Destiny 2’s DeeJ Talks Community, Cabal, and Post-Game Content

arlier today we got a chance to sit down with developer Bungie’s Community Manager, DeeJ, to play and talk about all things Destiny 2. While our demo was just the Homecoming mission from the Destiny 2 Beta, we did get a chance to play it on PC. In terms of gameplay, it all ran extremely smooth in 4K with no hitches, drops in framerate, or any other bugs. During our play time, we got a chance to speak with DeeJ over a variety of different topics pertaining to Destiny 2. Here is what he had to say:

(Author’s Note: We have trimmed this interview down since it ran rather long, but we are still presenting DeeJ’s full answers.)

Heavy: The Cabal was a faction that players had minor interactions with in the original game, why make them the main villains of Destiny 2?

DeeJ: I think just for that reason. The Cabal represented one of the untold stories and we have seen scouting parties on Mars, a couple of brothers in The Taken King, but The Red Legion represents the tip of the spear for their galactic professional military. We wanted to raise the stakes, we wanted to give the Guardians an enemy that was more aggressive than anything they ever fought before and this is an opportunity for us to bring the attack to Earth. The Cabal are here to steal The Traveler for themselves – to claim its Light, to claim its power.

Heavy: Is this a response to our actions with The Cabal in The Taken King?

DeeJ: This was essentially Ghaul who is the leader of The Red Legion. Ghaul is the leader of The Red Legion and if you were to ask him he’d say that “he’s the hero of this tale,” but we have our own opinions on the matter. And he has come because he feels that The Red Legion, who have conquered every world they’ve laid eyes on, should have been chosen by The Traveler. They’re the true warriors. They’re actually mighty. Here we are cowering behind walls and he tells us in the beta “You’re not brave, you’ve merely forgotten the fear of death. Allow me to remind you.”

So, he’s come here to take everything from us that makes us heroes. That gives us a wonderful opportunity for veteran players to raise the stakes, to give a true sense of consequence for defeat. And for brand new players, when they see everything we have protected and everything we have collected reduced to rubble and ash, it creates this unspoken invitation to one of the finest communities in the gaming space.

Heavy: Are you looking to add any tools down the road to help content makers build out their suite of Destiny related content?

DeeJ: It seems like they’re doing quite fine on their own. With the features that are built into the consoles like the Share button and the Xbox drives being what they are, being able to capture content in-game has never been easier which allows us to focus on creating a great world. So what we do is build the world. W e create this platform where they can all project their personalities into that space. We give them the tools to create a unique character and to forge a very distinct identity in the world of the game and the way they want to share that is up to them.

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Heavy: What some people might not know is there are some pretty serious puzzles in the first Destiny. Are you looking to integrate those more into core game or are those strictly for raids and side quests?

DeeJ: I think there is definitely a time for those sorts of things. Solving riddles, working together to solve puzzles is definitely an aspect of the Destiny player experience. One of the things we wanted to do is make raids more accessible. There are plenty of people in our community who have never played a raid. So to suddenly take all of these things out of the raids and scatter them across the entire landscape of the game would probably create a barrier for certain people to even finish the game and not understand Destiny.

So what we want to do is bring more people to the raids, that’s what Guided Games are all about. To take the landscape of the clan system and make it accessible by the solo player who can go through a directory of clans that would be willing to take them on as a reinforcement and guide them through the complexity of the raid.

We are doing some interesting things with Public Events where they would have Heroic modifiers. So you’re playing a Public Event with a bunch of people you’ve never met before and the more you engage, the more you double down on that public event, the more complex it might become, the better the rewards will become. I don’t think we would want to take something as enjoyable as a campaign mission and all of a sudden have it be a whittler or a puzzler. Then the solo casual player who just wants to go in and blow some stuff up and see some fantastic art that transports their imagination to a strange new to world to interrupt that experience and go “Do you know what binary is?”

Heavy: When I first heard about it I didn’t actually believe the binary code existed.

DeeJ: But in that specific instance where you get a very special weapon, there’s a very special reward it seemed to make sense though.

Heavy: Right

DeeJ: We definitely go well out of our way to appease the one percenters and we want, hopefully, for that number to go up a bit. There are many people who played Destinywho never experienced what many regard to be the finest content. You know they’ll say: “Yeah Destiny is pretty cool, but man have you played the raid? No, I could never scrape together six people to go and play that with me.” And you need six people talking and communicating and collaborating to solve those puzzles. If we just collide them in an atom smasher and say “Okay half of you have microphones, good luck solving this riddle together!” We just don’t think that would result in a good experience for the player.

Heavy: For Sherpas and people who carry “KinderGuardians” through content are you looking to reward them for helping others?

DeeJ: Are you a member of a clan?

Heavy: I am

DeeJ: You’ll find that being a member of a clan is extremely beneficial. Every member of your clan will earn rewards as you do things and the more you do things the more they will be rewarded. One of the obstacles to the “doin” is getting six people together to do.  So many clans will say “Yeah we’re going to raid last night, but two people didn’t show up at the last minute and I’m pretty pissed about it.” Now, Guided Games, open your doors. So the clans, from an emotional standpoint, are going to be the leaders of this new community. You’re going to be the ones that introduce solo players to the glory that has always eluded them

You’ll understand the clan progression and the clan rewards system when you play. I’ll leave that to the social designers to break to you in the game.  The fact that clans are more accessible in the game – You know, we used to give people free real estate in our community, on our website, in the Destiny Companion. Somebody who wants to become a digital warlord could go in and say “I’m starting my clan. I’m inviting people to come in.” Now that experience can exist away from the second screen and they can, inside of the game, facilitate recruitment.

I think that’s really one of the biggest benefits of Guided Games is “How are we find new people to join our clan?” If you just put yourself in the Guided Games directory they will come right to you. And you get to give them a test drive in a raid and if you like them, send them a clan invite right there.

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Heavy: I noticed the future DLC is advertising Osiris and Rasputin, so with future content are you looking to tell more personal stories about character’s we don’t know a lot about?

DeeJ: I’m going to commit my least favorite cliche and say “That’s an excellent question.”

Heavy: When it comes to bosses, is Destiny 2 looking to introduce more unique mechanics that are tied to those specific Strikes?

Deej: Strike bosses are certainly more elaborate than like a campaign mini-boss and, you know, raid bosses are the ultimate enemies. Figuring these things out while you play is really the essential experience in playing Destiny. Sometimes brute strength is required, sometimes an interesting combination – Oh boy, I almost just spoiled something.

Heavy: For the raid and other post-game content what are looking to offer players after they’ve completed the story?

Specifically relative to the raid – that is an excellent question. (Laughs) Beyond the campaign, once the last cinematic plays out I think you’re going to find a lot more variety. When you’re in a destination, you open the map and the map will be littered with all these different things you can do. You can go on adventures that will tell you more about those destinations and the characters that you’ll discover in those places. You’re used to walking up to a character in The Tower or in a social space like The Reef or Felwinter Peak, but you’ll actually walk up to the characters in destinations and interact with them.

So they will put on this map different things like adventures or Lost Sectors. There are more things to experience as part of the end game aside from raids, aside from the Nightfall, and, you know, Crucible end game activities. There are things you can do in the world to expand your understanding of those places or get rewards. Public Events that you can see on the map you’ll know when they begin, instead of people literally wandering around the world of Destiny hoping a Public Event would start. Or crowdsourcing together to figure out a map. This will be a function that is served in the game. So many things where people were dropping the controller and picking this up (holds up smart phone) are now in the game.

You’re going to learn more about the story in the game. You’re going to understand when the Public Events start in the game. You’re going to be able to interact with other players and manage your clan in the game. And, what we want to do is immerse people’s minds in the world of the game and not force them to leave to make their experience complete. I think you’re going to find, even independent of the raid, there’s a far greater variety of things to do to enjoy your Guardian lifestyle after the final cutscene has played out.

Heavy: Final Question. Will you go on record and confirm the Warlock is the best class?

DeeJ: Yes.

Heavy: Okay good. 

DeeJ: With a caveat. I am not entirely skilled at the game. I’m living proof that you don’t have to be amazing at Destiny to love it and I chose the Warlock emotionally from a fashion perspective.