We are exactly two weeks away from the launch of one of the most anticipated new IPs in gaming history. Destiny has been in development for years and as we have gotten closer and closer to its launch, new information has surfaced that's received a wide range of reactions from fans.
In Destiny, gamers will be able to take part in six-player raids that are extremely challenging and will require the entire group to work together. In case you didn't know, there will not be a matchmaking system for raids. Jonty Barnes, who is the director of production at Bungie, spoke about raids, the reasoning behind the raid player limit of six people and why they decided to not allow matchmaking for this mode.
"So, when you think about raids, it's very much about playing different roles to try to get through. It's very difficult. But if you think about it in terms of two fireteams that are coordinating, the idea of six people coordinating with their different aspects, and the way they're designed - which you'll see later that I won't talk about - all those things combined made six right.
"Getting a group that's big enough to commit to spending a period of time until they were successful, rather than having somebody jump out and everyone have to struggle to get another player, was actually the sweet spot. It was very much about that three-player dynamic I described and the sweet spot of doing raids with six. More isn't always better," Barnes said.
Some people have been surprised about the player limits for Destiny, but there definitely seems to be something to the saying, "more isn't always better." You can absolutely see the logic behind this when a group of players have to traverse a fair amount of land or they have to put in a large amount of time into a raid. Most people wouldn't want to play with people who would just drop-out in the middle of a raid leaving teammates high and dry. Perhaps that's another reason why we won't see matchmaking in raids.
Shifting from raids to fireteams, it's clear Bungie has thought a lot about player-limits. From what we've heard from them, they've broken down what player limits do and don't work into a science.
"Let's talk about the three-player fireteam. If you look at social circles and our ability to find players, we found doing four-player co-op in the metrics we had in previous Bungie games, when you look at trying to make sure there's always a great encounter for people to have, three was a sweeter spot than four. But also, I can get one or two friends to organize with me in an evening. But as soon as I try and get another person, there's a bigger barrier than you would think. So that was a motivator," Barnes said.
Barnes went on to talk about the different dynamics a triangle of players actually presents in a gameplay scenario versus a four player setup. He argued that if you had four players, one of the four ends up not knowing what their role is exactly, and that's a major reason why they went with three-player fireteams.
"Then a lot of the conversations became about multiples of fireteams. What is the best way for us to be playing? We've definitely done lots and lots of prototypes with lots of players. We found, once you got beyond a certain number, it wasn't actually as much fun. It really got in the way of the player experience in terms of the ability to coordinate and do things," Barnes said.
Activision and Bungie's highly anticipated shooter will be launching on Sept. 9. Destiny will be available on PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360.