Luke Smith: Destiny 2020 Director’s Cut
Full Blog Post Link: bung.ie/2VmoqYT
I’ll throw the first bit at you here, as Luke Smith’s posts tend to be too long for Moot to post in its entirety. Follow the above link for the full post! ———/-/——— “Hey everyone, Setting aside the tricks our memories play on us, things are often clearer in hindsight than when we’re looking ahead. The recent past is clear, loaded with learnings from the mistakes we make, and the future is fuzzy, hopeful, and unknown. As we readied last year’s Director’s Cut, we had made a number of changes to the game and wanted to give you all some insight as to why we made those changes. Each Director’s Cut is a chance to acknowledge and own the learnings from the past (when the wounds are fresh) and give a glimpse at tomorrow. This edition is arriving a little earlier in the development process for how we’re thinking about Year 4 (and beyond) and, while some of the changes the game needs are clear to us, there are others we’re still thinking about. Last summer’s payload covered a wide-range of topics that ended up touching on almost the whole game. Today’s DC is going to look in depth at just a couple of topics: how our philosophy on Seasons is evolving and the problems with weapons that last forever, with some additional quick-hit topics at the end. This isn’t exhaustive, we know there’s more going on in the game than below. And there will be more to talk about later in the year. Before we look ahead, let’s look back one more time. 2019 was about a few things for Bungie and Destiny: Asserting our vision for Destiny. It’s an action MMO, in a single evolving world, that you can play anytime, anywhere with your friends. It’s a game we want to keep building on, and to do so with creative and work/life sustainability. Without our team’s talents, there isn’t a Destiny. And while that seems OBVIOUS to say, I think it’s pretty easy to lose sight of amidst the “This was awesome”/“This was not so awesome” reactions to entertainment. As I covered at length last year, the way we built the Annual Pass wouldn’t work for us over the long haul. We had a lot of help and person-power from our awesome (and now former) partners. We needed to find a better way forward, while preserving the player experience and our business, because we are now self-publishing Destiny. That was a big lift for Bungie in 2019. When I think about the total scope of that work and the sheer force of will the team demonstrated to deliver in 2019, I feel pretty good about what we achieved (usually, this is where we’d list all of the positives but, instead, let’s use the word count to improve on the past and look ahead to the future). As we began 2020, much of the existential dread of “Will we make it out of this transition?” is gone. We’ve clarified our vision for Destiny and are working toward the future with that vision in mind. For me personally, the drive home each night isn’t focused on “Will Bungie survive?” like before. Now it’s “Where can Destiny go?” and “How can we get there?” When I came back from the holiday this year, something about Destiny felt off to me. Season 9 is – to me – the best winter season we’ve done in Destiny 2. But something felt missing. And that missing element is what I think we need to focus on throughout 2020 and into 2021. Aspiration: 1. A hope or ambition of achieving something. 2. The action or process of drawing breath. In Destiny 2, aspiration is what keeps our game alive. It is the air that fills its lungs, it is the breath that gives the game meaning. Aspiration can be about entering Destiny 2 for the first time and feeling the potential of what you could become. It can be about the pursuits in front of you. Or it can also be PVP players looking over the horizon and seeing the Lighthouse and its treasures awaiting them – if they pass The Trials. Aspiration isn’t something reserved for the elite or the engaged; it’s for everyone (although when I listen to players express the feeling that, “There’s so much to do and none of it matters,” I feel that pain). It’s about the potential of a game to be more than something that just fills your time. It’s about having goals and working toward something that matters to you. I’m not so naïve as to think we can make something that matters to everyone – we all have different values, goals, and time. But I do think Destiny 2 can do a better job of enabling players to set short-, medium-, and long-term goals to work toward. As a player, aspiration is something I feel so strongly about. It’s the difference between a game I fall in love with and a game I consume like junk food. Last year, we started thinking about aspiration and what is missing from Destiny. The gaping, burning-eye-shaped hole is something I’d felt since we set Trials aside early in D2. Its return is part of a bigger goal for Destiny moving into 2020 and beyond: We need to refuel aspiration in Destiny 2. And a bunch of what we’re going to cover in this edition of the Director’s Cut is going to orbit this.” ———/-/——— Continue reading the full blog post, picking up at the section titled: Seasons of Change. Let us know what you think, Guardians!