“This isn't just about removing stuff from Destiny 2 -- but the game cannot grow infinitely forever --it's about focusing refinements and evolutions to the Gambit ecosystem."
- Bungie's Luke Smith discusses the difficulties of keeping the old alongside the new in Destiny 2.
Bungie is taking a different approach to its usual communications with the Destiny 2 community, resulting in a lengthly but ultimately transparent post about the state of the game and musings from game director Luke Smith on how some recent changes have gone over.
There’s a lot to chew through in Smith’s inaugural Director’s Cut post, but fellow game developers familiar with the Destiny games may want to give the full post a read for its candid discussions of balance changes, encounter design, and the game’s relationship with microtransactions.
One of the more universal takeaways from the post deals with an issue many live games face after a few years out in the world: balancing the old with the new. Smith points out that one specific part of the game, Gambit, may be getting the Highlander “there can only be one” treatment soon.
Gambit itself has an interesting story Bungie has explored in the past, but the team-versus-team PvE mode recently got an upgrade in the form of something called Gambit Prime. Prime builds on the bones of the original mode and adds a layer of complexity on top of Gambit’s formula, though both modes currently exist side to side. For the time being, anyway.
“In the future, we're going to have to make a choice: Which Gambit is the Highlander of Gambits. Prime or Classic,” writes Smith, “This isn't just about removing stuff from Destiny 2 -- but the game cannot grow infinitely forever -- it's about focusing refinements and evolutions to the Gambit ecosystem. We think Gambit is sweet and deserves more ongoing support and we want to ultimately focus that support on whichever mode ends up being the Highlander. There can be only one.”
Later on in the post, Smith also offers an interesting dive into Destiny 2’s relationship with microtransactions, and the philosophies that Bungie keeps in mind moving forward with coming changes to Destiny 2’s in-game store. That full dive can be found near the end of the full post, but Smith does offer one standalone aside for how previous cosmetic purchases have fared in Destiny 2.
“I'm not going to say ‘MTX funds the studio’ or ‘pays for projects like Shadowkeep’ -- it doesn't wholly fund either of those things,” says Smith. “But it does help fund ongoing development of Destiny 2, and allows us to fund creative efforts we otherwise couldn't afford. For example: Whisper of the Worm's ornaments were successful enough that it paid (dev cost-wise) for the Zero Hour mission/rewards to be constructed (this shit matters!).”