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Destiny averages 3.2m players every day

Bungie to tweak Iron Banner following player feedback.

First-person shooter Destiny averages 3.2m players every day, Bungie has said.

In a post on Bungie.net, the developer said the average playtime is around three hours a day, even on weekdays. That stat is holding fast a month from launch, Bungie pointed out.

In the absence of an official global sales figure from publisher Activision (the game pulled in $350m in the first five days it went on sale), the 3.2m players every day stat is our best indication yet of the game's performance.

Other stats: the average player plays Destiny 1.8 times a day. The average player has played Destiny 20.9 times.

Over the past three weeks, Bungie has seen more players online in Destiny than it did during the same timespan for Halo 3 and Halo: Reach combined. While an impressive comparison, it's slightly unfair, as unlike Halo 3 and Halo: Reach, Destiny requires an internet connection to play.

"We thank you for playing," community chief David "Deej" Dague said. "And, we thank you for the passion and enthusiasm that has made the Destiny community so strong already. It's been amazing to watch your Guardians become legends. Your reactions and your opinions have helped us to make Destiny better over this past month.

"Pioneering something new is never easy. When we see the raw numbers, it's easy for us to say that the destination was worth the journey. Stay tuned for the next evolution of our shared adventure."

On that evolution, Bungie will tweak Iron Banner, Destiny's competitive multiplayer mode designed to give players with powerful gear an advantage, it has said.

Bungie had called for feedback on the recently released Iron Banner after many complained gear did not provide enough of an advantage.

In the latest Bungie Weekly Update, senior designer Derek Carroll explained how Iron Banner works.

"If you were expecting to vaporize a crowd of noobs with a single burst from your SUROS Regime, I can see how you'd be disappointed," he said.

"Imagine going into the Iron Banner as a mid-20s player totally unable to participate in the fun. We didn't want players to have to complete the Vault of Glass in order to compete.

"The way we pitched Iron Banner did make it sound like a 'no-holds-barred' playlist," he admitted.

"In reality, we delivered what we felt would be a competitive experience for everyone, not just players at the level cap. The reaction from players seems to be: 'No, we want it to be bad for lower-level players. That's the point!'

"We're listening to that feedback, but this first Iron Banner is fairly conservative."

Carroll said "power certainly matters", but so does skill.

"A decked-out endgame Guardian can't defeat a low-level guardian with one shot from an Auto-Rifle. In fact, 'time-to-kill' is the same when you're using higher-level gear against lower-level gear. The opposite is not true, so an enemy with average weapons is going to have a harder time taking you out.

"If you want to test this, go back to your vault and grab some of the guns you outgrew on Venus and feel the difference in your engagements. If you really want to feel the burn, start a new Guardian and jump right into the fray."

Carroll estimated player skill will take you 80 per cent of the way to victory in Iron Banner, but the last 20 per cent will be much harder to climb without the gear you've been relying on.

"Having a lot of Defense reduces the damage you take from lower level players. Conversely, having a lot of Attack on your Weapons or high character level for your Abilities neutralises the advantage higher level players might have against you."

The largest advantage you can have is around seven levels, Carroll said, to keep competition close and avoid unwinnable fights. "So, if you attacked a target 20 levels above you, you'd have a fair shot at winning that fight."

There's also the issue of quitters in Iron Banner. Unlike other Crucible modes, Iron Banner rewards reputation points only if your team wins. So, when teams fall a few hundred points behind the enemy team, many quit because they know they are unlikely to gain anything if they stick around to complete the game. And, because there is no penalty for quitting a Crucible match early, it's happening a lot.

"Please remind players that, win or lose, they get Crucible Marks, XP, and Gear rewards for completing the match," Carroll said.

"As with all things Destiny, we're looking at the data and we'll come up with a plan to address it in future events."

Bungie community chief David "Deej" Dague concluded: "Lord Saladin will very likely play by different rules the next time we clear a landing zone for him in the Tower."

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