Director’s Cut: Part Deux
Destiny 2director Luke Smith is continuing his “Director’s Cut” blog series, and part two really starts to do a deep dive into how the game is going to change from now through October, when the expansion Shadowfalllaunches.
Smith’s admirable goal for the future involves “adding depth, and improving customization.” That’s basically the thesis for everything that follows in this massive missive. Smith makes it clear that cosmetics are still going to be offered up as rewards for in-game challenges and content, and not just locked behind MTX (real money transactions/microtransactions/IAP). Here’s the gist: “Find the perks you want, find the armor look you want, (from the megalist of currently available Destiny 2 armor) and pursue that armor to get the elements/stats you want and combine them to make your Guardian.”
Smith also gets into the nitty gritty of how armor works now. Each piece has an energy meter from 1-10, with the ability to pump materials and currency in to level it up (mods also have an energy cost). Smith says that getting a mod is akin to picking up a perk that you can use on all armor pieces. In other words, mods will feel a lot less like filler in Destiny 2later this year (you can get a look at the new character/paper doll UI in the gallery below). To accompany all this there will be a stat-squish of sorts, common for many long form MMOs.
Arguably the biggest part of the conversation (and the one that made my eyes perk up a bit as someone who has been raiding since the beginning of the game) is how powerful sources (read: endgame gear opportunities) are going to be handled. After acknowledging that the system “ballooned” in this past year, Smith and his team are addressing this long term, with Prime Engrams dropping when you hit power level (item level or iLevel in MMOs) 900.
You can now earn more Prime Engrams each week, and world drops will be increased in power to help propel players past the soft cap (“World drops in Shadowkeep will have a chance to drop at a player’s current Power level”). These changes are due to undervalued legendaries, and in a near-unprecedented move, all new and returning players will sport a [high] power level of 750, allowing you to basically play with whoever you want: a smart move as the game leans into its “New Light” free-to-play aspect.
This passage is particularly telling, and indicative of something Bungie hasn’t really admitted to often: “At D2 launch, we shortened the Power climb, over-simplified the game, made it too easy to get items, focused on bringing new players in, and hoped that players would pursue looks alone as their endgame (we were wrong!) while we continued to build features like what would become Forsaken Triumphs.” As time goes on I’m more at peace with the alterations that are being made with Destiny 2, specifically the approach to progression.
We’ll see how it actually works out come Shadowkeep, but for now it sounds good on paper. Again, if you actively playDestiny 2, the entire post is worth a read.
Director’s Cut – Part II [Bungie.net]