Destiny 2, Bungie’s long-running online sci-fi shooter, has a year of substantial changes ahead of it, according to a new roadmap the studio detailed in an extensive blog post published on Thursday. While the game’s next major expansion, The Witch Queen, has been delayed to early 2022, Bungie says it has major overhauls planned for nearly every aspect of the game — from the competitive multiplayer Crucible mode to how players progress and become more powerful across the game’s seasonal expansion model.
One of the biggest changes slated for Destiny 2 is a major crossplay implementation that will, for the first time, allow players on PC and players on consoles to join one another for activities. In its blog post, Bungie said crossplay is coming later this year in season 15, and most importantly, the studio confirms it will not mandate crossplay for competitive activities as many fans feared. “Don’t worry, we won’t be matching console and PC players together in the Crucible unless PC players specifically invite their console friends to play with them in the PC Crucible pools,” the blog post reads.
There are a ton of other major changes planned, many of which address long-standing player complaints. Here’s a rundown of some of the more significant ones:
- Bungie will no longer “sunset” weapons and armor by making older items obsolete. The studio says “any weapon or armor that can currently be infused to max power will continue to be able to reach max power permanently.” That’s a huge relief for players who’ve been frustrated at the sunsetting experiment over the last year leaving behind fan-favorite gear.
- The Vault of Glass, Destiny’s very first raid, is coming back as part of the Destiny Content Vault in season 14 this summer. Bungie now says it will eventually launch a “master” difficult version to align the raid with the game’s hardest player versus environment (PvE) activities.
- Bungie is planning an “overhaul” of the ultra-competitive Trials of Osiris game mode to improve matchmaking, rebuild the incentivize structure to encourage less skilled players to compete, and to figure out ways to allow solo players to participate.
- Bungie has outlined major changes to how its Darkness-based Stasis subclass functions in both PvE and PvP activities to tone down its dominance against human opponents and bring the older subclasses up to par.
- Destiny 2 will no longer force players to grind out 50 power level points every season and will instead introduce minor season expansions with just a 10 power level jump. That should make it easier for players to sink back into the game at the start of new seasons and not feel pressured to level up. (This is my personal favorite announcement of the day.)
Many of these changes represent Bungie’s renewed effort to listen to its diehard fans, many of whom have been playing Destiny 2 and its predecessor since 2014.
Common complaints include exhausting grinds to reach max power level and enjoy the game’s most rewarding activities, a lack of attention and focus on the competitive Crucible game mode, and inconsistencies in the depth and richness of certain expansions versus others that can result in long content draughts and little incentive to keep playing. Bungie appears to be tackling all of this with its 2021 plans, all leading up to the eventual release of The Witch Queen next year.
The studio has weathered countless storms before, including a near-constant ebb and flow between extreme player satisfaction and frenzied outrage. With last year’s Beyond Light, Bungie signaled it was ready to push the Destiny universe toward a longer-term scope with a more service-oriented model and a more cohesive vision for the game’s story and structure.
Effectively, this meant no Destiny 3; the series would move forward in its current state and evolve over time, like a proper MMO or live service game. And last week, the company also announced a major shuffle of its executive leadership and a studio expansion that includes an expansion of the Destiny universe into “additional media,” opening the door to film and TV and other formats.
Bungie has proven that it’s more than capable of listening to feedback and focusing its attention and resources where they matter most, and this most recent roadmap is making Destiny 2 look more promising than ever.