Although much of the attention within the Destiny fan base right now is focused on the new Rise of Iron expansion, there is a looming cloud in the background. We don’t have a firm release date, but we know that Destiny 2 is coming, and with it will bring a new start for Bungie’s mega-franchise.
However, while Destiny 2 may be a new start in terms of its name, we’re wondering how much of the game will actually start from scratch. There are so many moving parts that have become essential pieces of the Destiny formula that it’s hard to imagine the game without them. In truth, does calling the game Destiny 2 have the potential of alienating the devoted fan base in an effort to secure new players?
The biggest debate surrounding the Destiny sequel at this point is the leveling system, more specifically where to start players off. There are surely plenty of current Destiny fans who would hate to see their progress reset to 0, but doing so might help Bungie welcome in new players with less friction. If everyone starts on an even playing field in Destiny 2, then no one has the fear of coming in at a disadvantage.
At the same time, diehard Destiny players have likely become attached to their current characters and would hate to see all of their progress completely ignored. Some players have put thousands of hours into the game, and to see all of that progress essentially reset might be off-putting.
Luckily, Destiny has already introduced a booster, called the Spark of Light, that can get new players up to speed, and hopefully the developers have something similar planned for Destiny 2. Like World of Warcraft, it would be much better to continue the journey, while new players get access to fast boosts to the current level cap.
While problems with leveling might have easy solutions, the question of what to do with subclasses in Destiny 2 is less cut-and-dry. Does Bungie start from scratch and create new subclasses around the Hunter, Warlock, and Titan? Or do they build off of that by introducing a fourth (or maybe even a fifth) subclass to the fold? At this point, the three current subclasses have become both familiar and essential, so it’s hard to say which way to go.
On the one hand, introducing new subclasses would help breathe some fresh air back into Destiny, as players learn to adapt to new play styles. This would be especially true for PvP, where the same few subclasses dominate, and will likely continue to do so throughout Year 3. Perhaps Bungie could find new ways to play within the Arc, Void, and Solar elements and scratch the current iterations entirely.
Building off of the current subclasses could also be a fun twist on the formula, since it allows Bungie’s imagination to run a little wild. Some have proposed that Decay be the fourth “element” introduced in a future update, giving players the ability to debuff enemies in some creative ways. But, at the same time, that might make Destiny 2 feel more like an expansion and less like a proper sequel.
When talking about gameplay, most expect that Destiny 2 will retain the familiar feel of its predecessor. However, now that the franchise has officially moved into the current-gen, the hope is that Destiny 2 will add some important modern flourishes. For starters, a 60 fps frame rate is a must for the shooter moving forward, if only because that has become the gold standard. It might be a bit jarring for veteran console players at first, but there’s no doubt that a faster frame rate will benefit the experience as a whole.
There’s also the question of the PC and whether or not Destiny 2 might release on PC. It’s impossible to deny that the interest is there, but whether or not Bungie decides to branch out to the PC is unclear. If the franchise does add a PC version, though, the developers will need to balance that experience independent of the console versions. Aim assist, for example, will need to be dialed back to suit the more precise mouse and keyboard.
If nothing else it’s clear that the mixed reception to the original Destiny will be on the minds of the Bungie developers, who will seemingly need to satisfy both newcomers and veterans. There will need to be a delicate balance stuck between making sure those veterans don’t feel like their time with Destiny 1 was wasted and ensuring that newcomers don’t see Destiny 2 as an uphill battle to catch up. We should hear more about Bungie’s plans for the future of Destiny starting next year, but for right now the focus is on the new Rise of Iron expansion.
Destiny: Rise of Iron releases September 20 for PS4 and Xbox One. Destiny 2 is slated for a 2017 release on the same platforms.