I haven’t booted up Destiny 2 since Curse of Osiris launched. Generally speaking, I’m the kind of guy who just goes to another game if the one he’s playing disappoints, so that’s been my solution to the problem. That said, I’ve certainly been eyeballing the uproar with the playerbase and its view of Destiny 2, so I’ve been waiting along with many to see what Bungie would respond with.
On Friday, they finally did, and I wanted to share my own thoughts on the matter as a more casual player of Destiny 2.
Since this is a personal blog, I’m only going to be touching on the points that affect me personally. My colleague and much sexier human overall Dan Lewis wrote up an excellent point-by-point reaction piece that touches on things far more in-depth than I will here. That said, this whole roadmap affects Destiny 2 players of every stripe, so I still certainly have thoughts.
First off, of course, is the point that touches every player: the Eververse in-game store. Bungie, in my view, have not learned a thing here. Or at least not learned enough. While the removal of cosmetic goodies like Ghosts, Sparrows and ships from gaming loot boxes is obviously a welcome move, they still apparently have plans to sell us some shit. Which, at least on face value, means there’s still going to be some exclusivity to buying things versus playing the damn game and earning them. Granted, there’s going to be perhaps less of those exclusive items, but the fact remains they’re still on offer.
To that point, offering them a la carte doesn’t really make things immediately better. It helps things, to be sure – anything that sees loot boxes wither on the vine is always a blessing – but this move strikes me as a developer (or perhaps a publisher) still trying to see where the line is. But that’s wild assumption. Time will tell where this leads, ultimately.
Moving on, we’re going to be seeing Masterwork Armor! Which…is going to be boring as heck if Masterwork Weapons are anything to go by.
I’ve maybe gotten one or two Masterwork Weapons to drop, and in both cases I looked at the perk, shrugged dismissively, and Infused them into existing weapons. The Masterwork system doesn’t feel like a step up from Legendary. It barely feels like it has the impact of a Modded piece. The Masterwork system feels superfluous and needs to be better tuned on the weapon front before they decide to add it to armor.
On the subject of Mods, those are apparently due for adjustment of some form. All of the language in the letter – “reducing redundant mods, more unique theming, greatly increasing their impact on power” – all sound like the kind of things that Mods should have done in the first place. My inventory is clogged with Mods that I never use because the power gain is so infinitesimal. Hell, 80% of the time I forget to slot a Mod into whatever new gear I get.
It’s not all terrible news, though. The single most welcome addition that’s due in February is the removal of the Nightfall timer, replacing it with a Strike scoring system described as similar to the one in Destiny 1 but with greater impact on reward gain.
I’m not against being challenged by dungeon or end game content. Honestly, PvE challenges and end game stuff of that sort really does delight me. But that’s only if an end game challenge is actually crafted as opposed to artificially made frustrating. Adding random modifiers and timers to Nightfalls didn’t illicit eagerness at surmounting a challenge, it added RNG because that’s easier to design than actually compelling content. It’s like sprinkling cocoa powder on top of a Twinkie and trying to pass it off as tiramisu. It’s sloppy.
Honestly, I want to play the raids in this game, but I’m kind of locked out from seeing the inside of any of them because Nightfall timers and modifiers are so infinitely frustrating. I want to see timers die a slow death and so this change almost immediately brings me joy.
Another potentially positive change are the planned passes on abilities, weapons and Exotics. In a game where I want to feel like a superpowered space marine wielding the sci-fi equivalents of Excalibur, none of the Exotics feel very impactful and many of the abilities take so long to recover that they barely count as situational.
Perhaps this was done with PvP balance in mind. After all, nothing is more furious than a scorned PvP’er. Still, that doesn’t really excuse the matter, especially if your game is about getting new loot. Loot getting should feel good. Like….REALLY good.
There’s mention of “end game player pursuits” as well that could be positive, but the blurb is so damned vague that it’s hard to get worked up on the matter one way or the other. That said, the fact that they recognize that the oft-squawked “nothing to do at cap game is dead” complaint is on the radar is a good thing. Especially since, to a degree, that squawking isn’t entirely wrong.
Overall, while this letter says all the right things and does a good job of laying out a level of transparency, this all feel like stuff that should have been in the game from the get-go. Worse, it feels like they perhaps were planned from the get-go and Bungie was hoping enough new players would love what was done to not question it.
Luckily for all of us – vet player and new player alike – it appears that the returning fanbase kept them honest.
It’s a shame that things had to come to this point, but even with all of my gripes and head-scratching, I still want to see where this all leads. I can’t help my good nature sometimes, I guess. Or, perhaps more accurately, I don’t work up a lather enough to join a forum-wide denouncement because I simply just find something else.
We’ll see where this all goes, of course. But ultimately, my breath isn’t being held. Mostly because I have – for the most part – moved on from Destiny 2.