Bungie is trying to ramp up the rate it builds new Destiny content, as the developer prepares to launch the game’s third year.
There had been an expectation this autumn would bring a fully-fledged sequel to Destiny. Instead, Destiny’s playerbase is getting Rise of Iron, another expansion to the base game.
“We’re going to give players as much as we can,” Rise of Iron creative director Chris Barrett told Eurogamer last week at E3.
Rise of Iron features a new raid, the first to be added to the game in a year, plus a fresh storyline set over a new, mutated Earth area named the Plaguelands.
But it isn’t Destiny 2, and it will likely end up weighing in somewhere between Taken King and smaller DLC pack House of Wolves. Will that be enough for players?
“I hope it is,” Barrett continued. “Ultimately we’ll see how the community reacts.
“We had a big playtest at the studio last week and the feedback was very positive, everybody liked the new content. Our teams are very passionate – they had a lot of suggestions too.”
Barrett wasn’t going to say what suggestions the team had, but if the game’s community is anything to go by, then the answer is always: “more”.
Destiny originally launched in September 2014. Two smaller DLC packs (The Dark Below, House of Wolves) followed, before the larger Taken King expansion arrived in September last year.
Since then, Destiny has not received any large additions but has been kept active with balance patches and the occasional sprinkling of extra content – primarily the Festival of the Lost Halloween event, the experimental Sparrow Racing league before Christmas and the recent April content Update, which added a new strike and a refreshed Prison of Elders arena mode.
At times, Bungie has simply seemed overwhelmed by the expectations of its voracious community, and players’ constant desire for new things to do.
And at other times, the company has taken flak for not communicating its plans – or lack thereof, although this has improved since the year’s beginning.
Still, reports from behind the scenes of Destiny’s development – notably this one by Kotaku – have painted a picture of a studio bottlenecked by its own development tools, which make building new areas a painstaking process. What does the future hold?
“We’re trying to get better at what we do,” Barrett said, “build tools to make content quicker and focus on what the best and most impactful experiences are for players.
“We’re also learning as we go. I think we’re getting better at building Destiny, releasing content quicker.”
As for this autumn, the goal is to give players “as much content as we can”.
One thing which has been added this year is a 100 per cent infusion rate for players to bring their favourite gear up to the very latest Light level cap. This won’t change in Destiny: Rise of Iron, Barrett concluded:
“There’ll be no changes to infusion. We introduced that with Taken King and I think it’s something players have really loved. So anything from Taken King will be able to be infused up to the new Light level, and it’ll work the same way.”