At this point, most gamers know where they stand on Destiny. To some players, Bungie’s much-maligned shooter is a disappointment that failed to live up to its lofty promise. To others, it’s the game of the year. No game in recent memory has been quite as divisive as Destiny; you’re either sick of it, or you’re still playing for hours every day.
Even the most die-hard Destiny fans, however, admit that it’s not perfect. It took months for Bungie to fix the “heavy ammo bug,” which robbed Guardians of their heavy ammo during respawns and cutscenes. Players are still waiting for Bungie to raise the cap on Glimmer, the in-game currency, or come up with a smoother way to use an ammo synthesis during battle. In short, Destiny is headed in the right direction, but there’s still a long way to go.
In the most recent Destiny update, Bungie has a clear message for fans: they hear you. Sometimes, it may seem like Bungie is ignoring its players, but that’s not true; the patch process is incredibly complicated and resources are limited, meaning that Bungie has to carefully consider how to spend their time. As Lead Producer Matt Priestley says:
We need to pick improvements that we can design, build, test, and release with quality in a given timeframe…. We put our ideas on the whiteboard and try to drive an acceptable Design and Test plan for each of them before our internal cutoff date. Our first job is to start with a big ambition. Our second job is to scope to what we can actually get done. Many ideas don’t meet our standards for the time we have.
That’s why it took so long for the heavy ammo bug to get fixed. Bungie worked on the problem for months, but every patch just caused more problems. Bungie decided that these quick-fixes weren’t worth the damage they’d cause, and held off patching the bug until a solid, glitch-free solution was discovered.
Design Lead M.E. Chung says, “We get feedback from everywhere.” Bungie looks to places like Reddit, the user research team, and even friends and family when identifying Destiny’s biggest issues. They know what players want. That’s why plans for the next patch – 1.1.2 – include increased vault space, fixes to the Atheon and Crota raids, and more audio visual options. The Bungie team is also looking at revamping some strike missions.
Destiny is a big game, and it’s only going to get bigger with the impending House of Wolves DLC. A big content update is a great opportunity to address gamers’ complaints; it also means there are more opportunities for things to go wrong. But Bungie’s aware, and they’re trying. As Chung says, “Boy, do we wish we were faster… It’s been a huge learning process for us, and we are committed to improving.”