The guys at Bungie wants people to know that they haven't forgotten their roots, as they tout the importance (and complexities) of the game's online component.
In an interview with Eurogamer, Bungie Senior Community Writer Eric Osborne says, “Competitive multiplayer is a huge focus for the team. We love it. We play it at launch weekly. We fight about it. We constantly go back and forth. The perspectives vary wildly inside the studio. But it's already got to the point where it's really fun and it's really about tweaking and iterating and playing it every day and finding that spot we think is unique but also feels familiar for those who are into competitive multiplayer that's skill-based, 'I'm better than you not necessarily because of the gear I have but because I'm better than you.”
One of the most interesting aspects of how the new multiplayer mode will be different than other online games (Halo for instance) is how you’ll interact with people online. It’s no longer a simple online lobby (although I have to believe they’ll be a version of some kind), but you’ll also find players jumping in and out of co-op missions that can then translate to other online engagements.
Osborne talks of how the open world will have boundaries and not everything will be interacting with others online (if you prefer the more loan wolf approach). “We want that to be seamless, but we also want players to understand where those spaces are. There isn't a lobby or loading, but you can identify, 'okay, when I'm here I'm going to see other players and run into other people, and when I go over here, it's me.'”
Destiny will be released sometime in 2014.