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THE MEGA POST:: Destiny : Year 0 & Year 1 (Fan Creations)

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Monday, September 07, 2015, 12:00 (3183 days ago)
edited by INSANEdrive, Monday, September 07, 2015, 12:09

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MEGA::Intro.Chapters 1 & 2

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Monday, September 07, 2015, 12:04 (3183 days ago) @ INSANEdrive

Old Main Title: Bungie Hates PvE

MEGA INTRODUCTION!!!11!

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STANDARD INTRODUCTION

Greetings to you all, fellow Destiny.Bungie.Org forum goers and of course, to our very namesake Bungie as well. I hope where ever you are lurking from you are in a moderately comfortable chair and are ready once again for a read. Seriously. This mega post is to be a culmination of so many things already said and unsaid. Its contents are to be just a sample of my many sporadic thoughts about Destiny Year One. Its comments sparked not just from my experiences and impressions, but of past posts made both upon this forum and elsewhere among the net. Within this tiny rhizome of embedded links before you I hope to enlighten, inspire, and simply imbue understanding. Or perhaps I'm just inadvertently wasting your time; there is always that available default.

Since this post is SO large at approximately fifteenish thousand plus of words, I became concerned that this post would not be read. I am also aware that my ability to format the written word has its moments of want. I decided that if I am going to try and communicate my thoughts in such an amount, that I might as well give another option. I have been told a number of times that my voice contains dulcet tones, so I figure, what the hey. If you don't want to read it, but still would like to know of my thoughts, I present your second option. I'll just read it to you at risk of me causing your eardrums to bleed while I adlib it along the way as I pretend I can do voice work. In this audio I shall start at the beginning, and read everything including this. Heh. Wow. What the hell am I reading? When does this happen in the post? Now. You're reading at now. Everything that happens now, is happening now. What happened to then? You passed then. When? Just now. You're at now now. Go back to then. When? Now. Now? Now. I can't. Why? We missed it. Ugh. :P

If you don't want to read this post (or be read to), or even want to understand what I have to say then what are you doing here at the beginning? The TL;DR is at the end of this total post. Too long still? Here is a Super TL;DR!!

So…yea. Welcome to my “short story”; my mega post. As I paint with words in an artist’s wild abandon, I hope it becomes very obvious that this post is not from your average Bungie fan. A degree of my incite comes from the knowhow of videogames that a majority are not aware of. I don't know quantitatively how much that might be though. After all I'm not even a junior...yet.

Since there is so much to be said, let's just start with the fine print the internet seems to require, and speak about the very meat that was to originally spark you onto this page. The reason why I started this post in the first place.

Bungie hates PvE.

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------- Chapter 1:: Awareness of Self -------

At first glance this phrase of "Bungie hates PvE" is hyperbolic nonsensical click-bait, and I say as much upon my first mentioning’s of it here.

A snippet of which reads:

"I've had this thought rattling around in my brain. I'm not really sure where it came from right now, or the actual cause - nor do I have anything to back it up with at the moment. Yet I have had this thought, that has a certain taint for hyperbole upon it, that has given me serious pause in considering whether or not I should even bother playing Destiny anymore.

This thought is - Bungie hates PVE. Total nonsense... right? If you concur, then I agree. Yet I can't shake it. Bungie hates PVE.

So… In my original post of the 27th of May, this PvE phrase for me had existence but no purpose, which I should add, is a fancy way of saying I was thinking it but I didn’t exactly know why. So I decided to look into it. From this spark, the flame of my search begin to grow, and since thoroughness (or at least my attempt of it) became a very time consuming thing, this flame was able to observe E3, Gamescom, and the gradual build up towards Destinies Year two.

Disclaimer: I have no idea what I am doing. All that you shall see before you are my very own observations and conclusions, where in which I strived to present how I have come to my conclusions.

I am also aware that my conclusions can’t be perfect, as the total data I have been able to collect and surmise from is hilariously incomplete. Furthermore I’ve come to the enclosed conclusions with information before us that could be and likely is in some cases, months or even possibly even years old. For better or for worse I've tried to concentrate two years of sporadic data into this pot, along with my experiences playing Destiny in its first year and tried to present the biggest chunks in the simplest way that I can.

*Sigh*

This invariably leaves a number of my examples to be open to the retort "but what about", "you didn't conceder", or some other lot-of-things. This post is stupid huge, and I felt that if I explained every single thing, then this post would never see the light of day. In other words, vanilla Destiny. Possibly.

I also know Bungie has awareness, that they read the posts and are too the players, yet I don't nor can I know the totality and the nature of their awareness. Perhaps that is a problem to be addressed in the future? Perhaps I'll talk about that. I don't know how they act on the data they gather or how they come to their conclusions. I am left with only to base the benefit of whatever ability I may unknowingly have to think out with the little bits of context I have. I haven't had a full and through conversation with any Bungie employee directly about Destiny post launch, but would love the opportunity to at least do so. Yet even if I did, I suppose I couldn't. It’s the NDA, It’s the contracts, and it’s the business of videogames. If only I was as cool as Wu. ;_;

。◕‿◕。Mr. Wu, when I grow up... :P.

------- Chapter 2::Learning from History (with tinfoil) -------

Destiny is an ambitious game. Its creation really is a culmination of what Bungie has learned. It should be noted that I originally had mentioned in my retrospectively hyper beta review it seemed Bungie had not learned from the many facets of its past and in a way this is also still true, even now. To understand what I mean you have to look at what Bungie has done and, for the sake of this post, how I see it. Tinfoil at the ready please.

While I’m not going to start reading scripture of its humble-ish beginnings in a Chicago basement, I am going to point out a few key moments that you, my dear compatriot in creation, shall likely find are nice to know for the sake of breadcrumbs down the line.

As may be known... there once was a 3rd person action game called Halo. From its spark of creation, a divine wind would rush through the stars, propelling all who were worthy along the path to salvation; and so Bungie and all it touched prospered. It is from this game among other games that I feel the core idea(s) of Destiny would be born. That’s not to ignore Myth nor Marathon, past Bungie games which are the storied bones for so many things Bungie. That's also not to ignore, for those of you with a fascination of heretical nonsense, other possible games beyond the marbled pillars of the Ivory Tower that would make in part what could be considered an inspiration for Destiny. It's just that Halo changed things.

It just all comes back to Halo. What did Halo do? It thought it would shoot its way out, mix things up a bit. It brought legitimacy to the Xbox as a gaming platform. It proved that shooters could work on a console with a little help to a thing called magnesium. It presented with a monks grace the power of an extensive musical score upon the enjoyment of game play. Yet among all these things there is one thing that Bungie did with its Halo franchise that truly changed everything. The game is Halo 2. The mode is Multiplayer. The platform that made it possible was Xbox with its “Xbox Live” functionality. While Halo 1 LAN parties, the literally best thing in all things gaming onwards and forever till the end of time, were no doubt the best thing since Halo 1 LAN parties ; Halo 2 in a technological scope would be better for all. (Especially for unsupervised very-NSFW 12 year olds. >_<)

To quote the marketing of the time, which by far is the most honest thing to ever come out of a marketing house; “It’s good to play together”. From this... Bungie learned.

After surviving the post-E3 Halo 2 production, since it feels very wrong to call it a cycle. A Race? A Frenzy maybe? …they made more Halo ; some of which because of contractual obligation. Of these next few games, I myself feel that these next Halo games would be only slightly less revolutionary when compared to Halo 2s overall effect. So...Halo 3. It has this fancy “Forge” and “Theater” thingies. Those were cool, but no one used them which is why it isn't in Destiny. Obviously, you silly goose. You know what the big feature of Halo 3 was?

Of course you do! Say it with me!

They improved the enemies by making them less like bullet sponges and more like enemies. Yep! There is no foreshadowing in the formatting of this post. In Halo 3 we got things to shoot, not because it was just trying to kill you like in Halo 2, but because they were an army trying to kill everything and you just so happened to get in the way. I hope you can see the subtly in that difference, and even if you can’t – that's probably why it’s so easy to miss. Simply put, just like animation, it's about character. Animation is how it moves, and AI is why it moves. In Halo 3, there was very good communication about the why.

From the existing Halo 3 engine; ODST used what they had and made it new again. In one year ODST was made, and within ODST Bungie had all sorts of story mechanics to help immerse the player into the world. You could play the main campaign of course, that goes without saying; But you could also search the free roam “world” to find a secondary story in audio form. Or you could just wander the free roam world, and stumble into a continuing living story (which admittedly we had context for) right in front of you. Why are there so many dead elites? Hunters are bonded pairs, so where is the second hunter? What battle happened here? Why does this AI keep making all these alarms go off? It’s the end of the world, and someone used that time to spray paint graffiti on the walls?…

YOU DID ALL THIS IN ONE YEAR BUNGIE!

ODST was a story presentation smörgåsbord! All of which aided by ODST’s only-just-sort-of-ok-music. Obviously. All in all Bungie did a pretty good job with ONE YEAR to create content into an existing engine. For many Halo fans ODST is one of the top games of the Halo franchise. One would think Bungie would have used these elements that it had learned and applied for story presentation into later games... *deep breath* yet I digress.

Then there is Reach, where we got more customization, a larger Forge world where you really could go "over there", addictively fun to do assassinations (at least for me), and one of the best (because I say so) gameplay endings of any Halo game ever. I LOVED playing the Lone Wolf. It has so much...weight.

Spartans Never Die. With all this said I ask you – did Bungie use everything they learned and place it into Destiny Year One? Or did they try to re-invent the wheel and get run over? And of course, why am I asking questions like I’m being coy or something? ;)
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------- Click here for Chapters 3 - 4 -------

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MEGA::Chapters 3 & 4

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Monday, September 07, 2015, 12:04 (3183 days ago) @ INSANEdrive

------- Chapter 3 :: Reviving Ghosts -------
(Before the Fall)

What has been the goal that Bungie has been reaching to do with Destiny? What was it that Bungie said that got me SO PUMPED for Destiny? That got me to believe that Bungie wouldn't fuck this up.

Well. Yet again the past shall tell us story. I present to you links to the respective ViDocs, and the … basically they are transcripts of said ViDocs below (some of you may be reading this from work for some reason). Let these videos fill your head with how you felt during the weeks before launch, and let the context of retrospect fill you into the now.

For those of you listening along, I shall skip this part and see you on the other side of Introspective.


Feb 17, 2013

"A fantasy you have when you're creating an experience is that someone else is going to enjoy it. One reason the game was so intriguing is that we're reaching players in ways we haven't before. We're really going to make a conscious effort to build an experience which is going to be meaningful for people. Like how do you keep players going for fifty or a hundred hours over some number of months, and to not only want to play the game, but to play it with their friends?


"We needed something that challenges and inspires all of us. Something that I think has enough ideas in it that will last us the next ten years."


"We are blazing a ton of new trails.”


"We're building something alive, it has a nature that we don't totally control. Things are going to happen, that we don't plan, and that's amazing.


"The best thing with Bungie is that when you have these crazy ideas you know they're going to get funnelled into a game that's fun.


"We're creating something completely new and it's a scary place, but if it's not scary then it's not going to be good.


“We've gone from continuing to make Halo games to doing something which certainly draws on our past experiences and plays to our strengths, but it's new and exciting. It's going to take on a life of its own.”


Aug 22, 2013

“The number one priority was to make a world that people wanted to be in. Something that you want to go back to and you want to explore and to have enough variety where you never get bored. “


“What I believe is going to be most exciting for people who play destiny is the social experience of colliding with other people in this big world. It’s not something that happens in most action games.”


“You choice of the character class, the character race, will condition how that character is going to evolve over time.”


“We want them to meet different people or invite their friends into that experience. We want them to have a great public event in this cross roads space where some players are moving towards a strike or on a story journey.”


“You want to play with other players, you can absolutely do it, and if you don’t, you just go off to your own adventure.”


“Getting loot is really dam exciting. It’s a satisfying feeling. What is this going to enable me to do? What did I win? What ability? How this going to look?”


If we can simultaneously capture amazing action game, but still allow players to customize it for themselves and they can pick the path that they want to take. We can hit all those elements; we can bottle up that lighting a second time


Published on Jun 11, 2014

Hey everybody. I’m Jason Jones. And I wanna show you what we've been working on here. At Bungie since we first introduced Destiny back in 2013.

Destiny is our next gen first-person shooter, where you’ll explore the abandoned ruins of ancient human civilization, long after it has been overtaken by our enemies.

But there's still hope. A candle in the darkness. The last safe city on earth.

At the center the city is our home, The Tower. The place we return after every adventure.

To claim our rewards. To buy and sell weapons and gear. And meet up with our friends.

In Destiny you choose who you want to be. And who you want to become.

You go out into the world earn powerful weapons. Cool armor. And combat abilities that change the way you fight.

The choices you make say a lot about the type of player you are in Destiny

There are so many ways to upgrade your class. And perfect your style of play.

As you defeat your enemies, you’ll discover new places to go, and uncover more reasons to head out on new adventures. So we created the director. It answers the question, what’s awesome to do right now and what's my reward for doing it?

And that's important because in Destiny there's a ton of cool stuff to do like a great story campaign where you’ll explore the mysteries our lost worlds.

And from the beginning we built Destiny to be played cooperatively, either match made or with your friends.

On your adventures through the world you'll stumble on public events where you can join up with other players on the fly to take on huge targets of opportunity

Before returning to your journey right where you left off

When you ready for a little downtime, you can go off the beaten path and explore

And when you wanna team up with two other players and fight through waves of enemies to take down an epic boss, you head into a strike

There's so much amazing stuff to find in Destiny. So many ways to combine your class, your abilities, your armor and weapons, to build the guardian you want to become

And you can even take that Guardian into the crucible, our intense competitive multiplayer.

As you build your character, grow more powerful as you take on greater challenges, and maybe one day become powerful enough to finally find a way inside the vault of glass to defeat the most challenging experience with ever created and earns Destiny's ultimate rewards.

So that's what we've been doing here at Bungie. We’re having a great time playing this game and we can't wait for you experience it too.

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------- Chapter 4 :: Introspective -------
(I speak from the past)

Among all the possibilities that were swimming in my head as I eagerly and painfully waited for Destinies sweet sweet release, by far the most important element. The most... important ...element. What had the most impact on me was the "Destiny: Official E3 Gameplay Experience Trailer". Jason Jones was front and center and telling me "Story", "Explore", "Things to do", and all these were key words that I as fan of Bungie had. When the founder speaks you take note. It was because of this trailer here that I had planned, perhaps foolishly, perhaps very foolishly, to have Destiny be my core game. If Bungie could deliver what was being sold, if it could deliver the quality of the past 10 plus years of Bungie games, there would have been no need for me to play anything else. I wouldn't have wanted to play anything else. Why bother? Even if you just dumb it down to just being clever tactic of ... or whatever... just "marketing"; I got hyped up because when Bungie says they are going to do something they do it. Bungie doesn't bullshit, or at least it seems to be much less in comparison of general marketing. In retrospect what other context did I have? Even for the Bungie games I did not play, there was a certain degree of expectation.

Bungie games, after a certain point in its history, always had amazing game play that stacked on to an even more amazing story which feed into the amazing game play of an even more amazing world. I was also curious to see how Bungie would handle a new game of this scope and, in a way, a new community since as far as I could tell (at HBO) they had done so well with Halo. The way I saw it, even if they stumbled at first, they could and would right the wrongs. They had a whole year to correct it. They had already allotted time for two whole batches of DLC after the initial release. I also at the time didn't even conceder the constant patches and updates. So. I stayed because I was watching. I wanted to see what Bungie would do. How would they adapt to this social game? What issues would arise and how within a year they could fix it, and If they couldn't in that time how would they speak up about it. I figured that the last thing they would want to do to their fans is leave them floundering. I stayed because Destiny is a social experiment both in and for play. Both literately and figuratively. It seems that neither Bungie nor its fans, and even I in retrospect to a degree, realized the totality of this embedded social nature within the game play its self. Still, even with the little I did realize with my expectation of growing pains, and the declarations for 10 years of play, I found the possibilities of Destiny fascinating. Amongst all my want to say what I mean, for this, you're just going to have to trust that I see something that I can't currently find words nor a metaphor to provide an idea. All I can say is that they have yet to do it, but they are close to doing something no other game I know of can do. I figured so many things, and being so filled with intelligent guesses and expectation may be why the outcome of Year One has hit me so unusually, uniquely hard. I suppose that is the downside to being a inscrutably, inescapably, insatiably curious Warlock. This is the risk I took without releasing it; I went all in without knowing the hand.

To that end it may very well be my fault for expecting Bungie to be able to do so well simply based on what it did in the past. I did not consider the nature of new things, the nature of creating a videogame. I did not know. I’m smarter now though, and I know better. Sometimes 3ds Max, Maya or whatever… just wants to crash to spite ya. Sometimes a teammate has to work on other things, and now instead of going home today you are going home tomorrow. Sometimes that super interesting idea you had on paper just can’t be made right now. Sometimes months of time can be cut, and now you have more work with even less time. In all of this we are human... in some form. We err and can only do so much with the time we have. OF my time, I made a choice. With the exception of a few days attempts here and there of the Master Chief Collection, I have played only Destiny on my Xbox One. Solid. That could impact my outlook too couldn't it?

No. Not for this. Not to say it isn't possible, but this is what I signed up for when I started watching. I'm not burned out and I know the difference. I love videogames and will mention this again later in these MEGA posts. Yet in turn from all my observations, I became surprised in what I saw. It seems all we are doing when we post about Destiny in Year One, is "teaching". One in the same of course, but I can’t understate my surprise on how things turned out. I guess that's just me being ignorant too. I blame Tantalus.

I present to you a Calvin and Hobbs story, where Calvin wants to get a toy hat from the back of a cereal box that he thinks will make him fly. I find the events of this strip to be a fairly solid example of the pitfall of expectation. For those of you listening, I’m going to continue on, and leave the reading of Calvin and Hobbes to you.

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At this point I expect you have read the strip, or at the very least understand the point in my above synopsis of it. Yet do not presume I did not have fun in Destiny. I did have fun, but it was very limited in scope to what I was expecting and was a lot of work to get there by myself. Fortunately, my version of Destiny came with a big one hundred and fifty dollar box, so that's cool .

It seems that amongst all thisss...if-only-I-had-a-nickel-for-every-time-someone-mentioned-it'sss... potential, which is simply ridiculous in its amount; Destiny Year One felt mismanaged, inconstant, and at times even incompetent. What kind of Marry Jane were you all smoking in production? It's like you forgot yourself. Must of been good shit, am I right?

I never had to do this directly with Bungie before, though I'm not too sure if that means anything. I mean, yea, we fans are your teachers I get it… but it wasn’t so direct. I don’t recall constant posts of game theory at HBO, I recall constant posts about Story, Recon, and Cannon... so story again for some reason... at HBO. So why is it that this occurred with Bungie in Destinies year one?

Well, fortunately for you all I have enough tinfoil here to guess. ;D

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------- Click here for Chapters 5 - 6 -------

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MEGA::Chapters 5 & 6

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Monday, September 07, 2015, 12:04 (3183 days ago) @ INSANEdrive
edited by INSANEdrive, Monday, September 07, 2015, 12:09

------- Chapter 5 :: Coyote Bungie -------
(We Fans to Bungie)

In thinking about it, I found one of the problems Bungie has, though the term "problem" may be a bit strong, is that Bungie is no longer the Bungie we the established fans knew. The Bungie that made Halo, Marathon, and Myth that I presume we as established fans picture in our heads is now something else. Sort of. This Ship of Theseus, still has a few of the old boards, yet has mostly been replaced or has even added new boards to the ship. This ship has grown; Is it the same ship? That does not mean that this Bungie, that this ship as it exists now can no longer do great things, as vanilla Destiny was quite the technical achievement. Really. Destiny is amazing. From its technical achievements Bungie has made many new fans. Most of them from Playstation for some reason. Huh... weird.

The question I found myself asking was what the difference was in the views of Destiny between a new fan and an established fan? Yet to such an end I cannot answer this question, and so I ask it to you DBO. Based on past Bungie games that you have played, how has Bungie done with Destiny Year One? We are all fans here of varying degrees of tenure, and I am curious if my hypothetical question has merit. I myself am not a new Bungie fan, I am roughly a Middle Skool Bungie fan. I have been a fan of Bungie for at least half of their existence and had I access to Macs in my home (as my school as I recall had a bunch of Macintosh 128Ks mixed with the PCs), then perhaps I would have been an even older Bungie fan then that.

It may very well be that my view of Destiny has been tinted because I came from only one set of Bungie Games. Halo undeniably casts a lofty shadow and in fact I'm fairly sure we have those measurements in the Stephen Loftus diagrams somewhere. Forgive me as I speak presumptively for you, my fellow DBO community, where I presume at risk of error that we would like (and Pete would love) the Halo Forge system. We want the Halo Theater system. We want the grandeur and gravitas of the Halo musics that Marty & Michael created. We want the ability to play and create custom games just as we did in Halo. We want to play campaign and be endeared by its game play and story just as we did in Halo. We want Destiny to be Halo, but we want Destiny to be so much more, and we know that Destiny can be so much more. We are Bungie Fans and we know what Bungie can do.


*Sigh*


But what does Bungie say to that group of dedicated fans? How do you transition from 10 years vs to be 10 years? Could Bungie have assisted in that change? While I think that it is up to each individual on how to change, I think that there is one thing that Bungie could have done. This ONE thing is bigger than ANYTHING ELSE Bungie has ever created.


Communication with its fans.


I think communication is by far the biggest play Bungie has when compared to most major game developers. I have watched Bungie use Twitch and Twitter and their forums to connect to the community. I do not and cannot deny the efforts Bungie makes to communicate. Yet just like its Super bowl team of late, they made these plays that seem counter to what would have been best for we the fans. Or is it the plays that they don't make? Bah. I know... I know..., yes I’m going to back this up, keep your pants on, or if you are Funkmon, put on some pants. In thinking about communication, I asked myself what could be gathered by just looking at the overall past DBO forum reactions. I concluded, while it is not a lone factor, it is a major factor. I think the forums drama at the very least did not come by chance. It is not on purpose, but it is not an accident. Even Cody Miller in all his ideological honey badgering had very little part in the fourms overall drama. I think it's all a symptom of the same kind. While I could go into detail about all sorts of forum drama, if I did then it would make the rest of my post even more moot then it already is at the eve of Year 2.

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Caption: What most may see.

Don't infer too much, but at the night of Harry Houdinis last show, as he did his part with a ruptured appendix and a fever of 104 °F ( 40 °C ), reportedly the patrons who had seen the show before said that something was wrong, while the patrons who had never seen the show before thought it was a great act. What do you do as a established fan when you can see something is wrong?
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------- Chapter 6 :: Bungie Makes Mistakes -------
(Bungie to the Fans)


It has been said that it’s not what you say but how you say it. Yet no matter how much Bungie tries it seems they don't realize what they are saying when they don't speak. Is interpretation their fault?

It has been said that it is easier to ask for forgiveness then ask for permission. This is done under the presumption or gamble that with a simple whim, any action taken and any repercussion from that action can simply disappear and be forgotten as if never acted. If only it was true, then there would be no need for lawyers.

Now what pray tell do these sudden declarations have to do with Bungies communication skills? It has to do with how I have perceived Bungies actions in the last year or two with its fans both new and old. This observation was a very... very... gradual thing that came to head with the House of Wolves DLC. This happened because of my so called stature in being a Bungie Fan. Had I been new, I think I would have just... probably... just brushed it off. I don't know.

Being a fan of something is a tumultuous thing. Being a fan generally changes an outlook. Changes how a person would react. It changes what would be worth said fans time and effort. Being a fan changes who a person is, in a number of ways, because being fan is a relationship with... whatever. As imaginary as it may be, it is a relationship with whatever can garner the term of fandom. For the sake of this post, of course, this is of Bungie.

In one of the many 2015 E3 videos (which I can no longer find), it is mentioned that Bungie was learning their audience. Such a thing is fair considering the updated social style of play that is Destiny. Yet, in light of learning ones audience, I find myself falling back on the conclusion (and even the motto) of people making games that they want to play. Bungie...you have 500 people. It may be more. It may be less.

Things got through that shouldn't have. Things that were not fun or worse, insulting. In answering my question for E3 (a transcript of which is in Addendum Two), Noseworthy mentioned about how in the lab what seemed like a good idea behind the walls, on the couch was realized to be a horrible idea. For which I can only rebut - I don't understand. What I do understand, is that creating a videogame is not only a science, it is an art. I know this because I have both taught myself and been taught about both sides of the video game equations. Sometimes things get through because you've been playing it behind those ivory walls for months. Day in and day out. That's fine, even more so now-a-days. The thing I just don't understand is how it could happen, again and again, to such a large degree. Arbitrarily speaking - Fool me once. Twice. Three times? Four times!? Five?!?!? What the fuck are you doing Bungie?

Pro tip: Surprises that aren't good for everyone tend to be bad surprises. Bungie should know that thanks to xbox players, since they apparently didn't know it before.

To that end as mentioned, again, I think communication is the major player to a number of Destinies Year One woes. There is a reason why the ability to communicate is on all the job applications. I have personally experienced the effects that communication can have on a team, and I imagine there are some of us here who have as well. Lack of communication can kill even the most experienced of teams, and since this is a relationship after all; bumps, bruises, and flaws happen. Again... we are human. There is a breaking point.

We, the fans, have mentioned our want of communication before. Of these fans I have yet to see anyone give an example, and state why. In the end these posts here are simply expressing aggravation or a misunderstanding of the game creation process (which I can still very much do) with "this is what we want”. I think I can make something better. I'm not expressing or rewording these posts you can click on in this paragraph, but my experiences and frustrations. I want to help Bungie do better. So here and now I shall try.

If you happen to go by the tag DeeJ or urk, please get out that notepad you already have out and take note. Cosmo, you’re cool...for now. Take note anyway. This part is by far the most pertinent for you lot.

If the leaks of the past are to be believed, and they were ... House of Wolves at one point did have a Raid.

About one month before House of Wolves dropped, it was announced that the House of Wolves would not have a raid. For myself, after finding out, I'm pretty sure I still have the headache caused from the extreme of my facepalm. I wrote a scathing post that never got posted. At risk of sudden uncensored vulgarity, the last thing I as a fan want to do is give Bungie a new Bun hole, even though the reason I was so angry was that I had found myself covered in shit from the totality of Year One. This was that last straw.

The sudden vulgarity also happens to be the summery of my scathing post never posted. It takes a lot for me to lose my cool, seriously. My post never posted was the result of a year of frustration and disappointment. A sum of ill moments stacking upon silence. So what would make ME, MYSELF, and I so angry as to have an urge to make a post that wasn't myself, even after EVERYTHING ELSE that came before. Thus far when something went awry, I often was able to respond in a fairly logical, calm, and perhaps even sarcastic and satiric manner. So basically this post, but shorter and much more succinct. Was this last straw because of some sort of expectation for a Raid?

Heh. Please. It's not so much because of what you did; it's simply the perceived incompetence of how you did it, or perhaps how you didn't do it (which seems to be a recurring theme).

Of course, not everyone had issue with " how Bungie did it ". Furthermore "how Bungie did it" was done so in a fairly professional manner. DeeJ & urk (IN.THAT.ORDER. :P) do good work as far as I can see. At times it is a thankless job. They put up with a lot of internet shit and salt on a daily basis, all to find what the heartbeat of the community is. For example: DeeJ can make a better beard then urk. It's true. You can tell because it's on the internet. For this internet , DeeJ and urk give Bungie a voice. So ... what's the perceived incompetence?

The thing that got me so hot and bothered was, how it seemed Bungie did not see how a Raid had become an expectation within the community. Even if you were someone who didn't like the Raids, they are a big part of Destiny since...well... day one. The first day players played the Vault of Glass it became a Destiny thing. So logically, if Bungie really cared, if Bungie really read our posts and secretly interacted among us, then -with no excuses- (not even Cosmo) Bungie would have known how important Raids had become (due to flaws possibly,) to our enjoyment of Destiny Year One PvE.

So with the announcement of no raid, there was also a mentioning of the "Prison of Elders". It was this that got me so angry.

Prison of Elders did not come out of nowhere. This sort of thing is planned. Even if it wasn't planned at the start, If say in late December someone said "This Reef raid isn't our quality; It isn't going to work - Cut it", well then this means the Prison of Elders has eventually became planned and that for months Bungie watched us speculate what the raid was going to be in futility, even though Raids are THE PvE thing. While the masses outside DBO were bitching about No Raid, I was bitching in my aforementioned unposted post about no communication about the raid.

Here is what I would have liked to see. I don't know if I have the knowhow to do so, but I have to try. I want to try. I hope I can describe well what it is that I see .
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------- Click here for Chapters 7 - 8 -------

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MEGA::Chapters 5 & 6

by Ragashingo ⌂, Official DBO Cryptarch, Monday, September 07, 2015, 15:30 (3182 days ago) @ INSANEdrive

Nice posts (referring to the entire mega thread), well researched, very linked, much content. Not sure how much I'm going to respond to as I've been in a crappy almost anti-DBO mood for forty days now and haven't been posting much but you said some interesting things and I like responding when people put in real effort, so here it goes...

I don't think there ever was a third Raid.

I said as much back when it was announced that there would be no House of Wolves Raid. True, the leaks of the past listed a raid, but there were never any details. I did my own search and couldn't find any more info than what you linked to. As an added bonus I seem to recall digging around in the data mining sites and seeing Prison of Elders listed as a Raid. We do know that the Prison of Elders still has some remnants of Raid coding, for instance!

Here's what I think happened:

- Vault of Glass was developed in secret (even within Bungie!), was finished late (there was a recent video or article I can't find now where Bungie said that they weren't even sure that the Raid would ship, etc) and turned out awesome. Not just because of its challenging mission elements but because of its size and mystery and feeling.

- Crota's End was developed with the lessons of Vault of Glass, was developed a bit more openly, but was also developed a good bit more quickly. Like Vault of Glass it was a sort of journey through a series of mysterious spaces and interesting challenges. It turned out decent but most agree it's lacking a bit of something when compared to the Vault of Glass.

- I think the original plan was for every expansion to have a Raid but not for every Raid to be the same kind of thing. My guess is that the Prison of Elders, the three man arena mode we all know and love was going to be the next Raid. Originally. But after the huge success of the first two Raids, Bungie at some point decided that while some Prison of Elders modes can be quite challenging, it's three man, no journey, no mysterious spaces, fewer teamwork challenges nature meant it would never meet fan expectations of what a Raid is. And that it no longer met Bungie's own expectations of what a Raid is.

It's just what a Raid is was not nailed down when Bungie input the placeholder info that was dug up by fans. And the definition of a Raid was solidified and changed in a way that maybe Bungie did not fully expect when they first made the Director map. So, they made a hard, but correct, decision to not name the Prison of Elders a Raid (because it no longer fit the initial definition) and promised us a new Raid in the Fall.

So to your point, the lack of a third Raid wasn't because Bungie did not realize how important Raids were. Rather, it is because they realized it that they didn't name Prison of Elders as the third Raid.

Yes, Bungie probably didn't tell us about no third Raid soon enough. If my theory about PoE being the third raid is true then they also probably didn't explain why there was no third Raid anywhere near well enough. But, at the same time, I simply cannot understand getting so angry at not receiving a feature that you were never promised. Written and then scathing posts? Headache inducing facepalms? Last straws? Based merely on incomplete, out of date leaked info and unsupported expectation? I am of the opinion that a lot of the scathing criticism that is held against Bungie should really be turned back on players and fans who overreacted and blew this issue way out of proportion.

So again, nice post, good read, lost of interesting points and perspectives, but I think you are wrong to be and to have gotten so angry over the lack of a third Raid. I think what little facts we have show that the Prison of Elder (and not some completely scrapped content we never saw or heard of) was going to be the third Raid until Bungie basically changed its name to maintain the sanctity of what a Raid had become post Vault of Glass and Crota's End. But that's just my cranky opinion...

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Agreed.

by cheapLEY @, Monday, September 07, 2015, 16:05 (3182 days ago) @ Ragashingo

Yes, Bungie probably didn't tell us about no third Raid soon enough. If my theory about PoE being the third raid is true then they also probably didn't explain why there was no third Raid anywhere near well enough. But, at the same time, I simply cannot understand getting so angry at not receiving a feature that you were never promised. Written and then scathing posts? Headache inducing facepalms? Last straws? Based merely on incomplete, out of date leaked info and unsupported expectation? I am of the opinion that a lot of the scathing criticism that is held against Bungie should really be turned back on players and fans who overreacted and blew this issue way out of proportion.

This is my biggest issue with all the negativity surrounding Destiny. In my limited experience, most of it is based on incomplete information and assumptions. Expectations for things that were never promised or intended. In this instance, it's perhaps more true than in general. Bungie never so much as mentioned a Raid for HoW, yet everyone took it for granted that we'd have one. It's the kind of attitude that has pervaded every aspect of Destiny: people building their expectations up as gospel for what Bungie promised, even when they did no such thing.

Overall, though, this was a great write up, and really interesting. And while I personally love Destiny, and have very little to criticize it for, I understand that some do, and I don't see an issue with that. This was very thoughtful, and if there's one thing I can agree with it, it's that Bungie could probably do a better job communicating, especially in instances like the above. While they never said HoW would have a Raid, I feel like they'd have to be willfully ignoring everything around them to not realize that the majority of their audience expected one. They could have nipped that bud very early on by just saying, "We're not providing a Raid for House of Wolves. Instead we're working on a different sort of end game PvE activity, trying something new." And while there obviously would still be disappointment at the lack of a Raid, there wouldn't have been such outrage about it from being told late in the game. I personally still think it's silly for anyone to have expected a Raid. It's why you always have to look at leaks as exactly what they are: unconfirmed. Until I hear it from Bungie, I don't believe it.

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Correction.

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Thursday, September 10, 2015, 00:52 (3180 days ago) @ cheapLEY
edited by INSANEdrive, Thursday, September 10, 2015, 00:56

Ragashingo Yes, Bungie probably didn't tell us about no third Raid soon enough. If my theory about PoE being the third raid is true then they also probably didn't explain why there was no third Raid anywhere near well enough. But, at the same time, I simply cannot understand getting so angry at not receiving a feature that you were never promised. Written and then scathing posts? Headache inducing facepalms? Last straws? Based merely on incomplete, out of date leaked info and unsupported expectation? I am of the opinion that a lot of the scathing criticism that is held against Bungie should really be turned back on players and fans who overreacted and blew this issue way out of proportion.


cheapLEY: This is my biggest issue with all the negativity surrounding Destiny. In my limited experience, most of it is based on incomplete information and assumptions. Expectations for things that were never promised or intended. In this instance, it's perhaps more true than in general. Bungie never so much as mentioned a Raid for HoW, yet everyone took it for granted that we'd have one. It's the kind of attitude that has pervaded every aspect of Destiny: people building their expectations up as gospel for what Bungie promised, even when they did no such thing.

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While I do mention a number of times in my post about expectation (and it's pitfalls), there is an important distinction that seems I did not word thoroughly enough, soon enough, though I did try.

Key phrases of which being:

So with the announcement of no raid, there was also a mentioning of the "Prison of Elders". It was this that got me so angry.

... While the masses outside DBO were bitching about No Raid, I was bitching in my aforementioned unposted post about no communication about the raid.

The problem with bringing this up now instead of then is that posts that acted as a catalyst to my reaction grew cold and "hidden" into the net. My reaction stemmed from witnessing, again and again, the general outcry of various forums. Everything simply came to a head at House of Wolves. Little things where had due diligence been made, things may have turned out less sour. You are right, and I commend your points given in your post Ragashingo. There was expectation for the next raid even though there shouldn't have been. Yet - that is the issue.

Again it's not the topic it's self that got me so burned.

It's that it seems to me, instead of responding and doing damage control beforehand, Bungie is just reacting after the damage is done. That's how I got to my end conclusion. To me that is sloppy. If it happened only every now and again... not big deal.

But...

Arbitrarily speaking - Fool me once. Twice. Three times? Four times!? Five?!?!? What the...

If I had the helm I would have done something. I don't know what limits DeeJ & urk have, but in simply for the sake of presenting my thoughts I gave my idea to help further establish my concerns; Hence what I have presented in Chapter 7. It just felt like... a bunch of amateurs are behind the wheel. I feel could do better even though I have no idea what I'm doing.

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Correction.

by Ragashingo ⌂, Official DBO Cryptarch, Thursday, September 10, 2015, 01:46 (3180 days ago) @ INSANEdrive

Yeah, I'd agree that they generally have been behind the trend instead of ahead of the trends. The resetting of gun progress being another key example.

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MEGA::Chapters 7 & 8

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Monday, September 07, 2015, 12:04 (3183 days ago) @ INSANEdrive

------- Chapter 7 :: How to take it to 11 -------

So check this idea out, possible required approvals be dammed because I don't know what they would be. Here is what would have been nice. What would I have said in this ever imaginary case if I had the power AKA the job to do so. Let's say It's late February and Bungie is having a crunch week. At this point there is now no chance of a raid in HoW. Prison of Elders is the thing.

I have a number of options. I can post on the Bungie Forms, I can post on Reddit, I can post on the Bungie Front Page, I can post on the Bungie Twitter, and I can even post to NeoGaf if I'm feeling sadistic. Depending on where I am to post what it is that I wish to say, the "Official Nature" of what is said will change due to where I have said it. Sort of. Posting on the front page for example has abit more prestige then, say, the reassesses of the Bungie forums. It's kind of the same thing yet location location location. Either way Kotaku will probably pick it up and let us know how awful we are. Fantastic.

In this case I choose to make a post on Reddit & Bungie Fourms. I don't post it to DBO because last time I did Miguel bit me, and now I can never see the moon again. That's also why I keep sending Vex to DBO headquarters.

Title: UPDATE ON HoW Raid.
Good evening Guardians! So throughout the months of our adventures in Destiny we here at Bungie have witnessed and been delighted at your enjoyment in the Raids. So naturally, as we have witnessed, you all are undoubtedly excited for the next adventure that awaits you in the House of Wolves. I post here today simply out of a courtesy for our fellow guardians.

As it currently stands, House of Wolves will not have a Raid, but do not despair! That which is taken is given back. Verity is the spice of life. You know... that old chest nut. In its place will be a wholly new round based activity. At this point it does not have an official name that I can present due to it being a work in progress. In fact all of this is a work in progress, and if something else happens during production that I feel is important for my fellow guardians, then I shall endeavor to let you know.

In till then,

JeeDurka

...Or something. So what would the result of this be? Well we can't know since you didn't and if you did I missed it. (If only there was someplace I could go)

So here is what I think the result would be. There would of course be those who would declare "No Raid No Play" and other sorts of extremes, can't be helped. Let's talk about the bulk of players.

What we had during the buildup to House of Wolves, even IF we hadn't had a leak claiming there would be a Raid, would have been people taking about the next Raid in the House of Wolves. We fans have a tendency to hype ourselves up, myself included, which is fantastic since its free and it makes it more likely that we will open our wallets. Yet what happens when the thing we have hoped for, the thing we are expecting is not there? When it turns out all our excitement and time we dedicated to Destinies repeatedly mentioned potential turns out to be moot. Destiny is always a game in progress, but we fans can't see that. Well... we can, but we can't. This is where I thought DeeJ, urk, and now Cosmo comes into the fold. What I did in this case above would have... probably I guess, I don't know... changed the flow of conversation, creating a possible win-win scenario. Generally speaking I would expect the response to be different variants of “Well it really royally sucks that there won't be a raid, but I look forward to or am curious about this new activity for PvE. I wonder if it has check points!"

Then you have people talking about "Oh what could it be", and whatever they talk about might be helpful for the future. You get to watch people throw out ideas and just be part of the community. You get to watch and react to what is being said. Furthermore it adds to your reputation as being Head Badass of the Community. You actually care... apparently. Perhaps that is what this post is ultimately all about.

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Oh... and one more thing.

I love what Epic has done communication wise with the Unreal 4 Engine. While I'm not expecting Bungie to put down all its plans on a public Trello board, I do think that as far as communication of Destiny is concerned, what Epic has done is a good starting point for your thoughts.

For example: Have you heard that Valus Ta'Aurc has too much heath? That -apparently- Blink is too awesome for people in PvP? That thorn as it currently is in House of Wolves is a real pain in the ass in PVP? HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO KNOW WHAT YOU KNOW! I'm not talking about rabid fans, I'm taking about the weakest link. Support the weakest link if you can, and everything comes into place.

It was not by mistake in Chapter 5 as I mentioned what we fans loved about Halo, that I did not mention the old communication style of the Halo days. Does everyone here realize that Facebook started in 2004? That World of Warcraft launched in the US in 2004? Twitter in 2006? Halo 3 launched in 2007. In 2015, for better and for worse, we are truly in the age of Social Technologies. Shit, there is probably some freaking *actual* Star Trek tech in your pocket right now. I think I can say with some certainty, that a few million of the people playing Destiny right now don't have the same experience of Mig or Wu in just...waiting... for information. Everything is on. Data-data-data all the time. While Bungie has used all these social tools for its arsenal, I don't think Bungie has used its ability to be social to the best of their ability. Destiny is a social game. It has an advantage verses World of Warcraft because it is going head first into this age, with 10 years to its stead. That's 2024. 2024! How much do you think is going to change by then? Lawd have murcy. If that doesn't make you catch your breath a bit in the scope of possibilities, then I reckon that you aren't breathing. Instead of learning, "What's a Twitter?" or "What is a Smartphone?”, Destiny and Bungie can communicate in ways other (non-Facebook based) social game companies could not. Destiny is not the first social game, and arguably it is not the first social game by Bungie. Yet it is the first in challenging the scope of social game play and interaction for first person shooters. Bungie requires a different outlook in internal to external communication. Just so I can make you double take; I think Bungie needs to do this without falling back onto reliance of social media. Yes. I know that is counter... keep reading. Use them - obviously - by all means - but don't rely on them to get information out. I feel if Bungie relies on social media, Bungie won't keep trying to innovate how they communicate on Bungie.net. I believe Bungie can make something on their website that is more than just a static post. That can be updated over time as list or infographic. It's about presentation. Ease of access to information. A big button in the top of the front page that says WE HEAR YOU!

Here is an quick idea to get you started. In the Friday update have a section called "What the internet is saying", or some other fancy whoda-hada. In it have a summary of what we the-fans are-saying. This week... Oh you all think that Valus Ta'Aurc has too much heath. We have top men on it. TOP MEN. Downside of this is there is no stacking so if someone doesn't read it right there on that Friday Thursday it could be missed. Communicate that you hear us by telling us what we have been saying. Then after you do that... DO IT AGAIN. After all it's the internet, we all have an attention spans of like two... awww... a kitten.

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Daaaaaaaaaw.

I hope I have helped you understand what I mean. Please! Help us Help you! Duh. Not everyone has the knowhow to help, but we do have the passion. After all - we're Bungie fans. ;)
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------- Chapter 8 :: Activisions Bungie -------

There is a difference between videogames being art, and videogames being money. There is a difference between getting it right, and getting it done. With Destiny it has felt more and more like it was made for the latter and not the former. In consideration of this I looked into the possibilities of Activisions hand upon Destiny.

In actuality, one of the first things I found myself asking was – is it not Bungie? Did Bungie get their hands tied? I would have recommended that our dear pimps at sea do well to keep away from those dark waters due to all the horror stories I've heard about Activision. Yet what choice did they have?

So let us talk about the business of videogames for a bit, where again I am no expert, I just want to know everything... or something. My innocent concern stems from what happened to videogames when it met investors (who were to shelter them from first party developers of the 80’s and 90’s). For those of you who wonder why there are so many sequels now-a-days or, why there are so many "Super Awesome DUST COLLECTORS Editions", and even the shenanigans of "Pre-Ordering" I present to you an answer. This is also why the Double Fine KICKSTARTER was such a big deal at its time, since the Kickstarter aspect allows wholly original video game ideas to be funded that otherwise wouldn't have seen the light of day because it didn't seem "profitable". This is also true for the Indie scene in general, where original ideas like The Stanley Parable, which is an amazing game that I recommend to everyone out of concept alone, are able to be created. I digress though, since Destiny is no Indie its scope. No, what my concern about Activision and Bungie entrails is the requirements of Money & Time.

I can easily presume that Bungie signed a contract because the power bill of those servers doesn’t currently pay themselves. Bungie signed a contract because the fans have enough gosh darned subscriptions. Bungie signed a contract because those 500ish people have families and bills AKA subscriptions to pay. Bungie signed a contract because... what other option did they have? I guess they could have self-published, but *essh*, how much would that cost nowadays? I don't expect Jones would be up for boxing a few million copys this time, even if he does have experience with the process. As much as part of me hates it, the current climate of the industry that I can see required this. The scope of Destiny required this.

So what of this requirement? What of the result? How does this effect Bungie? How do you separate the choices of the monster from the choices of the man? Can you still even make that comparison? Bungie signed a contract with Activision while elsewhere Activision was trying to wrap up West and Zampel in court. Looking through the history of that case, I can't help but feel really unnerved. Will there be Déjà vu? I don’t expect to find out soon.

Of all these questions I ask here, the few answers that I have been able to surmise are from outdated sources. Since reading things on the internet is so up to interpretation, I would like to apologize to the key members and managers of Bungie, because I in my mostly inexperienced ignorance am trying to find answers where there are currently none. I second guess and speculate of you as I look outside in. Forgive me. I don't know you lot ...sadly, though I have met at least two of you recently, which will be important later on. Please know I'm attempting this desperation because I care, just in case that isn't obvious by now. ;)

I have gone through what was released of the Bungie and Activation Contract in 2013. For those of you who would like to read it in a broken down format and translated into actual English, you can also read it here at this link. Keep in mind that this contract could have been updated.

Much of this contract is fairly standard as far as I can tell. Who owns what, what is to be delivered, and of course Money Money Money. For those of you who, for SOME reason, have asked about whether or not "Destiny 2" is going to be on the "last gen" Xbox360 and Ps3, the answer here is a contractual no.

In reading this contract I don't see anything directly involving Activation forcing Bungies hand in game creation. That said, indirectly, the cliché standards of Time & Money are there. You do what you have to do to get the job done to deliver a product by the deadline. Thanks to E3 2015 this is interesting.

For example, It is mentioned here (IN A VIDEO I CAN'T SEEM TO FIND NOW >_<) that (at the very least) there has been work on the Taken King since at least October. This is interesting because this gives a flicker of what the production schedule looks like, though it doesn't show the ups, the downs, and the bugs.

Really the only thing I glimpse from this contract is that Bungie can't say "this DLC sucks" and then push back the date, because they have a schedule they must commit. Could this be why vanilla Destiny hardly had any taste at all?

I was hoping I could glimpse some sort of deeper incite from the contract, but my conclusions are SO inconclusive that my experience gives nothing more to say about it. I added it to this post that is already so big, because this is what did. In my process of being through, I do my utmost exhausting every option I have trying to answer questions that have been made behind doors, because... Bungie can't be this stupid. There has to be something we don't know.

What does it mean when the apparent TROLL makes more sense then what Bungie has given?

Chapter 8 cont’ :: Last minute addendum :: Saturday, September 05, 2015

Holy shit. Is it really as I feared?

The court filings say that O’Donnell believed he was preserving Bungie’s “creative process, artistic integrity, and reputation, keeping faith with fans, and protecting Bungie and its intellectual property from Activision’s encroachment into artistic decisions.” According to O’Donnell’s view, the “Band of Brothers” ethos that had inspired the group’s earlier work was being damaged by the Activision relationship.

Ryan and other Bungie management felt that his conduct “hurt the Bungie team, hurt the game, drove a negative online discussion, and violated Ryan’s instructions.” They also believed that O’Donnell was elevating his interest in publishing Music of the Spheres over the best interests of the company. Activision advised Bungie that O’Donnell’s conduct may constitute a breach of the parties’ contract.

Ship of Theseus? Sure. Now... who is the captain of this ship? Or is it... who funds the voyage?

See that line there at the end? Where it says "Activision advised Bungie that O’Donnell’s conduct may constitute a breach of the parties’ contract." That right there is the difference between videogames being art, and videogames being money. That set of words right there? Means no more Bungie, because there would be no Destiny. That's my interpretation. If your job is head of the studio, what do you do?

Keeping in mind the latest trailer... well. Uncensored Fuck. We are the fans, and I wonder if we like what we see.

Here is a look at some posts from H.B.O when Bungie joined Activision.

Bungie Partnering with Activision?!

Those of you upset about Activision

Bungie responds to Activision contract.

Anywho...

(ノಥ益ಥ)ノ彡┻━┻

This new data only compounds the end conclusion of this mega post. Moving along.
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------- Click here for Chapters 9 - 10 -------

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MEGA::Chapters 9 & 10

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Monday, September 07, 2015, 12:04 (3183 days ago) @ INSANEdrive

------- Chapter 9 :: Bungie Hates PVE -------

Behold! The snowball that bellowed into this mountain of words. Bungie hates PvE.

Yet, as mentioned, does Bungie really hate PVE? Well no. Of course not, don't be ridiculous. It's just that Destiny is so social, that it kind of... sort of... neglected a core audience. I find what it was that I saw, what the corners of my brain had concluded, was that everything was more like multiplayer then single player. I realized when I said PVE; I was expressing my preference when I think of PVE. The Lone Wolf play style. The OG of PVE. Playing Destiny by your self is a distinction crucial for my observation.

Within year one of Destiny everything is eventually geared, tailored and designed so that Destiny is to be played with others. That's not to infer that such a thing is bad, but a conclusion to build further thoughts from.

You see Destiny can have its bouts of fun, but not because of Destiny. Of what do I mean? Well a miserable experience can be tempered and ultimately changed into a better experience with friends, but a great experience can be made even greater with friends. The opposite can also be true, but in such a case it is less about the design of the game and more the people who you play with.

Only one of these things can Bungie do anything with. You make the game, and I'll make the friends. (<3 DBO)

Yet I digress though, since such an aspect involves other people, and my original point was about playing in Destiny as a Lone Wolf. I think it is due to the above aspect of playing with others that caused this Lone Wolf aspect to become over looked. Destiny silently requires you have others to play with to be fun. In this way everything is more like multiplayer then single player, because you "can't" play by yourself.

I know I know. You can play Destiny by yourself, but is it fun? Again and again? I'm not talking about day one, because there is only one day one. I'm talking about the game. How is the car after the new car smell is gone? Or better yet what is the difference between eating by yourself, and eating along with your friends? This is what I'm trying to express. This is Destinies flaw. Destinies strength is, because of course it is… its weakness.

After saying all this, my next point might seem a bit silly. In the event this lone wolf WANTS to play PVE with others, in certain cases it can be even harder to do than playing alone. Since Destiny is so social I have found myself in moments where I could not play what I wanted to play when I wanted to play it. When I was able to play it. Now Destiny is fighting me, and telling ME when I can play.


Oops.


Now since this game is going up against a Human, or whatever, we humans do what we do best. Shit on everything and adapt-the-fuck-around-it. Yet the thing is as far as this topic is concerned... We. Shouldn't. Have to. Thus I present a full confession. This is actually something that has greatly bothered me about an assortment of games since the very beginning of my tenure as a gamer. I personally feel that whenever the player has to go else ware to play the game, that such is a catastrophic game play flaw. Essentially it becomes a sort of showstopper, where I stop playing the game but to play the game. Does that make ANY SENSE at all? Now I have to go outside of the world to play in the world. If I have to go elsewhere to solve a problem, that is a problem. Period. In other words... this is all your fault Cody. :P

This sort of thing drives me... well... you know. Also the Grimore. *Aggravated SIGH*

(YOU HAVE PREPARED THE FOOD BUT YOU DON'T SERVE IT!?!)

On top of that, If for some reason a certain Bungie designer felt that this showstopper was a good idea, their idea instantly became moot. They would have given' up the ability to control an experience and left everything up to the RN-Jack-in-the-Box that is the internet. Why would Bungie give up that control? Why wouldn't they just, I don't know, actually design it. There are some fairly simple things that could have been done to achieve a similar effect, but in a way that involves the game world.

There have been times when I wanted to play a Nightfall or a Raid and I couldn't because I couldn't get people together because it was so short notice. So I would go to LFG and do it that way, which in some ways is worse since the range is now completely random. That's frustrating. One hour later I'm saying to myself, "Why am I not playing Destiny right now?". Bungie, if you want people to group up, then use actual gameplay to group people up. Didn't you have a system in Reach where you could customize the matchmaking? Look. I understand why you did it, I just disagree with how you did it.

Oh and one more thing. How many special events did PvP have in year one? How many special events did PvE have in year one? How many times were such things seen? Boom. I obviously just proved it. Next.
[image]

------- Chapter 10 :: The Tree of Ouroboros -------

Since Destiny is such an interlinked social game, it brings with it risks that few other games that I know of have had to deal with. The moment Destiny launched, it's tendrils of social aspect gave root. Destiny became this want of ecosystem and harmony. Systems within systems. As such blooms formed, something became more and more noticeable about Destinies structure. How... in the truest form of all things, everything effects everything else. As such, it also affected me.

With Destiny Year One I had to play to have fun, instead of wanting to play to have fun. Does that make sense? Perhaps I should put it another way.

As you start Destiny beneath the shadow of the wall, where at very beginning your entire spark is brought to light; you have the wilderness before you, the clothes on your back, and "the hovering exposition eyeball". As you venture forth into this new and strangely familiar world. We would find ourselves suddenly fighting many a foe. Of these foes, some would break at the crack of my weapon and some would just suck. Get it? Bullet sponges? Eh? Ah!? Meh. Anyway they really do suck. Word of reminder, the examples given herein are simplistic. Please bear with me.

So if there is apparently a problem with enemies not dying, how do we the players fix this? Upgradable weapons and armor of course. With upgradeable weapons we can kill the bullet sponge enemies faster. Oh! Look what they drop! More weapons & armor.

So now I am playing so that I can upgrade my weapons and armor so I can kill my foe quicker so that I can get more weapons and armor so I can kill my foe quicker so that I can get more weapons and armor and do the same thing. Again and again. Ugh.

Yet this lone monotony would be moot if those who we fought were worth the effort in year one. All Bungie did, that I can see, is seemingly attempt to cure the symptom not the disease. Why did a culture form around Gally? Why did people enjoy sitting back with Ice Breaker? Why would we gang up with shotguns? It is because of the foe we face.
Each class of foe has its unique flavor to be sure, but they have no or little character. The Year One foe is too much like a fun house duck with a target painted on it. They all just stand out in the open, sans a sniper shot. I'm trying to kill them and all they can do is stand around or come closer to me and get shot. Is that the best you can do Bungie?!


No. It isn't.


Just shooting a foe after a time is boring, and if our bullet sucking foe was fun would we want to end the fight as quick as we can? Yet if the foe isn't fun then why are we playing? Are we are playing so that we can kill it faster, and end the misery? Does that make any sense? I'm the crazy guy of the forums if you ignore Funkmon, and even I am going... WHAT?!?! Why are we even playing this?

We are playing Destiny because our friends are playing Destiny and we enjoy playing Destiny with our friends. That was what Halo multiplayer from the VERY beginning was all about. That is where the fun lies. We made our fun, and we did it with our friends. That is why, I think, for the last year people playing Destiny have been going "This game sucks but I can't stop playing."

Yet what can happen when you do stop playing? I'm probably going to stop in the coming months days, so this was particularly important for me to think about. I found that unlike other games, the longer someone doesn't play Destiny, the more that person loses.

So what does that mean? Well check this out.

Bungie has the Player in this so called living world. It's really not so much alive and in fact it's really kind of stale. Pretty? Yea! The day changes too, and that is cool. In the end though, Destiny is just an online interface to the core systems of the game. While I'm not playing, others… like my friends, are. Go figure. Yet this aspect is important. If you don't play then you can't "keep up". Even if you don’t care, keep up is one big ol' grind. It’s you in relation verses the other players who are gaining in light and PvE foes who are gaining in light. Everything is based off the strength of your light AKA experience and the weapons which you have. I wonder why everyone wants wanted Gally? It's not just because it blows-shit-up nice.

It's a mixed bag, but it's a side effect of being social. Bungie went down this road and now has to balance the sociology of it all.

But wait wait wait wait wait! This deal just keeps getting better!

Behold! The coming of year two Destiny! ... and Fallout 4. Now Bungie is going to have to deal with Mirrors Edge Catalyst. To Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. TO Fallout 4. And Fallout 4. Bungie is going to have to deal with Starwars : Battlefront for which I pray hasn't been TOTTALY faked, the AA is just too good to be true. Oh and even Halo 5, which is implementing something I have always wanted to play. Also Fallout 4. That's not all the games... but it's a few of the highlights of late 2015. It's because of these few games that I have listed that I'm probably not going to play Destiny. Why bother playing Destiny? It's not like I can just jump in and play as I wish. Destiny is a social game.

Let's say because of the aforementioned games, like say... Fallout 4. Let's say I don't play Destiny for the rest of my life because filppen' Fallout 4. Let us also say 6 months (ha!) because I can't see that far into the future. Destiny during that time will change, and I do not criticize the change its self. During that time based on the DLCs of the past year there will be escalation. Light in whatever form it takes gets higher. Weapons get larger crit. There will also be changes that I'll have to go out of my way to find out. What has been nerfed and buffed and so forth. I'll have to figure out how to play right, because Bungie wants us to keep changing out weapons.
Perhaps this is lazy of me, but in my down time I would rather not have to research a game. I want to sit down and just play. Boom. Off I go.

Second star to the right… and straight on till morning.

[image]

------- Click here for Chapters 11 - 13 -------

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MEGA::Chapters 11 to 13

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Monday, September 07, 2015, 12:05 (3183 days ago) @ INSANEdrive

------- Chapter 11 :: Year 1 PVP and My Love of Videogames -------

Sans a few moments in the Beta, I have not touched PvP for Year One. I have expressed this repeatedly on this forum, most recently here, and at the earliest during the beta. I would like to state why.

Why so Serious?

In short, believe it or not, when I am playing a video game I'm not doing it to be the best there ever was. When I am playing a video game its more as one would do when reading a book. Be it an objective in a story or simply for the joy of learning, the joy of asking questions, that is why I play videogames. It's in part Biowares fault. I recently heard a straight up rumor that KOTOR might get remade. Like flys to shit, shut up and take my money!

I digress. Where was I? Oh!

I play videogames for the experience for being there without being there. For the love of the moment. I play videogames because in their own little way, as much as a story book does, they can take you to ... where ever. Things can be explored and altered that otherwise would be immutable in a book. I've leaped across skyscrapers, I've traveled to points throughout our galaxy, and soon in the next one. I've been a Jedi and fought Sith. I've joined 3rd echelon and saved the world in secret. I've traveled Roma, and seen Italy in its renaissance. I've gone under the sea and into the sky and learned about the meaning of men and monsters. I've been asked questions never asked in scenarios I would have never of experienced without the craft and skill of others imagination. Yet... that imagination... has been shared... with me. That imagination has been shared with me. Is that not... just the most awesome thing ever! I get to explore the collective imagination instead of just witnessing it.

Oh!...And of course, I finished the fight.

One of the biggest things I expected and wanted out of Destiny was the ability to explore. TO find story. To search and cleave through a world for...whatver. To find hidden doors, and unlock secret passages. Then I would go out onto the net and go "HEY! Look what I found!". (Wait.. we have a front page?)

For example:

[image]

[image]

ISN’T THAT COOL! :D

Admittedly it's also because of the ...artist?... in me. I love seeing others creativity. It's another reason why I love videogames, with all its layers and layers of art and design. Even the math is pretty cool. I have no idea what it’s saying right now…but it does cool stuff. That’ll do. It's a playground. Or a sandbox. Just So!

This preference was not a sudden realization though. From just playing different types of videogames I have learned what I, for whatever reason, find to be fun. I have learned what my brain likes to do during a state of downtime, which if you think about the concept is just wild. The brain thinking about its self. OooooOOOooo... tingly.

I think Year One Multiplayer was over all, too much of the same thing for me. I've played Slayer and King of the Hill many many times. While it may be a different game, it just doesn't catch my interest like it used too. In fact I feel I can say that Year one multiplayer had NO appeal to me. Yet interestingly enough, the only armor I wanted the most from Destiny in year one I could never get in principle. The Iron Regalia Vestments for my Warlock. In this aspect I found aggravation. Is "makeing" me do something I don't want to do, for something I want to get fun? Part of me feels that there are a number flaws in that question, yet I find the question interesting. Interpret it as you will.

Unfortunately, by not playing year one multiplayer I also rebuke the offical ability be called an "Ultimate Bungie Fan" of sorts. This is because I refused to play something that I had no urge nor want to play. Since everything seems to stack in Destiny, I can see the possibility in 9 years down the line of Bungie thanking those who completed all these things in the past, and because of such things this will come back to bite me because I did not play something that had no appeal me. Mayhem for Year Two does have me intrigued though, but I know you can't please everyone. So be it. Doesn't make it suck less thoug-... wait... WHAT!

HOLD THE PRESSES!

“The Crucible Preview Event will take place from September 8th to September 14th. Go and get yourself an early taste of some Rift! And follow it up with a heaping helping of Mayhem!”

“The Moments of Triumph have been extended to September 14, 2015 at 11:59 PM PDT (6:59 AM UTC). You can check your progress by visiting the Moments of Triumph progress page as part of your Legend.”


AAAAAAAAHH!! (((o(*゚▽゚*)o)))

So... uh... DBO. Who here thinks I can get 100 wins in a week?

Originally this part of the post said this:


To which, in the oddest sort of segway, I would like to thank you DBO. I know all I needed to do is ask and some would be more than willing to team up with me. I thank you. To this I take as granted.

But.

I feel that because the way I enjoy games seems to be different then how most of you seem to enjoy playing multiplayer that I don't want to impede on your fun because of my style of play. I don't care about winning or losing, it's about the play its self. That's it. I must admit, Year two multiplayer has me intrigued. I may actually for the first time since the beta, play multiplayer in Destiny. Perhaps.

We’ll see.

(Indeed. So ..um... wow. Due to the information given in the "Bungie Weekly Update - Sep 3" and the whole... Marty thing... I pushed this out a week earlier then I had planned. Had to cut the sound portion. Really bummed about that. SO... DBO. Who here is willing to assist me try to make 100 wins in a week? ;D )

[image]

------- Chapter 12 :: Metaphor & Myth -------

-------------Ozymandias by Horace Smith
---------IN Egypt's sandy silence, all alone,
------Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throws
---------The only shadow that the Desert knows:—
------"I am great OZYMANDIAS," saith the stone,
---------"The King of Kings; this mighty City shows
------"The wonders of my hand."— The City's gone,—
---------Nought but the Leg remaining to disclose
------------The site of this forgotten Babylon.
------We wonder,—and some Hunter may express
------Wonder like ours, when thro' the wilderness
------Where London stood, holding the Wolf in chace,
-------He meets some fragment huge, and stops to guess
--------What powerful but unrecorded race
----------Once dwelt in that annihilated place.

[image]


------- Chapter 13 :: Are you sure you want to read this? -------


For the entirety of my enrolled tenure here at DBO, I've been surrounded by peers of both a VFX and Videogame verity. Of all these people around me, I was unofficially known as the Destiny guy. I wore my enthusiasm for Destiny on my shoulder. For Bungie on my shoulder. Bungie is why I am here. Halo is why I am here. Shoot, even representatives of Bungie got to see me wearing my alarmingly infinite enthusiasm on my sleeve. I wanted to thank Bungie for doing good work by helping it make more.

So let's get real. Here is the conclusion. Here is where you take ALL THIS MASS of words and bits of simplicity nonsense that I failed to clarify unawares, tie it up in a pretty bow, and squeeze it to see what drips out. What was Destiny Year One? Heh, if only that question want so poignant to me.

The result? After digging deep I find that I just... I don't care about Bungies Destiny anymore. In a way, that is complete nonsense, I mean - shit - look around. I just made a small book talking about Destiny, and that's just the stuff that made it! That I didn't cut. Yet I didn't make this because I care about Destiny. I made this because I care about Bungie. I am a Bungie fan, and I couldn't part - if that is to happen - without first doing my absolute utmost to ... I don't know... be heard. I want to help Bungie succeed. So... for Destiny "the Game", I feel nothing. At this point I'm not even hyped about... well... I'm going too far ahead. Let's just say that this is the worst possible result for a fan. It's not love. It's not hate. It's... indifference. I feel nothing. Ho-ly shit.

Such is an extreme that I never even fathomed I would conclude at. After having all these hopes for Destiny, part me going "Oh the next DLC" will have it, or fix it, or story story something dark side something. Yet my hopes being dashed again and again. I got... I got numb. As you read this please realize this is not some singular thing. It is a mass of things. A stacking of pin pricks and stabs that started at Year Zero. Things the made me say, “this doesn't feel right”. “This doesn't feel like the Bungie I knew”. So here I am asking myself why I put in all my chips... why didn't I take the blue pill... et cetera et cetera et cetera.

Don't read too much into this, but I once knew a foster child who was hated by his mother. Beat the shit out of h'm intill the system stepped in. Even though he was now long in a loving home, he still had battle scars. Whenever you raised your hand - he would flinch slightly, every time. Right now with Destiny - I feel like I want to flinch. This is where communication would have helped. Just saying "We are the fans" , "We care" is not enough. Bungie loves Latin so try this : Acta non verba.

Yet all is not lost. I have been watching, as indeed mentioned. As Bungie presented The Taken King, I have been pleased to see that a grand grand number of my game play grievances both mentioned and otherwise for Year One has been seemingly fixed in Taken King. In many ways I feel that same twinge I felt a year ago, but much more subdued and subtle. Even though I'm not hyped nor even excited, I found myself saying this will be fun. Bungie can do it!

Then...

...it goes cold. It's because, in a way that's how I felt... a year ago (and more).

That sucks.


I want to be excited, ...but I can't. I bought something in confidence as a fan, and I genuinely still feel like I'm waiting to see Year One. So... now I have to throw down more cash to play the game I thought Bungie was selling a year ago? ... No. Sorry bub.

I gave Bungie my care as a fan, and Bungie soiled it in the worst way. Bungie fucked it over. Bungie might have fixed everything and made Destiny into the most amazing game ever now. I don't care. Bungie fucked it over. I know ... well I don't know, but I still am giving for some reason the benefit of the doubt that this isn't what Bungie wanted. At this point I am simply playing to tie up loose ends. I invested 800 + Hours into Destiny hoping it would get better. I have no idea where I found that time, maybe it's from all the non-existent lunch times I have missed. Anyway, I play right now because I might as well do what I can while I can.

At one point before it got cut, I had this huge metaphor for the Grimore and Destiny Year One as a whole. The metaphor was based off a fancy restaurant. Skipping all that to the point, If you go into a fancy restaurant you probably have a certain degree of expectation. If those expectations aren't met what would you do? Would you still return to that restaurant?

I feel that over all Destiny for Year One confirmed that 6 from Polygon. Not just alone but as an average for year one. Bungie as a studio earned it. They earned it with communication, not in what they said but what they didn't. They earned it with game play, not with... well sort of... what they made but what they didn't. They earned it by selling something that should have been, but was yet... not. More than ever I uttered to myself "How did this get past testing"? Pro tip: Rahool is a scapegoat.

On top of that Bungie couldn't even PRESENT The Taken King without some sort of clusterfuck! I look at this past year and I'm wondering what is going on over at Bungie? Even though Taken King is receiving positive preliminary reviews, and what has been presented does look promising, but I'm expecting shit to go down when Taken King launches because that has been Bungies pattern in this last year.

That's fucking sad. As a fan it hurts my heart. Bungie has all this capability and... I just don't understand. :(

I mean. … … Shit.



I just explained everything... and I'm asking myself how it came to this. Fuck.

To that end, I link to a post made by Revenant1988. His post is called What if destiny sucks? It was made February 12, 2013. No real detail, but I think it interesting to give it a look for old times' sake.

[image]

------- Click here for TL;DR – Epilogue -------

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MEGA :: Bungie Chapter 14

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Saturday, September 12, 2015, 21:18 (3177 days ago) @ INSANEdrive

I should have done this when I first posted it. I recently realized that if I didn't make a link to it here in this main post it would be lost like a bottle into the sea of the net. To see this note you have to have a DBO account, even though this particular post is addressed directly to Bungie. Be it DeeJ, be it Jason, or be it the first year modeler sitting in the back making space tea cups. It's nothing big, and not worth simply signing up to DBO to see it. Seriously. The people at DBO are pretty cool though... except for that Wu guy. Dude is a giant. Grinds the bones of children to make bread and everything. Or... so I hear. ;)

Chapter 14 :: A Lannister always pays it debts

If you have something to say about it, post it there.

Avatar

MEGA::TL;DR – Epilogue

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Monday, September 07, 2015, 12:05 (3183 days ago) @ INSANEdrive
edited by INSANEdrive, Monday, September 07, 2015, 12:24

------- TL;DR – Epilogue :: Let the Learning Begin -------

< <-- Click here to go back to the Start of this post.

So there you have it! In this tome I have expressed:

  • How all this mass of words got started
  • Just a few of the problems and flaws with my observations
  • Provided a large swath of Bungie histories of which are relevant to my per-view to show the footing of how I started down the path which I did.
  • Of the aforementioned history I talked about how it might affect we fans of all sorts. I asked how being a fan effects a person. I did what I could to consider sides, both the fans & Bungie. In essence I spoke about communication and interpretation.
  • My thoughts on Activation and Bungie, and if I could discern how this relationship has affected Bungie
  • The results of my search to figure out why part of me felt that Bungie hated PVE. In essence I talked about gameplay and its design for Destiny Year One
  • Why I have not played PVP in year one, and about my love of games. In essence – Preferences.
  • A poem which is describing… Destiny? Me? Something else? Is there a 6th chest in the vault of glass? Who knows?
  • How all this in the end has affected me. How it affected my outlook of Destiny. Is it a cry for help? Is it just a bunch of hooie and dramatic melodrama? I have presented as much I could. YOU DECIDE.

[image]


All in all. I think I made a complete package here. Apologies for its length.

After that all I have left is little nitpicky things. Don't maps imply exploration? Don't ships and whatever sail they muster imply exploration? Is anyone else here worried that they already ran out of names? Sunbreakers and Sunbraker? Really? Seriously?! DBO has done better with names. Does anyone here miss the Pause button? Oh! And are we ever going to get Railguns?

I know there is gold in ‘em blotches of text. I think in the end something about Destiny can be further improved with help from my observations, presuming of course, Bungie hasn't thought of it already. 500 people... and all that. I have mentioned these all things as honestly and as raw as I could. In someways it could be considered that it doesn't matter if I'm right or wrong. This is what I think, and I hope Bungie can use it to make a better game. If it turns out that the only thing we learn is that I really am just madder than a hatter, well then so be it. If I never do another thing with Bungie again, so be it. I am now content.

*Deep Breath*

So there you have it. At one point I had another Addendums filled with my ideas, and even a fan story but I cut it. I cut a bunch of things actually. Such bunches of text can be other posts for another time. All said… IT IS DONE. ...

OH! Wait!

cheapLEY demanded royalties. Here cheaply. This is for you. I found it on the internet.

[image]

Done. ;)

Thanks All. I’m… I’m going to go lie down. What do warlocks drink? Maybe I should think about it?Another time perhaps. For now this is MEGA POST is done.

It’s done. See you when I see you.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Goodday.

Addendum Link

MEGA::TL;DR – Epilogue

by Fuertisimo, Monday, September 07, 2015, 16:03 (3182 days ago) @ INSANEdrive

[image]

Haha no seriously though, love the passion and good read.

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Thank You. :)

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Thursday, September 10, 2015, 00:57 (3180 days ago) @ Fuertisimo

- No text -

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MEGA::TL;DR – Epilogue

by General Vagueness @, The Vault of Sass, Tuesday, September 08, 2015, 16:10 (3181 days ago) @ INSANEdrive

Can I get a tl;dr of what "Bungie hates PvE" means?

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MEGA::TL;DR – Epilogue

by Kahzgul, Tuesday, September 08, 2015, 19:15 (3181 days ago) @ General Vagueness

He's basically saying that Bungie designed the game to actively discourage solo, non-pvp play.

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MEGA::TL;DR – Epilogue

by General Vagueness @, The Vault of Sass, Tuesday, September 08, 2015, 19:45 (3181 days ago) @ Kahzgul

He's basically saying that Bungie designed the game to actively discourage solo, non-pvp play.

oh
so?

Avatar

"Everybody gets one"

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Thursday, September 10, 2015, 01:00 (3180 days ago) @ General Vagueness

He's basically saying that Bungie designed the game to actively discourage solo, non-pvp play.


oh
so?

Since you cared enough to post -> Click here for your answer.

Avatar

MEGA::Addendum

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Monday, September 07, 2015, 12:05 (3183 days ago) @ INSANEdrive
edited by INSANEdrive, Monday, September 07, 2015, 12:08

------- Addendum : Link Dump -------
All the stuff I had gathered but couldn’t find a proper word or set of words to embed into. Click at your own peril.

https://www.reddit.com/r/DestinyTheGame/comments/2pzsmw/through_their_eyes_what_colorblind_people/cn2ch9s
https://youtu.be/0JYsQ8p3wM8
http://saynotorage.com/2015/03/05/bungie-accidentally-admitted-their-pvp-is-dead/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEXBxijQREo
http://carnage.bungie.org/haloforum/halo.forum.pl?read=1196886
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlACgYHtWCI
https://www.reddit.com/r/DestinyTheGame/comments/2c9gs4/destinys_make_or_break_features_raid_matchmaking/
http://destiny.bungie.org/forum/index.php?id=23575
http://destiny.bungie.org/forum/index.php?id=70695
http://destiny.bungie.org/forum/index.php?id=73287
https://www.reddit.com/r/DestinyTheGame/comments/2lhks2/for_a_company_that_is_normally_pretty_fluent_with/
http://destiny.bungie.org/n/992
http://destiny.bungie.org/forum/index.php?id=24800
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R53C40ELXr8
http://destiny.bungie.org/forum/index.php?id=58650
https://www.reddit.com/r/DestinyTheGame/comments/2bf01o/deej_just_responded_to_our_request_for_more/
http://destiny.bungie.org/forum/index.php?id=75060
http://destiny.bungie.org/forum/index.php?id=29350
http://destiny.bungie.org/forum/index.php?id=37767
http://destiny.bungie.org/forum/index.php?id=36805


------- Last link here to return to the Introduction -------

------------------------------------------------------------------

Addendum 2 :: A question asked. A question answered.

Alright, so you just endured the longest post I have ever written ever. Congratulations! You did it. Yet just like any good videogame fight-to-finish, there is an extra bit at the end. A part where I ask you to wake me if you need me. Actually it's just a transcript excerpt of my question being answered. This is referenced in Chapter 6 and this addendum is for your convenience.

  • Wu: -Name- had, probably the most generic or the most open ended question in the list.

    What did year one [of Destiny] teach you?

  • Mn: That’s a good question.

    -long pause-

    Wow there is so ways to answer it, ya know, like I’m thinking is it like what did teach me as a game developer or whats a summery about what’s up at Bungie?

    I think I would go back to what I have said earlier which is… we have updated the game so much right, and we are continuing… we have a well-documented ten year plain for destiny.
    We have this character who’s yours and you own and you’re going to develop him over a period of time, and you’re going to take him off the shelf when a major expansion like The Taken King comes out and moving him around the world and become more powerful again. And so we’ve really committed to supporting the game and constantly updating it and I think one of the things that we’ve… was it that surprised me? … what surprised us? What did we learn?….

  • Wu: What did it teach you?

  • MN: It taught us, how much the game is going to change in response of the players. Bungie has always updated its games; we’ve always had a strong community and good relationship with the communities

    Both communities

  • Wu: *Laugh*

  • Mn: When you think about some of the things that we’ve done and introduced, we’ve, I don’t think we could have imagined doing these things not because they are heretical or whatever, you couldn’t see it.It’s only through the communication with the community and playing the game and being… ya know…When we go home at night we are community members too.
    We play the game on our couches, controller in our hand and we are playing with all of you and you see things differently when you play at home. You play something in the lab and think its fine then you go and sit on the couch and go oh my god I can’t believe we thought this was a good idea.

  • Wu: Laugh

  • Mn: The game is going to constantly and continually evolve in response to the community and maybe that should be more obvious then it was, I think that people say that … that’s true in any online game or whatever but it’s been certainly really true for Destiny.

  • Wu: I’ve been really impressed with the way updates have been sort of targeted to things that bother large chunks of the community. So Bungies always made the games that they want to make, but they also always listen to fans, sometimes thoughts conflict and… it feels like… there is more of a willingness to say we think this is the way it should be done but clearly the fans want, *that*, lets try to find a compromise as opposed to “this is how it should be done”.

  • Mn: Yea. I think that what it might be coming down to is, absolutely we are listening.
    I’ve never worked on a game like Destiny before where after the game is done the teams are still around and want to play.

  • Wu: Laughs

  • Mn: Normally it’s been once it’s done I would put it behind me I’m glad people like it I hope it sells well, you go on to the next thing and It goes into the rear view mirror.
    But with Destiny because we have this long term commitment, because we know we are building this franchise over time, It’s… And because it’s just so fucking fun to play, it feels great in your hands to shoot monsters with your friends, that is what destiny is really about, we all still play it.

    We’ve done things to make it really easy to continue to play it weather you are playing it nightly for hours, or just an hour a week to play and because of that … as I’ve said we’ve become members of the community too. We are there. We are playing it at home. We playing a lot I think. A lot of games you get this disconnect between the community and what the team wanted to make and the disconnect never gets resolved.

  • Wu: Because other teams at that point are gone.

  • Mn: Yea. But with us that isn’t the case. Like with Skolas with Arc Burn… Dude! that was terrible.

  • Wu: Laughs

  • Mn: how did this happen? We played it internally, thought it was good. You get on your couch and go hey this is way too hard. This is not as intended. The community is going to write us up because of this. I think that is responsible for that.

  • Wu: Very Cool. …

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Great post. Not sure if I should reply to the whole thing..

by Kahzgul, Monday, September 07, 2015, 15:19 (3182 days ago) @ INSANEdrive

So I'm just replying to the last bit. For me, the entire issue that you're scratching at can be summed up right here at the end of your addendum:

Mn: how did this happen? We played it internally, thought it was good. You get on your couch and go hey this is way too hard. This is not as intended. The community is going to write us up because of this. I think that is responsible for that.

I worked in test for 13 years. This complete and total failure to understand how the game translates into actual gameplay is the fundamental flaw in Destiny. At every step, some element of the game "felt good in the lab" and "sucks balls in actual gameplay." For me, I am flabbergasted that these issues were not noticed during the initial whiteboard design meetings. I'm shocked that no one, while implementing them, thought, "this isn't right." I'm appalled that the test team completely failed to point out the issues here. And I'm really, really disappointed that management, at no point in the process, listened to all of those other people when they raised concerns, pulled the ripcord, and redesigned things.

To be honest, I have no idea if the failure was the people who made the game failing to recognize the issues, the management in charge of those people failing to listen to them if they did recognize the issues, or an even deeper failure of the design and test teams' organizations such that the possibility of design feedback did not even exist. But one of those things absolutely was the case.

With regards to Activision, I worked there for many years. There are good people there, and some of those people, whom I personally worked with, certainly worked on Destiny. They would not intentionally crap up a game. I can see them intentionally demanding that work be focused on certain activities (PvP being the most likely culprit, with a "satisfying" story being the number 2). Unfortunately, neither of the activities I'd suspect Activision to ask for were focused on in the final game in any way that at all resembles what I'd expect from Activision (or Bungie, but that's the whole issue, isn't it). It's certainly possible that the entire game was a shambles 1 year out, and Activision did demand that at least something resembling PvP make it into the final game, and something resembling a conclusion to at least one storyline make it into the final game. Totally possible. But, again, if that's the case than the issue is really how bad the game was 1 year out, and that falls pretty squarely on Bungie's shoulders. By the way, test teams at ATVI back when I was there would not be working on the game until about 8 months out; they're relying on Bungie's internal testers up to that point. Would these same people not really care if there was a huge backstory or a

Which, unfortunately, comes back to Bungie as the responsible party. INSANEdrive nailed it on the difference between having enemies and having enemies with character. The personality of a fallen dreg is virtually indistinguishable from the personality of a hive acolyte. The art is just about all that is different about them. That's the worst offender, but there are other enemies who behave in similar ways or with only minor differences, as I'm sure you all know. So the game feels stale immediately. Making matters worse, simple design choices such as having level 2 be, in part, level 1 backwards, make me, as a player, feel like Bungie didn't make a big enough world to support distinct level design. And I was given that feeling at the earliest possible moment for that feeling to be given to me, at level 2!

So for me, the feeling, from a design and user experience standpoint, is that Destiny plays like a precursor to Halo rather than the genesis of it. Features of Halo: Interesting characters, reverse levels happening later in the game so they feel like nostalgia, dynamic multiplayer with custom features, intricate storyline; these things don't exist in Destiny. If I ignore graphics and simply played Destiny first, and then played Halo, I would fully have believed someone if they told me Destiny was made first, and Halo was the sequel. Destiny marks a huge regression in game design quality from Halo 1. Let alone Halo 2 or 3 or Reach.

And, with regards to TTK, I'm fully in agreement with you. Everything being said by Bungie sounds good to me. Too good. I remember how hyped I was for Destiny before in launched, and how disappointing the final game is, and I just keep tempering my expectations. Kinda like how Bungie said, months ago, that Thorn was a problem in PvP, but inexplicably decided not to patch it until 2.0 comes out, leaving the game in a state of admitted brokenness this whole time. It's one thing to ignore the problems, as they did for much of 1.0. It's another to admit to them and announce changes as they're doing for 2.0. But to actually implement these fixes, well, the only fixes I can think of that Bungie implemented quickly, ever, were all exploits. Which is frustrating, because there have been no fixes to the raid bosses glitching out and ruining an otherwise flawless run. Or fixes to raid loot simply never dropping. Or any of the other bugs that made exploiting the bosses a thing I would even consider doing (because, frankly, after the third time I've killed the boss, I don't want to ever have to do that again, so I'm going to look for the fastest and easiest route to the loot that you've decided I must have in order to try the hard mode). So when 2.0 says "all these things will be fixed" I can only think "I will believe it when I see it." Hopefully, tomorrow, we start to see some of it.

Very well written, and I agree with almost all of your points.

My one quibble: I don't think Bungie hates PvE. Or even solo PvE though I admit that HoW is incredibly frustrating to play solo. Rather, it seems to me that the focus of the game's initial design was to create compulsive gameplay rather than compelling gameplay. Experience bars, RNG loot, repetitive strike modes, daily reset timers, weekly reset timers, timed events, events with social obligations... they all fall into the category of addiction-building activities. I'm not saying that these things are all bad, but I am saying that they appear to have been more important in the design space than, say, a coherent plot or interesting characters. I hope TTK's change to "story based everything" (allegedly) marks a sea-change in the design focus of the game. The core elements of art, movement, and backstory for Destiny are phenomenal. Amazing. Unbelievably good. The server architecture for patrol mode matching is ground-breaking technology (though, to be honest, it is also so underutilized as to be unnecessary). The game engine, then, is a thing of true beauty, but the game itself lacks. Maybe Bungie will sell the engine rights to some other company with vision to put a true game into that shell. Or maybe Bungie will do it themselves. But, again, I don't think it's a hatred of PvE that led us here so much as a focus on the non-game elements and the addictive elements over the gameplay and plot. For me, personally, gameplay and plot are the most important parts of every game.

Great post. Not sure if I should reply to the whole thing..

by Fuertisimo, Monday, September 07, 2015, 15:44 (3182 days ago) @ Kahzgul

Love hearing from someone with inside knowledge.

If you don't mind me asking, from my perspective as an outside observer, it kind of seems like Bungie is in disarray about what exactly they want to do with Destiny. It feels like somewhere between the concept and implementation things went haywire, and it almost feels with a lot of the changes they're making are sort of trying to plug some holes in a leaky boat. Does that sound like it might be accurate to you?

Also regarding the addictive gameplay, you said;

My one quibble: I don't think Bungie hates PvE. Or even solo PvE though I admit that HoW is incredibly frustrating to play solo. Rather, it seems to me that the focus of the game's initial design was to create compulsive gameplay rather than compelling gameplay. Experience bars, RNG loot, repetitive strike modes, daily reset timers, weekly reset timers, timed events, events with social obligations... they all fall into the category of addiction-building activities. I'm not saying that these things are all bad, but I am saying that they appear to have been more important in the design space than, say, a coherent plot or interesting characters.

This mirrors my thoughts exactly about the feel the game has, but I am curious, as you are someone who worked in the industry and probably understands these things better than me, what constitutes "good" addictive gameplay elements versus bad ones? For me, I view the current trend of addiction-building with quite a bit of contempt, because it seems to me people aren't building products to entertain, enlighten or delight, but rather to try and separate your money from your wallet. I don't use this word often, but it seems like there is some evil intent there, or at the very least is extremely cynical. Maybe I'm wrong, but I find a lot of it to be manipulative, and even coercive at times.

A lot of things you're talking about are almost tragic, because the Destiny that was initially unveiled and marketed to us way back in the day had a feel of a game that was truly going to be special. I really wish we had gotten that game, rather than the one we did.

Last question I swear, with a situation like Destiny, what happens with the people inside the studio? Not the bosses or the execs but the people in the trenches trying their damndest to make a great game. Do employees clam up and go into denial about problems with the game, or are they as frustrated about the situation as everyone else? I have to imagine it would be crushing to put in so much fantastic work (and a lot of Destiny really is fantastic) only to not have it come together for whatever reason. How do employees handle that?

Otherwise, thanks for the insight. As a journalism major it always warms my heart to get info from the inside :).

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Great post. Not sure if I should reply to the whole thing..

by Kahzgul, Tuesday, September 08, 2015, 02:19 (3182 days ago) @ Fuertisimo

Love hearing from someone with inside knowledge.

Just to be clear, I worked at Activision about 10 years ago. I worked directly with David Vanderhaar (who, despite what CoD fanboys may think, is an awesome guy and who was a real mentor to me) and several others who are in the credits on Activision's side. People change, so it's possible that my "inside knowledge" is really far off base, but I kind of doubt it, just based on my overall experience in the industry.


If you don't mind me asking, from my perspective as an outside observer, it kind of seems like Bungie is in disarray about what exactly they want to do with Destiny. It feels like somewhere between the concept and implementation things went haywire, and it almost feels with a lot of the changes they're making are sort of trying to plug some holes in a leaky boat. Does that sound like it might be accurate to you?

This would be my feeling as well. I've worked on a couple of games that were overly ambitious and they all turned out like trainwrecks during development. One or two magically came together at the end and turned out okay, but for the most part they came out like the devs bit off more than they could chew.

The first thing you do as a dev is figure out the concept of the game. What sort of game is it, what does the engine need to be able to do, what sort of concept art should the artists be making. All that stuff. And we know that the backstory of Destiny, the lore, is fantastic. It's rich, it's dark, it's mysterious, and it's epic in scale. All good. Then you make the new engine. Destiny has an *amazing* engine. I think we can all agree there. I'll wager that the early tech demos just floored people. At this point you get some concept art in place and start trying to inspire the rest of the team. Again, Bungie nailed it. Look, feel, atmosphere - everything we've seen from the concept art is spectacular, and lots of it translated directly into the art of the actual game. That is unheard of in video game development. Usually technical limitations get in the way, but in this case the engine of Destiny is so powerful that everything worked out brilliantly on the art side.

I'm going to add in - I'm not sure at what point the netcode people got involved. Because server jumping is so core to the basic architecture of the game, they may have jumped in right along with the engine developers. They may also have been initially working on a non-networked world which they made networkable later... hard for me to say. What I can mention safely is that for PvE purposes the netcode is stellar, and for PvP it's crap. This tells me PvP came later. More on this further down.

Now that you have art, lore, and an engine, it's time for the tools devs to start working, making scripting tools for the game designers to use. It's also time for the artists to make elements which the level designers can use to make engaging gamespaces. This is, I think, where we start to slip. The lack of big setpieces in most of the game, the incredible repetition of player tasks (defend the door! Now defend another door! Hey, look, one more door...), and the fact that bounties are pretty much entirely text based tells me that the tools team didn't give the scripters much to play with. Furthermore, the fact that events have to be hard-coded with patches is further evidence to me of a poor scripting environment. Changing which enemies spawn where should not be hard to do with a modular architecture, nor should solving exploits like the loot cave. So yeah, it looks to me like the tools programmers didn't give the game designers very robust tools.

AI programming happens around here, too. Again, the AI code is pretty awful in this game. Bosses literally follow set patterns (which is sort of a raid thing, thanks to WoW), and the basic enemies are almost purely reactive in nature. When was the last time an enemy in Destiny surprised you by behaving in an interesting way? Never. They're boring and predictable, and some of them seem to follow the same scripts, exactly. Find cover, lean out from cover. Repeat. Over and over. Personally, I expect more from Bungie after the really interesting AI of the Halo games. As mentioned before: Character is important. The AI in destiny lacks character (I'll say that the Vex are kind of interesting in that the goblins and minotaurs are fairly relentless, but the snipers lack interesting mechanics). None of the enemies use tactics - they don't flank, they don't lead a charge with grenades and suppressive fire, etc etc.. The game has turned into, basically, a bullet hell FPS, which I think the emblematic of a game where the AI just doesn't make the game challenging on its own.

Back to art. Specifically, level design. Gorgeous levels. Interesting levels. Levels where you enter in multiple places and take varying paths of traversal. Sort of. In fact, no, not at all. It's more like levels where you *could* enter in multiple places, but the actual mission scripting doesn't allow for it even though the art and geometry does. This disappoints me. The level designers spent a long time building interesting spaces with multiple paths through them, and the game designers decided to force the hand of the player to following a specific path for each mission. That's lame. It's really lame. You've turned an asset (expansive maps with multiple paths) into a liability (repetitive areas shared between missions, very linear gameplay).

So, again, something has slipped in the mission design element of the game. The game designers chose simplistic, linear play against simplistic, predictable AI with basic, repetitive mission objectives spread throughout. As a result, every mission feels like the same mission, and ever strike feels like the same strike. Go in a straight line, kill the predictable enemies, defeat the boss. Some bosses follow different patterns, but they're all predictable and - as a result - they all become boring after the first time through.

That would be okay, except someone in charge became obsessed with forced replays of the game. This is where poor design turns into downright abusive design. Instead of focusing on making the game fun enough to replay, some evil genius realized that the game wasn't fun enough for that and decided instead to fill the game with hooks to keep you coming back, even if you didn't want to. Here's a good article about it. In the concept of a game, I personally feel like the only design parameters should be "is it fun" and "does it tell a story." Destiny seems to have been consciously created to ignore those questions and only look at "is it addictive."

And so we ended up with the game that we got. If I were the test lead on this game, I would have fought tooth and nail against the focus on addictive elements. I would have brought up, repeatedly, that the enemy AI was uniformly predictable. I would certainly have had a meeting or two with the mission designers to discuss where I felt they were missing the mark.

That being said, I worked in a capacity where I felt empowered to discuss my concerns directly with the developers. They respected my opinions and we worked together to make the games more fun. I don't know what happened behind the scenes of Destiny to let these problems become the core of the gameplay loop. I don't know who, if anyone, raised concerns. And I don't know who, if anyone, shot those concerns down.

We know there was a big shakeup about a year out from launch. First, that's never good. It means the initial design was flawed or weak or both. It means the people who fought for that design and kept it on track lost focus or left the company, and the design vision floundered. We know this is about the time that Joe Staten left. I'm guessing those two events are related, either with Joe having been the main proponent of the initial plan and then leaving, which left the plan open to revision, or with the initial plan being bad, and Joe leaving in protest. Or it wasn't related. Totally possible. My conspiracy brain wants the events to be connected, but as far as I'm aware there's really no evidence of that. Even so, I met Joe once and he sure seemed like a great guy who cared about telling good stories and enjoyed good games. So I think losing him was a loss for Bungie, regardless of the circumstances.

Anyway, the game was either a complete mess and someone came in about a year out to cobble together something reasonable, or the game was awesome (but different) and some new change came out that severely limited the scope of the game. Here are two possible scenarios:

1) Game is a hot mess. Someone realizes there's only a year until launch, looks at the game in its current state, and says "oh crap. This game needs two more years to get the story we want finished." They then have a mad scramble to salvage the story elements which are the closest to completion, make those be the main storyline, and wrap the rest of the game around it. This is totally possible and I've worked on games like this in the past.

2) New parameter scenario 1. The game is great, but it's next gen only. Sorry guys, ATVI wants it to run on last gen as well. Take what you have now, pare it down to something that will work on last gen, and devote all of your resources to making that a reality. This seems unlikely to me. I'd guess the initial contract stated Destiny 1.0 would be a current and next-gen venture.

3) New parameter scenario 2. The game is great, but we want to split it up into DLC expansions instead of having full content in the initial package. Split it up into sensical chunks and let's try to make the resulting elements stand alone. Again, this seems unlikely since DLC would be contractually obligated and not some kind of "surprise" 1 year out.

4) New parameter scenario 3. The last gen is severely limiting the scope of the game. Rather than spending so many resources to make it work, we're just going to ship what we have (which turns this into the "hot mess" scenario) and focus resources on getting the DLC and sequels going. This seems most likely to me, as we know last gen is wringing every iota of power out of the consoles it runs on and still doesn't have enough memory for a single additional inventory slot.

Again though, this is 100% conjecture.

Which brings us to the Activision influence. A few months out (8-ish, i'd guess), ATVI would stop taking just periodic game builds and would get the first fully testable version of the game. ATVI testing is mostly governed by checklists. Is every item collectible? Is every area traversable? Can every mission be completed? It's all basic functionality. A few experienced testers would probably raise concerns about the actual fun of the game, but for the most part it's the production testers who need to be the mouthpiece for the gamer. Activision would contractually demand certain benchmarks of progress, and certain game elements such as 2 pieces of DLC in the first year (though they typically aim for 3), that the game be an FPS in the setting described in the original pitch, etc etc.

This was also probably where the stuff that was supposed to be in the game got shuffled off to the grimoire. Personally, I hate this. Anything that isn't in the game, per se, is not part of the game as far as I'm concerned. The grimoire is just points. The story in the grimoire is cool stories on the web, but they aren't in the game and I do not consider them part of the game, proper.

We know that Bungie spent a lot of time on user feedback in order to establish how fun the game was. Here, I think, is a place where they really made a major mistake. They got new focus testers for each run. They did not, apparently, test repetition. They did not test investment. They did not test if a strike was still as fun the 5th time through as it was the first time. And, frankly, that's a major failure when the basic gameplay loop is to replay strikes over and over and over.

In fact, we know that most of the design team didn't see the raids until the bungie day "can you beat the raid" challenge. That's also kind of a failure. I think that the raids are the best part of the game (though they still suffer horribly from lack of variation and a need to repeat them many times in order to get the raid loot drops), and I wish that the raid team had been sharing their design concepts with the mission and level design teams throughout the process.

I want to add here that part of my incredulity comes from my experience in MMORPGs. Lots of the mistakes of Destiny's loot system were also mistakes of WoW's past incarnations. Things like RNG loot drops are things that players hated. I remain surprised that no one at Bungie pointed out these blunders, or - if they did - that no one listened.

And then we have the final game. Either cobbled together from a mess of other half-finished pieces or salvaged from a technologically limited and more complete game, the result is kind of insulting to the intelligence of the gamer. Look at the story of the game just through the first two levels:

1) Initial cutscene shows astronauts on mars, with guns, who find this big orb, and it rains. That's the set up for the game, apparently. None of the epic setting is really explained at all, and you have to go online to learn about it, which is poor design.

2) You spend a long time making a new character. No explanation what "Awoken" and "Exo" mean or if they have any effect on the game world.

3) You come to life with no personal history. Okay, I've seen worse in video games. It's not ideal, but I'll take it.

4) Okay, there's guys shooting at us and we have to run. That makes sense. This area I'm leaving looks big, I hope I get to come back to explore it (nope).

5) Got a gun, time to shoot back, this is all standard tutorial stuff. Trip mines? That's cool. Too bad it's the only time they show up in the game.

6) Oh man, did you see that giant ship warp in?! That was rad, and it spawned all kinds of dudes to fight. So cool. Too bad that sort of thing isn't really a part of any future story missions.

7) Got a ship and now, hey, a big baddie shows up. Okay, we'll come back when we're ready? Cool, we have a goal.

Level 1 is off to a good start.

Then we go to the tower. This guy says "I could tell you the stories, but I won't." well F you guy. Am I ever gonna get some backstory here? The answer is no. Okay, I guess it's time for mission 2.

8) Wait, I'm... I'm going backwards through mission 1?

9) You told me I'd fight this guy when I was ready... am I really ready right now? Because nothing has changed. Which means I was ready then.

And the mission design is kind of downhill from there.

Again, I don't want to take anything away from the engine and art teams. The lore is incredible. The real time matchmaking system is unnecessary and only provides a minor improvement to the single player and/or multiplayer experience. And the mission design is pretty bad. The plot is pretty bad. The characters don't exist. The bounty system is literally just text. And so forth.

TTK claims to be improving on literally all of these issues: They're reordering the missions to make more sense. The plot has been expanded to include the DLC and new Xpac, which actually gives some player actions an effect on the game world and the consequences of those actions. The characters are being expanded (dinklebot is being full revoiced, hopefully with lines that make sense given the context), the bounty and mission systems and everything are being "questified" whatever that means. So I'm hopeful. But, and huge but - I feel like we were misled with the initial launch, and I feel like all of these things are fixes to problems which never should have existed in the first place.


Also regarding the addictive gameplay, you said;

My one quibble: I don't think Bungie hates PvE. Or even solo PvE though I admit that HoW is incredibly frustrating to play solo. Rather, it seems to me that the focus of the game's initial design was to create compulsive gameplay rather than compelling gameplay. Experience bars, RNG loot, repetitive strike modes, daily reset timers, weekly reset timers, timed events, events with social obligations... they all fall into the category of addiction-building activities. I'm not saying that these things are all bad, but I am saying that they appear to have been more important in the design space than, say, a coherent plot or interesting characters.


This mirrors my thoughts exactly about the feel the game has, but I am curious, as you are someone who worked in the industry and probably understands these things better than me, what constitutes "good" addictive gameplay elements versus bad ones? For me, I view the current trend of addiction-building with quite a bit of contempt, because it seems to me people aren't building products to entertain, enlighten or delight, but rather to try and separate your money from your wallet. I don't use this word often, but it seems like there is some evil intent there, or at the very least is extremely cynical. Maybe I'm wrong, but I find a lot of it to be manipulative, and even coercive at times.

I fully agree with you. Focusing on addiction building is evil.

That being said, lots of things that are addictive in games are also fun. I like leveling up. I like finding new loot. I like gaining new powers. I like unlocking skins for my player. Destiny has so many of them, however, and is designed in such a way as to make them all feel required in order to keep pace with your friends in order to be strong enough to raid in order to be strong enough to hardmode raid and so forth. And these addictive elements were dropped on top of uninspired gameplay. If the basic loop of play was really fun, then I don't think I'd care that there were addictive pieces dropped all willy-nilly throughout the game. For me, it all comes from the goal. Bungie straight up said (see above link) that they focused on addictive play. That's fucked up.


A lot of things you're talking about are almost tragic, because the Destiny that was initially unveiled and marketed to us way back in the day had a feel of a game that was truly going to be special. I really wish we had gotten that game, rather than the one we did.

I agree. It makes me sad. Especially because the real fundamental elements of the game truly are magnificent. The core engine, the art, the lore, the sheer joy of movement through the gamespace, those are really fantastic. To see such incredible ingredients cooked into such a mediocre entree is very disappointing.

Last question I swear, with a situation like Destiny, what happens with the people inside the studio? Not the bosses or the execs but the people in the trenches trying their damndest to make a great game. Do employees clam up and go into denial about problems with the game, or are they as frustrated about the situation as everyone else? I have to imagine it would be crushing to put in so much fantastic work (and a lot of Destiny really is fantastic) only to not have it come together for whatever reason. How do employees handle that?

Otherwise, thanks for the insight. As a journalism major it always warms my heart to get info from the inside :).

It probably runs the gamut. There are certainly people who feel despair, like they put their heart and soul into something and no one appreciated it. There are also people who probably feel vindicated, and like the public response is what they were advocating for all along. Still others will feel like they did an awesome job and nothing they hear will change their minds.

Listen, the art team should all take a serious bow. They killed it on this game. It's pretty beyond anything I've ever seen on a console. That being said, I'm obviously pretty down on the game's script and mission design. The writing is truly atrocious, and not at all up to Bungie's historic level. I think the mission design is awful, but it's hard to say if that's because the designers sucked or because the tools programmers didn't give them any choice or some combination thereof. Someone in that chain blew it though, and that's the meat and potatoes of the game. Whoever decided to emphasize smooth animation over consistent gameplay in PvP made the wrong call, and should have known better. Multiplayer should always be designed such that lag does not convey an advantage because you never want to encourage glitchy play.

For the most part, it seems like Bungie has taken their lumps and is learning. I'm shocked that they needed this spelled out for them by the public writ large, but hey - any way you can learn, you should. TTK really does sound too good to be true to me right now. A long time ago, I made some kind mental of list of things that needed fixing in Destiny, and TTK has been checking items off that list like Bungie hired a bona fide mind reader to tap into my brain. I'm sticking to my guns and refusing to preorder though - Bungie burned me with Destiny. If I'd waited, I may still have bought CE, but I'd never have bought HoW. And I wish I'd waited. So lets hope TTK lives up to the hype in a way that Destiny didn't. I want to fall in love with Bungie all over again.

Great post. Not sure if I should reply to the whole thing..

by Fuertisimo, Tuesday, September 08, 2015, 14:59 (3182 days ago) @ Kahzgul

First, I'd like to thank you for so thoroughly answering my questions. This is all great stuff.

Continuing, it's like you're reading my brain here on so many of the points you made, particularly in regards to the story. The whole game felt so sterile and lifeless. You go to the tower and the inhabitants feel like animatronics or robots or something, not real people giving a real sense of character or anything resembling humanity. The story was just so so bad, and it was shocking because of Bungie's history with committing to telling a good story.

So, again, something has slipped in the mission design element of the game. The game designers chose simplistic, linear play against simplistic, predictable AI with basic, repetitive mission objectives spread throughout. As a result, every mission feels like the same mission, and ever strike feels like the same strike. Go in a straight line, kill the predictable enemies, defeat the boss. Some bosses follow different patterns, but they're all predictable and - as a result - they all become boring after the first time through.

That would be okay, except someone in charge became obsessed with forced replays of the game. This is where poor design turns into downright abusive design. Instead of focusing on making the game fun enough to replay, some evil genius realized that the game wasn't fun enough for that and decided instead to fill the game with hooks to keep you coming back, even if you didn't want to. Here's a good article about it. In the concept of a game, I personally feel like the only design parameters should be "is it fun" and "does it tell a story." Destiny seems to have been consciously created to ignore those questions and only look at "is it addictive."

This so perfectly encapsulates my experience with the game. I found it so dreadfully boring, I had to force myself to play through all the content. I was literally almost falling asleep at the controller sometimes.

Agree on the art team as well. They nailed it in almost every aspect.

So for me, as a student journalist, my desire would be to get in there and figure out what in the holy hell exactly happened. A tall task I imagine because people want to protect their careers, NDA's, etc.

Last point regarding the grimoire, I'm pretty sure that that was actually created from scratch after Staten's departure and on a very short time table. Someone named Battuta got really pissed off at me when I suggested that the grimoire might have been culled from Staten's work, so I would not want to offend him again. Battuta, I know you and others worked on the grimoire!

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Great post. Not sure if I should reply to the whole thing..

by Kahzgul, Tuesday, September 08, 2015, 15:15 (3181 days ago) @ Fuertisimo

First, I'd like to thank you for so thoroughly answering my questions. This is all great stuff.

Thanks. I know I complain a lot on these forums, but I try to explain why I hold the positions that I do.


Continuing, it's like you're reading my brain here on so many of the points you made, particularly in regards to the story. The whole game felt so sterile and lifeless. You go to the tower and the inhabitants feel like animatronics or robots or something, not real people giving a real sense of character or anything resembling humanity. The story was just so so bad, and it was shocking because of Bungie's history with committing to telling a good story.

So, again, something has slipped in the mission design element of the game. The game designers chose simplistic, linear play against simplistic, predictable AI with basic, repetitive mission objectives spread throughout. As a result, every mission feels like the same mission, and ever strike feels like the same strike. Go in a straight line, kill the predictable enemies, defeat the boss. Some bosses follow different patterns, but they're all predictable and - as a result - they all become boring after the first time through.

That would be okay, except someone in charge became obsessed with forced replays of the game. This is where poor design turns into downright abusive design. Instead of focusing on making the game fun enough to replay, some evil genius realized that the game wasn't fun enough for that and decided instead to fill the game with hooks to keep you coming back, even if you didn't want to. Here's a good article about it. In the concept of a game, I personally feel like the only design parameters should be "is it fun" and "does it tell a story." Destiny seems to have been consciously created to ignore those questions and only look at "is it addictive."


This so perfectly encapsulates my experience with the game. I found it so dreadfully boring, I had to force myself to play through all the content. I was literally almost falling asleep at the controller sometimes.

Agree on the art team as well. They nailed it in almost every aspect.

So for me, as a student journalist, my desire would be to get in there and figure out what in the holy hell exactly happened. A tall task I imagine because people want to protect their careers, NDA's, etc.

I, too, would *love* to know what happened and to see how early builds of the game were different.


Last point regarding the grimoire, I'm pretty sure that that was actually created from scratch after Staten's departure and on a very short time table. Someone named Battuta got really pissed off at me when I suggested that the grimoire might have been culled from Staten's work, so I would not want to offend him again. Battuta, I know you and others worked on the grimoire!

Well the Grimoire's writing is great, so good on the team that wrote it. Kinda sucks that the good writing all ended up on a website and the bad writing ended up in the actual game.

Great post. Not sure if I should reply to the whole thing..

by Fuertisimo, Tuesday, September 08, 2015, 21:16 (3181 days ago) @ Kahzgul

Sometimes I feel like I'm living in bizzaro world when I bring up some of these issues and all I get back is "Destiny is fun and I love it so why are you saying anything bad about it don't be so toxic". So it's kind of nice to hear from someone in the industry that, yeah, there are a lot of issues here, even if the original concept was gobsmackingly amazing.

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Great post. Not sure if I should reply to the whole thing..

by Kahzgul, Tuesday, September 08, 2015, 22:27 (3181 days ago) @ Fuertisimo

Sometimes I feel like I'm living in bizzaro world when I bring up some of these issues and all I get back is "Destiny is fun and I love it so why are you saying anything bad about it don't be so toxic". So it's kind of nice to hear from someone in the industry that, yeah, there are a lot of issues here, even if the original concept was gobsmackingly amazing.

Just for clarity: I *was* in the industry about 10 years ago, and I was in it for 13 years, off and on, up to that point. Now I edit television.

Great post. Not sure if I should reply to the whole thing..

by Fuertisimo, Wednesday, September 09, 2015, 02:02 (3181 days ago) @ Kahzgul

Duly noted. Can you share what you worked on during your time in the biz?

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Great post. Not sure if I should reply to the whole thing..

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Wednesday, September 09, 2015, 02:15 (3181 days ago) @ Fuertisimo

Sometimes I feel like I'm living in bizzaro world when I bring up some of these issues and all I get back is "Destiny is fun and I love it so why are you saying anything bad about it don't be so toxic". So it's kind of nice to hear from someone in the industry that, yeah, there are a lot of issues here, even if the original concept was gobsmackingly amazing.

That's funny because I feel like I'm living in a bizzaro world nearly every time I read one of these treatises on the "fundamental flaws" in Destiny. I haven't worked in the gaming industry, but I have worked in the software industry for over 16 years, and I've spent several of those years sitting in meetings with coders and testers and UI analysts. Building a game like Destiny is hard, and I know enough to know that what seems to be an obviously bad design choice is often the least bad choice once you know the obstacles the team faced and their goals. I say that because what's often lacking in these self-anointed expert critiques is humility regarding our limited outsider perspective. Ignorant theories are thrown about (e.g., the Grimoire folks cribbed from Staten, etc.), and I find the hyperbole ridiculous--another studio will put a "true game" in the Destiny engine? GTFO!

INSANEdrive's MEGA-POST doesn't strike me that way because he regularly acknowledges his own subjectivity, the limits of his knowledge, and that other opinions exist. I enjoyed reading it even though I don't agree with a lot of it (or, to the extent I agreed, my disappointments with the game haven't left me in the same place as INSANEdrive [Dude, I hope you don't lose all hope--year two might end up surprising you]). Especially enjoyed all the linky bits. I now love KP more than I knew.

Great post. Not sure if I should reply to the whole thing..

by Fuertisimo, Wednesday, September 09, 2015, 11:58 (3181 days ago) @ Kermit

Cool so you've got less experience with it all than Kaz does but choosing to pull the "I know how it really is" card, amusingly taking no issue with anything he has said, but rather with me for stating that a lot of what I experienced as a user lined up very closely with his impressions of what went wrong, but I totally don't know what I'm talking about because I don't know how it really is.

Glad you enjoy Destiny and TK, and hopefully Destiny will become a product that I also enjoy in the future.

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Great post. Not sure if I should reply to the whole thing..

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Wednesday, September 09, 2015, 12:24 (3181 days ago) @ Fuertisimo

Cool so you've got less experience with it all than Kaz does but choosing to pull the "I know how it really is" card, amusingly taking no issue with anything he has said, but rather with me for stating that a lot of what I experienced as a user lined up very closely with his impressions of what went wrong, but I totally don't know what I'm talking about because I don't know how it really is.

Glad you enjoy Destiny and TK, and hopefully Destiny will become a product that I also enjoy in the future.

Neither of you know what went wrong, and whatever you think is wrong with the game is your opinion regardless, and you're welcome to it. So is INSANEdrive.I thought I made that clear. That I have a different reaction to K's hyperbolic proclamations and the certainty with which he presents them doesn't mean your reaction to his posts isn't valid. I've picked them apart before and it's tiresome. Here's one point: he's says that Bungie has been slow to fix issues they knew about. That's about priority and I do know enough to know that there are often good technical reasons smaller issues are fixed before larger ones. No one outside of Bungie is privy to what competing priorities they have when they make decisions. Bungie put out 40 patches in one year--what other AAA dev has done that? But again, it's not the criticism that's the problem. It's the style.

Great post. Not sure if I should reply to the whole thing..

by Fuertisimo, Wednesday, September 09, 2015, 12:42 (3181 days ago) @ Kermit

... but you admit something went wrong?

Does it bother you so that people try to figure out what went wrong? It's a pretty human thing, trying to build narratives to better understand our world.

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Great post. Not sure if I should reply to the whole thing..

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Thursday, September 10, 2015, 15:36 (3179 days ago) @ Fuertisimo

... but you admit something went wrong?

I guess I don't see it as my role to do these armchair postmortems. I don't know enough. I don't think anyone who didn't actually work on Destiny does.

Does it bother you so that people try to figure out what went wrong? It's a pretty human thing, trying to build narratives to better understand our world.

It's a great human thing. When we can test the narrative it's called science. In the realm of values and the meaning of existence this narrative is called philosophy. In the spiritual realm it's called religion. I call 95% of the narratives about the development of Destiny gossip.

Great post. Not sure if I should reply to the whole thing..

by marmot 1333 @, Thursday, September 10, 2015, 17:59 (3179 days ago) @ Fuertisimo

... but you admit something went wrong?


Out of this whole thread, this lines really bothered me. If you don't like Destiny, OK, whatever. Maybe you think "something went wrong." But then it feels like you take it a step further and want everyone to agree that "something went wrong."

When I started thinking about that response and what those words mean, it became almost comical. In one of the largest video games ever released, did something go wrong? Of course! It would be completely delusional to think that nothing went wrong.

But, the question then becomes: does that matter? I tend to say, no.

I like the game. I've played it a lot. Could parts be better? Sure. I truly believe that parts of the game, particularly the vault of glass, are the pinnacles of gameplay experience of my entire lifetime.

Reading some of this stuff, it feels like there is still anger about what the game is and what people think it should have been. I'm not angry about how I think the game should have been or how it is. I dislike this he-said, she-said, good-developers-do-this, bungie-did-that narrative that people are spinning, and I tend to agree with Kermit's post: this stuff feels like gossip.

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Ribbit ribbit. Ribbit ribbit ribbit ribbit ribbit ribbit

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Saturday, September 12, 2015, 20:56 (3177 days ago) @ Kermit

Sometimes I feel like I'm living in bizzaro world when I bring up some of these issues and all I get back is "Destiny is fun and I love it so why are you saying anything bad about it don't be so toxic". So it's kind of nice to hear from someone in the industry that, yeah, there are a lot of issues here, even if the original concept was gobsmackingly amazing.


That's funny because I feel like I'm living in a bizzaro world nearly every time I read one of these treatises on the "fundamental flaws" in Destiny. I haven't worked in the gaming industry, but I have worked in the software industry for over 16 years, and I've spent several of those years sitting in meetings with coders and testers and UI analysts. Building a game like Destiny is hard, and I know enough to know that what seems to be an obviously bad design choice is often the least bad choice once you know the obstacles the team faced and their goals. I say that because what's often lacking in these self-anointed expert critiques is humility regarding our limited outsider perspective. Ignorant theories are thrown about (e.g., the Grimoire folks cribbed from Staten, etc.), and I find the hyperbole ridiculous--another studio will put a "true game" in the Destiny engine? GTFO!

INSANEdrive's MEGA-POST doesn't strike me that way because he regularly acknowledges his own subjectivity, the limits of his knowledge, and that other opinions exist. I enjoyed reading it even though I don't agree with a lot of it (or, to the extent I agreed, my disappointments with the game haven't left me in the same place as INSANEdrive [Dude, I hope you don't lose all hope--year two might end up surprising you]). Especially enjoyed all the linky bits. I now love KP more than I knew.

(Bold wording is my edit.) I'm a Bungie fan. I have not lost hope in Bungie, just been very disappointed for Year One. Bungie has a few more years to get it right. I'm glad you enjoyed all the links I've embedded into my Mega Post. Did you click the link in my chapter 13 title? The links have three purposes. TO give context, to imply an idea or feeling that I did not have room to give words to (or just does a better job saying it), or is just me being silly and having fun with the moment. They've gone to plaid!

While this reply above is not exactly directed towards me, I am glad you have enjoyed reading my Mega Post Kermit.

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Ribbit ribbit. Ribbit ribbit ribbit ribbit ribbit ribbit

by Funkmon @, Saturday, September 12, 2015, 21:21 (3177 days ago) @ INSANEdrive

I like the links too. I'll finish reading this weekend. The links are like footnotes. Love em.

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Great posts. Trying to reply to bits of the whole thing...

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Saturday, September 12, 2015, 20:36 (3177 days ago) @ Kahzgul

Kahzgul: Well the Grimoire's writing is great, so good on the team that wrote it. Kinda sucks that the good writing all ended up on a website and the bad writing ended up in the actual game.

That is rather curious isn't it. Actually... that is very interesting. I hadn't thought of that.

Kahzgul: Just for clarity: I *was* in the industry about 10 years ago, and I was in it for 13 years, off and on, up to that point. Now I edit television.

10 years ago I was modding Halo PC. Oh geez... its been 10 years already!? ;_;

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Great post. Not sure if I should reply to the whole thing..

by uberfoop @, Seattle-ish, Tuesday, September 08, 2015, 16:01 (3181 days ago) @ Kahzgul

The lack of big setpieces in most of the game, the incredible repetition of player tasks (defend the door! Now defend another door! Hey, look, one more door...), and the fact that bounties are pretty much entirely text based tells me that the tools team didn't give the scripters much to play with. Furthermore, the fact that events have to be hard-coded with patches is further evidence to me of a poor scripting environment.

I wonder if this was at least partly influenced by the networking model. According to Bungie's presentation on the matter, Destiny uses peer-to-peer for managing the heavy-duty physics and gunplay, but has ultra-low-bandwidth server-side script hosts intended to make sure that mission objectives and such will function in a stable way even with things like host migrations.

This is a sort of weird configuration, and has potential for a lot of stuff to interact with a lot of other stuff in a number of relevant complicating ways. Setting up a scripting system to be maintainable, versatile, and enjoy smooth execution may have posed some big challenges.

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Great post. Not sure if I should reply to the whole thing..

by Kahzgul, Tuesday, September 08, 2015, 19:14 (3181 days ago) @ uberfoop

The lack of big setpieces in most of the game, the incredible repetition of player tasks (defend the door! Now defend another door! Hey, look, one more door...), and the fact that bounties are pretty much entirely text based tells me that the tools team didn't give the scripters much to play with. Furthermore, the fact that events have to be hard-coded with patches is further evidence to me of a poor scripting environment.


I wonder if this was at least partly influenced by the networking model. According to Bungie's presentation on the matter, Destiny uses peer-to-peer for managing the heavy-duty physics and gunplay, but has ultra-low-bandwidth server-side script hosts intended to make sure that mission objectives and such will function in a stable way even with things like host migrations.

This is a sort of weird configuration, and has potential for a lot of stuff to interact with a lot of other stuff in a number of relevant complicating ways. Setting up a scripting system to be maintainable, versatile, and enjoy smooth execution may have posed some big challenges.

Totally possible, except it's weird because the few setpiece animations that exist in the game do not effect the actual playspace in any meaningful way - they're just art animations in the background or in an area that you can't access. Given that, why not script them to run and animate locally? It doesn't really matter if they're not in perfect sync at all.

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Great post. Not sure if I should reply to the whole thing..

by uberfoop @, Seattle-ish, Tuesday, September 08, 2015, 19:33 (3181 days ago) @ Kahzgul

Totally possible, except it's weird because the few setpiece animations that exist in the game do not effect the actual playspace in any meaningful way - they're just art animations in the background or in an area that you can't access. Given that, why not script them to run and animate locally? It doesn't really matter if they're not in perfect sync at all.

They definitely do animate locally at least. The server hosts just tell the gameplay host to do certain things, and if there's a de-sync they tell the next gameplay host to do things to correct any errors that happened in the migration.

At any rate, you're talking about a small subset of scripting; I was addressing the larger picture, including things that would be interactive.

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Great post. Not sure if I should reply to the whole thing..

by Kahzgul, Tuesday, September 08, 2015, 22:29 (3181 days ago) @ uberfoop

Totally possible, except it's weird because the few setpiece animations that exist in the game do not effect the actual playspace in any meaningful way - they're just art animations in the background or in an area that you can't access. Given that, why not script them to run and animate locally? It doesn't really matter if they're not in perfect sync at all.


They definitely do animate locally at least. The server hosts just tell the gameplay host to do certain things, and if there's a de-sync they tell the next gameplay host to do things to correct any errors that happened in the migration.

At any rate, you're talking about a small subset of scripting; I was addressing the larger picture, including things that would be interactive.

Gotcha. Without knowing more about the back-end code it's hard for me to comment either way. All in all the lack of variance in missions is either due to a lack of creativity in the mission design/scripting team or a lack of options from the tools coders (or a combination thereof). Given how stuff like enemy spawns and the loot cave had to be hard-patched in order to be changed, my money is on the tools coders. I wonder if the tools were an afterthought and, instead of having a dedicated team, were made by backend or engine coders in their spare time? That would explain a lot.

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Likewise.

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Thursday, September 10, 2015, 02:03 (3180 days ago) @ Kahzgul

Great post. Not sure if I should reply to the whole thing...

Really though. Wow.

It almost feels like you adopted my post abit. I love the conversation you got going here with Fuertisimo and uberfoop. I'm going to leave most of it for now (I don't have time to read it all right now). This is cool. I'm just respond to your initial post for right now.

--------------------------------------------------------------

I worked in test for 13 years. ...

With regards to Activision, I worked there for many years. There are good people there, and some of those people, whom I personally worked with, certainly worked on Destiny. They would not intentionally crap up a game. I can see them intentionally demanding that work be focused on certain activities (PvP being the most likely culprit, with a "satisfying" story being the number 2). Unfortunately, neither of the activities I'd suspect Activision to ask for were focused on in the final game in any way that at all resembles what I'd expect from Activision (or Bungie, but that's the whole issue, isn't it). It's certainly possible that the entire game was a shambles 1 year out, and Activision did demand that at least something resembling PvP make it into the final game, and something resembling a conclusion to at least one storyline make it into the final game. Totally possible. But, again, if that's the case than the issue is really how bad the game was 1 year out, and that falls pretty squarely on Bungie's shoulders. By the way, test teams at ATVI back when I was there would not be working on the game until about 8 months out; they're relying on Bungie's internal testers up to that point. ...

It's odd, isn't it? How "faceless corporations" always seem to have punchable faces.

I thank you for your input, as it is going a long way. Unfortunately the only exposure I've received about Activision (and others) are second hand stories about people doing fifteen hour shifts easy with no overtime pay for weeks at a time. Crunch months instead of crunch weeks because "faceless corp" can get away with it. The workers are doing what they love and a number of them don't have families. Essentially its been don't work for a studio totally owned by Activision or EA, as you are a number and you are easily replaceable. Perhaps that is more for juniors since grass is easier to mow then trees (I just thought of that metaphor. Hmm). That said - 13 years is a long time. Is that recently or long ago? No dates needed.

INSANEdrive nailed it on the difference between having enemies and having enemies with character. The personality of a fallen dreg is virtually indistinguishable from the personality of a hive acolyte. The art is just about all that is different about them. That's the worst offender, but there are other enemies who behave in similar ways or with only minor differences, as I'm sure you all know. So the game feels stale immediately. Making matters worse, simple design choices such as having level 2 be, in part, level 1 backwards, make me, as a player, feel like Bungie didn't make a big enough world to support distinct level design. And I was given that feeling at the earliest possible moment for that feeling to be given to me, at level 2!

And, with regards to TTK, I'm fully in agreement with you.

Very well written, and I agree with almost all of your points.

[image]

My one quibble: I don't think Bungie hates PvE. Or even solo PvE though I admit that HoW is incredibly frustrating to play solo. Rather, it seems to me that the focus of the game's initial design was to create compulsive gameplay rather than compelling gameplay. Experience bars, RNG loot, repetitive strike modes, daily reset timers, weekly reset timers, timed events, events with social obligations... they all fall into the category of addiction-building activities. I'm not saying that these things are all bad, but I am saying that they appear to have been more important in the design space than, say, a coherent plot or interesting characters. I hope TTK's change to "story based everything" (allegedly) marks a sea-change in the design focus of the game. The core elements of art, movement, and backstory for Destiny are phenomenal. Amazing. Unbelievably good. The server architecture for patrol mode matching is ground-breaking technology (though, to be honest, it is also so underutilized as to be unnecessary). The game engine, then, is a thing of true beauty, but the game itself lacks. Maybe Bungie will sell the engine rights to some other company with vision to put a true game into that shell. Or maybe Bungie will do it themselves. But, again, I don't think it's a hatred of PvE that led us here so much as a focus on the non-game elements and the addictive elements over the gameplay and plot. For me, personally, gameplay and plot are the most important parts of every game.

Keep in mind, I don't think Bungie hates PvE, and I say as much basically each time it is brought up. The "addiction" factor was originally part of my overall overview, but I scrapped in my early drafts. In fact I think in my link dump I have a TED video about how sugar effects the brain, which I found oddly relevant to Destiny.

Again - in the end, while you bring up relevant points about addictive elements of gameplay, I cut those aspects because I feel that at Destinies core, the embedded and ABSOLUTELY CORE social aspect overrides the addictive elements. Looking for beacons with someone else? It's... alright. It's laid back just jumping around the wilderness. By yourself though? Ugh. A total chore. Hence my choice of mentioning how "multiplayer is singleplayer" and so forth.

It's that focus that bit them. They were so focused on getting it right with a group of people that it seems they missed asking the question "Is this fun to do by your self?".

THE MEGA POST:: Destiny : Year 0 & Year 1

by DreadPirateWes, Tuesday, September 08, 2015, 07:20 (3182 days ago) @ INSANEdrive

To be completely honest, I only read the first 6 chapters.

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About the video *OT*

by ZackDark @, Not behind you. NO! Don't look., Tuesday, September 08, 2015, 15:01 (3182 days ago) @ DreadPirateWes

Oh, right, now it's completely clear, random metaphor guy. Keep up the good work.

¬¬

About the video *OT*

by DreadPirateWes, Wednesday, September 09, 2015, 17:16 (3180 days ago) @ ZackDark

Oh, right, now it's completely clear, random metaphor guy. Keep up the good work.

¬¬

I think he was on drugs when he wrote these posts.

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Pancakes.

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Thursday, September 10, 2015, 01:10 (3180 days ago) @ DreadPirateWes

Oh, right, now it's completely clear, random metaphor guy. Keep up the good work.

¬¬


I think he was on drugs when he wrote these posts.

I thought so too, but then I told the self in the mirror that I wasn't. I believed 'im. I then had to get a broom to shovel off all the dead spiders on my skin. No... wait. I ate them, because I'm a hairy butterfly in a horse costume. So kind of like the webmaster... but without pants. :D

Seems legit. It's on the internet.

Fun satiric mockery of an idea aside, I have to ask. What is it about my post that gives you that conclusion? Be honest. You aren't going to hurt my feelings.

[image]

...or let it go*.
*I REGRET NOTHING!

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Question for DreadPirateWes

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Saturday, September 12, 2015, 21:03 (3177 days ago) @ DreadPirateWes

Oh, right, now it's completely clear, random metaphor guy. Keep up the good work.

¬¬


I think he was on drugs when he wrote these posts.

All silliness aside, I was being serious when I asked

What is it about my post that gives you that conclusion?

Thus far every post I have seen that speaks about my Mega Post has been fairly positive sans this one.

What is it about my post that gives you that conclusion? or perhaps an even better question would be, What could I improve on?

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I can't believe I ate the whole thing!

by Funkmon @, Saturday, September 12, 2015, 03:12 (3178 days ago) @ INSANEdrive

Some guy on Reddit thinks your post is crazy poignant.

https://np.reddit.com/r/DestinyTheGame/comments/3kkyho/bungie_has_moved_on_but_they_havent_forgotten_the/cuynmiz

I still haven't finished reading it.

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I can't believe I [almost] ate the whole thing!

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Saturday, September 12, 2015, 20:09 (3177 days ago) @ Funkmon
edited by INSANEdrive, Saturday, September 12, 2015, 20:31

Some guy on Reddit thinks your post is crazy poignant.

https://np.reddit.com/r/DestinyTheGame/comments/3kkyho/bungie_has_moved_on_but_they_havent_forgotten_the/cuynmiz

I still haven't finished reading it.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention Funkmon. I don't frequent Reddit much, if at all, so if you could reply with a thanks it would be appreciated.

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