The life of a Destiny 2 Guardian is pretty easy. Sure, they have to save the universe a few times a year, but that’s about it. Most of their time is spent shooting other Guardians, blasting weak aliens, and expanding their dangerous arsenal. This makes the reveal of The Alliance quest such a shock. When the Season of the Drifter launched, Guardians were met with a message from the Praxic Order – Destiny’s version of inquisitors – reprimanding them for the laissez-faire attitude.
This kicked off a series of messages that were sent out to players draw a very clear line in the sand. Stand with the Vanguard or betray them for the mysterious Drifter. Never before has Bungie forced Destiny players to make such a definitive choice. Unlike Faction Rallies, which allowed players to rotate between three groups, this questline permanently locks Guardians into their choice. Not only is this what Destiny 2’s story desperately needs, it’s vital that Bungie makes that decision ripple throughout future content.
Without delving into spoilers, perhaps the most intriguing aspect of The Alliance quest is the lack of physical rewards. There’s no unique item linked to each side, so each player’s choice is entirely based on their perception of what is right and wrong. Yes, the Praxic Fire is acting like the fun police, but they’re right – Guardians are playing with the very thing they swore to destroy and ignoring their duties. Yet there’s also a lot the Vanguard doesn’t reveal about themselves, so should we question their methods?
This type of raw storytelling that has been criminally absent from Destiny. Despite the openness at its core, being an MMO that offers a range of playstyles, Destiny’s storytelling is very linear. Quests rarely deviate from a specific path and most don’t offer any alternative methods to complete them. Now Guardians finally have a quest that makes them stop and think about what they want to do. This is a solid foundation for the game’s future but it needs to build to something greater.
Currently, we don’t know the true ramifications of our choice. However, the quest does state that it “may impact future content.” Bungie needs to make sure that this is more than a unique piece of gear for either side. Like the death of Cayde-6, this decision needs to twist a knife into players, playing havoc with their emotions. Thousands of Guardians are turning their backs on the Vanguard while many others are fighting for unknown knowledge and power. We’re finally becoming active members in the story and not silent protagonists with a very talkative Ghost.
Looking to future content, this moment should determine which players have access to certain story moments, activities, or even sub-classes. Season of the Drifter introduced set-based armour, so why not include one for each side? Perhaps mark out the allegiance of players with visual flairs, or take it one step further and introduce entirely new sub-classes tied to that choice.
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But most importantly, this shouldn’t be the only decision we make. Destiny players desperately want to feel part of the game’s world and quests like this give them the ability to connect with it. This is a massive universe oozing with lore so it’s about time Bungie brought it to the forefront. If Uldren Sov truly ends up as the next Hunter Vanguard, let players accept or reject his return. Critical moments like this should involve the community instead of relegating them to the passenger’s seat as is usually the case. Give Destiny players the tools to forge their own legend.