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

Bungie reveals major Destiny 2 engine upgrades ahead of Beyond Light

Published: 25/Sep/2020 6:04

by Brad Norton


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.

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.

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.

Destiny 2 Beyond Light
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!”

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
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.

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.


How Bungie is taking Destiny 2 back to the very beginning in Beyond Light

Published: 29/Oct/2020 5:11 Updated: 29/Oct/2020 5:20

by Isaac McIntyre


Bungie is taking a bold step in Destiny 2 expansion, Beyond Light ⁠— when Year 4 of the long-running space fantasy series finally begins, the devs are aiming to bring the “feeling of Destiny 1” back, all while keeping the franchise fresh.

Destiny is one of gaming’s longest-running modern franchises. The original title launched in 2014, before an Activision-backed sequel dropped in 2017. Bungie’s series has had a rugged run, however, with plenty of missteps along the way.

According to the fanbase ⁠— and, in parts, Bungie developers too ⁠— the biggest misstep came in the sequel switchover. Destiny 2 had too many cooks in the kitchen, and that led the series off the beaten track that had sold the franchise to millions in the first place.

That’s a mistake Bungie wants to fix in Destiny 2’s new expansion, Beyond Light.

Beyond Light, releasing on Nov.10 after delays, should go some distance to right the wrongs Destiny made back in 2017, director Luke Smith has promised: “We’re trying to get back a little bit of that feeling of Destiny 1, but in an updated way.”

New Destiny 2 enemy absorbs power in Beyond Light.
Beyond Light is set to take Destiny into a “new era,” Bungie has promised.

The way they’re doing that? Well, they want to give players “more freedom” in creating their characters, as well as designing their abilities, guns, and Destiny builds.

“What we’re trying to do with Stasis [the new element coming in Beyond Light] and wielding the Darkness is to show you, as a player, more freedom,” Smith explained while speaking to EDGE magazine about Destiny’s fourth year.

“There’s also a meta-statement that we’re making about the difference in power between light and dark, but there’s this other part, which is the fantasy of ‘This is my Guardian, there are many like it, but this one is mine’.

“I think we’re trying to get back to the feeling of Destiny 1… but we want to stick with how we think about the game now, and keep those systems that we’re using today in Destiny 2.”

Destiny 2 Fallen uses new Stasis element in Beyond Light.
The Darkness is granting Guardians a brand new elemental power in Destiny 2: Beyond Light.

Then there are the stories Bungie is finally digging up. The next season, confirmed as “Season of the Hunt” will reportedly bring Uldren Sov back into the narrative nearly two years after his shock Guardian resurrection back in 2018.

Destiny will put him by your side in Beyond Light, where players will be tracking down Oryx’s sister, Xivu Arath. The 24-month wait to see where his story goes has been pretty long so far, and that’s finally getting chopped down in Year 4.

And lastly, there’s the new Year 4 leaks uncovered the other day; leaked PlayStation 4 artwork has seemingly confirmed the old Destiny Tower might even be back in Beyond Light ⁠— just another way to get that “Destiny 1 feeling” back.

Even the old Destiny tower, destroyed in the Red War, could be back in Beyond Light.
Even the old Destiny tower, destroyed in the Red War, could be back in Beyond Light.

All in all, it’s an exciting time to be a long-term veteran of the franchise, or a newcomer. Year 4 expansion is set to turn Destiny 2 on its head all over again, if Bungie’s promises hold true, and act as a soft reset for the popular series.

Beyond Light is set to drop on Tuesday, Nov. 10. The new expansion will kick-start “Season of the Hunt” and Year 4. Stick with Dexerto for all Destiny news.