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Every weekend, from Thursday at 12:00pm to Monday 12:00pm (Eastern Standard Time), a playlist called the Double EXP Weekend opens for Halo 3 players with gametypes that aren't normally available for other matches on usual weekdays. Each win gives 2 EXP points, and a loss will not take away EXP (however, quitting a game will still be punished with the loss of 1 EXP). Most of these playlists are unranked, with the exception of: Legendary Brawl, Living Dead, and the Valentine's Day Massacre playlist. By far, the most featured playlist is the Grifball playlist, including slightly different arenas, and different leagues (Spring leagues, summer leagues etc.) Team SWAT changed into a permanent gametype in the Hardcore playlist as of May 2008, and Team Snipers as of November 2008.
Double EXP Weekend PlaylistsEdit
- Grifball - This playlist featured RvB's favorite sport gametype. (Social)
- Team SWAT (As mentioned above, this playlist was made permanent) (Ranked)
- Team Snipers - (This playlist has also since become a permanent playlist.) (Ranked)
- Rockets - This playlist focuses on chaotic 8 player FFA Rocket gametypes. Occasionally, a "Splockets" gametype which features a Rocket Launcher and Spartan Laser weapon spawns. (Social)
- Living Dead - This is one of the two infection playlists featured in machmaking along with rumble pit. (Social and Ranked).
- Legendary Brawl - This playlist was created to celebrate the release of the Legendary map pack, and featured a 12 person Free-For-All match. This playlist was ranked, allowing many to gain online FFA achievements easier. (Ranked)
- Mythic Brawl - This playlist was created to celebrate the release of the Mythic map pack, and features a 12 person Free-For-All match. This playlist is ranked, allowing many to gain online FFA achievements easier. (Ranked)
- 3 Ball - This playlist featured a four team Oddball match. Three Oddballs were placed on the map, and each team needed to battle it out to gain the most points. Other game variants included 3-Low, which required more than one person on a team to be holding a ball to gain points for their team. (Social)
- Fiesta - This playlist featured players on CQB maps with Random weapon spawns. (Social)
- Team Melee - This playlist featured a mix of 3-team slayer and objective games, featuring the Gravity Hammers and Energy Swords. (Social)
- Rocket Race - This playlist features a Race Gametype where 4 teams of two players have to reach several destinations before winning. They ride on a Mongoose where the passenger will have a Rocket Launcher to fire Rockets as to prevent others from reaching a destination. (This Gametype is sometimes featured in the "Multi-Team" playlist.) (Social)
- Team Flag - A playlist that features all flag games. (Social)
For certain Holidays, such as Halloween, Valentine's Day, and Fourth of July, playlists were devoted to the day with special gametypes and maps.
- Living Dead (Halloween) - This playlist featured infection as its gametype. Special maps were made specifically for this playlist, such as Club Dead (High Ground) and Brain Freeze (Narrows). It should be noted that for Halloween, this playlist was Ranked, however when other Infection Double EXP weekends came around, they were not.
- Valentine's Day Massacre (Valentine's Day) - This playlist featured a variation of the hopper Team Doubles. This playlist was strictly Slayer oriented, and was ranked. Bungie had also stated that there would be prizes that would be awarded for certain things done by certain people (such as the most amount of vehicle jacks).
- Cinco de Mayo (Cinco de Mayo) - This playlist featured a Free-For-All game variant, in which each player spawned with a random weapon (This gametype was known as Fiesta).
- Fourth of July (Fourth of July) - This playlist featured an assortment of gametypes, such as CTF variants, and a gametype called Red Glare. In Red Glare, each player on the team had Rockets and Spartan Lasers.
- Turkey Day (Thanksgiving) - This playlist featured 9 players FFA.
- Ranked Big Team Battle - This playlist was made a Double EXP playlist for a while to attract players into playing it, as the playlist was in danger of being removed entirely due to a lack of use (which it was as of September 2008 after Auto-Update 2). The double EXP was applied during the months of June, July, August and mid September in 2008, and was not considered a part of Double EXP Weekend, for the Double EXP worked throughout the whole months, not just Thursdays through Sundays.
- Prepare To Drop - Inspired by Halo 3 ODST. 4v4 Social Double EXP to celebrate the launch of ODST. Magnum, SMG start and with 150% Damage Resistance, Energy Shields disabled. Also there is Asset Escort Single VIP. Anti-VIP starts with Needlers and Gravity Hammers, and have 150% gravity. VIP team starts with Battle Rifles and SMGs, and have 90% damage resistance, and wear black armor. The VIP starts with a plasma pistol no grenades, does 0% damage to opponents, has 90% damage resistance, 4x overshields, 50% shield recharge rate, 75% move speed, 75% gravity, full vehicle use, an enhanced motion tracker, a waypoint that can be seen by all, and is colored purple. VIP team members within 40 meters of the VIP get 2x overshields.