In a recent piece covering the update for Lord of Wolves, Luke Smith talked about how the weapon has run rampant in Iron Banner. It’s been enough of an issue for Bungie to consider turning it off for all activities, but they haven’t yet. In a conversation during GuardianCon, Smith added that there was an internal decision made between fixing the weapon now, or preserving July’s work life balance, and they made the right decision.
Bungie is always on it when a weapon is too powerful, and they push a fix pretty quickly. This is part of what made Destiny 1 so fun, and is a big reason for why Destiny 2 is so much fun, both in PVP and PVE. If a weapon is unbalanced then it can be used for everything, and that’s just too damn much for an MMO in which any exploit will be used by at least 50 percent of the players.
However, making a fix requires testing, which takes hours away from developers, and all of it adds up to massive amounts of time. The process of balancing a weapon is complex, because the weapon has to be fun to use, but not so powerful or weak that it ruins the fun of others. It is too much time for a fix to be pushed quickly, even within a month.
Smith said, during GuardianCon, that Bungie try very hard not to make developers work outside of their contracted hours. As someone who used to be a developer, I know the pressure you can feel when a release is imminent, or a fix is required for a product. The hours are endless, and even if you work 12 hour days, you still need to take the time to step away and have others look at the work you’ve done, because nothing you do in a 12 hour day is perfect.
The difference in allowing developers to work normal hours, 7-8 hour days, is phenomenal. Everyone is well-rested, and they feel respected. I have always found that if a boss makes you work longer than you’re expected to, they never thank you for it. But I can see Bungie being both grateful for the dedication of their developers, and bosses that understand how to get the most out of their employees.
With crunch being such a controversial subject in the industry, it’s nice to see Bungie, a newly minted independent developer, making the right choice. Let us know what you think of crunch, Bungie, and Lord of Wolves, in the comments.
Image Source: Bungie