This week at Bungie we went to the races.
The December Update is live. Everything from the sandbox to the economy in Destiny has been bumped in a new direction. Check out the Patch Notes to learn what's new. More importantly, go play your favorite activity and tell us if you can feel the difference for yourself.
While Titans and lovers of Shotguns are experimenting to see if they're still badass, those of us who feel the need for speed are competing for glory and loot in the Sparrow Racing League. If you're a player of The Taken King, you're welcome to grab a License from Amanda Holliday and try your hand in a race aboard your scouting craft. If you love it, please play it a lot, and check in with Eververse to see how you can get the most out of the event.
With a new update freshly deployed and a new playable activity in play, there is much to say about housekeeping, fixes, and the road ahead. Let's kick it into gear.
From the other side...
Every race has a logical conclusion, and many of you are asking about what lies beyond the SRL finish line. To provide some clarity on the future of Destiny, it's my pleasure to yield the podium to the distinguished gentleman from the desk to my immediate right. He's also known as my esteemed and very handsome boss.
Urk: This week we saw some chatter bubbling up around our content plans for Year Two of Destiny. While Last-Year's-Me is glaring through space-time with a look of pained jealously over this newfound enthusiasm for DLC, it was This-Year's-Me who decided to make a quick Tweet to address the issue. I am, after all, a whole year older and wiser.
Hey. 2016 is gonna be great. We're working on stuff. Fun stuff, that's still in development. SRL is live today, though! We hope you dig it!— Eric Osborne (@UrkMcGurk) December 8, 2015
For some of you, that was enough to calm nerves and table some of the wilder speculation. For others - and for those who don't follow me - I figured I could expound a little bit here and layer in some detail for each piece of the Tweet.
"Hey."Hello... It's Urk. I was wondering if after all these tweets you'd like to meet. To go over everything (in 2016).
We get it. Some of you were hoping we'd take the stage at PSX and announce 'The Dark Below II: Darker and Lower' (not a real project in development). Although you hopefully think Sparrow Racing League and the accompanying updates are fresh and fun, you're worried about the "three week" thing, and what these events mean over the long term of Destiny as we get ready to close out the calendar year.
To put it bluntly, you seem worried that there won't be any more substantial content until we ship another full game, or that all of the content for the rest of Year Two will come in the form of timed events.
"2016 is gonna be great. We're working on stuff."Good news, everyone!
There's a whiteboard in one of our meeting rooms filled with scribblings and sticky notes that represent the developments planned for Destiny's not-so-distant future. Events, activities, content, and features designed to keep you happy, entertained, and rewarded throughout the year to come: some events and some activities that will become additions to your Director.
The first of these early 2016 experiences will be on a scale close to Festival of the Lost. The second will be far larger than anything you've seen since the release of The Taken King. There's also another significant update to the world and sandbox planned in this same window.
It's true that we've updated the playbook based on what we've learned to date, and to better tap into what makes Destiny unique. Last year, we all waited five months and ten days between content drops after December. This year, the plan is to deliver new experiences at a faster clip. To that end, the updates described above are all currently slated to hit across Winter and Spring of 2016, with more to come, as well.
"Fun stuff, that's still in development."Plans. Stuff. Things. If there's any one aspect of these words that are most likely to leave you cold, it's the generic wordplay.
"Just tell us exactly what you're making!"
We plan to. While some of next year's festivities are designed to surprise, like napalm from a newly forged Dragon's Breath, we'll also be rolling out pre-planned announcements on several fronts to keep you up to speed.
I'd love to announce it all right now. On Twitter, even. It would do wonders for my follower count, but since the team is currently in development on those projects, it would also be irresponsible. The team just shipped SRL and Update 2.1.0, after all.
"SRL is live today, though! We hope you dig it!"I'm really excited about what's on tap for next year in Destiny, both the events and the bigger ticket content and activities. We've already talked about having a sandbox update each quarter, but there's more on the way, too. Please give us some time to sort the details, and lock down the fun stuff to come. No doubt, there will be lulls in the communication. We'll do our best to keep the community channels lively during those spells (well, DeeJ and Cozmo will).
In the meantime, we've got SRL and a brand new update to dig into. If you like the event, let the team know you want to see more of it. Currently, it's slated for three weeks, serving as this year's holiday event. Personally, I hope and believe it's something we'll all want to see more of.
Thanks, Urk. You look great today, by the way. I'm particularly fond of the facial hair for some reason.
Right now, our forums are lit with chatter and ideas for what you want to see in Destiny. Thanks for sounding off, and keep that coming. As always, we're reading and listening and planning things worthy of your passion, enthusiasm, sense of adventure, and competitive spirit.
To date, the Sparrow Racing League has claimed over 12 Million lives (both Guardians and the Enemies they fight) on the tracks of Mars and Venus. That's not a measurement we immortalize in the Record Book, but it's evidence of the carnage that flows through the boost gates.
Pardon Are Dust
Let's catch up with Senior Designer Jon Weisnewski about weapons and accuracy in the December Update.
Newsk: Let me come right out the gate by saying that, all self-depreciating humor aside, any frustration caused by my incorrect messaging of the change values was unintended from my end and perfectly understandable from your end.
Transparency and open dialogue around our design intent for this game means a lot to us. On a personal note, the effort that goes into crafting a preview that invites you into our discussions is a point of pride for me. Yesterday's mistakes were not my finest moment.
Sifting through the largely unanimous feedback from the last 24 hours on "The Great Patch Notes Swindle," I have prepared a FYQ (Frequently Yelled Questions) which will hopefully shine 0.04% more light on how we got here.
What are the REAL numbers?
Today we updated the patch notes (again!) to reflect the real numbers you are experiencing in the game.
How did this happen?
I assure you this was a series of very boring events that unfolded kind of like this: I had not-ready-for-primetime scratch numbers in the preview drafts while we were in the process of tuning. I failed to correctly update these numbers prior to publishing. The test team doesn't use the Patch Notes, they use the actual in-game data to verify changes on their way out. The awesome people who helped me edit the preview weren't close enough to the real data to know it was a mistake.
How did nobody notice this for a month prior to the changes going live?
Unfortunately, I don't have a good answer for this. I wish I did, because it's a very valid question and I think pokes at the core of the frustration a lot of people are expressing. Speaking for the Sandbox designers, we had already wrapped up the update and were heads down working on our next deliverable for Destiny. It wasn't until the changes made it into the game and the community started sounding off that we were alerted to the mistake. Yesterday, in my own self-induced panic to get the real numbers out to everyone, I very hastily assumed I had made the same mistake on Pulse Rifle numbers and screwed those ones up in the published revision. (We have since updated the Pulse numbers so that they are more accurate).
The resulting update caused more confusion and made it seem like we were trying to cover our tracks. It was a sloppy move on my part, but none of it is malicious or a cover up.
What is the point of increasing damage if the numbers don't go up?
The damage numbers you see in game are not the raw base numbers we work with. The number shown at a damage event gets scaled by a lot of factors (activity, target, Light level, difficulty, precision, damage type, etc.) and then displayed to the player in combat as rounded whole numbers with a clean UI presentation. A small adjustment to an Auto Rifle may not be enough to change the displayed number, but (THIS IS A HYPOTHETICAL EXAMPLE) if your base damage changed from 20 to 20.2, and then you fired that damage value every other frame (at 30 fps) over the duration of a 50 round magazine, you're actually getting a change in DPS even though the base number still reports as 20 in the UI.
Specifically for PVP, add precision damage scaling and the barrel upgrades that scale up Impact available on Exotic and King's Fall Auto Rifles, and you'll start to feel the new change a bit more.
Will that be enough to "properly buff" Auto Rifles? We'll see. As always, we're watching data and planning the next update every day. Until then, keep that feedback coming.
Update 2.1.0 had a significant impact on the Destiny player experience. Fresh on its heels, we followed up with Hot Fix 126.96.36.199 to make some rapid corrections. When we change so many things that influence the way the world of game behaves, we're bound to identify a few things we need to tackle after it gets deployed. Meet our front line, in the form of Destiny Player Support.
DPS: Hot Fix 188.8.131.52 has included the following changes:
- Fixed an issue where players could be granted access to reward items gained through the SRL Record Book, Vol. 1 without purchase. These items will not be removed from the Inventory, but will require ownership of the SRL Record Book, Vol. 1 in order to equip them.
- Fixed an issue where players could decrypt Exotic Leg Engrams and receive nothing
- Fixed an issue where copies of "The Climb" FWC Ship was incorrectly providing Reputation. We have temporarily disabled the ability to re-acquire this from the Ship Collection kiosk, and will fix this in a future update.
Other issues that Destiny Player Support is actively investigating after the deployment of Destiny Update 2.1.0:
- Active players being Returned to Orbit due to inactivity.
- Issues regarding Collection kiosk availability of the Peregrine Grieves and Mk. 44 Stand Asides.
- The Quest step "More Bullets" is not progressing when players meet requirements.
Eververse Trading Company has received a storefront update with the release of Sparrow Racing League. Items previously included in Tess' inventory are no longer sold individually. Previously purchased Emotes can be reclaimed at the Emote Collection kiosk in the Tower.
Additional information regarding Sparrow Racing League can be found in the SRL Guided Support.
For a complete list of known issues, please view the Sparrow Racing League Vital Information thread, found in the #Help forum. Make sure to follow @BungieHelp for updates on our investigations.
You're the Best Around
For next week, we're planning a film festival to celebrate SRL. If you consider yourself a filmmaker, start capturing amazing moments, pick your favorite song, and stand by for information on competition categories and prizes. As for this moment, there is other carnage to honor.
Cozmo: The MOTW is your one-stop-shop for the very best Community-created Destiny videos. Every week, we pick our favorites to feature here on the blog, and the creators get rewarded with a unique emblem reserved only for MOTW winners and mentions of honor. So be sure to send us your videos by submitting them to the Creations page. Let's see what we have lined up for you this week.
Movie of the Week: No extra lives. (F-Bomb Warning)
Honorable Mention: Never, never, never give up.
Honorable Mention: No escape.
Editor's Note: The Creations page is home to more than just videos.
This is an experimental time, Guardians. You inspire the developments that change the game. The way you react to them will spell out their fate.
For the next three weeks, we'll be discovering if the Sparrow Racing League has a place in the future of Destiny. I hope upon all hopes that you'll grab a sweet ride and join me on the track. I'm loving this event, and I'm looking for opponents to put into the wall - with all the love I can muster. Give Tess a look, too. She supports Amanda Holliday's efforts to hang those flags in the Tower. If you love SRL as much as I do, vote for it with your controller.
We'll be back next week, and the week after that, and as many times as the world affords us the chance to keep you entertained. Year Two has been a blast for us so far, and we're far from done talking about it.
See you in the winner's circle for those improvised demolition derbies.