Bungie reveals major Destiny 2 engine upgrades ahead of Beyond Light - Dexerto
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Bungie reveals major Destiny 2 engine upgrades ahead of Beyond Light

Published: 25/Sep/2020 6:04

by Brad Norton

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While the Destiny community anxiously awaits the next big adventure with the Beyond Light expansion, tons of significant tech overhauls are also being implemented under the hood to make the experience that much better.

It’s safe to say that since the original launch in 2014, Destiny has seen some major improvements over the years. From releasing on the PS3 to jumping into the realm of 4K gaming on high-end PCs, the engine has been put through the wringer.

While the jump from Destiny 1 to Destiny 2 allowed for a major refresh and an engine update, Bungie no longer has that kind of luxury. The studio confirmed that Destiny 3 will never happen as they focus their efforts on refining and adding to the Destiny 2 experience instead. As a result, major engine updates and tech overhauls can’t take place with the release of a whole new game.

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To accommodate for the new structure, the next big batch of refinements will be arriving on November 10 with Beyond Light. Here’s how Bungie is drastically improving the Destiny 2 engine for the next major expansion.

The latest developer blog post touched on a wide array of subjects thanks to insight from Destiny Engineering Director David Aldridge. One such topic was the core structure of the ever-expanding FPS RPG title. 

When Destiny 2 originally launched, Bungie expected it to last a few years before pivoting to a new game with a new refresh. The first game only lasted three years, for instance. “At the time, we thought Destiny 2’s arc would look a lot more like Destiny 1 – a couple of expansions, and then a sequel,” he explained. Due to this transition, the developers were able to overhaul the engine and truly expand on the game’s capabilities.

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Without a fully-fledged sequel on the horizon, such monumental changes need to come through somehow. “We’ve made several tech investments to help us sustainably evolve the game for years to come, and some of those investments are arriving in Beyond Light,” Aldirdged revealed.

Many of these upcoming changes might go unnoticed. Though “some may result in neat improvements, curious behavior differences, or bugs,” he admitted.

“We shifted our mission scripting model to run on the Physics Host instead of the Mission Host.” This allows designers to “create more novel mission mechanics.” Expect to see all-new types of objectives, encounters, enemy types, and more throughout the Beyond Light storyline.

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Destiny 2 Beyond Light
Bungie
Expect all new kinds of gameplay experiences in the new expansion.

“The new scripting environment changed many behaviors in complex ways, and you may see interesting behavior changes or bugs in pre-Beyond-Light missions.” Many have already been squashed, though “some will undoubtedly slip through,” he warned.

On top of fascinating new dynamics in moment to moment gameplay, the huge tech upgrade also allows for simpler matchmaking. Until now, if you want to join a friend in the Tower, you’d have to fly back out to orbit. From there, the game would load you into their version of the social space. That’ll soon be a thing of the past. “Face-to-face joins in social spaces” will be possible in Beyond Light. “You can now fireteam up with Tower friends without a long Tower reload!”

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While matchmaking will be sped up, so too will the content creation process for Bungie.

In previous seasons Bungie would have to develop future content well ahead of time. If there was a major issue in one season, it likely couldn’t be fixed for quite some time, potentially not even in the following season. Developers could only react so fast as content needed to be in the works well ahead of release.

That’s changing with the new overhaul, however. Bungie will now have far more flexibility and be able to “pivot more quickly.”

Destiny 2 tower
Bungie
Joining your friends in the Tower will be a breeze in Beyond Light.

All of these massive changes will come at a cost, however. “Beyond Light will be a full re-download on all platforms,” the weekly blog post confirmed on September 24.

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Once you’ve got the fresh version up and running, your platform of choice will be far happier. Destiny 2’s install size will soon be “30-40 percent” smaller.