Halo 4's mighty post-release machinery is revving up for the new year, as 343 fires out more details of forthcoming Spartan Ops content, Specialisations and the long-awaited debut of Forge Mode maps into regular matchmaking.
Spartan Ops returns on Monday, with five new maps (or at least, five old maps refitted to support five new missions). "Also premiering is our "Community Forge Test" playlist, which introduces community-made Forge maps into a brand new Matchmaking playlist," writes Halo Waypoint overlord Jessica Shea.
"These maps have been selected with the assistance of the Community Cartographers as the first batch of community favorites, and this hopper allows you to play a variety of 4 vs. 4 game types, to report bugs and provide feedback that will be reviewed by the Matchmaking Systems Team." You'll be able to post your bug reports in this Waypoint forum thread.
"We'll provide the complete list of maps this weekend in the Matchmaking section of our forums," she goes on. "Once the playlist is live, we'll create and maintain individual threads for each map. The Matchmaking Systems Team will actively monitor these threads throughout the week and use your feedback to determine which maps will be added to Matchmaking. We hope you're as excited as we are about the Community Forge Test playlist!"
A fine time to revisit our rundown of the best Halo 4 Forge Mode maps, wouldn't you agree?
Also on the way next week are two new Specializations for all Halo 4 players, Pioneer and Pathfinder. Here's the official word on those:
Pioneer: Spartan optimization for deployment into uncharted, hostile territory (such as uncolonized worlds or Forerunner constructs like Requiem) for the purpose of gathering and relaying information. The Fast Track armor mod allows Spartans to gain more experiential data from each encounter, effectively ranking up more quickly during the process.
Pathfinder: Spartan optimization for deep, unconventional deployment within unknown enemy territory and with little to no assistance from command. The Gunner armor mod decreases the time of weapon overheat when occupying a vehicle weapon position, and increases Spartan speed while carrying a detached turret.