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‘Destiny 2’ Has Figured Out A Key Missing ‘Fun’ Switch In Season Of The Chosen

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I’ve talked a bit about why Destiny 2’s Season of the Chosen is going well, focusing mostly on loot and the loot chase, which have been much improved over both Beyond Light and Season of the Hunt. But I think it’s worth nothing that Bungie seems to have flipped a switch to fundamentally change things about all the new combat encounters we’ve seen this season, which has made things a lot more fun.

That switch? “Enemy density.”

This is true in both the three new Battlegrounds activities we’ve seen so far, and also in the reprised Devil’s Lair strike. It is likely going to be the case for the fourth Battleground, Fallen SABER and the new strike too, if current patterns suggest a trend.

Simply put, all this means is that Bungie is jamming in more and more enemies per encounter. The difficulty of each enemy in particular has not been increased, necessarily. Battlegrounds are a low power level event in the mode where champions show up, and yet you throw 15 Phalanxes 20 Legionaires, 5 Centurions, 3 Colossi and 10 Psions in an arena with a boss and it’s just going to be tough to hack through them all without getting overwhelmed.

Tough, but fun! The Battlegrounds missions are non-stop combat encounters, dumping wave after wave of enemies on you essentially with no breaks in between. Things get truly wild during the boss phase as the more enemies arrive the lower the boss’s health gets, and fighting through the mobs is just as important as burning the boss down.

Devil’s Lair  illustrates how this principle applies to strikes too. I saw Datto talking about how the Sepiks strike is essentially just three rooms, much, much smaller than most Destiny 2 strikes, and yet it contains more actual enemies than even the longest, largest strikes in the game like The Corrupted or The Scarlet Keep. You can really feel that as you play, and even though Sepiks is the first Destiny strike in history, it feels more fun and challenging than most current ones.

Too often, Destiny seems to be focused on length and environment, making strikes or other activities long, sprawling affairs but ones where you might only fight a handful of enemies in a very long series of small rooms. But with Sepiks, we can see that it’s more fun to just have a few big rooms with a ton of enemies in them. When you think back to the last activity that truly had some wild enemy density in it, it was probably Menagerie or Escalation Protocol, both fan favorites, but here, we seem to be even a level above that in some instances, and without timers or complicated objectives, it’s just a whole lot of shooting, the thing Destiny is best at.

As such, I am excited to see both the new strikes and the final battleground to see how this principle might be applied there as well. The exception to this “enemy density” idea is probably the Presage mission with its Scorn, but it’s understandable there, given that the mission is supposed to be mainly about puzzle solving with combat less of a focus. But who knows, maybe that will change once the heroic version gets here.

Destiny’s strength has always been its combat and I think it’s figured out a pretty easy way to make activities more fun by dumping just loads of enemies into encounters. I don’t know if this is something that simply wasn’t possible before until recent backend changes and engine upgrades, or if that doesn’t have anything to do with it. But it’s something we really have not seen at this level until now.

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