343 Industries announced during a PAX East panel yesterday that Halo 4 will soon get its own version of Halo: Reach's Forge World map (pictured above), a feature that has been missed since 4 launched. Called "Forge Island" and releasing for free on April 11, the map will provide a series of open spaces in which Halo 4 forgers can putz around and try to smack one another by swinging tanks around like giant, deadly paddles. That's what I'm going to do there, at least.
Also on their way are a title update and a new competitive skill ranking system that will hearken back to the days of Halo 2 and Halo 3 by assigning players numbers from one to 50 and matching them up based on their playing prowess. The title update will tweak this and that, making camouflaged players more visible when they shoot, adding x-markers to signify where teammates have recently died, and adjusting the Gauss Warthog turret's auto-aim, magnetism and damage, presumably to make it less of an unstoppable death cannon.
343 also discussed some statistics:
- Halo 4 has been played by 11.6 million people, including those logged in as guests. They've gotten:
- 11.7 billion kills;
- 388 million headshots;
- 193 million assassinations (4.4 million of which were in the air);
- 25.5 billion War Games medals;
- 30 million flag captures;
- and 64 million vehicle hijacks.
It seems we're a bloodthirsty bunch.
Halo 4 logs 11.6 million players [Gamespot]