Bungie means business when it comes to Destiny‘s end game activities.
According to Bungie’s Luke Smith, Destiny’s end game “begins as soon as you see the way the story ends.” Starting at around level 20, you’ll be sent back into the wild after Destiny’s main story line wraps up and presented with a couple of new options, including Raids and Nightfall activities.
Raids are “extremely crafted,” six-player challenges that are only open to attempt with friends, Smith told IGN. Bungie won’t support public matchmaking because an activity like the Vault of Glass is not something you’ll want to attempt with complete strangers and a lack of communication. You’ll need to get comfortable working with some of your most trustworthy allies for a couple hours in order to best what the Raid has to throw at you.
“The activity is going to take you and your group of five buddies into a place that you’ve never been,” says Smith. “A place that you will return to frequently. And [it will] demand of you things you’ve never even really been asked to do in a shooter before.”
Raiding in a shooter is a bit of a new thing, so Bungie is keen on leveraging what the studio has learned from games like EverQuest and World of Warcraft while injecting challenges and activities better suited to an action game.
“One of the things we certainly haven’t talked about is that [raids aren’t] an activity that we expect you to get through the first time through,” Smith added.
“Unlike a bunch of the other activities in Destiny, where you begin the activity – like let’s say you pick the level-22 Strike playlist – everything in that activity is going to be level 22. It’s going to be consistent. If you’re level 26, you’re going to have some relationship to it. You’re going to be more powerful than that activity. In a raid, when the raid begins at level 25, it’s not where it ends. Like part of going the raid is the journey of gearing up; building your arsenal to react to the situations that it’s going to ask you to go through.”
Smith unveiled that, like Strikes, a Raid in Destiny will culminate in an epic boss battle, as is traditionally the case in classic MMO Raids.
“I think that we’ve given people a taste in Strikes of what the bosses are and what they can do,” he said. “The raid bosses are different: they’re still big monsters, much like what you’re going to see, they’re still scary, but they have a bunch of abilities that are unlike anything you’ve really experienced in a shooter before. And I don’t say that to be a douchebag and I don’t say it because it’s a cool bullet point, I say it because when we were building this thing there was nothing that any of us could go home to play to try and learn from. I mean we were – as we were going – building and learning and failing along the way to find cool mechanics and occasionally we’d succeed.”
If it’s not Raids that will keep out busy, Destiny will offer a number of noteworthy daily and weekly challenges.
“Nightfall activities come in two flavors: daily and weekly. They have extremely exotic rewards,” Smith Explained.
“We want to have activities that occupy the range of challenge for you. So if you’re a fresh level 20 you can play the Nightfall daily activity at level 22 and it’s going to be hard. It’s going to be challenging. But you can get through it, maybe. Maybe if you have some friends. The weekly Nightfall activity is something that pushes all the way out as far as the leveling allows you to go in Destiny. So it ends up occupying at the far end of the spectrum: this extremely high gameplay investment challenge. Like it’s both the toughest guys we can throw at you that’s going to require the best gear, and it’s going to have a bunch of modifiers on it that make it even harder.”
Long story short, it sounds like there’ll be plenty to keep you busy after hitting that level 20 milestone. Hopefully, you’ll have a handful of willing friends to take a long for the ride. If not, you’ve got a couple of hours to make some during your adventures.
Destiny launches on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 on September 9.