Bungie has finally pulled back the curtain on Destiny 2.  An hour long stream gave us our first look at how the world will look, feel, and play after the Red Legion attacks the Tower.  I unfortunately didn’t get an invite to the event so I’ve gathered all the info I can without seeing Destiny 2 in person.  Let the hype commence!

The first mission picks up as everything goes to hell

I was one of the people saddened to hear that all of our gear and achievements would not transition to Destiny 2.  Bungie created a lore reason as to why — Gary Ghaul and the Cabal Red Legion attack the Tower and the Traveler in order to steal the Light for themselves.  Doing so destroys everything we’ve come to know, love, and equip over the years.  After defeating time lords, gods, and ancient evils, a giant reset button is probably necessary.

We get to play through that reset in the first mission of Destiny 2, Homecoming.  We’ll get to see the Tower under siege and fight back alongside Zavala, Cayde-6, and Ikora.  It’s not a spoiler to say that we lose that mission.  We do get a glance of sweeper bot, so I guess Ghaul isn’t a complete monster.  I think the invasion will set the tone for the rest of the campaign.  Someone has destroyed everything we’ve either taken for granted or worked hard for.  How dare they?

 

Killing things 101: guns, abilities, and supers

The Tower may be gone, but the purple gear isn’t.

The old weapon system of primary, special, and heavy slots has been updated to kinetic, energy, and power slots.  Both the kinetic and energy slots will hold primary weapons while the former does normal damage and the latter does elemental damage.  Elemental primaries!  Woo!  Shotguns, snipers, rocket launchers, and all other former special/heavy weapons are being rolled into the new power weapon category.  While this means you’ll be able to seamlessly switch between auto rifles and hand cannons, you’ll have to choose whether you want to carry a shotgun, rocket launcher, or something else.  Some of the new power weapon types include a grenade launcher and a minigun.  A Titan standing tall with a minigun mowing down all who oppose him?  Sign me up, please and thank you.

As far as abilities go, we’re still going to have subclass-specific melee and grenade abilities.  An additional third ability is not specific to a subclass and gives you a boost in one way or another.  For example, Warlocks can choose between one of two wards that either boost stats or heal over a short period of time.  Three new subclasses were on display during the stream, one for each class replacing the existing subclass of the same type.  Dawnblade is the new solar Warlock class with a super that conjures a flaming sword to rain slashes from above or slam down into the ground.  Defender Titans are being replaced by Sentinels that, for all intents and purposes, turns you into Captain America thanks to a void shield that can be charged behind or boomeranged off enemies.  Hunters, in my opinion, got the short end of the stick with Arcstrider.  The electric blade of Bladedancer is being replaced with an electric staff to be swung around and flipped over.

One thing I noticed is that all three of the new supers share a slowly decaying resource bar.  I’ve seen both the Gunslinger and Striker subclasses played in videos and while the Gunslinger retains its decaying bar, the Striker now has one that allows for multiple shoulder charges and ground slams for a short time instead of a single use explosion.  Will all supers be of this decaying bar variety?  It looks that way.

 

New activities on new planets

The Tower is done for.  Where do we go from here?

It wouldn’t be much of a sequel if we did all of the same things in the same places, right?  Bungie has said that Destiny 2 already has more cinematics than Destiny and all its DLC combined.  The new Red War campaign follows your Guardian as they fight back to reclaim the Light.  That campaign will take us to four planets: Earth, Titan, Io, and Nessus.  Part of the campaign on Earth will take us to the European Dead Zone, an allegedly cut area from Destiny that we’ve been to in the Crucible, that is twice the size of any area we’ve been to before.

Patrols, Strikes, Nightfall strikes, Raids, and the Crucible are all on the way back as are (at least?) two new PvE activities: Adventures and Lost Sectors.  Adventures are essentially side quests with new mechanics and “a valuable reward” at the end.  Lost Sectors are dungeons with a treasure chest guarded by a boss.  I’m more of a Crucible guy so the fact that all game types will be 4v4 is a big change.  Each player will matter more to a team and maps will, I assume, be smaller and more intimate.  Bungie showed off one new game mode in Countdown.  One team attacks by planting bombs in zones that the other team must defuse.  It sounds like a modified Salvage mode or Search & Destroy from Call of Duty.  No longer having to go back to orbit to jump between all of these activities will be wonderful.

Speaking of new, Destiny 2 will be on PC through, of all things, the Blizzard launcher.  Activision is partnered with both Bungie and Blizzard so it’s not completely out of nowhere but Blizzard expanding their lineup to included a game they didn’t develop is a surprising move.  I can’t imagine we’ll see cross platform PvP play, but maybe we can all strike and raid together?

 

Clans will be important for both groups and solo players

If clans are going to be in the game, the grimoire better be too.  Please Bungie.  Please.

Clan support is present in Destiny but not in any meaningful way.  That changes in Destiny 2 with an in-game roster, short bio, and custom banner.  Everything you do will increase your clan’s experience and eventually level it up for rewards.  I’m thinking these will be things like bonus experience gains during certain activities instead of actual loot.

The biggest enhancement to clans comes in the form of guided games.  Bungie’s core tenet during the stream was that Destiny 2 would always have something for everyone to do.  Many people, myself included, have clamored for some kind of matchmaking for end game activities like raids and nightfall strikes.  The guided games system is a stepping stone to that which allows players and clans running the same activity to match up.  Players can search for clans that need to complete their fireteam, read their bio, and decide if they want to play with them.  It’s a step towards both endgame matchmaking and integrating third party LFG tools.  I like the idea on the surface.  My max group size when all of my friends play is five so an easier way to fill that sixth hole is appreciated.  We’ll have to see how guided games works in practice.

 

Destiny 2 looks a lot like Destiny and that’s ok

There’s a lot of discussion around how similar Destiny 2 looks compared to Destiny.  You could argue that Bungie is being lazy, reusing assets, giving us content cut from the original game, etc.  I am firmly not in that camp.  Destiny has come a long way since its launch in 2014.  The Taken King expansion largely reinvented the game and Rise of Iron came with more, not quite as drastic changes.  Destiny has many great post-release ideas tacked onto a three year old base built when last generation consoles were a consideration.  While I’d love to play my same character with my same gear, starting fresh makes sense.

We will undoubtedly be drip fed information over the coming months in weekly Bungie updates.  I doubt we’ll see anything big at E3 since it’s so soon after this big reveal.  I know I can’t wait to get my hands on the open beta this summer and to continue my guardian’s legacy.  How do you feel about Destiny 2 so far?  Let me know in the comments below!

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