How Long Is Destiny?

By Pete Haas 2014-07-28 07:57:46 discussion comments
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Some gamers are questioning whether Destiny's as massive as they initially expected. Here's why there's so much anxiety surrounding the game.

Over the weekend, DestinyDB datamined the beta files to find out how many missions are in the game. The data they uncovered suggested that the game has 23 story missions, six strikes (quests designed for co-op) and four explorable areas. This freaked out a lot of fans, who were worried they'd plow through all of Destiny's launch content in too few hours. However, DestinyDB admits that their information is incomplete.

"Everything here is rumoured and does not represent the final game," the website says. "There are no offical [sic] sources on the amount of activities."

Their estimate of four open-world areas seems to be accurate at least. Bungie's community manager David "DeeJ" Dague confirmed such during a Twitch stream of the game.

"You go to Mars, you go to the Moon, you've got Venus, and you've got Earth," he said. Dague added that the game won't let players journey outside the solar system at launch. Each of the planets in the game will only have one open-world area. For example, Earth only has the Old Russia region featured in the beta.

This revelation also was a source of anxiety for players. There was an expectation among some that Destiny is going to be a full-fledged MMO with players freely wandering a massive open-world. I'm not sure whether Bungie actually promised multi-zone worlds, though. I think part of the confusion is that the word "MMO" carries its own set of assumed features.

Bungie sensed players' concern about the Destiny's length. Community manager Eric "Urk" Osborne responded to concerns by saying that the game is the biggest they've ever made and will give players months of entertainment.

"With Destiny, we're looking to exceed what we've done before, not just in terms of scale - the Moon is our smallest destination - but in terms of scope and breadth of activities," Osborne said. "That's true for day one, as you expect, but it also means we want Destiny to have super long legs. If we're fortunate enough to have you playing months after launch, you still find lots of compelling stuff to do. That will manifest itself in a myriad of ways, from straight up content to cool activities we've yet to show off."

He pointed out that the post-launch content will come in many forms. The DLC for their Halo games was focused on competitive multiplayer but Destiny's long-term plans will support "all modes with ongoing activities and events."

"Beta was water wings. Level 8 is nothing. You barely scratched the surface, and it seems like some folks had fun with what was there. If you did, good news. More soon."

I'm sure that some players are hoping that Bungie would just say that it takes x amount of hours to beat the game. However, it sounds like Destiny's not going to be a game that you "beat." Bungie seems to have a plan for keeping players' attention even after max-level. It's unclear what that plan is right now, though.

Destiny's beta ended last night. The game will officially launch on September 9th on PS4, PS3, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
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