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Bungie Takes Players On A Tour Of Destiny 2's Shattered Throne

If you've ever wanted a deep dive into game design, Bungie's Ride Along series is a good place to start. In the latest Ride Along, developers at the studio played through and discussed what it was like to build Destiny 2's Shattered Throne activity. And it's highly interesting.

For those unfamiliar with the game, the Shattered Throne is a pinnacle endgame activity, sort of like a raid. What makes the Shattered Throne unique, however, is that it can be completed with one, two, or three players. It's Destiny 2's first dungeon, challenging you to enter a broken city and progress toward a tower off in the distance, eventually making your way there to fight the activity's final boss.

And for all of Bungie's past woes with its development tools, the studio managed to build this massive space and the activity contained within in just six months.

That's not all we learned about the Shattered Throne. As Bungie cycled different team members in and out, providing insight on their roles and their design philosophies, some other revelations about the Shattered Throne came to light. For instance, the ogre encounter in the activity went through a number of iterations before landing on its final version — some abandoned because they weren't fun, some tossed aside because they impacted the performance of the game.

A question also came in from the community regarding the lack of Rally Flags inside the Shattered Throne. Rally Flags are godsends during raids, enabling you to plant a flag in the ground that refills your ammo and charges up your super ability. According to designer Brendan Thorne, the Rally Flag concept was added late to Destiny 2: Forsaken while the Last Wish raid was being designed, and at that point, work had already completed on the Shattered Throne. Adding Rally Flags would have required additional testing and more time — something Bungie didn't have.

And one more great mystery was solved — why is the countdown so long at the end of the activity? As it turns out, there's no secret waiting to be discovered after besting Dûl Incaru at the end of the Shattered Throne. The development team purposely gave players extra time after the activity to admire the space. It took a team full of gameplay designers, developers, artists, and testers to build both the location and the activity. They just wanted players to see their work and, perhaps, take some screenshots.

This isn't the first Ride Along that Bungie's hosted — the studio actually streamed one for the Last Wish raid back in November. But it is a closer look at one of the best activities in Destiny 2 currently. And it gives you a little bit of appreciation for what goes into making a video game. It's worth checking out.