As a fairly new but passionate Destiny player, do I care about what was shown at Bungie’s Destiny 2 gameplay reveal event? Yes, yes I do. There were a couple a big takeaways for me, but since almost every other site will be doing a play-by-play breakdown, let me give you my impressions of what is – in my opinion – the most important information.
The New Campaign
Obviously there was going to be a new campaign, but now we have more details about it. The Destiny 2 team says the new campaign will have more missions and cinematic than any previous Destiny installments. There’s at least one new Strike, one new Raid, and a slew of new Patrol-related activities to do.
Zavala, Ikora, and Cayde will also have some actual things to do in this game besides be exposition mannequins. At the event, they were shown in a more-or-less scripted capacity during the opening campaign mission. If they’re included in the missions beyond that, I don’t know if it’ll be in an escort mission-type capacity or if they will actually fight with you like any other AI. Time will tell. We do know that they’ll get scattered across the galaxy to what I assume will be class specific hubs on each of the new worlds. More on that later.
Bungie revealed a new function for pairing solo players with groups, thus allowing for all parties to have better and more streamlined access to content that has, until now, been locked behind the “co-operative” bullet-point in the Director. The “Guided Games” function is two-fold, incorporating clans into the physical operations of Destiny 2 and allowing those clans to recruit from a willing pool of solo players for one-time Raids, Nightfall strikes, etc. The recruitment doesn’t mandate registration in the clan, but simply allows people with smaller friends lists to have access to content that might have been difficult to complete in the first Destiny because of its player requirements. Clans will be getting an overhaul too, allowing for custom banners and a “collaborative rewards system,” the latter of which really wasn’t outlined beyond just its name. We’ll see how it plays out when the time comes.
Apparently, only 50% of players in Destiny ever completed a single Raid. It was this statistic that drove the team for Destiny 2 to make those kinds of player-heavy challenges more accessible to people outside the clan system. As a person outside the clan system, I am very appreciative.
Exploration: New Worlds and Opportunities
This might be what I’m most excited for. After the Tower falls in the opening mission of Destiny 2, the Guardians will find their new base of operations in the European Dead Zone. The EDZ was easily my favorite environment in any of Destiny’s Crucible maps, and I was really hoping we’d get to go there in Destiny 2. Of all the new worlds, this is actually the one I’m most excited to explore. I thought that Earth was severely underused in Destiny, so I’m glad we’re getting to see somewhere that isn’t just Russia. Beyond a new look at Earth, we’ll get to go to Titan (one of Saturn’s moons) and Io (a moon of Jupiter). Additionally, we’ll get to visit Nessus, a Vex machine-world of some sort. Not sure how that one will tie into the story, but the environments look very exciting.
There will be new activities to do on Patrols. Apparently, the Destiny 2 team wanted to step up the sidequest aspect of the game, including more NPCs out in the world. These NPCs can send you on “treasure map” activities or to “Lost Sectors.” These Lost Sectors appear to be hidden locations on the map (duh) which will play out like boss-encounter dungeons. The gist is that you’d stumble across a trove of loot and a boss; the boss has the key to the loot; kill the boss get the loot; confetti bursts from the sky. (Three of those things will actually happen in the game.) I’m very excited to see how these will play out and add to the overall exploratory functions of Destiny 2. I love exploring environments as a player, and I felt that after a while the patrol environments in Destiny became meaningless. I don’t think I’ve been on a Venus patrol in months. Hopefully these new additions will quell issues like that.
The map mechanics have been revamped as well, in which the word ‘revamped’ means opting for actually including a map in Destiny 2’s exploratory environments. You’ll have waypoints, detailed layouts of where you are, etc. They’ve also changed the Director so you won’t have to go to orbit just to go to another planet or activity. Destiny 2 Game Director Luke Smith said, “We want to remove as many barriers between your gun and your enemy’s face.” That’s the kind of quote I can dig.
You lose everything at the start of Destiny 2. Nothing but your physical appearance will carry over from Destiny. But, one way or another, we’ll get our powers back, and with those powers come new subclasses: The Titans will get the Sentinel subclass, a Captain America-style shield bashing and throwing ability (looks to play much like Athena in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel); the Warlocks will get the Dawnblade subclass, a solar sword throwing ability (seemingly like the current Titan’s Hammer of Sol); and the Hunters will get the Acrstrider subclass, an arc bo staff wielding/Matrix kicking and spinning/banging things over the head type subclass – just what any of my hunter friends could possibly want.
Beyond your new subclasses, all the Guardians will get revamped weapon slots. Instead of primary, secondary, and heavy, we’ll have kinetic, energy, and power, and it looks like the power weapons are bringing grenade launchers to Destiny. Supposedly, the change will bring more versatility to the way you equip your Guardian. I’ll have to see for myself when the Beta opens.
It was also announced, albeit more for the sake of applause than the need to announce an obvious inclusion, there will be tons of new armor, weapons, and exotics of both for Guardians to refill their demolished Vaults with.
Destiny 2 on PC
This one had already been announced previously, but a new juicier piece of information came about during the event. Apparently Destiny 2 will be available on PC, not via Steam, but exclusively through Blizzard’s Battle.net. Players of Overwatch and World of Warcraft are already intimately familiar with Blizzard’s game client, and now it looks at though Destiny fans will be as well. Seeing as I don’t have a PC, I’ll let people more qualified than myself elaborate on this one. All I will add is this: due to Bungie/Activision’s partnership with Blizzard, you can use Blizzard’s proprietary currency to purchase Destiny 2.
All in all, I think Destiny 2 looks very promising, building on what Destiny did right and adjusting what it did wrong. I can’t wait to play the Beta for myself and try out all the new goodies.
Oh, and the final and most important piece of information from the pre-stream festivities: Lance Reddick, the voice of Commander Zavala, plays as a Warlock in his free time. My whole world is shattered.