Seven months after the Taken War, and Destiny was a very different game. One of the biggest additions that I mentioned earlier, was a story that actually had you interested in the world around you. It wasn’t just the size of the conflict between the forces of Oryx and the various Guardians assaulting his Hive Dreadnaught, but also the smaller characters who got a chance to shine with some actual personality.
One of those characters was Variks, a Fallen Vandal who remained loyal to the Awoken queen even after the betrayal by the House of Wolves. With the Queen and her brother missing, it’s up to Variks to maintain the status quo in the solar system alongside Petra Venj. And that’s a choice that was geared towards fans of the game. “Variks has been been a fan favourite, he has a really interesting personality,” Bungie Community Manager David “Deej” Dague told us.
Just to have a Fallen character speak English to you is something that’s really interesting in the world of the game. But Variks is sort of the voice of revenge for the Awoken. He’s the one that takes the enemies that they capture, and imprisons them so that the Guardians can come and exact the finishing blow.
So it seemed only appropriate that Variks would be the warden and the dealer in the aftermath of the great war, where there are still some survivors of the Taken War in our system, and we need to go out and deal the finishing strike.
One part of the Destiny status quo that won’t be changing? Xur’s weekly visits. Xur has been a mixed bag as of late, serving more as a vendor who’ll help you fill in any missing gaps in your armoury. But as Dague explained, that actually makes sense in the big scheme of things, as Xur also represents control and reward. “Xur plays a slightly different role this year,” Dague said.
Last year he was kind of the only reliable source of exotics, and with his Three of Coins I think we’ve made the progression system more rewarding and we’ve given people more opportunities to acquire those exotics and a little bit more control over their progression to be able to buy that consumable and activate in different moments of action where they think they’ll perform well and to give them a little more control in the moments when they acquire those exotics have made him more valuable throughout the player progression.
But also a little less necessary to visit at two ‘O clock in the morning. I think there’s a little less desperation about Xur because has become a little bit more rewarding and we like the way he’s performing right now. So I think we’ll keep him behaving exactly as he has.
I can actually appreciate that mindset. Exotics, while they aren’t plentiful, do drop from sources other than the Agent of the Nine. The new Destiny patch has gone live this week, and it’s actually added some much-needed diversions to the whole experience.