This week at Bungie, we watched Guardians become Legends.
Players have climbed the ranks of competitive Crucible and earned the title of Legend. Clan Redeem earned the title of World First (for the third time in a Destiny game) when overcoming challenges found in the Spire of Stars Raid Lair. Numerous fireteams have completed seven waves in Escalation Protocol, and earned some sweet loot in the process.
This last week has been one to remember. It's one of the best things about Destiny, really—when memories are forged in the fires of combat. It's been an absolute pleasure to see these experiences unfold, and we're excited to see more of these stories shared throughout the community.
That said, Destiny 2 will continue to evolve over the next few months and beyond. Yesterday, we updated the Destiny 2 Development Roadmap to expand on upcoming features and share our next deployment date.
In the coming weeks, we'll dive into what's changing about Faction Rallies and shed a bit more light on what Crucible Labs will bring to the table. This week, our focus is on feedback...
Feedback never stops. From the moment Warmind landed, we've had our eyes on the chatter surrounding all aspects of Destiny 2. One trending topic is how players reach appropriate Power levels for endgame content. Senior Investment Designer Daniel Auchenpaugh has some details on what to expect moving forward:
Daniel: Warmind is out! We're super excited this is in your hands now, as we're able to get a bunch of excellent input on what we did well and what we still need to work on. One of those areas I'd like to talk about a bit is progression. I spoke a little about this before the Warmind launch, but I think one thing I could have been more clear about was that the Warmind progression system is an improvement over Curse of Osiris, but still not where we ultimately want to end up. It's a step down the road to make the game more in line with where we want it, but we need to make these iterations one step at a time so we can incorporate feedback and ensure we're heading in the right direction.
Heroic strikes are a great example of something we definitely want to keep iterating on. In the May 29 update, you'll see a small change to help make these better.
- Escalation Protocol Key Fragments will become a 100 percent drop chance from each Heroic strike. The goal here is to make getting these fragments more accessible while also preserving the need to go play non-open-world content to get the fragments.
- Heroic strikes will be able to drop better rewards. Every three to five Heroic strikes will drop a Legendary that can carry you up to 360 Power (before mods). This should better align the rewards of Heroic strikes with the difficulty of the activity and help solo players have a more reliable source of upgrades.
We won't have any time to make changes to what's coming on the 29th, but please let us know how you feel about these rates; it is good information to inform future updates.
We're tracking some additional issues that don't have immediate solutions, but that I want to bring up as things we're thinking and talking about. I don't currently have any potential solutions to talk about, but I want to make sure we're communicating the kinds of things we're looking at and considering. In that spirit, here are some of the top progression-related issues we're thinking about right now:
- How to smooth out the transition into the endgame grind once the campaign is over. Currently, there is a brick wall players seem to be running into at 345, where progression goes from fast to super frictioned. This is one of those areas we definitely don't believe is perfect, so we're looking at how to smooth this transition out.
- Once milestones are complete, there aren't rewards to chase. Exotic Masterworks and seasonal ranks help this problem a little bit (giving some amount of non-Power chase to work on once milestones are done) but these definitely aren't enough. As highlighted in the roadmap, Weapon Randomization and Records should also help give players more to do once their milestones are done. That doesn't mean we believe this is a fully solved problem, and we're talking about other ways to help mitigate this.
- Endgame progression needs more tiers. Right now, everything gives similar-sized upgrades without discrete tiers in the progression system for players to climb to (so they can tackle new activities and, in turn, climb to a new tier with new activities). This is something I definitely wouldn't expect a solution for prior to September, but it is on our radar.
- The quality of the rewards don't always match the difficulty of the activity. We're seeing a lot of this feedback around raid lair rewards in particular, so talking about how to better align with the quality of reward and the difficulty of activity is something we're going to be thinking about more going forward.
Huge thanks to everyone who has spent time to type up their thoughts, what they love, and what they don't love with the progression and reward systems in Warmind. We're keeping our ear to the ground.
P.S.: Send me images of your favorite shader + Escalation Protocol gear combos. This is unrelated to progression—I just wanna see 'em!
Progression isn't just achieving new levels of Power, we also look at how players are rising through ranks of Valor and Glory. We've gotten some questions on the hows and whys of the ranking system. PvP Design Lead Derek Carroll has some answers.
Derek: Now that we've added a serious ranking system to the Competitive playlist, we're seeing many more Guardians attempt to climb the ladder to become Legend. On their way to the top, some players have raised questions that we can address here.
Q: Why would I match against a player with a higher Glory rank than me?
A: For a variety of reasons, we don't match directly on your Glory number, instead using our per-playlist "Skill" value. It's quite likely that your opponent is a good match against you, but they've been grinding Glory more consistently, so have moved up the ranks faster. Take this as a sign that you'll likely reach that rank with continued play.
Q: Why can I match against pre-formed fireteams when I'm searching as a solo player?
A: After a bit of server-side tuning and investigation, we re-enabled the Crucible Fireteam Matchmaking feature yesterday. This does not directly reduce the chances of matching against pre-made fireteams, but does tweak the "Skill" values of those fireteams to make it more likely that they find evenly-matched opponents.
Q: Why won't you make a solo-queue-only playlist?
A: We don't want to do that because it would split the population in an unhealthy way, making it less likely for everyone to find good matches. Furthermore, that would probably mean splitting the Glory rank into "Solo Glory" and "Team Glory" numbers, and we'd much rather there be one single number to represent your prowess in the Crucible.
Q: Why would you place me in a game in progress that you know I'm going to lose, ending my streak?
A: There's no join-in-progress in Competitive, so this can't happen for Glory. However, we are working on a fix for Valor in the other playlists, so you won't lose your Valor streak that way.
As always, thanks for the feedback. We are always working to make the Crucible a great place to compete with and against your fellow Guardians. Good hunting!
Lord Saladin returns—with updated rewards!
BEGINS: Tuesday, May 22
ENDS: Tuesday, May 29
The game is Control!
The ways in which players earn rewards have also been updated for Season 3. Saladin will feature a similar reputation system to Vanguard, where players can climb the ranks by turning in Iron Banner Tokens. Each reputation rank up will lend progress to unlocking desired rewards.
Destiny 2 isn't the only thing that's evolving over the course of the Roadmap. The Bungie.net team is also making plans to improve the experience on the website and Destiny Companion App. Senior UX Designer John Stvan and UX Designer Stosh Steward are here to give a report of what's to come:
John: Two weeks ago, we started a discussion on Bungie.net and Reddit to get feedback on the Destiny Companion App and Bungie.net. We've combed the feedback and created a prioritized list of themes and sentiment that have been trending throughout the community. Priority was based on the volume of specific feedback items, how a feature or change could impact the user base, and if current feature usage data matched up with some of our inferences. We then proceeded to sort them into groups of Features/Experiences and UX/UI Improvements.
With Warmind out the door and a few Destiny updates between now and September, we want to be sure to set the right expectations on what's coming. Each content release comes with a host of changes, updates, and fixes that we as a small team have to make sure don't break our experiences. We don't expect there to ever be issues, but sometimes the game makes a simple tweak to some investment, and by the time that gets to Bungie.net or the companion, the effect is magnified. As a recent example, players were unable to interact with characters after Destiny Update 1.2.0 due to issues between the companion and the new emote wheel. With that said, here are our initial goals for what will be coming soon to the Destiny Companion App and Bungie.net:
Stats (Medals): We are actively looking into how we can add medals and other stats incrementally to PGCR's (post-game carnage reports) and player profiles. We knew ahead of the feedback collection that this would be a widely requested feature, but we were surprised by how many throughout the community wanted more stats surrounding medals acquired in the Crucible.
LFG: We have recently added the Clans Fireteam feature to the Destiny Companion, but we are looking to give players more ways to form fireteams through the companion and website.
Vendor Accessibility and Primary User Experience: Vendors are currently available to interact with through the companion app, but a recurring piece of feedback was that players are unable to locate the feature. We think this is due to vendors being in Progress which may be an unexpected location. The numbers also don't lie—Progress isn't getting the views we expected. We suspect that's due to other sections in the app either having similar features or it being hidden.
Moving forward, we'll be working to merge the Explore and Progress tabs to fulfill some of our initial goals. Explore was intended to be, "What's going on? What don't I want to miss out on?" However, it's barely been more than a news feed. Progress was intended for users to know what their progress is towards their goals in Destiny 2.
By combining these two sections, we feel we can create an experience that gives you the "What don't I want to miss out on?" and the "What things do I need to go do?" sentiments.
Gear User Experience and Sorting: When it comes to gear, third-party apps have provided amazing user experiences paired with Destiny and Destiny 2, and we couldn't be prouder of them. We can't tell you how excited we are that third-party apps have found solutions and satisfied that itch for the full screen, multi-character, nobs-and-switches experience. We are actively investigating ways to up our own game and provide better experiences within the Destiny Companion App when it comes to things like transferring, sorting, and equipping gear.
The future is bright and hopeful for Destiny 2 and the Companion. We want to ensure that we have targets to aim at—some big, daunting targets—and you've definitely helped provide us with those. We are grateful for the discussion we had, and can't wait to have more ongoing conversations and feedback about the Companion and Bungie.net.
This conversation is far from over. In fact, it should never end. We want to always be listening and responding either with dialogue or action. Post feedback on Bungie.net. Stosh and I will be monitoring closely for your thoughts. It doesn't go without saying how valuable your contribution to Destiny 2 is, and we want to ensure we're providing the right tools and features to support your gaming experience.
Destiny Hotfix 188.8.131.52 has shipped, but we still have some issues to address. As they say, the only good bug is a dead one. Destiny Player Support has the information you need to take on the threat.
This is their report.
Destiny 2 Hotfix 184.108.40.206
This week we deployed Hotfix 220.127.116.11 to players. Among the fixes to game issues, we resolved an issue blocking characters from appearing in the official Destiny Companion App, Bungie.net, and third-party applications that rely on the Destiny API.
Full notes for this hotfix can be found here: Destiny 2 Hotfix 18.104.22.168.
Warmind Known Issues
With the launch of Destiny 2: Warmind, Destiny Player Support has continued to monitor player chatter regarding issues players are encountering in the wild. Those who do run into issues in Destiny 2: Warmind should make our Warmind: Vital Information and Known Issues thread their first stop for information on potential workarounds. As always, players who experience issues should report them to the #Help forum.
Listed below are a couple of items that we believe require further explanation to assist in mitigating their impact:
Heroic Strike Progress and Boons of the Vanguard
Progress toward the weekly Heroic strikes milestone, as well as toward some endgame quests, will be blocked when players activate a Boon of the Vanguard. Characters who enter this state will be unable to make progress on any pursuit that requires Heroic strike completions until the Boon expires.
As we continue to investigate this issue, we recommend that players save their Boons until after they have completed the pursuits mentioned above.
Clan XP Milestones and Powerful Gear
Currently players are not receiving powerful gear from Hawthorne when completing and turning in the weekly Clan XP milestone.
Players can work around this issue by completing the Clan XP milestone, then waiting for the next weekly reset to pass. After the new week starts, the previous week's milestone will autodecrypt and correctly award powerful gear.
Additionally, we'd like to take this opportunity to remind players that Power progression from weekly clan engrams has changed with Destiny 2 Update 1.2.0. For details, players should revisit This Week at Bungie - 4/18/2018 for more information.
Grab your popcorn. Don't forget the butter. We've got a few Community Creations well worth a watch, especially if you're looking for a good strategy to take on the "Spire of Stars" raid lair.
Movie of the Week: World First
Honorable Mention: Pure Power
Honorable Mention: Sleeper Strikes Again
If you'd like a chance to earn the Lens of Fate emblem, make sure to submit your video to the Creations page on Bungie.net and include #MOTW in your title.
This week was a wild one. I had a great time last night showing PopeBear the ropes in our 1v1 match. Cheers to the Destiny Community Podcast team for taking on Team Bungie in the first "Bungie Versus" stream. They bested us through refined teamwork and perfect strategy. Cheers to all involved!
We'll be planning more of these matches in the future, and we'll have more information in the coming weeks. We learned a lot yesterday in terms of running the show, so we're refining our layout for how we determine the game modes, match lengths, etc. Got suggestions for who should be featured next? Feel free to shoot me a tweet (@A_dmg04) or post a suggestion to the Community forum on Bungie.net.
See you on Mars? Maybe we'll bump into each other. I have a bit of data to collect.