Destiny has overcome quite a few obstacles since it launched back in 2014 on the PS4, Xbox One, PS3, and Xbox 360. While the game was praised for some seriously solid shooting gameplay, it was lacking in some major areas, most importantly story and end-game content. With such shortcomings, many expected the game to die out as quickly as it rose to popularity, but Bungie had other plans for their shared world shooter.
Fast forward to the present day in 2017, and we’re currently awaiting the second installment of what is clearly a powerhouse franchise. The developers incorporated fan feedback into some worthwhile paid expansions, as well as some intriguing free updates that introduced new enemies, locations, missions, and powerful gear that helped keep the Destiny alive and well. But eventually, it will have to end if everyone is expected to move on to the next phase.
Ending a living game that is now in its third year won’t be easy, but we have a few ideas for how Bungie can close things out and send us Guardians marching (or flying, which is probably more accurate) towards our next battle with the darkness.
Let’s Address the Cabal in the Room
When Destiny first launched, it introduced four different enemy alien races: the Vex, Fallen, Hive, and Cabal. All but one have had either a large part of the main story or an expansion based on their nefarious exploits. Funnily enough, the only one that hasn’t been placed at the center of attention is the race with the largest aliens, the Cabal. These behemoths have been a side character throughout the past two years, and that would make them a perfect setup for the upcoming sequel.
Mars didn’t become of much importance until the end of vanilla Destiny, becoming only a little more prominent during the House of Wolves campaign, which saw the resurgence of the powerful Fallen House. There has been no raid on the planet, and the strikes have been less than stellar, with more attention going to Earth, Venus, and the Moon. With Mars happening to be the main base for the Cabal in our solar system, it would make a great battlefield for one final stand before setting our sights on a new star and a new galaxy.
The Cabal are a large species devoted to power and military might. Being the only race without a religious focus, an expansion centered on these beings would be full of crushing foes and seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Wrath of the Machine gave players a taste of brute force as a mechanic, and something centering on the Cabal could really elevate that experience. There would be no need for a deeper understanding, just the tease of heavy armor and planet-cracking weaponry, as Guardians search for a way to push through a final steel wall lined with centurions and colossi.
The Vex and Mercury
Mercury is without a doubt one of the coolest looking planets that Bungie designed for Destiny. Unfortunately, it serves only as a location for side content such as the Crucible, SRL activities, the forge location for Sunbreakers, and a meeting place for flawless champions of the Trials of Osiris. Yet, there is such a deep lore surrounding Mercury, stories that can make for some seriously trippy discoveries and send Guardians racing towards Destiny 2 in search of more answers.
Mercury was once inhabited by humans during the Golden Age, where it was filled with gardens and able to sustain our life despite its close proximity to the sun. However, the Vex eventually invaded, turning the beautiful planet into a living machine within a matter of days. They’ve altered the planet so much that even the Sun doesn’t seem to have as much of an effect on those walking on the surface as it should, another testament to the power and ingenuity of the mysterious machine race.
Granted, we’ve already seen tons of content starring the Vex, but they still intrigue as they weave a mechanical wake throughout time and space. Considering how they’ve managed to force themselves into so many major plot points (the Vault of Glass and Praedyth, the Taken, interest in SIVA), it would make sense that they would serve as some type of catalyst to what comes next with the Traveler and the impending darkness. An expansion revolving around the Vex can even provide a portal to the past, since they exist in multiple continuities, and that can help set the stage for Bungie’s next planned adventure.
The Taken Queen
Chances are that if you’re still interested in Destiny, you’ve undoubtedly completed 2015’s The Taken King and seen the foreboding act of Eris Morn after finally defeating Oryx. Cayde-6’s “creepy sidekick” had once been a regular Guardian just like the millions exploring Destiny now, but after her fireteam was slaughtered within the Hellmouth (the location of Crota’s End), she was trapped for years and driven mad by what she’d learned.
She returned to the Tower with the expansion The Dark Below and brought a new level of Darkness to the experience, which was welcomed by players. Her knowledge of what makes the Hive tick, and her role as a member of the Hidden (a Vanguard spy network headed by Ikora Rey) made her an invaluable asset that was used by the Vanguard to help players take down Oryx. Yet, when all was said and done, something sinister began to show, and nobody knows what it may be.
It turns out that Eris serves some Queen, and it’s not clear if she’s referring to another Hive monstrosity akin to Oryx, Mara Sov, or some other being that Bungie has yet to reveal. Many expected to get a bit more insight with the recent Rise of Iron, but that focused on the Fallen and Lord Saladin as well as the Iron Banner, meaning there is still a major loose end lying about. It likely isn’t a coincidence that Eris Morn is named after the Greek goddess of discord, meaning things will probably be shaken up in the Tower at some point.
While it is completely possible that the developers will decide to just leave this one open ended, it would be a very long burn for a cliffhanger. Going into Destiny 2 while leaving the first game as unfinished as early adopters remember it to be isn’t exactly giving the next game a strong leg to stand on. We aren’t saying Bungie should or even will fully answer the question, but ending Destiny with some kind of segue involving Eris isn’t too shabby of an idea.
So, What’s Up With Mara Sov?
The queen of the Reef, Kell of the House of Wolves, and all around badass hasn’t been seen since her apparent obliteration at the beginning of The Taken King. Nobody knows exactly what happened to Mara Sov after her ship was engulfed in Oryx’s power, yet many, including characters within Destiny such as Petra Venj and Mara’s brother Uldren, believe that she is still alive and can even sense her energy. Her disappearance had a huge affect on the galaxy, leaving so much of space now without a leader.
There are several ways that Bungie can use Mara Sov and the events surrounding her disappearance to set up a sequel for the game. The one that many are probably hoping for is that she’s not in fact dead and will be found in some new realm holding a new mystery about the Traveler and the Darkness. Another possibility is that she is dead and her absence is cause for yet another major war, one that will eventually cause such a disturbance that a new threat will rise… along with the sequel. Bungie has never been afraid of cliffhangers with their previous games, and if this one goes out with some amazing battles, I’m sure most wouldn’t mind.
The IX and the Jovian Worlds
Outside of Xur, who comes bearing new wares every weekend for those who have Strange Coins, there has been no direct interaction with the Nine, even though they are quite important in the universe. The furthest players have been able to travel so far is the Reef, which was under the rule of Mara Sov. However, there are many worlds beyond that belt of asteroids and debris, and these are known as the Jovian worlds.
In order to really get players ready for the next phase of Destiny (whether it’s titled with a 2 or some other collection of words and symbols), Bungie is going to need to deal with the prospect of further exploration. For over two years players have ran around Earth, Mars, Venus, the Moon, and a few other locations, and there isn’t much else that can be done in these areas while still feeling brand new. What better place to go now than further? We know that the Jovians exist and that the Nine have some type of connection to us, as the Jovian race was once human. Also, they send Xur, their agent, to us every week to provide tools in order to push back the Darkness.
The Nine were allies to the Reef and by extension the Guardians in some fashion, but their standing hasn’t been touched upon in some time. While it might be unreasonable to expect Bungie to give up too much, a glimpse into what lies beyond as we flee a system overrun by the Taken and SIVA would be a nice end point for the current story. It would be sort of a brute force tactic, a mystery and aggression pushing players into the next game, but if filled with just the right amount of lore and hints of a new race to interact with, it could go over quite well.
The Traveler Awakens
For many who don’t get into the lore that Bungie has created for Destiny, the Traveler is just some big mechanical orb that is floating over the last city on Earth. It’s clear that it is a protector, hovering over the planet as it lies dormant, doing nothing but sitting there serenely. But it turns out that the moon-like orb is much more than just a protector.
The Traveler has traveled through countless galaxies helping different races spawn massive, technological civilizations. It had never decided to stop moving, until it met humanity, and helped us in our efforts to colonize our solar system. It brought rains to Mars, gardens to Venus, and brought about our race’s Golden Age. When its mortal enemy, the Darkness, located it, it stood to fight, and we see the remnants of that battle from the Tower. Large swaths of land decimated while one city remains protected beneath the Traveler’s shadow. The Traveler also created the Ghosts – small, mechanical companions that bring life to the worthy deceased so that they may fight alongside the traveler.
It’s clear that the Traveler is a key player in all of Destiny and will continue to be so in the upcoming sequel. Yet, if we are to venture out, the Traveler’s light will be needed to help us on our adventure. Earth is on its last legs, something everyone is quickly becoming aware of, so the Traveler must make a move eventually. While it doesn’t have to come in some grand expansion, it would be a fitting end to watch the mystery that guided us through these past two years start to rumble and rise. It is the Darkness’ prime target, so it would make sense that it would awaken to buy us time and perhaps grant us even more power.
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Any one of these plots could serve as a catalyst for the upcoming sequel — a means to get Guardians out of their comfort zone as they explore the furthest reaches of our current galaxy and eventually venture deeper into the universe. We’ll have to wait and see later this year what Bungie is actually planning, though.
Until then, safe travels, Guardians.