Microsoft Research joins 343 Industries on the hunt for Halo 5's bugs

How are Microsoft ensuring that Halo 5 will be well-balanced and bug-free come October? Well, this latest video from Microsoft Research explains how 343i are using big data to quash every bug and fine tune combat.

Senior Microsoft researcher Rob DeLine takes us on a tour of Trill, a high-performance analytics engine, and Tempe, a web service for exploring that data. In the video, DeLine describes how 343i were able to use the data from Trill to discover a bug with one of Halo 5's medals, which awards the player for catching a weapon they'd launched into the air using a grenade. The medal was being awarded suspiciously often in play tests, they discerned this information via Tempe.

Using Halo 5's spectator mode, they were able to view the medals being awarded in-game, and discovered that a weapon became primed to deliver the medal simply by being inside a grenade's blast radius. 343i were able to squash the bug rapidly thanks to Microsoft Research's tools.

...By basically using Trill and Tempe they were able to discover this bug in the logic in the awarding of medals. This really allows the team to be in constant and really fast contact with what's going on with the customer. So as customers are doing things like playing the game they may be experiencing glitches, [343i] can find out about it really fast, find the root cause really fast, and then fix it...

After the complaints over Halo 4's multiplayer, it certainly seems as though 343i are pulling out all the stops to ensure Halo 5 is a hit out of the box. If Trill collects data on awarded medals, you can rest assured that it gathers data on weapons, kills and other aspects of play to help 343i tune a balanced experience.

To read more about Trill, head over to Microsoft Research's project site here (opens in new tab).

Halo 5 launches exclusively on Xbox One on October 27th.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

39 Comments
  • Team work is a dream work
  • Teat work is gratifying a Jesus
  • Awesome! Nice to see this level of dedication. Microsoft is on the prowl.
  • Goooodd! Luv MS research team
  • Would have been nice if they tested MCC for bugs before release :)
  • A harsh lesson learned. And this is a time where Microsoft can't afford to be wrong!
  • They say one learns after he's been burnt by the fire. This seems to happen with Microsoft often with different devices and services lol
  • Well, it's a good thing they didn't just quit after a few failures. Perhaps they should. I am thankful they don't, otherwise Windows ME might have been the last OS we saw from them. LOL.
  • Good thing my internet's latency/ping sucks sooo I just enjoyed the bug free Campaigns.
    Halo 4 is great now. I love CE first then Halo 4. I skipped ODST after Halo 3 main campaign. There's something about NOT playing as the MasterChief that I don't like.
    Yes, that includes The Arbiter. /monologue
  • You should really give ODST a try. You don't play as Master Chief, but ODST has arguably the best narrative of any Halo game. Look past the fact you're playing as a different character and enjoy a truly great game.
  • Big data analytics to the rescue :)
    Can't wait to start doing similar things :)
  • Would've been nice if they showed this much Enthusiasm when it comes to Windows 10 mobile.
  • Yeah like big data says the start screen need a refresh.
  • For real mobile is lacking!
  • Mostly because most of the focus is on windows 10 for PC till it launches
  • What about the known bugs? Like microtransactions for more than skins? I'd prefer to pay for maps. I was considering getting an XBOne, mainly for Halo 5 (I have a PS4, and mainly play crossplatform games), but I'm unsure now.
  • Pffft. Microtransactions? My generation of gamers paid for a game once and got all of the content it was supposed to ship with. The newer generation of gamers nowadays are being fleeced with IAP and DLC. :/
  • Never bought 1 dlc. Never will. I don't approve of that strategy.
  • I think the bigger scam is paying the same price for a digital download that you would for a physical disc.
  • @funkygeneral, yup should be way cheaper than physical versions. Furthermore you can actually pick up the physical copy cheaper than the digital version lol....
  • You have to realize that games are so large now a days that they don't fit on a standard disc anymore. That's the price of progress. Games now are bad ass and more detailed more then ever.
  • If what Josh Holmes said is true then any weapon you buy through real money or even the REQ system before hand will not be availible to you during multi player. Only things like new skins for your Spartan will make the cut. And during warzone, teams need to build both requisition points and levels to unlock certain weapons, with everything being locked up tighter than it was during the gameplay at E3. So any multi player fans just need to wait and see if they keep yo their word.
    Me I couldn't careless because I play Halo for the campaign.
  • Trust me, it's a lot better to have maps free. It keeps the game fresh so in theory the population up, and means that DLC maps get played, which was a major problem in past Halo games.
  • A fresh unbalanced game, vs a stale balanced game? I bought the map packs, but they're milking it here. Should have 3 modes. Serious ranked, no microtransactions casual, and casual. I'd still say it's who you play with. I played Halo CE online (with XB connect and/or GameSpy Arcade), and it never got stale because we had fun.
  • Why would you prefer to pay for maps? One of the problems with paid maps is that it splits the available user base. Some friends will get, some wont, etc. Also, my observations are that a higher number of the really good players buy the map packs, which causes a bad experience for the lesser skilled players that purchased the map packs. I hope Halo 5 is a success and they don't get greedy and go back to their old ways with 6.
  • I'd prefer to pay for maps instead of pay to win any day. If friends don't buy the maps, I can get them a gift card if it bugs me. If there's a bunch of 10 year olds with all those microtransactions getting weapons/vehicles they didn't earn, unbalancing the game, it isn't enjoyable. They won't go back to their old ways, the accountants won't allow it.
  • Public beta wouldn't hurt either...
  • Didn't they already did that?
  • Close beta, if u only bought the game in a time frame. I meant open it to everyone as a time downloaded. A simple demo version like how final fantasy 15 was a timed download
  • The halo beta eventually became open at the end
  • "at the end"
  • Regardless they had a beta, and collected data from it
  • This will be the best game and bug free ever :D
  • Too bad they removed split screen coop and aren't including a physical game disc in the 250$ edition... Next they will completely remove custom games and have microtransactions... 343 is literally trying to kill halo...
  • What? They did.
  • Yeah
  • I wonder if you can play co-op with Xbox and Win10!
  • Suspicious how 343i is always damn quiet about the desaster the MCC was when it first came out ....
  • So u saying they learned their lesson from MCC