From classes, loot drops, vehicles and cut scenes, we covered all the bases when we chatted with David Dague about Bungie’s epic new shooter Destiny.
What are you hoping to learn from the Beta? What areas of the game are you most interested in testing?
The Destiny Beta is a test of new tech, as well as how our community will react to the new dynamic landscape that we’re creating. Destiny is our most ambitious game yet. Our Beta will be evidence of that, and we couldn’t be more excited for next year. In many ways, we’re serving up a slice of the whole experience. While we’ve learned a lot about what players expect from a great action shooter over the past decade, there’s nothing like opening it up to see what they do when you set them off on an epic adventure with their friends. We want to include a diverse sampling of experiences, activities, and systems that will be in the final game.
Destiny features private loot streams to ensure that every Guardian earns what they need to become legend. They’ll be able to upgrade their characters without fighting over the rewards that they earn. We want people to play Destiny with their friends and with other people they meet in the world. After an epic public event, Guardians will each earn their own rewards that are customized to them – rewards that only they can claim.
How deep and broad can we expect the skill tree to be for each class? For instance, could two Warlocks end up with very different abilities?
Our goal is to equip players with enough options that each Guardian feels truly unique. Creating and growing your character will give you to a complex series of choices. We’re equipping players with a wide range of options that will impact the way they look, the way they fight, and the abilities they use to express their power. Just about everything in game can be upgraded, from their weapons to their personal vehicle.
How did you settle upon the three-person Fireteam as opposed to two or four?
We felt that a three-person Fireteam made for a nice, social dynamic. We want each Guardian in Destiny to feel essential to the action that takes place in a world where heroes will collide at the crossroads of their own adventures. Not only that, it really suits the way our three classes of Guardian – the Hunter, the Titan, and the Warlock – complement their fighting styles when they work together. In some scenarios, the size of your Fireteam will expand to fill the action in specific activities. During our daily playtests of the story, three feels like the magic number.
We don’t discourage players from doing what they love. In Destiny, you’ll have full control over your level of engagement. If you want to fight as a Fireteam of one, you’ll still have a blast as a lone gunman in our living, social world. We still think that everything that’s fun to do is more fun with your friends, so we’ll do our best to encourage players to leave their comfort zones in search of new experiences and sweet rewards.
How will you be looking to balance the experience for new Destiny players as they join further down the line?
Whether you’re a veteran or a newbie, we want you to have opportunities to enjoy the action available in Destiny. It’s very important to us that Destiny doesn’t throw up obstacles between players who want to play with each other. No matter when a player decides to join the world of the game, they’ll be able to play with friends who have already become more powerful. This was very important to us as we started to develop the ways that people would share the experiences in this game.
Are cut-scenes something you’ll be using much of to tell the story of Destiny in-game?
Even within this living, breathing world of adventure and exploration, we want to deliver some powerful cinematic moments that will drive Destiny’s story. We are absolutely creating engaging plotlines that feature a vivid cast of characters that will compel each player to solve the essential mysteries in the game. That experience will be augmented with the evolution of your own person Guardian, the central character in your own quest to become legend.
Typically a few years down the line a successful and popular game would get a sequel to update or introduce new mechanics and story. Is that something you hope to be able to do through updates and expansions?
Right now our number one focus is on shipping a great first game. We want your introduction to this new world to be a singularly satisfying experience, with a distinct beginning, middle, and end. This doesn’t mean that our imaginations aren’t running wild in planning a longer story arc. First, we have to do the job of creating a world you want to explore, and blow your mind with the potential for an adventure that spans the years to come.
Are there any areas of Destiny that you worry are still confusing gamers? Do you think everyone understands what kind of experience you’re hoping to deliver?
Destiny is, first and foremost, Bungie’s next great action game. We play Destiny every day in the studio. When our fans get their hands on it, it will deliver on the promise of a Bungie game. As familiar as that experience may be to long-time players from our community, we’re loading Destiny with enough surprises to change the way they think about shooters. We’re giving them a chance to be the central character in their own story. We’re building a world that they can explore based on their preferences, with ways to play that should satisfy their every mood.
Find out more about Destiny in issue 106 if X-ONE