I wasn’t expecting even a fraction of the announcements that actually came out of the event. Without overstating it, I can quite confidently say that Bungie knocked it out of the park.
If you just want the highlights, here they are:
- Destiny 2 is going free to play with a new edition of the game on all platforms called Destiny 2: New Light
- Cross saves will be available on all platforms that Destiny 2 is on – PC, Xbox, and PS4
- Come September, Destiny 2 on PC will be available on Steam
- When Destiny 2 moves to Steam, all of your stuff – characters, purchases, etc. – will come with you
- Destiny 2 is also coming to Stadia, Google’s new game streaming platform
- Shadowkeep is the big new expansion, takes players back to the moon, releases in September and is $35
- Shadowkeep is a standalone expansion – i.e., it doesn’t require that you purchase any of the previous expansions (including Forsaken) to play
- In line with Bungie’s brand new free-to-play approach, preordering Shadowkeep gives you Destiny 2, Curse of Osiris, and Warmind for free immediately so anyone who preorders can start playing Destiny 2 now
- Future seasons can be purchased individually; if you’re interested in the content for season 9, you can just buy season 9 and skip everything that comes before and after it
- Bungie’s finally calling Destiny an MMO and leaning more heavily into the RPG side of things
- Armour can be fully customized via mods; there are now multiple mod slots instead of perks on armour, so you can look however you want with whatever combinations of perks you want
- Stats like intellect, discipline, and recovery are back; the UI and the numbers probably aren’t final, but the stats themselves being present probably is
- Melee finishing moves have been added for each class; no word yet on how they impact gameplay or what the benefits to using them are
- Three new exotics have been shown:
- An Exotic heavy bow that knocks targets back within an area (boss stomp, the bow, anyone?)
- An exotic trace rifle that leaves behind a massive crit spot after being fired on an enemy
- An exotic handcannon that uses special ammo, has a scope, and sets you on fire after being fired continuously
- On the subject of the exotic handcannon, some people at Bungie like the whole setting-you-on-fire thing and some don’t; no word on whether that particular feature will make it into Shadowkeep as is yet
- Artifacts are back is some sort of interesting way, but we’ve only been shown a work-in-progress UI with no major information on what’s actually being done with them
So … yeah.
I’ll tackle a lot of the big ticket things individually but goddamn, Bungie did a spectacular job with the livestream and the announcements. I actually don’t have the words to sum up what they revealed for the future of the franchise because it’s so much more impressive than what I thought they’d do.
If nothing else, it proves that Forsaken wasn’t a one-off hit, and that Bungie’s plans for Destiny’s future actually take into consideration a significant portion of what players want from their Destiny experience. A lot of these things have been on the community wishlist for a long, long time and to see Bungie committing wholeheartedly to execute on so many of them is huge. Goddamn, I’m proud of Bungie.
More than anything else, though, it feels like all the time and faith I and hundreds of thousands of others have put into Destiny actually meant something to Bungie. Destiny 2 isn’t being trashed in favour of a cash grab via Destiny 3; Bungie’s finally making good on their expanding, living world promises, they’re finally doubling down on the RPG side of things – this is the vision of Destiny that we were promised back before the original game was released.
And although it took a long time to get there, with progress in fits and starts over the years, Bungie’s finally delivering on their – and our – vision of Destiny.
PS: Huge shoutout to Datto for being the livestream representative that the community deserves, and asking the questions that needed asking. Dude tossed some hardballs Bungie’s way and did his best to get straight answers out of them. He deserves a hug, a round of applause, and a donut or something. Damned good stuff.