I’ve talked a bit about why Destiny 2’s Season of the Chosen is going well, focusing mostly on looting and looting, which has gotten a lot better over both Beyond Light and Season of the Hunt. But I think it’s not worth it that Bungie seems to have turned a switch to fundamentally change things about all the new fights we̵
That switch? “Enemy density.”
This applies both to the three new Battlegrounds activities we have seen so far, and also to the repeated Devil’s Lair strike. This is likely to be the case for the fourth Battleground, Fallen SABER and the new strike, if current patterns suggest a trend.
Simply put, all this means that Bungie jams in more and more enemies per encounter. In particular, the difficulty of each enemy has not been increased, necessarily. Battlegrounds is a low power event in the mode where champions show up, and yet you throw 15 phalanxes of 20 legionaries, 5 centurions, 3 colossi and 10 psions into an arena with a boss, and it’s just hard to hack through them all without be overwhelmed.
Tough but fun! Battlegrounds missions are non-stop combat encounters, and dumping wave after wave of enemies on you essentially with no breaks in between. Things get really wild during the boss phase as the more enemies arrive the lower the boss’s health, and fighting through the mob is just as important as burning the boss.
Devil’s Lair illustrates how this principle also applies to strikes. I saw Datto talk about how the Sepiks strike is really just three rooms, much, much smaller than most Destiny 2 strikes, and yet it contains more actual enemies than even the longest, biggest strikes in the game like The Corrupted or The Scarlet Keep. You can really feel it while playing, and even if Sepiks is the the first Destiny strike in history, it feels more fun and challenging than most current ones.
All too often, Destiny seems to be focused on length and environment, making strikes or other activities long, sprawling issues, but those where you might just be fighting a handful of enemies in a very long series of small spaces. But with Sepiks, we can see that it’s more fun to just have a few large rooms with one ton of enemies in them. When you think back to the last activity that really had a certain wild enemy density in it, it was probably Menagerie or Escalation Protocol, both fan favorites, but here we seem to be even a level above that in some cases and without timers or complicated targets, there’s just a lot of shooting, the thing Destiny is best at.
As such, I am excited to see both the new strikes and the final battlefield to see how this principle can also be applied there. The exception to this “enemy density” idea is probably the Presage mission with its contempt, but it is understandable there, given that the mission will mainly be about puzzle solving with combat less focus. But who knows, maybe it will change when the heroic version comes here.
Destiny’s strength has always been its battle, and I think it’s found a pretty easy way to make activities more fun by dumping just lots of enemies in encounters. I do not know if this is something that was simply not possible before the recent changes in backend and engine upgrades, or if it has nothing to do with it. But it’s something we really have not seen at this level until now.
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