“The Dark Below is actually a really interesting expansion; it’s got its own story,” Bungie Director of Production Jonty Barnes told Joystiq at Gamescom. “We call it an expansion because it has one of all the activity types from Destiny, so it’s story, strike and beyond – and competitive and cooperative experiences in there. As well as new gear, new armor, new weapons and everything else. Some of that attaches to existing places that you’re familiar to, so you might find that as you’re going through new areas, that you actually collide with players who are just playing the existing Destiny content. You’ll have those collisions. We always want to create spaces where people can get together and cooperate, and we feel like that is a big innovation in Destiny.”
Despite the established 10-year plan for Destiny, Barnes envisions the game as an endless experience with infinite iterations. “The world will change” as time moves on, he said.
“We’re going to change the game after launch in a frequency that we think makes sense, and that isn’t going to be dependent on The Dark Below,” Barnes said. “Already from the beta we learned about how to tune the players’ experiences to be better experiences. We’re going to continuously update the game from now until the end of time. That’s always going to be part of the philosophy of Destiny. We always wanted to build a new universe but keep building upon it, rather than to do a complete and utter restart periodically.”
In the Destiny beta, Barnes said the split between classes was almost perfectly even among players – the same amount of people chose to play as a titan, hunter and warlock.
“I think you’ll find a lot of players will just really attach to one guardian and play forever with that one guardian, and continue to get broader gear and options in front of them,” Barnes said. “We actually saw that – it was pretty interesting from the beta, in that the variety of choice from the start, I think the range was 32 percent, 33 percent, 34 percent of which of the classes. Really even. Which was really, really rewarding for us. We really wanted to build these different choices that were very diverse from each other but suited all of our game players. That was actually a big win.
“And even with those people who chose to have second characters were of equal level again, so that was awesome to see. It’s really cool. That was a great reassurance out of the beta because that was our intention, but you never know when you’ve got 4.6 million players or more. So that was a big win.”