Destiny 2 Beta isn't final: how a demo can change drastically

If you spent the previous weekend playing through the Destiny 2 beta on PS4 or Xbox One, you may have encountered a particularly tough section of the beta's "Homecoming" mission. Many players got stuck trying to complete the part of the mission that tasks them with destroying a set of power turbines. It was a difficult segment, with a number of players dying a many times trying to finish it.

Obviously, we want a degree of difficulty in our video games, because being able to waltz through them without much in the way of opposition is boring. This segment of the Homecoming mission, however, was decidedly too difficult. On Reddit, a number of beta participants openly hoped that this part of the mission would be tweaked for the full release. Those gamers will probably be trilled to find out that the segment had already been changed by the time the beta went live.

In an interview on the Namek vs. Saiyan podcast, Destiny 2 director Luke Smith pointed out that the development team decided long ago that the segment in question was too difficult. As a result, the difficulty has been scaled down for the retail release. That's all well and good, but why wasn't that change reflected in the beta?

Back when the beta first kicked off, Bungie revealed that it was based on a version of the game that was already a few months old. Therefore, even though what we played last week was similar to the full game we'll see release on September 6, it wasn't necessarily representative of it. You can see how tough this segment in Homecoming was in the video below, which comes courtesy of IGN.

This case of players facing a challenge that has long been erased from the retail build of the game reminds us that, first and foremost, beta versions of a game generally aren't built just before it enters a testing phase. Bungie knew months in advance what it needed to test when it eventually opened the floodgates to players, and it has spent a lot of time putting together a beta that not only showed players a healthy portion of the game, but gave Bungie the critical information it needed.

If, on the other hand, Bungie had built that beta version right before the test launched, it probably wouldn't have accomplished as much on the development side of things, even though the content would be up to date with the current retail build. In the end, you beta participants can rest assured that the Homecoming mission won't be quite as difficult in the retail release and look forward to one day claiming that you were one of the few who finished the mission when it was tough as nails.