Joe's Twitter Address
This was a great impromptu discussion on the state of the game, lots of optimism for new approaches moving forward.
- Joe today posted an impromptu, mostly unscripted video on Twitter addressing the path of the game, Bungie, and feedback around the state of the game post. This is the summary of what was talked about.
State of the Game and the Showcase
- The State of the Game wasn't up to their standards
- It didn't provide the high level vision that they usually provide.
- "Really and truly a bunch of us were heads down working on The Final Shape, and weren't able to give it the care and love we usually put into those communications, and that's nobody's fault but mine"
- He wanted to give an update on what they thought about the State of the Game post they put out, and what they think about Destiny as a whole.
- The showcase next week won't be a reaction to the state of the game, current community sentiment, or this video.
- It was recorded a while ago (Joe still has a mustache in it), it will be a focused reveal, focused on the light, the enemies they've been setting up, the allies we've come to know.
- They don't want to introduce a bunch of wacky new systems or themes coming into Destiny, they want to make an experience that's super easy for anyone new to Destiny to come in and fall in love with the game.
- This communication is built to appeal to a wide audience, so they're not gonna talk about many things that the active community members are invested in, things like:
- A big new strange coin refactor and Xur revamp coming out in the Final Shape
- Refactor of HUD elements to make the buffs and debuffs more clear so you can tell what's happening in high level combat
- The showcase is going to be very focused on the story, location, and maybe a bit about how content delivery will be changing after The Final Shape.
- After the showcase, Joe and the other GMs will be there to clarify what was shown in the showcase.
- Adding some clarity, and get into ways their philosophy has shifted since they recorded the showcase.
- Their big focus has been on sandbox balance:
- Making sure that strand came out in a good place, and got to live in harmony with the rest of the subclasses.
- Two weapon balance updates a season, one at the beginning and one in the middle.
- A reward update at the beginning of each season.
- One new map and a few reprises a year.
- It's fair to say that this approach is not producing the Crucible that our players expect us.
- It's clear that the slow trickle of PvP maps isn't having the effect they want. It gives an injection of PvP maps every so often into the ecosystem, but one new map a year means they have to build that map to do everything, which means that map can't be good at everything.
- Instead of a slow trickle through the year, they're focusing their efforts into a new map pack that will be free for everyone.
- Each map will be diverse and good at different things, and will add a lot of variety in a single drop.
- It's a big shift in their strategy, and will take them time to understand the best approaches, it will be coming next year.
- Maps are great, but they believe that PvP is about the foundation, and new maps won't solve the foundation.
- Modes are one approach to solving the foundation.
- Joe is really excited about what's coming next season with Checkpoint, it's about that primary fire that Bungie games are excellent at, and showcases that gameplay in PvP.
- PvP players have been asking for this since Destiny 1, and they're excited to finally be able to put a mode like that into the game.
- Next, Relic is a different kind of mode, and is building off of their different modes like Fortress or Eruption, about this quality Destiny sandbox experience of guns and powers, that escalates when you succeed in a sorta crazy Mayhem way.
- They think the balance of those two things is a great time to spend away from other parts of the game, and get the full spectrum of what Destiny has to offer.
- He's excited about Fortress, and how Relic will give an experience that's fun for people who can slay out, but will also have high-octane hi-jinks moments to it.
- These have all already been committed to, so next is what they think they need to do.
- They know they need to bring more of the modes into the core playlists. Lots have come to labs, lots have come to Iron Banner, but there's a few obstacles to putting them into the core playlist. Issues might be VO, or small bug level issues.
- These issues have been blocking them from doing the right thing, so they're gonna take on the bugs and jank and say that it's not worth just not putting them into the core playlist.
- They've heard a lot about comp, and how they award points in comp.
- They want to take a new approach to how they balance points in comp. It's weighted too much on your personal MMR vs the people you're playing against. It's really unpredictable how many points you get.
- They're looking at a simpler system, where winning or losing matters more.
- Finally, they want to get great modes like Countdown Rush into competitive, and modes people aren't excited about out of competitive. Making the competitive experience more about the modes people enjoy.
- The last effort will be to bolster what they call a "PvP Striketeam"
- They've built striketeams for efforts before, in moments like Curse of Osiris and Warmind they built a Striketeam for destiny investment. This team was built around "how can we make it more rewarding and enjoyable to get stuff in Destiny 2"
- This team built stuff very quickly, like what became the Masterworking system, also knocked out a whole bunch of bugs and quality of life issues.
- They're taking this same effort, and building a new striketeam for PvP around the same principle, led by PvP developers.
- There's an interesting playbook for the team, first they decide what they want to do (goes through the director, other teams), then after it's approved it'll immediately get communicated to the community (TWID, twitter post, reddit), even before they're implemented.
- This formula helps them push through new changes quickly to the community.
- These striketeams are built off of community feedback, all the changes will be built from the PvP community's issues.
- Armor have "visual categories".
- At the top there's things like raids, trials, dungeons. They want these armors to be flashy, and talk about the core of what the experience is. They want players who earn the armor to want to wear them and show them off.
- Second is silver, they want silver armorsets to break the mold on what you can expect in a game, experiment with 4th wall break-ey stuff. They want silver armor to feel worth it to people who buy it.
- Then, there is "narrative armor", the stuff you see in any marketing trailers. Earned in a season pass, campaign post-game. Made to drive home what that moment of time was. Season of the Deep is deep sea, Witch Queen was weird paranormal detective.
- Finally, there's rituals and blues. This space is for the core, guardian fantasy, the "stereotypical" average guardian. There needs to be a lot of armor here to flesh out the fantasies.
- Sometime in the middle of last year, they reevaluated the priorities on armor, spending more on armors people care the most about (earned or bought). Things like PvP stuff, trials, raids and dungeons, narrative stuff. They weren't consistently hitting the bar enough in those looks.
- They feel that since they've refocused, they've been very successful (lists cowboy armor for Spire, RoN armor, Season of the Deep armor).
- What they failed to do was communicate this shift. They knew when they made this change, they wouldn't have the ability to refresh the ritual armor every year. They should have communicated this to the community.
- They're going to invest in those armor sometimes, namely in The Final Shape, but they didn't communicate any of it soon enough.
- This year they're taking an armor set that was going to go to the Eververse and put it into the ritual armor for free before the end of next season.
- They want to make sure they're doing the right thing by all the fans.
- They've talked a lot about how the development team is very busy.
- They want to be focused on delivering the best possible content, but that doesn't mean communications have to suffer.
- In the process though, they have to keep the community members and community leaders at Bungie safe. No one working at Bungie should have to worry about personal safety.
- They'll keep using the branded accounts on Twitter and Reddit. They'll use these with more personality, and communicate more often.
- Finally, Joe is going to commit to a few times next season and the season after, where Joe will stream the game and chat with the community. It won't be reveal packed, but there will be good check-ins on the game and plans.
- Joe learns a lot from the community, so he wants to commit and play with the community more.