Destiny 2 will not be bringing back the grimoire cards from the first game, opting to replace the collectible cards' world-building and storytelling function by just putting the story elements of Destiny 2 directly in the game.
In an interview with Forbes Steve Cotton, Destiny 2's World Lead, was asked whether or not Grimoire Cards—in-game items that could be redeemed on the Destiny website or smartphone app for texts of story and lore—would be making a comeback in the sequel.
"The answer to that question is 'no' and the reason it's 'no' is because we want to put the lore in the game," Cotton said in the interview. "We want people to be able to find the lore. All the story is told through the Adventures, it's told through the characters in the world, it's told through the campaign and it's told through scannables you find throughout the world."
One of the big things Destiny 2 showcased last week was an emphasis on storytelling through exploration. It was evident in the new Adventures that Cotton cites, where players are free to explore any part of the available world for side missions, quest NPCs, Lost Sectors and other hidden loot, bosses, and bits of narrative.
Compare this with the first Destiny that didn't ship with what players saw as a fully fleshed out story. Instead the game relied on the Grimoire Cards which became fairly in-depth as they went on, teasing story points for Destiny expansions, and backstory for favorite characters.
Additionally, later expansions like The Taken King and Rise of Iron delivered a more narrative heavy and cinematic experience for Destiny. The expansions often won praise for helping expand the Destiny story by putting an emphasis on tighter, linear plots, while giving characters like Cayde-6 a chance to show off their personalities with dialogue and storylines.
It's been noted that Grimoire Card collecting became somewhat of a hobby for Destiny players, but the fact that the cards' contents weren't available in-game still caused some consternation among players who didn't want to log into other online portals to access them.
It will be interesting to see how Destiny 2 will balance storytelling in its second go-around. I personally found the game's open-ended storytelling style to be interesting, but was definitely enamored with the cinematic stories of the later Destiny expansions. Here's hoping that Adventures will balance the two and give players the freedom to explore a fully-realized story.
For more info, check out Everything We Know About Destiny 2.