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The Last Mail Sack

Every week, we confront important choices. These are quandaries far more crucial than deciding which coffee robot will dispense our morning dose of courage – although the adventure almost always begins there. Once recharged, we settle into our respective battle stations and seize the day.

We outrun deadlines. We smash technical obstacles. With every cycle of the sun, each of us decides what contribution we can make to move us closer to our goal. Time is not infinite. That forces us to make choices about how we spend our energy. This week, those choices moved us five days closer to opening up our new frontier.

Builds stabilized and strengthened. Playtests transformed mere mortals into gods. Devil Walkers discovered new ways to express their inner pain. Character models became softer, and harder, in all the right ways (get your mind out of the gutter). 

Cities rose from the dunes. Water flowed through lush jungles. Compressed air was introduced to a water and corn starch concoction to create an unnatural sound. The Cabal secured a new, nastier place to call home. Weapons were given healthier upgrades. And, as always, a brave army of testers watched our every move.

What if we could investigate further into every one of those details, and truly know the minds of the people wrestling with those beasts? That would be fun, wouldn’t it? We should really think about something like a serialized informal briefing that dives deeper into these dangerous waters in which we swim.

Not sure what we’d call that, though. It’ll have to wait for later, anyway. Next week, perhaps. Today, we open the Sack.

Sunburned Goose  You’ve released some sweet videos lately. Any chance we could get some wallpapers that depict the new details that were on display?

Sure. How about a shotty to keep you warm at night?

Apex Jar Zanoee  I couldn't help but overhear that, once you run out of your primary ammunition, the only way to get more is to respawn. Seems like ammo is a very important component in competitive matches. How does ammunition alter gameplay and how can I make sure my guns are being fed a steady supply of bullets?

It sounds like you’re referencing the Podcast we released this week, in which we talked about ammunition as the carrot you’ll chase around the battlefield. If that’s the case, you heard us only partially right. I offered up the fact that getting killed was my favorite means of replenishing my primary ammo. It’s certainly not the only way.

What you did hear right is that ammo is important. As you said, it is very important. We’ll let you bring any weapon in your arsenal to the battle that will rage in competitive multiplayer. To be able to shoot it, you’ll need to load it, and that will require you to control some key locations.

Pony  That wallpaper was awesome. How about another?

Alright. We’re in a giving mood. Have some Space Magic to brighten up your Friday.

Stray Miscreant  Is there a lot of pranking that goes on? What is the best prank you have shamed another with?

I found a website that sells live spiders (for gardens? I guess?) and bought 720 brown garden spiders and had them delivered to a friend that was slightly arachnophobic.  Best $200 I ever spent.  That guy and I don’t really talk anymore.
James Schomer, Designer

Getting iced is the worst… that’s all I have to say on that.
Wesley Olson, PS3 Tester

Pat Jandro, Senior Cinematic Designer

I like to jump into my colleagues reticules right when they’re about to take an important shot.
Jonathan Dobbs, Strikes Tester

This isn’t mine but, our climbing wall had an unusual route added to it named “Codgers Run.”  Instead of going directly up the wall, it had “holds” leading from Marty’s Ivory Tower to the coffee machine, complete with a resting place to sit.  Parts of the route stayed taped for months.
Michael Williams, Senior Engineer

I like to share my whisky, but hate it when people pound it.  One guy had a habit of doing this. So one day, I filled a shot glass with maple syrup and offered it to him.  He pounded the entire thing before he realized what it was.
Troy McFarland, Motion Capture Lead

Booster MPS  I heard you were passing out wallpapers! Can we see a space faring vessel?

You heard right. We’re launching this one right into your face.

j0sh291  When does the studio know when the game is 'complete' and goes * GOLD*?

When Harold says so. No sooner.  

L0coM0tive  Where was the ship in the last wallpaper headed?

Any number of places where danger lurks and secrets lie, waiting to be discovered.

LordMonkey  What makes your desk or personal workspace unique?

The garden gnome who watches over me.  I’ve been carrying him around since the beginning of HL:EP2.
Josh Hamrick, Senior Designer

My nametag from last year’s Winter Pentathlon.
Wesley Olson, PS3 Tester

The stack of French grammar books and dictionaries piled under my monitors.
Celine Bolduc, Localization Editor (French)

A Headcrab, Cthulhu, and a brain cell. Though, people keep stealing the Headcrab and wearing him as a hat.
Elizabeth Bergeron, Lead Combatant Tester

A copy of Livy’s Early History of Rome, a photojournal of nebulae, and a variety of videogame figures (right now Garrus and Elizabeth). Oh, and a dodgy copy of Rick Castle’s badge because I’m a total nerd.
Jonathan Dobbs, Strikes Tester

14 devkits, 5 monitors and a rather large stack of empty 5-Hour energy bottles.
Andy Firth, Engineering Architect

Before I was in Design back when I was still a Test Lead, I once made a bet with Test Manager Jamie Evans about how long it would take to get a passing BVT build in one of our branches. He was so confident we could finish and pass in two days, which was record time at that state of the project. I knew he was being overly optimistic and that our code was too volatile so I pushed the bet pretty hard. I was willing to throw down $200 that it would take longer, but the most he would agree to was $5 with 10-1 odds. We shook on it, and of course two days later we hadn’t passed the build yet. He paid up the $5, but rather than spend it I got the $5 bill framed where it now sits on my desk with the words “Jon Was Right” triumphantly displayed beneath, a continued reminder to my peers that I should not be doubted.
Jon Weisnewski, Designer

A gigantic portable whiteboard of doom.
David Johnson, Engineer

One day I came in and there was an origami frog sitting on my keyboard. He is now sitting on my monitor watching all who approach.
Alex Gendron, Tester

My Serenity DieCast Model… Signed by the Capt'n himself.
John Stvan, Graphic Designer

H3YLOW  Will there be different pre-order bonuses for Destiny?

There most certainly will be. We’ll tell you all about them before you even have the chance to ask again.

UtopiaUnknown  How about Wallpaper that depicts a place where we’ll fight?

Enjoy this nice view from the rooftops of Mars.

Jack  Will the Bungie Weekly Update ever return? 'Twas the ultimate way to end a long week.

It’s my pleasure to bend to popular demand for the second time in one week. First, we revived the Bungie Podcast. Next, we’ll unseal the hushed casket and put the Bungie Weekly update back into service.

The Mail Sack has had a good run. We’ve brought you along on a march that has taken us through a valley of darkness. The more we indulge in these Q&A’s, the more we seem to talk about Destiny. With a brighter light shining on this creation, we felt it was time to be more official about giving you updates.

If you’re a fan of the Mail Sack, have no fear. Bungie isn’t about to stop listening to you. We never have. If you’ve been here for the duration of this postal campaign, we thank you for keeping us company while we’ve been at work. If you joined us in progress, we’ll only pick up more speed from here on out.

That’s it for this week. Next, you may want to turn your gaze to the stars. We’ve been busy.

Stay tuned.
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