We’re edging closer to the final season of year 3 of Destiny 2 and with that comes rising speculation of what’s to come not only for next season but in the months and years to come for Destiny 2. Luke Smith has come out recently and started giving the community little hints as to what we could expect. The following is a look at the future of Destiny 2.
Gothalion recently tweeted his excitement for the build-up to the summer and fall in Destiny after last week’s This Week At Bungie, and Luke Smith came out to reply directly by saying “You are not prepared”.
On first viewing this seems fairly innoxious, however, this references World of Warcraft. Both Luke Smith and Gothalion were big WOW players back in the day with this reference coming from the Burning Crusade expansion.
Luke Smith doesn’t tend to comment in the public conversation very much and if he does then it’s very deliberate. You can see from last week’s This Week At Bungie, directly from Luke Smith himself, he’s starting to get excited about the fall expansion, the DLC and beyond. There were a few points in the This Week At Bungie and combined with the limited details from the tweet we can expand and discuss.
Let’s have a look at the quote from Luke:
First of all Luke mentioned the Fall Expansion directly for the first time. We’ve been speculating about what could happen in Fall for some weeks, ever since the Pyramid Ships countdown timer showed up in the Tower and told us the Darkness are on the perimeter of the Solar System. In the fall expansion, we’re likely to see the arrival of the Pyramid Ships, perhaps a new race to fight, new locations to explore and perhaps the loss of some old locations.
Looking into the Burning Crusade reference a little deeper, this was an expansion to World of Warcraft with the return of the Burning Legion. They were a vast army of demons who’s last invasion unsuccessful in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. The expansion also featured the ravaged world of Outland which the Burning Legion controlled.
This has some stark similarities with Destiny with the Pyramid Ships attacking before during the Collapse, but ultimately winning out with the intervention fo the Traveller. Also, their potential to change the environments, stating to use during our face to face meeting… they are our salvation.
Luke has mentioned World of Warcraft before, during the Directors Cut part 1 when describing the Menagerie he said
“The Menagerie – a six-player matchmade activity where you make progress no matter what – is awesome. Its “learn-by-watching mechanics” means that it doesn’t require communication between players. The way groups can make progress – even if they don’t kill the boss – means the real efficiency gain is by learning and executing the fights quickly. Hasapiko, Beloved by Calus — and also beloved by me — feels like a great translation of World of Warcraft’s Heigan the Unclean** into an action game.”
In admiring elements of WOW as a game designer and player, and Destiny moving more into the world of an action-MMO we’re likely to see successful elements recreated in Destiny with invading forces, and in the future maybe even a dark vs light split (more on that later on).
Another key point from Luke’s words were the mention of year 4, 5 and 6 which would take the game into 2023. We had been speculating about the arrival of Destiny 3, however, that now seems like years away with the hint that Destiny 2 could live on for a few years yet.
Bungie is likely to be looking at the lessons learned from when they launched a rather bare-bones Destiny 2 back in 2017. The game back then had removed random rolls, bounties, and introduced a new 4v4 PVP system all of which didn’t go down too well with fans with many of the features rolled back to a Destiny 1 state in the following years with Forsaken and Shadowkeep.
Bungie also recently came out to confirm that Destiny 2 was going to appear on next-generation consoles with a direct reply to Microsoft’s tweet indicating companies they were working with to bring games to Xbox Series X. We should be seeing more from Bungie in the Summer whether it be in partnership with Xbox for some Series X and next-gen promotion, and a few live streams of their own. Geoff Keighley has his Summer Games Fest too, and if Bungie are going to be promoting their next expansion then I would imagine they would have a slot here somewhere. Together with Luke’s indication of years 4, 5 and 6 it looks like Destiny 2 is going to live on for some time.
Even though the game is going to live on with the title Destiny 2 for now, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be the same game. Luke Smith has said before the game cannot continue to grow exponentially and they had been experimenting with seasonal models that introduced and then took away activities. We may be on the verge of whole locations being removed with the arrival of the Darkness. Rather than blowing up the Tower, and all of our loot with it, Destiny could be changed and sculpted around us.
Looping back to the impending arrival of the Pyramid Ships they could be used to help reshape the world around us. They may destroy some locations – Titan, Mercury, Io and Nessus could be at risk here. If the Pyramid ships do arrive then we could add one of these to our patrol spaces, or perhaps a raid location.
With the countdown clock in the game, all the cut scenes we’ve had it’s not beyond a stretch of the imagination for them to arrive in the fall DLC. But what about beyond that? What are we going to do in year’s 5 and 6? We do have plenty of unfinished storylines in the game with Savathun and ending the cycle on the Dreaming City.
We also haven’t yet filled the Hunter Vanguard spot and we have a lost Uldren Sov wandering around the outskirts of the Last City, with no memory of who he is, or why everyone is abusing and attacking him. This was the main focus for year 2 with Savathun growing stronger and stronger with her murder battery creation in the looping cycle of the Dreaming City. This has the potential to be a huge storyline, and one we could potentially revisit during year 5.
We also made a choice during year 2 of Destiny 2 to either side with the Vanguard or The Drifter. The final point there brings up potentially one of the most exciting storylines – the potential for Dark Guardians and reworks to our subclasses. We’ve been discussing the idea of Dark Guardians for some time in the community, and Guardians being tempted by the darkness has been there for some time. Shin Maphur would tempt Guardians with mysteries and the powers of the Darkness as bait, to draw out those tempted to hun them down. “I have built the perfect trap with which to cull the weak-willed,” said Shin in a Lore entry called Revelations and Invitations.
How they do it I am not sure, but adjusting the subclasses would be one way to extend the longevity of Destiny 2. We haven’t had a major rework since the inception of Destiny 2, with the last addition coming in the Forsaken Expansion – however, this was more of an addition rather than a rework. The introduction of Dark Guardians and splitting the player base, again going back to another World of Warcraft reference with Horde vs Alliance, could be one way to go.
It feels like we’re a few story beats away from that at the moment. I can see us fighting the Darkness, and potentially be provided with a choice either at the end of the battle or shortly afterwards. Perhaps during our final battle, we consume the power of the darkness and either choose to destroy it or consume it. I can see the look on Zavala’s face in my mind as I think about it.
There’s lots of story material and lore we have to play with and if we’re going to be going on until 2023 on next-generation platforms then we’re going to need that material. I think there’s a high probability Bungie will drop the 2 and simply rename it to Destiny, or Destiny Infinite or something similar.
Let me know what you think about the future of Destiny 2. Where are we going in the fall expansion, and what do you think about next-gen and years 4, 5 and 6.