Destiny's persistent world is full of online features running constantly in the background, but Bungie doesn't necessarily see it as an MMO. Lead engineer Chris Butcher has discussed how the game's match-making, public areas, dynamic events and social features work within its ambitious world.
Speaking with Joystiq, Butcher confirmed that Destiny will encompass solo missions, high-intensity encounters, co-op and competitive play seamlessly within the universe, but when asked if it was an MMO, he confirmed that Bungie views the game as an FPS first and foremost.
Online play with other people ramps up in public gameplay spaces, similar to events seen in Guild Wars 2. Butcher shed light on how they will work in practical terms. "The way we think about the public spaces is that they're areas within the world of Destiny where, as your fireteam goes into that area, you'll be seamlessly match-made behind the scenes with other fireteams. There's no UI, progress bars, loading screens or anything like that.
"And that's where we think shooter players are going to find the gameplay that's most interesting and meaty for them, because it's something we feel is kind of new, unexpected and exciting. What happens is, in these public areas - like I said - you'll be match-made with other players in this large-scale cooperative experience.
"There's continuously these dynamic events that are kicking off in these public areas, and you can choose to engage with them if you want, or you can choose to go about your own personal mission that you came to do there. So it's up to you; you don't have to participate if you don't want to, but if you do, you get to enjoy this cooperative experience and you get additional rewards as well."
So definitely like Guild Wars 2 then for anyone who has that frame of reference. Similarly, Destiny will tell you when a dynamic event is kicking off, and there is no request or prompt to join in, you simply start taking part in the fight and there you go, you're cooperatively helping out.
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