The best-selling new IP of all time, there's no denying that Destiny is hugely successful. The sales figures prove that too as the first-person shooter/MMO title managed to rack up over $500 million in shipped product on launch day alone.
Destiny's large sci-fi universe has its own draw, while its connected world provides a new style of gameplay to players only used to interacting with other players in multiplayer matches and lobbies. The problem with this ambitious design and making a huge game that's always online is the hefty weight on developer Bungie's shoulders when it comes to servers.
It meant that Destiny's online stability was one of its key pillars, ergo without this the entire game would crumble. It makes sense then that in the latest 'Hot Fix' maintenance update, Bungie is 100% focused on improving and polishing matchmaking and server connections.
Set to be applied at 7AM PST, this new patch is likely the reason why some players are experiencing connectivity problems with the game today. Due to a "maintenance window for this work" Destiny will also be down for part of the day so if you're trying to get online and are unable to, that's why.
It's all for a good reason though as Bungie is releasing client and server fixes. The dev explains that "aside from the stability for some users who have encountered issues connecting to servers", the "player experience will remain unchanged".
- Added more data logging for matchmaking systems
- Improved connectivity failure handling to reduce beaver (Kick To Orbit events) KTOs
- Improved logging of player disconnections
- Internal tools fixes to speed up our release process
- Fixes to the roster system to allow us to tune the frequency of roster updates on Xbox One
- Fixed a bug that allowed users to quick scope on some weapons
Kick To Orbit events are something that unfortunate players may have experienced more than once – you might be in the the middle of a mission before the game boots you to the stratosphere forcing you to play through the entire thing again. So that's a welcome improvement, and the improved logging will only help them fix this in the future.
Matchmaking fixes meanwhile, will allow Bungie to put their data to better use when choosing who to put us in a multiplayer match with. The improvements could potentially provide the backbone to matchmaking in Destiny's notoriously difficult Raid missions, with Bungie stating last week that this is a fan-requested feature that they are looking into.
On the server side of things, KTOs, connectivity and security are the boosted features here.
- Security fixes
- Server performance improvements
- Fixes to reduce the frequency of some KTOs
- Better logging to help diagnose connectivity problems
- Fixes to some Centipede errors that were exclusive to specific player characters
While all of these things should allow for smoother gameplay sessions (especially the Centipede error which has to do with Internet firewalls) none are quite as important as those security fixes. Last month, hacker group Lizard Squad took down both Call of Duty and Destiny's servers. After the was service restored, Destiny's servers were targeted again which made for a whole lot of boredom as players waited for a fix. With the Hot Fix improvements though, this will hopefully be prevented in future.
The Destiny dev team also explains that "players will receive error code STINKBUG after installing the patch while the update takes place" so that's what players should look out for as the patch continues to be rolled out.