Bungie is encouraging long-term investment in Destiny by offering a wide range of varying experiences and opportunities that will appeal to a spectrum of different types of players, according to developers speaking on the latest Bungie podcast.
Tyson Green, Destiny's investment lead, said there's no way to know during development on a game exactly what elements players are looking for and what will keep them playing. With Destiny, Bungie will encourage players to invest themselves in in-game communities, which will bolster their attachment.
"Investment is not about experience points, it's not about item drops, it's about having an enduring attachment to a game and to a community so that, that community can exist and thrive," he said. "If you unlock new abilities and you give people different weapons that are balanced but different, then those are valid rewards that don't change the game or ruin the game but they broaden the game, they give people more interesting opportunities, they give people more varied experiences."
Green added that Destiny's genre range, from action role-playing game to shooter elements, will bring in a wider scope of players. He added that Bungie wants to reward players for things they want to do and interactions they want to have, rather than just focus on structured missions and grinding, as different players will want to pursue different kinds of play.
"We are going into an interesting space, where we are a shooter, we are an action game, we are a game that a lot of people out are really familiar with and they love and they spend a lot of time playing and we are trying to bring some additional elements to that," he added.
"The goal isn't to make you want to play the game for a thousand hours," he said. "The goal is so that you have this game that you come back to and that your friends come back to, and when you're all coming back to the game, and you all feel like you want to keep playing this game. Then you have a social game at that point. You actually have a cooperative experience, a community experience."
Competitive multiplayer design lead Lars Bakken added that skill within Destiny will go beyond thumb stick abilities and quick fingers. Players must gain understanding of how they're equipping themselves, not just with what their weapons do but what these weapons mean, and how the choices they make in the game build their character. Green said that while previous Bungie games, such as the Halo series, lean on increasing skill as a form of investment, Bungie will be more focused on bringing players back to Destiny because they are invested in the world and the people they met in it.
Destiny will go into beta for players who pre-ordered the title this spring, launching for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 first. The full game will launch on Sept. 9 for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.