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Speculation Saturday #6: What's New? (Destiny)

by Ragashingo ⌂ @, Official DBO Cryptarch, Saturday, July 05, 2014, 21:46 (2480 days ago)

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286 days. That's how long since I've had the chance to speculate with you. Today, as you might have guessed, is all about the Alpha, or at least what we've learned since last year with the Alpha being a big fount of that new knowledge. I'm going to go with a slightly different format today. Instead of taking you through the Facts, Informed Suppositions, and my Rampant Speculations on a particular topic I thought it would be fun to use this week to take a look back and see what we know now that we did not know then.

The Golden Age:

We haven't learned much more about our Golden Age, but thanks in large part to the Gameplay Experience Trailer released at this year's E3 we've had a few things confirmed.

- [image]We now know that Humanity first made direct contact with The Traveler by sending a manned mission to Mars. Not shown in the version of the trailer linked above but present at Sony's E3 keynote were the words "Present Day" denoting just when this little trip to Mars took place. It seems likely that we'd notice something as large as The Traveler appearing on Mars with our current technology, but even then one could imagine that it must have taken five to ten years before we launched the first manned mission to greet it... and that's if we really rushed! Of all the exciting stuff we've seen out of Destiny so far the scene of explorers experiencing their first rain on another world (a world where it does not rain!) is firmly fixed as my favorite. There's your mythic scifi!

- Released at the same time, the New Beginnings Trailer filled in a few more details about our Golden Age. "Great cities were built on Mars and Venus. Mercury became a garden world. Human lifespan tripled. It was a time of miracles..." The narrator tells us. Everything did indeed change with the arrival of The Traveler it seems, and yet the unbelievable accomplishments listed above were just the start! The narrator continues:

We stared out at the galaxy and knew it was our Destiny to walk in the light of other stars."

Now this is big! Not only did we get the title of the game into the narration, we now have the possibility that there might be humans alive and prospering well outside our battle torn solar system. In Marathon, Bungie's early scifi shooter, a war is turned when an 11th lost clan of S'pht, a previous enslaved race, returns to save the day. Might humanity have a similar force waiting elsewhere in the galaxy?

The Collapse:

While we may not know much more about The Golden Age than we did last September, we certainly know quite a few new things about what happened afterwards.

- Thanks to a log discovered during the Alpha, we now know that Humanity saw something coming, saw that it was potentially earth shattering, and tried to fight it. [image] We lost, of course, or would have without The Traveler. This log also tells us one other important thing: We had patrols and sensors extending to at least the edges of our solar system. Did we know something was coming? We were looking for a reason? Did we prepare for an attack during our Golden Age with patrols and war intelligences and still get beat? Scary! And what could beat us?

- Since last year we've learned about an ancient enemy of The Traveler called The Darkness. [image]We don't know know what this Darkness is. It could be a giant black sphere, or solar system sized tentacles or maybe even a sentient black hole! (Why not? Marathon ended in a great crush, after all!) We do know that it has hunted The Traveler for Eons, but not why or where or who else this Darkness may have affected in all that time.

- We now know where Ghosts came from. "In its dying breath, the Traveler created the Ghosts… To seek out those who can wield its Light as a weapon. Guardians, to protect us, and do what the Traveler itself no longer can" says one collectable card of Destiny's Grimoire. It further explains: "Built from machinery and the Traveler's Light, Ghosts guide their Guardian companions in the quest to reclaim our solar system. Every Ghost seeks out its Guardian among the ancient dead. The Ghost serves as scout, librarian, and mechanic, waking ancient machinery and cracking alien codes. In the right situations, a Ghost can even save a Guardian from death. But Ghosts are not immortal. Every loss is irreplaceable." Ancient dead? Hmm... let's get back to that a bit later.

- The above feels like it's more in Destiny's present, during the age of The City and its Guardians, but we've also learned a bit more about what happened in the time after The Traveler drove back The Darkness:

They came from the wild lands, gathering in secret enclaves, slipping through the howling ruins of shattered cities, hoping to find the coast, find a ship, pick up the trail of an impossible dream. From the deep black came the Awoken, their eyes haunted. Exos marched in the refugee columns, cloaked in moss and shattered memories. And among them came the Ghosts, beginning their search. It was a time of vast suffering and terrible evil. But there was one hope: the promise of a refuge beneath the Traveler.

It seems the Earth and its population took a huge beating, but some of us survived, not just those directly beneath The Traveler. And, of course, humans being humans, it seems we likely went to war with ourselves over what scraps and burnt out cities remained. I think the search for the coast and ships is very important. These refugees didn't travel back out to the stars, instead they likely needed ships because The Traveler settled above a hard to reach island.

- Interestingly, The Awoken came from the deep black. An Awoken card was also found during the Alpha saying:

It is said that the Awoken were born in the Collapse, descended from those who tried to flee its wrath. Something happened to them out on the edge of the deep black, and they were forever changed. Today many Awoken live in the distant Reef, aloof and mysterious. But others returned to Earth, where their descendants now fight for the City. Earthborn Awoken sometimes venture out to the Reef, hoping to learn its secrets - but find no special welcome from the reclusive Queen.

[image]Perhaps more ominous is the shorter title text of this find which reads: "The others sing this song of Light and Dark. We, together, have transcended such unimaginative limitations." We have already seen the Queen of the Reef being guarded by Fallen, that would seem to be the "we together" part, but what of this transcending Light and Dark? Have they found a way to escape the struggle? Or, could there be a third power waiting among the stars?

The Fallen:

With more being revealed about our past it would be a shame if we didn't learn anything about our enemies. Fortunately we've had a couple new things confirmed about our good friends The Fallen.

- [image]Before, there was speculation about the two armed Dregs. Now we know that:

Dregs cling to the lowest rung of Fallen society. Docked of their lower arms in a ritual of humiliation and obedience, Dregs seek to prove their worth through selfless aggression. Only a few will survive to gain promotion and regrow their limbs. Their suicidal bravery is fueled by ambition and shame.

It seems kinda cruel and even short sighted to lessen your own race's chances at achieving it's goal, but alien races making alien decisions is nothing new to Bungie games!

- We've also learned that some strongholds of The Fallen have strange machine gods like Sepiks Prime "feeding them their strength." The opening narration of the recently released Devils Lair Strike almost make me think that this strange floating ball [image]is resurrecting Fallen from the dead. Destroying it is said to "send their souls screaming back to hell." We clearly see Sepiks Prime absorbing Fallen souls in the last few seconds of that video. The preserving and resurrecting of souls seems a lot more interesting now that we know about Ghosts and the origins of Guardians. Could Sepiks Prime be something similar? Could it, with it's somewhat familiar powers, even be a member of The Darkness itself?!

- It's also interesting that spheres small and large have been a part of The Fallen for quite a long time:

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The City:

As seems typical we haven't learned much about The City itself but what we have learned is, of course!, interesting.

- For one, we know more about Exos now. That they are perhaps less war machines and more fully realized androids. Their Grimoire card discovered during the Alpha said:

Built for a long-forgotten struggle, Exos are self-aware war machines so advanced that nothing short of a Ghost can understand their inner functions.[image] They remain ciphers, even to themselves: their origins and purpose lost to time. Whoever built the Exos fashioned them in humanity's image, gifting them with diversity of mind and body. Many of the City's Exo citizens live and work alongside their organic brethren. But others fight again, re-forged in the Light of the Traveler to serve as Guardians.

This also helps end speculation on how Exos are treated. They are citizens of The City and only a few of them can wield The Traveler's light. So, basically, they're like everyone else. Or are they? Do they get hungry, thirsty, tired? Can they get angry or fall in love? Do they dream? There's still a lot there that needs answering! I do think the point of that info drop though was that you as a player can play an Exo as robotically or fully self aware as you wish, which is pretty darn cool.

- We also know more about Guardians and the way normal citizens see us thanks to various dialogue from around the Tower. Regular citizens don't seem all that comfortable with Guardian's close encounters with death. Also listen for mention of "NLS drives." Near Light Speed? Is this how Guardian's little starships can get them to the moon and beyond in reasonable amounts of time?

- One of the biggest things we learned though is that are Guardians may not actually be citizens themselves! [image]"Chosen from the dead by the Traveler's Ghosts, Guardians are those rare few able to wield the Light as a weapon. For centuries they have defended the City, but that defense cannot hold forever." says yet another card of the Grimoire. Are all of our characters (except perhaps the Exos?) destined to be long dead heroes reborn? If so, how complete was their rebirth? And what of The Law of the Jungle? The official description on the youtube video says:

As a Guardian of the City sets out on an epic, action-packed adventure to reclaim our Solar System, he recalls the moment when he was first taught the most important lesson of all -- The Law of the Jungle.

So is every Guardian found from among the ancient dead or not?

- Finally, if The Traveler released Ghosts with it's dying breath... what are our enemies after again? It seems they can get Ghosts from us just by defeating a Guardian. It'd seem like they can get at Human technology by visiting ANY of our planets except the heavily defended Earth, and clearly portions of Earth are open to invasion as well. Is Humanity itself special? Then why try and kill us? Or are they after The Traveler itself? Perhaps it's only "mostly dead" which is means it's still slightly alive?

The Gameplay:

There was a lot of new gameplay features revealed in the Alpha. I’ll tell you all about them when I get my hands on the Beta… Until then there are any number of fine-er sources you can find on the Alpha experience itself! :)

That's all for this week. Thanks for reading! Be sure and let me know your thoughts about the new things we've learned about Destiny. Also, is there anything I forgot about? Anything you think needed more discussion? Speak up! This ain't a one way conversation, Guardians! :)


Next Saturday: The Hive
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This evil(?) race has burrowed itself in our moon. It seems to hate The Traveler and by extension us! What else do we know about these warriors of the dark? Join me next week as I return to The Facts, Informed Suppositions and Rampant Speculations you all know and love. But until then:

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All Speculation Saturdays:
Speculation Saturday #1: The Golden Age
Speculation Saturday #2: The Fall
Speculation Saturday #3: The Fallen
Speculation Saturday #4: The City
Speculation Saturday #5: The Gameplay
Speculation Saturday #6: What's New?
Speculation Saturday #7: The Hive
Speculation Saturday #8: The Vex
Speculation Saturday #9: The Cabal


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