The Storm and the Mail Sack

Sep 6, 2013 - Dust

A very wise man once said: “When it rains, it pours.” Or was that a box of salt? No matter. The truth behind those words ring louder than the bells that hang from the top of an ancient German cathedral.

This summer has been a perfect storm of community love. Our sunny season has been bookended by epic adventures. If you haven’t received our message of thanks for following those missions, we’ll begin today’s recap right there.

Much has happened since the last time we hunkered down and sifted through the mail. These past several weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. We went on the offensive overseas, and weathered an invasion right here on our home turf. Many keys have opened many doors.

We’ve crossed borders and cleared every kind of checkpoint. We wore lanyards around our necks and our hearts on our sleeves. We’ve flashed passports, badges, name tags, boarding passes, business cards, federal-issued IDs, personalized t-shirts, backstage passes, itineraries, and hotel cards. Behind each door (with the very obvious exception of the ones that lead to our hotel rooms) we’ve encountered gamers like you. That is what has made our travels worthwhile. That’s been the reward for completing those missions.

It’s been dizzying, and delicious. As the dust from that storm settles, we settle back into a more predictable routine. We can take a moment to exhale the memories that piled up in our jetlagged brains during our travels.

Most importantly, we can open the Sack.

ChorizoTapatio  Did you pick up any cool German phrases while in Germany?

The words for Taxi and Beer were the same. That piece of linguistic trivia propelled most of us through about 90% of the week. I also rote memorized how to pronounce “Nice to meet you,” but I never worked up the nerve to bust it out. Fortunately, the Germans speak our language a lot better than we speak theirs, except for the one of us who speaks it right here on the Bungie Blog.

I picked up ALL the phrases.
Melanie Theisen, Localization Editor (German)

Mehr Bier bitte.
Steve Burnaroos, Facilities Manager

Seems like we speak the same language, Burnaroos.

Spawn  So what's next for the Fallen Statue after Gamescom?

His fate is, at current, unknown. Our Captain didn’t have his papers in order when it came time for extraction, so we left him behind. He’s on the loose in Europe now, and there’s no telling where he’ll go raiding for treasures. We fear the worst.

Keep an eye out for him. He seemed to enjoy posing for photos with thousands of eager gamers. He’s got a real taste for it now. He likes the attention. If we were to hunt him, we’d watch large gatherings of would-be Guardians.

saxels15 I was hoping you could explain how someone who has no friends will be able to find partners to join up in a fire team together?

The answer to this question lies waiting deeper within this site, lone gunman. You’re on, which puts you one click away from a virtual city of Guardians who have already started to follow one another’s movements.

If you need someone to come along on your adventure, look for them here. Introduce yourself. Follow them into their clubhouses. Some of them are already recruiting. The friendships you build now will serve you well later, when you leave our last safe city to explore the occupied territories that sprawl in every direction beyond the protection of the Traveler.

BBreezy819  What's the coolest thing to do in Germany? And now that you're back in the U.S., what's the coolest thing to do in Washington?

The answer to both questions is meeting people from the Bungie Community. These past two weeks have been a target-rich environment. From gamescom to PAX, we’ve had the chance to breathe the same air as thousands of you, and have real quality face-time with hundreds of you.

The more we hear what excited fans have to say, the more a Destiny Community starts to come into focus. People are leading their own conversations about our work in progress. They’re bringing concept art to life with cosplay.

Meeting these people is the coolest thing to do in any country, which is why our Passports are being kept within reach.

Father Franklin  Urk said two things in an interview that I would love to have addressed!
1) Players can combine supers to perform unique actions as a group.
2) He answered to the title of Community Manager, but I thought YOU were the community manager.

Your first question is not linked to said interview. Thus, it is invalid. We don’t comment on rumors.

As for your second question, Guardians are always more powerful when they have someone to back them up. Or is that the answer to both questions?

This community is shaping up to be a real beast. Any hopes of even attempting to “manage” it will rely on a proper Fireteam.

nurseman22  Who was the most interesting person you met in Germany?

All of us met Rixis the Archon Slayer again and again and again. It never got old. We incinerated that four-armed bastard once every twenty minutes for five days. Every single time, he fought his way out of a different corner, threatening to make fools out of us in front of two hundred audience members.

But you’re not asking us that. You’re asking us to pick our favorite person out of this lineup.

I found that impossible, but our panel had some people that stood out in memory.

There wasn´t just one person, but I met several really interesting people at the European Community Meet and Greet. For example the person behind “Desti-nation”(which I have bookmarked because I like the site), or “More Console.” A member of the French community had lived in China for a while, like me, so we got to talk about our experiences there. Good conversations, great people!
Melanie Theisen, Localization Editor (German)

I know him only as Batman, due to the distress signal he left on one of our chairs. Somehow we failed to answer the call.
Brandi House, Production Engineer

DestinyItaly  There will be some sort of squad commands? like "help me" or "attack?"

Whoa, bossypants! Yeah. Thanks to the modern wonders of real time voice chat, you’ll be able to just say things like “help me” or “attack” or “Don’t let that Cabal Centurion flank us, draw your heavy weapon and add them to the dunes!”

gh0st  Working on a potentially revolutionary game must come with a heavy dose of pressure, and maybe even some intimidation. What helps the people at Bungie keep their stress at bay?

I mute fools on the Bungie forum. Feels good, man. If only life offered such control over who could harsh our vibe. Don’t take my meaning that the Bungie forum is full of fools. Like any community, it’s a microcosm for the world that surrounds it. I have succumbed to babbling. This has nothing to do with your question. I don’t even remember your question. Panelists, please rescue me. What did he ask?

Ask me another time when I am not about to beat my computer to death with my monitor.
Rah Green, Sandbox Test Engineer

We have a cabinet in the kitchen labeled “meat.”
Mike Shannon, Senior IT Engineer

Working out on the elliptical, stretching, eating a good... aw, man, I'm totally lying. Beer and video games, mostly.
Annie VanderMeer Mitsoda, Designer

Every night, I cry.
Kevin Yanes, Production Engineer

A cynical attitude and delicious scotch.
Cameron Pinard, Artist

Occasionally some awesome person picks up the phone and orders some tasty food for the crew, or hires someone to hand craft delicious espressos and lattes. To those folks that keep us fed and caffeinated, we owe our lives.
Jason Payne, Raid Tester

Booze. And Candy. More booze though.
Francisco Cruz, Artist

Each week I wonder who will ask the question where “beer” is the answer. This week, gh0st wins the prize.
Daniel Auchenpaugh, Investment Test Lead

We talk about spiders and PAX tickets…nonstop.
Chris Owens, Test Engineer

You don't keep the stress at bay. All that pressure and intimidation is the best thing to steer you away from mediocrity.
Justin Truman, Engineering Lead

Watch out, we got a badass over here!

WarMaster Degan  When will we see the character creation in action?

2014.  At least, that's when you’ll see it first-hand (or, first-person). That’s where it matters the most.

Valiant Outcast  Could you ask the panel when Destiny will release?

I could, not that it will have the desired results. Our panelists are equally brave when it comes to guarding the secrets of Destiny. Check ‘em out. No one here wants to be the spoiler.

Okay, everyone, when will Destiny release?

Coming soon to a console near you.
Rah Green, Sandbox Test Engineer

When it’s ready! Games need a while to simmer, like a good all-day sauce. Too early and it just tastes like tomatoes.
Annie VanderMeer Mitsoda, Designer

Destiny will never release. Release is a transitive verb. Destiny will be released. In 2014.
Tom Slattery, Localization Content Manager

Um, we already released it. Last year. Is this a joke?
Tom Sanocki, Staff Artist

Are we there yet?
Kevin Yanes, Production Engineer

When there are no more arguments on the internet
Daniel Auchenpaugh, Investment Test Lead

Whatever those guys said.
Jake Lauer, Web Development Engineer

Jay Thaler, Senior Engineer

Jen Ash, User Researcher

What’s Destiny?
Mike Shannon, Senior IT Engineer

Right on, Mike. Someone really took their “PAX Survival Guide” to heart.

HuNtErW9  Do you have TM87 (I'll be quite surprised if you get what this means).

Swagger? Yes. We have that. We also have Google for when you try to stump us. The Internet is a powerful ally, if wielded carefully with the right device in your hands.

KingIntheNorth  Without using the word "soon" when we can expect forums on the android version of the app?

Last week. If anyone missed our announcement about updates to the Bungie Mobile App, forums and groups are live for Android. 

Think of your smart phone as your Ghost. A Guardian with the right gear will have a companion to aid them in their quest. What you are seeing now is just the beginning.

Coup de Grace  In your opinion, what is the most fantastic spectacle in Destiny?

This debate will rage eternal. We welcome it. We encourage it. If everyone ever agrees universally on this point, we’ll all go home.

180 degree Nova Bombs. Nothing feels better than raining space magic down on some unsuspecting pursuers.
Kevin Yanes, Production Engineer

The community forming around Destiny is a spectacle that is pretty awesome.
Cameron Pinard, Artist

Seeing the Earth come up over the horizon on the Moon, never knowing what the future may hold. And explosions.
Jason Payne, Raid Tester

Unisaur 64  You mentioned the podcast in the previous sack, implying that you would have an update when you were stateside.

I didn’t imply anything. I dared you to ask me again, and you have. Thank you. The Podcast is making a comeback.  Urk is even casting the panel on Twitter.

Editor’s Note: With a little bit of help, we’ve located the necessary equipment, and scored a sound proof room. I wanted to book the first go this week, but things got nuts. That’s good and bad news for you. It means the podcast will have to wait just a little while longer, but it also means that something more substantial is in the works.

Sit tight.Urk

Hylebos  Excited for PAX?

We were so excited for PAX that the Mail Sack wasn’t even delivered last week. PAX is a force magical enough to interrupt any routine. In terms of life in Seattle, for the people who live it and the people who wonder about it from afar, PAX is a magical and blatant lie. The weather tends to be perfectly beautiful, and our fair city is invaded by gamers for a celebration of that which they love most. If you’re downtown, there’s a cosplayer on every corner and a lanyard around every neck. It’s like going away to college, only every class offers a graduate-level thesis on achievement hunting, and every student is a total nerd (in the good way that makes you glow with kinship). It’s glorious.

Don’t get me wrong about Seattle.  It’s pretty easy to find game-friendly individuals in this tech-friendly town.  But PAX is when we rule! Our panelists like it too, as they all attested when this question was originally asked.

I never miss it. It’s my favorite show of the year.
Josh Eash, Release Manager

Ef yeah!
Rah Green, Sandbox Test Engineer

I am! I'm even going to be on a panel! I should be nervous, but… beer and video games!
Annie VanderMeer Mitsoda, Designer

Justin Truman, Engineering Lead

I’ll be the one wearing a t-shirt and jeans, so I’ll be easy to spot.
Troy McFarland, Staff Artist

EXPOnentially so, yes. 
Leland Dantzler, Matchmaking Embedded Tester

DANTHEBOSSMAN  Do you have a spare Destiny Trading card set from GamesCom? I would really like a pack, cheers.

We have a few left. They’re in German, because (you know) they were minted to be passed out in Germany. Still want? For the immediate future, in terms of loot drops, cards are the new posters. These will be exceedingly rare someday. And more are on the way.

If you want to collect this first-run, you’ll need to earn them. Exotic loot always requires a mission of bravery. We’ll be giving some out on twitter next week. Keep an eye on us on Monday. That will also be a good chance for you to take a shot at the next Mail Sack. 

It’s good to be home. Any great adventure should return a Guardian safely to the Tower. Now that we’re settled back in, we’ll talk to you again soon. And again soon after that.
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