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This Week At Bungie – 9/23/2021

This week at Bungie, we are heading to the lab. 

Tomorrow, we are kicking off our first Trials Labs. These experimental weekends will allow us to test out targeted changes to the game mode and collect data and feedback on what works and what should remain an abomination of science. In keeping with our Trials revamp this Season, we are sticking to our “test and learn” mindset not only with Labs, but also with matchmaking, rewards, and other quality of life improvements. 

This week, the normal Trials of Osiris playlist is replaced with Trials Labs: Capture Zone. This new mode is still Elimination, with the following changes: 
  • 30 seconds after the round starts, a capture zone is enabled. Players can capture this zone to win the round – or just eliminate the other team like normal. 
      • The capture zone has a waypoint from round start, including a countdown timer, so everyone will know exactly when and where it will be. 
  • The capture zone starts in the middle of the map in the first round and changes location each round. 
      • The team who just lost gets the advantaged spawn location. 

Also for this week, double Trials rank points for every match! If you are feeling the blues of Fabled and Mythic, this is a great week to reset! 

Are You Flawless? 

We tried something new for Trials this past weekend, something that has been requested in feedback since Trials launched back in Destiny 1. We tested out separating off flawless players (and their fireteams) from players who hadn't yet gone flawless that week. Before we discuss what to expect this week (and in the future) we'd like to talk about the goals we have for matchmaking in Trials of Osiris and look at some key data points for the first two weeks. 

One of the main changes we made with Trials this Season was to allow solo and duo players to queue up. This had two main benefits: 
  • It allowed players a low barrier of entry and expectation to try the mode out. 
  • And more importantly, it increased the population enough that fireteams of mid-skilled players landed more wins than if they only matched against other mid-skilled or high-skilled teams. 

Solo players are a key to the entire system working. For example, in our first week, a whopping 54% were full fireteams vs. solos/duos. Cut to this week, where only 45% were fireteams vs. solos/duos -- a pretty sharp drop. 

To get enough solo players in, we need to offer rewards that are good enough and matchmaking that feels reasonable regardless of skill level. Right now, we have engrams that you can grind for, as well as attractive seven-win rewards, but only if you win. 

Keep Solo Players Playing 

We learned a lot from the first two weeks of solo matchmaking. 

  • Week 1 
  • Solo Wins: 23% of games 
  • Blowouts (5-0 Losses): 38% of games 

Most worryingly, the blowout rate for solo players went steadily up over the weekend. But then in the second weekend, the matchmaking changes pushed that rate back down. 

  • Week 2 
  • Solo Wins: 36% of games 
  • Blowouts (5-0 Losses): 29% of games 

This feels a lot better for solo players, but obviously it had some side effects for fireteams of mid-to-high skill. Long-term, we are looking to keep the solo win-rate above 30% and solo-fireteam blowouts under 33%. 

Keep Game Quality High (Make sure more matches feel competitive, especially at seven wins.) 

We talked about blowouts as one way of looking for competitive matches. We also consider 5-1 matches as non-competitive. The sweet spot is really between 5-2 and 5-4. Those matches tend to feel good while playing, even if you end up losing.  

In Week 1, we saw 60% of matches end at either 5-0 or 5-1. In Week 2, the number of non-competitive matches dropped to 52% -- a nice improvement, but we would like to see this number drop to 30-40% over the long-term. 

Keep Matchmaking Times Low 

One of our biggest goals is to keep matchmaking times low while still getting matches with good connections and a competitive outcome. We always keep an eye on matchmaking times whenever we make serious changes to the matchmaking landscape. 

In both weeks, average matchmaking times were pretty steady at just under 50 seconds per match. The only reason it was even that high was because players who started off on a terrible streak would end up in a matchmaking pool below the base pool that only looked for other players who had started off losing 10 rounds in a row. It’s a very small pool with matchmaking times that last over four minutes before the system gives up and expands back to the base pool. 

We are going to be adjusting how the matchmaking help applies so no one gets stuck in the smaller matchmaking pool going forward. 

Other Things that Worked 

  • We had just over 700k players this weekend – only 50k fewer players than Week 1. This is higher than expected, given a normal drop-off after launch combined with Distant Shore being a less popular map. Plus, we had 253k players go flawless! 
  • Games were 10% longer, mostly due to more competitive games. 

Things That Didn't Work 

  • We saw 34% less matches played overall, and the number of matches post-flawless dropped by 45%. 
  • We had reports of significant numbers of players resetting 5-0 or 6-0 cards, but we saw around 16k total cards that were reset while flawless but under seven wins. Given the vast number of games and cards played (2.7m cards started this week), this isn't a lot, but it is something we are watching, as it is unhealthy for the mode if it becomes more common. 
  • Normally, we see nearly 50% of the players who go flawless doing so with someone else who is already flawless. Last week, it was 56%! This can either be a traditional "carry" or just playing with friends. That number dropped to 16% this week, which is unacceptably low for 'friendgame' content. 

To address this, we are making two changes in Week 3: 

  • We are waiting until the Sunday morning reset(10:00 AM PT) to enable the flawless pool. This serves as a middle ground between Week 1 and Week 2, and as the semi-permanent placement for enabling the flawless pool. As always, we will be looking at both analytics and feedback – so keep telling us what is working and what isn’t! 
      • We are working on some deeper matchmaking solutions which we hope lets us remove the flawless pool. Look out for more info in mid/late October. 
  • We are turning off matchmaking help until you have played at least two matches during the weekend. 

In addition to the previously announced changes: 
  • Players will no longer get Special ammo replenished when being revived. 
  • Adding “Hold” functionality to purchase gear from Saint-14 to prevent accidental purchases. 
  • Weapons received from the Reputation Rank Reward track on Saint-14 will now have their Masterwork Slots active. Previous weapons obtained won’t receive a Masterwork Slot. 
  • Unfortunately, while we previously announced that we would be removing the matchmaking counter for this week, this change wasn’t quite able to make the 3.3.0.3 patch. 

Looking further forward: 
  • We expect to take another swing at matchmaking to keep some of the solo/lower skill protections from Week 2 without strongly negatively affecting flawless players.  
  • We are looking at adjustments to rewards for round and match wins on seven-win cards.  
  • Other than that, updates and Trials TWAB reports will be less common as we get Trials into a more stable state. 

Iron Banner is back next week, so after Trials Labs: Capture Zone, Trials takes a week off and will return October 8! 


On the Cover 

Earlier today, we announced our first digital fashion magazine dedicated to showcasing the frabjous style of Guardians. This is your time to shine, in the first edition of Threads of Light. 



We partnered with three Guardians who had previously created their own fashion looks to highlight on our first cover. They posed for our cameras and outlined their looks for you to recreate. The next time you’re on the red carpet, be ready to answer the question “Who are you wearing?” with either Numley, Muffinbandit, or Vanguard Vogue. 







Your inner vanity might be whispering, “Hey, I want to be on the cover!” If you fancy your Guardian posing for the next edition of Threads of Light, we have good news for you. It’s time for another fashion show! 

Similar to previous shows of fashion, we will be hunting for looks that catch our eye and sharing them on our suite of social channels across the globe. All you have to do to enter is share a shot of your Guardian’s appearance page and use #ThreadsOfLight on Instagram or Twitter. You can also tag @DestinyTheGame or our account for your region. 

We will be picking winners until September 30, then will pick one of each class to be on the next cover of Threads of Light sometime in the next few months. Everyone we feature will still get the fashion show emblem, but only one Hunter, Titan, and Warlock will make it on the next cover. 

Start digging through your wardrobes and creating your look. Good luck on the runway! 


Primed and Ready 

We refreshed our Prime Gaming rewards this week. If you’re not signed up, head over to the Prime Gaming portal and pick up your rewards from Amanda Holliday in the Tower. Here’s what we’ve got for you this month: 

  • Dark Horse Exotic Sparrow 
  • The Bandwagon Exotic Ship  
  • Rust Punk Shell Exotic Ghost  
  • Hold On Legendary Emote 


Season’s Challenges 

 

Another update went live this morning. Let’s check in with Player Support on what was fixed and what known issues are still being tracked.  

This is their report. 

HOTFIX 3.3.0.3 IS LIVE 

Earlier today, we released Hotfix 3.3.0.3. This hotfix resolved several issues including: 
  • Adding “Hold” functionality to purchase gear from Saint-14 to prevent accidental purchases. 
  • Weapons received from the Reputation Rank Reward track on Saint-14 will now have their Masterwork Slots active. Previous weapons obtained won’t receive a Masterwork Slot.

THE CLASH AT COBALT’S HEAD 

We have seen some questions about the new Cobalt Clash Flawless Shader and why it’s showing up in Collections. Design Lead Josh Kulinski has stepped up to the mic to share some answers. 

Josh: Hey Guardians, I’m here to answer questions about Flawless Shaders such as Cobalt Clash, one of the shaders that can drop on gear obtained from the Lighthouse when going flawless in Trials of Osiris. Like Vizier Regalia before it, these shaders are single-use shaders that come pre-equipped on gear obtained from the Lighthouse. 

We currently have a Collections entry for Cobalt Clash which states the source as: “Complete a flawless Trials Ticket.” While this is the means by which players gain access to gear with the shader applied to it, we were not specific enough with our wording here, as these shaders are bound to the gear and not unlocked for use on all items like other shaders in the game. 

We apologize for the confusion and will be removing the Collections entry. Furthermore, we realize that this is not an ideal player experience, and we will be reevaluating how we distribute special shaders like this in the future. 

KNOWN ISSUES 

While we continue investigating various known issues, here is a list of the latest issues that were reported to us in our #Help Forum: 

  • The Astral Focusing perk from the Wayfinder Compass doesn’t give players a Tier 3 weapon for rescuing their first Techeun of the week. 
  • The Uncharged melee on Middle Tree Sunbreaker has unintended cooldown between melees. 
  • When the Gunslinger's knife is charged, normal melee attacks have a longer cooldown, appearing on all three Gunslinger subclasses. 
  • The Bottomless Appetite perk on Tarrabah might not be extending the duration of the Ravenous Beast perk anymore when dealing damage. 
  • Hawkmoon’s Paracasual Shots might not be dealing as much damage as they should be. 
  • Sometimes shadows and lighting appear to flicker on PlayStation 5. 
  • The Three Birds, Three Stones gilded Deadeye Triumph does not specify the eligible Crucible playlists. 
  • Taken don’t count for Bow kills for the Wayfinder’s Voyage V Seasonal Challenge, but Scorn Bow kills do. 
  • The Deceiving Appearances Seasonal Challenge doesn’t progress when destroying illusion barriers with Ager's Scepter. 
  • Players can’t purchase the Wayfinder’s Compass Rank 15 mod at Rank 15, but they can purchase it at Rank 16. 
  • The Wayfinder’s Compass inventory updates 16 hours earlier than the weekly reset time at 10 AM PT. 
  • The catalyst for Ager's Scepter doesn't gain bonus progress for destroying destructible walls in the Shattered Realm, nor do precision kills change the rate or progress. 

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


Ticket Please 

 

It started with a rat infestation... then came the hornets. Now, our poor editor went to investigate a “drip, drip, drip” sound coming from his laundry room to find a leaky pipe and a massive alien-esque buildup of black mold under the sink. We need to all encourage our dearest TWAB editor, that now is the time to move. Anyways, welcome to Movie of the Week. This is where we pick our favorite videos from the community. 

[Editor’s note: Infestation is a strong word.] 

Movie of the Week: Striker 


Movie of the Week: Counter Sniping 


Congratulations to this week’s winners! If that’s you, please make sure you add a link to your Bungie.net profile in the description of the video. 


Artist Alley 

 

Time to take a moment to appreciate the finer things. Every week we dig into the wide selection of community-created art and select a few to show off on our digital stage. Here are the pieces that caught our eye this week. 

Art of the Week: "Truth and Power" time lapse 

Art of the Week: Gamer Worm 

If you see your art above, please make sure you make a reply to your post with a link to your Bungie.net profile so we can get your emblem sent out. 



We’re excited to see what new fashion trends you start during the fashion show. It’s not just about the emblem and bragging rights – now you can land yourself on the cover of Threads of Light magazine! 

That’s all for this week. I’m looking forward to trying out the Trials Labs changes tomorrow. I’m going to build a fireteam – so if you want to play, keep an eye on our LFG site on Bungie.net Friday evening. For everyone who will be playing this week remember, control that zone! 

<3 Cozmo 
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