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Once Iron Banner comes to a close – after Lord Saladin sells his last weapon, packs up his gear, and vacates the Tower until the next battle – the rest of the Crucible will still demand our support. How will we apply what we’ve learned this week? We’ve seen this question asked a lot these past few days. It’s best answered by someone like Design Lead Lars Bakken.
Lars: From early reports, it looks like reactions to our first salvo of Matchmaking updates have been pretty positive. There are still issues for sure, but even after a few hours of data, we were noticing good things. That’s why I was ecstatic when the Matchmaking team said they thought they could do even more yesterday. The plan is to keep looking at data, listen to the community, keep you updated, and see how much more we can do to make the experience better.
Of course, the end goal has always been to push this out to our other playlists so they can share in the love. We’ll do that when we feel like we have a good solution we’re happy with. More to come on that once we have a solid plan. Much love goes out to the internal Matchmaking team for working so tirelessly on this problem, as well as the Guardians who have played their own role in the process. Thanks all!
Keep playing. Keep telling your war stories. They’re moving the needle.
Late Breaking Update: Today, from 1PM to 3PM (always PST), we are collecting data on a third round of changes to matchmaking settings in Iron Banner. If this impacts game performance negatively, alert us immediately.
These guys are now working faster than I can blog…
Crimson Days is coming. Have you chosen your dancing partner?
If you want to know more, let’s interrogate Senior Designer Leif Johansen. He had a hand in creating this fun-loving couples activity.
What inspired the creation of Crimson Days?
Leif: We wanted to develop a small, fun PvP activity that speaks to the themes and emotions of Valentine’s Day. Try that design exercise in your head. What features would you build into a competitive shooter experience to provide a metaphor for going on dates, relationships, and love?
What did you end up with?
Leif: For one week, we’re opening up a Fireteam-Only 2v2 Elimination playlist with a twist: you get a significant buff while your teammate is dead. Having to ask someone to be your Guardian Valentine and being filled with angry vengeance when they get killed are the experiences that I hope will define the event.
Tell us more about the new mechanics. How does it help us to avenge our vanquished partners?
Leif: When your teammate dies, you become “enraged” with the Broken Heart buff. When you find yourself alone in the fight, you gain maximum ratings for Armor, Agility, Recovery, and Weapon Handling speed. Hearing Bungie devs swear vengeance for their beloved Crimson partners during playtests sealed the deal for me.
How did the event themes impact the rewards?
Leif: Pairing up and having your kills count toward your teammate’s Crimson Days Bounties seemed to reinforce the theme of partnership. I hope it will create even less friction for more casual players to team up with high-skill friends. A player can carry their teammate through matches and to the rewards.
The couple that slays together profits together! So why just one week?
Leif: This is a special occasion. We didn’t want it to overstay its welcome and drift away from its “small and fun” goal. I’m hoping the timing feels right for you guys as well.