Destiny 2: Don’t Fear The Grimoire Reaper

Rasputin is a warmind.

“Destiny (2) is calllinnnnnnng meeeeeeeee” sang Brandon Boyer of early 2000s hit group The Thrills. “Open up my eeeeeeeeeager eyesssssssssss, cause I’m ready to read more grimoire cardssssssss.”

Well, I have some bad news for you, Brandon. Destiny 2 [official site] is doing away with grimoire cards in favour of sticking the lore in the game and not, e.g. in a completely separate app on my telephone.

This piece of Destiny news was actually something I’d assumed after watching the presentation they gave revealing the first footage of the game. It sounded like Bungie were going to jettison the bits of the original game which didn’t really work and it had sounded like they wanted to beef up the story side of things and that would include the associated lore.

In case this is all gobbledegook to you, Destiny had these things called grimoire cards which you could unlock as you played. You’d earn them kind of like achievements for doing different things in the game like playing different crucible modes and you can rank some of them up by killing enemies – that sort of thing.

They were an incentive of sorts in that completionists would then need to do a lot of different things in the game in order to get all the cards, or maybe it would spur you on to try new modes because you wanted more story. Despite the claims that there is no story you’ll find swathes of the community who have been through the game and the associate lore in the grimoire cards to make all kinds of intricate and cool connections.

You also learn things like how the alien who sells exotic weaponry and other cool bits and bobs from some dark corner each week is probably the same guy who released the brutal jerk Skolas from The Nine (he had been sent as a gift). Skolas is one of the game’s most difficult bosses and you can find him in the Prison of Elders. It’s a 3-player challenge mode and Skolas does my head in.

The fancy named guns have stories and the names are significant.

I like to pop by and read the theories on the subreddit from time to time because I don’t enjoy that kind of detective work myself. I have 3695 grimoire points and have read maybe half the cards I’ve collected. But reading about it does bring other dimensions to things like the names of guns or passing references other characters make. With that approach I ended up seeing the world of Destiny as this story-rich thing, but I do see how you could play the game, get fed up with the app and the cards and the weird way that stuff is gated and drip fed and decide that it was all just waffle. Like Bungie had left out a crucial ingredient from a cake recipe – maybe the eggs – and then just cracked them into a side dish and served it all up. ALL OF THE BITS OF THE CAKE ARE THERE SHUT UP.

Anyway, to get back to my main point in all of this, Bungie have decided to add the eggs to the actual cake instead of laying them into an external app. Forbes’ Erik Kain asked the game’s world lead Steve Cotton if grimoire cards would be a thing in Destiny 2 (Des-2-ny/Deux-stiny/Dos-tiny/2Destiny2Furious) and he said “No.”

“The answer to that question is ‘no’ and the reason it’s ‘no’ is because we want to put the lore in the game,” Cotton told me. “We want people to be able to find the lore. All the story is told through the Adventures, it’s told through the characters in the world, it’s told through the campaign and it’s told through scannables you find throughout the world.”

The game’ll be out later this year, possibly later on PC than the September 8th console launch. In case you’re in the mood for more Destiny lore in the meantime here’s another snippet:

Miley Cyrus’s real name is Destiny Hope Cyrus. Miley comes from the nickname “Smiley” because she was a chipper baby.

12 Comments

  1. titanomaquis says:

    I only recently heard how popular the Song Mr. Brightside is over in the UK. Apparently it hasn’t been absent from the UK charts since 2004. So, as an American, this article’s opening made me chuckle.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      I logged in only to say that “open up my eager eyes” made me think of the Killers song Mr Brightside.

      I first heard it as part of MTV video mods where they made quite cool video game music videos where the Killers featured a Lineage 2 video (what the hell is going on there!?), link to youtube.com .

      Destiny 2 might be one of The Killers of spare time for millions of people, but I’m not much for that kind of game. I might like it, but the RPS article about us living in a golden age of gaming reminded me of how many games my eager eyes want to look at, before giving something like Destiny 2 a shot.

      • titanomaquis says:

        I’m the same way. I just know that to get the proper experience out of Destiny, I would need to put in more hours than I’m willing too, and I would need to play with friends (my brothers more than likely), and I don’t want to coordinate that. There are too many other games that I enjoy.

        A+ on the puns btw.

  2. lglethal says:

    About time.

    Maybe it was cool and hapening to have an app alongside the game… for a while. And then people realised that, you know what actually if you’ve got information for me, then I kinda would prefer not to have the hassle of first finding my phone, then scanning something and then reading/watching it on the small display of the phone with crappy resolution, when all of that could have happened in the game like 5 minutes ago in high defintion.

    The sooner companies ditch the extra apps, and just put the bits and bobs in the bloody game, the better!

    (end cranky old man mode….)

    • gunny1993 says:

      I mean I agree, but I wouldn’t be surprised if most phones had higher resolution, and probably better quality screens than the average T.V or monitor nowadays.

      • goodpoints says:

        Not just most, almost all considering the pixel density of a 1080p phone sized screen.

        Also I like second screen apps when used sparingly. I find it more convenient to look down at my tablet to access a map or inventory than have to totally interrupt gameplay to do so on my main screen. But you know…it’s still the inferior console version of a multi-monitor setup. Although I do use my tablet in place of the virtual kneeboard in DCS.

  3. Zhiroc says:

    I get how the grimoire cards were not popular. But you know what I hate even more than reading grimoire cards in a web browser? Reading codex entries in a game.

    Even though most games provide great graphical quality nowadays for close-to or at-photorealist images, I find that few, if any, provide for text quality equivalent to that of a browser. Maybe part of it is because they are now optimizing for viewing on a large screen well away from the player (but even so, they were just as bad in the “old days” when everyone could be expected to be using a monitor at the usual viewing distances).

    And plus, when I’m playing a game, I’m not usually interested in researching lore. So to me, having this out of the game was fine, maybe even preferred as I sometimes browse such things while I’m not at my gaming PC/console. I don’t think I’ve even cracked open the codex for ME:A, for example. But then again, I hardly ever referenced it in Destiny, though I can at least say I have looked at a few.

    • Levarien says:

      Agreed. If I find something particularly interesting, I’ll open the codex and disappear down that rabbit hole. The original Mass Effect did that to me. But if you do it right, it should be ancillary information that fleshes out what the writers, artists, and developers have already conveyed in the gameplay, cutscenes, and dialogue.

  4. The Bitcher III says:

    I liked the idea, TBH. I’ve collected a tonne of lore fragments in games like Dishonored. I don’t play immersive sims to read stuff, so they usually just go in the collection. I’d much prefer to be able to read them last thing at night on my phone, and there’s no reason the two should be mutually exclusive. It’s probably all on the net but I don’t want to read stuff I haven’t found. Yet I do want to read stuff I’ve found on different playthroughs. Grunt.

    It’s a shame TW3’s map app was a technical disaster, because it’s another example of ‘stuff that can add to immersion’. It didn’t really need to be accurate regarding your position, just put you in the neighbourhood and let you orient.

  5. malkav11 says:

    Whoawhoawhoawhoa…having game lore in the game? What a crazy idea! It’ll never work.

  6. Tei says:

    The grimoire is actually fine. What people really wanted was a more involved story that made sense, where in the original vainilla was kind of weird because some characters and events go nowhere (like the Stranger). Kind of like a TV serie that start threads but never finish them.

  7. Raoul Duke says:

    I find the implication that readers of this site should already know or care about this game weird.