Update: Aldridge has posted a follow-up response to the original comment:
“Ah that’s a fair followup – it just means that thus far we haven’t decided it was worth investing in the encryption. That could change in the future, and I haven’t seen presence/absence of encryption feed into decisions on whether to make secret missions – after all we have other surprises regardless, eg narrative twists, and datamine leaks don’t make us shy away from those. :)”
Original story: Secret missions and quests have always been a big part of Destiny 2 and one that the community has asked more of in the past couple of months. The Whisper and Zero Hour missions still remain one of, if not the best secret missions Bungie has added to the game.
Bungie’s Head of Engineering, David Aldridge, and Senior Engineering Manager, Ylan Salsbury did an AMA on Reddit yesterday, where they answered the community’s questions–some related to Destiny 2, others not so much.
A user asked how difficult is it to encrypt secrets and secret missions in Destiny 2 to avoid datamining and if is this something they are working on. Aldridge replied that “it’s just expensive” to encrypt each and everything that’s related to a secret mission and that the team has concluded that it “makes more sense to spend [those resources] on more cool experiences instead”.
“We’ve dug into this pretty deeply a few times – several brilliant people here are passionate about it.
“The main challenge is the web of connections between pieces of content. Suppose you want to encrypt a secret mission. Ok… let’s tag the world art spaces (bubbles) and the activity itself as “encrypt behind this key that we’ll release later”. Victory!
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“Except… hm, there are rewards from the mission that we also want to hide, their flavor text contains spoilers. And bits of audio that are managed in a separate pipeline for localization, we should tag those. Oh and then there are quests we’ve authored that involve repeatedly playing that mission, need to encrypt those too.
“Oh crap, now there are validation systems screaming at us because we just punched out holes in all these different content sets, which broke references from yet other content sets… we need to change how those work.
“Like most things, it’s all solvable, it’s just expensive, and so far we’ve concluded that it makes more sense to spend on more cool experiences instead.
“This all would have been much cheaper if we’d considered it at the system design stage and forced more modularity around things we might want to make secret in the future… but we had a lot of other priorities on our minds back then and didn’t foresee the future value of secrets and surprises,” Aldridge concluded.
Recently, Bungie did a Telesto Takeover event where the exotic weapon took over Destiny‘s official social accounts as a sentient weapon. This also led to some disappointment in the community since there was no secret puzzle or mission tied to it.
This event also made some fun little tweaks to the weapon in-game where Telesto shot somewhat like the Deathbringer rocket launcher for one day and then adapted the void projectiles of Graviton Lance.
As a result of this event, Bungie released a free Telesto emblem called “Schrödinger’s Gun” yesterday. (9LX-7YC-6TX)