In the wake of the Destiny 2: Shadowkeep delay, director Luke Smith hinted that he was working on a developer blog discussing the state of the game. While the general consensus to the expansion delay seemed to be positive, players seemed very interested in reading some of the behind the scenes details that Luke Smith was planning. There was apparently a lot to touch on as the initial draft of the Director's Cut jumped to 20 pages, so Bungie has decided to roll out the information in waves rather than a huge wall of text.
With part 1, there's a lot of valuable insight into where the game has been including discussions surrounding the Annual Pass. Considering this was the first time Bungie created a calendar of content rather than adding content through dedicated expansions, the studio learned plenty of valuable lessons, both good and bad. The original intention with the Destiny 2 Annual Pass was to provide players with new things to chase and collect more often while getting away from content droughts due to DLC expansions.
While this was ultimately good for Destiny 2 players, it created a grind for the developers due to the scope of the content and the pace at which it was delivered. Conversations between management and the team revealed that developers were starting to get worn down due to the demands each release called for. Each season featured some new mechanic that had to be developed in order for players to earn new rewards. As Smith puts it, Black Armory had the bounties, Joker's Wild had the Reckoning Machine, and Opulence featured the popular Chalice.
Crunch is a hot topic around the industry these days, with many companies revealing or delaying content in order to keep developers from burning out. Bungie was finding itself in a similar situation with a development cycle that was quickly becoming unsustainable. As such, the studio got to work on creating a more standardized set of progression mechanics from powerful loot changes and more ways to chase loot.
Shadowkeep will be Bungie's first solo expansion for any Destiny game, so the fact that the studio realized it needed more time in order to get things right is a good sign. Not only is the Moon coming back, but it is two times bigger than what longtime fans remember, in addition to all of the new weapons, gear, and cosmetics on top of that. While moving away from the Borderlands 3 release window is a nice side benefit, the fanbase clearly recognizes that the extra development time will only help to make the final product better.
Destiny 2 is out now on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, with a Stadia version also in development.