With the delay to Beyond Light extending the Season of Arrivals beyond its original start and end dates, I’ve taken the opportunity to put Destiny 2 down to the side over the past month or so to just get away for a little bit. While that has certainly helped me catch up on other things I’ve wanted to do, I’ve still followed along with all the current happenings at Bungie and its upcoming expansion.
While I can’t wait to dive into Beyond Light later today, I was able to log back in last night to witness a season ending event. What made this one a bit interesting is that Bungie is about to basically remove a huge chunk of content from the game including five destinations and all of the related content. It’s a lengthy topic that I’m not going to get into here, but the studio was able to basically tie that into the game’s narrative. Many assumed this event would showcase how and why.
Now, early this year, Bungie tried a similar live event for the first time ever. I wrote about my impressions and how it dragged on for way too long. However, I absolutely loved the fact that Bungie was trying something like this and I hoped they could learn from this and apply it to future events. This was the chance to make that happen.
They did it.
Unlike last time, Bungie created a new activity taking players into The Last City, a place that most people only see from very high up on The Tower…or seeing it destroyed at the start of the Red War campaign. It was very cool to get another look at the City, even if it was largely deserted.
Players ran through streets and alleyways, over bridges, up stairs, and eventually came out to a large platform with a good view of the Traveler, who had been glowing and pulsating energy for at least an hour by this point. Ghost had some dialogue lines and players even got a quickness buff with not only made us run faster but jump higher.
As an aside, Bungie, can we do something with this buff? it was insanely fun bounding around this small space. We should absolutely see it used again.
As the time approached the scheduled maintenance, Eris again provided an ominous message, indicating that things are escalating between the endless war between light and dark. The screen cut to black, probably scaring players that they had been disconnected. However, the Destination map appeared as the familiar tendrils of The Darkness, an image that evoked the opening cutscene from Destiny 1, crept into view and overtaking various destinations like Io, Mercury, Mars, and Titan. As it continued to approach the center, the Traveler pulsated light as the cutscene came to an end with a brilliant white flash.
At this point, all Destiny 2 social media channels switched to a dark theme and players who tried to log back in where greeted with a message that said the light will not save you, find help on Europa…while being kicked back to the login screen due to the servers being shut off.
So yes, perhaps not as crazy or flashy as the first event, but what I really liked about this is the focus on worldbuilding and narrative elements. Plus, it let us gawk at all the pretty visuals of The Last City while running through it. It was more interactive than simply standing around and watching something get slowly destroyed over the course of like three hours.
Yes, it wasn’t a problem-free event as there were server issues, disconnects, and a queue system for people attempting to get in, and a red “attempting to contact Destiny 2 servers” message that continued to display during the final cutscene.
However, this was absolutely a step in the right direction. While it may not have been as advanced as making a massive ship get destroyed in real time and crash into a burning pile of scrap in the distance, I appreciated the subtlety and how much better everything was handled.
This event showed me that Bungie is definitely learning from these events and I really hope they continue them going forward. They’re cool moments that really bring the community together for some fun.
With Beyond Light finally here and making massive changes to the franchise, it’ll be interesting to see where Bungie goes from here.