Bungie just finished a lengthy stream detailing Year Two of Destiny 2, or Year Five of the series as a whole. That kicks off with the Forsaken expansion this fall, but they also went into a bit more detail of what we can expect from the following year. And things, they are a-changing.
I probably should have taken a lot more notes during the stream instead of live-tweeting the entire thing, but here’s all the important info that you should know about what they just revealed. There’s a lot, including some sweeping changes to some core elements of the game.
We got relatively few story details in this stream, which are supposedly being saved for E3, but we did learn that like The Taken King, this is a Cayde-focused expansion, and the story opens with a prison break where a bunch of baddies Cayde has locked up all escape. Bungie said that Forsaken has more of a western vibe, set in a part of the Reef we haven’t been to before made up of stitched-together asteroids.
New Enemies, Sort Of
Fans were hoping for an entirely new race of enemies to fight rather than just reskins, and we appear to be landing somewhere in the middle. Our main antagonists in this game are a tribe of pirate Fallen led by a number of “barons” who we must hunt down and kill, possibly in the story, possibly in the strikes and raid, not sure. While yes, they are still Fallen, at least what was shown onscreen seemed to show that these were more than just reskins and showcased enemies with a lot of new attacks and mechanics, especially the bosses. Again, perhaps it’s just like we saw with the Cabal in D2 where they added a few new enemy types and that was it, but this did look like a fair amount of new foes, even if they are still Fallen. We’ll have to see.
New Subclasses, Sort Of
Again, I didn’t get my wish as there is no new fourth Guardian class, but there are new subclass branches that appear to end in entirely new supers. Right now the two paths for each subclass both end in the same super, but that’s about to change. And it appears to be more than just one per class. New Warlock arc and void supers were shown off, and Hunters have exploding solar knives and what appear to be void blades. Titans have a huge two-handed hammer to join their little hammers. I assume these are just new paths and not replacing old ones, but I’m not 100% sure yet, and D2 did flat-out replace old elemental classes, so who knows.
The one new weapon type presented was not the return of LMGs (boo) but the addition of bows (yay). There will be close, mid and long range bows, and they look pretty badass from what we’ve seen. In a game known for its shooting, I will be curious to see how these feel, but bows are all the rage now in games from Tomb Raider to Horizon Zero Dawn, so it seems like a good addition.
Are back. Bungie also briefly mentioned changes to the mod system about making each gun your own, but they didn’t really get into much detail about that.
I’m still trying to fully puzzle this one out. What seems to be the case is that you can now put any weapon in any slot (there are still three). So what that means is that you can keep D2’s dual primary system if you want, or you can go back to D1 with primary, sniper/shotgun/fusion and heavy. Orrrrr you can go nuts and do 3 shotguns, 3 snipers, whatever. While I have no idea what kind of ammo and balance issues this creates, more freedom is probably better than less, so I like it, provided it doesn’t end up totally breaking the game.
We have been hearing about a “new way to play” Destiny for a long time now, and thank god it’s here and it isn’t a battle royale mode. Rather, it’s Gambit, where two teams are in PvE arenas where they kill enemies to bank tokens and prevent the other team from doing so. Summon and burn down your boss first, and you win. There’s a twist here where you can also send a member of your team to invade the other arena and attack the rival Guardians as they fight. There’s a lot more to explore and process here, but I have not really seen or heard of anything in this genre like this before, and it sounds pretty cool. I’m looking forward to playing it.
The Dreaming City
Bungie has designed a separate area just for endgame content full of secrets and bosses and also home to the raid. I believe it’s not just the raid, as I think players will be able to do other activities there, but I’m not sure. It looks like Rivendell from LOTR. Need to hear more about it, but I like the idea of a dedicated, high level endgame zone that isn’t solely about the raid alone.
Destiny 2 is inserting a brand new achievement tracking/gear tracking system in game which I absolutely love. I’ve been suggesting something like this for eons, and it’s great to finally see something like it in the game. This will track all the stuff you’ve amassed so you can see where to get what you’re missing, and it should allow you to re-purchase stuff you’ve already dropped, freeing up additional vault space (though 200 more vault slots are being added). Achievements track kills and other feats in-game, and there’s also a lore tab that looks like the closest thing to an in-game Grimoire we’ve seen to date.
The Annual Pass
Alright, now we’re getting into “uh oh, how are fans going to take this?” territory. It’s well known that Years 2 and 3 of Destiny 1 were rather lackluster, filled with only live events and little else between major fall releases. Bungie is looking to change that. Live events will still happen, but they’re now offering an “Annual Pass” that is essentially a year-long Battle Pass that will allow access to endgame content, new weapons and gear and new lore among other things in three different content “releases” that are not large pieces of story DLC like we’ve seen this year, but more substantive than what we saw in D1 during its “off years.” You can buy Forsaken and the Annual Pass for $70, or the Pass by itself for $40. This is likely to be controversial, but honestly for an entire year, it doesn’t seem that bad. For $40, or like $3-4 a month, that’s full access to all Destiny’s new content for an entire year. Granted, we don’t know what exactly is in those content releases, but on the surface, it doesn’t sound horrible. But we’ll need to know more, clearly.
I know that I’m probably missing a few things that were presented today, but I’m amazed I remembered as much as I did. I’ll have more analysis to come but yeah, I’m pretty impressed and satisfied with what I’m seeing here, and I am definitely looking forward to September. Don’t give up on Destiny 2 yet. You might regret doing so, as it continues to improve.