Destiny 2 Has a Rare Opportunity For Massive Improvement

Normally, I would consider myself late to the game on this kind of post. The topic has been discussed, rehashed, debated, regurgitated and processed again and again. There’s not much left to say at this point that hasn’t been said already, and probably more eloquently than what I can string together.

Also, by this point, most of the issues would have been sufficiently addressed and fixes would have been either already deployed or a scheduled maintenance window would have been established. This last part has not yet been done.

Yet.

Here’s what’s happening in the current Destiny community. People are annoyed, angry, salty, and a host of other unpleasant descriptors. I had already noted this negative outlook in a previous post, but it seems that the sentiment has persisted. Currently we are on the verge of the first DLC, The Curse of Osiris, and Bungie scheduled three live streams to discuss what to expect.

First we were introduced to the story and what to expect, such as what’s up with Osiris himself, what’s the deal with the Infinite Forest, and why are we simultaneously in and not in the Vault of Glass in the trailer. Next we were shown around Mercury a bit more and discussed a bit more of the environment, how the forge will work, and the new public event. Finally, we were shown…

…a tweet canceling the final live stream:

Now, I have been plenty aware of the negativity surrounding the game and player’s general discontent with it all. I did not, however, realize that it has reached the level of cancelling a reveal stream! So here we are, still having the same conversation about why Bungo is teh worst and how we can’t believe we gave them so much of our hard earned money and everything is….you get the idea.

But if we’re still having this conversation, I guess it’s not too late to post about my suggestions for the future of the game? Might as well, since this is where and why Bungie has a rare opportunity to make some real changes to the game that players have been asking for.

Changes to the Game

Below are four things that could make the game much stronger and increase overall player satisfaction.

1. Bring Back Activity Perks

Specifically in Raid gear. This was such a great thing in D1! You suffer your way through the raid and you eventually gear up to a full armor set of Raid Gear and you looked like a themed bad-ass. Additionally, each piece of armor had a perk embedded within it that gave you a slight advantage to the Raid’s mechanics which was otherwise pretty useless in grand scheme of the game. Bring that back! And while you’re at it, throw a few more in there as new activities are introduced! While we’re at it, how about Armor Set Perks? Since D2 is being integrated through the Battle.net system and we are taking on traits from other Blizzard games, such as Seasons as seen in WoW, Diablo, and Overwatch, why not add another Diablo gear mechanic and give us an additional boost if we’re wearing a full set? Doesn’t need to be anything big, just a little “thank you!” for rocking a matching outfit.

2. Rework the Vendors

D2_DeverimKay_Vendor.jpg

Taken from the Reddit thread by Tiredness, this wold be fantastic! Currently, the only thing we get from our vendors are the occasional adventures to replay and Vendor Engrams. At the current build, once you hit Experience Level 20 and Power Level 260, these engrams are effectively useless unless you want to complete a specific Armor set. By expanding Vendor Inventory to include the above options, it will make our grinding much more meaningful and rewarding.

3. Add Ridiculous Stretch Goals

While I have previously stated that I do not have nearly enough time to commit to this game given my current life situation, I still see the greater purpose of stretch goals. Destiny 2 players readily complained about the lack of end game content, to which the majority of my community contacts simply said, “Calm down, it is only the first month of the game and it has two planned DLCs in the works with more inevitably coming in the future! However, given how quickly I was able to ascend up to PL 280+, I may have to agree with the previous complaint. Give us some stretch goals that are either insanely difficult or reward the hours of seemingly endless grinding to achieve. And for the love of the traveler, can we please drop the drop rate of exotics? I used to get a momentary thrill of absolute glee when I saw a gold engram pop on my screen. Now, it’s almost expected for me to get at least one per session.

4. Make Resources Worthwhile

Please, give me a reason to pick up those Datalattice and Alkane Dust clusters. The RPG hoarder/Cleptomaniac in my compels me to snatch up anything not bolted to the floor. But when I bring them to the respective vendor and I see the bar barely move….what’s the point? how many of these things do I need to harvest before I see any significant increase? Is my time better spent doing the activities and looting chests for tokens? I realize you want people to play in the public events, but….give me something!

Do Not Touch!

The next four items that are working just fine in my oh so humble opinion.

1. Eververse 

Even with all the scuttle around microtransactions (MTX) these days, I’m still happy with how Eververse is handled. Games are expensive, really expensive, to make and developers need continuing streams of income to support and maintain their product after launch. Game sales alone, if held at $60 USD, will not be sufficient. If they keep Eververse limited to purely cosmetics and emotes, let the other players spend away for their vanity items.

2. The Token System

I can’t really explain it, but in my experience with the game it just works. While I enjoyed swearing my allegiance to a specific faction (New Monarchy, FTW!), the experience system seemed mundane. I mean, it was direct and made sense, which is great. But with tokens, it feel like I am going out in to the world and bringing back proof of my exploits. Maybe not quite that dramatic, but it is close enough to make it feel rewarding. Like,

“I just got back from my patrols. Took out a few Fallen Spider Tanks along the way, and disrupted a glimmer extraction.”

(Tosses a pouch full of tokens to Deverim)

“I’ll be taking my payment now.”

Pretty rugged, right?

3. Filler Activities

These are great for breaking up the monotony of patrols and public events. The occasional Lost Sector, a random High Value Target appears, stuff like that to keep things interesting as we’re pushing through the wilds. Which actually leads in to the final point:

4. Map Density

One of my unspoken gripes with D1 was that there were vast areas of empty space. I say “unspoken” because it never really bothered me much, since I just zoomed through on my sparrow anyway, but now that I am in D2 I am loving how dense the maps are! There are few areas now where there are a lack of enemies or locations to interact with, and most of them are the transition paths between named areas.

Controversial Opinion

Of course, what would an opinion post be without one that was particularly controversial? In this case, it is that I love how they’re handling the lore in D2.

The one clever thing that Bungie is doing is forcing a community to form around this game. Rather than creating a codex to be accessed within the game, we were all given these grimoire cards with blurbs of information contained within. Now that the cards have been removed, the lore is now delivered through scannables and overlay tabs found within Exotic items.

So why is this great? Because it forces the community to come together outside the game to trade and compare notes. It forces the emergence of lore masters such as My Name is Byf and Myelin Games. It forced the creation of podcasts such as Guardian Radio for fans to speculate and discuss all the different aspects of the game in a participatory manner. Sure there are communities that are quite active for other games and franchises, but the Destiny community seems to be so…communicative? Supportive? Engaging? It’s basically forcing us away from our personal comfort zones and interact with other fans, even if it’s just in a “lurking” manner.

So What’s Next?

Honestly, I don’t know. I WAS expecting to hear more about the Curse of Osiris in the next stream, but Bungie is dedicating all resources in to improving the game’s experience. I can’t see how they can make significant updates and system overhauls by the time the DLC is released, but perhaps they can give us an update on what some future plans will include.

So what about YOU? Are you planning on continuing on with Destiny 2?

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