Bungie Discusses New Content, Multiplayer Changes, the Future of Destiny

Destiny 2 has finally, truly been revealed. Bungie and Activision finally lifted the curtain on the much-anticipated sequel, showcasing gameplay for the first time. Hardcore Gamer was able to sit down with Bungie’s Community Manager, David ‘DeeJ’ Dauge to discuss what new stuff Destiny 2 brings to the table and what the future holds for the franchise. For more on Destiny 2, be sure to check out our in-depth preview of the campaign, Inverted Spire strike and multiplayer.

[Hardcore Gamer] Set up the premise. How long after Rise of Iron does Destiny 2 pick up? Where are we at as Guardians?

[DeeJ] We pick up the adventure where it last left off. You are a Guardian of the last safe city, except it’s not so safe anymore. The entire might of the Cabal military descend upon you. Dominus Ghaul leads the Red Legion, the most dreaded fighting force in Cabal Empire to scatter the Guardians across the Solar System and capture the Traveler for himself. So, in the opening act, we lose everything that makes us a Guardian. Our power, our weapons, our armor, it’s all gone. Scattered into the wild, we’re going to find new subclasses, new power, new weapons and armor so that we can become more powerful, regroup the survivors, and launch an attack to reclaim that was rightfully ours.

This is a full-blown sequel rather than an expansion like The Taken King, so there’s going to be a lot of new stuff. Is anything from Destiny returning?

Just about everything you love about Destiny is returning. We’ve got a campaign with a series of story missions that tell a grand tale of courage and heroism. We have strikes. Of course, we’ve got a brand-new Raid, which I can say nothing about because it’s the pinnacle activity. We have different ways to explore the world. We’ve all been on Patrols, but now there are Lost Sectors to discover, public events with heroic activities, adventures given to us by MPCS. Finally, of course, there’s the Crucible for when we want to step away from the fight against the enemies.

When Destiny first launched in 2014, it received a mixed reception. There was a consensus among fans and critics that there just wasn’t enough content. With Destiny 2 being a full-blown sequel, how are you approaching content so that it doesn’t end up like its predecessor?

The story campaign has more missions and cinematics than you’ve ever seen in a Destiny game. The player experience has more variety, more types of activities, and more ways for you to enjoy the experience by yourself, or with other players. It is, in terms of the action you’ll enjoy, a more diverse experience than any Bungie game ever.

Are some of the old weapons and armor returning in Destiny 2, or is it purely going to be new stuff for players to collect?

We’re not bringing back any of the old weapons and armor because all that stuff is turned to ash and dust by the Cabal. That’s one of the great things about Destiny 2. It enables us to create a brand-new tale with a fresh start for every single player. Whether you’re someone who looked at Destiny from afar, feeling like you couldn’t jump into the world or feeling like you’ve been left behind, or whether you’re a veteran player with 100% completion in your record book, you are all joining this new adventure on equal footing. You will be attacked in the same moment. You will all lose the things that your Guardian holds dear. You will all need to go out into the wild and rebuild from the ground up.

In Destiny we got to visit Mars, Venus, the Moon and the Cosmodrome on Earth. What all new worlds are we going to explore this time? Are any of the older worlds returning?

We have all-new worlds to explore. Immediately after the opening act, your character is exiled into the European Dead Zone. It’s an Earth destination and the biggest map we’ve ever created by far. You will explore this destination and its lush forests. That’s really where you’ll start your new journey. You’ll journey to Titan, an oceanic moon. The entire moon is one big sea, but there are these human installations that were erected during the Golden Age. You’ll go to Io, which is one of Jupiter’s moons and is the last place the Traveler touched before the Collapse. It’s a place of magic and mysticism. Finally, you’ll go to Nessus, which is an unstable planetoid that has been completely transformed into a machine world by the Vex.

With the Crucible, you’ve downsized the player count. It’s now 4v4…

There were some 3v3 modes like Trials of Osiris. With Destiny 2, we’ve met somewhere in the middle. Every game mode is 4v4 now instead of 3v3 or 6v6. We’ve created a scenario where every single player in the Crucible plays an important role on their team. We’ve placed an emphasis on strategy, teamwork, and communication. You’re going to think a lot about how you back each other up, how you play together.

But why go smaller? Is there no large player count multiplayer modes? Why not go bigger?

We think that a lot of players are going to be pretty surprised about how 4v4 changes the landscape. In terms of being on a big team in Destiny, that’s the Raid. The pinnacle activity in our game is all about being in a Fireteam of six and solving the biggest mysteries in the game together.

What we want to do is make every player in Destiny feel essential. We want every single player to feel like a superhero that gets to save the day at some point during the match. As a support player, I’m guilty on many occasions of hanging back and scoring assists. In Destiny 2, I’m going to be provoked into being a hero and helping my team of four in the competitive landscape.

You talk about the four-people having different and important roles in the Crucible. I’m curious as to why you didn’t add a fourth class. Every match will have at least one duplicate class. Doesn’t that defeat the idea that each player has an important role to play?

We liked the way the Hunter, Titan and Warlock complement each other. In terms of the lore, these are all disciplines that took centuries to discover and master. At this moment in time, the theme is about losing those abilities and rediscovering them. It’s about mastering them in some new and exciting ways.

We’ve created a game that has its own culture now and every Destiny player has adapted to the current classes. What we wanted to do was strip those powers away, make players think about their characters in some new and exciting ways, and then embrace new forms of fighting within each subclass.

Destiny 2 is being fully developed with the current-gen consoles and PC in mind. How has being able to just focus on these current platforms improved the presentation?

We delivered a solid experience on all platforms we shipped Destiny on. With Destiny 2 being on modern hardware we’re able to create bigger environments, more elaborate activities for more players to enjoy, and put more enemy combatants on screen.

What’s the future of Destiny. It’s an IP that has been embraced fondly by millions of people. Where do you see it going in the next couple of years?

It’s a difficult thing to predict. I know that we’re going to constantly pay attention to how the community plays the game. We’re going to listen to the things they talk to us about. We’re going to take their suggestions and blend it with our vision for how the franchise can evolve and change. We’ll always give those who play Destiny new challenges to face, and we’re going to send them to new worlds. We’re always going to tell new stories and keep players guessing. We don’t want Destiny to become stagnant or predictable.

This is something that I think a lot of people want to know. Are microtransactions returning?

There will be some elective ways that you can invest in your character, but they’re not things that we’re talking about today.

Destiny 2 is out September 8 with a beta out this summer. Any new info on exactly when in the summer the beta will hit?

Not yet, but I promise that I will talk to you all about when it will happen as soon as we nail that down. It will happen this summer, obviously, and then on September 8 Destiny 2 will be available on PS4 and Xbox One. We’ll solidify and announce the PC ship date when we have it ready.

There will be PS4 Pro and Xbox Scorpio support?

We don’t have any announcements to make about the Scorpio, but PlayStation has confirmed that the PS4 support will be there at launch.