Bungie recently posted “The State of Destiny 2,” an article meant to address community concerns and updates coming to the game in the coming months. Prior to this article, Bungie admitted that they heard the community’s concerns and wanted to give some first hand feedback from the development team on the state of the game moving forward. In the wake of the discovery about experience points throttling, the community was at its tipping point. In reaction, Bungie said they would cancel their Curse of Osiris livestream and focus on addressing player concerns.
In my opinion Bungie did very little to ease the community’s doubt about the future of Destiny 2. You can read The State of Destiny 2 or just check out some of the key points below:
- A new Weapon Tier: Masterworks, which will feature stat trackers, random, re-rollable stat bonuses, unique item tooltips, and item details screens
- We are also moving Ranked PVP to the top of our priority list for next year to support the competitive community
- In December, we will be introducing a Heroic Strikes playlist and more generous Strike rewards
- Adding Armor Ornaments that grant visual permutations of armor as players complete specific Challenges
- Xur has some new offerings for players collecting Exotics:
- Every week, you’ll be able to acquire one of the new Fated Engrams using Legendary Shards that will decrypt as Exotics that aren’t already in your collection
- A simpler Three of Coins that boosts Exotic drop rates from any source for 4 hours
- Changes affecting Reputation Tokens:
- Daily Challenges will have Reputation Token awards increased across the board
- Strikes will drop a larger number of Vanguard Reputation Tokens
- Common quality Destination Resource Tokens will have their drop rates increased to 100%, and values per Token increased as well (by 50% for common quality Tokens and 250% for rare quality Tokens)
- On the balance, Reputation required per Reward Engram will increase for Destination Factions (+37%) and Gunsmith (+50%)
They also addressed the XP mechanics and stated that for the time being they are increasing the amount of XP needed to level up past level 20, to 160k (instead of the previous 80k). They agree with the community that this results in a slow leveling experience, without any concrete plans on fixing it.
I believe we are looking at a conflicted company. On the one hand Bungie knows how to make a great shooter. Halo, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, and Halo: Reach are still lauded as some of the finest first person shooters of all time. Halo 5: Guardians was able to build on Bungie’s success and create a fantastic competitive environment that keeps people coming back to the game day after day.
On the other hand, Bungie’s baffling design decisions and lack of community communication create a sneaking suspicion that Bungie lacks sound leadership. Many of the employees that worked on the original Halo series have moved on from Bungie or left amidst controversy. In 2014, Martin O’Donnell, the composer of the excellent Halo and Destiny soundtrack was fired from Bungie seemingly without cause, he later sued the game developer and won a significant financial settlement. Many more of the original employees moved on to 343 Industries, which currently oversees the Halo franchise.
Bungie currently employs about 750 people, many more than the 100-200 most development teams keep during prime production. Perhaps with this many people working on a singular product, the end result becomes the muddled product that Destiny has become.
Bungie wants Destiny to become a hobby, a game that you continuously return to (and continuously spend money on, through downloadable content and the Eververse in game store).
Masterwork items reintroduce random rolls to weapons, which add more random grinding to the game. You can get Masterworks from any in game activity, so players will find the most efficient (ultimately boring) method in order to maximize drop rates. Meanwhile, Xur seeks to offer even more fast tracking to the end game gear acquisition with Three of Coins and Fated Engrams. All the while, Bungie will increase the number of Reputation Tokens you earn, and simultaneously increase the number of Reputation Tokens necessary to receive a rank up package.
None of these changes provide more incentives to play the game. At it’s core Destiny 2 lacks a fun and engaging progression system, due to constantly competing ideologies and conflicting reward systems. Why bother doing the raid when the best rewards can be obtained through quick public events? Destiny is a game designed around progression systems. Players want to feel powerful gaining new equipment by completing more and more difficult content. When the game revolves solely around Public Events and weekly participation rewards, players become bored and uninterested.
Games like Rainbow Six: Siege and Halo 5: Guardians succeed because they offer great gameplay, player choice, and long term stimulating gameplay. Bungie has still not addressed community concerns over the Strike and Crucible playlist. Players can not choose which pvp mode to play, old modes like Rift and Rumble are still forgotten, and players have no way to choose which Strike to complete unless it is the weekly Nightfall.
Rainbox Six: Siege and Halo 5: Guardians primarily focus on player versus player environments. However, Halo has a robust player versus environment mode called Firefight, and Siege is planning on adding a player versus environment mode, Outbreak, next year. Destiny fails because the random weapon drop rates and lack of weapon balance create an environment that is not favorable to the player. While Crucible and Raids are fun content, the tools necessary to successfully participate are locked behind random drops rates and long grinds. Unfortunately, Bungie did not address these concerns.
We’ve also been reading some tough criticism about our lack of communication, and we agree we need to be more open.
This is not the first time Bungie has stated that they will improve their communication with the community. Actions speak louder than words, so only time will tell if they remain true to their promises. I got my money’s worth from Destiny 2, and even though I purchased the season pass I do not feel compelled to play the new expansion. Destiny 2 often leaves me tired and disappointed, two things I aim to avoid when gaming.