Will We Meet The Exo Stranger Again In Destiny 2?

E3 was a big event for Destiny 2. Lots and lots of new details and gameplay have been revealed and shown, but there have also been some nice tidbits of information coming out of interviews in and around the event between various staff and multiple press outlets. This includes a statement from Luke Smith, Game Director, who said that he felt the team had exited the Exo Stranger effectively in the original Destiny, opening up the conversation for whether we will see her again in Destiny 2.

The Exo Stranger is a character players will meet as they progress through the story missions. She’s extremely strange and very mysterious, talking mostly to an unseen ally of hers the very first time she meets you. Later she’ll congratulate you on destroying the great big ball of darkness inside the Black Garden, and gift you with her, admittedly badass, weapon. After that, she just up and phases out of the Tower without any kind of hint as to whether that’s it or if there’s more for you to do.

The problem with the Exo Stranger is that you never feel like her story has been fully wrapped up. Luke Smith himself also said that there’s a world where we never find out anything more about the Exo Stranger, and there’s a world where she’s the star. Of course he’s referring to the two drastically different routs the team could take when it comes to Destiny 2’s narrative and the Exo Stranger.

If Bungie were to make Destiny 2, or a later expansion, solely focus on the Exo Stranger, it would explain more about her character and the group she’s with but it would have to open up more mysteries. The Exo Stranger had a single goal, to get Guardians to destroy the heart in the Black Garden. If she returned there would need to be some other sort of hellish creature causing problems around the system. If we take her group to be some sort of band of heroes who always work in the dark to protect the Light, then it makes sense that they’d only show their faces again when things got too dire.

Destiny 2 starts with Guardians losing their power, meaning they can now die and have no Super abilities like they used to. On one hand this is a serious enough event to warrant the interest of a group much like the Exo Stranger’s, but we need to remember that she herself is no longer a Guardian and hasn’t been for a long time.

If we see the Exo Stranger again it would need to be because of a competitor to the Red Legion, another group or individual who wants to take the Traveller’s Light for their own. With the playing field equalised thanks to the acts of the opening of the game, the situation is wide open for any enemies to come in and start taking the power of the Traveller for their own, the only question is who will this be if it’s anyone?

Destiny 2 Release Date and Beta Dates Update

E3 has been on this entire week and there’s been a fair bit of news out of the conference. Most important of all a is information relating to the game’s release date, both on consoles and PC, as well as the Beta release date.

The Destiny 2 Beta has been confirmed as running from July 19th until July 23rd on consoles. Now this beta is only available to those who have pre-ordered the game, so if you haven’t done that it might be worth doing it this month to ensure you get a chance to trial the game before it’s released. If you’re wondering what console to pre-order for then I would say Playstation 4, because the Beta is gong live there on July 18th, giving PS4 players a whole day extra on top of what Xbox One players will get. Sony also have a deal with Activision Blizzard surrounding Destiny 2, meaning Playstation 4 players get exclusive exotics as well as potentially early access to all future content.

For PC players the beta is coming slightly later. Now this is because the full release date of the game for PC has also been delayed, and the game isn’t simply a port of the console version. For anyone looking to get Destiny 2 on PC, pre-order now and you’ll get into the Beta in august.

The release date for Destiny 2 has shifted ever so slightly on both console and PC. Before E3 the release date was September 8th, but the game will now launch for Xbox One and Playstation 4 on September 6th. Now I know this isn’t a massive shift in the grand scheme of things but what it does do is put the game on a release day of Wednesday instead of Friday. The possible reason for this could be that Bungie is now hoping to have Trials of Osiris run that Friday, September 8th, but they don’t want players to be overwhelmed too early on. By releasing the game on the Wednesday they give players plenty of time to gear up a bit before taking on others in the gruelling Trials matches.

For PC the release date has shifted to October 24th. Now this is a Tuesday which is a normal day for games to be released, however it could still be that Bungie wants to run Trials that weekend and don’t want to overwhelm PC players either.

With the PC version releasing a month or so after the console version some may be worried about the state of the Raid. In Destiny Bungie waited a few weeks before unlocking the Raid so players could earn gear and guns to complete it. This time around I think we will see the same situation, but I doubt that Bungie will wait over a month for the PC version to release just to put the Raid out for all players. Unfortunately it looks like PC players will miss out on being the first Raiders in the game.

Destiny Won’t Receive Any More Balance Updates or Design Passes, At Least For Now

In the latest weekly update from Bungie we were told that Destiny won’t be receiving anymore updates in terms of balance, design passes or tweaks for the foreseeable future. The sold focus for Bungie at this point is Destiny 2, which is entirely understandable given that the release date is sneaking up on us fast.

The update did say that once Destiny 2 is out and the studio is has a bit more time on their hands they have a host of new updates for Destiny. These updates are the product of listening to fan feedback and will, according to bungie, make it the game fans are crying out for.

Since release Destiny has been balanced and re-balanced every week, with new bits and pieces being added to the world, taken out, and weapons have been buffed or nerfed depending on what the Crucible meta is. Part of Destiny’s success is the fact that it has been so carefully looked after since it launched, with everything being constantly changes in order to keep the game fair and fun for everyone.

Some memorable changes Bungie has brought to the game are the huge nerfing that Shotguns suffered, which were all people used in the Crucible for a while, the destruction of the loot cave, which is now part of the Age of Triumph record book, and the nerfing of the Vex Mythoclast, which was the only elemental primary weapon for quite some time.

The Destiny 2 beta will launch later this year, giving everyone a chance to try out the game in some small form before it launches. In Destiny the beta consisted of four main story missions, one of which was a Strike for players to enjoy as a group. Destiny 2 is set to be a much larger game, not just in terms of the number of missions but also the amount of activities to do outside of the core story. The beta for Destiny 2 will most likely include the European Deadzone open world, a small number of missions and a Strike, and some additional open world events such as Lost Sectors. The goal of the beta will be to iron out any glaringly obvious bugs that Bungie have missed, so it will be imperative for as many people as possible to play it.

Sunshot, Sweet Business, and Riskrunner – Some of the Exotic Weapons in Destiny 2

Destiny has a whole pile of Exotic weapons for Guardians to gather, horde, and barely use in all of the activities the game has to offer. Destiny 2 will be no different, and now we have the opportunity to check out three of the Exotic weapons coming with Destiny 2. These weapons were class exclusive in the Destiny 2 reveal event but there’s no confirmation as to whether they are specifically class exclusive. The classes mentioned below are the ones that simply held the exotic weapon to give you an idea if they are class exclusive.

Sunshot – Hunter Exotic Hand Cannon

Obviously Hunters get the Hand Cannon, that’s just the class they belong with and you can’t really argue with that. This gun is Solar powered, which should also be obvious given the name. The weapons deals 200 damage, at the moment anyway because we don’t know about the infusion process if there even is one. The weapon also fires 150 rounds per minute, which sounds more like a machine gun but it definitely isn’t, and that fact alone makes it awesome.

The perks for this weapon are Sunburn, which produces explosive rounds that are said to highlight targets, and Sunshot, which makes enemies explode in Solar energy. I can’t really get my head around just how good this is going to be in PVP. Here you have a way to highlight your enemies, and there are explosive rounds going off as standard. Couple that with an explosion every time you kill an enemy, and you’ve got team kills stacking up in your mind already.

Sweet Business – Titan Exotic Auto Rifle

This exotic Auto Rifle sounds like it’s Void powered, but it could as easily just be Kinetic which is just fine. The weapon deals 200 damage and fires 360 rounds per minute, which is pretty phenomenal and worthy of an exotic weapon.

The perks for this weapon are Payday, which increases the hip fire accuracy as well as the total ammunition its magazine, and a Placeholder perk that currently isn’t named, but it boosts the rate of fire and range when you hold down the trigger. Additionally any ammunition that is picked up will be automatically loaded into the magazine.

Riskrunner – Warlock Exotic SMG

This SMG also does 200 damage, but it fires 360 rounds per minute, just under the Auto Rifle Sweet Business which is nothing to be shunned. This weapon seems like it does Arc damage, so it may be that it doesn’t just belong in the Kinetic Weapons slot. As the first exotic SMG we’re getting a look at, this is pretty awesome.

The perks for this gun are Arc Conductor, which increases the weapon’s damage when you take Arc damage, and another unnamed perk which works alongside Ar Conductor, giving bullets a chance to become chain lightning when the other perk is active.

These exotic weapons look pretty great and are a good start to what I’m sure is just an entire mountain of elusive loot to chase after.

Why Guided Games Is Essential For Destiny 2

Bungie is introducing a brand new system into Destiny 2 that will help all those who enjoy the solo experience of the game, and those who simply don’t have enough mates playing the game.

In Destiny it has always been the way that when you hit the end game content you find yourself up against a wall of missions and activities that require you to meet up and join with people you know in order to compete. Even if you join a clan, some people simply don’t have the time to dedicate to a weekly raid, or a specific time for playing through round after round of Trials of Osiris.

Guided Games is a completely different experience. In Destiny 2 we’ll definitely still have a Raid, but there will no doubt be other activities such as Trials of Osiris that require you to meet up with mates, or clan members, in order to complete them. With Guided Games you can do these activities, and you don’t need to wait until a specific time or day just to do them.

With Guided Games clans will be brought into the game proper, and players will be able to browse them in order to find groups who are in need of one or two additional players for their activities. A small description of each clan will be shown, and then it’s down to you if they sound like a decent group to roll with. There is no pressure to join the clan, and you can move on and raid with a new one the very next day if you wish so.

This new system will completely change how people play Destiny 2, as there won’t be a need to be part of a clan. I suspect that people will remain a part of the clans they’re currently aligned with more out of loyalty and convenience. Guardians will be used to running with their clan each week, and changing this habit is going to be very difficult for people who have built up strong friendships.

For those of us who enjoy a more solitary experience in Destiny, meeting up with random players through the Subreddit or LFG sites, Guided Games will be essential. Having a system that makes it easier to complete all activities in the game each week, and it makes Destiny the game all Guardians want it to be, not just a game that has some aspects all players will enjoy.

The New Worlds Of Destiny 2 And Navigating Them

Bungie unveiled a lot of information at the Destiny 2 reveal event, but none seems broader than the new worlds confirmed as both part of player exploration, and the core story. The new worlds are Io, Titan, and Nessus, though we’re also seeing a return to Earth, but we’ll be in a different area due to the impact of the Red Legion destroying the Tower. One thing you have to note about these worlds is that there will be no more returning to Orbit in order to switch between them. In Destiny 2 you are able to open the System Map and travel to which ever planet you’d like regardless of where you are.

All of the worlds in Destiny 2 will have better and more interesting gameplay thanks to the map that players can use to reveal Timed Events, secret loot caches, and collectibles. Hidden Sectors will now be found around each area, holding a large boss who guards a pile of loot that you definitely want to get your hands on. NPCs will also be dotted around the worlds offering you side missions and treasure maps, helping you discover the world around you and really feel like you’re seeing every inch of it.

Let’s take a look at these new worlds in some more detail.

Earth – European deadzone

The European Deadzone will take the place of Old Russia on earth. Now players will not only patrol this new, much greener and more lush, area, but it looks like Guardians will be able to seamlessly transition between the patrol area and the new social space there. That’s right, the Vanguard has relocated to the European Deadzone, at least that’s what it looks like from the gameplay videos. This area is twice as large as any in Destiny at the moment, though it is probably the only one that will be given the nature of the combination of hostile and friendly environments here.

The social space that Guardians will now be calling home looks like little more than a shanty town. My theory is that as players progress through the campaign they will see this town grow as more people flock too it from the now destroyed last city. As it grows new missions and NPCs will probably become available, which should create the feeling of the world growing organically around you. The story of Destiny 2 has Guardians travelling around the system collecting members of the Vanguard from where they’ve scattered themselves to. Bringing this group together once again will be how Guardians win the fight against the Red Legion.

Io

This first new planet is one of Jupiter’s moons, the fourth-largest. With over 400 active volcanoes it is the most geologically active body in the solar system, and that makes for one hot world when you’re travelling around its surface. In the lore of the game, this is the last place the Traveller’s Light touched before the Collapse, and the freshness of the Light here has made it a holy place for many Guardians. Warlocks regard Io as a holy place the most, travelling there to observe the powers of the traveller and bask in its power.

If there was anywhere Guardians can hope to recover even a small semblance of their powers in the known galaxy, it’s on Io. The Traveller’s power is probably at its most powerful here, which is why Ikora of the Vanguard has travelled here and will have some quests for Guardians when they travel to see her.

Titan

Titan is a cold and watery world where scientists currently believe there could be life in extremophile form. The seas however are not made of water, they’re made of methane, and are terribly cold.The atmosphere on Titan is thick, and therefore an ecosystem here could be possible, especially if the Traveller has had any kind of influence over it.

Here Guardians will join up with Zavalla, who is currently gathering his strength in and around some of the Golden Age platforms that were built on the land on Titan. These platforms will be interesting to explore, not just because of their many levels, but also the fact that they are slowly falling into the sea.

Nessus

Nessus is the only world Guardians will explore that is outside of Earth’s solar system. This planet is strange and unstable, and has been completely overtaken by the Vex. Here huge Vex machines mine and convert the landscape for some unknown purpose. If Nessus is anything like Venus and the Vault of Glass, it will be filled with time holes and great and powerful enemies that lie locked away in some sort of prison, waiting to be unleashed by the Vex. Here Guardians will follow Cayde-6 on his adventures, no doubt as he attempts to regain his power and avoid being brought back into the desk job he has with the Vanguard.

 

 

New Supers And Abilities In Destiny 2

At the Destiny 2 reveal event we saw quite a lot of screen time from on the new Super abilities from new subclasses. These subclasses were revealed quite a while ago when some Destiny 2 images leaked, showing some characters with sword, shield, and a staff. We know now that these images were actually of these new Super abilities, though they aren’t new subclasses.

The first new Super and subclass is Dawnblade. This is a Solar Super that gives Guardians a huge Solar sword that works mostly like the swords in Destiny. However, this sword also throws flame at enemies when swung in their general direction. The full skill tree for this revamped subclass includes Solar Grenades, Firebolt Grenades, and Fusion Grenades, as well as some other abilities such as healing rift, healing those around you, and Empowering Rift, a wall of Light that increases the power of those inside of it.

The second new Super is for Titans, the Sentinel subclass. The Sentinel is a Void subclass This new subclass turns Guardians into a space version of Captain America. Titans will get a shield that they can use to smash enemies out of the way, defend themselves, or throw at enemies in order to take them down. The shield will bounce off of enemies as it hits them, meaning you could throw it into a group of three and end up taking all of them down if you really wanted to.

The final new subclass is the Arcstrider for Hunters. Of course the Arcstrider is an Arc based subclass, but with the Super it’s so much more than that. The Super gives Hunters a big old Arc staff with which they can smash enemies and do all sorts of awesome attack moves over and around with, taking out enemies with incredible efficiency. There’s an AOE effect that sees you spin the staff around against all enemies, and there’s some kind of attack that sees Hunters come down from a height to deal big damage too.

With new subclasses come new dynamics between fireteams. Of course the ideal fireteam would be one of each major class with complementary subclasses in order to take enemies down in the most efficient way possible. Dawnblades definitely seem like more of a supporting subclass, with abilities that play on helping out allies with healing and empowering. The Arcstrider appears to be more of a close combat specialist, and classically they’ve always trodden the line between supportive and offensive roles in the fireteam. The Sentinel Titan definitely seems like more of an offensive subclass, especially with that shield that can be used for both close and long range combat. However these subclasses play out in the game we now at least know what they are and what elemental power they all use.

What this doesn’t answer is the question over whether there’s a new elemental power in the game, one that Guardians will gain access to as part of the second half of the game’s content. The main element that springs to mind is air, though how this would be represented in Destiny 2 in both weapons and subclasses is a different story altogether.

New Weapons And Loadouts In Destiny 2

Last night we were treated to a reveal event for Destiny 2, and a lot of information was given to us in a short amount of time. One thing that was glazed over quite well, at least for those of us watching the stream who haven’t had a chance to play the game yet, was the new weapons and loadout system.

The new loadout system changes the current one a little, altering it from Primary, Special, and Heavy weapons, to Kinetic, Energy, and Power weapons. We already know what Kinetic weapons are, Assault Rifles, Pulse Rifles, Hand Cannons, and Scout Rifles. Energy Weapons are different and include some of the new weapons shown off last night such as Grenade Launchers, as well as old weapons such as Fusion Rifles. While we don’t have any confirmation of what Power Weapons are, we saw some very impressive weapons as part of the stream such as cannon that sends out pulses of Arc energy into enemies, and a giant satellite cannon.

The difference between the two loadout systems is the freedom it allows Guardians in how they outfit themselves. A Grenade launcher is useful, but very high power, so probably belongs in your Power slot. If you’re partial to sidearms or SMGs then you can put one of either in the Energy and Kinetic slots, or you could opt for a sidearm and a Hand Cannon, to keep things consistent. Alternatively you could give yourself a Fusion Rifle and Shotgun and keep the punchier weapons out in front so that you pack way more firepower. The point is that your loadout is exactly what you want it to be, and that’s going to make a big difference between how you play Destiny, and Destiny 2 when it releases.

In addition to the new weapon types and loadouts, we have a new manufacturer. Veist is the name of the new weapon manufacturer joining the fray in Destiny 2, and they appear to specialise in SMGs, and potentially certain Power weapons. Whether we see some Exotics from this new manufacturer is still up for debate, but with the truckload of them promised by Bungie we can certainly hope for some.

Destiny 2 Gameplay Reveal Livestream Summary

Today was the Destiny 2 reveal livestream from Bungie. The live event invited both press and YouTubers or streamers to come and try out the game, in addition to the epic reveal that they streamed around the world. The details from the event follow.

The stream opened with a new trailer for Destiny 2, following Commander Zavalla’s story from his first day as a Guardian, and how he had a hand in the Tower being built from the ground up.

Luke Smith entered the stage next, and spoke a little about how Destiny 2 is a new beginning for the universe. The fact that it’s coming to PC alone means that veteran players will be playing right alongside complete newcomers, but that will probably also be the case on consoles too. He then spoke about the three things that the developers have been thinking about as they’ve been building the game.

First is a world that pulls you in. This involves having a story that players can relate to, and characters that they want to spend time with and work together with, as well as enemies. The world needs to be enticing, inviting players to explore every corner for new discoveries.

Secondly they want to create amazing things to do. This involves creating a world that’s not only attractive to groups of players, but those who want to enjoy the game as a solo experience as well, and they’ve taken steps to ensure it will work to everyone’s preferences.

The third point is that there’s always someone to play with. 50% of the players in the original game have teamed up to take on the raids, but this means 50% haven’t. This third point is a hint about how the Nightfall, Trials of Osiris, and the Raids will be available to all players through the changes being made in Destiny 2.

Next up we finally get a trailer that explains what happens to the Tower to leave all the Guardians stranded in random places around it, how the Cabal attack. The trailer shows the Cabal invading after removing the defences the guardians have set up, the attack takes the Guardians completely by surprise and cripples them.

The trailer then skips to gameplay, and we’re back behind the eyes of a Guardian in the moments the Tower is falling. Right off the mark we can see that this is a new Subclass of some kind, and they have an additional ability on top of the melee attack and grenade recharge. As two more Guardians join the fray we can see the shooting looks a bit meatier than in Destiny, and as the team fall in against a door we can see Commander Zavalla right there in the middle of the combat helping out, a real first.

Supers start coming out next, and one Guardian gets a Void shield that they can use to defend and smash enemies out of the way with. Next a Hunter pulls out a shield and spear, both sporting Arc damage, which allows them to pierce their way through the enemy ranks. Finally our Guardian pulls out their Super, a Solar sword that can throw blade shots and be brought down for massive damage.

As the player seeks out the Speaker only to find him taken by the Red Legion, Ikora lets out a huge Void Blast to take down a Cabal ship. After Amanda Holliday brings us up to a Cabal command ship, it’s time to take the fight to the leader. At this point it’s worth mentioning the plethora of new weapons that are on display, but we’ll go into those in another article. The gameplay ends with a huge Cabal telling us how our journey ends here.

After that we have a brief discussion about the story of Destiny 2, which sees the Red Legion coming to Earth to take the Traveller, to become a better class of Guardian. Players will need to spend the whole game recouping the loss that is felt at its beginning. The Cabal are jealous for the Light, and are fighting as hard as they can for it. Guardians will lose their powers and their home, and they’ll have to fight to find a new one and regain what made them great once more.

When it comes to the weapon slots things are going to be very different in Destiny 2. On top of the new guns we now have different types of slots, one for Kinetic weapons, one for Energy weapons, and Power weapons. Read more about the weapons of Destiny 2 here.

New Supers are explored now, with the Dawnblade first. This is a Warlock Subclass that uses a Solar sword mentioned earlier. The Sentinel is the Void shield ability that allowed players to push their way through the enemy forces, the shield can also be thrown to take enemies out from afar. Finally we have the Arcstrider, a Hunter Subclass that uses an Arc staff to flip and slash through enemies.

Steve Cotton, World Lead, takes to the stage next. He discusses the worlds that we’ll be exploring in Destiny 2 both in missions and free play. The usual Campaigns and Strikes, including one called The Inverted Spire, are both returning. Here it’s worth noting that this particular Strike is on a world outside of our system, meaning we’ll be travelling a long long way in Destiny 2. The Crucible of course returns, but it’s going to be 4V4 across all modes.

A big piece of news is the fact that you can launch any content without having to go to Orbit first. There are side missions, treasure maps, and new random encounters to have as you explore each planet. Lost Sectors are filled with bosses and a huge cache of treasure for you to uncover. The four world players will patrol across are Titan, Io, Earth, and Nessus, all of which we’ll explore further over the coming days.

When it comes to social options, Clans will be coming into the game in Destiny 2. Previously coordination had to happen outside of the game, but now it will be so much more integrated. Clans will be able to work together, with every activity counting towards rewards all members receive. Something new called Guided Games will allow solo players to pair themselves with a clan in order to access endgame content like the Raid.

Mark Noseworthy, Project Lead, comes onto the stage next. He talks more about the social aspect of the game, and how important it is for them to help build those relationships in Destiny 2.

A final note from Activision told fans that the PC version of the game will be available exclusively through Battle.net. Please check back to check out in-depth articles on every aspect revealed about Destiny 2 so far.

Image Source: Eurogamer

Activision Blizzard Confirm Steady Stream of Content for Destiny 2

During a conference call that took place after the earnings report meeting for Activision Blizzard, it has been confirmed that Destiny 2 will have a steady stream of content after launch. This confirmation comes as a reiteration to investors who have clearly raised concerns over the sequel, given that a core complaint with the original game was the lack of updates and content after launch.

Activision Blizzard also confirmed that Destiny 2 on PC will have meaningful features that make the game relevant to PC gamers, but was reluctant to reveal further information before the gameplay reveal on May 18th.

This news is welcome after the disaster that was the post-launch content for Destiny in the beginning. The first two expansions, The Dark Below and House of Wolves, added features to the game that many felt should have been there from day one. Thus these expansions will always be seen as the missing puzzle pieces of the original game, that appeared to have been cut out of it when it was finished and held back behind time and money barriers.

Year 2’s expansion was better, The Taken King added much to the game that players had requested, as well as features they didn’t know they wanted. The hunt for Calcified Fragments is one that still consumes Guardians today, and the secrets held by the Dreadnaught are still making many question what certain items are for.

Rise of Iron, the last and latest expansion, added more mystery and a lot more content to the game. Most players are still pursuing the rewards offered by the latest DLC, and many are going through it with a fine tooth comb in order to complete their Record Books for Age of Triumph.

Bungie continues to offer updates, and not just the hot fixes that serve to balance out the current meta of the Crucible. The April update brought more to The Taken King than originally planned, and opened our eyes to the generosity of the developers that we thought were money-grabbing finks. The Dawning showed us yet again just how festive the developers could be, though we were always expecting something thanks to The Festival of the Lost and Crimson Days. Finally we have been given the Age of Triumph.

Age of Triumph is easily the best free update Destiny has ever seen It has given players who weren’t even bothered about finishing Rise of Iron a reason to play again, with records that require players to scour the whole game again more or less. It also encourages the completion of pesky quests that we haven’t quite been bothered to do as of yet.

Anything close to what we’ve seen in the latter half of Destiny’s existence will be more than welcome in Destiny 2, though I suspect a much larger plan is at play. From what we can see so far the two initial expansions are planned to relate to Trials of Osiris, and Rasputin. While Trials of Osiris is a weekly event, Rasputin is simply a mystery. Both of these expansions, it can be argued, will add more than just the content you can see, and that’s why they’re so exciting. Adding more content each week with both the expansions would fit, especially if you’re solving a mystery with Rasputin that requires you to complete a task each week or miss unlocking the next one.

Image source: Engadget