Destiny Has a “Different World at Launch, But Not Entirely Unfamiliar” When Compared to the Beta
Now that Destiny is complete and being pressed onto discs, Bungie is looking towards launch and beyond for the big title. Speaking with Eurogamer at gamescom, Director of Production Jonty Barnes reflected on the success of the beta, saying, “We’re pretty confident going into the launch that we’re going to have a game that’s going to work for all four consoles on day one.”
He continued by discussing how they’ve tuned Destiny since the beta:
And the next layer to that is about tuning. Better matchmaking, better combination of getting people to meet, better tuning on geographic location within the game. And then from the design side there was a lot we learnt for balancing. The hand cannon wasn’t powerful enough in competitive multiplayer, and the Interceptor, we’re changing that so there’s just one Interceptor on First Light.
After Barnes and Destiny Lead Concept Artist Jesse van Dijk revealed the distribution between player classes “was really even” in the beta, Barnes talked about how seeing your data will improve the final product:
The long-term part is, we got to see what gamers liked to participate in. What activities they got a lot of enjoyment from. How long they spent in public events to make sure they were really good. Did six or nine players work best for certain public events, when we collide, when players are getting together and making sure they’ve got this disruptive but really fun encounter? So a lot of balancing that’s going to make the experience on launch much better.
There was a huge amount of value in seeing how much people liked to explore and how we can we make that a better experience. What are we going to do to evolve the explore mode and patrol so beyond 9/9, what will we do to update the world to make them even more fulfilling?
Replying that they’ve “got plenty of ideas!” when it comes to making Destiny better, Barnes gave us some information on what will be coming day one:
We’ve got some things like UI readability we’ve got for day one that’s just better. But we do have things we’re going to change over time that will make those experiences better. You’ll see stuff and you’ll go, hey, have you seen what they’ve done to the explore mode recently? Maybe we should do some of that – it seems a lot better. We’re going to try to do that for all of the game and build on the world.
Having gamers participate in the dialogue about what they would like to see, not just our own team and user research group of gamers coming in and out, it certainly makes – it has done historically for Bungie – our games better.
It’s going to be a very organic process. We definitely intended Destiny to be this living and breathing world. It’s certainly not the case that we ship the product on the disc and that’s it. As soon as it becomes live we’re going to interpret the way people play the game and cater towards that by offering new content and literally making sure there’s a new thing for you to do every single day.
Getting back to the beta, Barnes explained the reasons behind the progress wipe:
There was access to certain objects you got earlier than you would have done, because we wanted to give you exposure to them in the Iron Banner. But things have changed. That’s one of the reasons for wipes. There were certain things you shouldn’t be getting so early. It’s a different world at launch, but not entirely unfamiliar.
Barnes also teased that we’ll learn about Nightfall Strikes around launch on September 9, and “Old Chicago was a piece of concept art we did actually show. There’s still a lot of enthusiasm for that. But whether or not that ever makes it into the Destiny universe is to be determined.”