How House of Wolves Will "Evolve" the Destiny Story

Storytelling through more NPCs.


While Destiny has maintained a fervent fanbase since its launch last year, one constant criticism has been the lack of a focused story.

With today's reveal of the Prison of Elders and other House of of Wolves details, we talked with Bungie developers in both a roundtable and one-on-one interviews about how the new content will tie into the game's story.

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Bungied creative director Matt Sammons said that House of Wolves will tell its own story in multiple ways. "From a high-level perspective, there are two big categories of content that you get in a story. There are the quests that take you throughout the world, the backbone of the story that has you chasing down Skolas. And then there are these wanted Fallen bounties. You'll notice when you're roaming around the world, we have specific named enemies all over the place, and among various destinations. Petra's bounties, not the quests, but the bounties, those are meant to send you out to go hunt those Fallen down."

Lead designer Christopher Barrett expanded on that point: "We absolutely want to sell that idea, give players that fantasy of hunting down bad guys, killing them, getting lots of loot, that real bounty hunter kind of feel of the 'Pirates of the Reef.' That outlaw feel."

Overall, Sammons said he wanted House of Wolves to have a "coherent, clear, thematically consistent story." That story is told through the dialogue and narration of story missions, but also by more "compelling and interesting characters." Sammson said, "You'll meet Petra and Variks; the Fallen characters will be your guides through the missions. There's some really interesting interactions that we get to have because Variks can speak Fallen, so you get to translate some of the stuff that the enemies are saying. You get a little bit of a deeper lore of the Fallen through that."

Sammons calls it an "evolution" from the previous Dark Below expansion. "We looked at what the Dark Below accomplished in terms of story, how that involved the Destiny formula. We really liked Eris Morn, and the voice that she gave to the Guardians struggle against the Hive, and talking a little bit more about the Hive in depth. We looked at that and said, 'What would be the next step past that?' Having two characters with different perspectives that can talk to one another mid-mission. Variks understands the story a little bit better, and Petra understands the Awoken side. We just think that fleshes out the world."

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Barrett added that, "The sounds of any space, and the dialogue of the different vendors, can really help fill the blanks of some of the story. One important thing that we didn't have in the Dark Below was the introductory cinematic, which sets up the state of the world. It very quickly tells you what's going on, why it's important to you, and what you have to do next. That was one of the goals of the star map cinematic."

While it may not answer all of the lingering question that Destiny players have about the Destiny's mysterious world, it sounds like House of Wolves is primed to add some amount of additional depth to explore. For even more details check out the video embedded at the top of this story. And catch up on everything new for House of Wolves in our information round-up here.

Justin Haywald on Google+

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