Destiny 2’s livestream reveal ended on a big surprise (if you didn’t see the leaks on reddit earlier) – the game’s PC version will be exclusive to Blizzard’s Battle.net app.
That’s right – not Steam, or anything else.
It makes sense, in a way – Activision Blizzard are part of the same company – but it’s still a first for an Activision franchise.
Other Destiny 2 announcements included a thoughtful take on the game’s matchmaking. Many players had asked for raids and other high-level activities to be match-made – it’s a complaint which goes back to the release of Destiny 1. Bungie, meanwhile, has always maintained that Destiny’s activities are best played with friends, or those committed to the experience.
The solution? Bungie will introduce improved clan support and allow solo players to pick clans to join when playing raids. Clans can also invite non-clan members to play – a boon for Destiny’s thriving sherpa community of players who like to guide others through. Finally, clans will receive shared rewards for the activities of all its members, even if they don’t play during a particular week.
Destiny 2’s story will see players build up the Vanguard after the attack on Earth’s Tower which has all but defeated humanity and scattered its forces.
Earth’s lush European Dead Zone, Nessus, Io, Titan are your four playable areas to explore. Saturn moon Titan is an old human colony, and the interiors of its buildings look like Destiny 1’s Mars, though the whole colony is set on water. Nessus is a planetoid consumed by Vex, whose structures looks like those seen on Venus. And Io – we didn’t see much of that.
Each non-Earth planet is the new home of one of the old Vanguard leaders – Zavala, Cayde and Ikora. Other returning Destiny 1 characters include the Speaker and Sparrow merchant Amanda Holliday.
These playable spaces will be larger than those found in Destiny 1 and include more secrets to uncover, including caves filled with loot chests and bosses which hold the key. A new map overlay will help you explore, find NPCs with side-missions, and show you when time-limited events are active.
Best of all, you’ll be able to travel between activities and different planets from your map without having to go to Orbit. Bliss.
Destiny 2’s weapon systems have also been reworked, with primary, secondary and heavy weapons replaced by a new system: where primaries take up two slots, one has elemental damage, and stronger weapons are all lumped into a third category (named kinetic, energy and power).
There are three new subclasses – one for Hunter, Warlock and Titan. The Warlock’s Dawnblade gives them what looks like a flaming sword, while the Hunter’s Arcstrider has an electric pike. Finally, the Titan’s Sentinel will get a void shield which looks like Captain America.
The competitive Crucible mode has been redesigned so all modes are now four versus four, and several new match types have been added. One is an attack and defence game, the first of its kind for Destiny.
We’ve have hands-on impressions for you very soon.