During the special livestream event held earlier today, Bungie showed off the first in-game footage for the highly anticipated sequel, Destiny 2, while also revealing a slew of new details about the game.
Below, you’ll find a roundup of relevant information about how the sequel will approach matchmaking, social features, story, combat, and more.
Destiny 2’s story will start off on a tragic note. A new faction of the Cabal called the Red Legion, which is led by an imposing new villain named Dominus Ghaul, has invaded Earth and driven the Guardians out of the Tower, forcing them to flee to distant systems as they cope with the loss of both their Tower inventory stores (this explains why all Destiny 2 players will start fresh even if they amassed a wealth of items in Destiny), and their connection to the Traveler’s Light.
Bungie showed off how this invasion will play out from a gameplay perspective with players undergoing a story mission called “Homecoming” in which they fight to defend the Tower but are ultimately forced to retreat. Over the course of the story campaign, players will explore new worlds, meet new NPCs, and also work to find the three iconic Vanguard leaders (Cayde-6, Ikora Rey, and Commander Zavala), each of whom has ventured to different planets to recuperate and reorganize.
Many existing weapon types from Destiny will return, and there will even be new weapon types including miniguns and grenade launchers. For Destiny 2, Bungie is implementing a new system in which players can have one Kinetic weapon, one Energy weapon, and one Power weapon equipped at the same time.
This will allow for a more freeform and diverse weapon loadout system where players always have the right tool for the job at hand or, if they want, have the ability to equip multiples of the same weapon type (such as two different hand cannons) at once.
As for Guardian powers, Bungie previewed one new super for each of the three core classes. Titans will get a power called Sentinel which basically allows them to channel their inner Captain America in that they use a summoned Void Shield to bash nearby foes with melee attacks, deflect projectiles, and even punish distant enemies by flinging the shield at them. Returning to Destiny 2 is the Titan Striker subclass, but it's been revamped and improved, with abilities now stronger than ever before.
As for Hunters, they’ll be able to use their Arcstrider ability to summon an arc staff and perform flashy acrobatic melee attacks, while the Gunslinger subclass will be returning in an updated form. Finally, Warlocks can channel their Dawnblade ability to summon a flaming sword that can be used both for melees and for blasting distant foes with fireballs.
While you’re wandering around Destiny 2’s new planets, you’ll be able to do more than just go on Patrols. In addition to the returning Public Events feature, open PvE areas will also allow players to participate in new activities such as Adventures (short single-player missions), and Lost Sectors (solo dungeon instances where the player has to defeat a boss to secure a cache of treasure).
Navigating between the different worlds will also be easier as players will be able to travel directly from one planet to another, rather than having to go to orbit first. Naturally, there will also be new Strikes, Nightfalls, and one new Raid when Destiny 2 launches.
Destiny 2’s Crucible PvP is being redesigned from the ground up to better facilitate balanced competitive play. All PvP game modes will revolve around 4v4 conflicts, and each player’s HUD will provide relevant information about their opponents such as when their super is ready, or when they pick up ammo for their power weapon (this is undoubtedly meant to make Destiny 2 more appealing for esports as well).
In addition to returning game modes from Destiny, the sequel will also feature new PvP modes such as Countdown, an attack/defense objective-based mode.
One of the biggest detractors that affected Destiny ever since its launch was that certain endgame activities such as Nightfall Strikes and Raids didn’t support public matchmaking, meaning that players who didn’t already have a group of friends to play with either had to turn to third-party methods (and risk getting matched up with unsavory teammates), or go without.
For Destiny 2, Bungie is working to make the game’s social features both more accessible and enticing through the introduction of both in-game clans and a featured called Guided Games. Players who want a dedicated group of other players to socialize/play with can browse clans in-game and join up, or create a clan of their own if they’re so inclined.
Even if you’re not interested in joining a clan yourself, you can be automatically matched up with a clan group that’s looking to do an activity like a Raid or Nightfall Strike using the Guided Games feature. Essentially, you help fill an empty spot in a group where the clan was unable to get enough members to do the activity on their own.
Bungie’s hope is that solo players who get matched up with clans through Guided Games might be inspired to join the clan if the activity goes well. Either way, it looks like Guided Games will be an excellent solution for solo players who want to participate in non-matchmaking activities.
The livestream event ended with a pretty major surprise reveal: Destiny 2’s PC version will be available exclusively through Blizzard’s Battle.net service, not through Steam as many people had assumed.
It makes total sense considering the fact that both Bungie and Blizzard are owned by Activision, and it could also mean that Activision is prepping some sort of cross-promotional synergy between Destiny 2 and Blizzard’s games.
However, the logistics of just how something like that would work out remain a mystery at this time. This will mark the first time a non-Blizzard game is available on the Battle.net service.
Expect more details to roll out as we inch closer and closer to Destiny 2’s September 8th release date.