How Much Destiny Has Changed Over The Last Year

How Much Destiny Has Changed Over The Last Year

Since its first announcement or teaser trailer is released into the wild, a game is bound to make certain changes up to launch. But it can be quite revealing to see just what was left out and added into the game by comparing marketing materials to the final product.

In this case, coreRoss goes through trailers that were released since the game's official reveal around February of last year. What he finds is a mix of the usual design changes — like a different look for the Tower — as well as what appears to be a few cuts from the game, like Mercury and Saturn locations. Though, it should be noted that these could likely reappear as DLC in the future.

He's conveniently listed the highlights out for us in a Reddit post, copied here:

These are my main highlights but more in the video.

Out Here in the Wild - Official Destiny ViDoc

22 Aug 2013 - 1 year before release

0:38 "You can go from Earth to Venus to Mars to the Moon, to Saturn"

2:01 Thunder Lord. Talents points needed, different description and unlocks

4:13 Mercury is shown

Official Destiny Gameplay Reveal Video

3 Jul 2013 - 1 year before release

7:16 Weapons have no level requirement, only weapon levels. A weapon you get at level 1 is just as effective as a weapon at level 20. This means every weapon is a viable option. Meaning you can use any gun you prefer. Giving you a huge selection. Also this means you can receive amazing weapons even exotics throughout your playthrough from start to finish even on low levels, its a smart way to do loot.

7:15 Thunderlord. Glimmer, Weapon Kit and Talent Point needed for upgrade. No upgrade materials. Maybe get talent points for using the weapon? Much more interesting upgrades.

11:22 Talking to speaker. Different layout on the Tower, we see a different area behind the characters.

11:31 Queens brother asks, "Why is the city breathing down my neck", located on earth. Different voice actor? Seems like a different character too.

11:44 A view of Saturn's Rings rendered in game.

11:46 A ship with Dead Orbit logo.

Official Destiny E3 Gameplay Trailer 0:15 Larger view of tower, different layout. Tower has armed guards.

1:53 Saturn rendered in game (looks beautiful)

2:14 Mercury

Destiny PlayStation 4 Official Announcement

20 Feb 2013 More than a year

1:11 Strike boss fight, room layout is different.

1:24 The Reef playable area. Fallen (guard) to the left, but player's do not have guns. Not under threat, a vender area similar to the Tower? Area is well polished, looks beautiful (will appear in DLC?)

Reveal Trailer - Official Destiny ViDoc: Pathways Out of Darkness

17 Feb 2013 - More than a year before release

0:59 Mobile App, New Chapter on Venus: Story

Book 1, Chapter 3

Gain Favour with the Queen

Venus, Shores of Time

"Help the Crow loot the Academy archive"


Each with chapters?

The Crow character was first mentioned in a Reddit post detailing an alternative story that was dropped. A new story was created.

1:19 Main Menu

-The City as Home location

-Chapter 3 Shores of Time

-Bounty with a One Week Cooldown

-Strike Random playlist

-Raid is Depth of Darkness, similar in name to the DLC name The Dark Below

-Faction Wars, PvP

3:11 Different tower layout, armed guards

3:24 The Reef, created in game. Fallen guard patrolling (a well polished area, more than a year before the games release)

3:42 Lush forest, unknown location. Player visible lower left (this area is not as polished)

via Reddit


    I'm really hoping all the content that was teased that didn't make it to launch is coming later - and by later I mean expansions to the current games, and not held back for sequels.

    There's no doubt that planned content has been stripped out but I hope this is for justifiably creative reasons rather than "we couldn't be bothered".

      I would say that content is definitely being held back for future releases (DLC or full games). Releasing one raid per game and DLC when they're the best things in the game does strike a bit like 'we know what the things our players want are, but that's how best to guarantee future income'. I have no issue with some stuff being held back for DLC, that's the nature of the industry these days, but some additional free content in the meantime like extra missions or an extra strike would keep a lot of people happy I think. There's a lot of areas in the maps that aren't even used currently.

      I think when they announce their roadmap after the second DLC, that's when we'll see what their intentions are with holding back content. I'm just hoping it won't be 'there's now a 6 month wait until Destiny 2 is released'

    The following contains a really minor spoiler in a plot that no-one really listens to

    With the mentions of Mercury in game being turned into a Vex planet I'm hoping for a future DLC/Destiny 2(if it's going to be annualised) where we explore that and either drive the Vex away from the planet or go back in time to when they first invaded (seeing as time travel is a sort of thing in game).

    As it is though, I can't not say I was disappointed when the game was limited to 3 planets and the Moon. Hopefully it expands to the whole Solar System and beyond at some point. Jupiter and Saturn would be the next logical planets after Mercury though seeing as it's next out after Mars and the Asteroid Belt (The Reef). It'd be interesting how they were going to have people on gas planets though

      I'm really interested to see what happens with Mercury in future expansions.

      I also think it would be a massively missed opportunity not to explore Jupiter but I have a feeling that we'll be waiting for a sequel to that. Since Jupiter is a gas giant I'm guessing the tower equivalent would be some sort of cloud city a la Bespin in Star Wars, with the bulk of the action taking place on various moons.

      I assume they meant the moons around the gas planets.

        Yeah. They have concept art and talk in some of the videos about a colony on Europa. Look up some of the concept art, there's a pic of an ice world with snow partially covering one building and Jupiter visible in the sky behind it.

        Presumably in Saturn's case you'd be looking at one of the major moons. Titan would be my guess, it's the most likely body in the solar system with liquid water (and thus likely life as well) on the surface, it's full of natural hydrocarbons which could be mined for fuel. I could equally see them having something set up in Saturn's rings somehow though.

    As much as I really enjoy Destiny, stuff like this doesn't exactly make me like Bungie. Methinks the massive amounts of behind-the-scenes drama (key people leaving, etc) really hit Destiny hard.

    Stripped content, existing content that IS in the game being recycled, constant "you will play the game OUR way" (even replacing teamwork and legitimate strategy in the Raid with more RNG), all of it doesn't exactly fill me with confidence.

    It's a shame, because based on videos like these and the E3 gameplay, Destiny had/has a LOT of potential.

      Bungie should have known better than to sign with Activision, its clearly a corporate decision to strip vast amounts of the game to save on development costs.

        Be fair though, Destiny wasn't a cheap game to make and this is what we got. You can talk about the hypothetical content that's missing but really all we've seen is that the story would have been better*, probably better told, and Saturn would have been playable. That fixes some of the issues but as much as I love the game it's problems run deep in just about every aspect.
        Can you really blame anybody for saying 'just release the damn thing, we're not giving you any more money'?

        I mean we appreciate Destiny as a game but as fans we gloss over the fact that Bungie seems to have pissed an astronomical amount of money up the wall. Even as a fully realised successful game I think Destiny would struggle to make it's money back in it's first console generation. They invested a ton of money into it, which put a lot of jobs on the line, so it becomes a bit hard to call them greedy for not respecting Bungies artistic vision enough to continue pouring a million dollars a month into it.

        *I must admit I have my doubts about this. Maybe it's just me but Bungie's Halo work always sounded good in theory and then failed to be as serious in game. The supposed original story sounded ok but there's no telling whether it would have actually been good.

        Last edited 22/10/14 12:14 pm

          I am blaming them for saying "We will take out most of the single player and sell it back to them as DLC, also screw it take out Saturn too"

          Also its estimated about $200 million of that budget was for advertising.

          While we don't know that the butchered story was ever going to be stellar, and that's a fair point, I think it's fair to assume it was probably going to be better. If only because the bar for 'Better' in this case is set ridiculously low, such as 'have characters'.

          All they'd need to do is introduce characters who react to your avatar as a character, and each other. Characters who - through their interactions - provide some sort of context for your actions.

          That alone would immeasurably improve the story, and any game that claims to have a narrative tends to manage it.

          Exposition by dinklebot is pretty much the entire story as it stands, with a couple cameos of characters who get no individual development.

      I think the randomness in the raid teleports requires a lot more teamwork and coordination than knowing who's going to teleport. Good strategy demands you react and improvise and be ready for all scenarios.

      That said I think Bungie is silly for changing it. If it's not broken don't fix it. It should have been random in the first place, but teleporting the furthest 3 players is also fun too. Brining it out and allowing people to learn the strategy and then saying "nope, we're gonna change it" after weeks of people learning to do it a certain way is a bit dumb in my opinion.

    Sounds like a lot of stuff mostly complete that was held back from the main release to sell as DLC.
    Also the changed weapon progression to make it more a liner grind to artificially extend game time.
    So typical practice in AAA.

    I'd say disappointing if I had expected any better, even from Bungie.

    The lush verdant forest looks like a blast...*fingers crossed*

    This reminds me alot of the Diablo 3 Saga of having all these cool looking features like more intuitive environments and their pre-release videos turning out to be in completely different locations to what was avaialble on the games release.

    While the game will be a master piece in a couple of years it does suck a little when they make all your previous work redundant as soon as they lift the level caps.

    Destiny add-on content - now 10% more boring than before.

    This is a really interesting video but I'm seeing a lot of pretty wild speculation. Weapon levels aren't proved conclusively to be free of level requirements. I mean for starters those tooltips have no info on them. They're clearly placeholders. It's also a test server character named 'male human warlock'. That's not a character someone has been playing. Odds are, regardless of requirements, he just spawned/equipped those items using console commands.

    The other thing to be weary of is that this doesn't validate the Reddit leaks. I'm sure the Reddit info is relatively legit, but this is all information that was publicly available before that stuff went up on Reddit. If I were to make up a lie about the planet order I would have chosen Earth, Venus, Mars, Moon, Saturn too, because even if he's just pulling planet names out his butt that's on record to support my lie.

    Last edited 22/10/14 12:13 pm

    Changes made for the better or held for DLC...I see no issue here.

    Yeah it says they're coreRoss but it sounds like Mark Serrels to meee.

    Last edited 22/10/14 1:27 pm

    I think it's a bit of a stretch to say that weapons having a rating called Weapon Level means that Legendaries/Exotics were going to drop before the level cap and scale with level - that's pure conjecture.

    Edit: Further gripes include:
    - Mercury is in the game currently, albeit as a single multiplayer map and he shows the same shot 2 or 3 times which simply shows a ship arriving. It could be that the planet loading screens were at a different angle previously? Again, conjecture.
    - Moon strike Boss Room. Platforms are actually at slightly different heights in the release. Definitely just nitpicking on a few of these points.

    Last edited 22/10/14 5:49 pm

    I dont think the content was held back for DLC, I think it was cut, the story was massively altered at some point.

      The Reddit AMA indicated that it was largely 'creative differences' at fault. A sprawling 'Mass Effect MMO' space-opera was planned, but the esports/simplified/'more accessible' direction won out. Deciding to can an epic story would certainly explain a high profile writer bailing on the project. I imagine, "Well if that's what you want to do then what the fuck do you even need me for?" would possibly have been appropriate.

        My gut says the reddit AMA was a hoax and that Joseph Staten left just like the other grizzled ancients at Bungie left because the company had transformed into something WAY different to what it was (they fired Marty for crying out loud!).

        I'm not sure if you've followed Bungie over the years but they ain't the company they used to be. Things like Bungie Day, Steaktacular comps, Humpday challenges and the Bungie Triathalon are a distant memory and would feel out of place at the current incarnation of Bungie.

          Hoax or not, the Reddit thing points toward something something which gives compelling explanation for the craptastic failure of Destiny's storytelling - a schism, some kind of catalyst. You don't take that many years in a prestigious, renowned studio with a reputation for pulling talent and the expectations of your first big project out of the wing of your masterpiece series, and bollocks it up that bad. Not just gradually then wake up one day and say, "This story we've been saying is epic... isn't." They know their job too well for that. There's no way they put that in the hands of someone fresh who couldn't tell them the story was lackluster. They would have known, and they'd have known early.

          Unless something happened. I don't know what, but that clusterfuck excuse that turned up in-game is the result of trying to pull out of a nose-dive, it FEELS rushed, cobbled-together. The 'Crow' explanations fit the details that were on display, the timing and presence of the Queen's Brother and his speech.

          Made up or not, I don't think Joe left mid-stream without some kind of catalyst. And given that he was in charge of story and the story is now crap, I'd have thought it would be something to do with that.

          Last edited 23/10/14 9:39 am

            There's no doubt Destiny's story delivery is poor, exposition over loading screens, dinklebot ramblings and a criminally small number of cutscenes. I have trouble believing that Joe's leaving so late in the project could have such a fire effect on the story. Surely by that stage they were into testing and balancing and QA.

            I think whatever went wrong with Destiny happened long before Joe's departure.

            Like I said, my gut says the reddit thing is a bunch of educated guesses. From the outside looking in I would estimate Bungie just bit off more than they could chew.

    Just think, if this game was released 10 years ago, before games had huge pre-release content schedules, trailers, vidocs, betas and all kinds of coverage. Would there still be as much doubt and drama surrounding this game?

    I often feel like giving the audience such unfettered access to a game while it's being created is a very negative thing, and it's something Bungie does a lot of. Almost all of the criticism of Destiny relates to stuff that was shown pre-release. I can't help but wonder what would have happened if they just shut their mouths, popped out a few trailers and then released it.

    And it also makes you wonder how many other universally praised games have escaped the controversy of seemingly huge changes made, massive content cuts and all kinds of drama but we never hear about it because they don't invite the audience into the development cycle as deeply as Bungie did.

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