the red waste

Destiny 2 Reveal Stream: Notes

Here are my notes from the reveal stream, with some concluding thoughts at the end. All of this information is available from the Bungie reveal stream, and is not speculation unless marked as such:


Story:

In the beginning of Destiny 2, the Last City has fallen. Dominus Ghaul, leader of the Cabal Red Legion, has laid waste to the Tower and to the City itself, and his legions have torn our home apart. 

The reveal trailer shows us fighting through the tower in the first campaign mission, called “Homecoming,” in which we battle alongside the Vanguard until Amanda Holliday deposits us atop some kind of Cabal ship, where we attempt to face down the bad guy.

Unfortunately, we fail, and Dominus Ghaul succeeds in deploying some sort of device that places the Traveler in a cage, instantly draining the Guardians of Light, and causing us to lose our powers. We cannot go back to the Tower.

In response, the Vanguard scatters. Ikora has fled to Io out of anger, Zavala is on Titan healing and having an existential crisis - “Are we Guardians even without the Light?”, and Cayde-6, in attempting to play the hero, has gotten himself into trouble on Nessus. Apparently, the Speaker has disappeared. More on these new worlds below.

In the campaign, we will have to track down and collect the Vanguard, as well as fight the new Red Legion enemy, led by Dominus Ghaul. Dominus Ghaul believes that he, based on his past experiences (which were not elaborated upon), is most worthy of the Traveler’s blessing, and does not understand why Humanity was chosen. He has come to Earth to prove his worthiness, and sees humanity as being in his way. He is not a “psychopath” bent on genocide. Luke Smith described him as “Having his stuff together,” and “Like Alan Rickman in Die Hard.”

Destiny 2 is a game about loss, and transitions into an experience about recovery and reclaiming what is ours.


Classes:

Shown classes remain the same: Hunter, Warlock, and Titan. Nova Bombs, Defender Bubbles, and Golden Guns were shown but not remarked upon. However, new Super abilities were showcased:

  • Titan Sentinel: A Titan with a voidlight shield that can be used to block damage, thrown at enemies, or used in melee combat. There also appeared to be some new kind of Striker Titan Dash and a different sort of ‘Ice Wall,’ neither of which were discussed.
  • Hunter Arcstrider: A Hunter with a staff of arclight that focuses on acrobatic melee combat. 
  • Warlock Dawnblade: A Warlock with a sword made of solar light that can be used in melee combat or to fling ranged attacks. Warlocks also appeared to be able to place some sort of buff zone beneath them, one of which “empowered” the player.

These look pretty awesome.


Weapons:

Weapon loadouts have been revamped to give players more flexibility. Weapons are now divided into three categories:

  • Kinetic
  • Energy
  • Power

New weapons:

A variety of new weapons were shown. In addition to hand cannons, sniper rifles, shotguns, pulse rifles, and shotguns, we saw:

  • A type of SMG
  • Grenade launchers
  • Minigun-like machine guns
  • A type of fast-firing rocket launcher

I assume we will learn more about this in the coming days. It appears that weapons such as hand cannons occupy the kinetic slot, but I would like to see more information about how these slots will work.


Worlds:

Destiny 2 features four playable worlds: 

  • Earth: The European Dead Zone is now the location of Destiny’s largest playable area, and this is the zone where Humanity flees and attempts to rebuild after the Cabal attack. This camp was founded by Hawthorne, who features in the D2 Preorder, and who once left the City to live in the Wilds.
  • Titan: Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, is covered with a Methane ocean with 40 ft waves, and features a human utopia, a relic of the Golden Age, sinking into ocean. There is no landmass on Titan.
  • Io: A sulfuric moon of Jupiter, Io is the last place the Traveler touched before it appeared on Earth. Io is a sacred place to the Guardians, and to Warlocks in particular. In the trailer, there appear to be the remnants of some kind of civilization.
  • Nessus: A centaur, or type of icy minor planet. The Vex have transformed Nessus into a machine world, and it now features native vegetation, large canyons, and plateaus based on tepui, a type of South American highland plateau.

Quests

Destiny 2 has revamped the map system. Now, players will be able to use an area map to navigate and discover locations and events. These include:

PatrolsAmbient enoucntersCollectable materialsAdventures*Treasure maps*Public events with treasures*Lost sectors*

*denotes a seemingly new feature

Destiny 2 will emphasize the sense of exploration that players experience. For example, players will be able to discover and unlock secret, hidden dungeons, which will contain both loot and bosses. There appear to be many, many secrets to discover.

Furthermore, there will be more interaction with NPC’s, resulting in numerous side-quests and further adventures.


Map:

Destiny 2 features a revamped map system that players will use to uncover and navigate the new areas. Waypoints, such as those corresponding to the activities listed above, will show up on this map. It will also show WHERE and WHEN public events will take place.

In addition, players will no longer have to ‘go to orbit’ to navigate to new locations. The world navigation system will now be usable from anywhere.


Co-operative:

Co-operative play was heavily emphasized by all presenters. Bungie attempted to strike a balance between easy matchmaking and ensuring that all players are comfortable with the strangers they are matched with. The notable new features are:

  • Clans:
    Clans will no receive official, in-game support. These will offer rosters, tools for fireteam building, custom banners, and shared clan experience and progression. Achievements, whether done solo or in a group, will benefit your clan.

  • Guided Games:
    Guided games are a new way for solo players to find a fireteam without joining a clan and while being able to ensure they have a positive experience. Solo players will be able to see a brief summary of clan information, as well as the activity proposed, and will then be able to join the clan for that single activitiy without committing to the clan. 

    Guided games will open up your party to more players, in case one of your fireteam members must drop out of the activity.

Crucible:

The Crucible has been revamped for 4v4 combat across all game modes. There will also be a new attack/defend mode called “Countdown.” I assume we will learn more in the coming days.


PC Gamers:

In partnership with Blizzard, Destiny 2 for PC will be available exclusively through Blizzard’s Battle.Net.

Other Notes:

  • “More cinematics than ever.”
  • There will be a new raid.
  • There will be new strikes. The strike played at the reveal is called “The Inverted Spire.” You will traverse Red Legion territory to a Vex Stronghold, where you will fight a 3-stage boss.
  • There will be more quests and story missions
  • There may (SPECULATION: ENTIRELY UNCONFIRMED) be new vehicles.
  • There will be “More to do than any game we’ve ever made at Bungie.”

Main takeaways

Community, community, community. Destiny 2 was referred to several times by different people as “A world I want to be in, where I can always find people to play with if I want to.” Bungie appears to be focused on making all of D2′s content accessible to more players. This, to me, is a great thing.

Exploration: the words “Open World” were not used, and from the gameplay demo of “Homecoming,” that mission at least appeared quite linear. That’s not to say the rest of the game will be that way, and if the new map system is any indication, we can look forward to a lot more exploration. 

I, personally, cannot wait to see the new worlds. It seems like Bungie has done a lot of work to make each location feel unique.

Gameplay-wise, it sounds as though Bungie has learned from D1, and is looking for ways to make D2 more engrossing and meaningful for all kinds of players. If the new strikes have harder, more involved boss fights, it sounds as though we can expect more than the bullet-sponge boss fights that dominated D1.

The revamped weapons system also sounds great, and I can’t wait to hear more about it. 

I am unsure about the Crucible being reworked for 4v4. Reference was made to it being “For PvP Players,” although what that means remains to be seen.


And, most importantly: Throwing Knives return.

so this happened last year during my time working for the local zoo/conservation centre
  • me: *running my station at the red pandas like a good little volunteer*
  • some lady: *walks up to me* this is so sad ):
  • me: i- pardon?
  • lady: they're just sitting there, they don't have anything to do! ):
  • me, looking over the many toys and other enrichment materials we have: ...ma'am, there's plenty for them to do. they're just sleeping because it's noon. they tend to do that.
  • lady: and there's no room for them to do anything! ):
  • me, looking over the large enclosure that connects to an even larger enclosure in the back: ma'am, there's plenty of room for two red pandas here, and there's a gigantic part that's out of sight for when they don't feel like being watched.
  • lady: zoos are so sad ):
  • me, internally: then what the ever living fuck are you doing at a zoo/conservation centre like this one?

The first night his boyfriend didn’t come back to the dorm, Other Red (Red had already been the name of a student when Other Red was a freshman, and changing your nickname too much wasn’t the best idea) didn’t think much of it. It wasn’t unheard of for one or the other of them to spend a night with friends. But when he wasn’t there the next morning, or in their one shared class that day, Other Red started to worry. As spacey as Frankie Lee could be, he was an avid student. Frankie Lee wasn’t his real name, of course. It wasn’t a surprise to those who knew him that his taken name was musically inspired. He wasn’t answering his phone, either. When there was still no sign of him on the third day, Other Red started asking around. He found what he needed to know pretty soon.

“Yeah, the last time I saw him was a couple days ago.”

“Where was he?”

“Over by the track, by that little wooded area. He had his guitar.”

“He was going towards the trees? Sounds like he was looking for a quiet place to write songs.”

“Wouldn’t surprise me.”

“So he went, alone, into the forest, to play music?”

“Looks like.”

“Shit.”

***

Other Red didn’t waste much time. He packed what he needed, knocked on his RA’s door so someone would know where he was going (and so they’d be better prepared to notice if it wasn’t him that came back), and headed for the woods. All this wasn’t strictly necessary, since the RAs would go retrieve Frankie Lee at the end of the semester, but he might be… different by then, and Other Red didn’t want to wait that long to see him again anyway. He walked right into the shade of the trees, and kept going until he couldn’t see the edge of the woods behind him, though the forest he’d walked into was maybe forty feet across. Nowhere on the Elsewhere University campus was a surefire route to danger, if you knew what you were doing, just as nowhere was 100 percent safe if you were reckless enough, but going under the trees to play music? Other Red had to admit that had been stupid. He loved Frankie Lee, but he could be lacking in common sense.

***

As he went, Other Red reminded himself of a story. There was a smith, so the story goes, who made a deal. Who or what he made the deal with changes from telling to telling, but a popular version calls it the Devil. Other Red didn’t know about devils, but any Elsewhere U student knew there were other things you could make deals with. The smith gave up his soul in exchange for supernatural skill at metal work - the ability to weld anything to anything. When the Devil came to collect, though, the smith welded him to a tree and left him there. It’s an old story, one of the oldest, in fact. It’s been told for six thousand years. The story told Other Red a couple of things. One, that metalwork has always been a little bit Else, and two, that it was one way, maybe the first way we ever found, to get a bit of power over the Gentry. At least enough power to get him out of this.

He hoped it was enough to get him out of this.

***

After a while, he could hear music softly through the trees. He walked closer until he could make out the words:


Then the loud sound did seem to fa-a-ade
Came back like a slow voice on a wave of pha-a-ase
That weren’t no D.J. that was hazy cosmic jive
There’s a starman waiting in the sky
He’d like to come and meet us
But he thinks he’d blow our minds…

Other Red could practically see Frankie Lee, eyes closed and head nodding the way he did when he got into his music. He’d smile, and, if he wasn’t playing too, wave his hands slowly like the music was the only thing in the world. Then Other Red reached the clearing where the music was coming from, and he did see Frankie Lee, sitting and playing at the feet of the member of the Court that had taken him.

Less Starman, Other Red thought, and more Thin White Duke. Thin he certainly was, or maybe a better word was long, half again Other Red’s height with his legs - how many knees was that? - stretched out from his seat, which was carved from an enormous tree stump into intricate, disturbing patterns. He was pale, with a human face but a goat’s disdainful eyes, and he wore leather armor with what looked like a bronze sword on his belt. Other Red stepped into the clearing.

The Gentleman held up a hand, and Frankie Lee stopped playing, though his eyes had been closed. When he saw Other Red, he perked up and made eye contact with him, but didn’t speak.

“What brings you here?” asked the Fair One with disinterest.

Other Red indicated Frankie Lee. “I’d like him back.”

“And what will you give me not to simply keep you here as well?”

“I have nothing to give you, but I bring the tokens of my craft.” From his bag, he pulled a welding mask and a handful of nails. “I’m a shop student. If you don’t let me leave, there will be repercussions.” He tried to keep his voice as confident as he could.

The Shining One stared at him for a long moment, then sat back. “You may leave whenever you please, smith, but you cannot command me to give up my musician.”

Other Red had been expecting that. “A game, then?”

“A game. Very well.” said the Good Neighbor instinctively, and then, coming to himself, “What game do you choose?”

Other Red pulled out the other thing he had packed, and tossed it towards the Blessed One. “Fifth Edition, no expansions. One session, seventh-level characters, fight to the character death. I’ll see you a week from today at eight.” He bent down to quickly kiss Frankie Lee, then turned and left.

***

He’d afforded a week because, as much as he wanted Frankie Lee back right now, he needed time to find a DM who was willing to run this fight. Eventually, a girl named Tyto agreed to do it, for approximately a shitton of carefully-specified snacks. This wasn’t the first time someone had played D&D with one of the Gentry. Sometimes, as now, students figured it was the best chance they had of getting something out of them. Other Red’s challenge was a little unusual in that regard - most such games were essentially attempts to impress the Shining Ones with your storytelling talent. They had great respect for storytellers, and a skilled DM could easily get into their good books. Sometimes, They took a liking to the game, and played just for the sake of playing. Other Red had heard of a campaign that met once a month, on the new moon, where students regularly played alongside their Neighbors. Other Red wasn’t making this a storytelling competition, though. He wasn’t a DM, and he wanted a contest he could win.

On the appointed night, they set up in the game room and waited. Other Red wasn’t using his regular character, Ambrose the halfling rogue, for this. It was stupid, but he didn’t want to to let Them know even that fictional real name. Plus, he felt that if he did lose the fight, Ambrose might somehow be dead for good. He’d rolled up a human bard just for the occasion. It seemed appropriate.

At exactly eight, the Duke walked in. He looked more human here, though he was still morning-frost sharp and pale. He was wearing a black suit, and had his hair in a long braid. Tyto shifted in her chair as he walked past her. Other Red offered him a bag of Doritos. Ritual was important, after all. “Given without obligation,” he added.

“Most kind,” said the Visitor, as he took the bag and produced his character sheet. Other Red looked over it briefly. Tiefling druid. Made sense.

“Well then,” said Tyto. “Let’s get started. You’re standing in the street of a small town. You’ve just gotten into a confrontation in a tavern and decided to take it outside. Roll for initiative.”

***

The fight started out slow and cautious. Both characters had swords, and their initial actions were simple. Attack, roll for damage. Attack, roll for damage. Attack, miss. Attack… As they played, they drew an audience. Not students. Any student who knew what was happening tonight had made plans far, far away. There was a man with hair the color of the sea. Two identical-looking girls, neither of their hands quite right. When they walked in, they were followed by a fox that sat quietly and comfortably on a chair. They all watched in silence as the players spoke their battle into being.

Eventually, Other Red’s opponent seemed to get tired of this pattern. “I cast Flame Blade,” he said, “and attack with it.”
Now they were playing with magic. Other Red surrounded the druid with a cloud of daggers. The druid turned into an eagle and dive-bombed the bard. The audience began to stir. This was almost as exciting as the real thing. A few of them could remember when Gwion and Ceridwen tried the same routine. The bard cast a spell of fear to send the eagle flying away, and another spell to deal it damage. The eagle became a boar and charged the bard.

That was two. He was out of transformations. This was what Other Red had been waiting for. “I cast Dimension Door,” he announced, “on both of us.”

“O… K,” said Tyto.  “You both move to..?”
“500 feet directly above us. And as we start to fall, I cast Feather Fall on myself only.”

Tyto and the Fair One both stopped as they realized what he’d done. “So,” Tyto said to the Gentleman, “You’re falling 500 feet. Do you have anything that might help with that?”

“I do not.”

“Then if you’re alright with it, I don’t think we need to roll to know that you’re pretty dead.”
“No.” He stood up and offered Other Red his hand. “How inventive. The musician is yours.” He left the room without another word, and the audience followed behind. After a moment, the door opened again and Frankie Lee stumbled in. He was shivering, with snow melting on his shoulders and water droplets clinging to his tightly curled hair. It was sixty degrees outside.

Other Red almost knocked his chair back standing up. He held Frankie Lee tightly for a long time, and then pulled away a little.

“What were you thinking?”

“I know, I know. How long was I gone?”

“About a week and a half. How long did you…?”

“Damn. I was only there for a couple of hours. I was starting to run out of Bowie. I tell you what, though, I think I finished that song I was working on.”

“If you finished it while you were There, you should maybe never play that part.”

“Good call.”

 [x]