During this week’s PlanetDestiny podcast, Luke Smith, Bungie’s Creative Director for Destiny: The Taken King, discussed the early days of working on The Taken King, the design process of the expansion, and Bungie’s future! Here are a couple of highlights:
The Vault of Glass
Smith describes his involvement in creating the Vault of Glass, or the Glass Throne as it was called in the very beginning, during the podcast. His focus was on the concept of descent, and he then designed the entire raid around that idea. Creating the Gorgon’s Maze first was of utter importance though, because he wanted to make an interesting encounter that didn’t involve any guns. One of the biggest goals of the Vault of Glass was to have slower transition periods, so that players could talk to each other and bond a bit, to really make it feel like a team effort.
The Gorgon’s Maze was apparently a pivotal point of development. Smith wanted players to stop before jumping and to be confused about where to go next, until finally deciding to make the leap of faith. Also, Double Dragon served as an influence for the final jumping puzzle in King’s Fall. He also reminds us all that raids stand on their own, with independent themes and personalities. Raids are supposed to feel different, so that each raid gives you that unique ‘raid feel’. Key elements that people enjoy in raids are taken note of, so that they can then be implemented with a different twist in other raids.
New Strikes and Better Incentives
Via new strikes, Bungie is preparing players for the raiding experience by adding more teamwork mechanics. They won’t always mirror those in the raid, however. If that were the case, all raids would have to be done before the strikes, which isn’t always the case.
Bungie is trying to make players stay in strikes in Destiny, and not leave others to solo them. Looking at specific strikes to find places to make changes, they intent to make changes to help the ‘common’ player. Bungie is focusing on making more strikes, instead of updating older ones. Finding ways to improve the matchmaking experience are definitely on the radar, but there are no tangible ideas to reveal as of yet. With the Taken King released, Bungie is also working on more content.
Smith thinks that certain rewards should be incredibly hard to obtain, even if that means that certain player won’t get them. Most of us gamers might not actually agree with that idea, but hear him out.
He states that he knew what he was doing with the Three of Coins. The team wanted to make more loot available for players, they just didn’t anticipate the farming methods. He also likes the idea of Moldering Shards for raid loot drops, but realizes that players can be deceived as to how the loot system actually works and thinks that the shards are useless.
Also, Smith thinks that you shouldn’t have a guaranteed weapon as a drop for your first time defeating Oryx. The King’s Fall raid weapons are designed to have very specific uses, mainly centered around the Cocoon perk. Smith doesn’t want certain primaries to overshadow others, and sees reforging as something that hurts Destiny as a whole.
Clearly Luke Smith has some different opinions than most people, but he has a fair point regarding most of them. How infuriating re-doing raids for certain loot might be, it gives it a certain exclusivity that it otherwise wouldn’t have. For the full podcast, you can go to the PlanetDestiny website.
Source: PlanetDestinyRelated: Bungie, Destiny, News, Podcast, The Taken King