This week at Bungie, we launched the second stage of the Destiny Beta. Anyone who wants to play is welcome. There’s no code required. Your invitation can be found on your platform of choice. Fire up your console, and get busy downloading.
Aside from the obvious lure of fun and games, the Beta serves a crucial purpose for us. While you’re having fun (we hope), our team is busy monitoring your every move.
The Beta status report can be seen from just about every vantage point in the studio. It’s projected on our walls, and burns brightly on monitors all over the place. We see you when you’re sleeping. We know when you’re awake. Literally. From a distance, your shared play patterns look like a light blue mountain range. The slope of the peaks and the valleys show the rise and fall of the community as it comes and goes from the world of Destiny.
When we get up close, the Beta report feeds us intoxicating numbers that measure the highs and the lows of what the smartest people in the room call “concurrency.” We watch all day long as some of you – wherever you are – go to bed or come home from work. Over the past week, these trends have become predictable. Whenever possible, we aim to keep the line on the upslope.
There isn’t a single person on our team who isn’t aware of our status with the Destiny Beta. After years of building this big, beautiful world and filling it with hideous beasts, it’s a total rush when one more of you joins the hunt. Every time you choose a character and arrive in orbit, it’s like a sweet loot drop for us. While you play your game, our game is to field enough Guardians to burn back the darkness.
We create the bad guys. We need you to create the good guys. With this Beta, we’re raising our army. Like the merchants in the Tower, we’re equipping you to fight. When you complete your missions, we devour your reports on your successes and your failures. We’re doing everything we can to bring as many of you into the game as possible.
Our journey is not over. We still have a few traps to spring on you, so that we may ensnare you in our rush to reach higher and higher summits. Keep climbing.
All hands on deck.
Our hope is that every moment of the Destiny Beta has been meaningful to you. For us, tomorrow is the most important moment for this test. Every single Guardian that can play is invited to a Public Event. Our shared mission will be to see how many of us can play at the same time. Only through our combined strength can we achieve victory.
Saturday, July 26th at 2:00 PM PDT.
You will need to be very brave (and perhaps a bit patient) to help us reach our goal. To help you stay focused on our objectives, we’ve given you one of your own. Everyone who makes an appearance will earn a nameplate to help you prove that you were there when the record for concurrent players was set before the launch of the game. It will help you to be a rare and unique snowflake when Destiny launches in September.
This is a flash mob. Set your destination. The Iron Banner will be live. The Director will still beckon with the lures we’ve littered all across Old Russia.
We’re even sending you on a new story mission. For this one, you’ll be glad you scrounged that jump drive from the wastes of the Cosmodrome. You don’t need us to tell you where you’re headed. We’ve marked it on the map since the moment when the Beta Build became a secret whispered about by only our friends and family. This new destination will be open to you for two hours.
The Destiny Beta is not a private party. It’s the precursor to the launch of the most ambitious game we’ve ever made. You are invited to do your very best to emulate the final form of the citizenry that will fight to protect the last safe city on Earth, later on this year.
Eyes up, Guardians.
Let’s be completely honest about this. We didn’t need a Mail Sack this week to figure out what you want to know. Your deepest curiosities are hurling at us from every direction, and we love it. Since so many of you are asking the same questions, here’s a theoretical representation of the chat we could have had. Let’s approximate the Sack.
Fatalist Prophet When does the Beta end?
The Destiny Beta ends when we say it ends. For days now, press releases have circulated that foretold of the end on July 27th. The Wolf, our Theoretical Physicist, has told me that he wants some room to maneuver close to the conclusion of our little social experiment. So, I’m not telling you exactly when. Please play until we nail this thing shut.
Ground Pounder What the hell are you going to do about that Interceptor?
It’s a beast. Ain’t it? The architects of the arena have some ideas. In the final game, it won’t be the menace that’s been chasing you into bases. Don’t take it from me. Listen to Bungie Designer Derek Carroll:
The Interceptor is a tank and should be treated with respect, but the Sandbox team made some tweaks to reduce the “apocalyptic firestorm” factor a bit. The largest change is a lower rate of fire, with an additional delay between shots. This encourages the pilot to take aimed shots instead of just spamming rockets. More subtle changes include reducing the rocket blast radius, and shrinking the “arming shape” that allows the rockets to airburst on flying targets.
Even with these changes, we felt that having two of them on First Light is less interesting than having a single Interceptor for both teams to fight over. At the start of each match, each team is given a single Pike, with another neutral Pike up for grabs. Additional Pikes will respawn throughout the match near the Control Zones. The Interceptor will spawn on a delay.
You won’t see these changes in the Beta. A kinder, gentler Interceptor is just one more reason to look forward to the final version of Destiny, set to launch on September 9th. On that day, we look forward to complaints from the other side of the aisle, where the ace pilots have been polishing their medals.
This is just the beginning of the conversation that will enable us to support Destiny over the long term. We look forward to further debate on all points. Keep it coming. Keep playing.
We hope to see you tomorrow.