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E3 2017: How Destiny 2's Weapons, Enemies, And Matchmaking Are Changing

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Weapon categories and more have been overhauled.

Sony's E3 2017 press conference gave us more details about Destiny 2, including a new story trailer. The release date was also moved (earlier, surprisingly), and we learned about the PS4-exclusive content coming to the game. However, there's still a lot we don't know about Destiny 2, including how the game will differ from the original--at first glance, it looks very similar.

During E3, GameSpot spoke to Destiny 2 Project Lead Mark Noseworthy about the game's big changes. Check our roundup of all the Sony press conference news for more on Destiny 2, and catch up on all the week's announcements on our E3 hub.

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You've previously mentioned that the weapon categories are different in Destiny 2. Rather than Primary, Secondary, and Heavy, Destiny 2 has Kinetic, Energy, and Power--how are the existing weapon types categorized now? How is this changing your loadouts?

Mark Noseworthy: Both the Energy slot and the Kinetic slot pull from the same archetypes, so it's not the same weapon--there'll be Solar Scout Rifle [for example]. That's an Energy weapon, and it'll have a sweet name and do certain things. But then you can have another Scout Rifle in your Kinetic slot. But it's a Kinetic Scout Rifle, with a different name.

And the Kinetic rifle will be good at just doing damage to regular [enemies]. And then the Energy Scout Rifle will be especially good at taking down shields, whether that's a shielded combatant or another player who has their Super.

I mainly use Scout Rifles. So I can put two Scout Rifles in my loadout at once?

I think you won't. Because I'm Mister Scout Rifle as well, but once you've got one Scout Rifle you kinda don't need another Scout Rifle. And one of the things that we really like about this design is that it encourages you to experiment a lot and try other stuff. We're still trying to find different combinations that are like, "All right, this combination totally sucks." It seems like almost any combination you try is interesting in its own way.

One of the things that we really like about this design is that it encourages you to experiment a lot and try other stuff.

And I'm using weapons now that I wouldn't have previously used. I've always gone Scout Rifle, [but now I can equip one] either in my Kinetic or Energy. So now you [can use the other slot for] Sidearms or Hand Cannons or ARs, or whatever, because you know you've always got your Scout if your combination isn't working out.

So now it means you're actually changing up your weapons a lot more than you've ever done before.

How so? I never use Hand Cannons, for example.

Yeah, and now you will, because you're like, "Well, I've got my Scout Rifle, so might as well use the Handcannon that does the [a different kind of damage]" Especially if you've got an Exotic in that slot. If you have your Scout Rifle, and then your non-Scout Rifle--you're gonna use a different Exotic for that. Instead of just always using the Exotic Scout Rifle just because [you have it].

Which weapons are classified as Power weapons?

You've got the Grenade Launcher, the Rocket Launcher, the Shotgun, the Sniper Rifle, the Fusion Rifle. Those are the ones in that slot. They've all been beefed up. They do more damage.

Then segueing into enemies from there--are we seeing similar enemies in Destiny 2? We've seen Cabal in the trailers.

There are definitely a bunch of new combatants. We're not really detailing any of the changes we've made to the Hive, the Vex, or the Fallen, but they've each evolved. They've all been touched in some ways. The Cabal Red Legion [is] where we've spent a bunch of the time, they're the primary antagonists in the campaign of the Red War. They've got the War Beast, the Incendiary, and then the Gladiator as the brand-new Cabal units.

We figure the Cabal are like the Navy Seals or the Special Forces. But we've taken a good hard look at the design of all the existing races and tried to make improvements across the board. Just more fun to fight and make it so that when the Fallen soul escapes his body and that the animation effect is just a little bit more dialed in.

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Whether it's a brand-new combatant or a combatant that previously existed, we're going to change it up a little bit. Like, what if these guys take cover differently now? Or what if he jumps? So there's been a lot of enhancements across old enemies.

One of the big differences in Destiny 2 is the addition of in-game clan support. Could you give us more information on how that works?

We've introduced two really important systems in Destiny 2. Clans are the first half of that. And clans are, as you know, basically groups that you can join [consisting] of like-minded people who've said, "I want to play Destiny with other people." And it's like an extended friends list essentially.

But we're going further than that. We're allowing the clans to have an identity, like a name and a motto that you can type in and describe. Also, [we] have this banner that has rewards with it. And then you can join a clan. And in fact we want everyone in Destiny 2 to join a clan ideally, with no commitment. Joining a clan does not mean you have to raid on Tuesday nights. It just means, "I'm just a part of a group of other people."

And we think everyone should want to do this because doing so is gonna give you rewards. But [playing] on your own is going to benefit the clan. And the clan playing when you're not on is going to benefit you. So it just makes sense for everyone to be a part of that experience.

This is going to help clans when they're short one or two people on Tuesday nights when they play the Raid, but also give the opportunity for people who don't have a lot of friends playing Destiny.

But then we have this system that we're calling Guided Games. They're essentially a mechanism for everyone in Destiny to play the pinnacle, highest challenge of competitive content. Whether that's Nightfall Strikes, Trials, or the Raid. And so those in Destiny 1 did not support matchmaking. They still don't support matchmaking because they require communication and strong coordination. And we just don't think that's gonna work well in matchmaking.

But if we can take clans, these like established social groups where people with identities and social norms, and match them with solo players or maybe a pair of people and put them together ... If we give the seekers--the solo player--the agency to say, "Hey this clan, the way they describe themselves, their identity, seems pretty different than me and the way I want to play. These guys seem pretty hardcore. Or they speak German or whatever. I'm not going to play with them."

But then this next group [could] be like, "Look, we're cool, friendly people. We're open to noobs." …. You're going to temporarily join this clan for a session. You're not actually joining the clan, but you're gonna agree to participate in a clan in that activity. And so this is going to help clans when they're short one or two people on Tuesday nights when they play the Raid, but also give the opportunity for people who don't have a lot of friends playing Destiny to play some of this great content that they haven't experienced.

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Kallie Plagge

Kallie Plagge was GameSpot's reviews editor from August 2018 to March 2021. She loves Pokemon, inventory management, and Grunt Birthday Party.

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