On the Bungie Podcast, Eric Osborne, marketing director for Bungie, spoke with Luke Smith, the game director for Destiny, and Mark Noseworthy, project lead on Destiny.
The podcast begins with a discussion establishing three categories of players. The first category is ‘tourists’, the players who play once in a while. Then there are the ‘collectors’ who play some of the end game content. The ‘hobbyists’ are the players who have reasons to come back and play the game often.
They address how hobbyists are trying to find more reason to play the game. The Destiny 2 burn out is not just limited to players, but even developers who do play a lot of Destiny 2 feel the same way. Going forward, they would like more players to be in hobbyist category who regularly enjoy playing the game. Also, many fans have felt like friendships they made on Destiny are not as strong as Destiny 2, Bungie’s main focus now is to help the community maintain the social aspect of Destiny 2.
The Destiny community criticized Bungie developers for lack of communication. This subject was elaborated quite a bit in the podcast. Noseworthy stated that it is difficult to let the community know quickly about what is going on at Bungie and it takes time to figure out what works best. They were not making excuses but instead explaining that game development is not so simple. There are uncertainties, and timelines need to be met. They shared that the development side of Bungie may be slow when it comes to communicating with the community, but they realize that it is important. However, the community needs to understand the developers’ constraints as well.
Most of the time, the developers do not know exactly when many of the updates will take place. An update is more that just pressing a button and things getting changed around. Some updates take longer than others and it depends on the situation, it depends on how much work they need to do. Over and over in the podcast Osborne reminds us that fixing bugs, changing code, gathering data, or adjusting damage is not easy to deal with.
Lastly, the recent XP situation was addressed. While players others may accuse Bungie as being greedy, it may not necessarily be the case. The developers believe that some activities should be more rewarding than others which is why the raid granted more XP than public events. However, the UI was not reflecting how it was being scaled. Since this was a misrepresentation, the scaling was turned off last week. It will be a while until there is a large fix with XP.
After admitting to the faults they made, being defensive was necessary for them. While mistakes were made by the developers, the community needs to understand that the developers are working to make the game better. As Smith described, the job of the developer is to make entertaining games, but with that come hateful comments and criticism. They know not everyone can be pleased but they just need to satisfy most fans. Smith then told he was excited for changes coming up that players will like.
I think this podcast was important for Bungie because the Destiny community is very passionate, but fans need to understand what the developers are going through. At times there are nonsensical accusations coming from the community simply because those people do not understand the development side of Destiny. Lack of communication may have made things worse recently, but that does not mean the developers are just staring at a wall and not working.
At the end of the stream they promised that they will try to keep us updated more often about any changes. They also did say that the holidays are coming up so at that time, communication may not be up to par, but those developers are human and want to celebrate the holidays as well. I think that Bungie communicates better with it’s Destiny community than many other AAA games, but some of the community takes it for granted.