In a move that's bound to excite those fearing Halo-related titbits might dissipate with the dissolution of Bungie's weekly development updates, the developer has responded at length to early feedback and concerns about technical issues afflicting the Xbox title - which this week became the third fastest-selling game of all time in the UK.
In its "Weekly What's" update, Bungie tackled problems relating to Xbox Live, audio output, texture popping and HDTV support, and confirmed - as if confirmation were needed - that downloadable content is very much on its agenda. "We have not announced a schedule yet, but we will be making new downloadable multiplayer maps. They rock too. I've played a couple. There will likely never be downloadable Campaign content, however," fans have been told.
And it appears that Bungie plans to tackle technical issues that afflict the game via downloadable updates too. The developer is already working on "a potential fix" for people who are having to wait a severely long time to connect to a matchmade game ("It really is a consequence of there being so many damn people on Live."), and plans to make "initial adjustments" to its existing playlists and gametypes within each playlist "soon". Apparently the changes will be "substantial" and "should make a lot of you happy (like the Team Slayer players)."
The developer also claims that any problems whereby the audio refuses to go to the subwoofer are not the game's fault, but actually down to poorly configured audio equipment, and declined to apologise for the issue of 'texture popping' in cut-scenes, which sometimes sees details load in visibly after they ought to have. It's "part of the small price you pay for no loading times," says Bungie. "Since they use the game-engine, we are loading geometry and textures from all over the game, different levels, scenarios and creatures, as well as dialog and music. We could have made it into video, and streamed it from the disk, but then there would have been loading times. We felt this was much better for the gameplay experience."
Elsewhere, in an issue that's more significant for our American brethren than any of us, the developer says that its test team is "working on a potential fix" for a problem that sees some elements of the heads-up display (HUD) cut off the screen when the game displays in 480p progressive scan mode on a high definition television - something that "can be exacerbated in widescreen mode". Should be fixed soon, apparently.
That's far from the extent of Bungie's comments, either. For more on the problems afflicting Halo 2 and the non-issues some people are fretting over, and the developer's reaction to them all, we suggest you check out the "Weekly What's" for yourself. Here.