Destiny 2 looks set to finally tap into its MMORPG roots, with rumors new World of Warcraft style factions will be arriving in Bungie’s flagship series as the highly-anticipated release of the Beyond Light expansion kick starts the franchise’s fourth year this September.
Bungie’s epic space franchise has always toyed with the idea of diving headfirst into many of the iconic features any massively-multiplayer online title might have. Looting guns and gear is an obvious one, as are raids and challenges.
For many Guardians, however, Destiny hasn't been a true ‘MMORPG’ for one simple reason: no factions. World of Warcraft has become iconic for its two clear sides in the Alliance and the Horde. From minute one, Blizzard’s fantasy saga demands you pick a side. Every expansion, quest, and adventure in Azeroth then calls for you to double down on that allegiance.
Destiny has always lacked that “us vs them” mentality. Everyone works together for a greater goal, but outside of a few cases — the failed Guardian Games being one — Bungie has shied away from the idea. Destiny 1 did try to introduce a three-way faction system, but that project was scrapped heading into the sequel in 2017.
The time of every single Guardian being on the same side may be coming to an end though, as Bungie slowly drops hints Year 4’s Beyond Light may truly ask players to, once and for all, pick sides between the Light, and the mysterious Darkness on the edge of the galaxy.
To be honest, the seed for this kind of split has been in the game for a long time, which Paul Tassi pointed out for Forbes.
The Drifter was as an antagonist to the Vanguard, and Hive-obsessed Eris Morn also seems Darkness-aligned. They both featured heavily in the Beyond Light reveal trailer released on June 10, and are seen exploring a Darkness pyramid.
Then there’s the promotional material Bungie has been releasing lately too. Teasers seem to point to Guardians “wielding the Darkness itself” — embodied by the new ‘Stasis’ power — in the war against Season 11 villain Eramis.
That certainly seems like a perfect point to begin the slide into an ‘us vs them’ ideology at the core of the long-standing space saga.
Bungie does seem to be going all-in on this idea too. The Beyond Light tagline seems to be “Go beyond Light, embrace Darkness.”
That, coupled with the Ghostless Exo Stranger, who suggests she “comes from a future where the Darkness won,” and we’ve got all the makings of our very own Battle for Azeroth in the world of Destiny.
Finally, the Pyramids themselves. These hulking vehicles of Darkness were expected to burst onto the scene ahead of Year 4 and bring another war on the scale of The Taken King or the original Destiny 2 campaign.
Instead, they brought whispers of “true power” and the promise of seduction. That certainly seems to suggest a big decision on the horizon.
If Destiny is well and truly embracing its MMORPG roots by taking a key leaf out of the 20-year-old World of Warcraft playbook, then there’s really only one question for every Guardian — will you stay with the Light, or be lured into the shadow of the Darkness?
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