Second Halo 2 update expands matchmaking

Bungie lives up to its promises of regular updates, adding Team Slayer and Rumble Training to matchmaking.

Call it Halo 2.2. Bungie's second major Halo 2 update was announced by the company today. Unlike the first update, which opened the previously locked Foundation map and fixed various technical issues, this update aids Halo 2 users where it helps most--on Xbox Live.

The new update focuses entirely on tweaking the online matchmaking options, adding two entirely new playlists and "freshening" existing playlists. These changes are a result of processing feedback from Halo 2 players and Bungie employees since the game's release November 9.

The first of the two new playlists, Team Slayer, pits two teams of four against each other in deathmatch competition. Game types range from Team Slayer to Team Phantom, and they play on all maps except for Headlong and Waterworks. Parties of up to four players may join together in this newest ranked playlist.

Rumble Training also joins Halo 2 as a new playlist. This unranked set features the same game types and maps as the free-for-all (and ranked) Rumble Pit, but accepts parties of up to 8 players. Rumble Training requires a minimum of 6 players, and guests may also join into the fray.

Existing playlists have also been altered to allow for more variety. For example, no more playing single capture the flag on Zanzibar over and over in Team Skirmish, because the playlists have been reweighted, allowing some of the scarcer game types such as Team Oddball to be played with more frequency. The recently unlocked map Foundation has also been added as a playable map on several playlists, and game types within playlists have been reconfigured.

Other minor adjustments to online play include extending match times for almost all games, allowing different sized parties to join Big Team Battles and Major Clan Matches, and the removing and adding of vehicles on certain games.

Halo 2 users looking for an Xbox Live update screen won't find it, as the update is automatic, but those logged in when the update was released will need to log out and log back in again to see the effects. For more information on Halo 2, check out our previous coverage.

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