Destiny 2 hasn’t been in a good place since its launch. The game scored highly on Metacritic mainly because most journalists couldn’t invest the time required to see it through to its flaws, but the hardcore fanbase quickly figured out that their Destiny experience had been watered down and stripped of almost everything that made the original Destiny great. Today, Bungie held their Year 2 Twitch stream reveal to talk more about the Forsaken expansion, as well as changes coming to the core Destiny 2 experience. Over the course of the 45-minute stream, 150,000 viewers were treated to talk of a new raid in the Dreaming City, a PvP and PvE game mode called Gambit, increased vault space, the Annual Pass, random weapon and armor rolls, collections, triumphs, and the greatest feature of all: bulk shader deletion.
Forsaken DLC Details
The Forsaken DLC will act almost like an entirely new game added onto the core Destiny 2 experience. Details are still coming in but think back to The Taken King in the original. This will feature new destinations to explore called the Tangled Shore and the Dreaming City, both part of the Reef. The Tangled Shore is home to a prison where Cayde-6 has been storing powerful enemies, and it looks like they’ve busted out. The Scorn enemy type was revealed, although not much is known about them. The Dreaming City will host the new raid (note that it’s not a raid lair) and is a location that could evolve over time. Again, details are sparse, but Bungie claims this raid will have more bosses than any other raid in Destiny history.
Destiny 2 Annual Pass
The Destiny 2 Annual Pass sounds a lot like a season pass but with a new name. It will feature three premium content releases over the year after it’s released. Black Armory is expected in winter 2018, Joker’s Wild arrives in spring 2019, and Penumbra will arrive in summer of 2019. These three releases will include new end game challenges, new weapons and armor, vanity rewards, new and returning exotics, pinnacle activities, triumph records, and new lore.
Gambit Game Mode
The Gambit game mode is a new concept to Destiny 2 and will be a hybrid between PvE and PvP. It will start with two teams that are separated. They must kill enemies and collect motes to bank them and toss obstacles (like bosses) at the enemy. Players can eventually invade the opposing team’s space. It’s a mode that begins as PvE but melts into PvP as the event progresses. Gambit will have its own place in the director and can be launched the same way Trials of the Nine or strikes can be launched.
Collections and Triumphs
One of the things I’ve always wanted in Destiny and Destiny 2 was a way to collect gear and display it. I’m not sure if we’re getting the ability to display it, but collections are coming in Year 2 with Forsaken. This will allow Guardians to track what gear they have and what gear they need directly from their character, which includes buying back exotics that may have been dismantled.
Triumphs are a returning from the original Destiny, which is a way to track the activities that Guardians take part in. There are categories for PvP and PvE, and typically completing them will come with some of their own vanity rewards. It’s a great way for hardcore players to set goals for themselves, and track what they have done and still need to do.
Year 2 Weapon Rolls and Changes
For those that aren’t aware, random armor and weapon rolls refer to the perks that come with a piece of gear. Consider Nameless Midnight, for example. It’s a great scout rifle in Destiny 2, but the Nameless Midnight that drops for me is the same one that drops for every other Guardian who ever gets one. Once you have it, you never need it again. You can dismantle the 55 Nameless Midnights that drop after the first one. There is no reason to seek out activities that could reward it in hopes of getting a better one. The one you have is the only one, and it doesn’t get better.
With random rolls, the perks that “roll” when a weapon drops for you might be different than the one that rolls for me. In the original Destiny, rolls could make a mediocre weapon good, a good weapon great, or even a great weapon mediocre. Players spent years grinding for the perfect Fatebringer from the Vault of Glass raid. They ran the Vault of Glass just for a shot at Fatebringer. When a weapon dropped, there was a pause as the Guardian would open their character screen and inspect it. Was this the time that I’d get the god roll?
Bungie screwed up big time when they removed random rolls going into Destiny 2. It would be like opening a hotdog cart without condiments. Hotdogs suck without condiments, and weapons in Destiny suck without random rolls. Well, after an astronomical amount of feedback, the community has gotten their way and weapon and armor rolls are coming back.
Weapon Slot Changes
Not a lot is known about this yet, but Guardians will soon be able to take three shotguns with them when they play. It looks like the weapon slots are being worked over to allow for more variety in loadouts. It may seem like a small change but opening weapon slots up for more customization will change the way teams approach activities. How much things are changing will be revealed as Bungie talks more about the Forsaken update throughout this summer.
Bow and Arrow Weapon Type
A new weapon coming to Destiny 2 is the bow and arrow. It’s another feature that we don’t know a lot about, but the idea of short, medium, and long-range bows was discussed. Also discussed was how the trade off for a bow instead of conventional weapon would be damage. A short clip showed a Guardian (presumably in PvP) being one-shot killed by a bow. That gets me thinking that this will be a weapon that rewards highly-skilled players. Either way, bows are cool and this is likely to be one of the hottest features added to Year 2.
New Raid in Dreaming City
Bungie was rather reserved with details on the new raid, but at no point did I hear them talk about a raid lair, so this should be a full raid activity. We know it takes place in the Dreaming City, and we heard that as players progress week after week, the Dreaming City could evolve, and new paths could open. It was first described as if Vault of Glass and the Dreadnaught had a baby. Developers described it as magical and weird, and boasted that it will feature more bosses than any Destiny raid thus far.
Bulk Shader Deletion and Vault Space
Year 2 will see two quality-of-life improvements to Destiny 2. Players are getting an additional 200 slots of vault space (bringing the total to 500 slots), and the ability to delete shaders in bulk. I can’t stress how important deleting shaders in bulk is. I have some stacks of shaders at 200 or more, and I will never wear those eye sores. My fireteam would boot me out for looking bad. However, I’m also not going to take a vacation day from work and turn off my phone to spend nine hours deleting them all, so they sit there. In Year 2, that stack of 200 shaders can be deleted in a single press or hold of a button.
Power Matters Again
One of the main complaints about Trials of the Nine and Iron Banner events is that they are just regular PvP activities when everyone’s power is put on a level playing field. In Year 2, these events will distinguish the power of one Guardian from another, meaning the Guardian with a higher level of power will have an advantage. It means that grinding to max power is worthwhile again, because you could have a rough time competing if you’re under leveled. Now, Bungie must do some major work to make the rewards in these events worth grinding for, otherwise why bother grinding power to compete in them? Currently, all the Iron Banner has to offer is new ornaments on old armor. No thanks.
New Super Abilities
Bungie showed off some new super abilities during the opening cinematic of their stream. I’m not sure if the names are correct, but Hunters had what were referred to as “fire knives”, and Titans had a huge fire hammer that can create a fire tornado. It appears there’s a new Void Warlock subclass, but I don’t believe there was mention of the new super ability by name.
There was a lot to take in during Bungie’s Year 2 reveal on their Twitch stream. Deej and company mentioned numerous features and mechanical changes but didn’t detail much of anything. There are some promising ideas with random rolls, the Gambit game mode, and I’d love to hear more about the raid, bow and arrow, and the new Tangled Shore and Dreaming City locations. For now, though, we have a good sense that Destiny 2 might finally be turning things around.
Bill Lavoy posted a new article, Destiny 2: Forsaken - Year 2 Has Annual Pass, Gambit, and Random Rolls
Wait, Destiny 2 MOBA?
… I'm actually really intrigued by that.