Destiny 2 Echoes Act 2 Will Drop All Story Beats At Once Following Player Feedback

The upcoming second act of Echoes, Destiny 2‘s current “episode” that continues the story of its latest expansion, The Final Shape, is changing how the game dishes out story. Instead of a new story beat becoming available each week, as in Act 1, all three Act 2 story beats will be available when it becomes available on July 16.

Bungie announced the change during its Echoes: Act 2 live stream, which gave a look at the changes and additions coming to the game. The pacing of the story is something players have complained about for some time, in fact. It was one of the major reasons many disliked Destiny 2’s seasons, the game’s previous approach to delivering new stories between major expansions.

Seasons would break up stories into weekly tidbits that could usually be finished up within an hour or two, forcing players to wait days for the next installment like a weekly TV show and often feeling artificially drawn out for no good reason. The new Episode structure was meant to replace the season approach by dividing stories into larger six-week acts that would change the game up more often. In Echoes Act 1, however, the story was still dished out in small bits week by week, making it feel like a season by another name.

Narrative director Alison Luhrs said on the stream that Bungie heard that feedback from players and agreed. As such, all three of the story beats for Act 2 will drop at the same time–at the launch of the act–and the same goes for Act 3. The idea is that players can work through the story at their own pace; if they want to binge it all on the first day, that’s up to them.

The upside of the act structure seems to be that it allows the game to be even more responsive to what’s happening in the story. Bungie showed off two of Act 2’s new Battlegrounds activities, which take place on Nessus and have players hunting for answers by delving underground. The Battlegrounds feature altered locations that were first introduced at the end of Act 1; at the end of that story, a white Radiolaria lake on Nessus was drained, revealing a whole new area beneath it. The Battlegrounds will explore what’s changed there, with players heading underground to find out where all that Radiolaria went, and why.

According to Luhrs, the act will also take players back to explore one of Destiny’s “most storied locations,” while the game continues to tell the story of Saint-14, who is struggling with his identity after an encounter with the mysterious apparent villain of Echoes, a being known as the Conductor.

As for the Battlegrounds themselves, they should see some pretty intense fights. Senior activity designer Ryan Harris said the team is trying to differentiate Battlegrounds from Strikes by making them more combat-intensive, with as many as 40 enemies on screen at a time and new bosses specific to the activities. These include Vex Wyverns that will come at players in pairs and feature the new behavior of teleporting to flank players and avoid attacks. There might also be a boss with, as Harris put it, the biggest health pool he’d ever given one.

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