This Week At Bungie – 4/18/2018

Apr 18, 2018 - Cozmo_BNG

This week at Bungie, we unleashed teams of six into Iron Banner.

We have a lot to cover. Iron Banner 6v6 is in full swing. Exotic weapon previews have been dropping like loot. We’re following that up with some important info on Power progression and reward changes coming in Season 3. On top of all this, we’re having special guests in the building to give us valuable feedback.

Let’s get to it.

Crucible Recap

Last week, we postponed Iron Banner while we worked out an issue. In its place, we rolled out a six-player version of Rumble based on player feedback. Here is PvP Design Lead Derek Carroll with more info on the state of combat between Guardians. 

Derek: How did six-player Rumble treat you? We heard your comments and took action when the eight-player version got too big for its cage, and we hope our work paid off. There are additional map-specific spawning fixes that will be present in the next update, so keep the feedback coming!

By the time you read this, Iron Banner will be well underway. As with everything we do in the Crucible, the true test is when players experience it out in the wild. Once you've felt how it plays, we'd love to hear your thoughts. Meet me here in a week or so?

As you may have read last week, we are changing the way Crucible playlists work when Season 3 launches alongside the new expansion, Warmind. Beginning on May 8, all Destiny 2 players will be able to compete on any of the Crucible maps we put in our match-made playlists. (Platform timed-exclusive content will still be limited to that platform, but everything else is fair game.) We believe this is a big win for everyone, since players will no longer need to choose between playing in a limited DLC playlist to see "the new stuff" and playing in a mainstream playlist to get the largest pool of opponents and maps. More fun for everyone!

Weapon Showcase

A few weeks ago, we gave you a preview of upcoming changes to Sturm and Drang. Telling you what changes are coming is important, but the old saying holds true: “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Back in February, we told you a few things we had planned for Graviton Lance. Earlier this week, we showed off those changes in action. 

Those poor, poor Fallen. That wasn’t the only video we teased out this week. You also got a glimpse of what Skyburner’s Oath will be capable of in Season 3. Now that we have shown you, here is Senior Designer Jon Weisnewski to tell you more about what is changing about those weapons and another you haven’t seen yet.

Jon: Hello. For some bizarre reason Cozmo asked me to come back and waste some more space on the TWAB. So here I am bloating the internet tubes with more bits and gigawatts. What does that mean for you? Another update on the Exotic weapon tuning headed your way this May. 

Today, we’ll talk about two guns: Skyburner’s Oath and Rat King.

A while back, I talked about Graviton Lance and how one of the main areas to improve was the lack of utility within a pretty successful show of spectacle. Skyburner’s Oath almost has the opposite problem: It’s a comparatively strong weapon, effective at multiple ranges, strong in ADS and from hip, with varying fire rates. However, it lacks spectacle to give it that exotic feeling; it kind of plays just like any other gun. To address this, we started with giving the projectiles explosive rounds as their default impact response. In ADS, the weapon will perform the same. Full auto, slow firing, high impact. 

When firing from the hip, Skyburner’s Oath now lobs slower projectiles at a faster rate of fire that tracks targets and explodes. The tracking functionality tends to draw projectiles to center mass rather than to precision regions, so we reduced the precision scalar a bit and increased damage to the body (precision hits still do bonus damage; and overall DPS is increased). The end result is a dual utility weapon that fires hit-scan, high-damage projectiles while aiming down sights and rapid-fire, lobbed, exploding, tracking projectiles from the hip. It almost feels like a rapid-fire grenade launcher that can transition to a precision death dealer with the press of a button. Here it is in action.

Next up is Rat King, which already has something of a fan base, but definitely has room to improve. Of the stats that improve with more fireteam members running Rat King, the strongest is probably the increased rate of fire. Unfortunately, the DPS potential is hard to realize because some people just can’t physically pull the trigger fast enough to cash in on this benefit (or don’t know to try). To make sure this is both felt and used, we made Rat King full auto to ensure the rate of fire increase can make a difference when running in a pack. 

Another pain point was that the restriction of having Rat Pack only activate when allies have Rat Kings equipped in-hand felt a bit too situational. Rat Pack perk now triggers when fireteam members have Rat King slotted as their kinetic weapon, stowed or in hand. We also front-loaded the stat benefits of Rat Pack so they increase a bit more drastically with one or two fireteam members—and upped the base invisibility timer of Vermin to seven seconds. Last but not least, and not to overly tease, but why not, I’m gonna tease: the Masterwork upgrade for Rat King is going to put a tasty garnish on this meal you won’t want to miss out on. 

It’s never a waste of space to have Newsk stop by to share what weapon changes he’s currently working on. Maybe we can convince him to come back next week to tell us about some more Exotics we are buffing up for Season 3. 

Power Climb

We have received a lot of feedback on rewards, Power, and how you want your actions to be more meaningful in determining how your character performs in the world of Destiny 2. We’re planning some adjustments based on this feedback, and Senior Designer Daniel Auchenpaugh is here to give you the details. 

Daniel: Last time I was here, I talked about our adjustments to the Raid rewards. This time, I want to talk about some more broad changes we’re making to the reward structure of Destiny 2. One of the things we did when Destiny 2 launched was make the climb to the power cap fast and easy for everyone. It didn't matter who you were or what your play style was; the road to the cap was quick and accessible for everyone. The result was that achieving the cap felt less satisfying: It was easy, and there weren’t any activities that dared to require it.

So, with the release of Destiny 2 Expansion II: Warmind, we’re making some changes to the size and frequency of upgrades. These changes will apply to all of Destiny 2—not just the Warmind endgame content. Our goals with this change are to bring back meaning and accomplishment to achieving the Power cap, to give players a sense of progression when they come back to play each week, and to reward players who engage in a broader scope of the Destiny 2 endgame content. We’ve made an effort to de-emphasize grinding public events for Exotics and to reduce the impact of clan engrams on endgame progression.

Before we get into specifics, I want to define a couple terms so we’re on common ground. Soft cap is the point you can climb to easily via drops from any source. The hard cap is the power level you can obtain from weekly reward sources. The soft cap for Warmind is 340, and the hard cap is 380. These numbers don’t consider any +5 mods. Remember that all drops are calculated using your Best Possible Power, regardless of if you have the gear equipped or not. It can even be in the vault or on another character!

Our target is that players who participate in all the weekly activities should take several weeks to reach the hard cap. Raids/Trials grant the largest increases, clan engrams provide very small increases, and the other weekly sources fall between those two. Players who don't participate in any group weekly activities are unlikely to hit the hard cap before the next release; dedicated omnivore players will hit it before players that just play Raids or Trials exclusively. Additionally, the final 10 points from 370 to 380 will be significantly slower than 340 to 370; we expect it to take players roughly equal time to go from 340 to 370 as from 370 to 380. We decided to make this change because climbing to 370 allows you to tackle endgame content without suffering a severe under level penalty, but creates a significant accomplishment in achieving 380.

Clan engrams offer excellent upgrades while a player is climbing to the soft cap; they should grant awards an average of 15 Power higher than your current best possible while you're on the way there. This will help players catch up with their clanmates who are completing weekly activities. Once you’ve achieved the soft cap, your progress is going to rely a lot more on your own achievements; clan engrams above the soft cap will grant gear only 0–2 points above your best possible. 

In an effort to combat exploits around creating new characters to take advantage of one-time quest rewards, we've decided to limit those rewards to the soft cap for the release they first appeared in. This means Destiny 2 launch quests cap at 260 (before mods), Curse of Osiris caps at 300, and Warmind caps at 340. To compensate for their new caps, they'll give you a large boost (15 Power) when you earn them as long as you’re below that cap. Farming Exotics to increase your Power has been removed; if they drop from a non-weekly source, they'll come out of the engram at the same Power as a Legendary would after you've gotten to the soft cap. We believe the changes to quest rewards and Exotic farming will ensure the most effective way to reach the Power cap is to play the most challenges and social weekly activities.

Thanks for hanging in there through this long explanation. Please let us know any feedback you have about this new way forward for Destiny 2 rewards. We’re going to carefully monitor feedback from this post and our early data after Warmind launches to guide any changes we might make to this in the future. So if you love it, let us know! If you hate it, let us know that too!

High Altitude

The guy who used to write these “weekly blog addresses” (those are his words—he apparently hates the term “TWAB”) wants to hog the mic for just a minute to share some final thoughts on the Community Summit that’s happening tomorrow and Friday at Bungie.

DeeJ: Thanks, Cozmo.

Thursday and Friday, we'll be honored and humbled to host a small but insightful sampling of the community here in our studio. They’ll be here to give us their opinions on our goals and our plans. Some of them you know. Some of them we know. We want you to know that this is not the only way we’re gathering feedback about Destiny 2, and these are not the only people we’re listening to about the game. This summit will be about collaboration. Our best conversations will be about the future. This isn’t a marketing event. There will be no reveals this week. We’re not streaming while they’re here. They won’t have a wealth of news to report once our time together is over. They’ll be welcome to report on the mood from the gathering and to tell you what they told us. We’d ask you not to press them for promises on what the state of Destiny 2 will be in the months to come. That work will still fall to us, and there is still plenty of time for those things to find their final form. Next week, if they want to, they'll share some of their own content from the next expansion. For this week, we wanted to give them a seat at our table.

Back to you, Cozmo.

Helpful Hands

Whether its plants, animals, or other oddly named error codes, the Destiny Player Support has the information you need to diagnose any issues you come across in the wild.  

This is their report.

Iron Banner Updated
This week marks the first arrival of 6v6 Iron Banner, and is the first Iron Banner post-Update 1.1.4. Listed below are changes that players can expect to see in this playlist, as outlined in the Update 1.1.4 Patch Notes:
  • Now features 6v6
  • Time limit is 12 minutes
  • Score limit is 125 points
  • Respawn time is 7 seconds
  • All Control Zones start off neutral
  • Additional Guardians (max of 3) in a zone increases capture speed
  • Emperor’s Respite has been removed from the Iron Banner Control playlist
  • Power ammo
    • Recurring side crate respawn times reduced from 90 seconds to 45 seconds
    • Initial side crate respawn times reduced from 90 seconds to 30 seconds

Additionally, all Season 2 Iron Banner weapons will be available from Lord Saladin through either Reward Packages, or direct purchase using Iron Banner Tokens. For more information regarding Iron Banner, players should visit our Iron Banner Guide.

Error Codes
We are still investigating an increase in reports of CABBAGE, COCONUT, CURRANT, LETTUCE, and RABBIT error codes.

We have implemented a fix that should resolve most instances of ZEBRA error codes. Players with a poor connection quality or below minimum spec PC hardware may continue to encounter this error code.

Players who encounter these errors should try relaunching into their activity. Players who repeatedly encounter these error codes should report them to the #Help forum.

Put the Bunny Back in the Box

Get ‘em while they’re hot. We got fresh new movies for you to consume. In case you don’t know how this works, we pick our favorite videos each week and send the creators a special emblem. If you want your shot, send your video to the Creations page. Make sure to put all player names who worked on the video in the description so we know who to send the rewards to.

Here are this week’s winners.

Movie of the Week: New World

Honorable Mention: Yoga Flame!

Before we go, here are last week’s Nightfall scores. 

You just read over 2,400 words of knowledge. How you feeling? We have more lined up for you next week during the stream. Join us April 24 at 10 a.m. PDT on Twitch to see Warmind and Season 3. 

In the meantime, I’ll be playing some Iron Banner 6v6 and finishing up some ornaments. I’ll see you out there. 

<3 Cozmo

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