Another week, another Bungie promise. That’s what it constantly feels like as a Destiny 2 player. Yesterday’s development update seems to be getting two reactions: “oh thank god they’re fixing it”, or “I don’t care”. To be honest, I can see both arguments.
The “oh thank god they’re fixing it” crowd REALLY want this to be the game they always wanted it to be. They have been waiting in the wings hoping to the gaming gods that Bungie would get off its ass and make some much needed changes. In a sense, they will be rewarded. There will be some well-deserved quality of life changes coming their way.
The “I don’t care” crowd has been taken behind the shed one too many times and will have a defensive posture no matter what Bungie does. I can’t blame them. The game came out in the beginning of September, but it seems like we have a year’s worth of controversy to choose from. The Eververse is a ridiculous mess that deserves all the scorn heaped upon it, and the lack of transparency can cause even the most diehard of Destiny fans to recoil in disgust. But….they say all that’s changing.
I’ll tell you where I stand: Before the Curse of Osiris DLC, I hadn’t played in weeks. There didn’t seem to be any reason to. After that expansion, I played for maybe a week and then stopped again for the same reason. The Dawning event was a joke, and they “fixed” the only weapon I was having any fun with. My group of friends has since gone in search of newer and better experiences. In my article 6 Free Games You Should Play (If You’re Smart), I listed a few of the ones we had found. It’s telling that I chose to find free games, because my last few purchases have left me with buyer’s remorse; Destiny 2 being chief among them.
I won’t go through all of the things Game Director Christopher Barrett listed in yesterday’s development update, but I want to highlight a few things.
Right off the bat he mentions changes to the Eververse. Now, I never spent anything in it, and I honestly didn’t care about it, but there was a HUGE outcry at the unfairness of it. When your “recurrent spending” model becomes one of the biggest jokes and controversies of the year, you fucked up. This is something they need to fix immediately, not in some vague future time period.
They also mention the XP system. I try to understand that development and tweaking can be difficult, but how in the hell does a monolithic juggernaut like Bungie screw up the very progression system of its game? They STILL don’t have a fix, either. Also not that big of a deal to me, because I’m not really playing.
Some positives, though: Masterwork Armor. When you add more loot to your loot shooter, that’s a good thing. That’s what people want. Snowball fights are fun, and microtransaction fixes are needed, but people need SHIT TO DO. Tweaks to strikes, nightfalls, and other endgame rewards is what players need. If you give them things to strive for, things to keep their mind occupied, they won’t have time to think about the other idiotic things in the game. We also have some more Crucible updates coming in the form of 6v6 matches. That formula seems a little familiar…hmmm…where have I seen it before…Oh, right: in Destiny 1. That’s ANOTHER gripe I have about most of this is these were lessons that SHOULD have been learned in the previous installment, but for whatever reason, didn’t make its way to the “what not to do” portion of the board meeting.
Bungie likes to offer A LOT of platitudes. Phrases like “we’re listening”, and “we are doing” get tossed around a lot, but how many of those promises have actually been IMPLEMENTED? Aside from a date of January 30, most everything Barrett mentioned is some unspecified date in the future. I can’t help but feel like we’re being set up for a Taken King scenario where it takes a large expansion to turn things around. With a hostile player base and the game bleeding players right now, is that really the route they want to go?
A friend of mine put this development update best: it’s like they have been nothing but abusive, and now they promise to stop at some point and we’re supposed to say thank you.
I will say that when the next DLC comes out in the spring, I will definitely be playing it. Not because I’m filled with hope for upcoming story or needed changes, but because I’ve been waiting to play the game I paid for, and I haven’t gotten it yet. I’ve never felt like I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of this game. Until that happens, I’ll continue to wish that other developers look at all of this as a case study in what NOT to do.
I also don’t want the people that made the actual game mechanics to suffer. It is STILL the best shooter on the market. I just wish the people making the decisions would get out of the way and let smart people make a great experience, instead of trying to board meeting every aspect of the game.