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    Season 16 Is “The Next Big Boiling Point” For Destiny 2’s Content Approach

    This yr has been a significant turning level for Destiny 2. After experiments with a season-focused method to live-game content material and storytelling within the wake of 2018 and 2019’s main expansions, the mannequin has developed right into a spotlight of the sport within the months following Beyond Light in 2020. New actions have popped up each few months, and greater than previously, they’re including to an unfolding narrative that builds off previous seasons to make Destiny 2 really feel extra like a residing world than it ever has earlier than.For developer Bungie, nevertheless, there’s extra to hone about its present seasonal method. As Destiny 2 inventive director Joe Blackburn defined, the studio is pleased with the place it has landed by way of narrative growth and exercise content material, however there are nonetheless locations wherein the seasonal method takes a again seat to different huge releases. Season 16, the subsequent on Destiny 2’s docket, will launch on the identical day because the upcoming Witch Queen growth in February. As Blackburn sees it, that season might be one other huge step within the evolution of Destiny 2’s dwell content material.

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    Now Playing: Destiny 2: The Witch Queen – What You Need To Know

    “I think Season 16 is going to be the next big boiling point for us,” Blackburn stated in an interview with GameSpot. “We’ve really had trouble with some of these seasons that come out right alongside the expansion. And so we’ve put a lot of thought and effort into how we want to do that better this time around. I mean, you, as a hardcore Destiny player, know that it can feel tough for the season to matter when it comes out a week [after the release of an expansion], and you’ve already got raid weapons, and you’re like, ‘I don’t know if I need this–does this stuff really matter?’ So we’re really excited to get Season 16 out day and date with Witch Queen this time and to have a lot of stuff for players to do and engage with, and really see the value immediately, not only to give you stuff to do while you’re leveling up, but to give you stuff while you’re prepping for some of those endgame activities.”Blackburn stated some seasons this yr have felt anemic due to different huge content material launches, just like the Vault of Glass. Bungie introduced in its Witch Queen showcase that 2022 will see two new dungeons, that are giant endgame actions for three-player groups, and two new raids–one a revamped Destiny 1 raid like VoG and the opposite wholly new. With these huge actions and their loot on the calendar, Blackburn stated the studio needed to make it possible for 2022’s seasons did not get overshadowed.”I think the other part really is, it comes down to rewards,” he continued. “I’ve been super happy with [Seasons] 13, 14, and 15 in terms of their rewards and stories. But we were still doing a little bit of robbing from the season to pay for things like the raids and I think players could still feel that. Season 14 is awesome, but you’re like, ‘Oh, one of the Exotics is in Vault of Glass.’ And so if I’m a seasonal player that doesn’t have five other friends, that can feel rough. So we’re really trying to make sure, as we go into four pieces of raid and dungeon content a year, that the seasons are still fully funded. And that those dungeons and those raids feel like the icing on the cake, not that we’re taking something out of that pie. That was a mixed dessert metaphor.”While Bungie would possibly nonetheless be trying to hone how its seasonal content material works with main additions like expansions, the studio additionally appears pleased with the mannequin it has developed for telling seasonal tales and doling out seasonal content material. The narrative method has been significantly spectacular, creating one thing that does not actually exist on the planet of video video games: A recreation world that’s in a continuing state of evolution due to the story being informed inside it. As Destiny 2 basic supervisor Justin Truman stated in the course of the interview, the world of Destiny 2 at present is completely different from the world of Destiny 2 a yr in the past.It’s taken numerous experimentation to search out this level, although, Truman stated.”When I think back a few years, I remember when we first made the switch from DLCs to seasons–Black Armory was the one, the Season of the Forge. We had a thing for years where we would just come up with these cool ideas, these cool products, and then we would release them and, in the good cases, would tell cool stories. But then we didn’t follow them up,” Truman stated. “We would start a thread and then we would just leave it, and then start another thread, and leave it. And I’ve been really happy with how our narrative team and how our creative leadership team has really been thinking not just one, but two and three years out, so that we can build to beats like the Osiris reveal at the start of this season that the team has been seeding for a year. It’s been feathering into the content. And so I think one of the things that we’re seeing in the difference in reaction now is that we’re going somewhere in a clear way, and it can feel like all those beats matter, versus the interesting new monster of the week [of previous seasons] or whatever.””We were still doing a little bit of robbing from the season to pay for things like the raids and I think players could still feel that.”Destiny 2’s seasonal method at present feels rather a lot like a TV present, with new story beats popping up every week with the addition of recent or barely altered seasonal actions. In Season 15, the Season of the Splicer, Bungie began with six-player “Override” actions on a number of completely different planets. After just a few weeks of Override rotations, it added “Expunge” missions, which had been extra story targeted fights by means of linear ranges. Each new week fleshed out the story with extra cutscenes and dialogue as gamers labored to uncover the thriller of the season’s huge risk, the Endless Night.Blackburn stated Bungie seems to be at Destiny as each a mixture of smaller seasonal tales informed over time, and larger tentpole moments in expansions–like a mixture of TV exhibits and films filling out a cinematic universe.”Surprising no one, we still pull a lot of inspiration in entertainment from things like Disney,” Blackburn stated. “Like Disney Plus, I think, is a great example of something that Destiny looks at and says, ‘Hey, we can do that too,’ right? And so you look at Marvel or Star Wars and Disney Plus, and they have this sort of S-tier-quality TV shows going on. And then they’re like, ‘Oh, by the way, we drop movies every so often.’ And as a fan of any of that, as a Marvel fan or a Star Wars fan, it’s easy for you to drop in and be like, ‘Hey, I’m into this show. And I want to watch this show.’ Or, ‘I just want to tune into the movie. I’ll just be a once-a-year person.’ And we want Destiny to feel really approachable to people that are just into sort of the big battleship campaigns and the people that are like, ‘No, this is my hobby. Like I want to play it for more than just 50 hours once a year.'”But Blackburn additionally famous that whereas each the studio and far of the participant neighborhood appear to be pleased with the way in which seasonal content material is at present working, the studio hasn’t essentially discovered the right method.”I think, overall, the stuff that we really want to keep pushing on is finding the model that works and then making sure that even if we have a model that works, that we’re continuing to push forward and iterate and find things that the community likes and doesn’t like, and moving forward in that direction,” he stated.The circulation of seasonal content–and rewards to match–means Bungie is continually including to the sport, even when these actions solely final for the yr wherein they’re launched. But with the sport’s fixed addition of recent places and actions in its expansions, the developer has to proceed to take care of the issue of the dimensions of the sport and parts of it languishing.With the discharge of the Beyond Light growth, Bungie solved that drawback by eradicating components of the sport, putting it in what Bungie calls the “Destiny Content Vault.” Early Destiny 2 destinations–Io, Mercury, Titan, and Mars–and all their associated actions and story campaigns had been eliminated. That introduced down the sport’s set up dimension and made room for the Beyond Light growth, but it surely stays a contentious transfer with the neighborhood. It signifies that older components of Destiny 2’s story cannot be accessed, and a few gamers are annoyed that content material they paid for with Destiny 2 and its earlier expansions, Curse of Osiris and Warmind, is inaccessible.But Bungie can also be positioning the Destiny Content Vault as one thing that outdated content material can return from, bringing revamped experiences to the sport from way back to Destiny 1. This yr noticed the primary launch of that sort: Vault of Glass, the unique Destiny’s first raid, was revamped for Destiny 2 and made free for all gamers. Another free Destiny 1 raid is due in 2022, as effectively, as a part of upcoming seasonal content material.”…I love that we have a single evolving world that is still there years after players first showed up and it’s always the right place to go to.””This is a very real, what we call, an ‘us problem,'” Blackburn stated. “Where it’s like, technically, we just have to bite some of these bullets that none of us are excited to bite down on. And so it’s really about, what can we do to make that as painless as possible to the player? And in some ways, I think, [it’s about], ‘Hey, is there a way that we can [vault content so that] there’s a positive, that feels like we’re curating the buffet.’ What does Destiny look like 10 years from now? [With a] game that has potentially had 50 strikes made for it, how many are live at the game at one time? And [how does] whatever’s in the game feel like it’s loved and touched? And it was a thing that, yeah, just feels like this deserves its spot.””And I will say … when I put on my game designer hat, I would love to just release new sequels that come out every two years and then be able to build everything from scratch,” Truman added. “And that would feel so much easier than the stuff we’re grappling with. But then, when I put on the community hat, I love that we have a single evolving world that is still there years after players first showed up and it’s always the right place to go to. And so, these problems are tough, but I’m happy that we’re grappling with them because what we get in exchange is this single community and evolving world.”

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