Destiny 2 opens with the Cabal’s Red Legion laying siege to The Tower, the Guardians’ central stronghold and the main social hub in the original Destiny. Weakened by the loss of their Traveller, the Guardians are soundly beaten and forced to flee to the European Dead Zone, where they establish The Farm, a new base of operations. And thanks to new video from , we now have some idea of what The Farm has to offer.
Bungie is pitching The Farm as an organic and engaging home base that players will genuinely enjoy exploring and learning about, unlike The Tower, which was mainly a place for turning in and picking up quests. Returning to The Tower felt like a chore, especially with Destiny’s long loading screens, and navigating it wasn’t much better due to its bloated, unintuitive layout. Important NPCs were far away from utilities like storage, so collecting quests and gearing up was a tedious marathon. Thankfully, Bungie seems to have avoided these issues by condensing The Farm’s most important stuff and streamlining travel in Destiny 2. Here's a quick look at what's coming, and some predictions for what might be based the footage revealed so far.
Familiar vendors are back, including the Cryptarch
First, the familiar stuff. There's a postmaster who will ferry our lost engrams (Destiny’s loot vessels), a Cryptarch who will identify and probably ruin our engrams, vendors hawking guns and armor, and critically, chickens. Can’t have a farm without chickens, can we?
It can hold more guardians
The Farm is going to feel much busier than the tower in a reassuring move towards creating a more social hub space. It can hold up to 26 Guardians in a single instance, up from the Tower’s 16-man capacity. It's a welcome change considering how empty and impersonal the Tower could feel.
There will be more social activities and events
So far, so social. Doesn’t make up for losing the Tower, thanks. I kid, but my ears did perk up when narrative lead Ryan Ebenger explained the “evolving” nature of The Farm. We’ll unlock new Farm “activities and events” as we progress through Destiny 2, most of which look like nifty distractions to kill time while we get our raid teams together. We’ve got soccer balls and nets, for one, on top of unclear ways to “draw attention to yourself” and “have people look at your gear.” But who’s to say we won’t unlock more pragmatic perks for The Farm? Maybe some quality of life stuff to ease the grind? Maybe a mass-destroy option for converting weak gear into upgrade materials, or options to arrange stored gear by type or level?
The Farm will gain more residents as we progress
Whereas The Tower only added NPCs with expansions and events, new vendors and characters will come to The Farm as we clear Destiny 2’s story. We already know that, following the loss of the Tower, the Guardian Vanguard leaders went to different planets to, I don’t know, brood or something. So it’s likely part of The Farm’s evolution will consist of reuniting the Vanguard forces. Huzzah.
More exciting is the prospect of meeting new vendors—someone who specializes in a certain weapon type or sells unique shaders, for example. We may even stumble upon new faction leaders as we shoot and loot our way through Destiny 2’s four planets. It would be great to meet new people out in the wild, see them back on The Farm and have them actually impact our goals and progression. Which is to say nothing of , a character apparently integral to The Farm’s story who we’ve heard nothing about since her E3 reveal.
Ebenger also described The Farm as “dynamic,” and I have to say it does look lively. It may be too soon, but The Tower always felt flat and lonely with its deadpan NPCs and naked white halls. The Farm already has more character—and more chickens, let me remind you. Civilians and Guardians alike walk its rough dirt streets, wild greenery sprouts from every corner and a shard of the Traveller looms ominously on the horizon. There’s something charming about The Farm’s ramshackle setup in the context of the Guardians’ defeat, which is more than can be said for The Tower.
We also caught a glimpse of a workshop full of civilians repairing “ships, sparrows and weapons” in a makeshift hangar. This makes me wonder if we can expect more content like the Gjallarhorn quest from Destiny’s Rise of Iron expansion, which saw players track down and assemble pieces of the eponymous exotic rocket launcher. That was a great quest because it told the story of a weapon through our actions and made us work for it, so it really meant something when we finally fired the finished product.
What could be
It would be great to see Destiny 2 use The Farm’s evolution to encourage exploration in a similar way. Instead of always finding exotic engrams to expand our arsenal, maybe we rescue an NPC who joins us back on The Farm. They tell us they were chasing after a challenging which unlocks an awesome exotic, or a Treasure Map that leads to one. Then we hunt down the pieces and bring them to the mechanics on the farm for final assembly. Now that would be dynamic. Even if they aren’t on that scale, mission-driven upgrades would be a welcomed side dish for our RNG entree.
A few existing characters raise questions as well. The Farm’s Cryptarch, for example, is Tyra Karn, an ancient and immortal Awoken who first appeared at Destiny’s mini-hub. She sold unique artifacts back in the day, but with artifacts gone in Destiny 2, does she sell weapon mods or other accessories? Should we expect to see other Iron Temple residents such as or around The Farm? What about the Awoken of the , another one of Destiny’s mini-hubs? The Farm is a great opportunity to condense important NPCs and avoid the tedious trips between hubs that plagued the original Destiny.
For my money, the most interesting oddity is , master of PvP over at the Crucible. Or more specifically, his latest project: the rack of Crucible-branded robots seen in The Farm. Ebenger described these robots as the “force of support personnel” helping Shaxx with Crucible upkeep after the Tower’s fall. I have to wonder if there’s more to them. We’ve had robotic postmasters for years but Crucible hands have never been featured so prominently, and Ebenger did say the story behind these strange new robots will be fleshed out.
Maybe I’ve got my tinfoil hat on too tight, but I have a feeling these robots are more than just window-dressing. Their presence alone suggests Shaxx will get more screentime in Destiny 2, but will they play an active role in the Crucible, perhaps in a new game mode with AI enemies? The Crucible exists to train Guardians, after all. Conversely, are there Vanguard robots? Because it would make sense for the Guardians to use robots to beef up their defenses after the Red Legion’s attack.
Most importantly, is there a robot chicken?