This Week at Bungie
This week at Bungie, our ears are ringing.
Last week was an experience in sensory overload. The aircraft hangar that our friends at Activision built for the celebration was booming. The response from the community has been thunderous. You honor us with your enthusiasm for new action.
Ever since the first reveal at the end of March, we’ve been hyping the “Destiny 2 Gameplay Premiere” on the Internet. Inside our studio, the entire operation was codenamed DRE (or Destiny Reveal Event). The games that were played in that fateful airport hangar came from the DRE Build. The presenters who took the stage ran a gauntlet of DRE Rehearsals.
We knew this moment wouldn’t be complete if we couldn’t share it with our community. If you made the trek to join us, we were humbled and awed to hear you roar as your favorite Class activated a new Super for the first time. If you piled into the stream audience to make the chat run like a raging waterfall, we thank you for helping us to break the internet.
If you missed a single moment of the premiere, here’s the full archive:
With all the lights and noise and games and conversations behind us, we can safely say that DRE is something we’ll never forget. Destiny 2 Game Director (and Master of Ceremonies) Luke Smith has his own recollections from the center of that storm.
Last Thursday was a blur. Amidst the fuzzy lines, a few moments crystallized and burned into memory.
I’ll remember the tireless effort on the part of the crew who was there all week building out the hangar, Steph the stage manager helping us prep, the team running the teleprompters (which none of us had ever used before), and a ton of other folks who made that event go.
I’ll remember the conversations with guests sharing their own stories of what Destiny meant to them, their friends, families, and communities. It’s another jolt of energy as we enter the final months of Destiny 2’s development.
I’ll remember the moment I walked out on stage for the first time for the rest of my life. And the text I received from my mother after it was over wondering if she should “get into these Destiny games when I retire.” She’s 61, and I hope to still be making them when she hangs up her scrubs.
See you soon.
Thanks for being the wind at our backs, Guardians. As Luke said, there is more work to do. With DRE fading into memory, we can return to our mission with a belly full of fire.
As we moved through the crowd of Guardians last week, many of you asked important questions about how Destiny 2's networking model will work. The technology we use to bring players together in the world of the game touches on so many crucial topics. We know that you’re curious about everything from how your shots land to the protective measures we’ll take to keep the community ecosystem safe. These topics deserve careful statements from the people who own the code, and a noisy aircraft hangar isn’t the best place to do them justice.
Now that the dust has settled and the ringing in our ears has started to subside, I sat down with Matt Segur, Engineering Lead on Destiny 2, to get some answers for you.
Matt: We've seen a lot of people asking about how the networking model works for Destiny 2. Many are concerned by our announcement last week that Destiny 2 doesn't have dedicated servers. While that’s useful shorthand, the full answer is more complex because Destiny has a unique networking model. Rest assured that we’re doing a lot of testing right now with players all around the world, and working hard to make sure that your experience is going to be smooth on launch day.
So why no dedicated servers?
Matt: Every activity in Destiny 2 is hosted by one of our servers. That means you will never again suffer a host migration during your Raid attempt or Trials match. This differs from Destiny 1, where these hosting duties were performed by player consoles and only script and mission logic ran in the data center. To understand the foundation on which we’re building, check out this Destiny 1 presentation from GDC. Using the terms from this talk, in Destiny 2, both the Mission Host and Physics Host will run in our data centers.
Wait, so we do have dedicated servers?
Matt: We don't use that term, because in the gaming community, “dedicated servers” refers to pure client-server networking models. Destiny 2 uses a hybrid of client-server and peer-to-peer technology, just like Destiny 1. The server is authoritative over how the game progresses, and each player is authoritative over their own movement and abilities. This allows us to give players the feeling of immediacy in all their moving and shooting – no matter where they live and no matter whom they choose to play with.
Why peer-to-peer? Are we trying to save money?
Matt: Nope! We've invested heavily in new server infrastructure for Destiny 2, including using cloud servers for gameplay for the first time. We really believe this is the best model for all of Destiny 2's varied cooperative and competitive experiences. Engineering will always involve tradeoffs and cost-benefit analysis, but as a team we’ve got no regrets about the unique technology we’ve built for Destiny 2.
With Destiny 2 coming out on PC, does peer-to-peer networking put players at risk of being cheated?
Matt: The PC platform poses unique security challenges for Destiny 2, but our security Ninjas have spent several years building a plan for how to engage with this new and vibrant community. We have a variety of top-secret strategies to ensure that the life of a cheater in Destiny 2 PC will be nasty, brutish, and short. And, regardless of what platform you play on, all changes to your persistent character are communicated directly to our secure data center with no peer-to-peer interference.
Does this mean I’ll never see a player warp around the map or shoot me through a wall again?
Matt: We think those controller-throwing lag-induced moments will be reduced for Destiny 2, but we can't promise they’ll be eliminated. Fundamentally, we are trying to strike a balance between three hard problems: (1) make the game feel responsive, (2) make the game accessible to players all over the world, and (3) make the game fair for all. We’ll continue to refine that balance as players engage with the Crucible in Destiny 2.
So what can we expect at launch?
Matt: We have a Beta coming up this summer that will be the first chance for players to get their hands on Destiny 2 and kick the tires on its networking. We have spent a bunch of time working on matchmaking, latency, and responsiveness, and we feel pretty good about it. As with everything we do, we'll be monitoring the situation after launch and reacting to the community's feedback.
To Matt’s final point, the real moment of truth and understanding will come when you get to play. That’s when you’ll know what we’ve built. When you tell us what sort of experience you’ve had, we’ll know too. This is our goal for the Destiny 2 Beta.
Your next obvious question is: “When is the Beta?”
We’re still tracking toward a summer time-frame. We’re locking down dates and prepping builds. As soon we know for sure, we’ll upgrade the Beta forecast from its current status of “Soon” with exact dates.
We hope to see you there. This is the true test. We’ll need every Guardian on hand to help us launch a game worthy of this community.
Supporting the Guardians is a mission that takes on many forms. Last week, the members of our Destiny Player Support team were part of the Away Team for the reveal event, inverting controllers and hooking players up with their first taste of Destiny 2. This week, they’re back to walking their beat on Bungie.net, looking for players in need of assistance.
This is their report.
Earlier this week, server maintenance was conducted to address some backend issues that were impacting Destiny servers. No changes to gameplay were made. If you are experiencing any issues connecting to Destiny since this maintenance was completed, please post a report to the #Help forum listing the error codes you’re receiving when attempting to play.
Additionally, we are investigating issues preventing various activity statistics from appearing on your Bungie.net Legend. We have confirmed that issues impacting Iron Banner Mayhem Clash stats have been addressed, but we are continuing to investigate issues preventing the appearance of stats from alternate activities. Please note the following:
Third party applications that rely on Bungie.net API for stat collection will be impacted until this issue is resolved.
Some previously-completed activity statistics have begun to appear on Bungie.net, but we are continuing to investigate the issue as it may still impact alternate stats.
Once the issue has been resolved, it may take up to 48 hours for all statistics to be processed.
Additional information and updates on this investigation will be provided through @BungieHelp when available.
Back in Action
At the reveal event, he was our man on the street, capturing special moments and talking to special guests. Now that it’s all over, your community manager is back to his usual tricks, seeking out new legends and designating new targets.
Cozmo: The Bungie Bounty is headed to the Big Apple. Our community volunteer is Ekuegan, who is well known for guiding Guardians through Raids, but has agreed to take you all on in the Crucible with Emblems for loot.
Bungie Bounty: Ekuegan
Region: New York
When: 5/29/2017 at 1PM Pacific
The Sign of Opposing Will is at stake during this event. Match with Ekuegan and win and the Emblem is yours. Even if you disconnect, as long as your team wins, you will still get the prize. For more details, check out our Bungie Bounty FAQ.
Cozmo: Movie of the Week returns from a short hiatus while we were down in LA showing off that hot new Destiny 2 action. You ready? Let’s get into it.
Every week, we find our favorite videos and post them here for all to enjoy. The creators of the MOTW and all Honorable Mentions will be handsomely rewarded with this Emblem which can only be described as “lit.”
To make sure you’re eligible to win, submit your film to the Creations page. Also, please include everyone’s player name in videos description so we can deliver the Emblems with ease. Enough housekeeping… Let’s watch the videos.
Movie of the Week: The Chain
Honorable Mention: New Face
Honorable Mention: Weird weather at Destiny's tower
Now that you’ve seen Destiny 2 in action, we’re planning the next stop on the road to launch. We’re not done meeting players and inviting them to join us in these worlds. Our calendar for the rest of the summer looks a map filled with adventures. Maybe you’ll be there to share one of those moments with us. We’ll call out the destinations one at a time.
Up next? See you at E3!