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Bungie Weekly Update - 11/07/2014

This week at Bungie, we “prepped some packages for deployment.”

What we’re up to might rattle a window or two, but our aim is to build rather than destroy. These packages are updates to Destiny. “Deployment” is how smart people like to dramatize the delivery of content to the Internet. Like a bomb. Or more like a care package, in this case.

At Bungie, there is a team. There are many teams like it, but this one is committed to giving you new reasons to play Destiny. They live at the end of the feedback loop. You tell us what you want your game to do. After some intent listening, they debate what they want to tackle first. Those decisions are also tempered by their own experiences in the game (one of them asked me to apologize for his exotic hand cannon killing spree in the Crucible last night). Their mission is to keep the Destiny experience fresh with new experiences.

Two days ago, I stood at a whiteboard and scribbled as fast as people could talk to map out a communication plan for all the promises we’re about to make. You’ve been asking for schedules and ETAs, but it’s best to save promises for the moment when you know you can keep them. Things we’ve been talking about and working on for weeks are about to hit your hard drive. Keeping this fresh batch of promises will require you to see this…

We’re inbound with several bundles of joy in our hold. They’ll land in the weeks to come. Some of them will give everyone new things to do and earn. Some of them will prepare the world you’ve conquered for some new arrivals, and push the boundaries. Your level of engagement will be up to you. Each of us finds our own level in Destiny.

Here are some things we’ve mentioned:
  • Channels for talking to matchmade teammates, if you so wish
  • Exotic weapons that are stronger and more interesting to upgrade
  • New gear to let you slip into something a little more Legendary
  • That which waits in The Dark Below

Here are some things we’ve kept secret, until now:
  • New shaders for your gear
  • Ways to preview items before you spend your Glimmer
  • Greater chances of “showers” in public spaces
  • Adjustments to some arenas that needed better traffic flow
  • New economies to equip you with upgrade materials
  • Fixes, patches, and other invisible technical evolutions
  • Some other tricks up our sleeve
  • Maybe even a more generous Cryptarch
    • (he’ll still be sort of a bastard)

Those are the broad strokes. More detail is on the way. There will be Dev Notes and Patch Notes and love notes on our forum to explain what we mean, why we’re doing this, how it will all go down, and why we think it’s awesome. For now, we just wanted to let you know we’ve been thinking about you, and working on some game changers we hope you’ll enjoy.

Behind Closed Doors

As you take these updates, you’ll be downloading some large files. When we shoot our way through the living social world of Destiny together, we share the same version of that world. Whether you explore more deeply into that world or not, it will continue to grow.

We’re adding some real estate for you to reclaim in The Dark Below. We’re also adding some mood and polish to untapped environments. These are the things that turn an empty space into an experience – the sort that finds you fighting for your life. Our team has been weaving a new web to ensnare you. Sam Jones, our Head of World Art, has created an art gallery that explains why his team is excited to have you step back into their parlor.   

“The Dark Below delves deeply into some new, unexplored, and very beautiful places,” says Sam. Check out the places you’ll go to protect Earth from a new threat.

Deep beneath the abandoned architecture of the Cosmodrome lies the Serpahim’s Vault.  Eons-old crypts of inscrutable power and knowledge lie in wait for the seasoned explorer. Rob Adams was the Lead Artist on Cosmodrome and put a lot of personal passion and energy into the visual realization of Rasputin’s chamber.

Sharp observers will already wonder what the other space communications building in the Cosmodrome keeps hidden away.  In The Dark Below, ‘The Jovian Complex’ is opened at last and some truly frenetic combat takes place herein – not before taking in  some of the gorgeous Hive-infested spaces that the Cosmodrome environment Art Team put together.

Buried under the shifting sands of Mars the Hypogeum and its ancient secrets await discovery.  Built by the Vex in another age altogether, this chamber of ancient power houses an extremely powerful and watchful guardian. Built by Jason Sussman (art owner of Mars) as a perfect complement to the Black Garden, this space is designed to deliver tight, directional combat.

In the deepest, darkest, inner sanctum of the Moon’s Hive interior, we gain access to the Chamber of Night, in which the bleached bones of a long forgotten and vast lunar dweller rest. It’s rumored that dark rituals and mass gatherings of Hive witches happen here. A major goal of this space was to nail the surreal qualities of this awesome concept by Ryan DeMita.

As you can see, our artists are as anxious as the shooters for whom they build. These spaces are ready for action. They're not alone. More awaits you in the darkness below the surface of the moon. I had some art on deck to serve as a warning, but cooler heads decided to let you face the unknown with your favorite weapon and a Fireteam of six.

The Doctor Will See You Now

Got something that ails you? The team that staffs the Destiny Operations Center is available to diagnose your issue and recommend treatment. Their hours are… always. Here are the bugs they chased down this week.

Earlier this week we received reports of players losing investment data, something that immediately caught our attention. We’ve yet to uncover a specific bug, but going forward, we are building additional logging features that track changes to your player accounts in greater detail. In the meantime, please continue to report lost items.

As part of the error code split from last week’s patch, the error code WEASEL was introduced. This code triggers when a specific primary connection fails (for various network reasons) and Destiny cannot fix itself within a set time period. A fix was implemented that reduced the number of WEASEL errors players were seeing by 50%. We’ll continue to monitor the frequency of this error as it decreases.

The DOC has noticed many players on the Help forum are reporting issues with their Ammo Synthesis consumables not working. While we look into this issue, please take a look at this article about Ammo Synthesis. If that’s not the solution you seek, check out the Bungie Help main page for new and trending articles or stop by the Help forum

Speaking of forums, the team is organizing the major forum pages into more specific sub categories, as well as adding a Recruitment forum so players have a place to congregate and look for teammates.

I’m excited for that last part. The forum landscape will be a lot like what you know now, only more specialized. It’ll have more specific places to talk about your favorite parts of the game and share your most specific ideas for how it can better. We’re also going to try and focus the rampant recruitment energy into a laser beam that hits one target. It’s awesome that so many people are using the default clubhouse to make friends and play games. What we need to do is prevent every board from being blinded by Guardians Looking For Guardians.

Lot's of changes are blowing in the autumnal wind. The game we’re playing with you right now is nowhere to be found in our rear-view mirror. The team that updates Destiny is still acting like excited gamers with a new plaything. We’ve had ideas for how to shake up this experience since the day we launched it. Studying you has helped us decide which ones are the best. More are on the way.

Thanks for playing. And, thank you for talking to us about what else you want to do in Destiny.
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