Things are really heating up with Destiny 2. Even though Bungie previously stated that the annual pass content wouldn’t contain length cutscenes or big story content, it hasn’t stopped the team from adding little tidbits of information regarding characters like Ada-1 or The Drifter while also fleshing out various world elements.
I don’t think it would be too outrageous to say that Bungie is really hitting their stride in terms of storytelling. I’m really glad to be saying that considering how poorly the world building and story started out for this franchise all those years ago.
So before we start taking a look at what’s happening inside of the Annual Pass, please note that this post will include story spoilers for the Black Armory and Joker’s Wild. If you want to discover these things on your own, feel free to skip down to the bottom.
While the meat of this post centers on The Drifter and his current season, it’s worth mentioning the exo known as Ada-1 from the Black Armory update briefly. When players come across her, she’s seen as being somewhat hostile and untrusting to those who wander into her area of the Tower at first. Eventually, we find out that she’s totally justified in feeling that way.
As it turns out, Ada-1 was formerly a human known as Adelaide Meyrin. While her family and the other Black Armory founders survived the Collapse and various threats from enemy factions the Fallen, the lore books reveal that a group of rogue or “dark” guardians attempted to take the Armory and its high tech weapons by force. Over the course of these raids, the founders were killed and Adelaide was mortally wounded.
Before she ultimately passed away, her mother placed her consciousness into an exo husk that we now know as Ada-1. With her memories still fully intact, she goes on a revenge spree for the damage these guardians caused to her people and the Black Armory. Ada’s expert marksman skills allowed her to pick them off 1 by 1, killing their “drones” (Ghosts) to prevent them from being revived. It goes a long way of explaining Ada-1’s distrust of players when they first meet her. Honestly, it’s a shame that this content was only placed in the lore section and not given freely in a cutscene. For a more comprehensive read, check out her full lore entry here. It’s fascinating stuff.
The Drifter, on the other hand, has always been a charming, yet mysterious figure. He’s a guy who kinda just showed up and started getting Lightbearers to use Taken against other Lightbearers in Gambit. Doesn’t sound so goody-goody, does it? Thanks to various quests, players got a little more detail on this individual and his relation to big names like Dredgen Yor and Shin Malphor.
With The Season of the Drifter and Joker’s Wild in full swing, Bungie has gone a step further to reveal more of the story between the growing tensions at the Tower. Recently, Bungie posted almost daily lore posts on the official website to show that not everyone enjoys The Drifter and what he may or may not be up to. I mean, he does seem to be well versed in the Weapons of Sorrow (Thorn and it’s proposed replacement Malfeasance) and likes to embrace the darkness for Gambit matches.
His odd behavior has gained the attention of Aunor Mahal, the head of the Praxic Order. The lore posts depict her as a diehard member of the Vanguard, bordering on fanatical. She does research into the strange death of Cayde-6 and the player’s potential involvement, is strictly against anything Darkness related, and even asks Ikora Rey to banish the Drifter from the Tower.
Now we’re asked to take sides in game: Join the Drifter or join the Vanguard. The Drifter may be someone more important than he’s letting on, though to this point he’s been kind to you if not a little shady in the process. However, players have been with the Vanguard since the start of the franchise, so there are some loyalty incentives there as well. Whichever side you choose, the perspective changes a bit and you will interact with the other side as well. However, it’s a bit disappointing that Bungie doesn’t do more with this outside of pushing grindy tasks on the player and asking them to read lore from the game menu. Perhaps a cinematics budget wasn’t in the cards or there just wasn’t enough manpower to really do this justice beyond reading letters and lore.
It’s even possible that this won’t be the last time we’ve heard from this conflict. I’ve heard people mention that this could be a hint of things to come further down the line. The whole good vs evil, light vs dark could end up serving as a major element to Destiny 3, World of Destiny, or a potentially big expansion if Bungie chooses to keep rolling with Destiny 2 post-Annual Pass content. Could we be seeing rogue guardians in the future? Will the Praxic Order and their fanatical believes become more of a focus down the road?
While the future of “what’s next” for Destiny is still shrouded in mystery, I have to admit that I’m massively intrigued by this turn of events. Here’s hoping this isn’t just a fun little side story for the Joker’s Wild content and is instead a hint at the future.