Future 2′s third 12 months—beginning with Shadowkeep in October 2019—marked a reasonably large shift for the sport. It was the primary 12 months of content material completely developed and revealed by Bungie with none exterior assist for the reason that studio parted methods with Activision in January 2019. It was when the sport went free-to-play. It was when Bungie dedicated to an ever-changing and evolving world in an effort to really transfer the narrative and state of the world ahead. Nonetheless, many gamers have felt that an overreliance on FOMO (the Worry of Lacking Out) has created a sport that’s extra of a chore and fewer partaking general. Future 2 Yr four, starting this fall, will tackle these considerations, placing a greater steadiness between evolving the world and short-term content material and actions.
Again earlier than the discharge of Shadowkeep, Sport Director Luke Smith issued a trilogy of articles referred to as Director’s Cuts. These posts appeared critically on the historical past of Future, discovered from errors, and made commitments to sure beliefs shifting ahead. A type of beliefs was to make the sport world really feel extra alive with an ever-evolving narrative and world that felt prefer it had ahead momentum. That resulted on this 12 months’s seasons providing lots of short-term content material that may finally go away. Season of the Timeless featured Vex Offensive which went away to make room for Season of Daybreak’s Sundial. On March 10, Sundial will probably be eliminated and pave the best way for one thing else.
Future 2 Yr four Plans and Concepts – No Extra FOMO
In a brand new Director’s Lower for 2020, Luke Smith returned to as soon as once more present some in-depth evaluation of Future 2’s present state and the place the workforce plans to make modifications sooner or later. At this level, Season 10 (starting on March 10 and bringing again Trials of Osiris) and Season 11 are most likely too near see any of those updates manifest, however Smith makes it clear that Future 2 Yr four will as soon as once more present a reasonably large alteration to Future as we all know it.
The key theme for Yr four “and past” is bringing again “aspiration” to Future. Whereas Bungie is pleased with the narrative evolution of the sport and the brand new battle move offering seasonal rewards only for enjoying, the world itself is failing to evolve. Actions that come and go aren’t making a major sufficient affect to drive that “aspiration” that Smith needs to recapture. It’s led to seasons feeling like a collection of checkboxes as a substitute of significant grinds that have interaction gamers past simply “full this factor.” This concept will lead to fewer short-term seasonal actions and extra retooling and enhancing the sport’s core actions like Crucible, Strikes, Gambit, and the patrol areas.
This 12 months’s model of Seasons has an excessive amount of FOMO in them. We wish to repair this, and subsequent 12 months’s Seasons can have much less.
As a result of we aren’t spending our improvement sources and time in addition to we may, we’re speaking about shifting away from creating Season-bespoke personal actions and as a substitute utilizing that effort and time to construct themes that aren’t simply represented by a marquee occasion that can fade away, however reasonably to inject these Seasonal themes into extra of the sport. Like we proceed to evolve the world’s narrative, we may make investments extra within the evolving world of our public areas and take additional efforts to evolve Future 2’s core actions.
Bungie acknowledges that the present design of short-term seasonal actions immediately competes with the sport’s core actions, which creates a sense of aimlessness when enjoying. There’s an excessive amount of to do and never sufficient purpose to do it. Smith says the workforce needs to make use of the seasons’ marquee themes as a strategy to “provoke” current content material, comparable to partaking gamers in patrol areas, giving them extra causes to leap into the Strike playlist, or in any other case investing in really evolving the world as a substitute of a revolving door of short-term content material.
Future 2 Yr four – Addressing ‘Endlessly’ Weapons
One other problem Bungie faces is an ever-expanding pool of weapons that makes new additions really feel extra like checkboxes reasonably than significant weapons to pursue. Smith compares Future 2’s armory to Magic playing cards, saying that merely permitting for all of them to be consistently viable creates a passive energy creep that both makes new additions too highly effective or dumps them right into a sea of obscurity.
It’s onerous to cleave out that house within the present model of Future 2. Weapons which might be supposed to come back from pinnacle actions like Raids or Trials don’t actually have house to breathe. The reply can’t be “Simply make them higher.”
Again to 2014: The Vault of Glass weapons might be memorable as a result of we knew they weren’t going to be within the ecosystem for issues like Trials, Nightfalls, and Raids eternally. They’d naturally fall by the wayside as a result of Energy (Assault/Mild in these days) would make them out of date.
In Future 2 Yr four, Legendary weapons can have mounted values for the way excessive they are often infused, making a rotating lifespan for weapons that can encourage gamers to embrace newer weapons, slowly placing older ones away. The projected lifespan for a weapons energy efficacy is between 9-15 months proper now, however once more, these are early concepts that haven’t completely made it into manufacturing but. We’ve nonetheless obtained greater than a half a 12 months earlier than Bungie wants to present us extra solutions on when weapons successfully “expire.”
This permits Bungie to not should account for energy spikes of sure weapons eternally. Weapons like Recluse can come into the meta, be a strong staple for some time, after which slowly fade when its infusion cap expiration rolls round. Bungie will not must aggressively nerf nails which might be sticking up as a result of these nails will finally expire.
A couple of different matters had been addressed briefly. The massive Future 2 Yr four growth will make “elementary modifications to the sport world and its programs. We’ve achieved vital programs modifications to all Future video games each time we’ve shipped an growth, and now we’re going to be making extra modifications to the sport world as we go ahead.” Additionally:
Bungie has no plans to convey again Faction Rallies“They didn’t drive a bunch of engagement with the sport”Loot will probably be moved into the final legendary engram poolBright Engrams will not be purchasable with actual moneyBungie plans to revamp New Mild’s onboarding for model new playersThe Questlog is changingSorting choices/buckets by class(Unique quests, Seasonal quests, Forsaken quests, and so on.)
Smith clarifies that, regardless of the size of the Director’s Lower article, the listing “isn’t exhaustive,” they usually “know there’s extra occurring within the sport” than what his article covers. Bungie plans to speak about extra later this 12 months as we strategy what’s going to inevitably be one other main fall growth for Future 2. Season 10—Season of the Worthy—kicks off on March 10, and Season 11 (identify unknown) is projected to start round June 9. Barring any delays or change of plans, that may put Future 2 Yr four—and no matter growth is going on at the moment—someplace round September eight to maintain the size of every season congruent.