Destiny 2 laid out substantial changes coming to the game with the release of the Shadowkeep expansion and Season of the Undying. A Battle Pass-like System Rank system, the Vex Offensive activity, and a Year 3 with four seasons all helped bring the third year of the game into focus. But developer Bungie also gave a bold vision of what the developer hopes to do with the game in the future.
In a post discussing how seasons are changing in Destiny 2, franchise director Luke Smith gave a pretty high-level idea of how Destiny 2 is set to change from season to season with activities coming and going per season, the game's narrative having a forward momentum, having players actions over the course of a season affect its current state, and more. To illustrate what the future of Destiny 2 could look like, Smith looked back at the past year and laid out how Year 2 could have functioned had this new bold vision been in place a year ago.
This alternate take on Year 2 from Smith starts at Black Armory, the beginning of last year's Annual Pass:
A week before the Season begins, all players receive a note in their mailbox. It simply reads: “I have returned from the stars. Meet me on Dec. 4 at 10:15 AM PST. —Ada”
Smith explains that a countdown timer would have appeared on the Director over the Traveler. When that timer runs out, players would experience the in-game entrance of Ada 1 to Tower, officially kicking off the Season of the Forge:
When the timer reaches 0, players in the Tower see a ship unlike any they’ve ever seen land between Zavala and Lord Shaxx. A figure transmats out and walks through the Tower, opening a door that had long been shut. Players follow the character through the Tower and the figure lowers her hood and greets players, “I am Ada, and we have work to do.”
At this point, the Season Pass is updated showing the rewards that players can unlock over the course of the season. Smith says players would begin a "season-long experience" of playing the season's content such as the Black Armory forges, completing bounties, unlocking armor, and playing the Scourge of the Past raid. As the season would progress, Ada-1's room in the Tower would actually start changing showing the progression and momentum of the season, unlocking new schematics and mods for players to create.
More objectives appear as the season progresses and new cinematics unlock (perhaps that mid-season cinematic of Uldren was a precursor of this idea?) for all players over the course of the season as enough players rank up their Season Passes. Then the Season of the Forge starts slowly transitioning to the next Season (of the Drifter):
We see the Drifter and Ada arguing over something pitting the two against each other, the scene ends with Drifter raising an eyebrow at a set of gun schematics behind Ada. As the Season winds to a close, the Drifter begins to summon players to him. He’s having a new space built in the Tower, and the first people he asks for help are those who’ve earned the title of Dredgen. Now players begin to gather materials and donate them to fund the Drifter’s new scam. The Drifter won’t stop talking about the gun schematics he saw behind Ada.
There's a narrative and objective overlap of the seasons of sorts during this transition. As The Drifter would start pulling the focus of players, Ada-1's room would start changing again, getting more sparse as she prepares to leave. At the end of the season, Ada-1 disappears as would the Forges. But then Season of the Drifter officially begins and the Seasonal Artifact and Season Pass reset and Gambit Prime and the Reckoning become available over the course of the season.
While that's an alternate past that will never happen, it gives a more tangible example of Bungie's vision for Destiny 2 in the future. The developer has said it wants Destiny 2 to be an "amazing action MMO, in a single, evolving world, that you can play anytime, anywhere with your friends." This vision absolutely plays into this idea of an evolving world and ramping up the MMO features of the game.
That also means that the game will change and parts of it will disappear (although Bungie made sure to mention that items like Legendaries and Exotics would still be available in the game, although the developer did not go into details of exactly how), as the developer hopes to create more "you had to be there when" moments. If Bungie can pull it off, it certainly looks to make Bungie more of a live game than it has ever been in the past and could give players more reasons to stay engaged throughout the course of an entire season. Time will tell, but it is certainly is a bold vision for the future.
Destiny 2: Shadowkeep releases October 1, 2019 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, with a Stadia version also in development.