Just dust and echoes…

I’ve been writing this post in my head for a while, and have decided the time has come to do it.

First up the announcement – I will no longer be posting the daily challenges online.

If you are still eager to find out what’s been set for a particular day go to http://halo.xbox.com/en-us/Career/Challenges (you might have an error returned here, if so it usually means you’re not logged in so go to http://halo.xbox.com and sign in, then drop down your gamertag at the top and select challenges). If you want any previous tips on how to achieve a challenge, you can use the search bar at the top of this site to look up the challenge name and view an old post where it was set.

Why am I stopping after all this time? Simply because I have less time to spare for it than I did during 2011, and since there are no longer any new challenges or difficult things to do the need for discussion on challenges has vastly diminished. We’ve seen it all before, hence why you can use old posts to look up the tips on completing a challenge. Back in October 2010 I created the site to have a central discussion space about the challenges, away from the forums where it was incredibly difficult to conduct those conversations, and I can definitely say it’s done that.

In 18 months there have been 881 posts, 18110 comments and over 1.8 million hits. Pretty good I say. 🙂

(And no I don’t know 1 and 8 occur so often in those stats, crazy random happenstance I guess!)

I’m not the sort of gamer to stick with a game for a particularly long time once I’ve played my fill, as my XBL history shows I always look for a new experience. But I have played Halo: Reach probably more than any other game, ever. That includes Snake (at which I am the family champion). What has always made me proudest in running ReachDailyChallenges has been receiving comments from people who said they also would have stopped playing the game a lot earlier had it not been for the challenges and the discussion here about ways of beating them and doing things in-game. To me that’s a great thing to hear.

Posting everyday has been a wonderful experience for me, and everyone who has come to RDC to talk about whatever we’ve talked about has taught me something about running an independent online environment. This seems as good a time as any to doff my cap to HaloReachDaily and HattedHaloFox, both sites that started around the same time I did and who posted some awesome stuff, helping with the very discussion I created RDC for. There have also been imitators and people using my content as their own, which were compliments more than insult. Being the site used in the Reach Service Record app was a pretty cool moment and has again helped motivate me to keep going with the posts.

For the past 6 months I’ve used the site as something of a personal blog, putting comments about what I am up to and games I’m playing at the start of each post. I know this wasn’t to everyone’s taste, however it has helped motivate me to find topics to write on, to think about how I write, and has helped me continue this past the 1 year mark I thought RDC would last.

For me now I will continue with the occasional posts on my personal blog, Seven Months Later, writing the odd article for Pixel Perfect, and playing games like they’re going out of style! I hope everyone in Reach continues to enjoy the game, and I shall see you all in Halo 4 at the end of 2012.

Good luck to you, Spartan

Posts for Monday 21st November

I just wanted to throw up a quick note that the posts tomorrow will be much later than usual. It’s my uncle’s funeral so it won’t be until I’m home in the evening that I’ll be putting them up.

If someone grabs them off bungie.net or halo.xbox.com during the day can you put the weekly and the daily challenges in the comments please?

Thanks for understanding.

The Times They Are A-Challengin’

Did anyone know that Bob Dylan is one of my favourite artists? Well you do now.

This is a slight break in the normal posts you receive from me. As a couple of people have pointed out we’re about to have the 1 millionth hit here on RDC. It’s a pretty impressive feat given it’s only been 10 months since I started the blog. Most of you know it was started to provoke discussion about the challenges since there was nowhere for that on the web. The first day of posts I had 27 hits. Now it’s a quiet day if I get less than 3,000.

As you can imagine it’s surpassed my expectations, with daily discussions on challenges, commendations, achievements, techniques, freezers, 3G connections, cookies… the list is endless. And of course it wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for you all coming and reading the posts, commenting and discussing it. Possibly an even bigger achievement is that we’re approaching 10,000 comments (9,781 so far). More than anything that’s my proudest point – that it’s friendly, lively and no one is trolled (unless they truly deserve it XD). For me personally it’s been a real experience, and I’m fascinated by the way the community of visitors has grown and developed.

So I thought it was about time to launch a couple of the new features I’ve been scheming on recently. Only a couple of the new features mind, not all. There’s one particular one from our very own Snickerdoodle that you’re going to wet yourselves over. Trust me.

Twitter

What? Twitter? That’s not a new feature. Well it is when you get a dedicated Twitter feed just for the blog. Okay, mostly for the blog. Starting today you can follow @RDCblog to get my daily challenge announcements, plus any news and information that is relevant to Halo gamers. (Yes, @RDC was gone already) If you were enjoying learning about rugby league through my personal Twitter feed feel free to still follow me.

Community Input

Now this is a new feature, and one that I’m hoping will grow and grow to turn the site into a complete resource for Halo gamers. Amazing how things happen – I’ve had 2 people suggest this to me in the last 2 days, only a few days after I decided to do it. For a while now I’ve wanted to do videos, guides, and informational posts on more than challenges. But I don’t have the equipment, time, skill or patience to do these things. I know some of you do though. What I’m asking is for help from the community putting this part of the site together. If you have an idea for a useful post, maybe a guide to getting commendations quickly, a Nightfall speed run, triggering checkpoints in just the right place, please send them to me. It can be specific on one item (ie getting the Target Designator checkpoint as bombs fall in ONI: Sword Base) or generic (ie how to own in Grifball).

I’m keeping the right decide whether or not to post something, so feel free to check the concept with me first before investing too much time, but it’d be great to build up a repository of articles that people can use. There’s a bit more information in the new pages you’ll see at the top of the page under ‘Guides’ and then the submission info dropping down from there. But if it’s a video I’d like to link to Youtube, if it’s a written guide not too many pictures since we have a maximum space cap on WordPress. I know we’ve got some great Halo players and skilful people out there, I’m excited to see what you can come up with.

To submit ideas and articles email ReachDailyChallenges@hotmail.com. Yep, we’ve got an email address too now.

Mobile App

I never did a formal announcement about this when it was first launched. The clever folk at Aelatis Technology developed a great app called the Reach Service Record, which allows you to view… well everything bungie.net holds, and much, much more. Why am I talking about it here? Well if you go into their challenges section there are links on the challenges to pick up the commentary for it. Go to iTunes or the Android Marketplace to download it now, then leave them a five star review about how wonderful it is (whether you use it or not :D).

That concludes this portion of the announcements. Don’t worry, there are more things planned in the pipeline, we’re not laurel resters here.

So thank you to all the RDC readers out there, whether you joined me in October or you’re reading this for the first time today, you’ve added to the community and experience. I write every post with love and hope you read them with that too. ❤

Picture courtesy of Brigadier Mitch.

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