Steve Cotton, World Director at Bungie, has clarified that Destiny 2's new open world Lost Sectors will be entirely "hand crafted." Steve was responding to a fan question on Twitter, which asked whether Lost Sectors would be procedurally generated, something Bungie hasn't experimented with yet in Destiny. While Lost Sectors, and likely most Destiny 2 content, will remain authored, Steve did mention that he's a fan of "procedural possibilities."
Lost Sectors are one of Destiny 2's exciting new features, part of Bungie's reworking of open world environments. Bungie has described them as hidden side-missions within the open world that players can discover, explore, fight a boss, and be rewarded. It's unclear, however, whether or not Lost Sectors will be one-and-done events, or if they can be completed multiple times.
The news that Lost Sectors are not procedurally generated lends itself to the one-and-done assumption. If Lost Sectors were generated, they could be completed over and over again, while hand-crafted Lost Sectors are perhaps better meant for singular memorable experiences. That's not always the case, of course. For example Guild Wars 2's jumping puzzles and boss spawns can be completed daily, but Bungie will have to clarify that going forward.
Lost Sectors are not procedural, they're hand crafted. But I'm a really big fan of procedural possibilities. Could be cool ;)— Steve Cotton (@stevecotton22) May 27, 2017
Bungie's improvements to the open world are one of the most exciting changes in Destiny 2, but Lost Sectors are just one part of that. Other additions include Adventures, which are 10-15 minute story-based side-quests that take players to new locations and feature unique dialogue. Mostly the worlds are simply meant to feel more lived in and full.
And while exploration is one of the key paradigms Bungie wants to flourish in Destiny 2, the studio still wants players to find the content. It's a big reason why the new over-world map has been implemented, with emblems for the Adventures, Lost Sectors, and Patrols that players can participate in or have previously discovered. Bungie wants content to be at the player's fingertips - just not to the extent that procedurally generated content is necessary, quite yet.
Destiny 2 is scheduled to launch on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One starting September 8, with a PC release to follow shortly thereafter.