If you participated in the public beta tests for Destiny, it was expected that your progress wouldn't carry into the full release. That wouldn't be fair or make much sense given the nature of the game and the beta program. Knowing that there's a 10-year plan in place for the franchise however, including expansions in between, we very much expect to continue our character progress from Destiny to Destiny 2. And that very much is the plan for Activision and Bungie's popular shooter.
Destiny won two categories at The Game Awards this weekend for its score and online gameplay experience, and has a big presence at the PlayStation Experience event in Las Vegas since it features a pile of PlayStation exclusive content, including a bonus Strike co-op mission and a special exotic weapon coming next week in The Dark Below expansion. That new content is just a tip of the iceberg for the future of the game with the DLC season's pass already including a second expansion coming in 2015. After that, we can expect more DLC before the inevitable Destiny sequel.
While Destiny dropped the ball on the story and character front, it does share similarities to BioWare's Mass Effect series where players (in that case, all controlling Commander Shepard) have a character on a long-term journey. The only way that works in Bungie's 10-year plan is if players can carry over their progress from game to game, something we're sort of already doing with the expansion next week. Mass Effect handled that brilliantly, letting players transfer characters through save files from each game to their successor (including all of their decisions made through the titles).
While it's not official that Destiny players will be able to transfer or load their characters into Destiny 2 in a similar fashion, it's obvious it will work that way as new planets and locations are added to the game's map. It's even easier now given the current-gen hardware. Bungie community manager DeeJ (real name: David Dague) teases as much in a conversation with IGN:
"The idea is that the Guardian you have created is something you can bring along with you on that adventure. If you take a look at the way people have played other games for a long period of time, they've had a relationship with the same character for a very long time."
He also explains that the development team is always planning and building ahead.
"I've seen new concept art, I've seen new exotic weapons up on people's screens...it's a lot of fun to walk around the studio, because there's always somebody thinking about the next place you'll go, the next enemy you'll fight, the next thing that you'll earn for doing those things."
Looking at the immediate future, Destiny: The Dark Below launches on December 9th, and on December 16th there will be another Iron Banner in-game competitive multiplayer event. There's no release date yet on the second expansion, House of Wolves, or what could come after but we anticipate Destiny 2 won't come until 2016-17, assuming Bungie even goes the full sequel route. For all we know, Destiny can continue to grow for years and years simply by adding new planets and eventually, other systems, alongside new enemies, abilities, gear, etc. The game is essentially a launch platform for everything in the Destiny franchise to be built upon and your character(s) will be there for the whole ride.
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