Bungie has been tracking players’ request in its popular-but-divisive MMO-like shooter, Destiny, and one of its top feature requests to address has been more Vault space. Well, Bungie is finally checking that one off the list, almost doubling the Vault space available for weapons and adding four slots each for armor and general items, but PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 will be losing something in the process: item comparison while in the Vault.
Bungie UI Engineering Lead Brad Fish explained why in Bungie’s latest weekly update:
In the case of the Vault expansion, it became clear that we would be pushing very limited memory constraints on older generation hardware. We had a choice: leave the Vault as-is, or find some kind of compromise to enable it safely. We weighed the options, with player feedback in mind, and decided to move forward with the expansion by disabling the item comparison feature within the Vault on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Item comparison will continue to function within the Vault on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and in all other contexts on all platforms.
It’s a bummer for last-gen players, but it doesn’t seem like there was much Bungie could really do if it wanted to keep evolving the game. At a certain point, as we’ve seen with most current-gen games, having to keep factoring in the last-gen counterparts in mind will inevitably cause problems as they simply don’t have enough horsepower to keep up.
More interesting, though, are the stats that Bungie User Research Lead John Hopson drops about how much of a problem Vault space even was:
Very few people have completely full Vaults, but a lot of endgame players are bumping up against the limits. For example, 21% of players who are level 30+ have 4 or fewer free spaces in their weapon Vaults right now. The armor and general sections are slightly less full for most people, but not by much. Even at lower levels, there’s a small but measurable fraction of players under level 20 who have full Vaults. You could charitably think of them as “collectors” or uncharitably label them as “packrats,” but some people just flat out like holding onto their stuff. Personally, I’m still waiting for the Pocket Infinity bounty so I can use up the 10 rare fusion rifles I have saved. It has to drop sooner or later.
So even though the vast majority of players aren’t hurting for Vault space at all, Bungie still decided to move ahead with the expansion and locking out last-gen players from item comparison from within the Vault. As Bungie Live Team Lead M.E. Chung, part of this decision was factoring in the upcoming House of Wolves expansion:
For many, many weeks, Vault space has been an important request in the queue that we’ve been tracking. As we get closer to the House of Wolves content update, we knew we had to expand the Vault or the community would not have enough space to store the new Exotics we’re making!
Different players have different needs, but our goal was to find a solution that could deliver more Vault space to the greatest number of people in the short term. Our challenge was to provide an increase in storage that fit within the memory constraints that limit how many items can be displayed on one screen. This had to be accomplished by a team who is simultaneously working on future content. We opted for making sure that players would have enough slots for all Exotics from Launch through House of Wolves – thus the largest increase in slot space is for weapons.
We know there are a bunch of players in the world who don’t have enough space for Armor and General items. We’ll have a solution for you in the future.
Looks like even more changes will be coming to Bungie’s Vault. It’s always interesting to hear how developers take player experience into consideration to make tough decisions like this one. It’s too bad for last-gen players, but again, at a certain point, developers — and players — will have to leave those old machines behind.