Dusting off the bounty book

Apr 5, 2018 - A_dmg04

This week at Bungie, there was a bit of Mayhem in our studio.

In a ritual as old as the Crucible, a bounty was placed on the heads of a Bungie Fireteam – this time, in the Mayhem playlist. If the community managed to defeat us, they would earn the Sign of Mutual Combat emblem. Somehow, we didn’t do that bad!

Bungie Wins: 9
Losses: 5

The air was supercharged for the duration of our two-hour stream. I learned how to play a Warlock and Cozmo did his Hunter thing. Twenty of you earned your prize. As for the rest, better luck next time.

Throughout the carnage, Sandbox Design Lead Josh Hamrick and Senior Crucible Designer Kevin Yanes answered questions sourced directly from the community. If you missed the stream (or want to revisit the developer commentary on the hot-button issues), read on for details.

Queue and Answer

Josh: We know this is one of the big items the community would like to see. We’re already coming at it from a few different angles. With Update 1.1.4, we wanted Guardians to feel more powerful and to get more chances to showcase that power. These changes included making weapons more lethal. The next big Sandbox update comes with Season 3 as we buff a good chunk of the Exotic weapons. These changes will be a direct response to “Exotics don’t feel Exotic enough.” Some of these weapons are getting damage buffs that can have a direct impact on the average TTK of an encounter.

Josh: While we will continue to adjust the Sandbox, we are not planning an outright nerf to Vigilance Wing at this time. We don’t believe slowing Vigilance Wing’s TTK in a world where our players are asking for a faster TTK is the right call. Instead, we should be adjusting more weapons up to a level where they can compete. I believe you’ll find a few retuned Exotics that can do that in the Season 3 Exotic update.

DeeJ: We will be back on stream later this month to talk about the next content updates for Destiny 2. We’ll show you where you’re going next, who you’ll meet when you get there, how you’ll share new activities with your friends, and what you’ll be able to chase in the Crucible to prove your prowess.

Kevin: With Seasonal Crucible Ranks, we’re looking to serve many goals. Most important to players like me, something to chase or something to set goals for every season. There is a reason to play, and there is a reason to perform in the Crucible. You’ll earn unique rewards for things like time commitment or performance. I’ll be back on a future stream to talk more about the ranking system, Valor, and Glory.

Josh: We know that you want more control over your loadouts. You can expect weapon slot changes in the future of Destiny 2. We are actively working on a new system right now and we will have more to show and tell this summer.

Josh: At any given moment, we are working on numerous Sandbox updates that follow the same pipeline. First, we set goals for what we want to accomplish with any given update. For example, the purpose of 1.1.4 was to directly affect the pace of combat and to allow for more powerful and heroic moments. In Season 3, we’ll be delivering a round of Exotic weapon tuning intended to make them feel more exotic. With our goals defined, we make the changes, playtest, and iterate for as long as we can. Destiny is a huge game with tons of different areas that may be affected in different ways (positive or negative) from any given change we may make. Our test team also plays them with us and helps us hunt for anything that we may have broken. Finally, those changes have to get packaged up into an update and certify those builds with each of our platforms before they finally roll out to you. 

Kevin: It’s all priority. We have many releases, but we have a finite number of people on the team. For us, it’s all about prioritizing what we can get done and when we can get it done. So, in some cases (like weapon slots) – that’s going to take a long time. The bigger the change, the more focus and people are required to get it shipped.

DeeJ: On the community team, we are always looking for new ways to get designers socializing with players. Moments like the Bungie Bounty are a good chance to swap some chatter. You can expect to see them quoted on the blog whenever their work is in a place where they can go on record. Last week, we sat Josh down to talk to us about his motivations for Update 1.1.4. We also help you find them online so you can follow their dialogue about their day to day.

Josh: You’ve been seeing a hearing from me a good bit lately. I hope that my candor helps show that we are serious about our commitment to communicate more clearly and more often with you. If you need EVEN more, look for me on Twitter @Josh_Hamrick or Kevin at @Tocom11.

Kevin: We’ve heard the feedback that the community wants more involvement, or at least more of a conversation. We’re actively looking at ways to do that, with this stream, and even in game. We know there is a big desire for testing builds early, and that’s something we’re thinking more about.

Josh: I’m no Investment Designer but I can tell you that we, as a team, know that you want more reasons to play. We know you want to be excited about the possibility of any given drop again. We know you want to look forward to hopping on night after night for a shot at something you want to get your hands on and that you look forward to the adrenaline rush when it finally happens. We are actively working to get there, together. We’ll talk more about our plans when they are in a playable state that we think is stable.

Josh: Yes, to some of these. From my desk, right now, I can look around and see new hotness on several people’s screens. We’ll be showing off a lot of this stuff in the months to come.

Kevin: The biggest driver of that conversation was trying to improve matchmaking times and connection quality. Additionally, it allows us to better supply certain moods. As you’ve seen with 1.1.4, we’ve reinforced those moods. Quickplay is now delivering the 4v4 low intensity that we intended for that playlist. Competitive is now driving further the 4v4 high intensity. The biggest driver is connection quality and connection times. More people in the pool means more good connections.

In May, Private Matches are coming. At any point when you want to get a game of Control together, you can do that. In terms of players asking to “make Rumble permanent,” we’ve absolutely heard that feedback. To be more specific, we’ve heard that, we understand that, and we’ve been having conversations every day since the launch of 1.1.4 about that. Hopefully we’ll have more to say soon.

Josh: Destiny 1 and Destiny 2 are two unique and helpful data points. Neither game is perfect. Both have plenty of room for improvement. It’s hugely helpful to be able to directly compare and contrast the two and see what worked and what didn’t. Ultimately the goal is just to make Destiny 2 be the best Destiny we’ve ever made.

Josh: Our goal with 1.1.4 was to get back to more of the Destiny 1 style of movement, especially the movement you’re working with mid combat. Sprint speeds weren’t changed for D2 and therefore it wasn’t crazy high priority to hit those. That being said, we called it the “Go Fast” update for a reason and it was absolutely one of the potential changes to test with on our list. As we dug into making changes to it we ran into some technical challenges that kept it from being possible to get up in time to test with. It’s something we will continue to consider in the future though. What I can tell you is we buffed standard movement quite a bit.  

Fun Fact: Any Mobility value over 5, after 1.1.4, is faster than max Mobility base speed values in D1.
We also returned (increased) Air Acceleration back to its D1 values, as well.

We thank all who took the time to send questions in. This won’t be the last Bungie Bounty, not by a long shot. Cozmo and I are putting our heads together to figure out a time, place, and topic for our next bout. We’ll be in touch. Catch us if you can.

Oh, and we did have some emblems to pass out. If you bested us, check your Emblem Collection for your reward. Thanks to all who faced us in battle. If you’d like to watch the bounty stream, it has been archived at Twitch.tv/Bungie.

1.1.4 Retrospective: Weekly Crucible Playlists

Last week, Update 1.1.4 introduced the Weekly Crucible Playlist. For the first game type, Rumble served up some 8-player free-for-all combat where players had to watch their own backs, because no one else would. Monitoring feedback throughout the week, we noted quite a few players reporting that the mode felt a bit crowded. We tracked down PvP Design Lead Derek Carroll to give us some details on the goals of the Weekly Crucible Playlist, and what we can expect moving forward.

Derek: With a week's worth of Update 1.1.4 in the wild, the PvP team can take a step back and see how we did.

One thing we like about the new rotating weekly playlist is that it gives us the ability to add things and make changes without shaking up the core of the Crucible. We'll be using that playlist to try out new modes and events in the future.

Rumble came to Destiny 2 in a big way, and depending on your tastes, you may have found it too big. We tend to agree, so the next time Rumble rolls around, you'll find a bit more room to breathe. We're lowering the player-count to 6, and altering the spawning policy behind the scenes in an attempt to keep players more evenly spaced out. These changes are the first steps towards an even better player experience that we expect to drop when Season 3 begins.

Iron Banner's next appearance is an exciting one for us. In conjunction with the Sandbox tweaks, we made changes to the version of Control you've been playing in Destiny 2 to increase intensity and give players more choices during gameplay. Right off the bat, you'll see that there are no zones held by either team at match-start. With six players on each team, you’ll have more flexibility to decide your opening moves. Once you're capturing, you'll notice that the more players you have (up to 3) in a zone, the faster it switches sides. There's risk/reward here, as Supers are more prevalent in version 1.1.4, and you don't want to be caught with all your eggs in one basket. If you participate in a capture, you'll get more Super energy yourself, so grabbing zones is a great way to power up for your next big play.

Until the Banner is lit next week, please enjoy the utter chaos of Mayhem, now with 25% more Super-powered insanity.

Feedback collection doesn’t stop here. As you play your way through Mayhem, continue to give us your thoughts! Cozmo and I are on the front lines, translating your feedback to the development team as it comes in. We’ll be at the ready to collect more of your thoughts and feedback next week, when Iron Banner 6v6 goes live.

Speaking of...

UPDATE - 4/6/18: Iron Banner 6v6 is being postponed due to a late-breaking issue. Next week, Rumble will go live in its place while we work on a fix. Iron Banner will return as soon as we can deploy a fix. For more information, see this post.

With Update 1.1.4, Iron Banner now features 6v6 action. All Season 2 Iron Banner weapons will be available from Lord Saladin through either Reward Packages, or direct purchase using Iron Banner Tokens.

Begins: 4/17/18 10 AM
Ends: 4/24/18 10 AM

The game is Control!

With 6 enemies to choose from, you may find more opportunities to earn progress towards your Season 2 ornaments. Good luck out there.

Rare Air

If you follow the conversation that ricochets between the leaders of the Destiny community (and why wouldn’t you?) you may have heard that we invited some of them to visit our studio. Later on this month, we’re hosting a Community Summit, right here at Bungie. Now that our guests have had a chance to break the story, we want to let you know what this moment means to us.

DeeJ: Our goals for this gathering are to get people from the community more involved in the way we make games, and to do that sooner in the creative process. We’ll be previewing some of the things we’re working on to gather feedback before they’re locked. Our guests will also play some things that you’ll get your hands on in the coming weeks. We’ve hosted community ambassadors before to see and capture new content, but this ain’t DRE (the Destiny Reveal Event). This gathering is more intimate and more tactical.

It must be said that it would be absolutely impossible to invite every single person in our community who is insightful or influential. The guest list is not a measure of who is important or who is relevant. For this gathering, we tried to select a good cross-section to represent all kinds of Guardians. Some of them are familiar faces. Others are new voices that we want to know better. Some of them are leaders with large constituencies. Others are solo players we have come to know with strong opinions. We’ve targeted the hardcore elite who have mastered every challenge and the average players with a deep love for the game. We’ve invited cooperative raiders, competitive warriors, lore lovers, and a high-school principal to make sure they all get along.

This is a new step we’re taking to be more collaborative, more transparent, and a little less worried about keeping secrets. This is not the first time we’ve welcomed players to see where we work and meet the people who make our games. It won’t be the last.

We’ll Do it Live

With Update 1.1.4 safely landed, Destiny Player Support has been on watch to identify trending issues reported by the community. Here’s a roundup of what’s surfaced in the last week and a half:

1.1.4 Known Issues
  • At the release of Destiny Update 1.1.4, we encountered reports from players stating that Mercury Challenges were not appearing properly when players were loading into the destination. We are continuing to investigate these reports, but some players have noted that Challenges began to appear after the daily reset.
  • Similar to Destiny Update 1.1.3, we also encountered reports that modifiers were not appearing correctly for Heroic Mercury adventures. This seems to have been resolved after the daily reset as well, but we are still investigating the root cause of this issue.
  • We are monitoring player reports of an issue impacting some players where the Emissary does not grant a reward package upon winning games in Trials of the Nine. Please post in #Help if you experience this issue, as we are attempting to identify more accounts that have entered this state for investigation purposes.

Hotfix Maintenance and Downtime
On Tuesday, April 10, Destiny 2 Hotfix will be deployed to address Tower and Raid blackscreen issues. Additionally, Rumble player count will be reduced to 6 total players.
There will be a short period of maintenance before this hotfix becomes available. For times, please see below:

  • 9 AM PDT (1600 UTC)
    • Destiny 2 server maintenance is scheduled to begin
    • Players may no longer sign in to Destiny 2 services
  • 10 AM PDT (1700 UTC)
    • Players still in Destiny 2 activities will be returned to the title screen
  • 11 AM PDT (1800 UTC)
    • Destiny 2 server maintenance is scheduled to conclude
    • Destiny 2 Hotfix will be available to download and install
    • Iron Banner will begin as soon as maintenance concludes

If you encounter any issues once the maintenance period has completed, please post a report to the #Help forum detailing your experience.

The Perfect Shot(s)

This week, we’re putting the spotlight on someone who’s taken it upon themselves to not only apply a massive handicap during a Prestige Nightfall, but also opted to take the whole thing on by themselves. If you’ve been wondering “how does the Arcstrider feel after Update 1.1.4?” – tune in to find out:

Winner: Solo Brakion

Honorable Mention: Boop

Honorable Mention: Hellfire

If you’d like a chance to earn the Lens of Fate emblem, make sure to submit your video to the Creations page on Bungie.net and include #MOTW in your title.

Next week, we’ll be updating the Developer Roadmap to address some of the topics discussed during the bounty stream. Our forecast will be extended into the summer (and beyond) to give an idea of what is to be expected as we continue to evolve the Destiny 2 experience.

Before we go, a quick shout out to the top-scoring players from last week’s Nightfall. We’re watching the scores climb higher and higher while players hit Lost Sectors during their activity – but this strategy will only last until 1.2.0. Ge those points while they’re hot!

As always, thanks for playing, and we’ll see you next week.


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