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Bungie Weekly Update - 10/17/2014

This week at Bungie, we reforged some of the armaments in your arsenal.

According to the notes we published, our work may have resulted in either a slight increase or decrease in the deadliness of your go-to weapon. It’s a safe bet that you’re wondering why. We understand that curiosity. 

Let’s talk about why we do these things. I’ve talked to a lot of our developers about the update that went live. The main theme that emerged from every conversation can be summarized like this:

“There should be no single answer for how to win in Destiny.”

When you stand in front of the Gunsmith, you’re faced with choices. Each of the weapons on that wall is valuable in a special way. When you pull a piece of iron from the rack and commit it to your arsenal, you embrace strengths and weaknesses that complement the way you fight.

These aren’t new ideas. The signals have been in the ether for a while. Back in January of this year, months and months before the launch of Destiny, Tyson Green sat with us for a Bungie Podcast. If you’re curious about our design philosophies, the whole thing might be worth a listen. To understand what weapon balance means at Bungie, skip to the 20:40 mark:

"Balance is not about everyone being equal, but rather that not everybody is doing the exact same thing. If everyone is doing the same exact thing, something is not balanced. Everybody is trying to pursue the same unbalanced thing."

Soon after the launch of Destiny, I knew that Auto Rifles were due for a retool. In a pre-game lobby for an evening of clan warfare, a seasoned killer welcomed a newcomer to the arena with some sage advice: “We’re headed into the Crucible. You’re gonna want an Auto Rifle.”

Uh, oh… If that’s the only logical choice, we better enjoy Suros while we can!

Then came the flood of Tweets and posts about the Auto Rifle and Shotgun exhibitions that were dominating the Crucible. Then came the User Research data. It turned out that the vast majority of you were, in fact, using the same weapons to turn your enemies into burning cinders to be carried away on the wind.

A couple of weeks ago, the Destiny Dev Team published a diary of sorts. In it, they shared some of their reactions to the launch of Destiny. More importantly, they promised action. Here are some of their warnings from then about what befell your inventory this week.

This is why the base damage of your Auto Rifle was decreased by a whole 2%:

The Auto Rifle archetype is designed to appeal to players who like to throw up a wall of bullets and not worry if a few miss their target. It is intended to inflict sustained damage at close to medium range, but to lose effectiveness at longer ranges.
Today the Auto Rifle is too effective at long range, even beating Scout and Pulse Rifles in some circumstances. Expect stability and/or damage adjustments to the Auto Rifle to address this in the weeks ahead. 

This is why the base damage of your Scout Rifle was increased by 6%:

Scout Rifles are for players who like to keep their enemies at medium range and hate to miss. They are intended to be an awkward weapon to use at close range but to be dominant - as long as you land your shots - at medium and longer ranges.
Scouts just aren't hitting hard enough today when compared to other precision weapons. We'll be addressing this soon.

This is why the base damage of your Shotgun was decreased at maximum range:

Shotguns are for those situations where you need to deliver a massive spike of damage, right now, to the thing standing next to you about to do you harm. 
Today shotguns are effective beyond their intended range, especially when upgraded with that intention. Expect changes soon to address shotguns which push the envelope of what it means to be close quarters.

Even with these changes in full effect, all of those weapons are still dangerous. Now we send you back into that same arena to see how things change. Destiny is a game that we’re excited to support for a long time, so this will happen again. Fight like hell out there, but try not to get too stuck in your ways.

I don’t need to tell you to keep us informed as to what happens in the heat of battle. You have a habit of letting us know how you feel, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Game on.

Postcards from the Vault

If you’ve completed the Raid, you’re obviously pretty invested in the way the encounters lead to rewards. To shed some light on recent events, as well as events yet to come, please welcome Luke Smith. The floor is yours, Luke:

In this week's Hotfix, we reduced the efficacy of the Vex Mythoclast, the drop players who beat Atheon on Hard have a chance to earn for their achievement. Our nerf was intended to target PVP play - where we felt and heard that Mythoclast was over-performing - but it also reduced its effectiveness in PVE.
Our PVE nerf was stronger than we intended and we are going to fix Mythoclast in PVE. 
Mythoclast and Raid-forged exotics have three experience goals which drive their creation:
  • Mythoclast is a trophy weapon from the most challenging PVE activity in the game. You braved our hardest challenges, we want to reward you with a weapon that outperforms the other primaries in your PVE arsenal (Nightfall Burn and Epic Skulls notwithstanding). 
  • Mythoclast should be a valid choice in PVP, but should not be the optimal choice. This aligns it with our philosophy on Exotics throughout the rest of the game. We don’t want any one Exotic to be the only answer to the question “what should I bring into PVP.”  Suros Regime, for instance, is still too effective in PVP compared to other Exotics. 
  • Mythoclast's power tail is long enough for players to rely on in the next Raid. For a player and their group of six who beat Atheon on Hard mode, we'd like the Mythoclast to be a weapon they can continue to rely on in the next Raid, Crota’s End.
How we are moving forward: 
  • We are adjusting the base damage on Mythoclast. We are going to find a value that works for both PVP and PVE. 
  • In addition, we intend to raise Mythoclast's attack value above and beyond the other exotics. Attack value dictates how much damage players deal to combatants and Mythoclast attack value being raised will make it more effective in PVE. 
Timeline for these changes:
  • They’ll be going in soon. 
  • We have a more substantive update in certification right now, which slows down our ability to make changes to the Live game. 
Next week's Hotfix is going to contain some fixes to the Atheon encounter.
  • We've added "baby bumpers" to areas where players could knock Atheon out of the environment.
  • Knocking a boss off a ledge is a bug. We will seek to address bugs like these as quickly as possible. 
The encounter goal for Atheon is to act as a climax and the culmination of learning for a given Raid group. Part of that is making sure that each player in your group can perform every job as required. A change will take effect next week which fixes a bug with Atheon's target selection. When using its Timestream ability, Atheon will select 3 players at random, instead of choosing the three players furthest from it.

Keepers of the Zoo

Recently, we circulated a boast that millions of people play Destiny every day. As proud as we may be of the launch, there are still some among you who encounter strange beasts that block you from entering orbit. Our goal is to see every single, last one of you in the Tower. That’s the mission of the Destiny Operations Center.

Here is your weekly report from the Master of the house:

In the race to make sure Destiny players’ NAT type wasn’t causing problems, we never properly conveyed which problems can be solved by opening your NAT. An open NAT isn’t a magic bullet that solves all networking issues. We know a lot of you have worked hard at understanding port forwarding and troubleshooting your internet connections, so we want to make good on this and clearly state what port forwarding can potentially solve:
  • Frequent BEAVER/FLATWORM/LEOPARD KTOs (Kicked To Orbit events)
  • Unable to hear voice chat from other players in your own Fireteam 
  • Frequent empty Towers
  • Activities failing to find a game (resulting in ‘unable to find a match in time’ errors)

If you aren’t experiencing the above-mentioned problems, we strongly recommend that you don’t mess with port forwarding as it is a delicate procedure that may worsen your situation if done incorrectly. If are experiencing any of the above problems and are afraid that you may have forwarded ports incorrectly, don’t worry: It can be undone. Please try removing any existing port forwarding rules that you implemented for gaming, then enable UPnP in your router settings if your networking hardware is updated to a recent firmware. If you have UPnP on and no other forwarding rules and the problem still occurs, or if your networking hardware/setup doesn’t support UPnP, ONLY THEN attempt to forward ports manually. We are extremely sorry for any confusion. We put our help article writer into an isolation cell to think on what they’ve done and we are revising our help pages to communicate clearly.

With the most recent update this week, the DOC has seen a drop in NEWT, PANTHER, COCONUT, GRAPE, GROUNDHOG, EEL, ELDERBERRY, and IMPALA errors. Unfortunately, there has been a small increase in BEE and BABOON KTOs. We are investigating and identifying the possible causes of this change. We are working on problems you may be encountering while playing Destiny, because your happiness is what makes us happy.

Obligatory prompts that lead to helpful resources: Always tell us what’s blocking you on the Help Forum. We’re publishing articles about fixes on Help.Bungie.Net. And, as always, @BungieHelp is your source for up-to-the-minute status updates.

The game must flow.

The Highest Aim of a Captain

Fallen Captains are real bastards. The tattered robes. The extra limbs. The regal armor of a lost dynasty. Despite that busted up fleet that they call home, they carry themselves with a swagger that betrays their belief that they’re better than you. It’s always a gas to crack that Arc shield of theirs and watch their smug soul outgas into the atmosphere.

No one knows this better than DirtyMeat. This filthy Warlock has killed more Fallen Captains than you – more than us all. How many? Throughout that campaign of Patrols, 8,615 Fallen Captains have fallen prey to a Guardian who chooses their own path. The closes competitor in this race trails by more than 2,000 four-armed officers.

It’s easy to respect a player who knows what they want from the game, and becomes legend by sticking to it. Unless you’re a Fallen Captain. They hate this guy.

What is a Mail Sack?

This weekly Q/A jamboree began in 2011. When I first grasped the reigns of, we had a captive audience to satisfy and a game we could not yet name. Given the cold, hard embargo on every juicy conversation topic, the Mail Sack helped to sustain a relationship with the Bungie Community. It was a tease, a dodge, and a dance. The promise was a flirtation with the details for “our next project” and (just maybe) a playful look into the mind’s eye of a team that was bringing something new to life.

Now we find ourselves speaking to a different group of people – a Destiny Community. The new citizenry of our website is a very different population. You have different wants and needs than our old, loyal fanclub.

If you crave answers to the serious questions, check out the conversation I had with the Guardians of Destiny this week. They had a lot on their minds, and I was glad to hear all about it.

This week, the Mail Sack took a back seat to more important work. It will return, but the new reality is that we spend all day reading your feedback. We don’t need to provoke your curiosities so deliberately in a post-launch world. The Mail Sack will continue in its original form – a chance to connect to each other as people, and maybe even make you smile.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, there is a winged helm that I’ve had my eye on since it first appeared in an email sent around our studio, long ago. It’s on sale in the Tower, so I have a date with Xûr. These coins are burning a hole in my pocket.

See you around, in all the places where you talk about Destiny, and in all the places where you play.
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