Destiny: Bungie’s shooter hits new user milestone

Bungie’s online shooter Destiny now has more than 17 million registered players, the developer announced today during a Game Developers Conference presentation in San Francisco. This is up from 16 million registered players a month ago. Of course, this doesn’t mean the game has actually sold 17 million copies, but it’s a new milestone all the same.

The new statistic was revealed by Bungie’s John Hopson during a panel today about user research. You can see some additional statistics through the image above.

As previously announced, the average Destiny daily playtime is three hours per player. Hopson said Bungie was blown away by this statistic, as it originally modeled about 39 minutes of daily playtime per player, Hopson said.

Hopson also shared another slide that speaks to how Destiny players spend their time in the game. As you can see in the image at left, Strikes are the most popular activity, but not by much. In fact, playtime is fairly evenly divided between all Destiny activities.

Another interesting story to come out of the Destiny panel is that Bungie knew about the game’s infamous Loot Caves before the game was even released. However, Hopson said Bungie didn’t think they would be too much of an issue because the per-minute loot drop rate was no different than any other area of the game. In fact, Loot Caves drop less loot per hour than can be earned by playing the game normally, he said.

What Bungie didn’t consider, Hopson recalled, is that a lot of players were more interested in “loot-per-effort.” Scoring a heap of loot in a Destiny Loot Cave may not have been the fastest way to acquire loot, but it was the easiest, Hopson said.

Hopson further explained that Destiny players reported other players for negative behavior activity more during the Loot Cave heyday than ever before. This is because some considered Loot Caves to be unfair exploits, asking Bungie to close them–which the studio eventually did.

Finally, Hopson spoke about the tight security measures Bungie employed during early Destiny tests, which took place as early as 2010, he said. When gamers were invited to Bungie’s headquarters to test Destiny, the developer made these people walk through metal detectors and give up their cellphones. Players were also never left alone with the game.

Hopson said the somewhat extreme security measures Bungie used to keep Destiny a secret were possibly overkill, but explained that it was preferable to having the game leak early.

Weapon Nerfing, Bug Fixing, and Other Updates for Version 1.1.1 from Destiny

The update for Bungie’s popular first-person shooter video game Destiny is already rolling out and it offers changes like weapon balances, bug fixes, matchmaking adjustments and more others.

Bungie’s official Twitter help page informed players of a necessary rebooting to install the latest patch. Bungie listed the following details for the Destiny 1.1.1 patch. Destiny power leveling for the whole patch note details.

Among the most notable updates include the reduction of base damage for Auto Rifles which are downed by 2.5 percent as well as its effective range. The Hand Cannons were also nerfed in their effective range and initial accuracy.

The Pulse Rifles meanwhile, were increased in base damage by 9.7 percent. Fusion Rifles also saw improvements with its blast pattern but its starting ammunition count was reduced in PVP mode. The Shotguns’ damage is also increased against all non-Guardian combatants by 100 percent. Its high-end range value, however, is reduced.

There are also changes in the activities featured in the new patch like the Weekly Heroic Strike which is now a matchmade activity.

The user interface is also improved with its character inventory screen now displaying faction reputation and weekly mark counters. However, players in the public spaces can no longer see voice notifications when a player enters a matchmade fireteam.

For other technical notes:

  • DLC and Patch systems have been improved
  • Xbox One upsell from trial version to full version no longer makes you leave the game
  • Improved networking resilience to packet reordering
  • Networking improvements for certain routers

Bungie has updated the app with a very useful feature

Destiny players will be using the game’s companion app much more these days.

You’ll now be able to access your account’s Vault of items through Bungie.net as well as the Destiny mobile app. Bungie’s engineering lead Chris Gossett gave a few examples of how you might use this feature:

You and your buddies are finally all online at the same time about to tackle the Nightfall. That one player in your Fireteam realizes there’s a Solar Burn this week, and wants to retrieve their Ice Breaker from another character. No more waiting… tell him to grab a nearby browser. 

You’re on the bus and want to manage gear between a couple characters. Use the app to move stuff around and jump right into the action as soon as you get home. 

Oops, you’re halfway through the Daily Story Mission and realize you need that Fusion Rifle with Void. No worries, it’s just a couple clicks away. 

You’re standing in front of Xûr and you’re two coins short. Your Hunter just completed the Weekly Heroic Strike and he has the extra coinage you need. Tap, Tap, Purchase.

When you bring up your character’s inventory in the companion app, you can equip items or move them to the Vault. Equipping is only possible out of combat, but you can toss items in the Vault whenever you want. When you’re looking at items in your Vault, you can select “Take from Vault” to put it in your current character’s possession. In the case of stacked items like currency or materials, you can choose how many of them to grab.

The Companion app launched alongside the game last fall. It allows players to check their stats, Grimoire cards and a map of the Tower along with other social features. It’s more robust than many others games’ companion apps but I think Vault management will make it far more attractive to players.

Gossett said that they added vault management to the app because it was highly-requested feature by players. He hinted that there are other Vault improvements in the works as well.

“While Vaults just got easier to use, we know that there’s still a lot of chatter out there about how your Vaults can still grow and improve in the future. We hear you, and we’ll talk soon about other ways in which we can continue to update and improve the Destiny experience.”

This is the second time that Bungie has teased larger Vaults. That should give hope to players looking for a bigger garage for storing all their character’s crap.

During the same Weekly Update, Bungie outlined plans to add a new Inferno playlist for the Crucible. This playlist will provide a new hardcore experience when it goes live next week.

Destiny players will be using the game’s companion app much more these days

Destiny players will be using the game’s companion app much more these days.

You’ll now be able to access your account’s Vault of items through Bungie.net as well as the Destiny mobile app. Bungie’s engineering lead Chris Gossett gave a few examples of how you might use this feature:

You and your buddies are finally all online at the same time about to tackle the Nightfall. That one player in your Fireteam realizes there’s a Solar Burn this week, and wants to retrieve their Ice Breaker from another character. No more waiting… tell him to grab a nearby browser.

You’re on the bus and want to manage gear between a couple characters. Use the app to move stuff around and jump right into the action as soon as you get home. 

Oops, you’re halfway through the Daily Story Mission and realize you need that Fusion Rifle with Void. No worries, it’s just a couple clicks away. 

You’re standing in front of Xûr and you’re two coins short. Your Hunter just completed the Weekly Heroic Strike and he has the extra coinage you need. Tap, Tap, Purchase.

When you bring up your character’s inventory in the companion app, you can equip items or move them to the Vault. Equipping is only possible out of combat, but you can toss items in the Vault whenever you want. When you’re looking at items in your Vault, you can select “Take from Vault” to put it in your current character’s possession. In the case of stacked items like currency or materials, you can choose how many of them to grab.

The Companion app launched alongside the game last fall. It allows players to check their stats, Grimoire cards and a map of the Tower along with other social features. It’s more robust than many others games’ companion apps but I think Vault management will make it far more attractive to players.

Gossett said that they added vault management to the app because it was highly-requested feature by players. He hinted that there are other Vault improvements in the works as well.

“While Vaults just got easier to use, we know that there’s still a lot of chatter out there about how your Vaults can still grow and improve in the future. We hear you, and we’ll talk soon about other ways in which we can continue to update and improve the Destiny experience.”

This is the second time that Bungie has teased larger Vaults. That should give hope to players looking for a bigger garage for storing all their character’s crap.

During the same Weekly Update, Bungie outlined plans to add a new Inferno playlist for the Crucible. This playlist will provide a new hardcore experience when it goes live next week.

Destiny Share Sells Powerful Exotic Weapon And Armor Every Weekend

Xur, Destiny’s shady black market dealer. This week, perhaps in light of the recenet PvE shotgun buff, Xur is selling the exotic shotgun, Universal Remote!

While shotguns are known for the poor range, the Universal Remote counteracts that a bit by offering Guardians greatly increased ranged and precision damage while aiming down the sights. So if you want the power that shotguns deliver, but don’t want to get too up close and personal, the Universal Remote may be the shotgun to give a try!

This weekend Xur is hanging out in the North Tower right outside the Speaker’s area. Besides Universal Remote, he is offering up a pair of gauntlets (No Backup Plans) for Titans, a helmet (ATS/8 Arachnid) for Hunters and a chest piece (Heart of Praxic Fire) for Warlocks. No Backup Plans are designed for Titans that rely heavily on the melee force barrier. ATS/8 Arachnid, is perfect for Gunslingers that want that extra precision on their golden gun attack. While the Heart of Praxic Fire makes Sunslingers abilities recover even faster while under the effect of radiance. Xur also has an exotic helmet engram for 23 motes of light. Unfortunately, there’s no heavy ammo synthesis. So hopefully you took advantage of that last week!

If you’re looking for strange coins, they can commonly be found by completing the weekly heroic and nightfall strikes along with completing a daily public event and turning in blue engrams. Also, Xur has a multitude of exotic weapon and armor upgrades that can be purchased for one exotic shard and around 7500 glimmer, provided you have the original non-upgraded version.

Have you recently picked up Destiny’s first expansion The Dark Below? Check out our starting tips, guides on preparing for the new raid and strike, and of course our review.