Destiny's six-player raid missions are going to be so tough that you'll likely need to access a walkthrough on the Internet to help get your squad through to the end. That's according to Bungie design lead Luke Smith, who says that the game's raid missions were purposefully designed to not give players much information or direction.
"For the majority of raid encounters, you're going to need to work as a group," Smith says in Bungie's latest Weekly Update blog post. "That group of six is trying to form a metaphorical key which opens a given encounter's lock."
"By design, we don't provide much in the way of information to groups in raids" -- Luke Smith
"By design, we don't provide much in the way of information to groups in raids," he adds. "There aren't waypoints to follow, or objectives explaining what to do in a given situation. Realistically, for many players, they'll be turning to the Internet for help on how to do a bunch of the raid."
This is a break in form for Bungie. "There's an old Bungie quote about not wanting players to go to the Internet to figure out solutions. That quote certainly wasn't about raiding in Destiny," Smith says. "We fully expect players to either publish strategy guides on the Internet or keep their group's secrets guarded close to the vest in an effort to keep their rewards even more exclusive."
There are two difficulty modes for Destiny raids: Normal and Hard. When you finish a raid on Normal, you'll have the opportunity to play the Hard version. Smith says Normal is all about learning mechanics, working together as a team, and building strategies. Hard mode dials up the intensity and challenge.
"Hard modes demand execution," Smith says. "In addition to deadlier combatants, tighter tuning windows for encounter mechanics, and a handful of targeted differences, Hard mode encounters leverage an even harsher death penalty than the Normal modes."
But how long will a raid in Destiny take to complete? Nowhere near 45 minutes, Smith says. If you want to take your time, however, you can jump out and your progress will be saved. But be warned that Bungie will wipe your progress on a weekly basis.
"Because we store your progress in a given week, you don't need to clear the activity in one go," Smith says. "Your group could simply make your way into the Vault and call it an evening, reconvene later in the week, and pick up where you left off. However, your progress for the week is reset each Tuesday at the Weekly Reset."
Destiny launches one week from today on September 9. The game is coming to Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4. Bungie has extensive post-release support plans for the game, including major expansions like The Dark Below, which launches in December. For more on Destiny, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.
Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch