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Oh, we ded af Pleasant tidings in 2018, HaloTracks. The lights are flickering, the air is heavy with dust, there's a dead cockroach in the corner, and mice ate through the plastic covering our furniture. Some might say we're a little worse for wear. Some might say Halo is in a bad shape, but I think we're just getting started... loljk, we ded af Nevertheless, let's get into a super quick update. WHERE WE ARE I'm not going to go in depth on this topic. HaloTracks is currently in its worst spit of activity since the launch of TriggerSmash. Our daily active user count is averaging closer to zero than it is to one. WHAT WE'RE DOING ABOUT IT I want to be as honest as possible with you guys. We have no plans to continue updating the current version of the website. Hatter and I are aware that many issues present on the website prohibit a smooth HaloTracks experience. With the site's current lack of activity and Halo, itself, being in a dark place at the moment, we must simply focus our efforts on projects which help our lives and careers. BUT THERE IS A FUTURE That, however, isn't to say that we've abandoned HaloTracks and our community to its fate. We're a group of Halo players who strive to push through our tribulation, and we've gotten pretty damn good at it. The damage to HaloTracks cannot be ignored, but we can look toward a possible future with Halo Infinite and something most precious which we haven't talked about in depth. Our prrrrrrrecious is HaloTracks version 6.0 and, yes, I can feel your eyes rolling but bear with me here. We have some ambitious goals for 5.0's successor. Allow me to illustrate our primary goals for this project: Ditch Invision Power Board (IPB) for good: The application should be housed within an environment constructed by HaloTracks. Both Invision Power Board's visual and performance issues severely impact our ability to deliver a smooth experience. Moving forward, our community can no longer sit within a third party application or content management system. Deliver a smooth, fast experience within a single-page application: The application should be capable of performing complex tasks without a noticeable drop in performance. To help achieve this, we are developing 6.0 as a single-page application. Essentially, users only load one page upon visiting the website. There are no other pages to the website. Instead, the application will update and re-render application and component states upon user requests or the receipt of relevant data from the database. Think of 6.0 as a living, breathing application that is always performing tasks to ensure that data on the website is synchronized across all user views. Deliver competent user interface/user experience (UI/UX): The application should house a powerful set of features, as well as a streamlined interface which is easy to understand and properly responds to user input and requests. When application and/or component states change and a new render occurs, the change in state should be obvious to the user and not inhibit either the application's performance or interactivity. Provide the HaloTracks community with a framework to continue innovation and encourage competition between Halo communities: The application should provide an innovative take toward how a Halo community can be built and represented. The development and design mindset would, ideally, stretch into other areas of the Halo community and encourage them to be pursuant in the design and development methodology behind our community. The purpose of this is not to sound purposefully arrogant, but rather to foster healthy competition which is vital for the growth and sustainability of the Halo community as a whole. HaloTracks 6.0 should rest upon a healthy framework which enables us to rapidly develop, test, and release new features when required. DEVELOPMENT STATUS As cool, great, and awesome 6.0 sounds, the application is still considerably early in its development. Hatter and I are working at a snail's pace as we focus our efforts toward projects that immediately assist in our career paths. With that said, once 343 releases more information regarding Halo Infinite's launch schedule, development pace may increase in order to sync Halo "6" and 6.0's release. We, however, can not deliver any promises about any aspect of 6.0. This goes from its feature list to a launch date. Essentially, don't get hyped. There's no reason for hype. SHUT UP AND SHOW US WHAT YA GOT Slow down, cowboy. Even though HaloTracks is dead in the water at the moment, Hatter and I still have tremendous confidence about the capabilities of 6.0. It would be damn unfortunate for 6.0's design and features to be implemented anywhere else on the web before its release. Still, this update remains a long way from release. The purpose of this post is to keep you guys informed and to know that we haven't abandoned you. Such as it is, Spartans never die. In the meantime, play some Halo 3 on MCC, don't worry, be happy, and we'll meet again.
HT Squads Update TIME TO ROLL For years, HaloTracks' squads have served as innovators of the racing community, especially in the areas of competition. Many leaders have stepped up to the plate. Most have failed, but the squads that did succeed changed the racing landscape forever. It only makes sense that such prominence receive the proper tools to push themselves, and the community, forward... right? Well, squads have been nestled in the Forums since HaloTracks began. This is something that has long hindered a squad's ability to establish a firm identity... but will no more. HT Squads have undergone a massive overhaul, phasing out of the Forum and into an application more aptly suited for the needs of each squad. Here's a quick rundown of how the squad landscape is changing. SITE WITHIN A SITE The simplest explanation for what squads were turned into would be "mini website," though this is a loose translation. What squads have been given is a portal that allows them to keep better track of important information like members, forums, news, etc. Membership is controlled within the app. No longer will members need to reply to a signup topic, which boosted post counts for both member and squad alike. This extends to the creation of member roles within each squad. Each role can be assigned special permissions, if desired. Think racer ranks; mods; that sort of stuff. Forums have long been a back-and-forth topic between squad leaders and admins. Now, the middle man is completely cut. Leaders of a squad have full control over forum type, permissions (which can be role-based), privacy, and more. SQUADS GOODNESS The name of the game is, control. Leaders will have access to IPB's internal blogs application, as well. This can be utilized for the allocation of broader squad topics. Things like news, archival information, etc. Just like the forums, each squad leader has ability to both create and moderate their own blogs. No admin required. SQUAD CREATION The creation of squads, just like in the old days, is closed off to the public. With that said, squads are still run by the community. The same 'interest' prerequisites still apply. Once a prospective squad is approved, the squad will be created and ownership transferred from admin to Squad Leader. The member will also be given instruction on how to properly use the application. SOME HOLES Currently, the Maps nor the Tournaments applications have been integrated into the new Squads app. Whether or not this is something Aaron and I decide to do in the future is unclear. It's probable that we could decide to develop our own application for squads. Time will tell, but I can definitely assure you that no such integration is present at this time. BLOG IT UP In summation, HT Squads have gone through a massive overhaul. This quick update only skims the surface of some of the new app's features. I look forward to seeing how this grows over time. We also have quite a few squads that are inactive, but could definitely be revived. Racing is in our blood, and squads are the complete manifestation of how far we can push ourselves. Be sure to check it out for yourself, and please do not hesitate to ask any questions. Race hard -Jeff