Bungie Tries to Keep Destiny 2 Fair By Cheesing Its Own Game

Bungie Tries to Keep Destiny 2 Fair By Cheesing Its Own Game

"Velveeta" continues to set the bar.

Crafting a good combat encounter can be tricky, especially over the course of years like Destiny has. In a massive part one of a blog called Director's Cut, Destiny 2 game director Luke Smith discussed how the studio works to identify good design and "cheese" potential with a team codenamed "Velveeta."

Velveeta, an internal team put together after players started yanking out their ethernet cables to beat Crota, is a group of the "craftiest" players of Destiny 2 who work to find the cheesiest solutions in tough portions of Destiny's PvE experience. But Smith also says that Velveeta is a good marker for whether something is challenging enough. If Velveeta can beat it, Smith says that's a good indicator of the action and the gear working in harmony.

This all comes in a section discussing the Reckoning, part of Destiny 2's endgame loop alongside Gambit Prime. As Smith tells it, Destiny 2 has guidelines the team uses to build encounters:

  • "We don't want to spawn enemies behind the player."
  • "We want players to play a game of taking space from enemies."
  • "We want players to have cover where their shields and health can recharge, or where they get to be smart using geometry, movement, ability and gunplay to dig enemies out of cover, and make interesting decisions about target prioritization."
  • "We want players to be able to understand where in the space enemies will come from, and if we're going to reverse the combat front on players (AKA spawn enemies behind them, we want to telegraph that."
  • "We use dropships, spawn clouds, audio cues, all kinds of tricks to try and prepare players for reinforcements."
  • "As character power was dramatically increasing (more on reasons for this increase later on), the encounter rules got thrown out the window."

Essentially, it boils down to that last point: Destiny had so much cool gear that the team started breaking its encounter design philosophy in order to pose a real challenge. And as challenge ramps up, certain strategies-like Everyone Stand On A Well Of Radiance-become dramatically more viable than the others.

"That sweet gear, coupled with the encounter design meant the number of ways to viably/efficiently progress was dramatically reduced," Smith writes. "We want Destiny to be a game where you have lots of choices with your character, build what you choose to do, and funneling those choices down to only one in Reckoning is something we don't want to repeat."

Designing the perfect combat arena is a tricky task. When we talked to the developers of Doom Eternal at E3 2019, we ended up chatting about this exact challenge for a while. One of the harder tasks in games like Destiny is maintaining an equal level of cool new powers that make you feel like a true Guardian, and enemies that pose enough threat to encourage you towards engaged play.

Destiny 2 has been a story of balancing those elements on a teetering seesaw. "The entire time we've been making Destiny, the action game and the RPG have been fighting," Smith writes. "It's the forever war. The RPG has the power to dramatically overcome the action game, and the action game has the power to render the RPG game irrelevant. It's a line—by nature—Destiny will always have to straddle."

We'll see what Shadowkeep does to keep that balance even on October 1. Be sure to keep up with our Destiny guides to gear up for Bungie's first big step as an independent studio.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Eric Van Allen

News Editor

Eric is a writer and Texan. He's a former contributor to sites including Compete, Polygon, Waypoint, and the Washington Post. He loves competitive games, live music, and travel.

Read this next

Destiny 2 Shadowkeep Exotics List - All New Exotic Weapons and Armor for Shadowkeep

This is our guide to all the new Shadowkeep Exotics, including weapons and armor, featured in Destiny 2 Shadowkeep.

Destiny 2 Moon Lost Sector Locations - Where to Find All Lost Sectors on the Moon

Need a guide detailing all the Destiny 2 Moon Lost Sector locations? You've come to the right place.

Destiny 2 Upgrade Modules - Where to Find Upgrade Modules Quickly

Need to find Upgrade Modules in Destiny 2 quickly? We've got you covered.

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep's Campaign Ending Has Major Implications For What's Next

The future of Destiny 2 sounds very, very interesting.

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep Review: Moon's Haunted and So Is My Playtime

The lack of new loot and a so-so campaign weighs down an otherwise solid expansion for Destiny 2.

Destiny 2 Vex Offensive Walkthrough - How to Complete Eyes on the Moon and Unlock the Vex Offensive

Here's how to unlock the new Destiny 2 Vex Offensive activity, through completing the Eyes on the Moon quest.

Destiny 2 Weekly Reset Times - When is the Weekly Reset?

Here's the complete Destiny 2 weekly reset times schedule for regions around the world.

More News

League of Legends is Coming to Mobile and Consoles Next Year

League is going mobile over the next year with the slightly different League of Legends: Wild Rift.

G2A Representative: "Do You Really Think You Could Illegally Obtain 100,000 Keys?"

Speaking with GamesIndustry.biz, G2A's head of communication Maciej Kuc fires back at critics of the key selling marketplace.

More on PC

Why The Division 2 Is Still Hard to Jump Back Into

With the new Title Update and Episode, The Division 2 should be easier to get into, but it's not.

G2A Representative: "Do You Really Think You Could Illegally Obtain 100,000 Keys?"

Speaking with GamesIndustry.biz, G2A's head of communication Maciej Kuc fires back at critics of the key selling marketplace.

Rhythm Game Avicii Invector Will Donate Some of Its Royalties to Mental Health Foundation

Owners of the original 2017 release of Invector on PS4 will receive the new version as a free update.

The Good Version of Sonic the Hedgehog Is Coming to Super Monkey Ball

The HD remake of Super Monkey Ball's Wii installment is getting a classic, blue-quilled bonus.

Control Gets a Free Photo Mode Update Tomorrow

Document your time as the Director of the Federal Bureau of Control.

Divinity: Fallen Heroes is On Indefinite Hiatus Due to Lack of Time and Resources

Larian Studios and Logic Artists were originally targeting Fallen Heroes for a November 2019 release.

More MMO Games

Why The Division 2 Is Still Hard to Jump Back Into

With the new Title Update and Episode, The Division 2 should be easier to get into, but it's not.

Z1 and PlanetSide Developer Daybreak Hit With Another Round of Layoffs

Daybreak Game Company had two rounds of layoffs last year.

Blizzard Gives Gay WoW Classic Guild its Name Back, But Makes No Guarantees That It Won't Change Again

On top of the ongoing Hearthstone controversy, WoW Classic guild "GAY BOYS" is bringing attention to Blizzard meddling with their name.