Weekly Update 12.9.15 (More Events + Auto Rifle FAQ)

Published on: Dec 10, 2015 @ 16:20

Full weekly update can be found at Bungie.net


Good news, everyone!

There’s a whiteboard in one of our meeting rooms filled with scribblings and sticky notes that represent the developments planned for Destiny’s not-so-distant future. Events, activities, content, and features designed to keep you happy, entertained, and rewarded throughout the year to come: some events and some activities that will become additions to your Director.

The first of these early 2016 experiences will be on a scale close to Festival of the Lost. The second will be far larger than anything you’ve seen since the release of The Taken King.

There’s also another significant update to the world and sandbox planned in this same window.

It’s true that we’ve updated the playbook based on what we’ve learned to date, and to better tap into what makes Destiny unique. Last year, we all waited five months and ten days between content drops after December. This year, the plan is to deliver new experiences at a faster clip. To that end, the updates described above are all currently slated to hit across Winter and Spring of 2016, with more to come, as well.

“Fun stuff, that’s still in development.”

Plans. Stuff. Things. If there’s any one aspect of these words that are most likely to leave you cold, it’s the generic wordplay.

“Just tell us exactly what you’re making!”

We plan to. While some of next year’s festivities are designed to surprise, like napalm from a newly forged Dragon’s Breath, we’ll also be rolling out pre-planned announcements on several fronts to keep you up to speed.

I’d love to announce it all right now. On Twitter, even. It would do wonders for my follower count, but since the team is currently in development on those projects, it would also be irresponsible. The team just shipped SRL and Update 2.1.0, after all.

“SRL is live today, though! We hope you dig it!”

I’m really excited about what’s on tap for next year in Destiny, both the events and the bigger ticket content and activities. We’ve already talked about having a sandbox update each quarter, but there’s more on the way, too. Please give us some time to sort the details, and lock down the fun stuff to come. No doubt, there will be lulls in the communication. We’ll do our best to keep the community channels lively during those spells (well, DeeJ and Cozmo will).

In the meantime, we’ve got SRL and a brand new update to dig into. If you like the event, let the team know you want to see more of it. Currently, it’s slated for three weeks, serving as this year’s holiday event. Personally, I hope and believe it’s something we’ll all want to see more of.


Speed Kills

To date, the Sparrow Racing League has claimed over 12 Million lives (both Guardians and the Enemies they fight) on the tracks of Mars and Venus. That’s not a measurement we immortalize in the Record Book, but it’s evidence of the carnage that flows through the boost gates.


Pardon Are Dust

Let’s catch up with Senior Designer Jon Weisnewski about weapons and accuracy in the December Update.

“Everyone makes mistakes, but with a little hard work and a dream, you can make mistakes in front of the entire Internet.”
-Ancient Bungiese Proverb

Newsk: Let me come right out the gate by saying that, all self-depreciating humor aside, any frustration caused by my incorrect messaging of the change values was unintended from my end and perfectly understandable from your end.
Transparency and open dialogue around our design intent for this game means a lot to us. On a personal note, the effort that goes into crafting a preview that invites you into our discussions is a point of pride for me. Yesterday’s mistakes were not my finest moment.

Sifting through the largely unanimous feedback from the last 24 hours on “The Great Patch Notes Swindle,” I have prepared a FYQ (Frequently Yelled Questions) which will hopefully shine 0.04% more light on how we got here.


What are the REAL numbers?

Today we updated the patch notes (again!) to reflect the real numbers you are experiencing in the game.

How did this happen?

I assure you this was a series of very boring events that unfolded kind of like this: I had not-ready-for-primetime scratch numbers in the preview drafts while we were in the process of tuning. I failed to correctly update these numbers prior to publishing. The test team doesn’t use the Patch Notes, they use the actual in-game data to verify changes on their way out. The awesome people who helped me edit the preview weren’t close enough to the real data to know it was a mistake.

How did nobody notice this for a month prior to the changes going live?

Unfortunately, I don’t have a good answer for this. I wish I did, because it’s a very valid question and I think pokes at the core of the frustration a lot of people are expressing. Speaking for the Sandbox designers, we had already wrapped up the update and were heads down working on our next deliverable for Destiny.

It wasn’t until the changes made it into the game and the community started sounding off that we were alerted to the mistake. Yesterday, in my own self-induced panic to get the real numbers out to everyone, I very hastily assumed I had made the same mistake on Pulse Rifle numbers and screwed those ones up in the published revision. (We have since updated the Pulse numbers so that they are more accurate).

The resulting update caused more confusion and made it seem like we were trying to cover our tracks. It was a sloppy move on my part, but none of it is malicious or a cover up.

What is the point of increasing damage if the numbers don’t go up?

The damage numbers you see in game are not the raw base numbers we work with. The number shown at a damage event gets scaled by a lot of factors (activity, target, Light level, difficulty, precision, damage type, etc.) and then displayed to the player in combat as rounded whole numbers with a clean UI presentation.

A small adjustment to an Auto Rifle may not be enough to change the displayed number, but (THIS IS A HYPOTHETICAL EXAMPLE) if your base damage changed from 20 to 20.2, and then you fired that damage value every other frame (at 30 fps) over the duration of a 50 round magazine, you’re actually getting a change in DPS even though the base number still reports as 20 in the UI.

Specifically for PVP, add precision damage scaling and the barrel upgrades that scale up Impact available on Exotic and King’s Fall Auto Rifles, and you’ll start to feel the new change a bit more. 


Will that be enough to “properly buff” Auto Rifles? We’ll see. As always, we’re watching data and planning the next update every day. Until then, keep that feedback coming.