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THIS WEEK AT BUNGIE –2/08/2018

This week at Bungie, we’re decorating the world for the big dance.

Yesterday, we revealed that Crimson Days is coming to Destiny 2. If you haven’t had a chance to read the details about the new 2v2 playlist and the rewards you can earn in any activity, please check it out now. We’d be honored to have you join us for the celebration.

Earlier this week, Lord Saladin packed up his wares and left the Tower. We heard some good things about Iron Banner in Season 2. If you are still holding tokens, you can use them the next time the ritual returns. If you still need to punch some Guardians to get that chest ornament, you can also continue your progress when Lord Saladin returns.

“Do you see the stars flutter? Now listen. They scream from the lacerations of our enemies. The balance has been threatened. Nightfall is upon us. This burden of Light has never been heavier. We can sleep no more.” — Ulan-Tan

Last week, we published a Destiny 2 Development roadmap, to forecast some changes coming to Destiny 2. You may have noticed some changes coming to Nightfall strikes. The Nightfall has been the subject of a lot of feedback since launch. Many of you felt that the timer was pretty stressful and preferred being able to slowly work your way through the challenges at your own pace. We plan to address this feedback with upcoming changes.

Before we get to the details, Game Director Christopher Barrett has some context to frame up the essential fantasy that we’d like for the Nightfall to serve.

Barrett: Nightfall should be a challenging test that only the bravest Guardians dare face. Fireteams of any size should be able to participate, from organized clan groups to skilled solo players. Players should be able to determine their own challenge level, by going slow and steady or fast and wild, with elective modifiers to test the most hardcore veterans. Your final score will separate the best from the rest, and with high risk comes high reward. Each terrible villain that players face should have a very rare and powerful unique item, themed to them, that tumbles to the ground as they collapse into a pile of bones. Conquering Nightfall should be a badge of honor, with the best players able to show off their achievements with new dynamic emblems and exclusive auras.

That’s the vision of where we want to take Nightfall, you’ll be seeing the first of this direction in the next patch, with more being added over time.

With those goals in mind, we asked Designer John Favaro and Senior Design Lead Tyson Green to share some facts on how they plan to enhance Nightfall strikes.

Tyson: As we are working on new sandbox improvements, we recognized the need for a venue in which those improvements matter more. The weekly Nightfall, especially on the Prestige difficulty, was intended to be such a venue, but the controversial time limit mechanic is a simple pass-fail mechanism. It only acknowledges success as being a clear, with no degrees of success past that, so no competition exists in that space. It turns a lot of people off of Nightfall too, since it is both difficult and indexes performance solely on speed.

Nightfall Scoring
We are repositioning strike scoring in Destiny 2 to enable you to achieve something prestigious in the weekly Nightfall and as a way to amplify difficulty. The new scoring rules are intended to be better at a few specific things:

Reward you for engaging and defeating enemies instead of running past them.
Avoid over-emphasizing specific mechanics like precision kills that highlight certain areas of the sandbox (and/or punish other areas), so that players are the ones who determine the most effective Meta.
Reward you for taking on greater challenges up to the limits of your own capabilities.
Reward you for doing the above quickly and over the course of a short run versus long slogs over several hours.

The updated mechanics look like this:
Scoring is team-based and the sum of individual performances. A team should be able to focus on what works best, not feeling put out by who stole whose kill.

Scoring is primarily driven by kills and secondarily by orb generation. We want you to find what works best for clearing strikes instead of telling you which weapons to use, but we want coordinated use of Supers and other team support mechanics to contribute to high scores. We’re interested in restoring special point awards based on medals, but we want your input to understand the basic meta first.

Score bleeds over time. We are watching this closely — score decay can feel bad, but all else being equal, a team that clears faster than another team should score higher. Score decay achieves this in the most transparent fashion.

Scoring cuts off after time thresholds. At 15 minutes, new points earned are reduced by 50%. At 18 minutes, you stop earning new points and it’s a race to finish the run and post your score. We want time to matter (see above), but we also want to avoid some of the problems we saw with Prison of Elders, where a “high score” might involve punishing respawning combatants (and yourself) for a few hours until the novelty wore off. A good Nightfall clear shouldn’t feel like a slog.

Challenge

On top of the above mechanics are Challenge Cards, items that offer ways to boost the challenge in exchange for score multipliers. In 1.1.3 there will be a challenge card that drops from completing a Nightfall run. It has some customization options to help tune the challenge level to what you and your fireteam are capable of.

Rewards
Players will be able to see their (and your) scores on new Nightfall Emblems available as drops in each Nightfall strike. These emblems (and others like them) are now the source of auras, which are automatically enabled if your personal score is above a global threshold. At first the thresholds will be set based on what we think might be tough for players to reach, but we look forward to you showing us how much we underestimated you. Then we can raise the bar based on community scores.

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