Bungie on making Destiny 2 “compatible with real life”

Nathan Lawrence 26 June 2017 NEWS


Bungie is building Destiny 2 to appeal to casual players, hardcore fans, and everyone in between.

During the Destiny 2 gameplay reveal, Bungie identified two distinct target audiences. The first audience – and no surprises here – is the returning Destiny fan, eager to see where Bungie steers the game next. The second audience is new fans who were perhaps intimidated by the original Destiny, or put off by its divisive launch, and are eager to see what the sci-fi fuss is all about.

There’s a third audience, though: the lapsed Destiny player who hit a wall with the original game – either before the many fixes or at any point during the DLC releases. These kinds of players are interested in more than just a list of features that address the issues of launch Destiny and are craving substantial content additions to justify a return to orbit.

It’s something that we can relate to, after putting more than 100 hours into launch Destiny, and quitting just as the second DLC, House of Wolves, dropped. At that point of Destiny’s life, it felt like you had to have a rotating team of Fireteams that you could drop in and out of, to ensure that you were on top of the daily and weekly co-op grind to get your character/s up to spec.

During our interview with project lead Mark Noseworthy, we were eager to hear what Bungie had planned for what he called “lapsed” Destiny players. As lapsed players, it’s not that we flat out refuse to jump back in to Bungie’s sci-fi universe, it’s more that we, and other players like us, need our faith restored. We need to be assured that we won’t be investing scores of hours into a game that doesn’t feel truly rewarding for our time invested.

After all, there’s a big difference between a developer creating a compelling gameplay loop that keeps you coming back for more, and a game that offers grind in lieu of well-crafted gameplay mechanics. Here’s what Noseworthy had to say on the topic of developing a Destiny sequel that addresses the needs of different audiences:

There were two very clear audiences identified during the presentation: the newer player, the player who hasn’t touched Destiny before, and then the returning player who’s probably going to play Destiny 2 anyway. We were just curious as to whether there’s been any attention to detail for getting the people who might have played a lot of Destiny at launch and then come away from it. Is there any effort to get them to come back, and how are you approaching that?

MN: We’ve always wanted Destiny to be compatible with real life, and that means for some people they’re going to play every night as they’re preferred hobby, and that’s amazing. For some folks, they’re going to pick it up, play the campaign, have fun with some Strikes and say, ‘You know what? I’ve had fun, I’m going to put it down and play football with my friends or play another game,’ or whatever. And then you have this third player who just doesn’t play Destiny.

We’ve designed Destiny 2 to be a fresh start for all players, so that all three of those player types can all come in at the same place and start with this new story. So we’ve given a lot of thought to how to optimise it for someone who…

Y’know, I think someone who hasn’t played for a long time, say, pre-DLC, I don’t remember that much about a game I played a few years ago. ‘I remember it was really fun to shoot aliens, and I remember there were other people in the world, and there were sweet guns, but I probably don’t remember that much about the story, or the fiction, about the universe. Who are the guardians? What’s the last they’ve seen? What’s this Traveler about?’ We’re making sure that all players, new, returning, lapsed, will get reintroduced to the world of Destiny: the story, the place, the mechanics, everyone is going to be reintroduced to it.

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