When Bungie announced Destiny 2 Beyond Light for this year, alonside their plans for two more major expansions over the next year, they also dropped the news that they don’t have any plans for a Destiny 3. They made it sound like Destiny 2 will be an ongoing service. This fits with their recent efforts to make Destiny 2 more like an action mmorpg than the shared world shooter it launched at. The post-Activision Bungie has been making some different decisions than Activision would have done, with their making the base Destiny 2 free to play, and continuing the game long after the original. I originally played the Destiny 2 campaign all the way through, but never played the expansions because initially they didn’t handle leveling well for those who finished the campaign and returned months later. This was eventually resolved, but I never went back. Now with the news that Destiny 2 is going to be an ongoing service with Beyond Light, I decided to catch up. As of this writing I have completed Forsaken and working on Shadowkeep.
I have to say I had forgotten just how gorgeous this game truly is, especially for space enthusiasts. Destiny 2 is by far one of the most beautiful depiction of space I’ve seen in a video game. I’m a big space nerd, and the idea of a massive solar system exploration game is yet to come to fruition, but Destiny 2 is the close as we have gotten. From seeing the Sun up close onboard the Almighty, to traversing Mars and Mercy, to traveling various moons which let you see their parent gas giant upclose. It is amazing seeing just how huge the sun is on Mercury for the first time, or seeing Saturn in the sky for the first time.
(Destiny 2 Beyond Light Trailer)
This got me thinking, if Destiny 2 keeps going, what other places should be added as destinations? Beyond Light is taking us to Europa, an icy moon of Jupiter thought by many in the scientific community too have liquid oceans of water beneath it's ice surface. While, I am very excited for this location, there are still plenty of cool places in the solar neighborhood that could make excellent destinations for future expansions. Here are top 10 places Destiny could visit in the future.
10. Any asteroid in an asteroid belt, Ceres or Haumea?
We got a taste of asteroids in Forsaken, but it would be really interesting to see more. Where Forsaken showed artificially assembled clusters, I’m thinking one large one with no atmosphere/sky. The asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter would make for a cool spot for a location unlike other destinations in the game, or the farther Kuiper belt beyond the orbit of Neptune. While Ceres is the most well known, it is rather large and still round. Even cooler, the asteroid belt is ripe for atypical non-spherical locations. It would be really cool to land on a asteroid that was irregularly shaped or so small that from the surface players could see the curvature of the horizon. Haumea is a good choice, as it is the notable for being the fastest spinning object in the solar system with a breakneck rotation of only 4 hours. It is spinning so fast, the sky could rotate in real time on the map, and the world is actually elongated like a football due to its extreme rotation. I take inspiration from the game Outer Wilds on how cool it is to land and walk on planetoids that small. Some of the maps in Destiny 2 are pretty small as is relative to an entire planet, so an asteroid that makes up the entire map would be really cool. Another benefit of a small asteroid is there would be no atmosphere which could make the sky an all black star field, and it could mean potentially the ability to fall off a canyon or fissure and into outer space.
9. Halley’s Comet
Destiny 2 has taken us to many moons and planets, but just like everything I said would be cool to visit a large asteroid, Haley’s Comet would make for a popular, well known, and quite unusual place to visit. The comet is tiny compared to everything next on this list at only a diameter of 6 miles. The small icy comet would make for an tiny map, with the beautiful plume of the comet's tale perhaps seen in it’s sky. In Outer Wilds, attempting to land on and traverse the freakishly small comet was one of my favorite experiences and would be really cool on Destiny’s scale.
8. & 7. Miranda and Triton
So far we have seen Jupiter and Saturn represented by Destiny 2 with them both being in the sky of their respective moon destinations. Now it’s time to see Uranus and Neptune get some love.
Triton is Neptune’s largest moon, and Neptune would make for a beautiful sight to see in the sky with its dark saphire blue. Triton also has a fascinating phenomenon with...wait for it, Ice Volcanos. If that's not a reason for it to be a map I don't know what is.
Miranda isn’t Uranus’ largest moon, but it has a cool name and a cool shape. It is more than a boring grey sphere, it is jagged and more rough with large mountainous formations. It is also a better choice than Uranus’ large moon Titania. If the game would already have Titan and Triton, Titania could be confusingly too much.
One of my favorite more obscure destinations in the solar system is Sedna. I think it’s because of how mysterious and weird it is. Sedna is a lessor known drawf planetoid in the outer Kuiper Belt beyond the orbit of Neptune. It is red (we think) and smaller than Pluto. We know very little about it, and one of the things that makes it so fascinating is that we probably only know about it due to dumb luck. It has a very very unusual orbit. Pluto takes a whopping 248 years to orbit the Sun, but It takes Sedna a mind blowing 11,408 years! Its orbit is so eliptical that it’s distance ranges from 76 AU (1 AU is one Earth to Sun distance) to a whopping 936 AU. At it’s farthest, it is almost 1000x the distance from the sun as we are. It is just luck that at this time it is close enough to see this tiny red planetoid. If it was at it’s other end we may not even know about it. This planetoid would make for a cool destination because of its cold but red color, and the level of flexibility the developers would have in its design.
5. Proxima Centauri B
Ok, so this one isn’t technically in the solar system. But according to our current scientific knowledge it is the largest planet in the closet star system to ours. At only about 4 light years away, it is basically in our galactic neighborhood. We know very little about it other than that it is a planet larger than earth, and in a trinary star system. The question is, is it practical in the Destiny lore? While Destiny doesn’t go very indepth on the technology lore, we can do some math to figure out just how fast the ships in Destiny 2 are. It would be easy to assume that because everything takes place in our solar system, that technology isn't sophisticated enough to go fast enough to reasonably reach other stars. However, let's make an assumption that what we see in the game is a realistic representation of the ships speed. If we travel from Mercury to Titan the farthest trip I can think of in current Destiny 2, a distance of about 1.36 Billion kilometers. This assumes they are relatively lined up in the order of Mercury, Saturn, Titan. Because all three are orbiting the Sun this value is only an estimation. In the game, the loading time for travel between places varies whether you are on a base PS4/Xbox One, a PS4 Pro/Xbox One X, or a high end SSD PC. For this estimation, I took a reasonable average loading time of about 30 seconds. If you take 1.36 billion kilometers and divide it by 30 seconds you get a speed of roughly 45,333,333 kilometers / second. The speed of light is 299,792 kilometers / second. My rough estimations put the speed of ships in the Destiny 2 game at upwards to 150C, or 150 times the speed of light. Proxima Centauri is approximately 40 Trillion kilometers away. Which means at an insanely fast 150C, the trip would only take 10 days. That's a fairly reasonable trip. While we know little about this world, I thought putting it on this list because it would be a cool "because we could" location for the game. In the future, it might be cool to see Destiny takes us to a whole new solar system; however, I think if many many years down the road they want to reverse their decision and make a full blown "Destiny 3" this might be the strategy to use.
Ok, so we have been pretty close to the Sun in the original Red War campaign of Destiny 2. This mega capital ship/super weapon was in low orbit of the sun. I say to this day, it is my favorite mission and part of Destiny so far. It was absolutely phenomenal. The way Bungie designed the sun light and over all look of the level design was amazing. While this was cool, I want more. I want to “land” on the “surface” of the sun. As crazy as this sounds, it has a realm of possibility in the universe of Destiny 2. I know the Sun doesn’t have a traditional hard surface, being plasma, and of course it is incredibly hot. I imagine an ultra-low orbit station that “floats” across the surface of the Sun. Now I realize this may sound unfeasable even with Destiny-level technology; however, I think there’s a way it would be possible. Based on what we see with the Almighty, it looks like a low but still distant orbit. From what we see, the Almighty is probably located inside the Sun’s corona. The Sun’s surface is “only” 9,000 degrees, but for reasons scientists still don’t fully understand, the invisible field of plasma around the Sun, the “Corona” is actually hotter, a whopping 1,000,000 degrees! The Sun actually gets "colder" at the surface. Still, the material on Earth that is currently the hardest to melt is Tungsten with a melting point of 6,000 degrees. With near future tech, even if we could make some tungsten alloy that could withstand the Sun’s surface, we just can’t get through the Corona. But if the Allmighty’s shielding and technology could protect it in the Sun’s corona, that means the shielding technology exists to build a station that could withstand the heat of the Sun’s surface. Next problem, the gravitational pull at the Sun’s surface is a bone crushing 28G! That means a 1 ton object on Earth would be 28 tons on the Sun's surface. If we ever wanted to build a base on the Sun it would also need to be made out of a phenomenal super material. Not only would it need a ultra high melting point, it would have to be incredibly lightweight like a styrofoam, while maintaining structural strength far stronger than steel. The Destiny universe is filled with all kinds of advanced technology that alters time and gravity, so it is conceivable that anti-gravity technology or super materials powerful enough might exist to combat the Sun's gravity.
3. Planet 9
Ok, admittedly this one is even more out there. There is no definitive proof that planet 9 actually exists, but some scientists think that gravitational anomalies and weird orbits of some trans-neptunian objects, Sedna included, point to evidence of a semi-large gravitational body in ultra-far orbit beyond Pluto. Sedna was only descovered in 2003, and like I said that was largely thanks to it being so “close” on it’s unusually elliptical orbit. If it happened to be on the far end, it could have been a long, long time before it was close enough for us to see with current technology. Some scientists think Planet 9 is a object potentially up to 10 times the mass of Earth, and it could be super far away. It could have low reflectivity making it hard to see, and it could be hundreds of AU farther than Sedna or Pluto. However even though this opinion is a minority one in the scientific community, it still is fun to think about this "Big Foot Planet". It would be cool for a scifi story such as Destiny 2 to create this theoretical world. With it being only theoretical, Bungie could make it be whatever they wanted. Why not have a little fun with the solar system, this is sci-fi after all.
Growing up as a kid, I was always fascinated by Venus. I think it was the mystery and difficulty of it. Mars gets all the attention from NASA and so far we have seen much of its surface with rovers having spent years exploring it. The other neighbor is much more mysterious. Most landers on Venus have been destroyed upon entry or soon after landing. Venus is unique in that despite not being the closest planet to the Sun, a title held by Mercury, it is actually the hottest planet in the Solar System. This and it’s difficulty to explore are both thanks to its immense green house effect of its thick atmosphere. Venus is approximately 900 degrees Fahrenheit, enough to melt lead. While with today’s technology Venus is difficult to study and explore, we already know from earlier conversation about the Sun and the Allmighty, that the technology exists in Destiny to make Venus a plausible destination. The reason this planet ranks so high, is it is practically the closest thing our solar system has to Mustafar. The planet’s surface is covered in hot volcanic activity, and if there is one thing synonymous with video games, it’s lava levels.
Was there really any doubt Pluto should be number one? Pluto became a crowd favorite when it was demoted from Planet status with the new “dwarf planet” class created in the scientific community. Reinstating Pluto as a planet became a popular element of pop culture, because we all love an under dog. Pluto has a special place in the hearts of space nerds because it is the only big local discovery made during mine and many younger people’s lifetime. When I was a child, I remember seeing books filled with pictures of all the other planets, and Pluto was always an orange blob. As a kid, i remember being tasked with writing a “current events” assignment and I wrote about NASA’s Horizon probe launching on it’s path towards Pluto. I remember being sad it would be so long before it got there. Years later I was reminded of the school assignment when it passed Jupiter. Then as an adult, I remember being at work, waiting in eager anticipation with the rest of the space loving community as Horizon approached Pluto. When the first images, images I waited ten years to see, Pluto did not disappoint. It was a beautiful little world.
Pluto is just a weird beautiful distant world that would be an excellent location for Destiny 2. Now that we know what it looks like, we could see beautiful HD renders of it for the loading orbit animations. The dwarf planet is so cold, it has at times a frozen atmosphere. The Sun is so distant in the sky of Pluto it would be really cool to see the Sun as just a “bright star” rather than the usual “sun in the sky”.
People love Pluto, that I think it would be a great location to bring in curious players. There’s just something very cool about how unimaginably far away it is.
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