Destiny — Bungie reveals a stream to reveal more

Each week, Bungie’s community managers DeeJ and Cozmo prompt their followers to hit F5 — refreshing the webpage and revealing the latest news update from the Washington based studio. This week was no exception, and on Thursday DeeJ revealed that an announcement about Destiny’s next update would be less than 24 hours away.

Tomorrow, we’ll begin the conversation about what’s next, including some fresh challenges for you to tackle and the sandbox changes that were previewed last week. This article will hit the blog at 9AM Pacific.

Fast-forward to the following day, and with baited breath, Destiny players eagerly checked the announcement. The big reveal? That they’ll be announcing more next week.

OK, there was a little more info than just that.

Bungie confirmed what most players had already suspected — gear and progression from Destiny 1 will not carry over to Destiny 2. Your character’s original appearance (gender, hair colour/style, markings, etc) will, allowing you to continue to ‘be’ the same Guardian, but aside from some Veterans package likely containing the Destiny 2 equivalent of shaders and emblems, you’ll be starting from scratch.

It’s a shame, as many were invested in the oft-touted “10 year plan” for Destiny, and had hoped to continue in the next title with the same Guardian they started out on — but this is no MMO that constantly evolves, and a new title was in all likelihood going to mean starting over.

However, it is what they didn’t say that was of most interest in this short announcement.

Age of Triumph

The next update to Bungie’s flagship title will be released at the end of March, 2017. It is the final scheduled content update to the game they released in September 2014, with all eyes then focused on a Destiny sequel some time later in the year.

The update has a name — “Age of Triumph”. Keen Destiny players will see the similarity here with “Moments of Triumph”, the annual checklist of activities Bungie prompt players to complete as they round off one year and launch the next.

At the end of Destiny’s first year, players could track their progress towards their Year 1 Moments of Triumph through the website, seeing them complete the main story arcs from the initial release and the two DLC’s — The Dark Below and House of Wolves — as well as completing both available raids on their hardest difficulty.

Moments of Triumph from Destiny’s first year. All complete. Obv.

The following year, Moments of Triumph could be tracked in-game, via a record book system first employed for the Sparrow Racing League event, with a similar set of goals that encouraged players to complete the Taken King story arc as well as the newest raid and all boss challenges.

With the Rise of Iron release, Bungie flipped this approach on it’s head, giving players the record book up front — perhaps in response to the (ludicrous) criticism that players didn’t have time to complete the preceding Moments of Triumph book (despite having a full year to get it done). So a Year 3 Moments of Triumph book is unlikely, given it’d be a repetition of the activities players are already ticking off.

And so what could this update entail to deserve a name so synonymous with the Moments of Triumph concept? Perhaps the Age of Triumph suggests something larger, covering Destiny’s full gamut of content, from each Guardian’s first steps outside the wall of the Cosmodrome, to the final moments in the Perfection Complex where Aksis is slain. But much of that content is ‘irrelevant’ — low level activities that are a cakewalk for the best geared Guardians.

High on the wishlist of features most desired by Destiny players each time an update comes around is to see a return of such old content now made irrelevant by players’ advancing light levels. One activity in particular is the Vault of Glass; Destiny’s first and arguably best raid. It was mysterious, puzzling, and full of excellent weapons and armour. Some of that mystery and puzzle is no doubt attributed to the fact it was the first raid, and so players didn’t know what to expect; the challenges in later raids made easier because fire-teams knew what to look out for.

Nonetheless, it’d be a fitting sign-off to Destiny to see all of it’s content made relevant and rewarding. Could this be the Age of Triumph Bungie are referring to?

The signs are there. In the news post from today, the thumbnail used below the details of the reveal stream is of a Vex. The Vex haven’t formed a significant part of the Destiny story since 2014, with the updates since then focusing on Hive and Fallen activities. What’s more, he’s stood in front of the kind of Vex gate found in 2 places — the Black Garden (vanilla Destiny’s final story mission) and the Vault of Glass.

A Vex Minotaur. Often found stood outside the Vault of Glass, preventing fireteams from entering.

The second image — under the heading “Age of Triumph Weekly Rituals” — shows 4 familiar activity icons (Daily Crucible, Daily Story, Heroic Strike Playlist and Nightfall) with 2 new icons appearing to the right. The first shows some Fallen iconography — it looks to be combination of the Prison of Elders icon and the Challenge of Elders icon. The other is quite clearly the icon used for raids. A weekly raid activity? We have challenge modes for raid bosses in 2 of the 4 raids — but could this perhaps mean a weekly raid challenge?

The two icons on the right are familiar, but allude to new weekly activities on the Director

The third image shows a Hunter clearly surrounded by the kind of Vex architecture found in the Vault of Glass (and elsewhere on Venus).

A Hunter adorned in new gear, stood with familiar Vault architecture behind him

And some of the more recent Strike updates have included mechanics not seen since the first 2 raids — specifically, the use of the Relic from the Vault of Glass and the Sword from Crota’s End. Was this Bungie reminding us how they worked, and giving newer players the chance to gain experience with them?

Furthermore, it is Destiny’s Live Team producing these updates — the Development Team proper having long since moved on to work on Destiny 2. Updating old content to surely an easier task for a smaller team like this.

We’ll find out more and hope for confirmation next Wednesday, with Bungie due to livestream further details on their channel.