This Week At Bungie – 9/24/2020

Sep 24, 2020 - A_dmg04

This week at Bungie, the weather is changing…

You feel that? The slight chill in the air? It’s time to prepare for a colder climate, Guardians. Europa has no sympathy for unprepared guests. You might want to come with a weapon or two, because frigid storms aren’t the only danger to be found here. Don’t be afraid, though. An old friend will be waiting for your arrival.

The weather may be brutal, but that won’t stop you from exploring this frontier. Take a look at the map of Europa, and be sure to check out our most recent weather forecast.

Europa Report: 100% Chance of Snow

You now have less than seven weeks to get ready. Don’t get caught out in the cold without a plan. November 10 is coming quick, and we’re eager to see how long you survive.

It’s a Pass… for Games!

Earlier this week, Forsaken and Shadowkeep became available on Xbox Game Pass. With Beyond Light on the way, there’s no better time to gear up and get acquainted with what’s going on in the world of Destiny. 

A few housekeeping notes for Guardians who are being freshly rez’d in the Cosmodrome:
  • You’ll need to download Destiny 2, Forsaken, and Shadowkeep to access this content.
      • Without Destiny 2, you can’t launch the game.
  • For new Guardians joining our ranks through Xbox Game Pass, we have a Help Article specifically for you.
      • Our help forums are also available at any time if you hit a snag on your way to the Tower.
  • If you encounter any issues accessing game content or Xbox related services, please refer to Xbox Support.

Eyes up, Guardians. Welcome to the community.

Ye Olde Banner of Iron

A few weeks back, we announced the extension of Season of Arrivals, noting that we’d be adding a few fun things between September 22 and the new November 10 launch date of Beyond Light. First, we featured some Double Ordeal loot on Lake of Shadows. This week, Drifter has been upping the ante with Triple Infamy. Next week, Lord Saladin returns with Triple Valor, themed weapons and armor, and his Pinnacle Power bounty rewards.

Don’t go in thinking it will be easy to snag some loot, though. Control is the name of the game, and Power is enabled. If you haven’t risen through the Pinnacle band yet, you may find yourself facing a raid boss or two on the other team.

Iron Banner
Starts: 9/29/2020 10:00 AM PT
Ends: 10/6/2020 10:00 AM PT

There will be a few more weeks with increased rewards for Vanguard, Crucible, and Gambit, so stay tuned for announcements!

Talking Tech – Preparing for Beyond Light

With Beyond Light on fast approach, it’s time to shift our TWAB gears a little. Today, we’ll be talking through some of the back-end changes that will be coming to Destiny 2 on November 10. To guide us through this process, we’re passing the mic to Destiny Engineering Director David Aldridge.

DAldridge:  When Destiny 2 launched three years ago, we had no idea that in 2020 we’d announce a new trilogy of expansions (among other 2020 surprises we didn’t anticipate).  At the time, we thought Destiny 2’s arc would look a lot more like Destiny 1 – a couple of expansions, and then a sequel.   
We learned many lessons from the transition to Destiny 2, and from shipping Curse of Osiris, Warmind, Forsaken, the Year-2 Seasons, and Shadowkeep. When we evaluated those lessons, we decided not to pursue a Destiny 3, but instead to reinvest everything in Destiny 2 and make it all that it can be (check out our longer writeup on this choice here). To support that strategy, we’ve made several tech investments to help us sustainably evolve the game for years to come, and some of those investments are arriving in Beyond Light. 

Many of these changes are under the hood and won’t affect your experience (except insofar as they help us deliver you more and better Destiny in the future), but some may result in neat improvements, curious behavior differences, or bugs. This means that, on November 10, some places and things will feel a little like Sliders (only 90s kids will get this), so we’d like to give you a rundown of some of the changes and possible side effects. 

We shifted our mission scripting model to run on the Physics Host instead of the Mission Host (more details on this split here, in the interview with Matt Segur). In the long run this change will give designers options to create more novel mission mechanics by giving the mission scripting environment full access to the game state, instead of the much more limited access the Mission Host had. For example, the Physics Host knows exactly where enemy combatants are and what actions they recently performed – while the Mission Host only knew how many combatants were alive in a squad and what that squad was generally trying to accomplish. In Beyond Light we’re only launching the foundations of this system, and we look forward to evolving and leveraging it in the future.
    • What you might notice:  
        • The new scripting environment changed many behaviors in complex ways, and you may see interesting behavior changes or bugs in pre-Beyond-Light missions (and public events, and similar) that were originally built and tested on the previous system.  We’ve tested these missions heavily and stamped out many bugs, but some will undoubtedly slip through. We’ll be monitoring and fixing remaining bugs over time. In some cases, these issues were more severe – for example, they caused the Prophecy dungeon to be unavailable temporarily. We’re all excited for its triumphant return, slated for the end of this year!
        • One other cool new feature in this area is face-to-face joins in social spaces, so you can now fireteam up with Tower friends without a long Tower reload!

We revamped our content building and patching pipeline for speed and install size. With the tremendous size of Destiny, our complete shippable content builds were frequently taking north of 24 hours. We made investments to bring that down to sub-12 hours, which resulted in a bunch of changes to our content and patching formats. We also took on work to allow us to cull content that we’ve upgraded or replaced – our previous patching system had limited capabilities here (due to trying to minimize patch sizes and other constraints), and the current Destiny 2 install has a significant amount of accreted ‘dead’ content (e.g. assets in the base install that were replaced in later patches).   
    • What you might notice: 
        • Due to all these changes, Beyond Light will be a full re-download on all platforms – we know this will be painful for those with slower or metered internet connections, and we’re sorry about that. To help mitigate this, we’re planning to enable Beyond Light preloads sometime in the evening of November 9, Pacific Time, which should give everyone at least 10 hours to download before the gates open. 
        • Destiny 2's install size shrinks by 30-40%: Due to a combination of culling unused or replaced content, install size optimizations, and moving some content to the Destiny Content Vault, Destiny 2’s install size will shrink to between 59 and 71GB (depending on platform), a reduction of 30 to 40%. These improvements should also help us control install size better in the coming years.   
        • We hope to use these much faster builds to accomplish two things: 
            • Help us ship mission-critical fixes faster when game-breaking bugs arise. 
            • Reduce our overall ship pipeline depth, enabling us to work on Destiny releases closer to their ship dates, so we can react to fresher information about what’s happening in the live game. For example, historically each of our Seasons has had to get deep into production before the preceding season launched, preventing us from reacting to learnings from that preceding season. These tech improvements should give us 1-2 more weeks of flexibility on a Seasonal scale, helping us pivot more quickly in some cases.

We rebuilt our character face system. We know that how your Guardians look is important to you, and we’ve long wanted to add more player customization to Destiny. Our original system for player faces had some combinatoric content authoring problems – for example, every decal had to be authored completely custom for each player face permutation. This prevented us from extending this area of the game with more content and features. We’ve upgraded to a significantly more capable system (with e.g. runtime decal projection), which we hope to leverage for more player customization options in the future. As part of this process we reviewed the existing player models with our Diversity Committee and Employee Resource Groups in the studio to make small tweaks to existing player heads. We’re also building a list of Guardian face shapes we should bring to the game in the future in order to increase Guardian diversity in Destiny, with the long-term goal of enabling everyone to imagine themselves as their Guardian. 
    • What you might notice:
        • Your Guardian’s face may look a bit different. 

We relit portions of EDZ and Nessus. During the early stages of Beyond Light production the Lighting and Skies teams had a desire to provide a visual refresh to the two remaining D2 Year 1 destinations, EDZ and Nessus, as they enter their fourth year in rotation. To that end, the teams performed relights and global lighting updates to a number of locations on both destinations.  
    • What you might notice:
        • Different lighting on existing destinations! The changes are intentional and are meant to bring the visual quality of these spaces up to our current lighting standards, while providing a fresh coat of paint for some of our Year 1 locations. We hope you enjoy these updates to some familiar locations when you explore EDZ and Nessus this November.

We’re excited to leverage these improvements to redouble our efforts on Destiny 2, and we aim to make Destiny 2 still feel like your home away from home. 
-David Aldridge

P.S. Congratulations on making it to the end of this long and nerdy love letter. If your passion for all things Destiny Tech is not yet spent, you may enjoy the Reddit AMA that Destiny Engineering Manager Chris Kosanovich and I did a couple months ago!

Did You Say… More Emblems???

Beyond Light isn’t just bringing Europa to the fold. It’s also bringing many, many pieces of loot. This year, we’re refreshing a few Community emblems for you to hunt. Whether it be Fashion, Art, Movie of the Week, or the Bungie Bounty, we have some new swag to hopefully catch your eye. I’m personally giddy that we have seven total Community Emblems to show off. There’s just something about that number that we love so much…

Fashion Show

Featured Artist

Movie of the Week

Bungie Bounty

Shadowkeep variants for each emblem will be available through November 10. There will be a few final chances to earn them before the new hotness becomes available. Stay tuned!

We’d also like to take a moment to celebrate our Community Volunteers. If you’ve ever visited the help forum, you may have noticed some members answering questions and linking players to general help articles and Bungie-authored troubleshooting methods. These are the Mentors, the “white gloves” of our community, dedicated to lending a helping hand to any player trying to get back into the game.

Our Moderators, however, are referred to as Ninjas. They work in the shadows, removing bad actors from our forums whenever the Code of Conduct is broken. You may see one every so often in the forums replying to threads, but their work is behind the scenes.

As of late, we’ve also been receiving some help from community moderators during Bungie livestreams. Whether they be Bungie Bounties, charity initiatives, or whatever reason we decide to broadcast, these individuals are helping to keep chat a bit cleaner. Join us in welcoming Shields to the fold of our community moderation teams.

Each volunteer group will be receiving a new emblem this year. While it might seem like a minor gesture, we hope that you join us in giving them thanks whenever you see these emblems in the wild.




If you’re wondering “How do I become a volunteer?”, our members are all community sourced. If we see you helping out in the forums frequently or just having a good time in chat while upholding our Code, we may reach out to see if you’d like to join up! That said, don’t do it for the emblem. Do it out of the kindness of your heart and for the betterment of our community. The emblem is just a little treat.

Support Specialists

This week was a fun one. A new Hotfix arrived at our door, and Xbox Game Pass kicked off in spectacular fashion. Destiny Player Support is here with vital information on what issues have been found, and what troubleshooting methods are available.

This is their report.


Earlier this week, Destiny 2: Forsaken and Destiny 2: Shadowkeep became available for Xbox Game Pass subscribers to download and play through Game Pass. Xbox Game Pass members will continue to be able to access these Destiny 2 expansions if their Game Pass membership is maintained. For more information, please visit our Destiny 2 on Xbox Game Pass guide.


Below is a list of issues that have been resolved with Hotfix on September 22:

    • The Refurbished Black Armory shader now drops 100% of the time when dismantling Black Armory Refurbished weapons acquired from completing Forge Ignition activities.
    • Fixed a crash that could occur when too many arrows were shot into a Titan’s Barricade.


For a full list of emergent issues in Destiny 2, players can review our Known Issues article. Players who observe other issues should report them to our #Help forum.

Enough Words, More Movies

Woof, this TWAB’s getting long. My fingers are getting tired from the typing. Let’s take a break, shall we? The movies we have on tap from the Community Creations page this week are pretty entertaining; definitely hope to get a little giggle in there while marveling at the skill required to craft such fun videos. 

Movie of the Week: Hmmmmm….

Honorable Mention: Hunters have the best Fashion

Wait, do you see your video listed here‽ Awesome! Let’s check off a few things before we get you your emblem. Is your profile linked in the description of the video? Good. Did you credit any fellow creators who appeared in your video? Sweet! We’ll get your emblem to you within a few business days.

Did you make it this far? Always fun to have a meaty TWAB. I’ll spare you a long outro, but I do want to say this: Thanks for stopping by. We always appreciate those who tune in for the weekly conversation, whether we have a lot of new info, or just a simple check-in to see how everyone’s doing between content drops.

Festival of the Lost is on the way. It’s almost time to get Spooky. Stay tuned for tricks and treats, because they’ll be coming soon…


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