Nite One and Splitscreen highlights:

  • It was pretty encouraging to see overwhelmingly positive feedback regarding Shadowkeep announcement. (9:01)
  • Their vision that they talked about is meant to be entirely game agnostic. The game can't expand perpetually. There are things like download sizes. They have to figure out how to solve these restrictions. (10:11)
  • Right now they are focusing on Destiny 2, its model. If they're going to build something else in the far future, they're going to build on the philosophy that they're developing right now. (11:41)
  • They want much more consistency in their principles and philosophies if they're ever going to make another Destiny game. The team is focused on Destiny 2. Their work with Destiny 2 is not finished. (11:52)
  • Barriers for re-entry into a game is different than the issue of barriers for brand new players. How to get people who have taken breaks to come back to the game is something the developers think about. (24:51 Mark's answer: 29:22)

"You hear a lot about the barriers for entry, but what about the barriers for re-entry? It's different, 'cause you're like: if I already gone through like... for a new player there is this new user experience, here's how you do all these things. But when you're on hour 152, and you stop playing for six months cause you're in a coma or you play other games or whatever. You come back, there is no new-new user experience. So like, how do you get those people back in the mix, right? How do you make it easy for them to-to play with their friends, or to.. um, to get back on the saddle. Something we think about a bunch, too."

  • They've had a problem with stacking a lot of content infront of players, causing returning players to fall further behind as they have to catch up with their friends who are doing fun things. (30:35)

"I think we don't have the massive systems complexity problem, but we've had a problem of like- stacking so much content infront of you. That like, hey you come back and you want to play with your friends but you've got like 30 hours. And they're like: 'Hey, Jeff, like, once you go through all that stuff you can finally raid with us and you can do the fun thing.'

  • New Light is part of the restructuring that hopefully is going to help solve these problems. (31:17)

A bunch of that stuff that has been required, all the campaign missions all that stuff, the barrier between you coming back and playing with Brad, or whatever. Like, the-- we made, we've taken the New Light and treated that like a base. Everything else is gonna be additive in a-la-carte non-linear way on top of the base. You could come in this Fall and be like, "I've heard that the D2 campaign was not very good, so I wanna skip that, I just wanna play Shadowkeep." You can just play Shadowkeep. You can just play Fors-- you can come in and just play Forsaken. You don't have to play anything now. What we've done is, really tried to create like an array of content, where you play an intro, it's intro from Cosmodrome from Destiny 1 'cus all the Guardians have like a shared origin story in Destiny. And then-- uh... you can just kinda 15 minutes in you'll be playing Shadowkeep or whatever with Brad.

  • They don't want to make players go through any chores before they can have fun, power surge quests are part of skipping chores. (33:12)

My band of friends, I had to explain to them, I talk to these guys in Discord , I had to explain to them like no, no, no! If you wanna come back in Season of Opulence and play the new 6 player activity, you literally just log in and in 25 minutes you'll be powerful enough to do it! You just do this attunement questline for your whole account and your characters will have 690 gear and we're just there.

And it doesn't matter that like Noseworthy and I were grinding in the previous season to get to 690, cuz what we've done with the power game in a bunch of ways is like--- get people's power level up to the threshold where you can just fucking play with eachother. [laughs]

Mark: At the start of every season, like converge old players new players, legacy players. For me they can all just-- I believe that now is the best time to be playing Destiny. We want that experience, where there-- if we have an event happening around Halloween, or something new is happening in the game and you hear about it, we want you to be able to just come back and participate, and not be like "I've got all these chores I have to do before I can have fun."

  • You're going to look like a "goober" and your friends who have worked hard to get their power level up by grinding for it will have sweet guns and look better. (34:19)
  • With the first Surge bounties, there were concerns whether if it will trivialize the power game for everyone, but it's not how people felt. The community just wants to play with their friends. (34:58)

Kotaku Splitscreen: (note: the audio of the podcast is poor, some details may have been transcribed incorrectly).

  • Avoiding the term "MMO" is no longer the right thing. (2:32)

We're not making World of Warcraft, no. But what we are doing is... for a long time, we've like dodged the term MMO for so long. We've like skated and done Matrix Ju-Jitsu to avoid calling it an MMO. But the truth of a lot of the game is that it's a game that has a lot of MMO-like tendrils in it, that avoiding it for any longer is not the right thing.

When we think of the future direction of the Destiny franchise, the MMO elements are elements that we have to grow and improve. We had-- we started to re-enhance the RPG part with Forsaken, I don't think our work is finished there, we're going to take that a step further this fall.

We have to get the social game to a better place than it is today. Our version of that MMO growth isn't about like, this is where [?] the subscription game, this is where we sacrifice the awesome kinetic action game that we've been building. It's: "How do we make the RPG element shine, and how do we enhance our social systems?"

  • Their goal is to put emphasis on gear choices that matter, Adding ability to tinker and build customization and things you have agency over. They don't have enough of that right now. (4:01)

It's really about the tinkering, right. Having your guy - or gal - and being able to customize them and make choices that matter and you understand what's gonna happen, and you go out in the field with this-- your avatar that you've created to test it out and see how it works.

Having lots of interesting choices that matter, that drive discussions between you and your friends, where you gonna bring different strategies against different encounters in battles. We don't have enough of that right now, and we think we can do a lot better there. It's really about getting to that feeling.

  • They want to enhance the "buildcraft(?) of the game. Today, the power climb does override all of the tinkering. (5:22)

Internally, we have this phrase called "buildcraft". We think about a multi year initiative of working on the RPG and enhancing the buildcraft of the game. Part of that is power climb, and the power climb does override all of the tinkering today.

  • What to expect in the future: Let's in say in the future you've got an awesome fusion rifle that you love, and you see that your gloves are enhanced hand cannon reloader. (5:45):
    • You're going to collect the modifications independent of the armor. You’ll have armor that’s kind of the base thing with some stats on it. You’ll be chasing the equivalent of Tier 12 in Taken King.
    • Once you find a mod, you’re kind of adding it to your collection. “Oh god I got this new set of armor, I got the enhanced fusion rifle loader perk, now I’m gonna get the energy up on my gloves, and slot that in.”
    • Power game/gain is still going to be an important part of Destiny going forward. There is an opportunity to keep refining it.
    • They’re adding a new slot to the character sheet, the Artifacts slot. The Artifacts are going to be a seasonal progression for players. During the season as they’re leveling up their Artifacts, there’s going to be mods that are exclusive to the season. It is possible that the name might change.
    • In D1 the Artifact was just a jpeg with some stats, artifacts in D2 are much more than that.
    • In the Artifact slot there are grids and mods you can unlock and choose between and have a bunch of different perks on them. All those perks are seasonal.
    • Some mods are temporary overdrives for your character for your progression in the season.
      • There are about 30 mods, some not interesting at face value such as Vex dropping Glimmer. Some mods are Void grenades that debuff your enemies, throwing a grenade that creates a melting point effect on enemies.
  • They haven’t talked a lot about things like difficulty. They want to create ways for players to challenge themselves, and the game has to push back at some point. Difficulty inspiring creativity is important. (9:37)

Difficulty in general is like the razor that drives creativity. Historically in Destiny we hav not provided difficulty options that would incentivize creativity and that's a thing, as a part of buildcrafting, it's a thing we have to do in Destiny. We have to have ways for players to challenge themselves, because once you're challenged-- that's when suddenly you're looking into your golf bag and you're like "Oh my gosh! Like--- ah the fusion rifle will be really good here, I have to use the Fusion Rifle! [trails off laughing]

Mark: The game has to push back at some point. You're gonna be like, "Oh, so the tools I'm using are not enough for me to do what I want to do. I need to look in the golf bag."

  • They think of Massive (the M in MMORPG) as two ways. One, many players and large social aspects. Two, many things to do. They’re not going to have public events with 42 people in them, they're not heading there. It’s not like Halo, it’s not like other games. There is a lot to do in Destiny already. (12:18)
  • Their work with Destiny 2 is not done. It is a challenge to keep adding to Destiny 2 without the game bloating, and platforms have technical limitations, but they are trying to solve those problems. 93GBs is a big barrier to jump right in. They can’t commit to any timeline, but they’re looking into reducing filesize so that the game could be smaller and more accessible. Right now, they don’t have an answer. (14:37)
  • Nothing is going to change regarding the fun of the action game. and they’re not going to have massive public events because of budgeting in the public bubbles. (17:20)

When we say we're not going to have massive public events, it's because of the budgeting in the public bubbles. We have a player character who is worth, let's call it somewhere between 3-5 AI. We wanna create combat challenge for players, but not the kind of combat challenge that's boiled down to just "We have like 30 players but you're fighting 5 AI who all have tons of health!" That's not exactly the type of fun you're going to have in a game like Destiny. We've heard the feedback over the years about the bullet sponges, you know what I mean?

There is a thing with our economy and the way we look at spending the budget of our spaces to keep the playercount roughly similar to public bubbles, and then turn up the number of AI, create challenge, create more combat [?].

  • Destiny has had an identity crisis. Now that Bungie is in full control, they can decide what they are and for who the game is for. Embracing the MMO nature is about shedding the identity crisis, picking their corner, being super comfortable in their skin, and pushing Destiny in the right direction. (18:50)
  • When they think of a person who is gonna play Destiny, it's someone who is choosing to make this one of their hobbies, to join the community, and play the game as little or as much as they want. (20:10)
  • They’re going to be happy as long as they keep making the game. It’s easier to make work when you’re self-publishing. Core players are their advocates. (21:25)
  • One calm day last fall the artists took the Moon interior space from D1 and re-lit it, and sent it to Luke. From there on, they saw an opportunity. (23:03)
    • It’s less about re-use, and more about leverage and telling new stories. (24:08)
  • They’ve made significant technology improvements to Destiny. Even if they had the most amazing work flow, people are always going to ask for more. Bungie believes that the team is up to the task and they're excited to keep making this thing. (26:30)
  • They don’t want to talk much about Shadowkeep’s overarching story, as it is for players to discover this fall. They’re moving the universe forward. It’s heading toward a finale, but it’s not ending. Pieces are going to click into place, think Infinity Stones and Thanos. MCU plan is a high bar, but there are a couple of images that the team has built over the years that point where they have to get to. (28:30)
  • A long pause happened when Jason asked why cross-save took so long. “Capital R ‘reasons’”. They wanted to do it for a long time, but things didn’t come together until now. The community breaking up due to some people moving to PC is a big problem. Cross play is part of the vision and something they talk about, but it’s about time, technology, and resources. They’ve been talking with Sony about cross save since January. Sometimes it takes a long time for everyone to get on same page. Sony is supportive and excited about cross save in Destiny 2. (32:31)
  • Regarding Stadia’s latency: they test Destiny under a lot of latency, because “the internet just sucks”. They are working closely with Google to make sure it’s smooth. (36:29)
  • Bungie has talked about changing the name of the game. They’re going to keep the 2 on the box for a while. (38:37)
  • They haven’t talked about for how much longer they’re going to support Destiny 1. It comes with both pros and cons. They don’t have a plan for any of that right now. (39:43)
  • Cosmodrome will not be fully patrolable in Shadowkeep. Some “bad shit” went down on the Dreadnought. (41:30)
  • It’s hard to predict what they’re going to do in 2020. Part of being a live service game is putting something out, testing it, and learning from it. In October they’ll have much better information. They know they’re going to add new worlds. They try to plan for multiple future scenarios, and it’s one of the hardest parts of development. They have a plan, they think it’s pretty good, and they will find out from the players if it’s something really good or something that should change. (44:08)
  • With new Pursuits screen, they’re trying to get a questlog into the game. There is a bunch more stuff coming to the Pursuits tab. They have keybinds for the Pursuits tab working in the studio. They are reading player feedback, and a lot of requested features are already completed. (46:36)
  • They want to avoid crunch and “unholy human sacrifices”. It’s important to have sustainable work practices, especially with a live service game. They’ve spent a lot of time last year structuring the team. (49:30)
  • Not everything is lost in dark corners of time. (53:00)

Cozmo.

  • Team is aware of the feedback regarding Destiny 2's blinding white title screen. It's a lot more in depth than just changing a texture. They'll let players know if they decide to make a change. (Reddit)
  • Destiny 1 will not be affected by cross saves in any way. (Reddit)