Destiny 2‘s daily reveals and developer interviews continue today with Bungie’s Luke Smith and Mark Noseworthy talking about how the sequel improves on story, progression, and rewards. While today’s interview doesn’t broach into specific details like yesterday’s look at The Farm, it does provide an introspective look at Bungie’s goals and direction moving between games, which includes some of director Luke Smith’s thoughts on Destiny‘s failings.
Here’s Luke’s comments regarding the original Destiny, with regards to ideas he focused on when creating Destiny 2:
“I think there’s a thing that made Destiny 1 hard to enjoy and I’m going to summarize it really simply as a lack of progress. ‘Why am I doing this?’ ‘Does it matter?’ ‘Is it going somewhere?’ We didn’t do a great job of answering all those questions holistically.” … “You want to feel like the game you’re playing has a sense of progression.”
But according to Luke, those comments are grounded by a deep understanding that Destiny is a much loved game despite its flaws. He describes Destiny as “sticky” in that it brings players together “like poker night and book clubs.” Those shared experiences make people return to Destiny week after week and are something Luke sees as important to retain in Destiny 2.
What differentiates Destiny 2 from another expansion isn’t just optimization and new content, it’s the opportunity to bring what makes Destiny great to new players. It’s a fresh start, an opportunity to “take another whack at some of the ingredients.”
Those ingredients that Luke is talking about include progression and rewards, but perhaps more importantly, story is being given a greater focus this time around. The original game’s story left a lot to be desired, and Bungie recognizes that many of the new players it hopes to court could have been players at the start if the studio hadn’t made mistakes with the overall plot. Mark Noseworthy talks about what nailing Destiny 2‘s story means, saying:
“Getting the story right has been super, super important for us this time. And by getting it right that means telling a story that people can relate to, with memorable characters, epic moments, and ultimately something that people can sink their teeth into.”
What Mark is talking about is a tale that invests players in the world to bring them closer to the game, whereas in Destiny, players often only cared about the story if they were already deeply invested in the title. Part of the mission in Destiny 2 is to give each location, each item, and each character its own story, its own lore, and to make each aspect of the game a player spends time in feel contributory to something greater.
That idea of bringing out the story, to “unhide the fun,” carries over into progression and rewards in an interconnected way. Giving players reasons for doing things, making those reasons matter, making it all grow towards something meaningful, and sharing that experience with friends is what Destiny 2 hopes to accomplish.
Destiny 2 is scheduled to launch on September 6 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, followed by a PC launch on October 24.