Destiny 2 – Bungie talks grenade launchers, story evolution and world-building

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It’s the final few hours of E3, and just about everyone is dead on their feet after a week of maybe too much video game coverage. Which is kind of a lie, because I can never have enough Destiny in my life. If that game was edible, it’d probably be my favourite pizza: Mustard and chicken, because I’m weird. I’m going off topic, as one of my final sessions at E3 gave me the chance to briefly grab Destiny 2’s executive producer David Allen for some one-on-one.

I had some questions. Allen had some answers for me ahead of the September 6 launch date for the sequel. So here they are from our short and sweet session.

David_Allen Destiny 2

As a returning Guardian, what’s really new in the core Destiny 2 experience? What’s going to keep me coming back on a daily basis without it feeling like I’m going through the motions?

The things that returning players are going to see that are new in Destiny 2 obviously is a new story. We’re telling the story of Dominus Ghaul and his Red Legion attacking. And really about these universal themes of loss and recovery. What does it mean for the Guardians to lose their light and lose their home? What happens to all these characters that a returning player is familiar with?

What does it mean for them to lose that thing that defines their identity Getting the group back together and driving Ghaul out. There’s going to be new places to go, with the European Deadzone, with Nessus which is this planetoid that the Vex have basically overrun. Titan which is made up of these golden age instalments on basically a methane ocean and Io which is the last place the Traveller touched down.

There are new places to do and new stuff to do whenever you touch down. Adventures, which we’ve never had before, are like these smaller missions which take place on each of the individual destinations tell you a story. There are lost sectors to look for that are effectively dungeons that have combat inside, bosses and loot. So there’s a lot of things for returning players that are kind of new that are going to be different.

Also there are clans coming into the game to give you better access to your social group and then Guided Games. So if your clan is not around then you can still jump into other game activities like Nightfalls or the Raid. So there’s a lot there.

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Story was something that fans wanted so much more of in the first Destiny game, albeit outside of the Grimmoire. How has the narrative of Destiny 2 evolved to meet these demands and continue the tale that we started in 2014?

One of the big focuses we have for Destiny 2 is telling that really compelling story and making sure that it’s a story that people can relate to, that gives you these characters that you really love and want to spend more time, while giving you this villain like you see him and think ‘oh it’s that guy’. The first time I saw that shot from the cinematic (the Destiny 2 trailer shown at the E3 Sony showcase), when you’re kneeling on the edge of the ship and he just puts his foot on your face and just pushes you off? I was like, I just want to get in there and get back at him for that.

The thing that’s really interesting to me about Ghaul is that he sees himself as the person who should have received the Traveller’s light and he wants to prove to The Traveller that it was a mistake (that humanity was chosen). You just happen to be in the way of that.

Some of Destiny’s best characters weren’t Guardians, but rather its weapons. Exotics which told stories of ancient legends and dark secrets. How have guns adapted for the new challenges ahead in Destiny 2?

As a full sequel, you’re definitely going to see all new guns across the board, whether that’s guns from the weapons manufacturers that you’ve seen before or new weapons from Weist who’s a new manufacturer that’s featured in the game or new exotics. There’s definitely going to be a lot to get your hands on there, to play around with there.

The way that the new weapon system is going to work is there’s obviously you’ve got your heavy weapon, your power weapon and the one that is going to be your one-hit kill type weapon, right? Your shotgun, your sniper rifle, your fusion rifle. The grenade launcher, your rocket launcher is the type that’s going to damage that’s going to do a bunch of destruction.

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And then we wanted to give players choice with their other two slots and how they wanted to play. Really play up these Kinetic weapons and energy weapons. Energy weapons really do more damage against enemy shields and pro-tip that I actually learned from one of our PvP designers: They actually do more damage against players who have their Super activated.

We wanted to give players a way to still use the weapon types that they liked playing with but to give them a game of ‘what am I using against energy, what am I using against just the enemies themselves’.

There’s also a few new weapon types. Grenade launchers look like a lot of fun. Any tips for getting to grips with this new firepower?

Definitely as you get a chance to use them more I think you’ll find that they have nice homes relative to the other weapons in your arsenal for engagement range and damage. The grenade launcher is interesting. The rocket launcher you have to have a straight line of sight but the grenade launcher if you know that somebody is hiding behind a crate or around a corner behind some cover, you can just go over the corner or the cover, which you can’t necessarily do with other weapons.

Super attacks now seem to have more animation to them than in Destiny. Is Destiny 2 an example of this mechanic being fine-tuned to provide more of a power fantasy for players?

The Supers have always been out to third-person, but there’s definitely a little more motion that you’ve seen to some of them. Like the Dawnblade Warlock, you want to get up above the battlefield and you want to look down on everything and reign down destruction. The Arcstrider Hunter has more custom animation than we’ve ever done for a Super before. We want to make those fantasies really feel awesome and really feel compelling.

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Last Updated: June 16, 2017

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia’s M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

  • Hammersteyn

    “albeit outside of the Grimmoire”
    That wasn’t a story, that was homework which I never did.

    • Ir0nseraph

      Yip they expected people to read in the video age, it had no chance.

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