Destiny 2 story to take "completely different approach" in future seasons
Bungie has changed Destiny 2 quite a lot since Shadowkeep launched.
The fourth major expansion to the game coincided with the introduction of the game's eighth season – Season of the Undying – and the move for the base game to a free-to-play model.
Bungie's new-found freedom since its separation from Activision earlier in the year has manifested in a notable way for players: the seasonal structure has evolved to a point where there are now run-on, consequential activities and story beats from one season to the next.
Destiny's 'living world' is really starting to feel truly alive thanks to the interplay between seasons. Season 8 saw Guardians triumph over the Vex's time travelling mega-weapon, the Undying Mind, and as a result, free Osiris from a time loop in the Infinite Garden.
This is just the beginning of what Bungie wants to do with this seasonal cadence – and it sounds like the developer has bigger, more complex plans for future seasons, too.
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"We are 100% going to continue to experiment with the way Destiny tells stories as we head forward," Rachel Levine, producer at Bungie tells Daily Star in an exclusive interview.
"Where we want to go with Destiny hasn’t really been discussed, and we’re not going to talk about that here, but we are excited to pursue different avenues of the story in the future."
Levine tells us that the way Bungie has been experimenting over the last two seasons is indicative of what the studio wants to do going forward – that this incremental method of storytelling has really found its feet in the seasonal cadence since Shadowkeep dropped.
"The narrative leads, the writers we have – they’re all very excited to take Destiny in a completely different approach with the help of [Luke Smith] on the Franchise team. [All the developers] are in alignment with [wanting to go in a new direction]."
"People on the team want to pursue thing they have not yet been able to pursue. Stories are still beginning and burgeoning, and there’s an excitement in the team about where the future is going."
At this point, the PR leans in to tell us that the seasonal team and the design team have had a closer working relationship with the franchise team – headed up by Destiny veteran Luke Smith – since the launch of Shadowkeep.
This means that the teams have been able to ‘handshake’ the seasons as they pass over – which is why we’ve seen this more consequential narrative manifest over the past two seasons.
"There is an overall creative vision about Destiny and how we want the world to evolve, and what stories we’re building to," adds David "Deej" Dague, community manager at the studio.
"There are major milestones we want players to experience, and there are times when a [new] season allows us to get new pieces on the board as we set up a payoff to them later.
"As a team, Bungie is working towards a common goal, rather than having teams leapfrog each other with offerings that aren’t connected.
"We have a grand vision, and we’re collaborating and cooperating between teams to get there."
Bungie seems to have settled into a healthy rhythm since Shadowkeep – the clearly communicated roadmap, the weekly dripfeed of new content and the renewed focus on iterative storytelling is keeping players more satisfied than ever before.
Though vocal parts of the community are always asking for more (a big performance patch for the game on all platforms is currently top of the community wishlist), the Destiny fanbase currently seems as satisfied as it ever has been.
And that's because, in Year 3, Bungie has finally found its rhythm with Destiny 2. It's spookily similar to how the original Destiny really found its stride in Year 3, starting with Rise of Iron.
"The seasonal cadence is a good opportunity for us to change the way the game plays," continues Dague.
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"It’s an opportunity for us to look at the combat meta, it’s an opportunity for us to massage weapon balance… even with swapping in and out the artefact, we give players a new opportunity to master their subclass and to perfect their approach to combat all over again."
We ask about what's coming in future seasons – if the hugely successful one-two punch of Season of the Undying and Season of Dawn means we'll see the developer take a new trajectory, or take risks in upcoming Seasons.
Of course, Levine and Deej couldn't tell us any specifics, but the latter's call for players to be 'open-minded' certainly makes us think the studio is brewing something big.
"Players should always assume that Destiny is going to change and evolve," Dague teases.
"Players need to stay open-minded and flexible about how this world will serve them with different challenges, and the options they’ll have to create and optimise their own characters in the future."
It's certainly a great time to be a Guardian.
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