Seriously. We’ve all known this was going to happen. But if you missed the slew of leaks that happened over the last few months, then here’s a quick rundown for you.
As early as August 2016, when the Rise of Iron hype train was still chugging along, a bunch of images made their way online, courtesy artist Aziz Dosmetov, who also worked on The Taken King. They were remarkable in that they showed the Last City burning beneath the traveller and heavily stylized, fiery versions of a Hunter, Titan, and Warlock. I paid very little attention to them at the time, but it was around then that speculation about the Last City being destroyed began to make its way around the internet.
Fast forward to September 2016 and Jason Schreier put out an article that stirred up a fair bit of conversation about how Bungie was handling Destiny’s inevitable sequel. I was fairly convinced at the time that characters would carry over and, several at the beginning of March 2017, Bungie confirmed that characters would, indeed, make it into the sequel but loot would not.
This particular piece of news served only to fan the flames of speculation – people who had suspected that the Tower and the Last City would fall were only more convinced now that it was an inevitability. Reddit threads that had been cropping up on and off for months now seemed to have hit their mark perfectly: there had to be a valid argument for why all loot was being taken away and, development constraints aside, it would have been necessary to set up a story beat that forced the loss of gear.
That story beat is Bungie’s big reveal of the Last City on fire.
As recently as a few days ago, photographs of Destiny 2 posters leaked onto the Internet, which was in itself compelling evidence that a reveal was not far off. That reveal has finally happened, we know that Destiny 2 is coming, and since Jason Schrier said the posters were legit, it means that Destiny 2 will be available on September 8, 2017. It’s also probably coming to PC, which will dramatically expand the playerbase. But that’s about all the information we have from leaks at this time, with Bungie’s reveal adding one new piece of information.
The burning city casts a portion of Schreier’s article in a new light, this specific sentence, in fact:
The plan, from what I’ve heard, is for Destiny 2’s planet areas to feel more populated with towns, outposts, and quests that are more interesting than the patrol missions you can get in Destiny.
Makes sense for other planets to be populated if the Last City’s blown up, doesn’t it? Scattered pockets of survivors flee to wherever a starship will take them, which results in the universe being more populated than we’ve seen it in almost-three years of Destiny. This could dovetail nicely with a piece of the Grimoire that I’ve wondered about for a long time now – Mystery: Vault of Glass 3.
In it, a Ghost that’s been tossed through space and time sees an enormous fleet running away from … something. I’ve often wondered whether that was tossed into the grimoire to set up some massive departure from Earth’s solar system and it’s entirely possible – although I could very well be wrong – that this is the direction Destiny 2’s taking.
All said and done, though, I’m optimistic about Destiny 2, more so than I thought I would be. The Taken King was a fabulous improvement over everything that was done in Year 1 and Bungie has clearly learned from their mistakes. The last few months and the reveals of Age of Triumph have shown that Bungie’s listening and, as Josh Hamrick has so recently demonstrated, they’ve learned how to talk to and work with fans as well.
As much as the game has changed for the better, it feels like Bungie’s approach to being open with, communicating with, and paying attention to their playerbase has improved as well – and in my opinion, the latter is infinitely more important than the former.
That’s not to say that the teaser image isn’t promising. The first thing that struck me when I saw the picture was how much it reminds me of the destruction of the Normandy at the beginning of Mass Effect 2. It feels like Destiny is moving towards its darker second act, in which everything goes to hell. And that’s certainly something to look forward to.