Bungie says it's aware of player feedback on "putting more secrets into Destiny 2" in the vein of the Zero Hour, Presage, or Whisper missions of previous years, and promises a mix of some small and large secrets in the Destiny 2 Lightfall era.
Assistant game director Robbie Stevens fielded the topic in Bungie's latest weekly blog post, weighing in on discussions that have been simmering (and sometimes boiling) since a November Reddit AMA where engineering head David Aldridge explained that encryption costs make these missions expensive to make.
"Like most things, it's all solvable, it's just expensive, and so far we've concluded that it makes more sense to spend on more cool experiences instead," Aldridge said at the time. In a follow-up comment, he clarified that "it just means that thus far we haven’t decided it was worth investing in the encryption. That could change in the future, and I haven’t seen presence/absence of encryption feed into decisions on whether to make secret missions."
"Data mining and leaks are not unique problems to Destiny 2," Stevens explains in today's blog post. "Every live game deals with this issue because it’s one of the most challenging engineering problems in games today. That said, our communication was misinterpreted to mean that we were no longer building secret experiences, which is false. We’ve delivered hidden and secret story beats and content this year and will continue to do so next year."
Stevens notes that "although we’re intentionally hiding things for you to discover in every release, not every secret can be something as big as a mission or puzzle," which may disappoint the folks for whom 'secret' means "either a secret mission or a puzzle."
"We know that we haven’t released a secret mission that scratches the same itch as Presage, Zero Hour, or The Whisper this year," he continues. "Those missions were some of the most challenging content for our teams to build, which is why we’ve only released at most one secret mission within a twelve-month period. But as we’ve developed our plans leading to Lightfall and beyond, I want to reassure you that the community’s feedback is heard loud and clear, and 'putting more secrets into Destiny 2' is an initiative our teams have been working on for months before this conversation recently came to a head."
With the Destiny 2 Lightfall release date now just a few months away, Stevens says Destiny 2 will introduce more secrets of varying sizes and scopes, with some coming next year and others apparently "right around the corner."
"We’ve got a talented group of people who love this type of content and who know what it means for the community to discover and experience it," he concludes.
Missions like Zero Hour and especially the Whisper have never failed to get the Destiny community hyped up, likely more so than raids and maybe even expansions, which are always thoroughly teased ahead of time. It's hard to match the mystery and excitement of an entire player base dropping everything to work together to beat or solve a huge challenge that came out of nowhere. Like many players, I have fond memories of figuring out these missions on day one and then running them again and again for months to really master them and squeeze out every last drop of loot. Some friends and I were talking about what we'd want from the next Whisper-grade surprise just the other day, in fact, so Stevens' comments, though they don't confirm a new secret mission on the horizon, couldn't have come at a better time.
The face of Destiny 2's community, dmg04, is leaving Bungie.