issued daily and weekly in an effort to keep things fresh. Daily tasks include "Kill X players in Matchmaking" or "Kill Y Enemies in Campaign", while weekly tasks will be meatier and will perhaps challenge you to play a Mission in ways that "few have dared".
"The stuff you earn with Credits is purely cosmetic," the post pointed out. "Done right, earning Credits won't alter the core gameplay at all - we don't want to incentivise behaviours in our sandbox that are at odds with our gameplay philosophies. We don't want to introduce rewards and awards for behaviours that disrupt other's play-styles."
Both Spartans and Elites will be customisable, although Bungie is not saying how we'll be able to tweak the latter. You'll be able to buy all sorts of kit for your Spartan and, don't worry, hit-box geometry won't change depending on the size of your helmet.
All this stuff will likely be tracked on Bungie.net as well, although the team's not saying how.
According to the website, Bungie originally decided to change the ranking system because the "vast majority" of Halo 3 players never climbed to the upper Ranks. Those still bothered by "measuring sticks" should be sated by Halo: Reach's Daily Ratings, Season model and resetting Leaderboards. And by the Arena, "Which will introduce our competitive population to something they haven't really had before in Halo - the hope that, 'Next month, I can do better.'" Ranks also have nothing to do with Arena rating.
You can read more about Arena and other multiplayer updates in the last round of Halo: Reach multiplayer news.
Halo: Reach will be released this autumn exclusively on Xbox 360.