This Week at Bungie - 9/01/2022
Crucible Matchmaking Check-in, Just a Titan Bubble and a Dream
For the immediate future, you can look forward to Iron Banner next week with the new Eruption mode. Need a refresher on what that is? No worries, we got you covered here.Alan Blaine: Hi folks! That sure was a great start to the Season of Plunder in ritual land. We have seen a significant uptick in the number of players and amount of time spent within Crucible. While we are excited to talk about the bright future of Crucible development, I’m sure a lot of you want to hear about the loose SBMM we added to Control.As we talked about in an earlier TWAB, one of the functions of the Season 18 Control node is to help us tune a solid 6v6 matchmaking setting before we start implementing new matchmaking features, like team size and dynamic skill ranges.We’re going to start with a fun tale about live game development, just to illustrate why we like to run smaller tests before rolling things out wider. If you just want the weekly stats and future details, skip down to the Stats from Week One section.
Control Week OneStarting at reset on August 23, loose SBMM in Control was supposed to go live. Instead, players who joined Control found they were matched up against anyone and everyone. Skill didn't seem to matter, and neither did platform. Normally, PC players are separated from console and Stadia players via matchmaking. So, what happened here?During that day’s update patch for Season of Plunder, the file with the new matchmaking settings was not updated, and instead Control used our default matchmaking settings. Once we found the bug and figured out what was going on, around 7 PM on the same day we got the file updated on the servers, and everyone was using loose SBMM. Hooray! This illustrates a couple of key points:
- We do our updates and weekly resets on Tuesday rather than Friday, so when something unexpected happens, no one must pull weekend heroics to fix the game.
- We make changes in one location first to make sure it is stable before expanding it to other uses, especially when we are exercising systems that haven’t been changed recently.
Default MatchmakingThe default matchmaking that everyone played until 7 PM is never actually seen in-game if things go well. It is designed as a fallback that "just works" and finds people to play with but doesn't do anything clever.Default matchmaking ignores platform, skill, and almost everything else. The only thing it takes into account is latency, but only for the first 15 seconds of matchmaking. After that, it's no-holds-barred. So, on the morning of August 23, if your Control match took longer than 15 seconds to matchmake (which it almost always does) it was basically just picking the first 11 people it found, no matter how good the connections to you were, what platform they were on, or what their skill was.And of course, this could cause laggy players, bad hit registration, and matching with players far outside your normal skill band. This is why we sometimes spend multiple minutes on our various matchmaking thresholds, making sure latency is solid as we can get it.
Stats from Week OneSo, as of 7 PM or so on Tuesday night, we have had loose SBMM on in Control, and we have some interesting results! Let’s dive right in:
PopulationIn the first week of Season of Plunder, 140,000 more hours of Control had been played than in the first week of Season of the Haunted, and we had around an 11% increase in the total number of players playing Control.
Matchmaking TimesOverall, our average matchmaking times went up by an average of 5 to 10 seconds. That's a good indication that the matching is generally working but isn't showing our worst cases—the lower population segments (extreme low and high skill).For the highest skill band, less than 0.1% of the population, matchmaking times average around 90 seconds during high population times, spiking to just over 200 seconds at low population times. For the lowest skill band, we see matchmaking times between 120 seconds at best and 240 seconds at worst.Just looking at matchmaking times, the current settings look like they are getting us where we want to be. However, we are cautious about making too many assumptions right now. We have plenty of anecdotal evidence of bad connections in those high-skill games, and week-one is one of the highest population moments of the Season.
Skill DifferencesThe skill differences we see in Control matches are pretty stark. Without SBMM, only 10% of matches had 600 or less skill difference between the highest and lowest players. With SBMM on, we see that 80% of games have that separation or less. For 90% of games without SBMM, the average skill of all players within a game was between 300 and -100. Now we see a significant number of games with a high average of 600 skill, and regularly as low as -500. (With a few games each day going as low as -900 average!)
Game OutcomesLooking at game outcomes, where our work really matters, we see more interesting data:
- Mercy games are down 4%. Not as much as we had hoped, but it has been shrinking a little day by day.
- Games where the score threshold has been met remain steady, and games that go to time rose by 4%.These are all within range, and we expect that the first few weeks will be more chaotic than normal. As players re-adjust their playstyles from "optimized play against a wide variety of players" to "optimized play against similarly skilled players,” the skill system will adjust to reflect those changes. We would expect mercy games to shrink slowly over the coming weeks. If time limit games rise consistently during that time, we will likely look at the score goal and lower it to compensate.As far as score and kill differences, we see a similar set of incremental improvements. Games where the best player had 30+ kills more than the worst player went from 9% of games to 2%. Games where the best player had only 10 to 19 more kills than the worst player went from 35% of games to 55%.
QuittingWe have seen one worrying trend in the data: the percentage of players quitting before the end of the match has risen from 8% to 12% in the last week. This is especially bad with matches designed to be balanced with 12 equally skilled players. We are still investigating to see if this is localized to a specific cohort or playstyle, or if this is a natural player reaction to a new system. This percentage may reduce over time. Stay tuned!
Future PlansThere are a few points of concern that we are addressing:
- The number of poor connections during matches.
- The number of players quitting matches early.Other than those, most of the analytics have been positive, considering this a new experience and will take folks some time to get used to it.For now, we are taking a few steps:
- We are extending the time that loose SBMM will sit and wait for the best connection quality between group leaders. Hopefully, this will increase the overall connection quality when matchmaking goes past two minutes.
- We have some new analytics coming online soon which should give us a better picture of the connection quality between all players within matches, not just the group leaders.
- We are going to be adding quitter protection to Control in a future patch. We hope to discuss more in a future TWAB.
They Have An Army, We Have An Eido
Can We Get a King's Fall Raid With a Side Of World's First?
- Total players that entered the raid
- Normal: 458,120
- Challenge: 35,678
- Total Guardian deaths
- Normal: 33,665,322
- Challenge: 2,825,235
- Players that cleared Totems
- Normal: 158,034
- Challenge: 31,649
- Players that cleared Warpriest
- Normal: 63,648
- Challenge: 21,727
- Players that cleared Golgoroth
- Normal: 52,958
- Challenge: 19,341
- Players that cleared Daughters
- Normal: 49,873
- Challenge: 19,028
- Players that yeeted Oryx into oblivion
- Normal: 49,245
- Challenge: 17,107
- Total hours spent in King’s Fall
- Normal: 1,989,371
- Challenge: 208,295
Salt: It’s an incredible feeling. It’s really hard to describe in words. I have never felt so much pressure before a day one launch before. We knew we could do it, but we also knew that no one had won three World Firsts in a row. After winning, the relief and satisfaction is completely unmatched.
VileFate: As the new one on the team, it was extremely stressful to come in and fill an irreplaceable position. There was a ton of pressure since everyone on the team had the dream of hitting the three-peat and obviously, no one wants to be the one thing that has changed for the team if it doesn’t happen. When I heard that everyone was still at Oryx when we finally finished the Challenge Mode, the immense relief I felt was intense. It feels amazing.
Moople: If there’s a list of ingredients, the chemistry is the number one thing that matters. Something like this is so difficult to achieve without being tight-knit (though it has been done before!). Everyone being on the same page and wanting that belt as much as you do is the real secret.
Cruz: Really, really great players. Both mechanically gifted as well as smart and adaptive. Being able to trust your team and rely on one another is so important, especially in a situation like World First. Another important facet is an understanding between all players of what the goal really is. From there, it’s about staying focused on what really matters, no matter how much yelling or bickering Contest Mode can sometimes inspire as the hours tick on. We all know that it’s just our passion shining through when we get lost in our feelings and frustrations. I believe that all of that is what makes us unique and sets us up for success when reaching for these goals.
Salt: Overcoming the struggles is what makes it special. So certain aspects of the raid that were more challenging than others are highlights to us, but of course, defeating the final boss when you're in the lead is the truly special moment of winning the title of World First. As for pitfalls, it's always the times when you feel down and out. The time spent bashing your head against the wall before finally overcoming it is the most difficult part. If you can get yourself out of that hole, you can get out of any bad situation.
Moople: Destiny’s World First races are by far my favorite part of the year in-game. There’s no better feeling than overcoming the most difficult content in Destiny 2, and day-one raids are always on the top of that difficulty list. I don’t have any intention of stopping anytime soon. This game and the friends I’ve made are irreplaceable. There’s nothing else like it.
Quazz: I believe that a team attempting World First needs to understand everything their team has in their arsenal to help achieve those goals. We always go in with a game plan, but we also go in knowing that those plans can change at the drop of a hat. Knowing how to adapt and what to do in different situations will help a ton when racing, and that all comes down to communication. We are a very loud team with many passionate voices, but no matter how loud we get, we all understand what’s needed. I believe teams need to find a communication level that works well for them. Whether that’s quiet, loud, or nobody talking at all.
Salt: If you’re starting from the ground up, try to find a group of like-minded people with a similar skill level. A good way to do this is to do challenges like duo and trio raid encounters or find players that are into endgame content like you are and are willing to improve. After playing with someone you think has potential and seems like their personality is a good fit, try inviting them to your team for World First and build up from there.For those clans already established, there’s not much to say. We won Vault of Glass by ten minutes, Vow of the Disciple by three minutes, and we didn’t even get top ten in the normal version of King’s Fall. As much as I would like to keep winning, and despite how consistent our team has been, someone else taking the belt home could easily happen. Plenty of teams have what it takes to win. The competition is always there.
Kyros: My favorite moment was definitely hearing VileFate’s excitement on getting his own World First because it reminded me of our team when we first beat Vault of Glass. That nostalgia made me feel really good.
VileFate: I think the changes to Warpriest were the best parts for me. The flow and difficulty of the encounter on Contest Mode felt incredibly satisfying. Honestly, I just really enjoyed the extra challenge. It required coordination and added a layer of difficulty to an instance that I went into thinking would be the “easiest” part of the raid.
Salt: Unstable Light being able to damage Golgorth is an awesome addition! Also, being able to speed up Totems by killing more enemies is super fun It makes the encounter way more engaging while also giving you that “Sword Logic” vibe.
Moople: Being able to do damage to Oryx with guns while still reacquiring the Corrupted Light bombs in the final encounter is probably that “chef’s kiss” moment for me. Mixing mechanical damage with different stuns and weapon damage makes for the best encounters.
Cruz: The hardest encounters for us to nail down were our first clears of Warpriest and Golgoroth. Both took us at least one hour each, which combined was around 38 percent of our entire run. Just for two encounters, it’s wild. But I'd actually say that our Totems encounter was the one I was most frustrated with because we were only struggling due to stupid unforced errors as players. We were just not playing well, and it was during that time that we knew we needed to get into gear and start focusing. However, once we passed Golgoroth on our first clear, it was smooth sailing, and we started playing significantly better as a team for the rest of the race.
VileFate: The hardest part was easily having to play catch up early on. Shortly in our Contest Mode run of Golgoroth, Kyros was getting around 10 FPS in-game and ended up having to reset his computer, which set us back about 15 to 20 minutes. Obviously, this built a lot of anxiety inside all of us since none of us knew what we should do, but luckily, he was able to join back and play just fine. After that, we honestly flew through the rest of Contest Mode and the Challenge Mode run after. Winning while being that far behind was definitely one of the most rewarding parts for me as a newbie to the fireteam.
Teaming Up with Team Rubicon for National Preparedness Month
September is National Preparedness Month, a time to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. It’s never been more important than now to support organizations that work tirelessly to help communities prepare for a crisis.We are thrilled to partner with Team Rubicon in their effort to help communities prepare, respond, and recover from disasters and humanitarian crises. Founded following the Haiti earthquake in 2010, the organization has grown to more than 150,000 volunteers, known as Greyshirts. Greyshirts come from all walks of life. Military veterans, first responders, and anyone ready to make a difference. With volunteers located in a multitude of communities across the country, Team Rubicon is uniquely positioned to prepare for and provide aid immediately after disasters.The Bungie Foundation has kicked this campaign off with a $150,000 donation to Team Rubicon. For the month of September, we invite you to join us in supporting their efforts by donating to the Team Rubicon Preparedness Month Campaign.Anyone who donates $50 or more by Friday, September 30 at 11:59 PM PT will receive the Seeds of Hope emblem.*Donors must make their donation to the Team Rubicon Preparedness Month Campaign on or before September 30 at 11:59 PM PT to receive this incentive. Donors will receive a unique URL to redeem their emblem once the $50 donation threshold has been met. All in-game digital incentives will be automatically redeemed via donors’ Bungie.net ID and will appear in Destiny 2’s Collections. The Bungie Foundation will transfer 100% of donated funds to Team Rubicon no later than 45 days upon completion of the campaign.If you are compelled to put your passions into action, we also encourage you to sign up to volunteer with this amazing organization. Here’s how to get the process started:Step 1: Learn more about becoming a Greyshirt volunteer and sign up hereStep 2: Complete TR 101 Training (45-60 minutes)Step 3: Complete a background check (15 minutes)Step 4: Update your profile (5 minutes)Step 5: Engage locally and beyondAnd be sure to follow us on our social channels for all the latest information throughout the campaign!
Thank you for your compassion towards those who need it most!Love,The Bungie Foundation
A Message to Guardians With Photosensitivity
Player Support Report
- Complete the Salvage and Salvation mission in the H.E.L.M.
- Speak to Spider in the Eliksni Quarter
- Complete the Ahoy and Aweigh quest
- Visit the Star Chart in the H.E.L.M.
- Acquire the Sails of the Shipstealer and Captain's Atlas quests
- Claim Plundered Umbral Energy in the Season Pass
- The Overzealous Basilica Triumph for the King’s Fall Seal and title can’t be completed.
- Some Gambit bounties have a misspelling of “Guardians” in the English versions.
- The crafted BxR-55 Battler doesn’t receive a gold border when an enhanced perk is added.
- The Mortal Medicine mod appears on the King's Fall Hunter raid helmet twice.
- King’s Fall carries aren’t being correctly counted in the stat tracker.
- Sometimes players can spawn outside of the room when fighting the Warpriest.
- The Rift Lost Sector is missing Triumphs and incorrectly lists shields present.
- The Robes of Nezarec ornament loses its Resonance effect when an ornament is applied to the Nazarec’s Sin Warlock Exotic helmet.
- The Arms of Optimacy ornament has misplaced geometry around it.
- The Dawn Chorus Exotic doesn’t appear in Collections.
- The Expedition activity doesn’t show any stats in the post-game activity summary.
- The Xenology Exotic quest isn’t counting progress in playlist activities.
- Stormtrance does not increase its damage over time while attacking.
- Repeatable Star Chart bounties can continue to be purchased when players have a full quest inventory.
Sir, You Dropped Your Prime Gaming Engram
- D.A.R.C.I. Exotic Sniper Rifle
- Cleans Up Good Exotic Weapon Ornament
- The Machinoform Exotic Ship
- Plunder Projection Legendary Ghost Holo (Prime-timed exclusive)
- Magnetism Exclusive Seasonal Emblem
How Many Titans Does It Take To Take Down a Hive Overlord?
IT'S CORN 🌽#Destiny2 #Bungie #MOTW pic.twitter.com/izzBS53f6u
— MuffinBandit (@Muffin_Bandit_) August 29, 2022
You Heard of Lightfall, Now Get Ready For... Bathfall
I saw Strand from the Lightfall reveal and thought that it could make for a pretty stringed instrument ^ ^#Destiny2Art #aotw #DestinyArt pic.twitter.com/yaIMr00f6R
— JarhingeArt (@JarhingeArt) August 25, 2022
Bath time with our favorite chunky emperor :)— ♥𝐁𝐄𝐋𝐎𝐕𝐄 (@I_am_I3eloved) August 29, 2022
After watching the light fall trailer I couldn’t stop thinking about how Calus looked liked he was taking a bubble bath!#Destiny2Art #DestinyArt #Destiny2 #AOTW@A_dmg04 @DirtyEffinHippy @TheSamBartley pic.twitter.com/g76UBtqdcQ
A Future So Bright It’s Calling Gondor for Aid
Asia Larkin: We are excited to participate again in the Game Devs of Color Expo taking place September 15 to 18. This seventh annual celebration will show off some new games, facilitate new experiences to treasure, and provide opportunities to connect with others to grow your network authentically and with good intention. We look forward to meeting our industry peers at the event.Just pop into our virtual booth to chat with our recruiters or learn more about Bungie and our employee-led Inclusion Clubs that help support under-represented communities in games and beyond.
After that wraps up, we pack our bags to head to Grace Hopper Celebration in Florida September 20 to 23. This event brings women in technology to the forefront in a celebration of research and career interests. Our booth will be staffed with an excited team ready to chat about your possible future here at Bungie.
We hope to see you there, but if you can’t make it, you can catch our open roles right here.