Last night saw a vast amount of new content announced for Destiny 2, with Bungie announcing three years of expansions to their looter shooter – Beyond Light, The Witch Queen and Lightfall – which will take players through to 2022-23. Alongside that they also made another thing clear: Destiny 3 might never happen.
Instead of wiping the slate clean with a new numbered game, Bungie will start to manage the content that’s available alongside new expansions. They will start to cycle older content out, putting it into the Destiny Content Vault (DCV) to help focus the community on a subset of activities and try to keep things fresh. However, old content can and will return, including things from Destiny 1.
The company explained the decision in an FAQ about the game’s future:
Destiny 2 is too large to efficiently update and maintain. The size and complexity of the game are also contributing to more bugs and less innovation. Instead of building a Destiny 3 and leaving D2 behind, each year, we are going to cycle older, less actively played content out of the live game and into what we’re calling the Destiny Content Vault (DCV). This will allow us to add to and support D2 for years, including the three new annual expansions we announced today, starting with Beyond Light this fall.
We’ll see this new policy start with Beyond Light in September. Mars, Io, Titan, Mercury and the Leviathan will all be put into the vault at that point, making space on the cluttered Director to add the new Europa location alongside the returning Cosmodrome from the first game. These go alongside the Moon, Tangled Shore, Dreaming City, European Dead Zone and Nessus.
We won’t see all of Destiny 1’s content suddenly reappear, but certain elements will. Smith announced that the iconic Vault of Glass raid will return sometime in 2021, and they will likely also be bringing back The Devil’s Lair strike.
With Destiny 1, we solved the “ever expanding, exponential complexity” problem by making a sequel in Destiny 2. We left behind all of Destiny 1’s content and many of the features players grew to love. We believe now that it was a mistake to create a situation that fractured the community, reset player progress, and set the player experience back in ways that took us a full year to recover from and repair. It’s a mistake we don’t want to repeat by making a Destiny 3. We don’t believe a sequel is the right direction for the game and for the past two years we have been investing all of our development effort into new content, gameplay, and new engine features that directly support a single evolving world in Destiny 2.
Bungie have often struggled to keep content relevant, with older raids and activities often languishing with rewards that only match previous expansions and updates. The implication is that whenever content is un-vaulted, it will be updated to meet the latest content update and pushed back to the fore.
However, this will have a huge impact on the game for new players, which the company hoped to draw to the game when making the Year One content free to play. Vaulting Io and Titan means that the original story campaign from the game can no longer be played in its entirety, not to mention the first two expansions that came on Mercury and Mars.
How Bungie will craft a cohesive introductory experience for new players isn’t exactly clear, but is something that they’ll hopefully explain in the coming months.