Five Ways Destiny 2 is Reinventing Patrol

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Five Ways Destiny 2 is Reinventing Patrol

With less than two weeks until the release of Destiny 2, we spend four hours exploring its massive European Dead Zone.

Since we first went hands-on with Destiny 2 back in May, I’ve felt confident that Bungie would deliver on much of what we expect from a sequel. The opening campaign mission was a roller coaster, handily dwarfing any of the first game’s main quests. The changes to the Crucible — from player counts to game modes and on-screen indicators — seemed smart and provided nuanced improvements to an already strong PVP system. But what about everything else? What about the connective tissue?

Well, after heading up to Bellevue and spending a few hours with Destiny 2’s European Dead Zone, one of the sequel’s four main hub areas, I’m happy to report that it feels like a totally new game. If each of the locales in the original Destiny was a yacht, the European Dead Zone felt like a cruise ship: massive, and filled with new activities, hidden areas, and narrative clues. In a word, it felt alive. Here’s what’s new:


…there’s a map! Accessible via your Ghost at any time, the new map is your guide to the planet you’re on, and the worlds beyond. It gives you a geographical overview of the region, and can help guide you to nearby events, quests, and areas of interest.

It may seem like a subtle tweak, but it — in conjunction with all of the new activities in each zone — dramatically reduces the amount of time between the last activity you did and the next destination for your fireteam. In short: it makes it significantly easier to find something fun to do.

The best part? Ongoing Public Events and upcoming Public Events are displayed right on the map. Tag ’em as a waypoint, and hop on your Sparrow. You can safely discard your homemade event timer algorithm.


Adventures are totally new to Destiny 2, and represent some of the beefiest content in the European Dead Zone. The Bungie story team described them thusly: “If the campaign is a novel, Adventures are short stories.” Based on the handful that I played through, that rings true.

Adventures are essentially side missions that you can pick up while exploring the world. They contain scripted elements, familiar characters, voice over, and story elements that feel comparable to some of the main campaign missions in the first Destiny, but generally don’t reach the bombastic levels of Destiny 2’s campaign — based on the propulsive first mission we played in the beta. Instead of focusing on Destiny 2’s main story arc, they tell smaller stories that reveal more about the world you’re on and the characters you’ve met. Speaking of which…


Devrim Kay is the main NPC of the European Dead Zone, and he serves as the main guide for many of the Adventures you’ll embark upon there. Stationed at the top of a church tower with his trusty sniper rifle, he packs a salty Western European growl that immediately endeared me to his character, and made me eager to learn about his past and his relationship to the rest of the game’s cast.

He also acts as somewhat of a faction boss for the EDZ, collecting EDZ Tokens as well as various resources stashed throughout the world in exchange for his faction’s reputation points. Collect enough and he’ll eventually hand over his own special blend of legendary engram, containing custom weapons and gear that feel right in line with his personal aesthetic of post-apocalyptic athleisure.

The most important thing about Devrim: I never felt like I needed to talk to him to figure out what to do next; the map would do that for me. I only visited him when it was time to cash in.


While Public Events and Adventures can be trackable waypoints, Destiny 2’s map also contains some more elusive activities: Lost Sectors and Regional Chests. Indicated by small, non-trackable, and often-times enigmatic icons, Lost Sectors and Regional chests encourage players to poke around and explore corners they might not have otherwise.

Regional Chests are what they sound like: specially identified crates that are hidden out of sight, usually containing EDZ tokens and various loot, and that often require the player to platform and traverse environments most would miss. They’re reminiscent of the original Destiny’s Golden Chests, but their rewards aren’t limited to early game loot. Instead, you’ll get rewarded with EDZ tokens and faction bonuses.

Lost Sectors were maybe my favorite part of the EDZ. These are hidden, labyrinthian areas that require players to cave-dive and explore complex drainage systems or cave networks before they come across a large group of enemies, and more importantly: a really large loot cache. That cache can only be opened by defeating a named elite enemy guarding the area, and retrieving that sector’s cache codes. Find the sector, defeat the boss, grab the cache codes, and the loot is yours. Dance on.


Okay, so public events are obviously not new to Destiny 2. But in many ways, they manage to feel fresh and distinctive from the many I played through (over and over) in the first game.

I previously mentioned how the map displays exactly where and when public events are happening, but now every public event has secret objectives — finding and completing these unlocks a Heroic version of the public event. Complete that, and you’ve got yourself a massive experience boost, and a shot at some epic loot.

The criteria for these hidden objectives is never messaged to the player. Instead, you’ll need to experiment and explore for yourself. I don’t want to spoil anything here, but let’s just say that Guardians who triumphed over the original Destiny’s heroic raids may have a few ideas about how to get started.

With less than two weeks until launch, any doubts about Destiny 2 have been assuaged. The game still has superb core mechanics with perfectly honed controls and a gun feel that — in my opinion – is top of class, but now the world feels alive in ways the first game only aspired to. If the European Dead Zone is indicative of the rest of the game’s zones, Destiny 2 is going to have a whole lot more to do. And I can’t wait to dive in.

If you have any questions about my time in the Dead Zone, leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer. Happy hunting, Guardians!

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4 Author Replies

  • All of this sounds like a big improvement over D1’s Patrol. Might find myself lost in there for a few hours or more.

    • Same here. I like to find hidden things and hunt for things that most normally don’t wanna do. haha It keeps be busy. XD I can’t wait to play!

  • How are we finally going to get Sid in for a raid?? Buy now!

  • That map looks really small. Hopefully that’s not it for the location or otherwise this is going to another disappointment. I’m considering cancelling my pre-order.

    • Maybe the image looks deceiving, but it felt REALLY large. I didn’t time out a full lap, but anecdotally it took around 3 and a half minutes on a full-speed Sparrow to make it through 1/3 of the area. It felt very comparable, if not larger, than the zones in D1.

    • cancel it.

    • D2 will be a massive disappointment if the zones aren’t a LOT larger than the tiny areas in D1.

  • Around how many Lost Sectors will there be? Also are they replayable, and will Bungie be adding more as the game goes on?
    Personally I’m very excited, enjoyed the original but desired a bit more. Loved the beta and think this new sequel will fix most of my gripes.

    • I didn’t get a chance to ask many follow ups about the Lost Sectors, but I believe they do disappear once you’ve cleared them. The map gif shown above was after I’d already cleared out several, so there were definitely a lot to do.

  • As someone who enjoyed Patrol to kind of chill out and run around for a while (and yes, gather materials back in the “good” old days) this looks like a lot of fun. The fact that none of this is the main story is nice as well. You can see that it looks like Bungie took the oatrol beacons and kind of connected them (the VIP missions, the gathering, scanning etc.) but the idea that even in public events there are “challenge modes” is really something to look forward to. It would be really interesting if somehow the lost sector areas were more procedural or refresh-able so that doing them again or later on the rewards could evolve. (I’m guessing they will as they drop the tokens – but maybe they drop higher numbers of tokens when you become more powerful.)
    Can’t wait and I agree with Puma. MAKE SID RAID <3 Sid in October: "Have you guys played this Destiny game? It's really good!" :P

  • That right there is a dollop of information!

  • Something that they never talked about that I am really interested in knowing is about the progression from level 1 to max level. The most rewarding thing, for me, about RPGs is that progression and the time and effort it takes from getting low to high level gear.

  • Hey Zac,

    The voice of Devrim Kay sounds like the “Iain Glen” who plays “Jorah Mormont” on “Game of Thrones”. He is one my favorite characters on the show. Can you confirm?


    Rob aka Graf

  • Lovecwgat they h ave done to a favoriute past time. All of it sounds great. I bothered to drop a kudos, on your excellent article. Bravo, my man, really informative and well written.

  • Bee-con, though.

  • That all sounds really good. However I still question the PVP 4 v 4. It just seems backwards. Halo 2 had huge battles using xbox and 56k modems. Why does PS4 and 80mbs have to be 4v4? Sounds lazy imo

  • I know in ways this will probably feel similar to Destiny 1, but after taking a Destiny hiatus for the past 6 months or so, I’m actually really excited to get back in, build a character from the ground up, and play some endgame content with my buddies too. It seems like Bungie has taken what they have proven to work, and build upon that rather than reinvent the wheel. Which while change IS good, Destiny 1’s gameplay was top notch. So yeah, I’m getting excited again

  • I’ll be blunt: as someone who loves PVE in Destiny, but have never put a foot on the crucible due to lack on interest on PVP, I don’t like many of Destiny 2’s changes:

    -The new weapon system that replaces special weapons with elemental primaries and basically piles special and heavy weapons under the power weapon category is a huge minus for me.

    -The long ability cooldowns, which Bungie said they would address, have been confirmed to only going to be minor tweaks as they want supers and grenades to be more rarely used, supposedly to make them feel more powerful or something like that.

    -I still don’t know how the game will have lasting appeal without random gun perks if every weapon has preset perks and stats.

    Worst part is that these changes seem directed to the playerbase that prefers PVP, and come at the expense of the PVE experience. For a longtime fans have asked Bungie to put a wall between PVP and PVE, but they refuse to listen and keep balancing things with PVP in mind and leaving PVE as an afterthought.

    Unfortunately this situation ha convinced me to not buy the game anytime soon (if at all), until at least some of these issues are addressed.

    • Probably a good idea for you then. Save your money. I on the other hand will be waiting like a friggin kid for midnight so I can play.

    • I had 2200 hours in as of last February, and stepped away for the same reasons. Well that and every time they “expanded” the game shrank. I’m going to wait for the inevitable “if you see it, you can go there” reneging, and decide then.

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