The Highlights Of Destiny 2’s Massive State Of The Game Post

The Highlights Of Destiny 2’s Massive State Of The Game Post

Paul Tassi

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Destiny 2


It has been quite a long while since Bungie has done a full State of the Game post about larger issues facing Destiny 2 and what’s coming in the future. These used to be a fixture in the Luke Smith era, and revealed some of the largest changes the game received over the years. Now, current Destiny 2 game director Joe Blackburn has released 5,300 words worth of updates about Lightfall, the year after, and some Final Shape tidbits.

I’ve read through this a few times now (I had an early copy) and I thought I’d try to summarize some of the highlights here to make the whole thing a bit more digestible. It’s broken down into four main sections, and I’ll cover each of them below:

Expand Players’ Imaginations:

  • Season of Defiance (attached to Lightfall) will do away with Umbrals and Umbral energyso it will only take glimmer and a seasonal engram to focus gear. These engrams will be stored at vendors, not in your inventory, creating less clutter there.
  • You will not need any more giant stacks of seasonal currencies to open chests at the end of activities. Singular keys will drop as you play that will allow you to open this chest, including from the activity itself so you don’t necessarily have to go grind non-seasonal stuff to get them. There will be more baseline rewards from normal complations and these bonus chests will now feel like true bonuses.
  • There will be fewer total vendor upgrades with each one being “potent” and change the way you interact with the seasonal activity.
  • Season of the Deep is the following season after Defiance. It’s going to create a “fresh” new activity that compares to Shattered Realm or the first Battlegrounds that debuted. They want to mix up the type of activities that seasons bring.
  • They aim to make Guardian Ranks aim to supplant the season pass rank number next to your name in terms of your progress as a whole and during seasons.
  • Also in this section is weapon crafting. There will be fewer total crafted weapons, but randomly rolled weapons will get better with a new “enhanced” system.
  • For starters, something like Raid Adepts will have a chance to drop “enhanced” which allows access to enhanced perks that are already on the weapon that will function like a normal crafted grind. They expect this will expand to most of the new, non-crafted weapon drops eventually.
  • Deepsight weapons will now never drop unless it’s something you need for pattern progress. In Season of the Deep, they are adding something that will “activate Deepsight” on any craftable weapon you don’t have a pattern for.
  • Overall, while they plan on keeping some secrets regarding seasons, they are not going to do as many fully secret seasons like they’ve done this yearwhich we’re already seeing with Season of the Deep.

Destiny 2


Bring Challenge Back to Destiny:

  • Bungie acknowledges that while trying to make everything on par with Stasis, they sort of power crept pretty hard with the light 3.0 subclasses.
  • We already got a preview at some of the changes in past tuning blogs, and changes like upping the cost of resilience mods should also help. They are balancing gear-driven buffs, but not sure if that’s more past what’s already been announced, or just what they’ve already covered.
  • They like how the +5 difficulty on Season of the Seraph’s playlist panned out, so they’re doing the same thing for not just Season of Defiance (which also has a Battlegrounds playlist)but also the Vanguard Ops playlistthough slightly less intense there. Neomuna itself is also going to have harder enemies in Patrol mode when you’re roaming around.
  • They are making a big change to the power system in The Final Shape, not Lightfall. They will keep “tweaking” them over this year. That includes things like keeping a Witch Queen-like power climb for Lightfall, but for Season of the Deep, for example, they aren’t raising the power or even the pinnacle cap at all.

Destiny 2


Enrich Our Content:

  • Countdown will return in Season of Defiance, along with something called Countdown Rush where players defuse bombs.
  • Crucible Labs is experimenting with a mode with a dramatically changed sandbox, altering weapon damage, ability uptime, even ammo in a mode called Checkmate Control.
  • The map Meltdown will arrive in Season of the Deep, a new Vex Network map will be in Season 22and Citadel will return in Season 23. (Nothing on Gambit maps, or Gambit, in this whole blog!)
  • There will be three Iron Banners per season this year, and they are looking for rewards and matchmaking changes to keep the Trials population at healthier levels.
  • Bungie is introduction an Exotic Mission Rotator that will bring back vaulted exotic missions that rotate weekly and offer rewards. This will start with three of the most recent ones, Presage, Vox Obscura and Operation: Seraph’s Shield. While they’re not named, Bungie says they hope they will use this rotator in the future to bring back other classic missions. Obviously Whisper, Zero Hour and Harbinger come to mind.
  • The Lake of Shadows and Arms Dealer strikes are getting a huge overhaul to better match current strike content like Lightblade and Proving Grounds. They are quasi-shelving Exodus Crash and The Inverted Spire which will not be Nightfalls and not come up nearly as much in Vanguard rotation until they too can be updated.
  • They are going to start making Battlegrounds into Nightfalls and GMs. This will start with (oh boy) the Mars Heist Battleground as a Nightfall in Season of Defiance, and more will be added each season.
  • Bungie wants to move way from putting exotic armor only in Lost Sectors and make it part of the ritual pursuit, though that isn’t happening for Defiance. There are more changes coming to core rituals in general but there will be more details further into the year, likely in the season before Final Shape drops.

Destiny 2


Connect Our Guardians:

  • They talk about how they think the new Commendations system is going to be a good thing for the community, something that hasn’t been featured much in pre-Lightfall promos, but they’re excited about it.
  • Chat is going to be on by default rather than opt-in like it is now so more people have a chance to connect. You can still permanently opt-out and leave chat quickly if it’s bad.
  • Fireteam Finder has been delayed. They wanted to debut it in season 22, but they are now pushing it out until later in the year. They want it to have a lot of features and they want it to be fully ready to go for launch.

My Take:

I’ll probably do something longer on this, but I’m posting this scheduled ahead of time because I’m on a trip and can’t do something like a lengthy video just yet.

I do like a lot of what I’m seeing here, especially the ideas of making seasons less grindy, the exotic mission rotator and refreshing old Vanguard Strikes that just don’t fit in with the current sandbox at all given how much has changed. I know some people will be skeptical about even more Battlegrounds coming in Defiance, but I like them, and they say Season of the Deep is doing something different.

I do still worry that what appears to be one fully new Crucible map and zero Gambit maps (or anything about Gambit) is not enough to support those activities in the way that they need. I also feel like crafting remains kind of a Pandora’s Box and maybe we should have just done this enhanced system with everything to start with.

Lot to process here, but I appreciate Joe taking the time to do a massive post like this, as I think the game definitely needed one. It’s going to be another interesting year, one that seems to have learned a good amount from the previous twelve months in many ways. More to come.

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I’ve been writing about video games, television and movies for Forbes for over 10 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. I cover all manner of console and PC games, but if it’s about looting or shooting, I’m definitely there. If I’m watching something, it’s usually science fiction, horror or superheroic. I’m also a regular on IGN’s Fireteam Chat podcast and have published five sci-fi novels.

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