Why I Am Excited For Destiny 2
The creative team, smart changes to the system, and tons of replay value have me excited for Destiny 2
The year was 2015. After a year of existence, Destiny had left many people, myself included, frustrated and disappointed. A paltry debut known as vanilla, combined with two mediocre DLCs, had most people feeling as if Destiny was over with. A good experiment that had faltered.
The game was wrought with criticism and echoes of “too much water”. The development team themselves struggled to define what this game really was supposed to be. They didn’t know.
After losing their lead narrative, and undergoing a massive late change to the fundamental story of the game, Destiny was left in disarray. While there was still a strong community of people playing the game, mostly for its one selling point, its enticing gameplay, the end seemed to be near in sight.
What had happened to the Bungie of the past? The one’s who had created the legendary franchise Halo? Was this it for Destiny? Were the talks of a 10 year cycle gone from existence? (This would be turn out to be true).
Then came September 2015, and the release of Destiny: The Taken King (or Destiny year 2). There was a unique story that made sense. Simple, yes, but a story nonetheless. A villain named Oryx we could set our sights on; one who had reason to destroy us. With him, an insane amount of Destiny backstory and lore, which fleshed out the universe in incredible amounts of depth. In addition, spectacular, riveting cut scenes that fueled the story.
On top of that, from a gameplay and game standpoint, Destiny had improved immensely. The nonsensical leveling system of vanilla was removed and replaced with a much smarter, much easier to comprehend light system. The bevy of new armor, weapons, and collectibles had players feasting over loot.
A new location called the Dreadnought, ripe with secrets and a litany of activities, including the best patrol grind to this day, the Court of Oryx, had players en masse scouring the vastness of this location. The introduction of quests, specifically exotic quests, had given players more items to strive for. Some of the best and rarest weapons of the game could only be gained through these quests, instead of mere random drops. It gave the 1% of players, the hardcore Destiny players, the grind they were looking for.
To top it all, Destiny: The Taken King gave us Destiny’s best raid. The King’s Fall raid was equally lengthy and challenging. King’s Fall required constant communication and teamwork in order to get through every stage. Most important, it was fun and rewarding. The first time through was treacherous, but delightful.
The addition of challenge mode to the raid made it even more fun and test-worthy (again, another way to please the hardcore players). Perhaps the biggest bonus, besides the fact that it had the most rewarding grind, was that the raid fit in the narrative. The ‘final boss’ was none other than Oryx himself. Killing him and sending him out into space remains to this day, one of my fondest Destiny memories.
Now the game certainly was not perfect, but it was easily Destiny at its pinnacle. Long gone were the days of vanilla Destiny, and being angry at this game. Sure, another cycle of drought would arrive eventually, but those few months were the best Destiny ever was.
The same creative team, Mark Noseworthy and Luke Smith, that were behind The Taken King, are behind Destiny 2. This is why I am excited for Destiny 2. There are no two other people that I have faith in more to deliver a great Destiny game than Noseworthy and Smith.
Yes, just because The Taken King was fantastic, does not mean that Destiny 2 automatically will be. However, given all of what we have seen, played, and heard about, I have absolute faith in Destiny 2.
Some people were still skeptical after the beta, with many calling the game “Destiny 1.5”. Given the number of reveals since the beta, I honestly cannot see how anyone can make that statement. The reveal of the European Dead Zone or EDZ alone, shows that that is not the case.
With much more of an emphasis put on the single player PVE experience, Destiny 2 is giving players more replayability than they bargained for. Patrols are no longer mindless farming rituals. Instead, patrol areas have become ripe with activities and secrets, much like the Dreadnought from The Taken King.
However, unlike the Dreadnought, these patrols are not merely going to be on one location. We are going to have 4 large locations, full of areas to explore. Seeing the vastness of the EDZ alone, that is a lot of ground to cover.
Public events are now no longer small farming activities you randomly spring upon. Instead, they are large, enticing events, that compel players to join not only because of how entertaining they are, but because of how rewarding they are. The addition of heroic public events, gives players another option for endgame loot. Combined with the weekly flashpoints, public events just became the new hotspot in Destiny 2.
In addition to the public events, patrols now also have adventures. Adventures are short missions that will help expand the story and lore of Destiny 2, while giving you a reward. As someone who is enamored with the Destiny universe, the more story I can get, the better. Plus, with the recent reveal that there will be lore tabs for weapons and armour, we will finally be getting all that juicy lore that has been in grimoire cards for the past 4 years.
While patrolling, you will also encounter lost sectors. Various hidden places around the world where you must defeat a mini-boss to obtain some loot. Now, people were complaining that the lost sectors seemed very easy to find and complete. I expect that as we progress through the game, some lost sectors are going to be much more difficult to find, and come with harder bosses and more rewarding loot.
The removal of bounties, as far as we know, and the introduction of challenges, is a clever way of having players complete different tasks in various manners, without having to go back and forth to turn in bounties and collect rewards.
All of that being said, the most important aspect of patrols is the new NPC that is going to be at each location. We were introduced to Devrim Kay, the EDZ NPC, who has a collection of weapons, armor, and collectibles for us to obtain through EDZ tokens.
The introduction of EDZ tokens, which are earned through all of the various activities that you will be doing while patrolling, gives players a purpose to patrol. As you complete activities, you will earn tokens to rank up your specific level at that location. Doing so will give us rewards, as veteran players will be accustomed to. This is a super intelligent way to get players to grind specific locations, in order to obtain all of the items they can for a specific area. Not to mention, to help them get more powerful.
Here is what I am hoping for, in Destiny 1, upon obtaining a certain rank with a faction, you get an exotic from that faction (or later on, a quest to obtain said exotic). These were cosmetic items with buffs, but there were very unique and rare. I hope that D2 will have the same sort of system in tact, and upon reaching a certain level for an NPC, a player is granted an exotic, or a quest to obtain an exotic. This would be a great way to entice players to continue to grind specific areas in order to obtain those super-rare items.
In addition, the simplification of currency is a huge bonus for Destiny 2. Instead of having 7–8 different types of currency, there are now only 2 main types: Glimmer and Legendary shards. This will streamline and make the game much more understandable to everyone, especially new players.
Currency was always a difficult issue in Destiny, with the game going through various cycles of eliminations and additions for transactions. Having two major currencies that are used for nearly everything, will finally give the player a feeling that they have never had before, a feeling of being rich. With the amount caps and various currencies in Destiny 1, you always felt limited as a player as to what you could get. Now, you will be able to earn an abundance of glimmer and legendary shards, and will have options and choices as to how you spend it.
With the new emphasis on patrols, easily Destiny 1’s weakest activity, being worthwhile and rewarding, I have faith that Destiny 2 will deliver on all accounts. The mere fact that they have taken the weakest link, and made it into one of, if not the game’s, strongest component, and a litany of quality of life improvements, leads me to believe that Destiny 2 will finally be the game we are all hoping for.
If patrols have become so great, I strongly believe that the other activities will follow suit. Given the rumors about the Nightfall having two difficulty modes, locked loadouts, and a timer… that sounds incredible. The 1% will be immensely pleased.
I can only hope that the raid will be the best raid yet. With Luke Smith behind it, and being the person who was behind Destiny’s best raids, Vault of Glass and King’s Fall, I have confidence that it will deliver. Given all the theories and speculation about it, it is safe to say that we might be in for the craziest raid so far.
If you are still skeptical, I understand. There’s no reason why you should feel coerced into preordering or buying a game that has slighted you in the past. However, given what I have seen so far, and what I can only hope for, I absolute faith that Destiny 2 will deliver the game that was promised to us when Destiny 1 came out. It might have taken them 4 years to get here, but hey, at least they did.
Note: Look out for my Destiny 2 ongoing review in the coming weeks. Follow me on Twitter @branddnh to know my short thoughts on what I am doing. Expect to see me stream on Twitch @branddnh when the game launches at midnight 12 EST, and all day afterwards!