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Nov 28

Nov 28

How Bungie Forged Destiny 2’s New High-Level Endgame Activity

Design director Evan Nikolich spills the beans on the origins of the Lost Forges, the challenges of crafting a new endgame activity, and why matchmaking was a must.

Justin Massongill's Avatar Posted by Social Media Manager, SIEA

Eyes up — the Black Armory is preparing to open its doors, and with it a new endgame activity called the “Lost Forges.” Now, we’re as voracious for new Destiny info as the next Guardian, so we reached out to Evan Nikolich, Design Director at Bungie, to learn what makes the Lost Forges tick and how this new activity will fit into the endgame of Destiny 2 once the Black Armory begins to reveal its secrets.

Where do the Lost Forges land in terms of Destiny activities? Is this something that rivals the iconic Escalation Protocol?

The Lost Forges were definitely inspired by activities like Escalation Protocol and Blind Well. That said, we wanted to give you more control over who you play with, so we added a new vector for fireteam coordination. The focus for this activity is on three-player Fireteams. We enabled matchmaking so players always know what they are getting when they engage with the Forges. This new challenge will also require a bit more coordination with throwable relics that will be required to charge the Forge. Since it’s a predictable, matchmade three-player activity, we thought we could add something on top of slaying hordes of enemies to up the challenge.

Destiny 2: Forsaken – Black Armory

Destiny 2: Forsaken – Black ArmoryDestiny 2: Forsaken – Black Armory

What was the inspiration for this new activity?

“We wanted loot acquisition to be tied more directly to the player’s actions and less to random rewards.”

From inception, we always wanted this release to be about the lost weapons and the Golden Age lore about the Black Armory. In creating the activities, we thought about new and interesting ways to acquire Black Armory weapons and gear. We wanted to send players down the path of what it would mean to forge them. We wanted loot acquisition to be tied more directly to the player’s actions and less to random rewards. We wanted the forging process to be something you could enjoy over and over again. Our focus was on creating an experience that would allow players to develop new strategies quickly and feel justly rewarded upon every completion.

What type of player are you building this for? Will lower-level players be able to hop in and contribute, or is this more along the lines of a Raid Lair or Nightfall level activity?

The Lost Forges are definitely an endgame activity. They start at a power level above the current maximum of 600. Players will be able to hop in solo as we provide a matchmaking pool, but you will need to be at power to participate. The Forges will not be as challenging or demanding of a player’s time as a Raid, but if a player is under-powered, it will be an uphill climb. We hope to see players come in the first week, build strategies, grind for power, and have discussions about how to best tackle the Forges. The goal from the outset with the Lost Forges was to add to the endgame ritual play of Destiny.

New Bungie ViDoc details the new weapons, gear, and activities Guardians can look forward to in the Season of the Forge and Black Armory

What kinds of loot will Guardians earn from the Lost Forges? Will players be able to earn max-level loot from it? In the past, these type of activities have had some of the most iconic weapons in Destiny (hello, Ikelos). Will this activity have specific weapons players will want to go after?

Players will be able to earn max-level loot from the Forges, but not initially. There will be a bit of a grind to get to max power over the first few weeks and then get subsequent max power rewards from the Forges. As for iconic weapons, we definitely focused on a few key weapons in an effort to make them noteworthy and fill in what we believe to be some gaps in your arsenal. We’re all really excited about the return of Machine Guns and adding another Exotic Bow to the mix. I want to hold my cards close to my chest, though. We want the community to explore the loot offering and make the final call are what the true god-tier load-outs are.

How are the Forges similar to previous activities like Court of Oryx, Archon’s Forge, or Escalation Protocol? How are they different?

“We’re trying something new by making the activity explicitly matchmade.”

We learned [with previous endgame activities] that players love challenging endgame content that’s easy to tackle and repeat. Not every piece of endgame content has to be tough or as lengthy as a Raid or even a Nightfall Strike. Something you can jump into, be challenged, complete quickly, and then jump back into again is important to the ritual play eco-system of Destiny. We want the Lost Forges to fill that role.

Something else we know that has caused significant frustration with our prior events taking place in public spaces is that matchmaking does not always yield desirable fireteam size results. We are trying something new here by making the activity explicitly matchmade. Once a player launches, they will start searching for other players to fill out their fireteam to create three-player team. Players will know they are getting a three-player team, and because we know the fireteam size we can add bit more complexity to the activity.

How many players can participate in this activity?

Three-player Fireteams is what we targeted for this activity. If you don’t have a team, we’ll build one for you in matchmaking.

How difficult are these challenges going to be?

Up front, we believe this is going to be challenging content. Players will be under-powered and will have be on top of their game to clear the Forges. As players grow in power and develop strategies, the Forges will become easier to complete. Your initial encounters in Escalation Protocol and Blind Well were stiff challenges. We expect something similar with the Lost Forges.

Will this take place in a public area a la Escalation Protocol / Blind Well, or will it be an instanced event?

It will not be in a public space. The Forges exist in new spaces, secreted away in the destinations you know. Players will launch into private match-made instance of a space with three-player fireteam.


The Season of the Forge has begun in Destiny 2: Forsaken, and owners of the Annual Pass can begin discovering the secrets of the Black Armory and the Lost Forges starting December 4.

Add Your Own

Hakumen__ said:

November 28th, 12:25 pm

I really liked the lore behind the first game and liked to find leftovers of the original version of the game still lying around, whether as part of the background or enemies that Bungie didn’t bother to alter from their original incarnation (Aksor and the Archon Servants come to mind).

Unfortunately Destiny 2 butchered most of the interesting aspects of the game, such as the subdivisions between the different enemy factions, my favorite being the different Fallen Houses, which seemed like another way to dumbs down the game for the casual audience.

I didn’t buy Destiny 2, but did kept checking the “additions” to the lore, and was very disappointed to see that the current writing team seems to be almost obsessed with retconning the existing lore of the series, written by Joseph Staten (Halo). Worst case is the comics which seem to be written with the minimal background check.

I’m glad to hear that other aspects of Destiny have been fixed, but for me, the one aspect I liked the most is broken and it seems it will remain that way, so I have no interest in coming back to this series anymore.

    Ultimagara said:

    November 28th, 6:07 pm

    I feel you on the Fallen houses. I wouldn’t say the lore has be unfaithfully turned on, but rather pushed away in the form of effectively killing off the remaining Fallen houses. In the recent lore, of course, they wipe out the House of Kings off screen, which is a bit of a bummer, considering that it was the last significant one standing and we really didn’t see any of that conflict in-game.

    ShoeVsYou said:

    December 1st, 9:24 pm

    As a fellow lore-enthusiast, I really want you to know that I believe Forsaken has done wonders for it. I do agree that some parts of the lore were in a poor state over the last year, but Forsaken has some of the best written lore they’ve ever made. I really think you should get it and check it out for yourself. They also finally put the lore in the game for the first time ever. You can read all the lore entries you unlock from a new menu they added.

Akmaljon said:

November 28th, 2:51 pm

What the heck is an annual pass? It’s like season pass but you have to pay each year?

    Ultimagara said:

    November 28th, 6:11 pm

    Bungie decided that because story mission based DLC lacks replay ability and costs more than it’s worth to produce, they were better off switching to a more MMO-like structure where they continuously add endgame content at a far steadier pace, making that content more relevant as opposed to a one-and-done experience completed within the first few days. The payment structure is much like a year-long subscription, in essence. You can’t buy individual DLCs anymore because with this new structure, they no longer exist in the same context.

    SidNightwalker said:

    November 28th, 7:39 pm

    Yeah….in other words they want you to to pay for content well over a year in advance. Which is not what MMOs do at all. And it’s absurd.

    Akmaljon said:

    November 28th, 9:56 pm

    Thx for explanation Ultimagara. And for Destiny fans I want to apologize, because this is NOT Destiny. They killed off Destiny. I spent 100s of hours on Destiny, and lost interest in Destiny 2 after they changed structure, and also did exactly same mistake as in Destiny by locking rewards behind DLC.

jeremy-kyle007 said:

November 28th, 5:23 pm

Hope the forges are challenging and rewarding enough to keep playing

Ja032ck said:

November 29th, 7:39 am

This all sounds great and can’t wait to start it. One question why not a 4 man fire team is there a reason you can’t provide this?Please let me know.

mlowe458 said:

November 29th, 9:46 am

the new light level will be an unfair advantage in crucible matches agains people who dont have the season pass

    SGTquig said:

    November 29th, 12:38 pm

    @ mlowe458: Not true. Crucible does not have level advantages, it’s capped with everybody having the same light level. Iron Banner is the only place where the light level advantage is in place.

    chowdude0183 said:

    November 30th, 2:34 am

    Power 650 is for everyone you dont have to have annual pass. Annual pass is for forge and raid endgame activities

EbOuNcE88 said:

November 29th, 12:10 pm

Akmaljon your wrong. Destiny is unlike any other game. They put out a solid enough campaign and decent multiplayer and after a month get thrown to the wolves because people want more more more.. what other fps is like this? No other fps expects this much from its developers .yes curse of osiris specifically was a joke, but forsaken and the shape of the game is excellent now.. so much content and good stuff at that. I will prob get annual pass but theres so many games out now its hard to handle. You want to pay 60 bucks for 140 dollars of content which is just not reasonable.

    Akmaljon said:

    November 29th, 1:19 pm

    I am not saying give all dlc for free. Take a look at rainbow six siege, they release 4 updates (new season a year), and thy don’t lock rewards behind dlc. You can buy dlc operators with in game currence. Of course you have to grind but if you like the game then you will enjoy grinding. Destiny locks rewards behind dlc and forces you to buy it. You can defend it as much as you want but It is a cash grab when they release dlc that was not mentioned or included with season pass. They are like surprise surprise we don’t give rats ass if you bought season pass, you have to buy this seperate. It was free on ps+ so I tried and I didn’t like the mechanics that they changed

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