Destiny 2: Forsaken is here, and with it have come a host of transformative changes and additions. Most of these are for the better, and they do indeed make for a better game overall. Before launch, Bungie described the expansion as the best version of Destiny yet. Whether or not the community will feel the same way has yet to be seen, but such a statement is interesting nonetheless.
Attack of the Fanboy, along with a few others, recently had the chance to speak directly with Bungie about Forsaken; the future of the expansion was briefly touched upon, but the bulk of the conversation was spent exploring Bungie’s feelings regarding Forsaken and what it is they think sets it apart from what’s come before. In their view, it seems the key distinctions of Forsaken lie in its depth and the efficient use of players’ time.
Starting with what fans can expect to see moving forward, Bungie stated that their new hybrid game mode, Gambit, will eventually be an option for private matches. No release date was provided of course, and they said fans shouldn’t expect to see it for awhile, but it is coming eventually. The developer’s representatives also briefly touched on the nature of the content coming as part of the Annual Pass. The focus was on whether or not new explorable spaces would be coming as part of the pass. Bungie said yes, but that any such additions would be small “spaces.” Players shouldn’t expect to see anything planet-sized.
From there the conversation moved onto Forsaken and it is that distinguishes it from what’s come before. The obvious difference is the expansion’s scale. Along with Forsaken’s new story, gear, strikes, and raid that have come to be expected of Destiny expansions, the expansion adds two new explorable spaces: The Tangled Shore and the Dreaming City. Both are about the size of Nessus, and both offer players a variety of activities to engage in. Outside of all this extra content, Bungie feels that Forsaken is different due largely to its story and overall depth.
When asked what issues they feel Forsaken is addressing in Destiny, the developers spoke a lot about depth and making sure players have plenty to do. One term that came up a few times was “parallel pursuits,” which has to do with the number of things players can do at the same time. In the first year of Destiny 2, players could only take on one or two things at a time. With Forsaken though, Bungie feels as though they’ve created something that allows players to make the most out of their time. In Forsaken, a player can be working on bounties, patrols, an exotic quest, and gathering infusion materials all at the same time. Or they could choose not to do any of that. The power is in the player’s hands.
As mentioned in earlier statements from the developer, it’s going to take a little bit of effort to bring current weapons forward into Forsaken. When asked what their reasoning for that was, the Bungie more or less said that they want to present players with more interesting choices.
“One of the things that’s really important is you’re making choices about what you’re bringing with you on these journeys, they said. “When we have you put a little bit more work into bringing that [gear] forward, that’s, important.”
“Instead of just saying on day one: ‘Cool, I’m going to bring everything I already liked with me.’ That’s not as interesting a story as say: ‘Oh, I really want to bring this one weapon with me, and I’ve got to make a choice. So what should it be? What’s the most important weapon that I want to bring with me on this journey right now?'”
They also touched on a desire to have players feel like they’re really the ones improving their weapons; that it’s their effort that’s most contributing to its growth. It seems making duplicates feel more meaningful was an important part of these changes to infusion and weapon improvement. The developers described duplicates as a “cheap infusion class,” so they’re going to be very helpful in bringing up the weapons players want to keep.
Regarding keeping places like the Tangled Shore relevant, Bungie spoke about the variety of activities and the need to visit different locations as they bring up their weapons. Several of Forsaken’s quests and bounties will take players all across the solar system too, so reaching end game won’t mean the end of a player’s time engaging with most locations.
From there talk moved onto the end game and some of the expectations players should have as they progress through Forsaken. For starters, Bungie confirmed that the new maximum power level is 600, and that players will run into the soft cap at 500. Beyond that, players will have to do specific things like Milestones or engage in with certain parts of the Dreaming City in order to grow more powerful. There’s more to do in this regard than ever before, so this won’t be as much of a drag as one might think.
The topic of Cayde-6 and the decision to kill him off also came up. The developers admitted to finding the idea kind of scary at first, but said that they became more comfortable with it as they story they’re telling in Forsaken took shape. It seems that it also made for the perfect opportunity to give the Guardian their voice back. It’s not yet known yet how much the character will actually speak in Forsaken, but the fact that they speak at all is kind of incredible. Bungie also had some comments regarding that.
“Jason Harris, who’s our narrative director, felt really strongly about that. He’s been wanting to bring back the character’s voice for awhile,” they said. “When they were writing the scripts for the cinematics, he wrote that particular script, like… I don’t want to not give credit to other writers, but he went home and came back with the script where they talk about Cayde and Cayde’s death, and at the very end of that the Guardian talked. And it was so powerful. It just became really clear that that was the moment where we wanted the character to speak for the first time since…whenever.”
Finally, the question of lapsed players and how Bungie is working to try and bring them back with Forsaken came up. Their response was more or less a summary of what was discussed before. There’s more story, better characters, more to do, and more investment available on the part of the player. Their thoughts are that Destiny 2: Forsaken is Destiny improved.
As one who’s had a chance to play it, that sentiment certainly feels correct. Destiny 2: Forsaken feels very much like it’s filled in the gaps of Destiny 2, and it actually feels like an improvement over Destiny 1 in some cases. Whether or not this will hold true for the entirety of the experience remains to be seen. For now though, one can confidently say that it’s off to a good start, and that its makers are really striving to deliver something that’s truly better than what’s come before.