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Bungie Weekly Update – 07/16/2015

This week at Bungie we’re delving deep into the Destiny sandbox.

Your feedback on how weapons balance each other out (or don’t) in Destiny (specifically in the Crucible) has been heard loud and clear. For months now, we’ve been evaluating the combat sandbox in test labs where our deadliest players battle our most senior designers. For weeks, we’ve teased at a response. Now, it’s time to dig in.

To set the stage, let’s take a look at this common social narrative about the thorn in your collective side:

People have said: “Everyone in the Crucible uses Thorn!”  Bungie User Research can match stats to almost any anecdote.

If we look at the Top Ten most popular weapons used in the last Iron Banner, we can see that Crucible warriors have clearly demonstrated the likeliest way to win a fight. Of course, Thorn is not the only thing you’ve mentioned in Tweets, and it’s certainly not the only fighting implement we would address in making Destiny a better place to make war against your fellow Guardians. Every weapon in your arsenal exists in a deadly ecosystem.

Sandbox Designer Jon Weisnewski has been working with our team to restore balance. He’s prepared a comprehensive analysis of all the weapon changes you’ll find in Destiny Update 2.0. The largest update to the Destiny Player experience to date should arrive in September, just before the arrival of The Taken King.

Before you click over to his Update Preview, here are some words about priorities from Senior Design Lead Sage Merrill.

Sage:  Hello, Everyone.

My name is Sage, but some of you may know me simply as “The Beard.” It has been my great pleasure and significant challenge to guide the Destiny Sandbox during its first release, the expansions, and now The Taken King. I care deeply about the feel and flow of the game, and the mechanics surrounding the player. That means I have a tendency to prioritize things like weapon feel, crisp controls, and smooth motion models. I feel like we have been successful in these areas, and hopefully that is reflected when you’re playing the game. So the next time you're cutting through your enemies like grass, the controller has completely faded away into the background, and your character feels like a direct extension of yourself… that is the feeling we are always striving to achieve.

Unfortunately, I tend not to prioritize external communication and that is unintentionally reflected externally to the community. I’m here to tell you that we're going to try and make it better. Although it may not be obvious, we are watching and monitoring the community very closely. We are also extremely critical internally, so if you see a thread out there in the wild about some Sandbox element, you can bet your ass we will see it, or someone will be waiting at my desk to talk about it Monday morning. We can’t promise that things are going to instantly get fixed. They aren’t. That just isn’t the realistic world of game development we live in. What I can say is that we are going to make a concerted effort to be more transparent, and that regular Sandbox updates will be solidifying in your near future. In closing, we have not been the best in communicating our intentions, or that we hear your complaints. However, we are constantly working to improve, so thank you for your continued patience. Please enjoy the game, and be excellent to each other.

I’m going to go back to putting the finishing touches on the new Subclasses and trying to figure out how I can make Blink less frustrating to fight against. People keep showing up at my desk asking me when I’m going to remove Blink from the game, and I don’t want to do that, so back to the drawing board! Here is Newsk with some delayed, but very tasty Weapon info.

Keep fighting, Guardians. Keep telling us what you’re seeing out there. The #Feedback forum is yours.

Private Eyes

Destiny Player Support is watching you!

DPS:  One of Bungie’s Prime Directives is to communicate planned maintenance on Destiny servers ahead of time to help you plan your gaming sessions. In preparation for last week’s Destiny maintenance, we created a new Help page that will be continuously updated to inform you of upcoming server downtime.

As Guardians continue their campaign to bring justice to Skolas in the Prison of Elders Arena, there have been questions raised surrounding the Elder Cipher Bounty that can be awarded upon completion. Many of those question have been answered in the Elder Cipher Bounty FAQ.

Lastly, we have seen reports of some players unable to view items or bounties from Tower vendors. If you have encountered this issue, please check out our Help article including known workarounds as we investigate this matter further.

Our #Help forum is the fastest route to a solution for what ails you. There is an entire team dedicated to running down solutions for the problems that mess with your game. If you ever detect a Guardian in need, you can help by sending ‘em our way!

A Major Award!

Cozmo: Hey, everyone. ICYMI, I’m a new Community Manager on the team at Bungie.

One of the things I’m looking forward to the most is seeking out and amplifying the coolest stuff you all create, so the #DestinyMOTW will be my jam. DeeJ has mentioned the Art Contest that we’ll be kicking off next week, so be on the lookout for that. For now, let’s see who’s claiming top honors in our weekly award show.

WINNER: A great grenade that placed Guardians in the forecast. 

Late-Breaking CO-WINNER: God Mode, Activated.

HONORABLE MENTION: Heavy metal inbound!

We had some great videos to choose from this week. I hijacked this section of the BWU from DeeJ, so now I’m the one in charge of finding fan made films to feature. We also plan to start shining the spotlight on you in other ways real soon. Make sure you share out your submission for next week.

That’s all we got for now. In the next Weekly Update, we’re serving up a preview of the new weapon foundries that you’ll loot in The Taken King. Now that you know what changes we have in store for the sandbox, we’re ready to share a glimpse of what else you’ll find there soon. We’re looking down the barrel of the largest arsenal of weapons and armor that Destiny has ever seen – and that includes the original launch of the game.

Bring your itchy trigger fingers.

DeeJ, out.
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