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Forge World is a multiplayer map in Halo: Reach intended for use as a "blank canvas" for Forge. The map encompasses several different regions and environments which allows users to create entirely new maps of varying sizes, similar to the three distinct areas in Sandbox from Halo 3.
Forge World was first revealed to the public through a Red vs. Blue Public service announcement requested by Bungie in celebration of Bungie Day 2010. This video led fans to believe that the map was a remake of Blood Gulch from Halo: Combat Evolved, but teased fans with "Go outside the Canyon". The true nature of Forge World was revealed in the Forge World ViDoc on July 22, 2010.
Forge World began development as five separate maps designed for use in Forge. To cut development time, it was decided that each map would take place inside the same skybox, allowing fans to see hints of the other maps in the distance but preventing players from leaving the map. To make artistic development easier, a version of the map existed which allowed movement between and throughout the five areas. Because of a new system in Halo: Reach's game engine called "Impostering", which allows distant objects to be drawn cheaply, it was decided that it was feasible to actually allow players to play across the entire expanse of the development map. At this point, the five maps were combined into a single map later dubbed "Forge World".
After the five original maps were combined to create Forge World, four new areas were added to the map between them, giving Forge World a total of nine regions and making it the largest multiplayer map in the series.
The following are locations around Forge World as seen in players H.U.D. MTNI (Motion Tracker Navigational Identifier).
The "Canyon" is a semi-enclosed, symmetrical canyon in the south of the map, with a large open field and a drying river in its center. Along the edges of the canyon are several walkways and caves. One end of the canyon opens up onto the lake while the other can be ascended into Alaska. The Canyon is designed for easy traversal in ground vehicles and is recommended for larger, team-based games. Other than an increase in size and some environmental changes, this area of the map is a faithful and accurate remake of the Blood Gulch canyon.
The "Island" is a large area in the center of the map. The Island is roughly symmetrical, with a large rock formation at the center and a small bay on one side that molds this area into a horse-shoe shape. There is a small tunnel that cuts through the center rock. The Island is designed for vehicular combat and is recommended for larger, team-based games. The Island was designed to be vaguely reminiscent of Sidewinder, thus the horse-shoe shape of the map.
The "Quarry" pocket is a small roughly rectangular grassy patch enclosed on three sides by rock cliffs with a view overlooking the entirety of the map on the fourth side. The Quarry is positioned directly above the Coliseum section of the map. The Quarry is described as about the same size as Sanctuary, with a remake of Sanctuary appearing in the Forge World ViDoc.
The "Coliseum" is an enclosed area reminiscent of the Crypt from Sandbox and appears to be made of Forerunner alloys. The entrance to this area is located directly under the Quarry on the side of the cliff in the far north corner of the map. This area of the map was designed to give forgers a traditional area to forge. The entrance side of the Coliseum can be blocked off with a Forge piece (Window, Coliseum) designed specifically with this in mind, or left open to give players a view of the lake. This is where the Grifball court is occasionally located in Matchmaking.
The "Pillar" is a tall spiraling column of rock stretching out of the lake in the same general vicinity of the map as the Quarry and the Coliseum. The Pillar has been referred to by Bungie as "The Rock", despite the fact that this location is named "Pillar" in players' HUDs. It was modeled after Halo 2's Ascension, and is the site of a remake of that map.
The "Coastline" area applies to all locations along the coast where another area does not intersect with itself; because of this the majority of the Coastline area is on top of water from the lake. The majority of playable space (actual land) in the Coastline area is a stretch of beach positioned in between Alaska and the Island; this area of the Coastline features a large cave at one end and multiple spots to forge across a small inlet to reach the island.
The "Lagoon" is a large sea cave positioned along from the end of the Coastline area of the map, and is located below and to one side of the Coliseum's cliff entrance. The Lagoon features three cascading waterfalls, and a large cliff face with a half-dome hollow cave reaching in. It is also adjacent to the Island, which can be seen clearly from the area. The Lagoon is also the site of Bungie Representative Urk's first Forging attempt, first entitled Jurkout, then Riptide, featuring several platforms just below the surface of the water. The Lagoon is the only area of Forge World with no solid land (aside from the top of the cliff).
"Alaska" is a grassy area surrounded by cliff faces on all sides. It is positioned in between the Coastline and the Canyon. A small gully leads down into the Canyon from one side of the map. Alaska and Montana are similar in their classic Halo terrain appearance. Notable differences, however, are Alaska's lack of visible terrain cliffs or edges, instead having only rolling hills. It also features scattered trees, which are part of the map geometry and hence cannot be altered. Alaska is also one of the areas of Forge World located on the edge of the immovable map boundary, which prevents any players from truly 'leaving' the level.
"Montana" is a rocky, mountainous area of the map taking place on top of a plateau. Montana is positioned in between the lake and the Canyon, forming one of the Canyons walls. While sharing a classic Halo terrain appearance, Montana differs from Alaska in appearance in that its terrain is generally more rough, rugged, and varied with fewer flat sections. The terrain is heavily populated by rocks and similar environmental pieces, which cannot be moved or deleted.
"The Plains" is the nickname given to the huge expanse outside the actual map itself. Virtually every part of the Plains is covered by a hard-coded soft kill area. When looked at in Theater, it takes about two hours (assuming unchanged camera settings and the use of LT to boost) to reach the invisible wall at the end of the map, and about 20 minutes to reach the invisible ceiling at the top. As such, The Plains are estimated to be around 100 times the size of playable Forge World, although objects cannot be placed on it as it is only accessible through using glitches.
The following map variants are included with Halo: Reach. These map variants were developed by Bungie using the Forge 2.0 tool set in order to demonstrate Forge 2.0's increased user-friendly capabilities.
- Unlike other multiplayer maps, no area of Forge World has been integrated into the campaign, as the events of Halo: Reach take place on and directly around the planet Reach. Forge World is on an unknown Halo Array which was not present near Reach.
- Forge World has a maximum budget of 10,000 credits, the second largest budget allowed of any of the Forge maps in Halo: Reach, Halo 3, or Halo 4
- The maps Riptide, Prison Wall, Horizon, Facing, and Castle were created by Bungie employees, but were not shipped with the game.
- Each Bungie-made map variant is a remake or re-imagining of a multiplayer map from one of the original three Halo games.
- The Halo ring in the skybox does not extend straight up, but bends to one side. This is because the inside of the ring is concave, if it was flat, the centrifugal force caused by the ring's spinning to simulate gravity would cause objects to fall sideways and the artificial atmosphere to become unstable and escape the ring. This implies that Forge World takes place closer to the edge of the ring.
- The structure outside the map is identical to the structures in the Halo: Combat Evolved mission, Halo, as well as the bases in Valhalla. They even send up blue bolts like the ones in Valhalla. Also, the antenna at the top of the structure is a scaled up version of the antenna Forge object.
- Forge World is the only one of five maps in Halo: Reach where players have access to the "structures" objects while Forging. (The Noble Map Pack DLC shipped with Tempest, while the Anniversary Map Pack DLC with Ridgeline/Timberland,Breakneck/Headlong and High Noon/Hang 'em High which include most of Forge World's arsenal of structure.)
- While it is implied that Forge World is located on Installation 04, this may not be the case, since neither Threshold nor Basis can be seen in the sky. However, one could argue that the ring's rotation and position would make it so that Threshold would appear to be "below" the ring. One could also argue that since Basis orbits Threshold and not the ring, it could be behind Threshold.
- To the left of and behind the Coliseum there is a mountain, and the indents and trees around the mountains form what appears to be a gorilla skull.
- The whole of Forge World itself looks similar to the cover art of Halo: Combat Evolved in many ways, including the tower on the right and mountains on the left with the same grassy, rocky landscape and the tilted ring. Strangely enough the sun is even on the same side of the halo.
- Technically the map is not empty, as there are three initial spawn points (red and blue team, along with neutral) in the Coliseum.
- Ling-Ling can be seen in the Halo, right before the Halo gets dark on the right side of the ring.
- Bungie has said that they may decide to put Jurkout/Riptide into matchmaking.
- Bungie has released "Community BTB" (Big Team Battle) as a Halo Reach playlist, with many maps set around the Montana and Alaska area.
- Forge World is the most popular Forge map in Halo: Reach due to the immense amount of maps to be made.
- People have discovered an "Out of Map" glitch by standing on a grid and having a second player fling you. The map will just be random mountains until going into a big blue area and dying. This can be tedious and can take a while. But if positioned just right it can be done. There is no reward for this.
- The approximent size of Forge World is 1,050 meters or 3,444 feet.