Destiny 2’s Invitations Of The Nine Were A Good Storytelling Vehicle Without A Good Story

Destiny 2

Bungie

Yesterday marked the end of the Invitations of the Nine, part of the Destiny 2 roadmap which was used as a way to tell a little bonus story as an addendum to the events of Season of the Drifter. The “main” storyline there was about the Drifter being distrusted by the Vanguard and Praxic Order, but Invitations of the Nine was a separate, branching path, and another look at what’s still to come.

Invitations of the Nine were spun out of the “Curse cycle” style of storytelling in the wake of Forsaken where every three weeks we’d go meet with the Queen who would have something new to say. This resulted in a few rather great story moments, like our Ghost and the Queen practically yelling at each other, to arguably the most important cutscene of the entire year, the revelation that Uldren had been reborn as a Guardian after the events of Forsaken.

Invitations of the Nine aimed to channel that with a weekly mini-quest that would give out a piece of powerful loot and a bit of story. But after nine (ten?) weeks, I think the story was a bit of a letdown.

The entire gist of the Invitations storyline is about an Awoken who goes off to find the Nine and becomes their Emissary. She was friends with both Mara Sov and The Drifter, and the scenes each week were about one or both of them, and the lore cards found were about the Awoken’s journey to become the Emissary.

The climactic “final” scene after ten weeks was an incredibly short cutscene where the Emissary tells the Drifter to keep playing Gambit as it’s helping us prepare for what’s to come, and we see another image of the triangle ships that we have now see in both the D2 end credits and Mara Sov’s throne room.

But I feel like I learned almost nothing. After six years, I still don’t really understand what the Nine are and what they want, and this entire storyline was just another warning about a threat we already know is coming with very, very little new information (hints about darkness-based subclasses, perhaps). And what new information there is, you have to do a deep dive into a full MyNameisByf explanation video to extract any meaning out of it, as he’s the eternal interpreter of Bungie’s cryptic storylines, making them into something actually consumable, because lord knows that does not happen in-game.

I like this kind of ongoing storytelling, but it does kind of move at a snail’s pace, and if the payoff after ten weeks of questing isn’t some big revelation, it really doesn’t seem worth it. Or even when the revelations are big, we shouldn’t say, see Uldren come back to life and then never touch on that topic again for months.

It is hard to balance gameplay with storytelling in a “forever” game like Destiny, and I do think stuff like the Queen’s Court or Invitations are a good idea at their core. But I still want more from them, and I am tired of Destiny hiding so much of its best story content so much of the time, or failing to develop the seeds that have been planted in meaningful ways. I understand that Destiny 1 lore was messed up because of how much it was rewritten ahead of launch. But now 5-6 years later, we are still dealing with many of the same problems in terms of storytelling.

I hope we see more of this in the future. I just want the concept expanded upon and the stories we hear to be more involved than what they’ve been so far. It’s a good start, but the concept needs to evolve, and in many ways, the Invitations felt like a step back from the Queen’s Court, which isn’t the best trend. We’ll see what Season of Opulence brings soon enough.

Follow me on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Read my new sci-fi thriller novel Herokiller, available now in print and online. I also wrote The Earthborn Trilogy.

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Yesterday marked the end of the Invitations of the Nine, part of the Destiny 2 roadmap which was used as a way to tell a little bonus story as an addendum to the events of Season of the Drifter. The “main” storyline there was about the Drifter being distrusted by the Vanguard and Praxic Order, but Invitations of the Nine was a separate, branching path, and another look at what’s still to come.

Invitations of the Nine were spun out of the “Curse cycle” style of storytelling in the wake of Forsaken where every three weeks we’d go meet with the Queen who would have something new to say. This resulted in a few rather great story moments, like our Ghost and the Queen practically yelling at each other, to arguably the most important cutscene of the entire year, the revelation that Uldren had been reborn as a Guardian after the events of Forsaken.

Invitations of the Nine aimed to channel that with a weekly mini-quest that would give out a piece of powerful loot and a bit of story. But after nine (ten?) weeks, I think the story was a bit of a letdown.

The entire gist of the Invitations storyline is about an Awoken who goes off to find the Nine and becomes their Emissary. She was friends with both Mara Sov and The Drifter, and the scenes each week were about one or both of them, and the lore cards found were about the Awoken’s journey to become the Emissary.

The climactic “final” scene after ten weeks was an incredibly short cutscene where the Emissary tells the Drifter to keep playing Gambit as it’s helping us prepare for what’s to come, and we see another image of the triangle ships that we have now see in both the D2 end credits and Mara Sov’s throne room.

But I feel like I learned almost nothing. After six years, I still don’t really understand what the Nine are and what they want, and this entire storyline was just another warning about a threat we already know is coming with very, very little new information (hints about darkness-based subclasses, perhaps). And what new information there is, you have to do a deep dive into a full MyNameisByf explanation video to extract any meaning out of it, as he’s the eternal interpreter of Bungie’s cryptic storylines, making them into something actually consumable, because lord knows that does not happen in-game.

I like this kind of ongoing storytelling, but it does kind of move at a snail’s pace, and if the payoff after ten weeks of questing isn’t some big revelation, it really doesn’t seem worth it. Or even when the revelations are big, we shouldn’t say, see Uldren come back to life and then never touch on that topic again for months.

It is hard to balance gameplay with storytelling in a “forever” game like Destiny, and I do think stuff like the Queen’s Court or Invitations are a good idea at their core. But I still want more from them, and I am tired of Destiny hiding so much of its best story content so much of the time, or failing to develop the seeds that have been planted in meaningful ways. I understand that Destiny 1 lore was messed up because of how much it was rewritten ahead of launch. But now 5-6 years later, we are still dealing with many of the same problems in terms of storytelling.

I hope we see more of this in the future. I just want the concept expanded upon and the stories we hear to be more involved than what they’ve been so far. It’s a good start, but the concept needs to evolve, and in many ways, the Invitations felt like a step back from the Queen’s Court, which isn’t the best trend. We’ll see what Season of Opulence brings soon enough.

Follow me on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Read my new sci-fi thriller novel Herokiller, available now in print and online. I also wrote The Earthborn Trilogy.

The Source: Paul Tassi, Contributor. The content of this article does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of Global Diaspora News (www.GlobalDiasporaNews.com).