This Week at Bungie

This week at Bungie, we watched Guardians become Legends.

Players have climbed the ranks of competitive Crucible and earned the title of Legend. Clan Redeem earned the title of World First(for the third time in a Destiny game) when overcoming challenges found in the Spire of Stars Raid Lair. Numerous fireteams have completed seven waves in Escalation Protocol, and earned some sweet loot in the process.

This last week has been one to remember. It’s one of the best things about Destiny, really—when memories are forged in the fires of combat. It’s been an absolute pleasure to see these experiences unfold, and we’re excited to see more of these stories shared throughout the community.

That said, Destiny 2 will continue to evolve over the next few months and beyond. Yesterday, we updated the Destiny 2 Development Roadmap to expand on upcoming features and share our next deployment date.

In the coming weeks, we’ll dive into what’s changing about Faction Rallies and shed a bit more light on what Crucible Labs will bring to the table. This week, our focus is on feedback…

Powerful Progress

Feedback never stops. From the moment Warmind landed, we’ve had our eyes on the chatter surrounding all aspects of Destiny 2. One trending topic is how players reach appropriate Power levels for endgame content. Senior Investment Designer Daniel Auchenpaugh has some details on what to expect moving forward:

Daniel: Warmind is out! We’re super excited this is in your hands now, as we’re able to get a bunch of excellent input on what we did well and what we still need to work on. One of those areas I’d like to talk about a bit is progression. I spoke a little about this before the Warmind launch, but I think one thing I could have been more clear about was that the Warmind progression system is an improvement over Curse of Osiris, but still not where we ultimately want to end up. It’s a step down the road to make the game more in line with where we want it, but we need to make these iterations one step at a time so we can incorporate feedback and ensure we're heading in the right direction.

Heroic strikes are a great example of something we definitely want to keep iterating on. In the May 29 update, you’ll see a small change to help make these better.

  • Escalation Protocol Key Fragments will become a 100 percent drop chance from each Heroic strike. The goal here is to make getting these fragments more accessible while also preserving the need to go play non-open-world content to get the fragments.

  • Heroic strikes will be able to drop better rewards. Every three to five Heroic strikes will drop a Legendary that can carry you up to 360 Power (before mods). This should better align the rewards of Heroic strikes with the difficulty of the activity and help solo players have a more reliable source of upgrades.

We won’t have any time to make changes to what’s coming on the 29th, but please let us know how you feel about these rates; it is good information to inform future updates.

We’re tracking some additional issues that don’t have immediate solutions, but that I want to bring up as things we’re thinking and talking about. I don’t currently have any potential solutions to talk about, but I want to make sure we’re communicating the kinds of things we’re looking at and considering. In that spirit, here are some of the top progression-related issues we’re thinking about right now:

  • How to smooth out the transition into the endgame grind once the campaign is over. Currently, there is a brick wall players seem to be running into at 345, where progression goes from fast to super frictioned. This is one of those areas we definitely don’t believe is perfect, so we’re looking at how to smooth this transition out.

  • Once milestones are complete, there aren't rewards to chase. Exotic Masterworks and seasonal ranks help this problem a little bit (giving some amount of non-Power chase to work on once milestones are done) but these definitely aren’t enough. As highlighted in the roadmap, Weapon Randomization and Records should also help give players more to do once their milestones are done. That doesn’t mean we believe this is a fully solved problem, and we’re talking about other ways to help mitigate this.

  • Endgame progression needs more tiers. Right now, everything gives similar-sized upgrades without discrete tiers in the progression system for players to climb to (so they can tackle new activities and, in turn, climb to a new tier with new activities). This is something I definitely wouldn’t expect a solution for prior to September, but it is on our radar.

  • The quality of the rewards don’t always match the difficulty of the activity. We’re seeing a lot of this feedback around raid lair rewards in particular, so talking about how to better align with the quality of reward and the difficulty of activity is something we’re going to be thinking about more going forward.

Huge thanks to everyone who has spent time to type up their thoughts, what they love, and what they don’t love with the progression and reward systems in Warmind. We’re keeping our ear to the ground.

P.S.: Send me images of your favorite shader + Escalation Protocol gear combos. This is unrelated to progression—I just wanna see ’em!

Going for Glory

Progression isn’t just achieving new levels of Power, we also look at how players are rising through ranks of Valor and Glory. We’ve gotten some questions on the hows and whys of the ranking system. PvP Design Lead Derek Carroll has some answers.

Derek: Now that we’ve added a serious ranking system to the Competitive playlist, we’re seeing many more Guardians attempt to climb the ladder to become Legend. On their way to the top, some players have raised questions that we can address here.

Q: Why would I match against a player with a higher Glory rank than me?

A: For a variety of reasons, we don’t match directly on your Glory number, instead using our per-playlist “Skill” value. It’s quite likely that your opponent is a good match against you, but they’ve been grinding Glory more consistently, so have moved up the ranks faster. Take this as a sign that you’ll likely reach that rank with continued play.

Q: Why can I match against pre-formed fireteams when I’m searching as a solo player?

A: After a bit of server-side tuning and investigation, we re-enabled the Crucible Fireteam Matchmaking feature yesterday. This does not directly reduce the chances of matching against pre-made fireteams, but does tweak the “Skill” values of those fireteams to make it more likely that they find evenly-matched opponents.

Q: Why won’t you make a solo-queue-only playlist?

A: We don’t want to do that because it would split the population in an unhealthy way, making it less likely for everyone to find good matches. Furthermore, that would probably mean splitting the Glory rank into “Solo Glory” and “Team Glory” numbers, and we’d much rather there be one single number to represent your prowess in the Crucible.

Q: Why would you place me in a game in progress that you know I’m going to lose, ending my streak?

A: There’s no join-in-progress in Competitive, so this can’t happen for Glory. However, we are working on a fix for Valor in the other playlists, so you won’t lose your Valor streak that way.

As always, thanks for the feedback. We are always working to make the Crucible a great place to compete with and against your fellow Guardians. Good hunting!


Lord Saladin returns—with updated rewards!

BEGINS: Tuesday, May 22

ENDS: Tuesday, May 29

The game is Control!

The ways in which players earn rewards have also been updated for Season 3. Saladin will feature a similar reputation system to Vanguard, where players can climb the ranks by turning in Iron Banner Tokens. Each reputation rank up will lend progress to unlocking desired rewards.