Weekly Update 4.2.15 (Strikes & Raids)

Published on: Apr 2, 2015 @ 17:58

The next expansion for Destiny is something we’re really looking forward to talking about. This month, there will come a day when we’ll reveal a release date for the trials that await you, with a whole reef of details soon to follow – but it is not this day.

Update 1.1.2 has been a topic for conversation between us and you for weeks now. Today, we’re talking about the things we’ve been doing to refine PVE activities:

  • Raid Fixes – There are times when Atheon and Crota can be uncooperative, so we’re tackling their worst bugs.
  • Strikes – The numbers tell us that there are some missions that are successfully completed far less often than others, inspiring us to look at why people quit.

Check out the full Bungie weekly update at Bungie.net

Winners Never Quit

We’ve said many times that Destiny is never finished. We’ll keep updating it, polishing it, revising it, and pushing its boundaries until you pry it from our cold, dead… You get the idea. For some time now, our team has been working to improve upon some of the most elaborate (and challenging) encounters for your team.

First, we’ll talk about the fixes planned for Raids. Given their complexity, revising the way they work can be painstaking.


Senior Designer Gavin Irby has his sights set on refining the endgame.

GI: The Raids are living content for us. We play every week and experience them in the same ways as any other player. In 1.1.2, we have an opportunity to make some targeted fixes. We prioritized a list of items based on community feedback and tried to hit the ones that have been the most important to players.

In particular, we wanted to improve the Atheon and Crota boss encounters. They’re challenging enough without the game getting in your way.


Activities Engineer Sean Chan is wielding the sword that kills the bugs.

SC: Fixing bugs for the Raid is most challenging in two ways: figuring out went wrong and devising a safe way to fix it that won’t break the rest of the game. The Raids have some of the most edge-casey content in the game, so the bugs can get really tricky.

For example, we had a bug where players weren’t doing damage to Minotaurs with the Relic shield. Turns out that the complicated hit test we use to detect a melee hit just missed the combatant because of the long-legged shape of its body. Some of these bugs were truly baffling, but we dug deep and went to great lengths to improve things.

That’s just one bug that Sean has wrestled with. You’ll learn about all the rest of them in the Patch Notes, coming soon.

Next, let’s look at how we’re changing the way Strikes play out. Some are harder to complete than others. To create a better standard for the way these cooperative missions challenge a Fireteam, we’re issuing new walking (and fighting) orders to the Bosses.


User Research Lead John Hopson has the data to inform our process.

JH: The Cerberus Vae III Strike is arguably the longest and hardest Strike in the game. It has one the lowest completion rates of any of the Strikes. Even when players complete it successfully, it takes longer than almost any other Strike activity at 27 minutes on Normal difficulty. When it’s appeared as the Nightfall, it’s actually had the lowest completion rate of any Strike activity in the game.

The Dust Palace Strike isn’t quite as hard, but it still takes longer to complete successfully than the average Strike at 23 minutes on Normal difficulty.


Production Engineer Brenton Woodrow is putting that data into practice, like a boss.

BW: Our goal was to ease the difficulty for the least-completed strikes. In order to do this, we focused on the final boss encounters, which were fairly lengthy on higher tiers. We addressed this by reducing the strength for several of the major combatants.

We also felt that the bosses themselves could use some tweaking. We reduced Valus Ta’Aurc’s health by a third and reduced the Psion Flayers’ shields by about 15%. We locked these changes after several playtests with the designers and feel that they bring these encounters in line with the rest of the Strikes.

These changes will arrive in a couple of weeks. We’ll be interested to hear what you think after you’ve had the chance to experience them for yourselves.

Quitters Never Win

While finessing a boss encounter is all well and good, you won’t appreciate the difference unless you actively participate in the Strike. That might make all the sense in the world to you, but there are players in our world who prefer to hang out in the rear with the gear and let their Fireteam brave all the danger.

Once again, John Hopson is on the case. User Research, after all, is all about the science of improving the player experience.

JH: In Destiny’s community, the efforts of a dedicated player can have a huge impact on the experience of hundreds or thousands of other players. Most of the time, this is awesome. When someone is willing to put in the time as a Raid sherpa, a clan leader, or a forum moderator, we all benefit and Destiny comes a little bit closer to its potential as a shared world.

Unfortunately, there are a few individuals who have put in that same level of monomaniacal effort into being jerks. Sitting idle in Strikes and PvP has been on our radar for a while now, but it’s become clear that a small number of the worst idlers are responsible for damaging the experiences of thousands of other players. One player not contributing in an activity might seem like a small thing, but it can make a Weekly Heroic Strike unbeatable or make a Crucible match unwinnable. Those little bits of damage to the experiences other players adds up over time.

This week, we’ve restricted a small number of the most toxic players from matchmaking. The restrictions we’re putting on their accounts are temporary and apply only to the activities where they were chronically idle. If the affected players keep up this behavior after the restrictions lapse, we will apply stronger and (eventually) permanent restrictions on their accounts.

How this policy applies to you:

1) It probably doesn’t. Do not panic just because you had to put down the controller in a Strike last week when the pizza guy showed up just as your fireteam reached Valus Ta’aurc. There is no way you will accidentally be flagged under this policy unless you are a truly dedicated idler, someone who has really gone out their way to repeatedly cheat their teammates.

2) Please be sure to use the reporting system to let us know how your teammates are affecting your Destiny experience, both positively and negatively. We will never act on player reports alone, but we use those reports to find areas and individuals where our automated detection systems aren’t working correctly. They are an invaluable part of how we tune the live experience of our game.


The feedback loop is real, Guardians. Access their Details on the Roster page and satisfy your appetite for Justice. Don’t feel bad about snitching. A community that self-polices creates a safe place for us all to play. The power is in your hands, so please wield it!


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


  • creeping death

    I’m hoping that the emphasis placed on “trials” being in bold is a reference to the Trials of Osiris…

  • Adamms

    Once again great stuff here. I like the idea of a report system, but as always while there are good uses there are bad uses. I guess I’m just a bit paranoid, Bungie will make sure everything works out fine.

    • Octus

      I’m pretty sure the report system is already in place. I have used it. Both to commend a player and also to report idle players.

  • Mr Beerski

    I absolutely love the idea about restrictions on idle players. It’s really aggravating when you’re doing all the work and some punk is sitting idle at the start. One of the best updates yet……….

    • Kenshiro Genjuro

      There should be several rules on this. Don’t make it to a darkness area within 3 minutes of the first guy, booted to orbit. Third offense any given day earns a 24 hour time-out.

      Vehicle kills teammate, banned through two weeks, Xur won’t sell to you for two cycles, no weekly/nightfall rewards two weeks, and a random exotic weapon deleted from your account.

      Yeah I would be a total hardass about it.

      • khalilbrock

        im super glad you dont work at bungie

        • Kenshiro Genjuro

          Yeah teammate-smashing jerks like yourself better get your act together before I apply. 😉

  • WSquared88

    Disclaimer: I am a game developer, but I am also a very passionate Destiny fan.

    Where were these updates 1.1.1 and 1.1.2 like three months ago!?
    I know it takes time, but this took way too long

    • J.T

      My guess? They’ve got their hands full elsewhere. Not only are they working on the House of Wolves, we also know Destiny 2 is already in development. They probably only have a small fraction of their staff working on these updates.

    • Mike S

      I’m curious, as a game developer, what do you think of most of their explanations?

      I’m not a developer, but my gut says that a lot of the explanations are a bit suspect. The vault being the number one thing that comes to mind…if the code was set up correctly scaling it seems like it shouldn’t be a major issue.

      • WSquared88

        The reply about vault space is a legitimate reason as to why they took a while. I know someone that works as a producer at Bungie and he told me that the reason they had such an issue with expanding the vault is because of last gen RAM space. As a developer in high standing the last thing they would want to do is cut content so they probably spent a long time trying to optimize code and move things around to try and get enough space, but after a long time they realized that they couldn’t squeeze enough memory out of last gen and would have to cut out something to try and get the feature in since the community wanted it so badly.

        Also since Destiny was released on multiple platforms over two generations they also need each version to have the same features on all platforms. That is why the comparing feature is gone on all games. Some of the other issues are a bit fishy, but the reason that they gave about the bugs taking so long to fix is a real thing. It is a pain to debug code especially in a full release game and when you aren’t sure what could be causing the issue. The Bungie team is also probably not working at full man power since they are essentially working on three games at once (Destiny, the DLC for Destiny and Destiny 2).

        • Mike S

          Thank you for taking the time to post this! Consider me informed, and I apologize for the ignorance. I wasn’t even considering the memory limitations of the last gen consoles.

          • WSquared88

            Its fine, if everyone knew everything then I wouldn’t be needed.

  • Jacob Westmoreland

    Good to know they are dispensing justice, Hoping people who kill you by running you over in a vehicle will also be taken care of. I don’t mean accidentally either they did it on purpose on the Cerburus Vae III random Strike.

    • Kenshiro Genjuro

      I agree about the vehicles thing. I struggle to see how they’re getting off with that one. I usually have as many kills as my two teammates combined though, so the moment some idiot pulls that on me I ditch. Ditto anyone sitting around doing nothing. Their fucking loss whether they know it or not.

      • Jacob Westmoreland

        I know right all I was trying to do was get a bounty completed and these guys decide to be jerks and kill me numerous times. In the end I couldn’t kill the Tank even though I came close. I left and felt very angry about having to quit because some people just want to ruin the games for the rest of us.

        • Kenshiro Genjuro

          I wouldn’t have stuck around through that Jacob, I ditch the moment it happens. I’m also going to make more use of the reporting tool since it sounds like Bungie actually tracks it.

          Oh and ForeverLaxx who the heck bothers to go reading through other people’s bounties to decide these things anyway? They don’t have their own shit to do? I don’t usually bother remembering what my own bounties are as it is until most of them are done because stuff like not dying for a strike or getting such and such kills usually just happens on its own.

          • Jacob Westmoreland

            Same here If it happens again I’m going to report them and leave that strike. Also doubt they are bothering reading other peoples bounties someone looking to be a pain is going to be a burden on everyone.

      • ForeverLaxx

        Most of the time, people try to run you over when they know the Bounty list includes the ones where you can’t die to complete. In any event, these measures are a step in the right direction, though I’m already seeing trends where the offender does just enough fighting to get to the boss, then runs under the boss’ legs to die intentionally so they can AFK the end. Depending on how the system flags people, and with no way to elaborate on a report, these players might slip through the restriction system.

    • Trevor Squires

      Honestly idk why this is such a big deal I start laughing whenever that happens to me.

      • Jacob Westmoreland

        Then you don’t get my point two randoms join your game you’ve had to kill everything and watch out for them trying to run you over. In all honesty that’s not funny it’s annoying. People like that don’t understand how it ruins the game. If you think it’s funny good for you but I’m never going to trust you to have my back in a strike. That’s just how I see it.

  • Ben Redenbaugh

    The Cerberus Vae III strike takes so long because on the mid-boss fight,
    the Hover Tank, which can 1-shot a player, and if not careful, the
    entire team. The only difficulty with the Final Boss, is that the other
    enemies tend drop ammo less frequently. I’m always running out of ammo on that

    • J.T

      Depends on what weapons your using. With the Black Hammer, it goes down very quickly.

      • Kenshiro Genjuro

        If you have Black Hammer, that is.

        But even if you don’t, people really underestimate the utility of those little tanks they provide. Infinite ammo and well-placed shots dole out lots of damage. It’s the one thing that levels the field for people that haven’t happened to land Black Hammer or Ice Breaker.

  • cread13

    i dont think the valus strike is that hard honestly the hardest is the omnigul strike because of the way they set up the entire boss fight you either try to stay in the room and get attacked from all sides or hide in the hallway and prepair for the long fight for her death

    • I agree, Omnigul is the one my friends and I dread to see. Valus Ta’aurc…meh, he’s doable.

    • Keith Christmas

      The problem with the Valus strike isn’t that it’s hard, it’s that it’s incredibly tedious. Omnigul might be a tougher fight, but at least it’s not boring.

    • ForzaDelDestino

      Yeah – the Omnigul strike really needs a look too… Hopefully they’ve made changes there as well – we just won’t find out the details until the patch rolls out.

      I agree with you about the Valus strike though. Personally I don’t find it takes much longer than any of the others, but I guess Bungie have the figures. Black Hammer and Gally completely trivialise the two boss encounters, and you can pretty much skip everything in between.

      I suppose it has a lot to do with your level and gear, not to mention experience. Looking back to when I was doing the Vanguard Playlist for the first time, trying to level up, I remember Valus taking forever…! Casual players make up the bulk of the player base, so I can understand why this strike causes problems.

      Also, many casual players won’t have purchased the DLC, so that will also skew the results away from the Omnigul strike.

    • Kenshiro Genjuro

      Omnigul and the Undying Mind are both quite a bit more intensive. They’re also a lot more fun though. I wish Undying Mind would pull up more often if it weren’t for the people that quit every time. It’s a bit of a problem that they take more time than the others but at the same time I actually don’t like the idea of them getting watered down.

  • Oriel

    Valus Strike is quite fast once you rush to the Strike Proper as it has only one stop. To me the most annoying are Will of Crota, Undying Mind (Man, fix those Vex so that you can use Blue Polyphage) and Dust Palace. Happy if Bungie can take of AFK cockroaches.

  • Joe Nobody

    How are we supposed to report people for quitting if they’ve already left the game?

  • RON

    Please do NOT cut Ta’aurc’s health in two thirds. IMO the Raid is absolutely fine and should stay the way it is. I would rather like your designer-teams put into the position, where they are able to put in some of their very own creativity and efforts to actually create some innovative new strike missions. Lets be honest, ‘The Undying mind’ is a pain in the ***, nearly the same goes with Omnigul. Please Stop and FIND one of the plenty new ways to structure a Strike than just dropping tons of enemies into one area after another, this is way better been done by ‘Serious Sam’.
    ‘Don’t feel bad about snitching.’ – Most shame on you Bungie.

  • Captainbirdseye

    If this is about changes, I would like to list some I would like to see in the future.

    Firstly, it’s nice to be given help doing the weekly coins but why can’t we be given the option to turn this off and on when needed.
    I’m sure it could be turned off and on using Fireteam private or friends option fairly easily ( I say this with zero coding background ).
    I honestly don’t always want help and sometimes I would like to start it and if a friend comes online invite him to join.
    This is no longer possible.

    Secondly, why is this option of match making or not, being used for Nightfall ?
    Clearly Nigthfall is harder and help is preferred with this.
    To be honest I don’t want to always use LFG to find help for Nightfall if I have no friends online.
    Late at night I would rather not use my headset to chat to strangers with the possibility of waking people up.
    Being able to turn on or off matchmaking would be a plus.

    Lastly , I would also like the option to turn off and on aim assist.
    Yes it’s helpful but sometimes it’s just frustrating when you line up a Fallen headshot for another Fallen to run past dragging your shot away so you miss altogether.
    I’ve lost to many kill shots in all types of situations in Destiny and it’s all because of aim assist.

    Hopefully someone at Bungie will agree with at least one of these ideas in the future

  • Captainbirdseye

    I would also like to point out which probably has been reported already anyway.
    When doing LFG for nightfall for instance.
    When you join a chat with people to do Nightfall you can no longer join the Fireteam via chat.
    Trying to join the Fireteam via chat now takes you to the PSN store since the PSN update.
    Only way to join is with making friends with everyone :[