On Tuesday, Blackburn posted a video of himself talking on his personal Twitter, which is a format the studio has never used before. In this 16-minute video, Blackburn talks about the State of the Game article from a few weeks ago, what went wrong with it, how Bungie is fixing the pain points in the future, and what players can expect in next week’s reveal.
Trying something different, yall have 15 minutes to chat? pic.twitter.com/wzB6xqJPGU— Joe Blackburn (@joegoroth) August 15, 2023
The bulk of Blackburn’s time in the video is about PvP, which has been a pain point in the community for years. According to Blackburn, Bungie now believes that putting out one map a year isn’t great for the game — counter to what the State of the Game article had suggested. Instead, Bungie will work to release multiple Crucible maps each year in a single map pack.
Blackburn also spoke about creating a “PvP Strike Team” whose job will be to brainstorm fixes, communicate them to the community, and then implement them very quickly. Bungie has used this kind of tactic before when the game was in a bad state between the Curse of Osiris and Warmind expansions back in 2018.
On the topic of armor, Blackburn spoke about several different types of armor in the game, and how Bungie has chosen to shy away from armor that players don’t use much, like the sets found in the ritual playlists (Strikes, Crucible, and Gambit). This is technically going back on a promise that Bungie made years ago, to deliver one new ritual armor set each expansion. Bungie failed to communicate this shift away from new ritual sets before Lightfall, and players have been making a stink about it since the expansion’s release earlier this year.
To compensate for the missing armor set from Lightfall, Bungie will move a real-money-only set originally slated for Season 22 over to the ritual playlist pool next season. However, Blackburn was clear that this is an apology for the miscommunication, and that players shouldn’t necessarily expect a yearly ritual armor set going forward after The Final Shape.
Finally, Blackburn did offer some teases for The Final Shape reveal. He told players not to expect any major system changes to appear in the showcase, and that it’s instead focused for a wider audience. While doing this, however, he dropped some news that Xur will be getting a major overhaul next expansion (including the reintroduction of Strange Coins), and players will get a reworked HUD that better displays buffs and debuffs.
All of these changes seem to be going over well in the community, and Blackburn made it clear he intends to keep up the communication headed into The Final Shape with streams of himself playing the game and addressing community feedback.