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What We Would Like From Destiny 2

Vive la Dinklebot

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According to “several sources” Destiny 2 may be coming to PC. “You played a bunch of Destiny, didn’t you?” said Graham in work chat. I looked at my inbox which contains ongoing discussion of when everyone might be ready to do the new raid, thought longingly of the PS4 downstairs tempting me with its Archon’s Forge quest shenanigans, cast an eye over my bookshelf which contains a spare copy of the base game which I can’t remember why I own but it’s a good “just in case” precaution and cautiously replied “I fucking love Destiny.”

That is how I found myself writing this here “What We’d Want From Destiny 2” post.

The Unofficial Answer

I’m going to tell you my personal opinion first and that is – perhaps unexpectedly – that my ideal would be for Destiny and its franchise to stay away from the PC forever. If it’s a PC game I suddenly run the risk of Hot Takes and Features and News appearing on the horizon and zooming towards my to-do list. Part of what makes Destiny appeal to me so much (apart from being a cracking game with some of the most satisfying shooting I’ve ever come across and a UI I wax lyrical over etc etc) is that:

a) There is no possible way it can be classed as work so I can tune in and out depending on what I feel like doing and play entirely according to my own desires and pacing.

b) The PS4 doesn’t have any of the million sources of distraction on a PC nor the mindset of needing to keep checking other apps which comes from my PC being a work space as well as a leisure space.

The consequence of both of these things is that I’ve had a kind of utterly irresponsible affectionate attitude towards Destiny the entire time I’ve played it that I haven’t really had since being in the industry. It’s a game where I could be a fan rather than a critic needing to pin opinions to a page. Being a fan doesn’t mean being uncritical, by the way, but it’s not the same kind of accountability when you voice irritation during chit chat with friends over a thing you all broadly love rather than in a piece on a website.

So I guess one answer to this question is that what I want from Destiny 2 on PC is for it to get off PC.

Moving On…

For a different (perhaps more helpful) response, probably the first thing that I’d like is for Destiny 2 to be officially announced and then announced for PC. It’s a game that’s been in this weird state of “I know that you know that I know…” between Bungie/Activision and the players but it’s still technically unannounced, thus a PC version is EVEN MORE unannounced.

Play Environments

Kotaku’s Jason Schreier has folded some of the current indications of what to expect from the sequel into his article on the idea of a PC release. One of the specific concepts is that of a different quest and area structure:

One of the terms we’ll be hearing often with Destiny 2, according to sources, is “play-in destinations”—a new activity model that will revamp how Destiny’s world functions. 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.

I’m all for things which make the landscapes of Destiny feel more inhabited, although I’m very wary of moving towards a more obviously MMO structure. I mean Destiny is an MMO in so many ways – quests and loot and social and all – but I liked that I wasn’t bimbling around fetching four mushrooms for some rando (or maybe it would be Randal the Vandal here). The current set up is that you collect quests, go do them and then sometimes need to go to a hub area to talk to someone for the next phase. That’s the chunkier side of task fulfillment. For smaller bits and bobs – so patrol missions and bounties and things like that which you perform almost as asides or extras – you don’t have to go back to the hubs. I liked that these smaller tasks – the four-mushroomers – were just things that you’d have in the background and complete without needing to do an interaction. If an MMO ever looks like it’s inching towards asking me to speak with Hogger or someone I start to twitch.

That said, some of the loading times between activities on current Destiny are pretty sizeable and mean I’m always a bit miffed to leave an area and then realise there was one more quest I should have done there because it feels like such a faff to go back. It took me just over two minutes to load into the new hub area today.

With that in mind I’d relish larger playspaces which cover off a wider variety of things you might want to do during a session to help cut down on those gaps between play. I’d also like to give the environments more of a feeling of being lived in, but for me that doesn’t even necessarily need to be by people/sentient alien races/the corrupted forms of alien races who were kidnapped from one dimension by a god for a while before being sent back with glowing feet. I think I’d even be happy if it was nodded to in seasonal shifts, so with different weathers and plant phases and things. Sort of Animal Crossing meets the mythic sci-fi fantasy shooter-verse. I’d also want them to be more rewarding to investigate – The Dreadnaught area which The Taken King expansion added to Destiny was far more in this vein and all the better for it. I’d like Bungie to take those ideas and really push them.

Roaming Not Homing

Prodding at the above ideas has made me realise that I like the transience of Destiny. None of the player characters has a home in the game, they just drop in, and you never see anyone else’s home either – not beyond the lairs of enemies. I mean, most people just hang out in the place they’re supposed to be forever and then Xur pops by every now and again with his traveling salesman routine and maybe a few other special events. But the players don’t kit out a house or inhabit a town or anything and neither does anyone else. At most, your home is your rebuilt body and the redecorating you can do involves colour shaders and armour switching.

What was my point here? Oh yes. I’d like to get a bit more of the Animal Crossing vibe going on in terms of the seasons and things, and with larger, more varied playspaces to get rid of loading screens as much as possible but towns feel strangely foreign to Destiny.

It’s Not Unusual

Another thing I’d really love is the ability to switch off the UI when you’re in-game and take screenshots that way. Destiny is actually a really good-looking game and I’d really like to be able to take pictures of whatever comes to Destiny 2 and fiddle with them to my heart’s content. I’d also really like to make clearer gifs of my character doing the Carlton dance (or whatever dances you can do in Destiny 2).

Long Live The Warr-Lock

The Kotaku story also suggests much of what might be found in Destiny 2 will be new and that that could potentially mean characters and locations and so on not carrying over to the sequel. I’d be loathe to lose my warlock without good reason, simply because I’ve grown familiar with her to the point where she is inextricably linked to my Destiny experience. Starting over with a new character for a Destiny 2 experience might end up being necessary but I’d liked the idea of making a significant investment in a character and having that last for years. That said, you can’t transfer current Destiny characters between PS and Xbox systems so perhaps my PS4 warlock would be trapped forever, unable to head for PC/Windows regardless.

I think something that would make a character swap far more palatable would be the introduction of new subclasses – or even new classes or types of character. In a setting where warlocks no longer exist or where their previous powers have become obsolete or whatever (THIS IS NOT A WORLD THAT LOOKS KINDLY ON FLOOFY JUMPING, GUARDIAN), it would be easier to make that shift to a new character without it feeling like just having to endure a reset for the sake of saving a company a logistical headache.

Fashion Show

I was also thinking the armour system might be good with a transmogrify option, so I could wear my hideous cape with its banana shader along with my deer skull helmet (pictured above) but infuse it with another chest piece to give it some actually useful stats and buffs for what I’m doing at the moment. I’m wondering whether that would be bad for PvP, given you can tell a tiny bit more about someone’s build when their armour can only mean particular stats or buffs. Perhaps transmog for PvE and hideous wardrobe disaster legibility for PvP?

Shut Up And Drive

Speaking of PvP I know that some of my fellow players would really appreciate some dogfighting PvP options so they can show off the ships they’ve picked up on raids as well as their aerial prowess. I do not want dogfighting PvP but only because I’m atrocious at it in other games. I’d be delighted with a fast-paced space chase in my endearingly lame red and blue ship which sort of looks like a robotic bee and goes by the affectionate nickname, The Space Bus. Taking The Space Bus on a Destiny version of a trench run would be gloriously stupid.

Make Foursomes Awesome

Still on the subject of playing with other people, I’d really like to have more things I can do with different numbers of people. Say you have a group of four, that’s not enough for a raid (normally), but it’s too many for normal patrol fireteams and too many for the strike playlists. I’d like to have more things I can do beyond form the majority of a PvP mode team when there are more than three of us pottering about of an evening.

Just Pick One Already

Oh, and that ridiculous thing where you level your character to a certain point using one system and then need to do everything further using the light levels given to you by your armour is just idiotic so that can go.

Mods And Men

I’m not sure to what extent anything would be possible to modify (especially given that we’re still at the point where Destiny 2 is technically an unannounced surprise). It’s possible any attempt would set off the OMG YOU’RE HACKING THE GAME alarm but, should it prove possible, I would like to see what enterprising PC folk would do with the game.

Vive La Dinklebot

Lastly: I would like Dinklebot to come back.

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Philippa Warr

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