Destiny Dev Notes & Hot Fix

Published on: Sep 25, 2014 @ 13:33

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Bungie Bounty

On September 9th the Bungie team traded late nights building Destiny for late nights playing Destiny with all of you. We’d looked forward to that day for years, knowing that it would bring millions of fresh eyes into our world and quickly change many of our plans and priorities. We were not disappointed.

In the last two weeks there have been many surprises, bugs, exploits, world firsts, and a whole lot of fun. It’s been an amazing time. We think now is a great time to step back and let you all know how we think the game is holding up and to talk about some changes we are contemplating going forward.

We will be patching some of these issues as early as today. Others may not be addressed for a month or two. Stay tuned for updates and thank you for all your feedback online.


He Who Shall Not Be Named

Long ago during development, the Cryptarch decoded engrams of a given color into gear of that same color. Early in 2014 we added randomness, both for better and worse, to the decrypting process. The result was that end-of-session engram decoding got a lot more exciting and the Cryptarch himself suddenly acquired a personality. Both of these experiences were positive additions to the game.

But we didn’t adequately communicate the potential random outcomes of decryption. Players see what looks like the familiar metaphor of item identification, while the Cryptarch thinks he’s opening a grab bag of loot. Rage sharding of blues ensues. Expect to see changes to address this soon.

Destiny: The Cave

The social experience of a cave farming run is amazing: the herding to get a team of Guardians all behind the line and firing in the right direction, the rush to grab the loot, the scramble when the panic wave starts, the beckoning glow from inside the cave. The speed at which the community organized around this activity was inspiring and humbling to us.

But shooting at a black hole for hours on end isn’t our dream for how Destiny is played. Our hope is that social engagement in public spaces is only one part of the Destiny experience. Expect changes soon which decrease the efficiency of cave farming and correspondingly increase engram drops from completing activities.

Reward Celebration

Growing more powerful by acquiring new upgrades, gear or progression is central to Destiny’s player experience. Our goal is to always celebrate when this occurs, both as a reward in and of itself and to communicate to players what is going on.

During development we sometimes prioritized making a system functional over celebrating its rewards, for example:

  • The Vault of Glass contains highly coveted loot but the actual moment of reward happens without fanfare and can be easily missed.
  • The lowest level of the Daily Heroic gives great XP and Reputation rewards, but neither of these progressions appears on the postgame screen.

We will slowly be addressing these and other issues going forward.


Voice Communication

Our vision for Destiny is that all players, even matchmade players in the Crucible, Strikes, the Tower or public spaces, be able to communicate with one another in a way that promotes positive socialization. Voice communication is the easy answer, but existing voice paradigms, including those in our own Halo games, have not done enough to protect players from abusive griefing from a minority of players.

Destiny’s near-term solution will be to allow players to opt-in to voice communication during matchmade activities. Work on this feature was underway at launch and should be rolled out this year in Strikes and the Crucible.



Strikes are intended to be a fun, combat-filled romp and stomp with a big boss and cool rewards at the end. Better with cooperation, but doable in a pick up group.

Since launch we’ve tracked down an issue which has made Strikes more challenging than originally designed by both increasing damage taken by players and decreasing the damage inflicted by players on the boss. Expect to see this addressed soon, and for Strikes to become a little less grindy as a result (sorry, Raiders – incoming damage is working as intended in the Vault of Glass).


Our goal when balancing Destiny is to never have one player choice– for example a choice of class or weapon– either be so much better than the alternatives that it is the only valid choice or to be so much worse that it would always be a mistake to choose. When we are successful with this kind of balance the result is a wide set of equally compelling player builds, some of which may be preferred by one player or another but none of which is an absolute right or wrong choice.

Exotic Weapons

Exotic Weapons are designed to look, feel and sound overpowered, but to not actually break the game. We hope these weapons challenge the way players think about their loadouts and expect their idiosyncrasies to sometimes be a little frustrating. We find ourselves wanting to collect them all and hope players feel the same way.

Not all our Exotic Weapons currently live up to this promise. In particular those weapons received from completing exotic bounties including Thorn and Bad Juju have disappointed many of us who have gone through the great effort to obtain them because, despite looking and sounding amazing, they feel underpowered. We’re here to offer some advice: don’t shard those guns. Their time will come.

Auto Rifles

The Auto Rifle archetype is designed to appeal to players who like to throw up a wall of bullets and not worry if a few miss their target. It is intended to inflict sustained damage at close to medium range, but to lose effectiveness at longer ranges.

Today the Auto Rifle is too effective at long range, even beating Scout and Pulse Rifles in some circumstances. Expect stability and/or damage adjustments to the Auto Rifle to address this in the weeks ahead.

Scout Rifles

Scout Rifles are for players who like to keep their enemies at medium range and hate to miss. They are intended to be an awkward weapon to use at close range but to be dominant– as long as you land your shots– at medium and longer ranges.

Scouts just aren’t hitting hard enough today when compared to other precision weapons. We’ll be addressing this soon.


Shotguns are for those situations where you need to deliver a massive spike of damage, right now, to the thing standing next to you about to do you harm.

Today shotguns are effective beyond their intended range, especially when upgraded with that intention. Expect changes soon to address shotguns which push the envelope of what it means to be close quarters.

Hotfix 5


In Hotfix 5, we made a few changes to reduce the effectiveness of a humbling number of economy exploits. Check out these Destiny Dev Notes to read a summary of our impressions since launch.



Reduced drop rate of engrams following a hard wipe [fixed in]

Queen’s Wrath Event

Material rewards for dismantling Queen’s Wrath gear will no longer provide ascendant materials, but missions will continue to drop Legendary items



  • The Hive of the holy “Treasure Cave” have realized the futility of their endless assault on Skywatch and have retired to lick their wounds and plan their next attack.
  • Respawn timers for monster caves in Skywatch have been normalized to 40 seconds (increased from 6)
  • Respawn timers for monster caves in Forgotten Shore have been normalized to 40 seconds (increased from 10)
  • Respawn timers for monster caves in Ember Caves have been normalized to 40 seconds (increased from 10)
  • Respawn timers for monster caves in the Shattered Coast have been normalized to 40 seconds (increased from 10)
  • Respawn timers for monster caves in the Barrens have been normalized to 40 seconds (increased from 20)

Check out if you’d like to talk to others about Destiny in a friendly and welcoming community! :)

  • JeabusIVXX

    I want all the exotics muahahahahahaha

  • realtuathafc

    Seriously farming is such a huge part of MMO’s that Making drops be random and not set on how well your doing or the kill streak your on based on enemy lvl, and then getting mad that people found a satisfying way to get good gear is ridiculous guys. Especially in the crucible, people can sit their and flick their joystick every few minutes while watching TV and still have chances at legendary drops while the kid who just went 23 and 3 or something winds up with nothing to show for it, this I think should be what’s really addressed because it’s frustrating a lot of people. My friends and myself think it should work like this 1st place 4 random engrams, 2nd 3 random engrams, third place 2 random engrams while the other three get the random chance at getting a singular peice of loot. First place should have a 10 percent legendary 2nd 8% 3rd 5% and with exotic 1st 5% 2nd 3% 3rd 2% the rest nope. Let’s go bungie fix the online before you start making it more impossible to get gear. P.s. people farm strikes just like they farm the cave so it’s not gonna stop so… good luck with that.

    Love a destiny player who thinks Yall need to live up to E3 promises and not disappoint us again,

    • Tom

      I have a ton of screenshots to support this!

    • KMGommster

      You can’t farm the strikes anymore because they made it highly unlikely to find engrams after everyone dies. Also, the person with the most kills in a pvp match might have just stolen a lot of those kills from his teammates, so that isn’t a good idea. Also, farming may be a huge part of MMO’s but this is not an MMO. It’s Destiny. They don’t want people to feel like the best way to get gear is to sit somewhere and shoot into a cave without moving. They are trying to push more people toward playing the strike playlists and the bounties and all of the other game modes they have made to make the game refreshing and interesting.

      The one thing that kind of made me go “… what?” about this update is the fact that the queen’s guard gear will be the only set of legendary items that don’t yield ascendant materials on dismantling. I thought that was weird, but it makes sense. Since getting to level 29 would be easy if they left it alone.

      • Alastor Lakiska Lines

        But I wonder what sense running those quests has now… They should have lowered it to 1 and it would have been ok, but so it lacks any kind of sense, as the stuff from the tower vendors is way better.

        • KMGommster

          Yeah I am with you, I think they should have left it to one. or even like, a 50% chance you could get one.

      • Remryan

        1 your statement about 1st place stealing kills just means he’s better than everyone else on the team…. Get better aim if you want the kill. 2 most of us are already tired of the strikes and the vault of glass, my team has done the strikes many times already to the point where we want to play crucible and not give a flying F. And we played the vault of glass a total of maybe 6 times and our fastes time was like an hour and 7 min. We want more challenging stuff not more updates that ruins the game…. I’d rather get an update for a new strike or different types of bounties, not an update that fixes farming that is pretty much useless for the higher lvl guys anyways

        • KMGommster

          Stealing kills does not mean you are better than everyone else on the team. That’s why I used the word STEAL. It can take 3 headshots with a hand cannon to kill someone and if you get 2 super quick but your teammate gets the third right after, he is definitely not better than you. Also, if you have already ran the raid 6 times then you aren’t very smart seeing as the only thing you would get after the first raid that week is experience. Even if you ran the raid on hard mode and normal mode both weeks it has been open that would only be 4 times you could have done the raid with good reason IF you were doing it for the loot. If you were doing it for the fun then why are you complaining that they patched parts of the game that made it more of a grind and not as fun?

          • Remryan

            The only patch they had for the raid was the damage part…. I’m not complaining about that patch I don’t even remember saying anything that I was anyway, so I don’t know where you got that from. And we know that you can’t get any Loot from the raid after the first time anyways, we did it 6 times or so helping our other friends and also trying to see how fast we can do it…..

          • KMGommster

            I was thinking you were the person I originally replied to. So my bad there. But When you said you were tired of the strikes and raids it definitely sounded like complaining to me.

        • Alex Rochelle

          what about if the person who was in PVE comes in to PVP and isnt very good, they should be punished for that? The reason they made it the way it is, is because not everyone is a pro at pvp and they feel that everyone should have a chance at rewards. Yes the top 3 should get something more, but everyone should still have the same % chances of getting items.

    • I’m personally glad they did this, I’m with you on this one.

  • Markus

    This is a bad dream, and what I like to do? only pvp? I can also play Titanfall.

  • Nater-ater

    Nooooooo! Not the murder cave!

  • IAmTawsif

    I hope they don’t do anything about the dark beyond exploit.

  • ElekTriX

    They covered just about everything that needs addressing and that can be fixed in both PvP and PvE. This will be an awesome fix when everything is finally implemented, and will stop people just sitting there farming instead of actually playing the game because all they care about is loot and getting up levels quick, and playing is a second thought, as well as skill-less players coming in close to actually good players in the crucible because they were running around as a shotgun as their primary weapon and sniping people with it.

    • Alastor Lakiska Lines

      But I wonder why they always change the things that are to players advantage immediatly, while things which aren’t so great can wait weeks to months.

    • Alex Rochelle

      some people have gotten through everything and were sitting at 24 or 25 if lucky and couldnt advance because you dont get enough points per week to get all legendary gear and even after you get all legendary/exotic you cant upgrade them without shards or energy, which you only get from……other legendarys. so farming was the way to get these items instead of maybe a few per week you could get more =D

  • Micah Yang

    Why does bungie hate farming so much?!! They took away the shrine of oryx farm and every cave farm. Come on bungie

  • Micah Yang

    Does ANYONE know how to get suros regime

    • chris

      teehee,,,that and 8 others are in my collection

    • Alastor Lakiska Lines

      Go to Xûr

  • WSquared88

    Hey Ryan, I was roaming the bungie forums and I happened across a comment that talks about today’s patch. I think it is a very well made and thought out comment . I think it deserves a read. It could also lead into an article about it and maybe a survey about what he says and the patch from today. The comment is the big long wall of text here:

  • Alastor Lakiska Lines

    Thorn…thy time will come…oh wait…for me it is now! I love this gun already (upgraded it fully). It all comes up to the right handling and the fact, that its projectiles are tiny daggers (or thorns)…just shoot at a wall and check out the point of impact.

  • Remryan

    This is fricking stupid….. The game was getting boring enough from playing the same strikes and missions all day, but now bungie just nerfed the hell out of the game. Bungie you just made the game half of what it was, I can’t wait until advanced warfare comes out….

  • Arjan van Asperen

    Queen’s Wrath Event
    Material rewards for dismantling Queen’s Wrath gear will no longer provide ascendant materials, but missions will continue to drop Legendary items

    That sucks 🙁 Is just slowing down progress.