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This Week at Bungie – 11/17/2016

This week at Bungie we’re dissecting the machines.

In front of a live audience, we confronted Aksis, along with every other Devil Splicer that got in our way. An elite Fireteam of crash-test-dummies who serve the Raid team blazed a trail into enemy territory. From the relative peace and comfort of the hot seat, two developers traded war stories about a creative process they share with every discipline in the studio. We even did it in Heroic Mode.

If you missed the live stream, it’s equally informative in archive form.


Thanks to everyone involved. Raid Designer Joe Blackburn and World Artist Rusty Durbin were spirited co-hosts. TwitchMaster Scott and MC Pate always put on a good show. Media Lead David Michalson kept us well-lit and in sharp focus. And, who could forget our brave Fireteam?

Show us your war faces, gentlemen!



Introducing Team Velveeta (from left to right) Brandon Bjarnason, Dave Petty, Zach Bogatz, Chase Christian, and Travis Dorsey. At far right, Frank Robbins was on hand to represent the World Art Team that worked to create the spaces where the machines express their wrath. It’s rare for a group of people to take such joy from destroying their own work.

Thanks for holding the cheese, Guardians.

There are more Ride Alongs on the spoke. No telling what we might explore next: The Plaguelands? Archon’s Forge? Rise of Iron Campaign?



Equal Opportunities

The Siege Engine is not the only machine we’re dissecting this week. We’re also cracking open the machinations of the Crucible to show you what’s inside. Since last weekend, we’ve seen a resurgence of a conversation about Matchmaking. This always tends to be an emotional topic.

Crucible Matchmaking was designed to be as fast and fair as possible. These are complex systems that serve millions of players. More people enjoying the Crucible means healthier Matchmaking pools and a stronger community overall. We hear your feedback about how that should work.

Here are some facts on the matter, provided by our Matchmaking Quality Overlords Team.

When it comes to Matchmaking, here are our design goals:
  • Provide you with a clean connection to your fellow players
  • Keep the time you spend in orbit between matches to a minimum
  • Set a match between you and a worthy opponent

…in that order.

Here’s how we go about finding you a match:
  • First, we identify a pool of available players with a good connection to you
  • Within that pool, we choose players closely matched to your personal skill rating
  • If we can’t find players within that pool, we widen the variance in skill
  • If THAT doesn’t work, we expand the search again with more variance in connection quality
  • Once enough players are selected, we break them out into equally skilled teams

Note: Skill is not a factor in Trials of Osiris. You are matched against players with good connections and similar score cards.

That’s a gross simplification of some complicated engineering. To summarize: Connection quality is always the highest priority factor in Destiny Matchmaking. It's the first criteria for the search, and the last value we’re willing to compromise to set the match. When possible, we introduce you to opponents that will put up a respectable fight, but not at the expense of a good connection. We strive for the ideal, but life on the Internet is chaotic, so it’s inevitable that we’ll see red bars or matches that end with the enforcement of the Mercy Rule.

Here are some of the questions people ask when they talk about Matchmaking in Destiny.

Why are you teaming me up with weaker teammates?
We favor connection quality over skill ratings. If we favored skill over connection, you’d be more likely to have people closer to your skill level on both teams. If you want better teammates, they’re likely waiting for you in our recruitment forums.

Why can’t you match Fireteams against Fireteams?
If we waited for perfectly weighted teams to find each other, you might spend more time in orbit than in the game. Fireteams can and do still match up against one another, but fast matchmaking is the priority. 

What is Destiny’s network tick rate?
Combat damage is sampled at 30Hz (30 times per second). We track and network how your shots land in every frame of gameplay you can see. You receive updates on systems like scoring or ammo spawn timers from an Activity Host at 10Hz (10 times per second).

Do you try to force players into a 50% win/loss ratio?
Nope. As we’ve stated, your personal performance is a factor in the Guardians you end up confronting in battle, but we do nothing to artificially influence win streaks or alter individual player statistics.

Why can’t I just relax and enjoy some matches with my friends?
We introduced Private Matches to the Crucible with the launch of Destiny: Rise of Iron so that you could do just that. Take matchmaking into your own hands and make the Crucible what you want it to be.

The last time we updated these Matchmaking settings was August of this year. Today, we identified and fixed a bug that was causing personal skill ratings to be calculated incorrectly in special Supremacy variants (i.e. Rumble, Inferno, and Iron Banner).

We’re always curious about what you have to say about the games you play. Our Feedback forum is where we look for thoughts and ideas. If you’ve taken the time to explain your perceptions of matchmaking, know that our work on the Crucible is never finished.



Helping Hands On Hand



The Internet is a jungle. Always hire a guide for your safari. If you don’t have your own, you’re welcome to the ones on our Destiny Player Support team.

Local Network Fireteam Issues
Since the release of Destiny Update 2.3.1.1, we have been investigating an issue where players on Local Networks are unable to form a Fireteam within Destiny. We have made some progress in identifying the root cause, and are continuing to investigate ways in which we may resolve this issue.

We wish to ensure Destiny remains stable for all players. One change may resolve the issue at hand, while creating more issues that impact a greater number of players in alternate ways. As such, we must approach any proposed networking changes with caution and vigorous testing.

For players impacted by this issue, please ensure that UPnP is enabled, if possible. Not only do UPnP settings create a better Destiny experience when playing online, this also makes it possible for multiple consoles on a Local Network to form Fireteams. Additionally, manual port forwarding on your network may negatively impact your ability to connect to other players in Destiny. For additional information concerning UPnP, please see our Network Troubleshooting Guide.

We are actively seeking to resolve this issue as soon as possible, and will provide updates through our Local Network Fireteam Issues thread in the #Help forum, when available. 
 
Destiny Matchmaking: Ensuring Proper Connection Settings
Discussed above, Destiny Matchmaking takes many factors into account to introduce you to opponents. To ensure the best experience within Destiny, we advise all players follow our Network Troubleshooting Guide. Below are excerpts from specific pages of our guide that address common issues reported to the #Help forum:

If you are experiencing issues while connected via WiFi, we strongly encourage you to connect your console to your router or modem using a wired Ethernet connection. WiFi is susceptible to a variety of different sources of interference, and introduces additional latency to your connection. For additional information concerning the issues that may occur when using WiFi, please follow the link above.

There are many examples that may be given to describe Lag, most commonly seen as a delay in enemy players taking damage after being hit by projectiles, or when alternate players stutter or “Rubber-band” when moving around play spaces.  The most common sources of lag and frequent disconnects are high latency and packet loss. Both can cause a poor experience, but each are very different in their root causes. For additional information, please visit the link above.

While these pages provide valuable information, we strongly recommend following all steps within the Network Troubleshooting Guide. If you continue to experience issues while playing Destiny, please post a report to our #Help forum.



Caught on Film



We need a hero in the dark of the night. When he’s not talking to the Security Response Team about the rules of engagement for the Banhammer, he’s watching your movies to make you famous.

Cozmo: We’re back and we brought pizza and a movie. You ready to watch?

We will be rewarding all of the brave creators of this week’s movie lineup with the highly coveted MOTW Emblem. We are already accepting entries for next week on our Creations page. Go post your videos now for a chance to win. 

Movie of the Week: SIVA Growth


Honorable Mention: Ghost Shell Trailer


Honorable Mention: Punch Party




Did we settle the Matchmaking debate once and for all this week? Certainly not. That’s the nature of a community that includes so many gamers. Different people want different things from their hobby. To occupy the same space in relative harmony, each of us needs to consider our neighbor. Nevertheless, the conversation will continue. We’ll strive to keep building a better game for all of you.

Next week, Thanksgiving will be visited upon our shores. There will still be blog fodder for your reading eyes. Intelligence reports it will be random and light.

The week after, we’ll be packing our bags for Anaheim, CA. The particulars of our mission are still a mystery. We’ll cross that finish line soon.

DeeJ, out.
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