Dev Commentary.

  • Daniel talks about making games. (Unrelated to Destiny, but a cool and long read)
  • Deej is kicking ass behind the scenes to enable Cozmo and DMG to be more active. (DMG, Reddit)
  • The CMs lead the way, but the whole company contributes facts, commentary or art to help us arrive at the right message. (Deej, Twitter)
  • “We aren’t looking for any pats on the back, we are interesting in hearing which of our planned changes you like and which you don’t.” (Cozmo, Reddit)
  • No community managers are leaving. (Cozmo, Reddit & Various sources)
  • They’ll never fault anyone for being angry about something with the game as long as they are civil (Cozmo, Reddit)
  • No plans to go dark between updates. (Cozmo, Reddit)
  • When Deej tweets “What else has you curious?” the answers help him take a census and plan the next round of dev commentary. It’s not an AMA. (Deej, Twitter)
  • Regarding Black Spindle-Esque quests, by Cozmo:

As a community manager, I know that there are always multiple opinions every decision. A lot of players loved the Black Spindle quest. There were a lot of players who also hated it. They thought it was way too hard and gating off content from solo players who couldn’t complete the challenge. Now the former may tell the latter to “Git Gud” but I still hear those people out.  Also, there are those who are for and against timers on the Nightfall. So when I ask for feedback, I try to get a sense of what the community is currently feeling about a subject. Not just go on my personal assumptions based on the past.

  • Cozmo later stated that he never stated his opinion when saying above. He was simply acknowledging that they did receive that feedback from some players. (Cozmo, Reddit)
  • The CM’s can’t make unilateral changes to the game so they’re not going to reply stating something will be changed until it’s been confirmed.
  • DMG looks at the feedback forums every day. (DMG, Forums)
  • Time is a harsh mistress in game dev. See source for the full story. (Daniel, Reddit)
  • Daniel talks about hotfixes and schedules.
  • Bungie never wanted to do player trading or a player driven economy. (Daniel, Reddit)
  • Sometimes test and design resources get allocated to fixing higher priority issues that could have prevented content from shipping. Such as Game crashes, FPS drops, interact prompts having issues, stuff like that (DMG, Reddit)
  • A lot of stakeholders need to review information Bungie puts out about changes to the game. (Cozmo, Reddit)
    • Stakeholders = “people who make the stuff”. Got to make sure the CMs get everything accurate. (Cozmo, Reddit)
  • Bungie never said that the reason they don’t have Warthog like vehicles is because they’re afraid of people being jerks with them. (Cozmo, Reddit)
  • Forever 29 was a tricky thing to tackle. (Daniel. Reddit)

"Personally, I think forever 29 wasn't ideal because there was no protection against bad luck. There is a non zero percentage of players that tried every week to get capped but just couldn't get what they needed. That sucks, and I think makes for a pretty crappy experience. I think having some element of guaranteed progression helps mitigate that; the tricky problem is balancing that guaranteed progression with the feeling of excitement of getting what you need. Always room to do better!"

“Answering questions like "will Destiny ever have FeatureX" feels like a trap because I have no idea what we might decide in the future; what I strongly feel today might be proven wrong tomorrow. (For instance: I wanted to cut emotes from the game before Destiny 1 launched because I thought no one would care and thought we should spend those resources elsewhere... oh man was I wrong.) Plus, while I might feel a certain way about something, if the game director feels a feature is important to the franchise I might be overruled. (Probably for good reason.)

Speaking about personal opinions is also risky, because no matter how much I say it is a personal opinion then folks will assume it is official. I try to be really careful about not making promises or saying things that I can't personally verify are true, so I generally only talk about things I've actually worked on myself." (Daniel, Reddit)

  • "With issues like [The trials erroneous loss bug) we don't broadcast that we're aware of it immediately when it's discovered. Try to avoid spreading the issue, while working on things internally to identify a fix and potential deployment window for it.” (DMG, Reddit)

Imagine a younger Joe. Bright faced, full of ambition, ideas, Dr. Pepper. I was working in test at the time. The Lead gameplay designer for combat on ESO took time out of his schedule to meet with me to talk about the core combat in the game.
I HAD a lot of feedback. And a lot of ideas. I did my homework and made sure that my ideas and criticisms were backed up with some pretty solid logic. So when I presented them, I said a lot of things like "THIS IS GOOD BECAUSE X" or "THIS SUCKS BECAUSE X."
He told me to never assume that people agreed with me. And never assume that because people didn't agree with me, that they were wrong.
He was not trying to put me in my place. He was trying to help me ideas and feedback get heard. When I say something like "This is bad because X." My audience can just immediately shut down and think, nope, I disagree with that, I like it.
By simply rephrasing things to "I think, I feel, I believe." You are no longer telling someone something they might already know or disagree with, you are just adding your perspective.
Now your audience is hungry, instead of shutting down, their brain starts spinning. "Are they right?" "Why do they feel that way?" "Is this more important than I thought it was?"

  • They had to turn off item comparison in the vault to make an expansion work on legacy consoles for D1. (Cozmo, Reddit)
  • Cozmo will see if they can get more info about why Bungie simply can’t add 777,777 vault slots. Bungie never said “it’s because of 360” (Cozmo, Reddit)
  • They’ve heard the feedback that people want videos of what’s to come instead of tweets/screenshots. (Lars B, Twitter)
  • But there are certain difficulties with getting those kinds of videos. (Jon W, Twitter)

There's footage from a playtest coming soon to a TWAB. It was captured last week, took a fair amount of vetting from multiple ppl to make sure we weren't showing something we hadn't announced yet, required time from test to pull off lab machines, edit, compress then went to our vizd team for final editing where things like debug text can get removed from the footage. Then it gets passed around again for final sign off. All in all it has taken a little over a week. Again, I agree it would be totally sweet. Just saying there's a fair amount of work involved from people to make it happen. So, sometimes all you're gonna get is a fun tease from my twitter account and nothing else. All will be revealed in time. Cheers!

  • The Nightfall timers were disliked by a lot of players. (Cozmo, Reddit)
  • The devs are doing the work. CMs are giving players a chance to share their ideas. (Cozmo, Reddit)
  • It’s important to not assume everyone thinks the game should be exactly like D1 (Cozmo, Reddit)
  • All of the features outlined in the development update/roadmap will be free to all players. (Chris B, Twitter)
  • There was a lot of feedback on removing the grind to unlock weapon perks during D1
  • They have read a lot of feedback stating "It's ok if things change, just give us more info about what is happening!" (Cozmo, Reddit)
  • Bungie devs do play their own game. (Cozmo, Forums)
  • Originally they wanted the raid armor to have 2 mod slots (one normal, one raid) but they ran in to some technical hurdles that they didn't have time to solve. (Daniel, Reddit)
  • They have ways to test against different network connections, even when using a local environment. They have few techniques to replicate latency, which is used to measure the player experience and test for potential issues when mechanics experience lag. (DMG, forums)
  • Changing ADS speeds is possible, but it messes people up. (Josh H, Twitter)
  • Player top speeds affect world loading, hence why they have to be careful with increasing it and why there are no sparrows in certain places. (Josh H, Twitter)
  • They’ve talked about the opt-in voice chat internally. They understand the desire for [automatic opt-in for voice chat, so that people could opt-out if they wanted] and they are still evaluating, but for now they’re sticking with the opt-in experience. (Kevin Y, Twitter)

It's a bit brute force, but keeping public voice chat off by default in Destiny I think was one of our most important decisions: draws in some players who wouldn't play otherwise, and pushes people toward forming their own social groups they can trust to play with

It doesn't solve the problem at the root, but I do believe it has had a very strong positive impact on how our players experience the game and how our community formed as a result. (Andrew W, Twitter)

  • There are many people at Bungie who would like to do some more cool stuff with the Infinite Forest. (Cozmo, Reddit)
  • They are excited to see these D1 revamped maps coming to Destiny 2, but they are not going to portray them as “brand new content that you totally haven’t seen before.” (Cozmo, Reddit) If you see anyone representing Bungie making that claim, please let Cozmo know. (Cozmo, Reddit)
    • They want to bring back old faves, but not at the expense of actually making new stuff. (Cozmo, Reddit)
  • As long as people like Cozmo and DMG are in the mix, [gloom and death] won’t be the entire vibe. They’ll lead you to the fun. (Deej, Twitter)
  • Rumble is solo queue. While they’ve heard the feedback they know private matches are ever approaching and didn’t want to compromise the Rumble experience with teamers and feeders. (Kevin Y, Twitter)
  • Charlemagne’s numbers are not accurate of the entire player base. (Cozmo, Twitter)
    • Charlemagne’s numbers seem to be an inaccurate sampling of all players. The [Faction Rally] end results are in the millions, not hundreds of thousands. Don't get [Deej] wrong. [Deej is] not a Monarchy loyalist. (Deej, Twitter)
  • Tower Blackscreen saga:
    • The Tower blackscreen issue was a very difficult issue to identify and fix. a Lore Scannable was duplicating in the Tower when transitioning between the Courtyard and the Hangar, eating up memory. (DMG, Reddit)
    • The Lore scannable was Ana Bray’s log. (Lemming, Reddit)
    • The Speaker’s quarters book was moved for good measure as well due to concerns that it could lead to similar bad behaviours. (Lemming, Reddit)
  • The root cause of raid spawning issue was the cinematic and the start of the raid pushing some of their memory budgets over the edge as players swapped around gear later on. (Cozmo/Lemming, Forums)
  • Oryx Basketball Court, and why it was useless:
    • It came in super late as a challenging to reach secret and we hoped it would have a reward but it was too late for ship. Options were ship it as a hidden spot to go dunk on friends w/o reward or cut it. But the excitement around it led to early planning of future meta puzzles.” (Andrew H, Twitter)
  • Giving a list of what exactly the system looks at [in regards of the inactivity timer] gives ammunition to those who wish to work around it. (DMG, Reddit)
  • Joe Blackburn provides some insight on the old raid token system.
  • Spawn locations are generally mode-agnostic; they're based more on the map layout. The player spawn policy that determines which locations to use is gametype-specific. (Derek C, Twitter)
  • It’s really hard to predict how long it would take before implementing a scaling back of the grind in case it gets too rough. A lot of factors are at play. Where are they in the patch cycle, what people can they take off of what they're doing to make the change, how dire is the problem, etc, etc (Daniel. Twitter)
  • No leaderboards in PVP because they didn’t want players to massively cheat like they have in some previous Bungie games. However they’re open to the feedback as always and are going to be improving ranks as they go on. (Kevin Y, Twitter)
  • They have plans to officially release MoTS in the near future. They’ll have more details for you soon. (Cozmo, Reddit)
  • Regarding “dodging questions” and the need for less vague answers:

“I know you want answers, and you shall have them. Our community is diverse enough to also include curious people who want to know more about how games are made and we would like to serve them, too. For us, it’s not about dodging a question. The answers can exist in the raw space where creation is still happening. Sometimes, the best we can do is to state our goals or priorities for the work that is happening. Waiting until we can make exact promises stifles communication.” (Deej, Twitter)

  • PRE FORSAKEN. Daniel talks about solo players, casual players, and how changes are made with them in mind.  (Daniel, Reddit)

Hey! We definitely agree that not all solo players are casual players and appreciate all of the feedback here on the upcoming changes. It’s invaluable to informing our decisions making going forward. Getting powerful gear can be done solo, but players that play group activities (like Trials and Raid) will progress faster in this new system. That’s a behavior that I believe we want to support to reward those players that tackle that challenging content, but this doesn’t mean we want to leave solo players out in the cold. First, we’ve got some events coming in the future that will give extra opportunities for solo players to progress. Additionally, coming up with challenging and compelling reward sources for solo players (which, naturally, Raiders/Trials players will also participate in) is something I think we could do better with going forward and is something we’re actively thinking about. I think the progression system in Warmind feels a lot better than it has at any point in Destiny 2 so far, but I still think there’s untapped potential there to keep improving it in the future as well. Hopefully this has helped address some concerns, but I know we’re not at the perfect solo/group balance yet and we’re looking at ways to make that better going forward. I hate to sound like a broken record, but letting us know the parts you love and the parts you don’t love is super helpful as we work together to steer this ship towards future plans.

EDIT: Hey folks, just for some clarity (and because I don't want people to think I'm ignoring them) - I'm a rewards and progression guy by trade; I totally will pass along LFG/matchmaking feedback to people (and I know our community peeps are keeping an eye on this thread so they can do the same) but as folks might know from some of my other comments in this sub I don't like speaking to areas I don't work on directly. Last thing I want to do is make promises/statements for teams I don't work on, or provide you guys with bad information.

  • Art leads have been discussing player concerns regarding Destiny’s armor/gear aesthetic design. (Chris B, Reddit)

  • About allowing infusion cross-classes like in D1:

I wouldn’t say it is totally off the table, but I think “run one character to max out all three classes” isn’t a super compelling experience (or particularly rewarding feeling one) which is the reason this change happened in the first place. The goal was to make it feel like more of an accomplishment to hit max on all three than it was in Destiny 1. (I say that as someone that definitely ran raids on my Hunter to gear up my other, inferior classes)
Curious if players that play on multiple characters feel like they have more to do and if it feels like more of an accomplishment to max all three (especially after the progression changes in Warmind) and such though. (Daniel, Reddit)

  • They are interested in promoting the LFG features of the app in-game, like they promote Trials and IB being live. (Halcylon, Reddit)
  • The original plan was a 50 slot vault increase, and then someone was like “I got it up to a 100.” (Cozmo, Reddit)
  • EP doesn't have unique perks becase they couldn’t get it done in time. (Daniel, Reddit)
    • Never is a scary word, but there aren’t any plans to go back and add unique perks to the EP armor, as those who worked on that are needed on other things now. (Daniel, Reddit)
    • Clarified that he’s talking about EP armor, not in position to speak for the armor team about their plans for the broader armor economy.
  • On the logic behind Warmind’s weapon rewards/PL climb system:

“I wanted to build the weapon rewards as something you could chase without limit during the week, but if we made them power upgrades that would give you (in theory) a source of unlimited upgrades. In an effort to address some of "we're hitting the cap too fast, and gaining power doesn't matter" feedback, we wanted to slow down progression so you could feel the impact of climbing the power ladder. Putting in sources that let you grind out unlimited upgrades a week means some players might get really lucky, and find themselves gaining huge power spikes, while other players didn't. That's one of the experiences that we've heard players don't like, so we opted to remove the power upgrades from these drops in favor of making them farmable.
On weeks the boss only drops one of the weapons that's less relevant, but on weeks where the boss can drop all three I think players will want to farm for their missing guns and this gives them a route to do that. Having a three prong attack on the reward system let us create multiple different reward channels that should give players different ways to pursue loot from the activity. I think it feels pretty good in action, but I'll be listening to how folks feel about it once it is in the wild to inform future designs for sure.” (Daniel, Reddit)

  • Weapons are 5% drop chance from killing the final EP boss. (Daniel, Reddit)
  • Season 2 Ornaments are no longer available, and are exclusive to that season. (Reddit)

DMG Clarifies:

"We fully understand that Ornaments were a big hit for Trials - we'll be syncing with the Crucible team to see what the plan is for Trials of the Nine moving forward. We've collected a ton of feedback on what players would like to see from the mode (rewards included), but we weren't able to address the feedback for 1.2.0.

We'll be updating the Roadmap later this month to flesh out Summer and September, but I do not know when Trials improvements would land. Stay tuned for official comms, we'll be sure to give you info when we have it."

  • They now have the ability to restrict access to weapons or items that cause problems in-game (New functionality since the Prometheus Lens incident). (Twitter)
    • Regarding why they couldn't disable the Silly Walk emote and canceled two weeks of Trials instead: This is new tech they built based on previous issues like that. (Reddit)
  • Regarding suggestions to ban weapons in the Crucible: "In general I don’t want to ban anything. The game is the game to me. If you want to be the best at the game then you gotta play the game as it is. If something is truly busted we will fix it. I could see restricting duplication on subclass/weapons being interesting. Creates the concept of a team composition." (Twitter) (Twitter broke the full source)
  • They like to determine the root cause of issues so they don't compound people with misinformation, hence the wait on acknowledging issues. (Twitter)
  • Regarding writing critisism: "Just like every aspect of Destiny development, all of our writing is a team effort. None of the credit or blame lies at the feet of any one individual. We all work together to make Destiny, and it’s fine to criticize Bungie to point out where we can do better, but attacking writers is not productive feedback." (Reddit)
  • Daniel will take the blame for not having more high-tier emblem variants for EP: didn't budget them into planning early enough. (Twitter)
  • On feedback to have an EP activity on all planets: "There's a lot of setup work to get EP to work in a space, so I don't know how likely it is to see it ported to another destination (especially compounded if we don't want to reuse bosses, which I think would feel kinda meh) but this is something I can bring up with people!" (Twitter)
  • "[Bad RNG on milestones being a pain for solo players with limited time] definitely a problem I think we need to tackle. One thing I'd love to tackle in the future is making sure the drops are what you need, especially if they're limited." (Twitter)
  • Regarding Lost Prophecies not going into "Pursuits":
    • "Speaking with the Investment team, [Lost Prophecies] items were not included in the pursuits inventory bucket due to being account scoped. What you see within pursuits is held by character, where items like Prophecies or Treasure Maps can be progressed by any character on your account. The team is continuing to investigate solutions to feedback concerning inventory, and indeed are aware of this question/conversation. Thanks for sounding off." (Reddit)
  • Regarding the change to Benedict no longer having weapons in his/its lootpool:
    • "During the first day of Spire of Stars, we witnessed players obtaining all rewards from the activity simply by using tokens. We've also collected numerous feedback items noting that rewards are far too easy to earn through direct purchase and vendors, so a few changes were made with this release to address this for the Raid Lairs in particular.
      • Players must earn Raid Lair Weapons from Raid Lair Checkpoints
      • Raid Lair Armor must either be earned through Raid Lair Checkpoints, or direct purchase using Tokens once the Raid Lair has been beaten on a given week
      • Prices for Raid Lair Armor pieces were increased, as there are multiple checkpoints, challenges, and chests to earn Tokens from. With a higher price, this gives players a bit more reason to play more activities for the currency.
  • On giving feedback: "Everyone who plays our game has the right to give their opinions. We just ask you do so in a respectful manner and don't attack or insult anyone in the process. You don't have to be a developer to give feedback on whether something is fun or exciting to play." (Forums)
  • As a rule, Crucible Labs will not touch sandbox balance. (see Josh's explanation below). But, who knows what the future holds. (Twitter) 2
    • Complaints about SBX are still legit and heard by people at Bungie. They will try to make it more clear what Labs is looking for, but in the end, it’s about what players want. (Twitter)

Crucible Labs is a PvP jam. As a bonus playlist, it offers great potential for testing new modes & rule tweaks. Also, PvP is in a position to take maximum advantage of it. While sandbox would love to also take advantage, we currently have two things holding us back 
1. Time. All of SBX is currently heads down & tied up with major work (results coming soon!).
2. Tech. With some clever tricks, we may be able to simulate certain changes, but most SBX changes can’t be made without affecting the entire game (beyond the bounds of Crucible Labs).
If there are many questions remaining this might be something I can talk more about on a TWAB
."  (Twitter)

  • Crucible Labs is about bringing us in early, and giving us a chance to let Bungie know what we think BEFORE they ship it. (Twitter)
  • They didn’t add extrinsic (emblems, etc) rewards to Labs this time to keep the focus on the gametype. (Twitter)
  • Having new versions of current gear implemented as test weapons/armor that can only be equipped in Labs is a cool idea, but it's expensive. "I'm not asking SBX team for custom Labs stuff, since I'd rather get better stuff for everybody down the road." (Twitter)
  • The Shader Deleting Robot will not get banned.
  • Iron Banner load times saga:
    • "On PC, while there have been some load time issues with AMD drivers, there was also a systematic problem exposed when we launched 6v6 in Destiny 2. It manifests most often by players running low/lowest texture quality regardless of GPU. Those players often are kicked with Beet or Kale error code and the match starts 5v6. (fixed now) (Reddit)
    • This issue was identified not long after the release of 6v6 Iron Banner and the impact felt by all, however the cause of the long match start times and conditions under which it would happen eluded us for many weeks. During the last Iron Banner we were able to finally nail down the conditions under which it would happen and have since been able to fix the underlying issues that caused this bug.
  • They're definitely considering the feedback on having >3 fireteams for future activities. Changing fireteam sizes isn't a change they can make in the short therm. (Reddit)
  • Pretty unlikely any changes are going to get made to EP rewards any time soon, but they appreciate feedback about EP for stuff in the future. (Twitter)
  • The Sunbracers' lack of multiple solar grenade damage stacks is not a bug. It's intended behavior.
    • "The functionality of Solar Grenade has not changed in several years, what you’re seeing is the same behavior they had in D1 where the lingering damage volume left by Solar Grenades (As well as other grenades that behave similarly) does not stack when an enemy is in the middle of multiple instances of it. The Sandbox Team has heard your feedback regarding this behavior and are considering it for the future." (Reddit)
  • On when DMG visits/lurks Reddit: "It honestly depends. I check the Bungie.net forums, reddit, twitter, etc every single day. But on weeks like this one, where Faction Rallies goes live for the first time after an overhaul to the experience, Reddit is one of the first things I check in the morning. "Did they find another Weep???"" (Reddit)
  • On Pass/Expansions/Etc: "Buy the expansion if you want to experience a new story. Buy the pass if you want more content to engage with all year long. If you want to see how the game will evolve, just keep playing it." (Twitter)
  • Gambit will not be trialed in Crucible Labs:
    • 1) Crucible Labs is for experimental PvP modes. Gambit is not Crucible, it’s something else entirely! 
    • 2) All the new Code, Design, and Art that has gone into Gambit goes live with Forsaken. (Twitter)