Destiny 2: The Witch Queen Dev Shares How It's Thinking About New Player Onboarding
Bungie continues to think a lot about how to solve the tough challenge of onboarding newcomers to Destiny 2.
With numerous expansions, seasons, and campaigns, Destiny 2 can be daunting for new players. While Bungie has put in features to try to solve this problem, like the free-to-play New Light campaign, it's something that the developer still struggles with. In an interview with GameSpot, game director Joe Blackburn and general manager Justin Truman talked about how Bungie is thinking about onboarding in the upcoming Witch Queen expansion.
In essence, Blackburn and Truman explained that Bungie consistently rethinks the array of content available in Destiny 2 and how it's presented when players come into the game. This gets difficult when launching an expansion, as the new content is the first thing the player will likely jump into after finishing New Light, but Bungie thinks that the story of The Witch Queen makes a logical jumping-off point.
Blackburn stated, "So we really want to start attacking all of our systems that are sprawled out in the complexity and find out, 'Okay, this is the stuff that's working for us. What's the stuff that feels like corruption now? How can we get rid of that?'... And then that the really good thing for us with our big beats is that that question becomes really easy to answer when you start talking about the Witch Queen. And that we really think about that a lot as the Witch Queen as a great place to come back into Destiny or get into it because if you're into it for the first time, it's like, 'Okay, I should do this thing.' And then you're going to get dumped into the first mission of the Witch Queen."
Despite their optimism about The Witch Queen as a good place to start playing Destiny 2, there are some aspects of Destiny 2's content catalogue that can't be avoided. The seasonal structure of the game means that there is a consistently progressing story, which can be hard to comprehend. "That can be really intimidating for a player that's coming in season 15, now," Blackburn said. "And so, we're always working on tweaks in UI and UX. So you can always feel like, 'Okay, this is the thing that my friends are talking about. I want to get this done and maybe I'll go play around with some stuff that they did three years ago in the background, but here's what I need to be doing to stay relevant.'"
Bungie's been trying to tweak this experience for a while; for example, it recently added an option to watch a short recap of the major plot points of the game. We'll likely learn exactly what else Bungie is doing to improve the onboarding as The Witch Queen's launch date approaches. The expansion will be released on February 22, 2022, and in addition to trying to appeal to new players, it'll also feature a significant revamp of the Void subclasses. In the meantime, Season of the Lost is underway and you can read about how to navigate Week 6's challenges here.
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