Destiny 2 Is Still Trying To Figure Out Its Post-Final Shape Rhythm

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Bungie recently shifted away from Destiny 2’s seasonal model for something the developer is calling episodes. These episodes are supposed to differ from seasons—which delivered weekly narrative beats via a mixture of cutscenes and repeatable activities— in a number of ways, such as the ability to tell more exciting standalone stories and mix up the cadence in which they are delivered. However, when the first act of the ongoing episode launched shortly after The Final Shape, Destiny 2’s climactic expansion, players were disappointed to find that very little actually changed. Bungie is now trying to make amends by changing the formula, as promised.

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On a stream earlier today, Bungie detailed what to expect from Echoes second act—which launches on July 16—and stated that it would be altering the delivery of the content following the completion of this current episode. Instead of drip-feeding stories for weeks like it has always done, Bungie will be releasing all of the story content for the acts at once. Thismeans that when the next episode, titled Heresy, arrives in a few months, all of the content for its first act will drop at once.

This cadence will continue through the rest of the episode. Now, rather than get three weeks of story content slowly meted out, and then another three weeks to work through it before the next act, players will be able to go all out at launch. I’m torn on whether or not this is a great call. As someone who struggles to keep up with the weekly grinds, and hates coming back for pieces of a narrative, the move kind of resonates with me. Being able to bang it all out in a weekend sounds like a dream come true, and allows me to carve out more time for other pursuits rather than treat every login like an appointment.

However, I know that there’s a subset of folks who enjoy having a reason to come back regularly. When that’s not there, it’s easy to get your fill, fuck off, and claim that the game is dead when it doesn’t get new content for more than a month at a time. Moreover, releasing all of the content at once feels like a recipe for disaster to the developers, who will very likely need to put up with fans of the game harassing them over a perceived drought every six weeks.

Yes, it is true that Echoes’ first act was a bit of a letdown. When it landed, players expected something—literally anything different—and instead they were treated to what was essentially a reskinned season. Echoes’ first act appeared like a dull retread of the past rather than the sweeping evolution of the seasonal model that players were promised. But I’m not entirely sure that releasing all of the story content at once will liven things up. Folks want the game to feel fresher, rather than repeat the same cycle of experiences they’ve played for years now, and changing how often story beats are delivered doesn’t really respond to that critique.

For now, Echoes will continue the weekly drip of stories throughout its remaining acts, and who knows, we may even learn to love it by the time the next episode rolls around. Bungie’s proved it’s pretty fluid in responding to its fanbase, and usually winds up in a good place after some iteration, so there’s no way to say for sure whether or not these changes stick around. We’ll just have to wait and see how well-received it is once it’s actually implemented in a few months.

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