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Bungie explains what it takes to fix  Destiny 2

Bungie explains what it takes to fix Destiny 2

November 30, 2017 | By Chris Kerr

November 30, 2017 | By Chris Kerr
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In the wake of Destiny 2's recent XP scaling debacle, Bungie has detailed how it plans to improve the overall experience, and promised to be more transparent with its community. 

As part of that new honesty initiative, the developer has published a new episode of the Bungie Podcast that explains what goes into fixing a sprawling online blockbuster like Destiny 2

The discussion, which features project lead Mark Noseworthy, is an interesting glimpse into the mindset of Bungie, and how they handle the immense pressure of maintaining a title with such a huge, fervent following. 

"Some things can be fixed really easily," explains Noseworthy "Sometimes they are server-side -- like matchmaking things, and the XP issue from last week. We can just change one number, and that's it.

"But just because it's easy to fix, it doesn't mean it's easy to deploy. One precise example is the Bureaucratic Walk emote glitch [which let players move through walls]. It was totally messing up PVP. Trials was about to come out, and you could just sit in a wall and shoot people. 

"How easy is it to fix? Pretty easy, we think. Medium difficulty to fix because it's not hard code, although even then we couldn't just pull the emote from the game as it's not server-side."

It shows just how complex and time-consuming implementing relatively "easy" fixes can be, and when it comes to more sensitive issues like the XP controversy, Noseworthy explains you also have to consider all the angles.

Speaking about handling that particular issue, he suggests it was like "breaking into jail." The team knew addressing the problem directly by confirming the scaling system was misbehaving would only stoke the fires. It would create potentially negative headlines, which would obviously be "anti-ethical to a business strategy."

On the other hand, the team's silence would also be telling, and in the absence of information people would draw their own conclusions, and in some cases assume that the system has been deliberately designed to trip them up. 

"We got into the war room and said 'this doesn't look great, this is not the intent of the system. We understand no one is going to believe us but can we turn this off?' We got people in the room who could look at it, and they said 'yep, we can'. We asked what would happen when we turned it off, and they said 'well, we've never done that, so if we do it, we'll find out'," continues Noseworthy 

"I know a lot of players are going to say 'you're full of it. You're only acting because your hand got caught in the cookie jar,' and I'm okay with that. Our actions speak louder than words and in the long-term it's on us to make sure those who play the game feel rewarded."

For the full rundown, you can listen to the podcast in your web browser by clicking this link.



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