Destiny’s Raid Design Process

In today’s GameInformer article, lead raid designer at Bungie Gavin Irby, dropped some details on what players can expect from the newest raid, the difficulty of Wrath of the Machine, as well as how players have emerged victorious by using tactics the development team didn’t account for.

Make sure you’re ready for this new raid by following our preparation guide!

Wrath of the Machine

King’s Fall and Vault of Glass will forever be remembered for the amount of coordination it took for a group to execute the encounters mechanics successfully. Crota’s end took a different approach and felt like the final action scene from a blockbuster movie.

Wrath of the Machine may take a fresh new approach that involves… smashing stuff. When asked by GameInformer about the theme of the upcoming Rise of Iron raid, Irby had this response:

“We started with some highfalutin’ ideas and literary themes that we were trying to achieve, and through iterations it actually became about smashing s— into other s—. So I guess the smart version of that would be collision. But, it’s definitely about smashing s— into other s—.”

wrath of the machine raid guide

He went on to explain that, after King’s Fall, the development team felt players were ready for an encounter that relied more on light level and pure fun rather than difficult mechanics. This doesn’t mean there won’t be the puzzling moments that we all enjoy, but that the raid will become easier as we over-level our characters.

An Interesting Approach

Anyone who browsed an LFG site during Crota’s End can probably remember how sought after an experienced Sword Bearer was. As it turns out, that wasn’t necessarily how the devs envisioned the encounter going:

“If players can, they will always put the greatest responsibility on the fewest number of people. It sounds so naive to me now, but when we play tested internally we all ran the sword, it was like whoever’s closest, ‘hey I’ll pick up the sword, be the hero, sure that’s great.’ Which sounds absurd now. Why would you let anyone pick the sword? You’re only going to let the one guy pick the sword who’s amazing at the sword.”

wrath of the machine raid destiny

While Irby and his team had always planned for one player to play the hero, they didn’t realize it would turn into groups using the same person running the sword every time. During play Crota’s End play testing, developers took turns with the sword based on who was closest to it. With hindsight being 20/20, Mr. Irby and his team now know guardians are crafty. Much like the Fallen, they’ll find a way to survive. They always do.

Scaling the Difficulty

When asked about how the difficulty of Wrath of the Machine, Irby simply responded, “It’s Hard.” before going on to explain in more detail exactly what that meant.

The developers look at Vault of Glass as middle school, Crota’s End as high school, and King’s Fall as college. While he didn’t say exactly where in that education spectrum the new raid would fall, he did divulge that light level would increase our capacity for destruction.

“It’s largely a function of what your light level is versus the raid. King’s Fall has this property of where even if you’re over-leveling the mechanics don’t get easier so it still maintains this high difficulty, which at the time we felt was a virtue because people specifically wanted it and had been asking for it, and I think maybe now the community might be ready for something a little different that they can actually overlevel and get some mastery over.”

wrath of the machine raid tower

That’s great news for those that like flying around using space magic like a futuristic super hero, and surely there will be some mechanics for the those that like a bit of problem solving and team coordination.

If you would like to check out more of what Gavin Irby had to say, including their philosophy on loot and cut content, you can check out the entire GameInformer interview here.

Brent S
When I'm not writing to express the crazy thoughts in my head, I'll be slaying aliens with the Fireteam One clan.