What you need to know
- In Destiny 2's Season of the Deep, Deep Dives are arguably the most interesting new activity added to the game.
- This is because it's designed with several mechanics often found in roguelikes, such as randomized objectives, pools of bonuses to pick from, and optional difficulty increases that improve rewards.
- During a meeting with Bungie developers that Windows Central was present for, Senior Design Lead Tom Farnsworth confirmed that Deep Dive represents "a new space that we're really excited about."
- While Farnsworth didn't promise that more Deep Dive-style activities are coming, the studio is taking feedback and will "incorporate that into our decisions in the future."
Bungie has added a handful of new activities to its space fantasy looter shooter Destiny 2 during Season of the Deep, but the one that stands out the most is Deep Dive. In these three-man missions, players are tasked with progressively diving deeper and deeper into the ocean of Titan, collecting important materials, rooting out groups of enemies, and ultimately, defeating a boss.
What makes Deep Dives stand out from previous seasonal missions is that there are several roguelike elements in them. For example, between combat arenas, players have the ability to choose one of two bonuses that will improve their combat effectiveness in future encounters. Also, objectives and enemy types throughout the level are randomized so that no two runs feel the same, and there are even opt-in Pressure Trials that hike up the difficulty of combat in exchange for better rewards.
Recently, I was invited to a roundtable discussion with several developers from Bungie, and got the opportunity to ask Destiny 2 Senior Design Lead Tom Farnsworth about whether or not the studio has plans to make something like Deep Dives in upcoming seasons. Here's what he had to say:
"Every season we'll have an activity we try to iterate on and maybe a new space we try to innovate or bring a new activity type to the game, and Deep Dive is definitely that," he said. "We're trying to build a framework that we can build on in future seasons. I don't know if it would take the same shape or form as what we've done with Deep Dives, but having those bonuses that give you a little bit of choice and soft buildcrafting as you get deeper and deeper in the activity, having the difficulty scale as you get further in the activity and having the rewards try to match that...it's a new space that we're really excited about."
While Farnsworth didn't make any concrete promises about anything specific, it was definitely made clear that Bungie intends to keep iterating on the ideas introduced in Deep Dives moving forward.
"I can't make any promises about the future just yet, but yeah, we're definitely seeing how the community's reacting to it. We're taking feedback from players about what they liked and didn't like about the activity, and we'll definitely incorporate that into our decisions in the future," he continued. In a separate discussion, he confirmed that we're "going to see more activities like Deep Dives in the future."
Considering Destiny 2's seasonal content is often criticized for being too simple and repetitive, it's great to see that Bungie is embracing this new approach and looking to refine it with similar roguelike-style activities down the line. Deep Dives as they are aren't without some issues — enemy health and damage gets a little too crazy at the highest difficulty level, for example — so I'm looking forward to seeing the tweaks the developers make in future releases.
Destiny 2: Lightfall, the looter shooter's latest expansion, is available now on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One consoles, Windows PCs, and PlayStation systems. With the Annual Pass edition, you'll get access to all of Destiny 2 Year 6's current and upcoming content, including Season of the Deep's Season Pass. Destiny 2 itself is one of the best Xbox games for fans of the genre, so give it a try if you've never checked it out before.
Destiny 2: Lightfall + Annual Pass
The Lightfall expansion takes players to the neon-soaked city of Neomuna on Neptune and pits them against the fearsome Shadow Legion — all while the threat of Darkness Pyramids, The Witness, and his new Disciple Emperor Calus looms overhead. The Annual Pass gives you access to everything in Destiny 2 Year 6, including Season of the Deep's Season Pass.
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