Perfectly in the Balance

Hello! This is Okieeomi from the Community team.

Can you believe two months have passed since the release of Patch 6.1? And 6.15 launched recently too. I guess it's true that time flies when you're having fun! Whether you're working on the main scenario, tackling the new Extreme or Unreal trial, or challenging the new Ultimate encounter I hope your time in FFXIV has been eventful!

Today we're excited to share the lyrics for In the Balance, a song featured in Aglaia, the first part of the Myths of the Realm alliance raid dungeon series!

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The song plays when you encounter the final boss of the raid, but if you listen closely, leitmotifs from this track can be heard throughout the other melodies as well.

So, without further ado, enjoy the lyrics!

******

In the Balance

O twin gods bless this land, to us treasure bestow
City of desert sands, water and gold below

Lifeblood and rubies red, precious coins cast aglow
Four hands our fortunes mend, that want we may not know

And when we reach our ends, to scales we gladly go
Our fates are yours to bend, to hells and heavens flow

Under arid sky, with silk veils we weave a rainbow
Voices lifted high, dreams upon our backs we carry

When day beckons night (day and night dancing),
As does restless time we never slow

Trusting hand in hand, life death will follow
Stoke now nascent flame, brighter burn, dance with souls afire
May ember catch and red-gold spark rise to new heights
May we want for naught coin can buy
Never see wealth's river run dry
May we find fortune after life
For this we pray, we pray, we pray, we pray twinfold

Stoke now kindled flame, hotter burn, sing till breath expires
May those who wander paths in the dark find firelight
May we all as true equals die
Never fear unjust favor's bite
May we be judged by what is right
For this we pray, we pray, we pray, we pray twinfold


******

We hope the lyrics provide better insight into song's theme and allow you to grasp the feelings of those who call Ul'dah home!

Speaking of In the Balance, we're pleased to announce that the downloadable EP featuring this song is now on sale! Listen, dance, and sing along to this track to your heart's content!

Please check out the Lodestone announcement to learn about the downloadable EP.

Until our paths cross once more!

Okieeomi
- Community team

Community Focus – Critbuff

Engineering Values Handbook – Player Experience First

Everything is ultimately for the players.

This Week At Bungie – 6/16/2022

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Artist Spotlight: The Starhorse, the Witch, and the Risen

Destiny 2 Hotfix – 4.1.0.3

This Week at Bungie – 6/9/2022

The one where it's ok to monkey around. This time.

A Look at THE PRIMALS Live in Japan – Beyond the Shadow Concert

Greetings, everyone! The Square Enix Music team here.

THE PRIMALS recently performed their first dedicated live concert in four years and were joined by many Warriors of Light in the largest venue in the band's history!

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There were also many viewers watching the paid streaming performance and both the live and online audiences were going wild by the end of the show! Perhaps some of you are still reeling from the excitement that the concert elicited even so many days later.

If you missed the show, an archived recording of the concert is still available for purchase, and can be watched until Monday, 13 June 2022 at 14:59 (GMT) / 15:59 (BST) / Tuesday, 14 June 2022 at 0:59 (AEST)! But today we'd like to reminisce about the show via photos captured during each day of the performances.

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Here's a shot from May, when the rehearsals began.

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They did rehearsal...

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...after rehearsal...

The sound system's all good!

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Standing positions are good!

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Stage gimmicks are good!

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Now all that's left to do is get the show on the road!

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Peeking backstage on the day of the performance...

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Hm? What's with all the commotion?

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This outfit seems familiar...

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Yoshi-P also joined everyone backstage to chat for a bit.

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At the main entrance, attendees were greeted by an enormous illustration from the ENDWALKER 7-inch Vinyl Single.

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Meanwhile, posters of THE PRIMALS were plastered throughout the venue.

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As the announcements echoed into the sea of stars, THE PRIMALS waited offstage five minutes before the show started in earnest.

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Treasure every moment,
our ephemeral time upon this stage.
May your heart kindle with such joy as to outshine stars.

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It was an energetic and eventful concert, and we even had a surprise appearance from a certain special guest! The pillars of flame during Titan's theme, the explosive stage effects during Brute Justice's theme, and many other memorable sights and sounds!

Insatiable and To the Edge were accompanied by awesome gameplay footage submitted by our very own Warriors of Light, resulting in a joint performance between the community and the band! A huge thank you to those who submitted their footage!

The music, footage, and performance effects brought together the in-game experiences of every individual in the concert, making for an electrifying and awe-inspiring two and a half hours.

If you missed out on the concert or want to watch it again, we've got you covered! The archive is still on sale for a few more days, and the ability to watch it will end soon too. So, if you're interested, be sure to check it out.

THE PRIMALS Live in Japan ‒ Beyond the Shadow
Day 1 Performance

Price
3,500 yen (A 220 yen system usage fee will be added separately.)

Sale Period
Until Sunday, 12 June 2022 at 14:59 (GMT) / 15:59 (BST) / Monday, 13 June 2022 at 0:59 (AEST)

Archive Viewing Period
Until Monday, 13 June 2022 at 14:59 (GMT) / 15:59 (BST) / Tuesday, 14 June 2022 at 0:59 (AEST)

Visit the website to purchase the access to the archive.

Furthermore, the tracks that were performed live for the first time can be found in "THE PRIMALS -- Beyond the Shadow" which went on sale Wednesday, 25 May, so be sure to check that out as well!

See you next time, PRIMALS!

Destiny 2 Hotfix 4.1.0.2

Community Focus – Adrienne Fiore

Living Bungie’s Values as Engineers

Company values are a funny thing—they can so easily feel like insincere marketing, or wishful thinking of company leadership, or simply a list of generic positive attributes that any company might endorse—a thesaurus-check away from the Scout Law.

Engineering Values Handbook – Teams are Stronger than Heroes

Let’s look at the key ways we try to cultivate high-functioning teams.

This Week at Bungie – 6/2/2022

Our Next Adventure — Dragon Age: Dreadwolf

Our next game now has an official name. We know you’ve anxiously awaited new details, and today we’re excited to reveal the official title of the next adventure across the lands of Thedas—Dragon Age: Dreadwolf™.

Who is the Dread Wolf?

Solas, the Dread Wolf. Some say he might be an ancient elven god, but some say not. Others say a betrayer of his people…or a savior who now seeks to rescue them at the cost of your world. His motives are inscrutable and his methods sometimes questionable, earning him a reputation as something of a trickster deity—a player of dark and dangerous games.

Whether you’re new to Dragon Age™ stories or you’ve experienced them all, using Solas’s namesake no doubt suggests a spectrum of endless possibilities on where things may go. But at the core of this, like every past game, is you. If you’re new to Dragon Age, you have no need to worry about not having met our antagonist just yet. He’ll properly introduce himself when the time is right, but we did hint at his return when we announced #TheDreadWolfRises back in 2018.

More Dragon Age: Dreadwolf later this year

We suspect you have questions and they’ll be answered in time. While the game won’t be releasing this year, we’re growing closer to that next adventure. Rest assured, Solas is placing his pieces on the board as we speak. That’s all we have for now, but we hope knowing the official title has sparked some intrigue, as we’ll be talking more about the game later this year!

What do you think #Dreadwolf could mean?

—The Dragon Age Team

Presenting Your Latest Obsession

Hello, everyone!

This is Sicycre from the Community team. It's the beginning of June, which means summer is nearly here! The coming days may bring the heat, but wanna know something cool?

The Make It Rain Campaign will be starting soon!

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Event Period
From Friday, 3 June 2022 at 8:00 GMT (18:00 AEST)
to Monday, 20 June 2022 at 14:59 GMT (21 June at 0:59 AEST)

How to Participate
Speak with Ollier at Ul'dah: Steps of Nald (X:9.4 Y:9.2) to begin the quest.

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Quest: A Prickly Plaint
The Gold Saucer attendants are poised to promote their establishment far and wide, but the appeal of a certain sabotender is seemingly lost on its potential patrons...

Event Rewards
▼ Emote: Ballroom Etiquette - Soliciting Applause

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This new emote is all about showing something off in style!

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You can use it to present something to your right,

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or, use it to present something on your left!

The subject you choose to showcase will be presented with a cute sparkle effect, so be creative~! Your limit is your imagination!

Showcase your favorite minions with this new emote!

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Showing off using the new emote is guaranteed* to make things appear 100% more amazing than they would otherwise. Use the new emote when you finally get a minion you've been wanting for a while! Show it off!
* Not an actual guarantee.

Use this emote however you like! Whether it's for a plethora of group pose screenshots, introducing a new member of the free company, or simply praising your typically tardy friend for making it on time to the scheduled raid--we can't wait to see what you all do with it!

Furthermore, this year's the Make It Rain Campaign also features a new item to obtain with MGP.

▼ Furnishing: Moogle Balloon

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It's suuuuuuper tall and big!

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Whether it's for everyday use or for hosting a party, it's certainly an eye-catcher and is sure to leave a lasting impression.

You can exchange MGP for this prize and more from the campaign attendant in the Entrance Square of the Gold Saucer. There are also several existing prizes available at a discounted rate, so be sure to check those out too, but there's one other thing to make this endeavor much sweeter. But before that...

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A number of the new moogle balloons can be found in various places around the Gold Saucer! Gotta find 'em all!

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Okay, so remember how I said there's one more thing? Get this: During the event, you'll earn 50% more MGP! So if there's any prizes like glamour items or mounts that you've been scraping together MGP to purchase then you won't want to miss out on this bonus.

Best of luck racking up the MGP and we hope you enjoy the offerings and activities during the Make It Rain Campaign!

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some extremely large desserts to show off.

Sicycre
- Community team
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Visit the Make It Rain Campaign special site.

Destiny 2 Hotfix 4.1.0.1

Developer Story: Mac Walters


Friends, it’s time for another Developer Story, where we meet the folks who make the games that make BioWare what it is. Today we sit down with another member of the Dragon Age™ leadership team: Production Director Mac Walters. Mac has been with BioWare for… wait, 18 years? That can’t be right. Oh, here we go: 18 and a half years. 

In some countries, Mac’s time at BioWare would be old enough to vote.

THE STORY SO FAR

With such a long tenure here, it may surprise you to learn that before joining BioWare, Mac wasn’t in the video-game industry at all. In fact, he’d spent most of his life up to that point thinking that wasn’t even an option. “The first time I realized that there were teams of people who made the games I loved, I thought, ‘I want to do that one day,’” he says. “But growing up, everyone said, ‘Video games? That’s not a real job. You can’t do that.’ So I pursued a bunch of different things that weren’t my passion.”

A chance encounter changed his perspective dramatically. “I happened to meet Ray [Muzyka], one of the founders of BioWare, at a conference,” he says. “He was there talking about how BioWare was a business, how he and Greg [Zeschuk, co-founder] got their MBAs—and I know that doesn’t sound exciting, but I was like, ‘Wait a second, this is a real business? You can do this for a living?’ So I carved out part of my schedule every day to work on a submission to BioWare. That was a long time ago… but it worked out in the end.”

And as for why he looked at BioWare, specifically? “Every time I fall asleep, I’m creating a new world in my head,” Mac tells us. “I’ve been that way since I was a kid. And the worlds that BioWare was building—at that point Neverwinter Nights™ had just come out—those worlds really excited me. They released the Aurora toolset for Neverwinter Nights, which let players create their own RPG stories; I could build those worlds myself. I spent a lot of time playing with that. And there weren’t a lot of companies that were so strongly focused on telling interesting stories and having amazing characters.”

Coming off Mass Effect™ Legendary Edition as its project director, he’s taken on the role of production director for the next Dragon Age, and that role is… well, what, exactly? “The easiest way to think of it,” Mac says, “is to take the two key components of that title and map it to the film or TV industry: imagine someone who’s both producer and director. So you have the vision for a product you’re helping to uphold—something you and the team want to do—but on the producer side, you are also responsible for figuring out how you’re going to support the team in creating that vision. And then you work with the team to actually execute that vision.”

ON DRAGON AGE

This isn’t his first leadership position at the studio, though. During his time here, Mac has held high-level roles across multiple franchises. But he never forgot his very first look at a BioWare game in development—because it was love at first sight.

“When I started at BioWare, I didn’t know what project I was going to be on immediately,” he says, “so I was kind of just wandering around, chatting with people. And I remember someone showed me a super-early concept of Dragon Age: Origins, and there were all these characters having a battle beneath the bridge, with all these arrows flying up and everything. And I was like, ‘Oh, my God, that looks incredible, I want to work on that!’” 

He was fated for a different path, however: he started as a writer on Jade Empire™ before moving to the Mass Effect franchise, graduating from senior writer to narrative director and then to creative director, most recently serving as project director of Mass Effect Legendary Edition. But things have a way of coming around. “Eighteen and a half years later,” Mac says, “I finally get to work on Dragon Age, the one I saw literally on the first day I was at BioWare.”

And what is it that makes that franchise so special? “For me,” he tells us, “it’s exploring a deeply magical world, alongside incredible characters who really make that journey, that exploration, impactful and meaningful. And it’s the diversity of characters, the ability for players to really see themselves in that heroic role. Dragon Age really lets you lean into that. It allows anyone to play the role that they want to play, in a way that they can see themselves as the hero of the story, whatever that means to them. I think that’s one of the great things about BioWare games in general, and specifically the Dragon Age franchise.” 

ON BIOWARE

Talk to enough folks at the studio, and you’ll start to notice a common thread that runs through the developers’ feelings about BioWare, something that you’ll see in all kinds of artistic endeavors: The people who make BioWare games make them because these are the kinds of games they want more of in the world! 

“I assume if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably a fan of at least one of the franchises,” Mac says. “So imagine going to work with a bunch of people like yourself who are fans of the same types of games, who are passionate about making them—and then getting the opportunity to build more of those games. I think that’s what BioWare is; we started as fans of the games that we’re building.”

And that’s kept at the core of everything the team does. “One of the questions we often ask ourselves is, would we want to play this?” he says. “Is this exciting to us? That’s what leads us to develop the games and franchises and worlds that we do. And I think that’s one of the things that makes it so much fun to work here. It is work—but it’s also getting to do something that you’re deeply passionate about.” 

Even after 18 and a half years, Mac doesn’t seem at risk of losing that passion. “The franchises, the worlds themselves—they’re so big,” he says. “Like I said, I go to bed every night thinking about new stories to tell and new places to explore in those worlds. There are so many stories yet to be told.”

Mac Walters is the production director for the next Dragon Age. He can be found on Twitter at @macwalterslives or on his road bike. Or his mountain bike. Or his fat bike. He likes bikes, is what we’re saying.

Developer Story: Corinne Busche


Our latest edition of Developer Stories shows how a career path can take you to different places but still lead you right where you belong. Today the spotlight is on Game Director Corinne Busche who’s helping guide the next Dragon Age™. It’s the latest stop on a more-than-15-year journey that started with… golf?

THE STORY SO FAR

Fresh out of college with a degree in digital animation, Corinne wasn’t originally aiming for a career in games. “I expected I’d probably work in film,“ she says, “but while looking for career prospects, I was fortunate enough to land a contract gig doing environment art on the Tiger Woods franchise. I knew nothing—literally nothing—about golf, but I’ll tell you, from my first taste of being part of a game team, I knew I’d never do anything else. I absolutely fell in love with game design.”

Following her time on the links, Corinne moved over to Maxis’ The Sims™ franchise to work as a systems designer. She remained at Maxis for almost a decade, but when the opportunity to move over to BioWare arose, she jumped at the chance. “It had always been one of those dream destinations for me,” she says. “I just adore RPGs that prioritize choice and offer the kinds of relationships that tug at your heartstrings.”

Now she’s helping guide one of those RPGs herself—though she’s careful not to overstate the directorial role. “Game directors are sometimes thought of as big personalities who are singularly responsible for the purity of their creative vision,” Corinne says. “But for me, it’s really about being a steward for the vision that we, as a team, have collectively defined. I get a high-level view of everything as it’s coming together and can steer the project as it does, but ultimately it’s about empowering people to work together, play with ideas, offer critiques, and make decisions, all to help create a cohesive experience for the player.” 

ON DRAGON AGE

The Dragon Age franchise has a very special place in Corinne’s heart. In part, she says, that’s because the games are all about possibility. “In Dragon Age, you can be who you want to be, explore the possibilities and consequences of your choices, and build relationships that leave a lasting impression,” she says. “Few games give players that kind of autonomy while also weaving such a rich narrative—I think it really speaks to why our players feel so invested in this world.”

And the idea of being who you want to be carries a particularly special meaning for Corinne. “As a queer trans woman,” she says, “I have a perspective on the games that not everyone has. Dragon Age has long been a place where LGBTQIA+ folks can see people like themselves, represented respectfully. It’s inherently very queer, and it’s such a rare thing for marginalized communities to have representation where we feel proud and powerful in how we are depicted. It’s so deeply meaningful for so many. I often get emotional when I think about what it would have meant for a younger version of myself to see someone like her in a game, and as a hero, no less. I hope we can be a safe place for our queer players to know they are not alone, that they are brilliant and worthy, that they are not only welcome but celebrated.”

ON BIOWARE

Corinne has found a similarly welcoming environment at BioWare itself, she says. “I transitioned during my time at BioWare,” she tells us, “and I reflect all the time on how supported and seen I felt through that process, and how lucky I am to be surrounded by people of this caliber. It really speaks to the values of this team, and their commitment to inclusion in their works and their lives.”

And she’s found that this welcoming mindset extends to the fans. “My favorite part of working at BioWare and on Dragon Age specifically is how much we get to interact with, and learn from, our players and fanbase. It always brings a smile to my face when a tweet from a fan gets posted in our Slack channels and sparks discussion. I think our fans would really be surprised if they could see how influential they are in our day-to-day discussions.”

Of course, Corinne is a fan herself, of many kinds of gaming experiences. Board games are a big draw for her, for instance. “I love board games,” she says. “I’m just fascinated by them as a game designer because they really are the craft distilled down to the fundamentals. And I love the social experience.”

Naturally, she also plays a lot of video games—“way too many,” she says. “I’m especially fond of RPGs, action RPGs, and strategy games. Most recently I’ve been playing Elden Ring, Fortnite (don’t @ me!), Slay the Spire, and of course another playthrough of Inquisition.”

And when playing a role in those role-playing games, she remains unabashedly herself. “I guess I play my characters like I behave in real life: rarely mean, sometimes snarky… and always thirsty.”

Corinne Busche is the game director for the next Dragon Age. You can find her on Twitter at @CorinneBusche or seated at a table covered with dice, cardboard, and rulebooks.

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Destiny 2 Update 4.1.0

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Introducing the Cosplay Cosmodrome