The Destiny 2 beta kicks off this week, and it will provide a slice of the content that will come in the full game this fall. According to Bungie, the primary goals of the beta are to test a lot of the networking and behind-the-scenes systems, as well as give the developers a head start when it comes to balancing weapons and PvP.

A common criticism for a lot of betas these days is that the idea that games are already finished and that a beta is really just a marketing ploy to provide a free demo to get the word out about the game. While the Destiny 2 Beta will certainly function as a way for old and new players to get a taste of the sequel, Bungie’s Rob Engeln says the beta’s primary purposeĀ is to put stress on Destiny 2‘s backend systems:

“It is a test. The game feels really polished, and so it feels like ‘Oh, this is just a demo,’ but there’s a lot of stuff you don’t see on the backend. And obviously, we’re testing the servers, we’re testing our matchmaking, the login queues, the sign-in, but even more than that, we’re testing our internal processes for releasing a game, and there are all kinds of things you don’t discover until you have to put something out in the world.”

destiny 2 weapon mods shaders

In addition to stress testing those systems, Engeln say that the Sandbox team at Bungie, responsible for the weapons and their balance, is also using the beta as a gameplay test, to gather information about weapons and balance coming out of PvP. The beta will be an opportunity to see a large player base take many of the game’s weapons for a test run on scale larger than the internal testing the developer has been able to do.

Engeln also said that the Destiny 2 Beta will be a much smaller, focused experience than what fans got in the beta for Destiny 1. That is because, as Engeln says, “A big goal for the Beta, fundamentally, is to not to give too much away.” Whereas the beta for Destiny 1 gave fans a lot to do, Bungie had a lot more to test with that beta. The systems of Destiny 2, while updated and improved according to Engeln, are building on the same infrastructure and systems from Destiny 1, which Bungie has been working with now for years.

As a reminder, the Destiny 2 Beta will feature the Homecoming story mission, Inverted Spire strike, and PvP modes Countdown and Control. There will be six subclasses available with the top path of their skill tree unlocked.

The Destiny 2 Beta kicks off first on PS4, July 18 followed by on Xbox One on July 19, and then an Open Beta starting on July 21. The full game launches September 6 on PS4 and Xbox One, with a later October 24 release on PC.

Source: The Bungie Podcast