Bungie Talks Raiding

IGN sat down with Bungie’s Luke Smith to talk more about Destiny’s Endgame.

Read the entire  article here on IGN.

I think Destiny’s endgame begins as soon as you see the way the story ends. As soon as you see the way we wrap up the sort of first piece of the adventure that we’re going to tell because we want to set you back out into the world to keep going. We want to try to align your motivations as the player with the motivations of the character who you’ve been pushing around this world. So for us I think a bunch of the endgame starts right at level 20.

In terms of raids:

The activity is going to take you and your group of five buddies into a place that you’ve never been. A place that you will return to frequently. And [it will] demand of you things you’ve never even really been asked to do in a shooter before.

Often times in MMO raiding – of which I have done a fair bit of. You end up battling against the UI. You’re battling against your add-ons. You’re battling against clicking. It’s not kinetic; it’s not an action game.

It’s getting people together and getting them into a group and making your way down to the Vault of Glass and seeing what’s at the bottom of it – if you can get that far.

Unlike a bunch of the other activities in Destiny, where you begin the activity – like let’s say you pick the level-22 Strike playlist – everything in that activity is going to be level 22. It’s going to be consistent. If you’re level 26, you’re going to have some relationship to it. You’re going to be more powerful than that activity. In a raid, when the raid begins at level 25, it’s not where it ends. Like part of going the raid is the journey of gearing up; building your arsenal to react to the situations that it’s going to ask you to go through.

I think the E3 experience video [Ed. Note: See above] had the narrator talking about the hardest thing we’ve ever built and we showed a jumping puzzle. Like, the hardest thing we’ve ever built is a jumping puzzle? The jumping puzzle is just one part but it’s this interesting representation of the philosophy behind a bunch of the raiding which is taking something simple, something that you’ve done, you understand, and then asking six of you to do it together. In a nutshell, that’s some of the philosophy that was driving raid design as we were building the first raid in Destiny.

After level 20 there are a bunch of Strikes that become available to you,” Smith adds. “So the first thing that you’re going to jump into is probably Strikes and PvP. In Strikes and PvP you’re going to be accumulating reputation with the Vanguard, and also currency. And you use that currency potentially to buy legendary gear, faster Sparrows, so it’s this one axis.” We can also look forward to a daily story chapter, Smith adds.

A lot of what’s going to drive you is going to be logging in every day, seeing what’s in that featured activities pane on your director, and then going into the Tower to get your bounties for the day.

Bounties are this opportunity for you to create a parallel progression for what you’re doing for a day: It’s like allowing you to optimize, people love that; I mean I love that. I mean that’s the thing that we do every night when a couple of us pretty much play every night from six until embarrassing o’clock. And we’re like, the first thing we do is log in, grab the bounties, synchronize what we’re going to do, and then either head off to play explorer, and then we tip over the daily activities, and if we haven’t done it, we’ll knock out the weekly Nightfall activity and get our guys rolling. And then, like, I do that on all three of my characters.

Nightfall activities come in two flavors: daily and weekly. They have extremely exotic rewards.

We want to have activities that occupy the range of challenge for you,” Smith says, changing gears slightly. “So if you’re a fresh level 20 you can play the Nightfall daily activity at level 22 and it’s going to be hard. It’s going to be challenging. But you can get through it, maybe. Maybe if you have some friends. The weekly Nightfall activity is something that pushes all the way out as far as the leveling allows you to go in Destiny. So it ends up occupying at the far end of the spectrum: this extremely high gameplay investment challenge. Like it’s both the toughest guys we can throw at you that’s going to require the best gear, and it’s going to have a bunch of modifiers on it that make it even harder.


Luke Smith posted on Neogaf in response to the people who don’t think it’s a good idea to exclude matchmaking from raiding, saying

I understand everyone’s frustration about the decision to not have matchmaking in a post-matchmaking world. I also understand the limitations that this places on the activity’s adoption at scale.

That barrier to entry – the requirement that you get a group of people together and venture into something that is going to challenge your ability to work together (first) and your thumbs (second) – is a barrier I was willing to erect to preserve the activity goals.

Bleeding edge hardcore groups will invest some significant amount of time in figuring out the encounters and making their way through the Vault.

I fully expect groups to beat Normal mode in the first week its available. This is intentional, I’d like any group that is motivated and willing to cooperate to make their way through the Raid on Normal. I’ve talked some about thumbskill challenge vs. investment challenge vs. cooperation challenge in some interviews, and the Normal Raid difficulty prioritizes cooperation challenge and investment challenge.

I expect Hard mode to take longer.
Once your group learns the encounters, you will be able to get through the Raid significantly faster than 3 hours.

However, the first time through, learning everything and arranging your group will take some hard-to-predict amount of time until some clan releases their strategies on YouTube.

The Vault of Glass is in many ways an activity that will build groups from the disparate people who come together to try and make their way through it. It’s very much a team-building exercise.