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Reddit: The gutting of Destiny's story

Nicko

Member
Is it just me or is the story about the story on how Destiny ruined the games story more interesting than the actual story we get to play at present time?

Yea, way more interesting. Seriously, I have been glued to my phone the last couple of days reading about story/bungie mix-up theories. The latest reveals by 404 Architect have been super interesting to read.

For some reason, I'm actually not too worried that Bungie and team will figure this all out, and deliver a really awesome experience in the DLC/sequel. They hear the cries coming from passionate fans. It probably won't be the original vision, but I bet we get something really great in the end.

We gave them our money, they made their quota.

They know what to do. Make the sci-fi epic that drives me to replay the story missions because their so darn good.
 
Eh? I mean maybe someone can read you guys the story or original script of the game while you play it. Perhaps that could be a new form of Let's Play videos...
 

Nicko

Member
Believe it or not, I'm looking into it AS WE SPEAK. Of course, if anyone reading this knows what happened and wants to chat confidentially, hit me up.

An article on this would be PURE GOLD. Seriously. I've got friends calling/hitting me up left and right asking what on earth happened with the story. Crazy views confirmed.
 

Oozer3993

Member
404Architect is still talking even after saying he was going to shut up lol.

404Architect: I know below I said I was done, but a glut of good questions came in right after that sign-off, so I am going to address anything that came in prior to 1:30pm PST to the best of my ability and then be finished. Thank you all again for the civil approach, I know many of you feel as passionately as I do about Destiny and its current state.

JamesDarrow: First of all, thank your time and willingness to talk with us all. In the face of what a number of gamers felt, myself included, your desire to speak with us is appreciated.

I have a decent number of questions, so please feel free to only answer as many as you like. At the same time, if an answer comes close to compromising you, please don't disclose. Small sects of gamers aside, I don't think any of us want to see someone have their job put on the line.

~

1: You mention tension from higher ups and a lack of cohesion about the vision for the game. Was it always this way from the beginning stages, or was this something that came in later and closer to release?

2: It's mentioned that large portions of dialogue and cutscenes were excised or redone. Any idea on how much of this was actually completed work (voiced dialogue, rendered cutscenes, etc)?

3: We know the adage, "Vote with your wallet." At the same time, like you've pointed out, if sales figures don't look good, one of the parties might pull the plug on the game. What would you recommend as the best way to convey (community email, petition, etc), for the gamers like myself, that while we might be hesitant to further invest in a fractured title, we would be willing to do so if we felt confident that it helped bring back what Destiny could have been?

4: I'm a full-time employee at my day job, along with working on my own fledgling authorial career at the evenings. As such, the amount of time I can invest into a title per day when I'm in full-swing is sometimes counted in the minutes, rather than hours. As such, can you tell how much of a focus the design team has for other content besides large reputation grinds and (sometimes) lengthy raids/strikes? For example, further campaign missions or side-stories, etc.

~

I've been a long-time follower of Bungie's work, even before I picked up the pen for my own turn at story-telling. Partly because of my background in writing, I pay a lot of attention to stories and campaigns. Due to this, my own voice does echo the sentiment of many other players out there in that the story (at least) has some problems.

At the same time, you guys did build a wonderful game in many other aspects. The art and sound assets are great, and a number of the mechanics are absolutely top-notch (gunplay, sparrows, etc). While there are issues, you guys did good with a number of other aspects and should feel proud.

Thank you for your time and answers, it is truly appreciated.

404Architect: 1: Team cohesion was breaking down the closer the final deadline came. 2013 was particular turbulent and when Joe left that was the final nail in the coffin for much of what came before.

2: Many of the lost cinematics you've seen in trailers or teasers, most of which may never see the light of day again due to how Destiny's story was altered. Cinematics for the original storyline were completed past what you know as the end of the primary story now (the Black Garden.) There were cinematics for each race's introduction (of which now only Exo remains, homogenized to incorporate all guardians.) There is a significant amount of unused voice work which is now being saved for incorporation into DLC, though not all of it can be salvaged.

3: Keep speaking out about how you feel. It may not make the difference you hope for, but it may inspire change. To quote an old fan-movement I am fond of, "crackers do matter."

4: I can't speak to that part of development.

Thank you for the other kind words, a great deal of time and effort went into making Destiny. It pains me to know so much was produced that many may never see.

elthomas21: Will there be any kind of free content updates that aren't just re-dressing of the same old story missions etc? Or are is all of the real "meat" being saved for the paid DLC?

404Architect: I do not know what the plan is for future DLC with any certainty. I will say that opinions about the lack of story is being heard loud and clear.

coporate: I heard that there were at one point over 25 completed cinematics which were later cut to 8, could you confirm?

404Architect: That number does not sound accurate at all.

gunlova: "Lack of cohesion", was that due in part to the massive growth Bungie experienced between Reach and Destiny?

404Architect: No.

itsatrickgetanaxe: Is there anything you could offer that would prove that what you're claiming is true? Anything that might prove you worked at Bungie?

404Architect: Unfortunately, no. I realize this casts a shadow of doubt over everything I say.

StaticSilence: I was under the impression that bungie was to maintain creative control of destiny. Isn't what is happening with activision what you were trying to escape from Microsoft?

404Architect: Activision isn't as instrumental in what happened to Destiny as you may think. There were many egos at work.

RagnarokSam: Did the original vision include more planets/locations? It seems the grimore cards mention Mercury and Saturn in some context, but perhaps that's just supplemental lore rather than anything that was intended to be player interactive.

404Architect: Yes. Several more were planned.

cpp_is_king: Will we see them in an upcoming DLC?

404Architect: The original content that is being withheld is being reskinned for DLC. I don't know to what extent, in what capacity, or when it will drop, but the plan going forward was to use the old assets to get a development "head start" on new content after key departures.

Einchy: What's the general morale in Bungie right now with all the backlash to the story?

Was it expected or did it come as a shock to everyone?

404Architect: I can't speak to morale.

dylanbarket: What are the chances that we will see player to player trading or gifting introduced?

404Architect: Unlikely, if the attitudes leading up to the release haven't changed. But the court of public opinion still has some sway.

creativethien: Are you still at Bungie?

404Architect: I cannot answer that.

DreadNot_Z: Yeah....I love the other elements, but the lack of story and flow really hurt...

404Architect: I agree with you, and this was not the original intention. The original storyline flowed well between all three start points.

TheFiremind88: This confuses me a little. A lot of what was cut, was cut so that it could be released later, to buy time to develop new content(If I understood this correctly)... If this is the case, why is the story going so far off from the original vision, as opposed to just coming out as intended, only delayed to buy time? Honestly, the idea that a lot got pulled to be released later doesn't really bother me, if it's in the name of giving you guys the time you need to develop more quality content, but what caused this complete morph in the direction of the story?

404Architect: I may not have explained that as well as I could have. Without revealing too much that could identify me, I will say that there was an original "design" for Destiny that was leading it in one direction. Voices were raised in dissent and (for reasons combined both of inability to meet deadlines and creative differences) the game was steered onto a new course. After Joe departed, there was a void that needed to be filled. Some of the already produced game content contradicted the new direction chosen for the story and was cut, changes both major and minor would need to be made to make it work with the released version. This content was held back to be released as DLC once re-tooled while new content (which, if the direction hadn't changed, we would've been working on already) was being designed.

Basically, the last-minute about face with Destiny cost us development hours, which needed to be made up for somewhere.

coporate: I think it should be noted that if the story was re-worked, it was done so because there were script and story problems from the beginning. While the current iteration may not be better, it's may not be worse either.

404Architect: Some people strongly believed the original story did not work. I disagree with that vision, and so did others who are no longer with Bungie.

404Architect: There are whole factions that were cut as well, some directly tied to the original story and will need to be extensively re-tooled for the new storyline.

lemon_rhind: Was that Osiris?

404Architect: Osiris was one of several. The removed factions were associated with the original storyline which was abandoned. They may reappear in new forms, or they may not.
 

Mockerre

Member
I kinda belive in this theory. It's backed up by the fact that the fallen calls the guardians "the darkness".

This would also explain the existance of the Reef. When the player runs afoul of the Traveler in the early to middle portion of the story, he needs a new base of operations...
 

Oozer3993

Member
Believe it or not, I'm looking into it AS WE SPEAK. Of course, if anyone reading this knows what happened and wants to chat confidentially, hit me up.

I have never wanted to read a video game article more in my life.

I can partially confirm that, as I applied for that specific job with Bungie. Thank god I didn't get it.

Player trading was also mentioned briefly in a video detailing the making of the E3 2013 gameplay reveal.

Mike Zakk said:
All customized gear that's either acquired on many adventures or purchased or traded or gambled for.

Wait...

Who is 404Architect?

A self professed Bungie employee. His posts on Reddit match up closely enough with the known facts that I'm willing to believe him.
 

Damaniel

Banned
Whatever the validity of the reddit story is, there's obviously been some drastic changes to the game in the last year or two of development that haven't been for the better. Frankly, the whole damn game feels empty: a Tower with only a handful of NPCs, a MMO-like hub and instanced areas with almost no ability to interact with other players, an 'expansive' world made up of planets with one area each, all of which are fairly barren. The whole use of cards to distribute information about lore, but no way to browse them in-game...

I don't know what happened at Bungie/Activision to make Destiny the way it was, but what they originally planned and what we got are two completely different things.
 

KOHIPEET

Member
All in all the game has its positives and it can be good fun sometimes, but it has tons of little annoying faults and ultimately feels unfinished, rushed to me. Like some incredible fuckup happened during half-time in the development and they had to rebuilt a game around new concpets.
 

Kaiken

Banned
Bungie please. I play games with engaging stories. Glad the gamply is highly addicting but im almost 28 and grinding is losing its fun.

Potentially,
Sad Player
 

Deadstar

Member
All this talk about 10 year plan doesn't make the first game good. I really hope they can turn Destiny around but I don't think they can. Though I don't doubt Destiny 2 will be great if they take to heart the feedback.

+Improve the story (Put in a story)
+Add more planets/locations
+Make the game more cinematic (There are only 3 characters in the party, show them during cutscenes)
+Add more variety to the missions
+Improve the AI
+Add more enemy types
+Add more weapon types and weapons
+Add more stats to the weapons
+Record Peter when he's awake
+Improve multiplayer. Add ctf mode.
+Add more classes and more customization options
 

TheOddOne

Member
The story so far with alleged Bungie insider 404Architect.





























 
Someone pulling shit out of their butt.

I don't think so. If it was just a bad story and it ended there maybe.

We have playtesters, vidocs, GDC talks, fucking areas in the game already etc.

I think it all fits to well.

Now someone could be filling in the gaps with the info we have but I tend to believe him.
 

enzo_gt

tagged by Blackace
Wow, this is getting more and more fascinating by the minute. I want to read a proper feature about this.
 

FyreWulff

Member
If it makes it easier to swallow

If it contradicts what actual Bungie employees and actual common sense would tell you, I'm going to say it for what is.

Most of what this supposed former/ex Bungie employee is just repackaging of existing rumor and there's outright false statements in there as well.

It's poop.
 

RoKKeR

Member
If it contradicts what actual Bungie employees and actual common sense would tell you, I'm going to say it for what is.

Most of what this supposed former/ex Bungie employee is just repackaging of existing rumor and there's outright false statements in there as well.

It's poop.

What in there has been contradicted by an actual Bungie employee so far? I'm genuinely curious.
 
That 404Architect AMA is depressing as shit.

All those vidocs where they were hyped about "doing something no one has ever done before" and all the "innovation" they're bringing. God damn.
 
If it contradicts what actual Bungie employees and actual common sense would tell you, I'm going to say it for what is.

Most of what this supposed former/ex Bungie employee is just repackaging of existing rumor and there's outright false statements in there as well.

It's poop.

Care to elaborate? I'm usually not the type to believe 'random dudes on internet' but this 404 dude seems convincing
 

enzo_gt

tagged by Blackace
I feel the 404Architect stuff deserves it's own thread, this is more than just the story being gutted, it's some pretty big, alleged development chaos.
 
The more i read the more i think Bungie were pressured by Activision into 'splicing up' Destiny, for the sole purpose of making more money through DLC. This is the way video games are going ? I see a bad moon rising.....
 

Deadstar

Member
What if Destiny 2 was Destiny: Remastered and they could just release what Destiny should have been with everything back in. It seems terrible to gut the story of a supposed 10 year cycle in the FIRST game. If the story doesn't matter in the first game who is going to care about it in subsequent games. You have to lay a solid foundation.
 
This story was more interesting than Destiny's story was

1st post material here.

Yeah, I don't understand why they created such a vibrant universe only to forsake it.

They could've made this a much stronger narrative and it would've only enriched the game experience.
 

Xater

Member
Yeah the cut faction thing 404Architect mentions makes a lot of sense. I mean the factions are never really introduced, you don't know what their deal is or what they are even there for. They seem like a weird remnant of something way bigger that was once there.
 

jorgeton

Member
If it contradicts what actual Bungie employees and actual common sense would tell you, I'm going to say it for what is.

Most of what this supposed former/ex Bungie employee is just repackaging of existing rumor and there's outright false statements in there as well.

It's poop.

Which are the false statements?

If the reddit AMA is true, it just goes to show the realities of video game development (and business in general) can really change things in the final stretch, no matter how lofty the initial goals.

I hope Bungie gives some free DLC story missions to fill out the plot or at least gives us a sufficient campaign for the new DLC. I'm holding out on buying any of their DLC until I know for sure it adds a whole boatload of content, some of which seems to have belonged in the initial game.
 
The more i read the more i think Bungie were pressured by Activision into 'splicing up' Destiny, for the sole purpose of making more money through DLC. This is the way video games are going ? I see a bad moon rising.....

I share this sentiment. I can't imagine them all just throwing their hands up in the air a year or so (if the statements are to believed) before the game ships and being like "who needs this s&*t!".
 

ValeYard

Member
I feel the 404Architect stuff deserves it's own thread, this is more than just the story being gutted, it's some pretty big, alleged development chaos.

Yep, this is one of the quickest leaks of inner turmoil during development I can think of. Joe Staten, Marty, what happened? Can this franchise go on? Activision get the fire engines!

That said, completing Vault of Glass was fun, but getting three ascendant shards for it wasn't exactly what I'd hoped for...
 

JZA

Member
Believe it or not, I'm looking into it AS WE SPEAK. Of course, if anyone reading this knows what happened and wants to chat confidentially, hit me up.

PLEASE SUCCEED. The shocking mediocrity of this game has captured my imagination way more than the Traveller's space magic. I'd love to know the truth.
 
The more i read the more i think Bungie were pressured by Activision into 'splicing up' Destiny, for the sole purpose of making more money through DLC. This is the way video games are going ? I see a bad moon rising.....

well if 404 is to be believed. He paints a worse picture on Bungie execs not Activision (besides hitting release dates)
 

Deadstar

Member
I share this sentiment. I can't imagine them all just throwing their hands up in the air a year or so (if the statements are to believed) before the game ships and being like "who needs this s&*t!".

So they introduce all the different races though dlc and add better missions? It doesn't make sense. If they could make better missions on disc they would have. I would gladly pay for DLC that fixes the main game because what I got is a good game, not a GREAT game. Right now Destiny is average at best but it can be so much more and I want to get the most out of the game.
 

enzo_gt

tagged by Blackace
Sounding a lot to me like Joe and Jason had a pretty big conflict, and that might not be all the parties.
 
IF 404Architect is accurate, then the game had a lot more in common with an MMO. Player-driven economy (or an economy at all), many more "worlds", voice chat, race-based story origins.

Kinda makes the "it's not an MMO" rebuttals funny, in hindsight. It's not an MMO because they gutted it.

Allegedly.
 

Dirtbag

Member
This speculation cracks me up.
I'd say the story in destiny was awful, but there really isnt one to be found.
The story is just loosely hinted at, really just amateur hour in terms of narrative.

You do a bunch of stuff.

Everything has the word "The" placed in front of it, making it seems nebulous and generic.

The Speaker
The Traveler
The Darkness
The Crow?
The Queen
Guardian
The Fallen
The Hive
The Vex
The Cabal
The Heart
The Gatelord


Can fucking ANYTHING have a god damn proper fucking name?
It's like all the writers were busy naming the weapons or something
 

Impala26

Member
Discussed this with a co-worker...

Is there any chance that most of this AMA is a carefully constructed rouse by one or a few people using multiple reddit accounts?

The only reason I give this theory credence is the fact that, as my co-worker pointed out, this AMA is INCREDIBLY CIVIL and mostly free of spelling/grammar mistakes.
 
IF 404Architect is accurate, then the game had a lot more in common with an MMO. Player-driven economy (or an economy at all), many more "worlds", voice chat, race-based story origins.

Kinda makes the "it's not an MMO" rebuttals funny, in hindsight. It's not an MMO because they gutted it.

Allegedly.

Seriously makes no sense, gutting the story maybe I can understand but why go in and remove voice chat, player trading and economy stuff?

that's the one thing about 404 that raises an eyebrow. Like he knows those are the things the fanbase wants most.
 
I don't care that much about the story. The issue was with the lack of a loot system that beats Borderlands 2. And the lack of scope, that beats out Halo 1-4.
Why can't I get in a ship and fly to a planet? Even if its a small planet or location on a planet you are forced into.

Why can't I shoot down a dropship and explore it?

This game is weak. It is a high polished B grade shooter. Its less compelling than Defiance, but, again, with more polish.

It has better AI than Defiance, or Borderlands. But it still has no option for stealth or different ways to play the game. Its infuriating. I want to just sneak up, or use darkness to sneak up on enemies if I want to.
 
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