With Destiny 2‘s May 18th live event behind us, not to mention the months of avalanche-sized leaks, Destiny fans have a reasonably sound idea of what direction the sequel is heading in. With more gameplay footage and the inciting incidents of the story to go off of, we’ve compiled a guide to everything we do know, everything we’re confident we might know, and everything we desperately want to find out about Destiny 2.
What we know we know
What is Destiny 2? Destiny 2 will follow on as a direct sequel from the original Destiny. A Cabal attack on the Last City by the new leader Ghaul has left everything in ruins, forcing the Guardians to take up yet an even more dire fight for survival. According to developers, the sequel will be more of everything that hardcore fans loved about the first game while also being more accessible to new players. Among the new content are raids, cooperative strikes, Nightfall strikes, weapons, planets, additional Guardian subclasses, and multiplayer options.
Will our Guardians carry over to Destiny 2? Any quantifiable progress players made with their Guardians will be reset in Destiny 2. Assuming players beat the campaign and reached level 20 with their characters in the original Destiny, cosmetic choices will carry. Weapons and gear, however, will be stripped away, which the narrative attributes to the attack on the Last City destroying it all.
How are classes and subclasses different in Destiny 2? The first official gameplay video reveals players will have to start fresh with their Guardians in Destiny 2, but there are now new subclasses for each type to grow, with a focus on strategic teamwork in PvP and PvE. The Titan Sentinel summons a Captain America-like shield for throwing or bashing, the Warlock Dawnblade summons a flaming sword that can rain energy down on enemies, and the Hunter Arcstrider uses a staff with elemental abilities. Returning subclass abilities will be given a sleek new tree system menu to streamline upgrades like the Titan’s Fist of Havoc, the Hunter’s Golden Gun, and the Warlock’s Nova Bomb. Classes will also have a set of abilities to further improve on battle mechanics, including the Hunter Gunslinger’s Marksman Dodge and Gambler’s Dodge, which may be locked to specific subclasses.
What other planets will Destiny 2 take place on? Rumors previously pointed at a lot of Destiny 2 taking place on Mars and on Saturn’s ring. There was a lot of Mars content that was supposed to drop with The Taken King expansion that never appeared. We now know four planets in the solar system will be explored, which are the European Dead Zone of Earth; one of Saturn’s moons, Titan; a Vex-occupied planetoid, Nessus; and Jupiter’s sulfuric moon, Io. Bungie stressed the idea of exploration will flow through the narrative and gameplay of Destiny 2 with these new places, all featuring various patrols, ambient encounters, and side missions known as Adventures. The maps for each planet have been updated as well, providing markers for public events, Adventures, and dungeons to explore, all with the handy new system of world jumping without having to go into orbit.
What social space will replace The Tower in Destiny 2? With the game opening with The Tower’s destruction, Destiny 2 is obviously in need of a replacement. Bungie has confirmed a new social space called The Farm will act as the hub for shopping and meeting online with up to 26 other players at a time. The game’s narrative lead Ryan Ebenger took players on a tour of the new home, showing off the familiar vendors like Cryptarch and the Postmaster, as well as teasing new shops and experiences will be awaiting players. Destiny‘s bouncing ball, for instance, has now become a full-on soccer game, complete with scoreboard. Thankfully, new vaults will also be available in The Farm, so players can store weapons safely and continue to hunt the various planets for more to add to their arsenal.
Will we learn more about “the Darkness”? Players of the first game will remember rumblings of a mysterious force called “the Darkness” that lead to the idea there is a more powerful malevolent force in Destiny‘s lore for the Guardians to defeat. However, the development team has revealed the story will focus solely on the new antagonist, Dominus Ghaul, and his battle to maintain control of the Light after ripping it from the Guardians. While this strange force will not be addressed at all in the sequel, Bungie has said they will give a clear answer down the road, most likely in Destiny 3 or an expanded universe title.
Will there be matchmaking for raids and other high-level content in Destiny 2? And what about clan support? Bungie revealed new raids, Nightfall missions, and Trials of Osiris will utilize team play in a new way. Clan support has been added in the sequel, which comes with in-game rosters, tools for building fireteams, and even the ability to create custom banners. In Bungie’s own spin on matchmaking, the new Guided Games system, only available on Normal mode, will also pull in solo players without a team to participate in these events, allowing them to cycle through the various clans looking for an extra member for a mission. According to Mark Noseworthy, this doesn’t mean only teams of five looking for one extra player will be an option, as Bungie is looking into providing a way for two friends missing a team to join an existing team of four. At this rate, there could be a possibility for a team of three needing another team of three to have support as well.
How will Destiny 2‘s Crucible be different? In one of the more drastic updates from the May 18th live event, we now know Destiny 2 is cutting down the player count for its PvP Crucible multiplayer. Bungie, in an effort to accommodate smaller teams and add more transparency, has announced the previous six player teams will now by 4v4 and the multiplayer HUD will now display which enemies have charged supers or heavy ammo. However, the ability to create Private Matches will not be available at launch, with no concrete date on when it will be added for multiplayer.
Will faction vendors return? Just as in Destiny, it’s been confirmed there will be vendors specific to each faction, but they will only sell packages through faction progression. The packages include sets of Dead Orbit, New Monarchy, and Future War Cult weapons. Weapon collection will focus more on gathering and upgrading in the open-world, instead of allowing players to purchase what they need from vendors. There will be new ways to collect advanced weaponry, such as the Flashpoint events, where new loot can be found after conquering a particularly difficult dungeon.
Will Destiny 2 have randomized weapon perks? Nope. It’s been revealed the weapon system will take a step away from the random perk system seen in the first game, opting for set perks designed by Bungie on each weapon. According to the development team, this change will allow for more flexibility in per-item tuning. How attaining duplicates of weapons will work is still a mystery to us and Bungie, but it seems the game’s goal is to fine-tune as much as possible going into launch.
Will Destiny 2 feature seasonal events like the original Destiny‘s The Dawning? While not exactly seasonal, Bungie revealed weekly events known as Flashpoints will allow players to take on challenging quests that offer high-end loot. As for events like The Dawning, the seemingly reliable leak that surfaced earlier this year claimed that Destiny 2 would feature an event every one to two months. These scheduled events would be similar to those conducted by Overwatch, where new narrative paths and gameplay mechanics would be consistently introduced.
Will Destiny 2‘s enemies offer more company variety? Bungie has revealed new sets of more intelligent enemies will attack the Guardians, forcing players to rethink how they approach the typical run and gun shooter format. The Red Legion will act much like the special forces for the Cabal, adapting to the Guardian’s moves and weapons. The dog-like War Beasts, sword-wielding Gladiators, and fire-happy Incendiors are among the new factions to face, all of which will be placed like various chess pieces across the game to change-up gameplay from melee to distant sharp-shooting.
Will Destiny 2 have dedicated servers? For those hoping for a more secure means to connect with players, Bungie announced they will continue their peer-to-peer system used in the first Destiny and will not create dedicated servers, not even for PC. However, the sequel uses a hybrid of client-server and peer-to-peer technology by hosting all activities on Bungie’s servers to avoid host migration but making movement and ability use player-based. This should hopefully cut down on the connectivity issues players expressed experiencing in the first game.
What is Destiny 2‘s DLC plan? Destiny 2 is launching with two full expansions scheduled, available through the game’s expansion pass or individually. Exact details on the two announced expansions have yet to be revealed, but images associated with the expansions may have teased plot details involving the banished Osiris and the Russian Warmind Rasputin respectively. More expansions may follow later down the line. Activision also seems to be taking an inclusive step forward by using third party studios to develop post-launch content, such as Vicarious Visions and High Moon, in order to avoid delays in release like players experienced with the first game.
Will Destiny 2 have timed exclusive content on PlayStation platforms like the first Destiny? Activision has confirmed PlayStation players will get exclusive content for Destiny 2, with the timed exclusivity lasting until fall 2018. PlayStation 4 players will be getting an exclusive strike called Lake of Shadows, a rifle called the Borealis, a ship called the City Apex, a PvP map called Retribution, and exclusive gear. Xbox and PC players will also have the chance to play the PlayStation-exclusive content in 2018. On a technical side, Destiny 2 director Luke Smith revealed the game will not run at 60 frames per second on PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 4 Pro, locking at 30 frames per second, due to the consoles lacking “horsepower”. However, Bungie confirmed Xbox One X players will also be locked at 30 frames per second, so every console player is in the same boat.
Will Destiny 2 launch with any special editions? There are three special editions available for the game at launch, each containing the game’s expansion pass among other bonuses. The three editions are the Digital Deluxe Edition, the Limited Edition, and the Collector’s Edition, and the contents for all three can be checked out on the official Destiny website. Fans can also enjoy a special Cayde-6 figurine by pre-ordering from GameStop.
When will support for the original Destiny end? According to Bungie during the livestream event of Destiny 2, support for the first Destiny was supposed to continue “for the foreseeable future,” but the developer has now stated the latest expansion, The Age of Triumph, was the last piece of new content for the original game. Additionally, no new updates will be brought in the future, meaning what Destiny is now is how it always will be moving forward. Bungie explained their efforts are focused on Destiny 2 from here on out and players should look forward to the new adventures they’ve been creating.
The Basics (skip)
What systems will Destiny 2 be available on? Destiny 2 will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Activision revealed the PC version will release exclusively on Blizzard’s Battle.net service. Project lead Mark Noseworthy has also stated there are still no plans to bring the shooter to Nintendo’s latest console.
What is Destiny 2‘s release date? Destiny 2 was originally set to launch on September 8th worldwide for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but during PlayStation’s E3 press conference the date was pushed forward to September 6th. The PC version will be available on Battle.net beginning October 24th. PlayStation players can preload the game starting September 3rd, and it’s speculated that Xbox players will have the chance to do so on September 5th.
Will Destiny 2 have a beta before launch? Yep. The beta dates vary based on whether or not you pre-order a copy of the game, but everyone will have a chance to try out Destiny 2 this summer whether they put down cash or not. Those who pre-order the game on PlayStation 4 will be able to hop in July 18th through 20th, while pre-orders on Xbox One get a slightly shorter early access period, running July 19th and 20th. Then, on July 21st, the beta opens up to everyone on both consoles and runs until the 23rd.
A PC beta is also planned for sometime in August, but Bungie has yet to announce any specifics.
In the beta, players can expect to play the opening story mission, complete the Inverted Spire Strike, try out two different competitive modes in the Crucible, use the new retooled subclasses, and explore the new social space, The Farm, for an hour on July 23rd, starting at 10 a.m. PT.
Where can I see the newest trailers for Destiny 2? The latest gameplay reveal trailer, which sets up the game’s antagonist, Dominus Ghaul, reveals the Guardians have been stripped of their powers after Ghaul’s attack on the Tower. The main reveal trailer depicts Hunter Cayde-6 and other Vanguards as they rally Guardians to defend the city, but Cayde also starred in an earlier teaser that prepared fans for the big reveal.
Where can we see gameplay for Destiny 2? Destiny 2‘s official gameplay reveal on May 18th showed off the beginning stage of the new story campaign, known as Homecoming, which involves an attack by the Cabal on the Last City. The first revealed three-player dungeon-like Strike, The Inverted Spire, also received a full playthrough by EGM.
What we think we know
What will the storyline be for Destiny 2? At the beginning of Destiny 2, Dominus Ghaul—the game’s new antagonist—attacks the Tower and strips Guardians of their powers in an attempt to harness the Light, scattering the Vanguards to far and distant worlds, and it’s up to you to retrieve them. Additionally, Ghaul may be the leader bringing the horde to take on the Guardians in battle, but a more powerful force behind Ghaul, known as Consul, will play a large role in the game.
However, there are many mysteries within the Destiny universe that remain unsolved, like what (or who) is the Traveler and why is it here, but that’s far from the only question we’re left with. Where did the Cabal get enough strength to wage such an attack? What other enemy factions were involved? The list goes on. Despite the entirety of the plot still behind a veil, director Luke Smith revealed Destiny 2 will focus more on story than the first entry, with a clearer narrative and attention to character growth.
Who is making Destiny 2? We know that the majority of the team at Bungie is working on Destiny 2, but Vicarious Visions—previously known for their work on Skylanders—has also recently joined the project. In addition, rumors are claiming that High Moon Studios (Deadpool) have also joined in on the title’s development.
Will microtransactions continue in Destiny 2? With the success of Silver—Destiny‘s premium currency that costs real-world money—we’d be shocked if microtransactions ceased to exist in Destiny 2. The Eververse Trading Company seems here to stay.
Will Destiny 2 have split-screen? We’re banking on no. The demands put on the consoles already to deliver high-quality graphics are too much to split the screen. We would assume it would cause an Xbox or PlayStation to explode under the stress, and the recent confirmation of a PC version all but guarantees no such feature will be there.
What characters are returning in Destiny 2? The sequel’s reveal trailer and gameplay trailer both already confirmed that the three class Vanguards would be leading the charge against the Cabal’s occupation of the city, but recent rumors have suggested other familiar faces will also reappear. The Queen of the Reef, Mara Sov, is expected to play a bigger role in the sequel, as is the Exo Stranger.
Will the Iron Banner return in Destiny 2? The Iron Banner was a monthly competitive multiplayer event in the first Destiny that factored in player stats, meaning Guardians had to bring their best gear to the fight. There has yet to be a mention of the mode for the sequel, but the tease of the Iron Banner symbol was spotted in the gameplay reveal trailer, hinting official word for the monthly events could be in the foreseeable future.
What we still want to know
What other factions apart from the Cabal will the player fight in Destiny 2? It’d be reasonable to assume that remaining threats from the previous game—Fallen, Hive, and Vex—will make their grand return, but so far only the Vex have been officially shown. It would also be surprising if other enemies from the game’s expansions didn’t show up as well. The Taken seem like a particularly safe assumption, as previous leaks suggest that the sequel will focus heavily on the events following the first game’s The Taken King expansion.
What are the punishments for dying in raids? Director Luke Smith recently hinted players who die in raids will have to deal with a new form of punishment, and even though he’s addressed it a few times, there is still no hint of what it could be. All we know is that it will be introduced to “avoid having to lower the difficulty,” which most likely goes hand in hand with the new Guided Games system allowing more chances than ever for players to join in on raids.
When will the first raid be available? While we know it will not be available at launch, the game’s director did confirm it will release within the “launch period,” meaning it could come within the first week. The original Destiny had a similar release schedule for raids, with Vault of Glass becoming available one week after the game’s launch date, and the expansion raids King’s Fall and Wrath of the Machine receiving their updates three days after their expansion launches. Smith did confirm a release date would be revealed before the launch of the game, but it’s easy to assume to will follow the same launch window as the first game.
Smith also confirmed the first raid would have a theme of “building a place you believe is real,” which at this time mostly just tells us it won’t be taking place on the more fantastical settings like a moon. Maybe it’s set in an Arby’s.
Will some of Destiny 2‘s social arenas be connected by open-worlds? The source on this is not quite reliable enough to put it in the “Think We Know” section, but one leak claimed that the game would feature a “seamless open-world with accessible cities,” suggesting a much more flexible open-world than before. It’s certainly enough to get us wondering.
Some of what we saw during the May 18th livestream reveal did appear to support this, with things like the addition of a full map during exploration and characters who give missions in the field during gameplay certainly pointing to a more open-world feel. Until we know for sure, however, we’re left to speculate. At least we can state with confidence that the game experience will be much more seamless in one way—you’ll no longer need to go to orbit every time you want to travel to a different planet or change activities.
How will Destiny 2‘s Lost Sectors work, exactly? Part of the open-world experience Destiny 2 wants to offer are dungeons called Lost Sectors, which can be found throughout different planets. The challenges can be taken on at any time, regardless of where the player is in the main storyline, but we do know they are handcrafted experiences and not procedural. However, world lead Steve Cotton added a procedural event, more common with traditional open-world games, would be an interesting idea to explore. As great as the possibility of this coming down the road sounds, we also don’t know if it’s possible, as the current system for Lost Sectors will not bring new loot in second attempts. This would require a complete overhaul of the dungeons, which we would like to know if Bungie is willing to do.