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'Destiny' hasn't been explained well, admits Bungie lead designer

Destiny
Destiny
Photo courtesy of Activision, used with permission

Alpha gameplay footage of “Destiny” leaked for the PS4 leaked over the weekend that provided an interesting question on how the games media should cover footage where it’s not clear what’s happening or if the player even knows what’s going on. Bungie lead designer Luke Smith responded Sunday to the footage and accompanying coverage while admitting that the studio still has some explaining to do before the game releases to the PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360.

Smith responded to the leaked footage on NeoGAF where you can almost sense his frustration at the video and the coverage it received in the first sentence. “There’s a lot of confusion here, and we haven’t done the best job ever of explaining the game or its structure,” he explained.

“We’ve attempted to build a suite of activities that can suit a variety of moods (I want something challenging! I want to chill out with my friends! I want to see where the story goes next! I want to shoot other players! I want the game to be a cruel dominatrix! et cetera).”

The activities in “Destiny” are broken down into four different experiences that can be experienced either alone or with friends. There’s also the competitive PvP multiplayer mode to round the activities out to five. Smith explains them as follows.

  • Story missions - soloable activities (you can still play them in groups of up to 3!), often with ties to the main story arc of Destiny (the campaign). These activities appear at various Levels (numerical, relative to the player) and choosing a higher level (relative to you) means you’re opting in for some additional challenge.
  • Strikes - 3 player activities, with bosses and loot at the end. Their goal is a highly replayable activity that will – at higher levels – lead you into the loot game.
  • Explore - cruise around the surface of a planet in Fireteams of up to 3, taking odd jobs and tasks for the City. You can find minerals and resources out in the world that you’ll have some use for as you find weapons in Destiny that you want to stick with. This is a lower intensity activity
  • Raids - 6 player, cooperative required, communication required gameplay. High challenge. We haven’t talked much about this yet and I’m not going start that conversation here on NeoGAF
  • Multiplayer This is for the “shoot other players” mood.

Smith also discussed how the game world of “Destiny” is structured between places where players will intersect with others and places where they won’t. The common landing zones, for example, are a place where players can randomly meet up but the boss battles during a mission are not. Usually when you see other players running around, they are probably busy with their own activity similar to what you would experience in a MMO.

“A bunch of folks are playing the Alpha now and we’re already seeing all kinds of opportunities for places to improve ‘Destiny,’” Smith added. “I have no doubt that in the Public Beta, we will learn even more from your feedback and experiences.”

The “Destiny” beta is currently slated to launch in July with PS4 and PS3 owners rumored to receive it at least four days before Xbox One and Xbox 360 players. Those interested in participating in the beta only need to pre-order the game from retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy or GameStop. The full game is scheduled to release on Sept. 9, 2014.