This article can also be found at Bungie.net [divider]
This week at Bungie, we entered the home stretch.
Have we said that before? Feels like it. The development of Destiny has been a race with many milestones. All along the way, there was always a feeling that this team was sprinting from one finish line to the next. Another new build. A live fire exercise with friends and family. A mass public showcase.
Now, we’re very close to launch – the final weeks. This next milestone carries a heavier weight of finality. Destiny is Gold. Discs are being pressed and packed into crates. Destiny is done, in some respects. Even now, so close to the end, it still feels like we’re just getting started.
Have we said that before, too? As the saying goes: This is not even our final form. Though Destiny may be basking in the gold light of release, we’re already looking ahead to the next milestone, and the next one after that.
So, the launch of Destiny on September 9th is an end, but it is also a beginning. How we’ll keep things lively on the frontier is a longer conversation – the sort of thing you could base an entire discussion around – a conversation that we hope is long and fruitful and just getting started in its own right.
One last stop before we go.
We’ve been just about everywhere to talk about Destiny. Strangely enough, we have yet to make a proper show of it in our own back yard. Next weekend, we plan to make up for that.
Ah, PAX. The Seattle Convention Center is an intimate venue. We’re looking forward to stepping out of the limelight and into something a little more subdued. Something small and quiet. In years past, you might have found us shaking hands and brandishing prop weapons in the sculpture garden. Maybe you ended up on a romantic rooftop with us, chatting and checking out one of Seattle’s legendary late summer skyboxes. This time, we’re settling down for a proper panel discussion.
Join us: Sunday, August 31st, High Noon.
Design Lead Luke Smith will be moderating a conversation about boosting Destiny into orbit, and keeping it there for the months and years that follow. Technical Art Director Ryan Ellis will provide a look back at how we built these brave new worlds. Design Lead M.E. Chung and Engineering Lead Luke Timmins will contribute a look forward at how we intend to keep those worlds alive with action and danger and rewards. We’ll be talking about the journey we’ve completed, and christen the one that we’re about to begin with you.
If you think you might visit our chat at PAX, make sure you wear something nice. If you come dressed as a character from Destiny, we might draft you into service with our honor guard. If you need some inspiration, we’ve got you covered. If you need some help, or just want to tell us to keep an eye out for you, we’ve set up a group for you to use. We’re assembling Fireteams to keep watch over the event.
Step forth and be counted.
So what’s left to do? Good pre-flight is all about checklists. Let’s count down some of the things that will happen between now and launch. Check out the roster of needful things, sorted in chronological order. There are some boxes for you to check as well.
Today, two volunteer forces that call Bungie.net home will be recruiting new members. The Ninjas and the Mentors both make the health of our community their personal responsibility. They have their own missions and their own leadership. They have selected their reinforcements through due process and fierce debate. Could it be that you were chosen to answer their call? Check your inbox. They are now free to transmit the old Accept/Reject query.
This weekend, we’re going to start testing the launch version of Destiny. We know you’d love to help, but this golden moment is meant for us alone. Don’t be too jealous, because we’ll wipe our Guardians one more time before you get to meet them. Ogle our activity status all you like, but please understand that we’re preparing the launch pad for you in private.
Several times before Day One, we’ll update Bungie.net so that it can serve as the philosophical center of the City. If you intend to play Destiny, you’ll want to link your gaming account to a login here. If you’re already linked up, you’re golden. If you’re so hardcore that you’ve chosen a team…
Clan members will need to reaffirm their allegiance after September 9th. We’re not breaking up Clans – just severing their ties to the Beta. Once Destiny launches, your ranks will need to reset a Group as their Clan. Oaths you have taken will be taken again.
We mentioned PAX. We’ll be around. Catch us if you can. Wear a carnation, or a sick helmet. See you in one week.
Watch this space for updates. There are fun stunts in the works, but nothing solid enough to describe yet. We still need for people to review this game, and cast their expert score in stone. That’s not likely to happen until they see how the launch goes. Destiny is not just a game, it’s a shared journey. To judge that, it will need to begin. As you take your first steps into the Tower, many eyes will be watching. Make us look good!
Perhaps you’ll even be invited to come and hang with us as the real fun begins. Yes, you. [divider]
The Bucket stops here.
The blood of the Internet can run ice cold at times. Lately, though, it has flowed from warmed hearts. You gotta hand it to the people at the ALS Association. They put a great cause in all of our crosshairs and cooled off a bunch of cyber-hotheads in the process.
It’s our turn. Thanks for calling us… uhh, the Ghost out, Curposmen. We’re paying it forward. Even in the midst of standing up a rocket and prepping it to fly, there’s always time for the people on our team to make the world a more hopeful place by extracting some love from our game.
Of course, this stunt is being followed up by donations from Bungie. If you’re a member of the Bungie Community, you have yet to be singled out, and if you want to, feel free to post a self-dousing to celebrate your own contribution in the comments below. Or, help yourself to something in the Bungie Store. From now until launch, we’re sharing the proceeds with people who are making a difference.
Of course, you should also feel free to donate directly at alsa.org. No brain freeze required.
Last week, there were so many reasons why postal service was interrupted. We were in the throes of jet lag and surrounded by more than three hundred thousand of the freshest smelling fans we’ve ever met. I celebrated my fake birthday with shrimp and sparklers. US Customs once again decided that they needed to spend some quality time with the soft contents of my luggage (in truth that looked a lot worse on Twitter than it actually was). Sometimes, you just can’t find the time to open the Sack. This is not one of those times.
Squishie1984: Can you tell us about the possibility of another class/subclass?
You have yet to maximize your first sub-class. We have yet to even let you try a second one. Ask us again once you have mastered the six classes that you’ll have access to in Destiny, and we’ll show what we learned while we watched you do it.
SUDDOTH2: Will Changing my Gamertag after the beta is over affect my Emblem that I get for playing?
I asked The Wolf. He said:
“Changing my Gamertag” can mean two different things. If you use the Xbox Live feature to rename your Gamertag and keep the account, you’re all set. If you link your Bungie.net login to a different Xbox Live account, your Beta reward won’t persist.
The Wolf never lies. Don’t swap ‘em out. Your gaming account is your connection to your Guardian, be it a Gamertag or a PSN ID. Nurture, defend, and honor your logins.
ninjadragonkllr: What time will the servers be open for the public in North America and worldwide?
When it is September 9th somewhere in the world, and you have access to your very own version of Destiny, it will be time for you to create a character that will keep you company for a good, long time. Retailers will stick to time-zones. Our servers won’t know the difference. Retailers will break street date. Our servers won’t.
Isaac Andrews: Will you make Sparrow races?
We’ve made a game that can be whatever you want it to be. Will you make Sparrow races? Some Gunslingers I know cobbled together a tour back in Halo 2 with nothing but some gentlemen’s agreements and a few course marshals with sniper rifle scopes for spotting the race. We’ll be watching you, to see how you spend your time in this brave new world. The ways in which you surprise us will spark the inspiration that leads to innovation.
BG gamer: What do those cool looking trading cards do for the full game?
You’ll find out before the launch of Destiny. Bungie.net was updated earlier today. Like the new navs? We’ll update it again before launch. Busy, busy, busy… Once the cards are in play, we’ll direct you to the proper table.
Zokz18: Will [Destiny special events] work like they did in the Beta when you opened the doors for the Iron Banner for two hours?
No! The Beta was all about driving traffic toward the game at key moments. Those brief and urgent flash mobs of violence and glory were what we needed to test our spine.
Next time, the Banner will fly for longer. Everyone will have a chance to rally to its call.
XxMrHollywood: Will the clan member cap remain at 75?
How does 100 sound? We want clans to be like tribes or teams or any other unit where everyone knows everyone and they’re all aiming at the same target. If you want to stitch together a larger force with a common vibe, we’re giving you the ties you need to unite your clans. Have a ball with that. Think of it as a way to give your huge clan some specialized squads with their own sub-forum.
We’ll hunt through these alliances week after week in search of heroes.
Im SteelAssassn: In what ways can we expect clans to interact within the game?
We hope they’ll band together to tackle everything that Destiny has to offer. Clans can build their strength by outfitting their members with what they need to kick ass in every mode. That will mean sharing activities. That will mean playing games. We need clans to bring this new world alive and infuse it with some culture and civilization.
We hope Clans will have storied collisions in competitive matchmaking. It would be awesome if they were known to many people, instead of just each other. Clans can set a great example for lone wolves who aren’t sure about adding a team name to their nameplate.
The very best Clans will be the ones that can meet every challenge in Destiny. They will be the most vivid warriors out there in the wild. Destiny will serve up achievements that only Clans will be able to claim.
nickelinch: Will we be able to travel directly from one location to another without going to orbit?
Bill Nye the Science Guy would tell you no. Neil deGrasse Tyson would probably back him up. Stephen Hawking might start talking about point-to-point wormholes, but Leonard Nimoy is alive to remind him that such things are not logical. Orbit is an inescapable wonder of space travel. Enjoy the view.
Jackbandit: Is it going to be possible to trade items in the full game?
Only with your enemies. Trade your ammo for their loot. You know the best way to deliver ammo to a Cabal Centurian? You’ll figure it out, and it’s tons of fun.
As for swapping irons in the Tower? Nope. We want you to earn ‘em. You should be able to tell a badass story for every sweet jewel in your arsenal. Once you earn them, the various Guardians under your account will be able to trade them, but weapons belong to the players who acquire them through action and bravery.
We hope you enjoyed this Weekly Update. There are only two more for you to read before you can play Destiny. Think on that. We’ll be sweeping up the dance floors in the Tower until then.
Two. More. Updates.