Let's Talk About Destiny 2 Some More (Forsaken)


#1

True story: I’ve been thinking of starting up a thread for Forsaken now that it has launched (see also @Brandunn’s primer on changes posted prior to the launch), but I didn’t because I couldn’t come up with a really good pun for the title. Maybe I could have if I focused on that instead of grinding out the campaign last week? Anyway, I have thoughts about the Forsaken expansion for Destiny 2 and so let’s talk in a place that’s a little more digestible than the discord (love the discord but can’t keep up).

I really like this campaign. I thought the writing was good and that the arc of the story has weight. Shortcomings, sure – but overall pretty strong. I’m not sure about the ambiguity over who shot Uldren in the final scene. I mean, my guardian was there, right? So can’t I know who did it? It would also be deeper if there were more resonating consequences for going against Zavala’s wishes, or stronger narrative support that we were doing what Zavala wanted all along, too.

Also, who else wonders if Petra is being manipulated the same way Uldren was? Are we unwitting servants of the same force? And will the game satisfyingly continue the narrative thread about making morally ambiguous choices?

I mostly like the new weapon economy changes that emphasize playing at least through the campaign with a lot of blue gear. Now that I’m about 510, I want to start infusing some favorite gear up to my level, but I’m wary of making that commitment with the masterwork parts cost to infuse.

The Dreaming City is pretty overwhelming, huh? True Destiny-style “here you go, figure this shit out while you get murdered by high-level enemies!” It makes me a feel a lot like I did when I was a brand new player with the Taken King and landed on the Dreadnaught for the first time, just spooked and in danger and overwhelmed.

Gambit is fun! Matchmaking keeps putting me, a solo queuer, up against four-stacks, which is less fun. Gonna make the Ace of Spades quest a real grind.

I’m mostly a potato in this crucible meta right now, but have the occasional very good game. I landed a sidearm with rampage and full auto, and it melts pretty good.

So what’s everybody else think? I haven’t caught up with the podcast yet, which I hear has some discussion, too.


#2

It’s really good. Some overall thoughts:

Pros:

  • Campaign is really fun. There was a lot of diversity in activities and mission structure that just was always giving something different. New public events are fun too.

  • Dreaming City seems like it’s going to be a really cool area to explore, and I’m looking forward to continue grinding so I don’t immediately die once enemies start looking at me.

  • Gambit is great.

Cons:

  • While I generally like the economy changes, as it’s forcing me to experiment with weapons that wouldn’t otherwise be in my wheelhouse, the masterworks being used for infusion seems like a not great decision. As someone who fell off in Year 1, I really didn’t have much of any masterwork cores coming into Forsaken, so I’m hesitant to infuse anything when I’m so far away from even being raid-ready with my power level (I’m about 508 right now). But my highest power weapon load out would have me wielding a shotgun and a sidearm…and that isn’t really ideal for anything.

  • While Gambit is great, solo-queuing is a mixed bag to put it nicely. Even more so than Crucible, it clearly rewards coordinated play. Also, as someone who never took the time to earn Sleeper Simulant in Warmind, I’m getting pretty tired of getting immediately sniped by Sleeper as soon as someone invades. (And I’m supposed to kill 5 of those overshielded invaders while they have Sleeper with a freaking hand cannon to earn Ace of Spades? I’ve gotten 1 kill in about 6 or 7 Gambit matches so far with a hand cannon, so I’m wondering if I’ll ever get the Ace)


#3

I’m done with the story but haven’t made it to the Dreaming City yet

Thoughts so far:

Things I like:

  1. Story itself was really interesting. Uldren was always a little shit in my book, so the heel turn worked.
  2. The Baron fights were really well done. Each was unique, engaging, and some were pretty challenging.
  3. Spider is a GREAT NPC. Really interesting character
  4. The Triumphs are exactly the kind of “carrot on a stick” this game needed. There’s plenty of stuff to chase around, even if you don’t have powerful rewards to go after (which is tough, because there’s a ton of stuff to do).
  5. As much as I was worried about weapon slot changes, I really do enjoy rolling with snipers and fusion rifles again.
  6. Gambit is a really fun mode, even if it doesn’t lend itself to solo queueing particularly well. I’m still enjoying the challenge of finding the right loadout to balance PvE DPS and killing invaders.
  7. I thought I was gonna hate the bow, but Bungo knocked them out of the park. They’re useful and immensely satisfying to use.
  8. Exotics dropping at a lower rate makes them feel a little more special. Although I totally understand the concern of players with less time on their hands feeling left out though. It’s a really tough balance to find.
  9. The Warden of Nothing strike is awesome, full stop.

Less than positives:

  1. Frankly, not a big fan of bounties coming back. It brings back inertia in switching activities that I don’t enjoy. While they’re useful, I wish they would have just rolled them into the challenges that didn’t require visiting an NPC to “unlock.” Having to run to the Tower is just something I don’t miss.

  2. The upgrade/infusion/Masterworks economy. Still have a ways to go before making a solid call on this change, but I am worried considering the source of cores being random drops and Spider only. Also the 1-10 leveling system doesn’t make a ton of sense so far. I’ll keep digging. I’m not super wedded to most of my gear, but bringing up some quest exotics (Sleeper) to current PL is expensive.

  3. From my above point, on one hand I do appreciate that it makes me think about what gear is important for keeping at my current power level. On the other hand, I’m worried that it’s really going to impact Fashion Destiny as I’m gonna be stuck with a certain set of ugly gear that’s way more powerful than anything else (without the option of bringing up my good looking armor at a reasonable price). I’m also concerned about how even more casual players feel about not having access to enough time to grind for the materials needed to infuse gear.

  4. I was never a big fan of random rolls and I’m not super excited to see them back. Guns are easier to handle, but I don’t particularly enjoy feeling the need to have 40 different sets of armor based on perks. I try to ignore most of them and focus on reload perks for handcannons/shotguns, but I don’t like having to remember to switch out armor pieces when I change guns.

So far, I’m having a blast. The new activities are fun and engaging. My only concern, long term, is D2 wheeling too far back to the worst part of D1’s grind at the behest of the loudest hardcore players. I’m happy to dump in time right now and I’m looking forward to Festival of the Lost!


#4

I’ve been thinking about Forsaken’s campaign ever since I finished it last weekend, wondering what it was about it that made me enjoy it so much. Then I watched the latest Byf video and realized what it was: the plot was actually accessible to new players. Like, I enjoyed The Red War campaign well enough, but there was just so much going on that required me – someone who was never able to play Destiny 1 – to look up lore guides, histories, and implications for a lot of what took place (e.g. “Who is this hostage guy in the white mask?”, “Who are The Cabal?”, “WHY does everyone hang out with Cayde-6?”). Forsaken, on the other hand, presented a lot of deeper lore implications over the course of its campaign, but it never used those signifiers in a way that required a deep understanding of them. I could just play the story as a simple revenge tale, and it works because its pathos wasn’t obfuscated by an expectation that I had read all the grimoire cards. And it resulted in me feeling like I could actually engage with Destiny’s world before going out of my way to learn who all these people are.

To address the story issues the OP brings up, they actually work for me. I think the ambiguity with who exactly shot Uldren works in a utilitarian way for the sake of allowing the player to internally choose what they would have done, i.e. see that this man was woefully misled by the Taken and take pity on him or say “you still killed my friend” and return the favor. Sure, there might have been a better way to approach this, and maybe I say this because I’m biased against grimdark everything, but I appreciate Bungie’s approach to not explicitly marking the player as someone who would kill Uldren even after learning about how he became corrupted. And as for Zavala, the dissonance between his and Ikora’s views toward revenge is one of the things I’m most cautiously excited for. The Tower is losing a lot of its key figures (the Speaker died in the vanilla campaign, and now Cayde’s gone), so now Zavala and Ikora are carrying a lot of weight in leading the guardians. This might not be such a big issue if they were on the same wavelength, but even Ikora herself tells your guardian that she barely ever agrees with Zavala anymore. So, what I’m thinking/hoping for is that Zavala’s reluctance juxtaposed with Ikora’s insistence is a seed that’ll grow into a deeper, more prominent conflict between the two down the line. The writers at Bungie have already showed with this expansion that they’re willing to go darker with Destiny’s story, so I don’t think it would be too off base to think that this is a path the events of Forsaken could lead to.

Non-story related things:

  • Gambit is great and makes me want to play it even if I already finished my Weekly.
  • I didn’t like Cayde all that much in the main campaign, but found myself enjoying his presence a lot more in the opening mission (his humor never came across as “forced” here, which I couldn’t say the same for with my other interactions).
  • I forgot how good the guns shoot in Destiny, and the guns still shoot very good in Forsaken.
  • I appreciate the intention of the gear/crafting changes, though I wish they fine tune those systems a bit more in such a way that’ll still encourage experimentation without feeling as though they’re punishing players who just want to keep a weapon they really like.
  • In a similar vein, gearing up past the soft cap – though this has always been a thing with D2 – feels like it requires you to get lucky rolls in order to make tangible improvements. I’m in a decent-ish place at the moment, but it’s still disheartening to suffer through five games of Crucible or spend an hour trying to get a Prime Engram only to find it contains a set of gloves that are maybe one PL higher. It feels like the best I can hope for a lot of the time is replacing a weapon I like with one I don’t (but has a higher level), and deciding between spending masterwork cores to infuse or say to myself “I guess I’ll use a fusion rifle now.”
  • On a more positive note: my jump ship is the Destiny equivalent of a VW Bus, and when you use the Bumblebee shader it looks like it has Pikachu’s ears. I approve of this.
  • The Fallen nightclub lost sector will never be topped

  • And as someone who really wants to dig deeper into the impenetrable world of Destiny, the new Lore system (complete with short stories) is something I cannot wait to sink my teeth into.

#5

I really hope they don’t lock all the story content and lore implied by the end of Forsaken behind the raid.

Bungie needs to learn a trick besides gating necessary rewards behind the hardest challenges.


#6

A lot of my thoughts about it are echoed in the original post, I think I feel far more positive on the story and some of the more ambiguous questions it posits. I played Destiny 1 as an Awoken hunter clad in the queen’s garb, the Reef was one of those factions I felt the most connected to, and I thought Mara herself was a cool character, it will be interesting to see if Petra is also being manipulated by her voice; the way they write it, and how differently she acts from the silver tongue visage that Uldren heard, I think she’s still out there, maybe lost in dimensions, but not dead.

I have a lot of problems with the Destiny player economy right now, how the recent changes have made Masterwork Cores such an integral part of levelling gear. Because of the new system I haven’t even seen a full Masterworked item drop, they’re all base level or 1/3 through a full MW which means you can’t get cores from dismantling them.
I can see them looking at a way to make the MW Cores more reliable to get in a future balancing patch, but thus far you’re often better off just slapping on any ol’ gun / armour with the highest level, and leave fashion for now.

Besides the economy changes, I’ve liked a lot of the new changes they’ve made, of course a lot of that is stuff that has returned to the old ways of Destiny 1 (random rolls on weapons, spending mats to infuse, making shaders recoverable from certain vendors, as well as some minor UI changes).

The changes have their pros and cons. Weapons are no longer set, so they might lose some of those unique properties that made them must-have, and it can make or break a weapon based on the combination perks it rolls. You might end up being stuck in a situation where you keep getting bad rolls on weapons you want. In general though I think it’s a good change, and has made loot feel more interesting and varied than before.

As I hit the soft cap I’m running into the oh so familiar pre-raid grind; thankfully Bungie has made a bunch of smart changes in progression, now you’re not knocking out your 8 or so milestones for the week and have to twiddle your thumbs till next reset, instead they have added a whole bunch of different ways you can earn potentially powerful gear, even if all you do is PvE.
Along with that, you get a Prime Engram buff after reaching level 50 (that I haven’t seen go away yet) that gives you a chance for a powerful engram drop on any mini-boss or boss enemy you kill, which means even by doing pub events, or killing high value targets in a zone, you have the potential to boost your level.

And finally Gambit is a lot of fun even in public matchmaking; in practice it’s essentially the old Prison of Elders mode that I missed from D1, with a fun competitive layer to it. That’s saying a lot because I don’t enjoy PvP in Destiny at all and will avoid it if I can. Gambit feels like an inclusive co-op mode because you can help your team in so many different ways, and it lays out an arena where any ability and weapon can work instead of falling back on a meta that PvP often does.

I’m excited to play more and check out upcoming raid this weekend with the WP crew, it’ll probably be real tough but I like the experience of going in blind and figuring it out.

ps. Bows are rad!


#7

I think it’s by far the best Destiny has ever been, and all it took was… them fixing all the things I said were bad decisions like 13 months ago.

  • Random rolls make the game better in an immediately noticeable way. When D2 came out I spent hundreds of gunsmith packages before I finally got an Antiope, instantly dismantling like 95% of everything else. Now I can just run with whatever I get that has good perks on it, and luckily most of the weapon perks seem to be in a better spot than they were in D1. Every gun is now potentially viable again. Thank god. I’ve already had a dozen plus guns where I’ve said “yea I’ll give that a try for a few games,” which absolutely never happened in the first year. Plenty of “god rolls” will be distributed in ways outside of random drops, so the grind has nothing to do with it.

  • Building off that, they seem like they’ve improved weapon balance quite a bit. Most weapon types feel like they are where they should be, with only a few exceptions. Sidearms are still… pointless? Sniper rifles still have too much flinch. Linear Fusions don’t seem like they should be power weapons outside of Sleeper. The former is pretty much un-fixable. Sidearms serve no purpose and honestly never have, outside of a window in D1 where Bungie destroyed the special ammo economy in PvP.

  • They never should have changed the weapon load outs in the first place, but at least in fixing it they made it better than it was in D1. The double primary setup in the first year of D2 was maybe the main reason the game grew so dull so quickly. It was just a massive combination of less player choice and less player strength, which almost seemed like it was Destiny 2’s design philosophy. Special weapons are too powerful? Get rid of them. Imbalance among the class grenades/melee/super abilities? Make them all bad, and give them all an hour long cooldown. Imbalance among class mobility? Make everybody slow. Now they’re actually finding ways to make players feel strong again, and giving players more choices. More subclass paths, more load out options, more (seemingly good, so far) weapon/armor perks.

  • Speaking of which, glad to see the movement speed be brought back up. Again, never should have changed. It would be like if id software removed strafe jumping in Quake 2 because it was a bug in Quake 1, instead of actually realizing that it was a big part of why the first game was so good. So between the increased movement speed and the load out changes, the snail’s pace “team shot meta” is finally in the dirt, and individual skill is actually possible again.

Cons:

  • The mod and infusion economies both seem like they need some tuning.

  • Exotics have become maybe a little bit too exotic, but only really wrt their drop rate.

  • My PS4 may potentially die every time an enemy drops an engram.

  • The Last Word is still not in the game?

  • Give me more shader inventory space.

I get the sense that these first 2 are Bungie (once again) over-correcting in an attempt to keep people from finding a way to hit the light cap in like 2 days as is typically the case. It’s doing its job there, but… I dunno. Maybe at least give Xur some buffs to compensate a bit.


#8

I like the thoughts folks have about that ambiguity regarding Uldren at the end, and I think I’m coming around to agree. As a storytelling mechanism, the fade to black felt really effective, and I do like the way subsequent characters reflect on it. I really, really hope they continue to thread that line of narrative to deepen the story throughout Forsaken.

Mostly, same. I like the excitement around good rolls, but random rolls on armor in particular actually make me anxious, I think out of a cross of feeling like I need to min-max everything, plus some mild OCD. It doesn’t help that eight out of the last ten crucible packages I picked up were variations on the helmet. Aaaagh.

I hear there are letters from Cayde in the Ace of Spaces quest and I’m really excited to see those.

This is a great take on Gambit. While matchmaking continues to be challenging, it also provides a lot of those big back-and-forth swings that are really exhilarating. I’m kind of grumpy about the sleeper meta and honestly can’t quite make sense of how easily it seems invaders are able to snip me every time.

There’s just so much there. I’m trying to discover it organically, but … there’s a lot. Maybe we can assemble a few of our Xbox gang and explore this weekend.

The preview screen really doesn’t do those ships justice. In flight, they look sort of goofy and unwieldy but really cool. It’s like I’m a Guardian Dad driving car-pool to the Reef. :slight_smile:


#9

Everyone’s all trying to be cool heading into Gambit with their Cayde ships, but here I am – the sensible guardian dad – piloting a ship that gets good fuel mileage and allows me to drop my kids off at soccer practice before I participate in the Drifter’s deranged bloodsport.

(To put on my critical hat though: tonally speaking, this is what I was hoping for when I first picked up Destiny 2. I love it when an otherwise self-serious work has these pockets of goofy-ass juxtaposition, and it’s really nice to have that in elements of the game outside of dances and transmat effects. These Pikachu vans are just so silly compared to other ships, and being able to use them as a means of meaningful character expression is an exemplification of what I find myself enjoying the most in this new expansion.)


#10

This is a good point that I hadn’t considered. The gulf between good and bad perks was huge in D1 and there seems to be a better spread of useful perks for different guns and scenarios. Yes, Outlaw is still awesome always but I’m finding some solid combos of perks. I’m getting a lot of guns with Rampage or Kill Clip, which are both excellent imo.

Also, Datto brought up something about Gambit that I had noticed. The way the balancing is set right now, teams that summon the Primeval are almost at a disadvantage, which seems a little off. I completely understand trying to prevent snowballing from occurring. I’m curious to see if they tweak the balance in the future.


#11

quick questions for you knowledgeable folks:

i just randomly came across this for free on the PSN store and started downloading it… is this a standalone game? can i play through the campaign in co-op with a friend? i’m just looking to have some sci fi blasting fun here, is this what i’m looking for? is the game going to try to sell me a bunch of stuff? thanks in advance. :grin:


#12

The free version is the base game, so you’ll have access to the original campaign, the strikes, the raid, and PvP multiplayer.

Yep!

Uhh if you’re asking about microtransactions, they exist but are only for cosmetics and are easily ignored. The game will try to get you to buy the new expansion, but I’d hold off until you and your friend play together.


#13

nice!!! i’m hyped. can’t wait to jump in. will come back with impressions. thanks again!


#14

How’s the Dreaming City treating you, gang? I just hit 520 so I’m slightly less likely to get murdered there all the time, but last night ran into another group of enemies way up north (?) that were all immune to me. Also there’s an elevator?

Does anybody know, is there something in game that explains how queensfoil works? I haven’t run any ascendant challenge yet and have only done a few minutes of blind well. It feels like this is all particularly obtuse, and I’m not complaining so much as wondering if I’m just overlooking something that would explain it in the game itself. I also haven’t found a single one of the cats that people are talking about.

I did run the new strike last night. It’s good! Really challenging and very different.

So, another … thirty levels and I might be raid ready. Oooof.


#15

I first tried using queensfoil near Petra, looked around a bit, and quickly figured out one of its uses. The game never, as far as I can tell, directly tells you what it’s for, so you’re pretty much on your own for that. The buff it gives you lasts for half an hour though, so you can take your time seeing where it’s useful if you want to find all that for yourself.


#16

I’m sitting around 514 right now so I’m still getting my butt kicked pretty good. However, I really love the space. It looks like a screwed up Rivendell and there is SO much stuff going on.

I still haven’t gotten a Queensfoil to drop so I haven’t gotten to explore as much as I’d like.


#17

There’s something very Warframe about the Dreaming City. Is it because Bungie seems to finally be out of one of their intermittent bro phases and decided to finally put together some science fantasy that’s comparable to Warframe at a glance such to the extent that Mara Sov’s wasteland blue hot chick alien space queen appearance seems incongruous with the culture and history of the Awoken. Yes?

But also the way your cut loose in the Dreaming City with more secrets to discover than you suspected with the lore, the queensfoil, the well, the cats (betcha didn’t know about the cats) tracks very similarity to the early versions of Warframe’s Void. Before they gave the Void spaces, in all their gold and shimmering terror, a more definite shape, they used to be high level areas that you had to gather keys to access. There were rare materials and caches you had to know how to and be luck enough to access and they were the only place to get prime parts. Pile that onto the fact that the Void is also the other dimension of a ancient and mysterious people originally hailing from Earth and you can really understand why the Dreaming City is just giving me all those Warframe vibes.

Now if only I could bullet jump in Destiny like I can in Warframe.


#18

I’m 540 on two characters right now, so it’s safe to say I’ve played this game too much. The Dreaming City, and it’s changes with the first Raid completion, has to be my favourite part of Destiny yet. This bizarre high fantasy city that straddles the edge of dimensions is just so so cool. Bungie made the correct decision to lean into the weirdest fantasy parts of their world. It’s as full of secrets as a Soul’s game. It’s spooky and weird and all the Cosair’s call me cousin and just, it’s perfect. I love it.

Overall I like the new rhythm that Forsaken brought to the game. Content feeling more difficult for longer, and content lasting the whole way to 600, feel better than I thought it would. I don’t think it’s perfect; Prime Attunement sucks, and getting a powerful engram that’s weaker than the slot it drops in feels bad. But I think as someone who is interested in the Raid and all the cool setting stuff, Forsaken is a real good expansion.


#19

You got most of my comments about the story here; here’s hoping that they manage to build on this great start.

re: Cayde he had a much more nuanced character in D1 where he could be serious or jokey, and the jokes had more weight because they were rare (or all-but missed by the community such as the one directly using the name of Bungies first game). I think people in charge saw how much Cayde was liked and assumed it was just his humor, and leant far too hard into it for D2


#20

Yo, I was standing around Zavala, as one does, and overheard him saying out loud, as he does, that he expects the Reef to fall and plans to expand The Last City into the Awoken territories.

Woah! Zavala, when I signed up to be a Guardian I did not say I’d be down with your expansionist agenda. Oh, why is my character a mute who can’t warn Petra that Zavvy’s here putting the Destiny in Manifest Destiny.

I know they want to shake things up in Destiny but a direction like this may be biting off more than Bungie can chew.