Today Destiny 2 director Luke Smith kind of out of nowhere dropped one of his lengthy Director’s Cut posts on the Bungie blog. This follows the big news yesterday that Trials of Osiris would be returning. Well I guess we’re getting back to back big Destiny 2 news days because this post has lots of interesting insight from Smith along with teases for the future. Let’s run through the major highlights.
First we learn that the current seasonal model is going to be altered quite a bit. The whole seasonal activity experiment hasn’t played out in a way that Bungie seems satisfied with. Probably because there’s only so many variants of The Menagerie that can be thought up of before things start to get stale. If they wanted to keep Sundial in though and refresh the obelisks every season I wouldn’t hate that.
Without getting into too much detail, Smith let players know that going forward the seasonal content will be focused more on enhancing or highlighting “core activities” instead. This includes stuff like Crucible and Nightfalls. Rather than letting get those activities get stale in favor of something new that is going to go away, it sounds like Smith wants his team to focus their attention on infusing the new stuff into those existing game modes.
It’s an interesting and logical approach considering how unsustainable the current model is. We’ll have to see how worthwhile the new stuff is though to evaluate whether this strategy will work or if it will end up similar to how many players viewed Season of the Drifter (read: kind of boring).
Much more controversial than that big change though was Smith’s discussion about legendary weapons and the never ending pile that we have, and that the dev team continues to add to.
They didn’t get into specifics, but in a sense, older legendary weapons are going to be phased out in some manner.
Here’s the clearest that Smith got about the issue via Bungie:
In the world we’re imagining, we’ll have space at the top end to create powerful Legendary weapons. Legendaries that are just better than other items in the classification. We’ll be able to do that, because the design space for weapons will expand and contract over time. Items will enter the ecosystem, be able to be infused for some number of Seasons and beyond that, their power won’t be able to be raised. Our hope is that instead of having to account for a weapon’s viability forever when we create one, it can be easier to let something powerful exist in the ecosystem. And those potent weapons entering the ecosystem mean there’s more fun items to pursue.
Changes like this also mean Legendary weapons (or their talents) that would be “shelved” could be reissued at a future date. Or could be brought back in fun ways by involving our community. The more specific nitty gritty for this will come a little bit further down the road but we wanted to get some of thinking behind it to you sooner rather than later. The simplest version of how it is going to work is: Legendary weapons will have fixed values for how high they can be infused. Those values will project the weapon’s viable-in-end-game lifespan and we think that lifespan is somewhere between 9 and 15 months.
I’m a bit surprised but also not. This was a long time coming. Bungie is clearly tired of having to balancing everything new they release around something beloved like Recluse or Revoker. They are throwing new weapons onto the legendary pile and for the most part they go ignored because people are attached to their old weapons.
I’m not thrilled about eventually losing access to my favorite weapons but I can understand this direction if the intent is to keep Destiny 2 rolling through a Year 4 or even Year 5.
The way I would personally tweak it though (and again, we don’t have anything concrete yet), is that raid, Iron Banner, and Trials of Osiris weapons – AKA stuff from the most memorable activities – are exempt from this phase out.
Speaking of Year 4, Smith is actually talking about it! Smith didn’t say much admittedly but the acknowledgment of a Destiny 2 Year 4, and another expansion throws cold water on the prospect of Destiny 3 being announced any time soon; at very least through 2020. Change is coming to Destiny 2 as the dev team marches through Year 4 and not everything will be popular, but it’s not going to be something as dramatic as Destiny 3.
Other important tidbits include the official confirmation that Faction Rallies are dead, are not coming back, but that their loot will be released into the global pool (finally), Bright Engrams are being removed from purchase, quest log sorting is getting more options and the New Light quest line will be beefed up.
All in all it’s a very interesting post and if you want to savor every little detail in it, I highly suggest giving the full post a read.