When you read about Destiny 2 as of late, the headlines are pretty similar. They all are stating that Destiny 2 is in a tough place. If you ask the fanbase, they’re pretty aware of the state it’s in and they’ve been extremely vocal about its current situation. One of their biggest concerns just happens to be the companies over-reliance of microtransactions and forcing them down the communities throats.
The biggest sign of this was during the games winter event called “The Dawning,” which saw much of its limited time cosmetic items locked behind microtransactions, locking much of its content behind real money transactions. This topic for discussion even caught the eyes of one Wall Street Analyst during his letter called “Destiny 2 Isn’t in a Good Place”.
But if you ask many Destiny 2 fans, microtransactions are just a minor concern of theirs. Their concerns lie elsewhere. So let’s take a look at just what is wrong with the game and why Destiny 2 will continue to struggle until these problems are approached with a sense of urgency.
Bring back endgame content
One of the biggest problems that Destiny 2 has, according to many of its fans, is the lack of endgame content. Content that sets itself apart from the rest of the game, offering players a reason to grind, to work hard for the equipment they need and ultimately push themselves further than ever before.
Sadly, Destiny 2 is heavily lacking this. Strikes, the raids, and even Trials of the Nine feel rather lackluster compared to what Destiny had in years two and three. Those two years in ushered in major changes across the game and are still considered two of Destiny‘s biggest improvements since the first title launched.
While endgame gear was certainly removed, the raids themselves offered a heavy emphasis on their importance for exotics, raid quests and even a sense of completion once finished. Even then, raid sets were still viable items. They influenced some of the games core mechanics such as more damage to Hive, increasing damage to the Fallen.
Some items were even exclusive to raids such as the fan-favorited Vex Mythoclast. Even the Touch of Malice was noted as a fan-favorite weapon due to its influence over the King’s Fall raid within the Taken King DLC.
Sadly, this isn’t the case in Destiny 2. Nothing feels worthwhile, nothing feels as if it has any form of depth to it. Unfortunately for Bungie, this is part of why fans are turning back to Destiny or walking away altogether. In order to keep fans coming back, Bungie will need to consider several things:
- Bring back endgame content altogether.
- Make it so that the only way to hit max light level/power level is by completing the raids and Trials of the Nine.
- Factions need to be a part of the core experience, offering high-end gear for completing high-end tasks.
But surprisingly enough, the last one is quite possibly the biggest one. Factions serve little to no purpose outside of the current Faction Rally’s and those rarely take place within the game itself. They only happen once per season and with little insight as to when they’ll return outside of small announcements near when the event will begin.
We don’t even see a specified person offering unique rewards for venturing into the raids nor do we see a clear purpose behind the vendor or vendors rather. In short, make the game hard again. Make it so that players are pushing for the hardest content within the game. Make it so that they have a legitimate challenge ahead of them. Make it so players want to farm, they want to work together and lastly, make it so that randomized perks on weapons and armor returns.
Randomize Weapon and Armor Perks
When you look at weapons in Destiny and compare them to Destiny 2, they feel almost identical across the board. Very few of them feel as if they have a unique identity or quality to them. While appearances are truly something to enjoy, stats are something even more appealing and that’s where randomized stats played a role.
Even with a recent change and the addition to Masterwork weapons, they aren’t at all what players requested and they are just a nice little item to hunt for as they offer to kill counters when highlighted within the inventory. If this what Bungie thought players wanted when they said they wanted randomized stats and bonuses back on their weapons, it’s pretty clear Bungie wasn’t listening.
But the same can be said about armor. The grind that players liked was seeing randomized perks across the board. Some armor’s included the ability to regenerate health upon picking up an orb while others offered health regeneration after killing an enemy. Sadly, this isn’t the case in Destiny 2. There are no variations in perks across armors of the same type nor are there perks of any type outside of putting mods into your gear.
While this idea is admirable, it’s not something that really brings any form of grind into the game. Instead, it takes out the grind and implements it with something less immersive, less enjoyable and ultimately takes away from the level of intrigue players may have with the game.
Guardians want a story that matters
One of the best things to come out of Destiny in its final two years is the fact it gave us a story that matters. The stories were well thought out and fans were still talking about them even upon completing what they had to tell us. They wanted to know more and they have even yet to see some of the stories from previous events receive a proper ending.
Many players to this day still question what happened to the Mara Sov, the Awoken Queen. Many of them still want a chance to see a well-defined story, one with little to no questions left to be asked before the next major event takes place. This is where Destiny 2 stumbles and unfortunately falls flat.
The story isn’t memorable. It’s not something you’re going to be talking about ten years from now. Not in its current state anyway. Many have even stated that the story is bland, it’s short, it has no weight to it. It feels as if the story was forced, pushed along as quickly as it could be in order to take players to the games post-story content.
Unfortunately, the pacing is off, it made the story feel less memorable than that of Destiny, which was just as long, if not longer thanks to its use of raid themed story content and strikes. If Bungie wants to improve Destiny 2‘s quality of life, story will be a big place to start and it’s going to be one of the biggest things players will scrutinize as future content gets released in the upcoming weeks, months and even years.
Sizable DLC content comparable to that of The Taken King or Rise of Iron as part of the season pass
When you think of a season pass, you think of a decent amount of content for the amount you paid. You imagine getting an extensive amount of content, things ranging from new raids, new planets, new vendors, weapons, sparrows, etc. While this was present Destiny 2, it wasn’t something worth taking notice of in any positive way. Instead, we’re getting the same treatment fans did last time they introduced DLC’s.
The first DLC in Destiny 2 had almost no weight to it. It was merely full of “fluff” if you will. The first set of quests were quite enjoyable, unique and challenging as one would expect. The new faction “Disciples of Osiris” would become a seemingly new group of people to enjoy, but sadly, there wasn’t much to enjoy about these guys. They brought little to the table outside of a few unique armors, weapons and side-quests.
Sadly, Mercury itself was less astonishing. Unlike the EDZ on Earth or planets such as Titan or Io, Mercury is barren. It brings little to the table in the sense of sizable content. There’s nothing to explore, there’s nothing to enjoy and sadly, there’s very little to even be excited about when it comes to a planet that was filled with potential.
The best example of sizable content and a solid offering is much like what The Taken King and The Rise of Iron had to offer. While both were expansions, they still demonstrated the type of content fans of the game want. They want content that is worth the value they’ve paid. They want content that brings extensive amounts of gameplay to them. They want, more than anything, content that actually matters.
They want content that feels suited towards a games longevity and content that feels as if it matters no matter how many times they play it through. This includes things such as daily bounties for both PvE and PvP versus weekly goals. They don’t stick and they feel more like a chore than they do as an added part of the game.
Do away with the Faction Rally events. Bring factions back as part of the core experience.
Much as the idea of the Faction Rally events may appeal to many, there’s a lot of problems here and a lot of it has to do with the fact that the rally itself isn’t long enough for fans to really enjoy. Instead, it’s a short week or so that fans get to take on the role of assisting one of their favorite factions and doing so as much as humanly possible.
Sadly, this is problematic for a multitude of reasons. Many of the ones that have been pointed out such as the content not being enjoyable in any manner, secondly, no one wants to grind public events or strikes day in and day out. While Crucible matches are an alternative, it still just isn’t enough. There’s not enough volume here and unfortunately, it doesn’t play in favor of Destiny 2 in any shape or form.
What needs to be done here to fix this? Bring the faction’s back the way they were. Allow Destiny 2 fans a chance to work with their factions, allow them to do daily bounties, allow them to turn in quest specific items they may obtain from their faction leaders. Make factions feel like they matter, not a last second effort in order to make some form of interesting content. It’s, as stated, more of a chore than it is an enjoyable part of the Destiny experience.
Expand the size of the fireteams
While this one sounds a bit off a demand more than it does as a fix, Destiny 2‘s problems don’t stop at its shortcomings. Truth be told, Destiny 2‘s weirdest problem is the three-man squads. It’s rare that you see party chats on PSN or even Xbox Live with 2-3 people. Instead, you are seeing groups of 4-6 people on average when it comes to people playing the game.
While Destiny has counteracted this in some way with PvP, the Leviathan Raid or Iron Banner, it still leaves out the rest of the game. Fireteams of three are all that can enter most of the events within the game ranging from Strikes to free roam content such as Public Events. While this sounds like a minor complaint, there are still a few people out there irritated by this and they do feel that it’s time for the size of the base fireteam to grow.
In many ways, Bungie has already begun to acknowledge player frustration and its declining player base. While the game isn’t exactly hurting for active players, it certainly isn’t doing great for active players either. It still feels like it’s lacking in many ways. While the story itself was quite enjoyable, there are still players becoming bored with the content that has already been made available.
Even now, it seems Destiny 2 is less enjoyable to many compared to Destiny, which had a lot to offer within its first two years. Even with the questionable approach to DLC and Expansions via the first games season pass, Destiny became one of the best titles on the market and is still played by a dedicated group of players. Even now, you’d be hard-pressed to find an empty social space within The Tower. It’s always busy, it’s always alive, and players aren’t shy about showing their appreciation for the game.
For now, Bungie has their work cut out for them and even then, what they do have cut out for them, may not be enough for them to accomplish before the game begins to hemorrhage its dedicated player base.
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.