So yesterday was the big reveal of Destiny 2 gameplay and I have to say I am not disappointed in the least. In fact at this very moment I am feeling inordinate amounts of Destiny love. There were a few things that were released that gave me all the feels. The first is the “Story of Zavala” trailer of sorts that tells the tale of how he came from being a corpse somewhere in the cosmodrome to being the leader of the Vanguard. Unfortunately I have not seen this trailer released separately so you have to catch it about 14 mins into the video that I linked… which is the entire Destiny 2 reveal stream dumped to YouTube. In that trailer you see a young Amanda Holliday getting her first look at a starship, so that in itself was completely priceless. The second cavalcade of feels comes from the gameplay reveal trailer… which appears to be cut from what is going to be one of the intro cinematics showing how the tower falls. There is a moment in the trailer for each class where they get to shine… and I absolutely got all the feels when I saw Zavala call everyone to him and raise a Titan bubble. There are similar badass moments where Ikora Rey Nova Bombs a Cabal transport, and Cayde-6 Golden Gun’s three Cabal troopers.
Destiny 2 is a tale of starting over after a monumental fall from grace, which in itself is probably the best way of dealing with a power reset scenario. Having spent the last week playing through the Fallen Empire storyline in Star Wars the Old Republic… I absolute approve of the notion that sometimes you need to shuffle the deck to freshen up the game. What I like the most about what I saw though is that everything looked and felt like it was still Destiny… just with the Destiny-ness sliders moved all the way to eleven. They reveal that we are going to four new places… but in part I am hoping that given time we will also revisit areas that we have been to before. The maps themselves are supposedly more open world style, or at least the one that was showed reminded me of something on the scale of the Hinterlands from Dragon Age: Inquisition with lots of active hotspots to go explore and find adventures. This is definitely playing to my core desires as a player, but I am also hoping that it still has directed story missions for the folks like Tamrielo who tend to bounce super hard from “now go explore” setups in games.
It sounds like all of the things that made Destiny awesome are coming back, but that they are adding a whole layer of new stuff on top. To be truthful if you look at my characters stats… I have spent a significant number more hours doing patrol missions than literally anything else in the game. Just as a reference according to my Profile on Bungie.net… on my Titan I have played a grand total of 14 days 15 hours… and of that time 7 days 4 hours was in Patrol mode. So giving me a big open world to roam in is absolutely going to serve my interests. However it sounds like the strikes and raids and crucible modes are all coming back with a vengeance with brand new concepts being introduced. It also seems like some of the specs are being tweaked… and I am not sure if each class is getting a wholly new sub class or if we are just losing one and gaining one. Titans for example I know have a Void class that revolves around wielding a shield like Captain America. Warlocks have a new sub class that gives them flaming angel wings and lets them wield a giant flaming sword. So I am not sure if those are in additional to the subs we already have… or if those are now replacing the Defender Titan and Sunsinger Warlock. I mean I am hoping we get something new… but Defender was absolutely one of those sub classes that was super niche and extremely hard to complete “kill with elemental abilities” sort of bounties.
The biggest news from yesterday is that the PC client would be going through Battle.net… which is curiously being referred to as Battle.net and not the Blizzard Launcher. I said before that I would likely never stop calling it Battle.net, and I am guessing maybe they have rethought that branding decision… now that a non-Blizzard game is going to be using that infrastructure. This decision has a lot of positives and as far as I am concerned fairly few negatives. I’ve spent over a decade now cultivating a community inside of the Blizzard franchise games, and knowing that I can carry that ready made community into Destiny is going to be a huge bonus for me. What Bungie is getting from PSN and XBL is an account system that takes care of all of the day to day friend maintenance and messaging functionality and lets them just connect up a game to it. I mean the option that we all probably through they would be taking was to integrate this game with Steam completely, and rely on steam users for profiles. However to be honest, Blizzard does a far better job of policing its own network than Steam does, because quite frankly it is not in the interest of Valve to clamp down too harshly. The only negative here about any of this is that it sounds like the PC client will not be available on day one… and will instead be a console launch only. Ultimately I was going to buy this on PS4 and PC anyways… so this is not a huge deal for me… however it is going to suck for anyone who wants to hold out for the PC.
My dream that is likely to go unrealized is that I could have a single set of character spread across all of the platforms. I am perfectly okay with purchasing a PC client, PS4 client, and Xbox One client… and not necessarily being able to cross play between them. However I would love if my characters which are attached to my Bungie account carried over and worked on each platform. Let me play with my PC friends, PS4 friends and Xbox friends with the characters I have spent so much time building. I mean I managed to get my Xbox One character up to 370 light… but that feels pittiful compared to my stable of three 400 light characters on the PS4 side, each with access to a vault full of awesome stuff. Compared to the 14 days on PSN… I have only played 21 hours of the Xbox One gameplay because not having all of my toys was always a major set back. Since the characters are bound to the Bungie account… they could absolutely make this thing happen. They just need the will to do so. So I have hopes and dreams… but I am fully expecting them to get dashed in the long run. At this point however I am just riding the hype train and so freaking ready for this game to come out.