So What’s The Problem?
Strikes — Only five on Xbox and six on Playstation — no longer with any Heroic versions with random modifiers for those that have powerful characters able to do them. Meaning they are not a particularly worthwhile pastime in the current game.
Nightfall — A weekly high level strike that rotates, with added modifiers and increased power enemies, supposedly the ultimate challenge for strikes, except there are 2 versions of it. Prestige is for players that have reached a power level of 300 only, but there is also a much lower version, which again seems designed for more casual players and gives out exactly the same rewards. Why would you run the hard version when you get the same rewards for running the easy one? There is very little incentive to run the prestige version at the moment.
Weapon and armor variation — one of the great things about Destiny was the random rolls on armor and weapons, which then enabled players to “grind” for god rolls on both, this alone probably kept the majority of hardcore gamers happy in the original. These have been removed to seemingly avoid locking casual gamers out of high level content and create a greater balance in the PvP arena. The issue is that without god tiered weapons and armor to strive for, there is little point in playing the game once you hit maximum level and already have a few things you like to use.
General nerf of powerful gear — There were combinations at certain times in Destiny that made you feel godly against the AI enemies, this was one of the most fun aspects of the game. This has been reduced dramatically in Destiny 2, therefore nullifying the chase to get these god tier pieces of gear. A good example of this was a sniper rifle in destiny called ‘Icebreaker’ the perks on the gun meant that it automatically regenerated its own ammo and enemies killed with it would explode into a fireball which could damage other enemies. The equivalents in Destiny 2 simply don’t cut the mustard in terms of fun overpowered weapons. In Destiny these items were so powerful you would play the game repeatedly for hours on end for a small chance at getting your hands on the prize. In Destiny 2 there don’t seem to be many items like this to strive for, meaning less reason to run content repeatedly to find them. A problem to be sure.
Raid — The ultimate test for six usually high-leveled guardians to work co0peratively to conquer a lengthy Raid, the hook, was that the gear available from this activity was normally the best gear you could get, and would make further Raid runs easier once acquired. Well, for a start it’s far too easy compared to the Raids of the original. It’s a steep learning curve, but once you learn the mechanics the skill level required to complete this Raid is negligible. Even worse, all previous Raids would provide those god tier pieces of gear — Gear that you would want to run Raids once per character per week for the chances of finally getting your hands on.
Apart from one or two guns that are desirable, there is really nothing here to excite players enough to run the Raid as often. Even perks which can only be utilised in the Raid itself (Which they had in Destiny) would make it worthwhile. Alas after running it one to two times, there is very little reason to do it again. The armor I can get from repeated Raid runs, is no better than the armor I can get from running very low end content. I assume they don’t want players to be excluded from the Raid who have not managed to get their hands on the higher gear. This is especially important with regards to the Prestige Raid, which after a delay is due to release on October 18.
Previous Raids would have a higher power level set for hard mode raid, and normally you’d have to get the gear from normal mode to have any chance of beating the ‘hard mode’ which would then offer even better gear for completion. In Destiny 2 the hard mode raid requires a higher power level to enter, but that is still no higher than activities which exists at the moment and the gear is basically the same as normal mode with some small cosmetic changes only, or so data mining tells us. Begging the question, why would people run the hard version when they can run the easy one for the same results?
Power Level — It has been very easy to get three characters to maximum power level. In fact, I have all three character classes at the maximum 305 level already. The problem is not really how easy it was to get there, it’s more that there is very little point in ever doing so.
The Raid doesn’t require a massively high level and neither does the Nightfall unless you run the pointless prestige mode. Not only that but the way your level matters to game content is far less dramatic than it was in Destiny. I could be a maximum level 305 character standing fighting with a 200 team mate and we will output exactly the same damage and take the same amount of damage as a result, so what’s the point? Where is the benefit in me spending my time getting to maximum level when there are only 2 things which require a power level of 300, neither of which are actually worth running as they don’t provide any better gear?
PvP — It seems like Bungie have real goals to turn their PvP game mode into an E-sport when it comes to PC finally this month. The game will run faster and use Blizzard’s (Makers of the insanely popular games Overwatch, World of Warcraft, and many more) servers for connections. But it’s never going to happen as the game has already developed into a fairly boring stand-off game played at distance with long range weapons. And if Bungie have sacrificed their PvE content to try and become an E-sport, then I think they have made a terrible mistake, sorry but the PvP was never that well designed in the first place and it’s a long way from the games that appear on the competitive E-sports scene and that’s not even in the technical stakes which again are lacking for E-sports.
Subclasses — less variation and choice in each subclass for each type of character, and a definite scaling back of abilities. Hunter Nighstalkers can no longer tether big bosses for the team to get increased damage. A Titan’s Defensive bubble now has no perks which make it a worthwhile choice for high end gaming. The Warlock solar ability, which admittedly needed to be changed as it was the way to solo many activities you were not supposed to in Destiny, has been traded in for a pointless and boring attacking subclass, that no one uses much, because the other subclasses are always a better option.
Gun Categories — In Destiny the PvE balance was great, you had Primary guns (Auto rifles, Scout rifles, Pulse Rifles, Hand Cannons), Secondary guns (Snipers, Pistols, Fusion rifles, Shotguns) and Heavy guns (Rockets, Special Fusions, Swords, Light Machine Guns). In Destiny 2 these have been changed to Primary (any gun not in Heavy slot with kinetic damage) Energy (any gun not in Heavy with elemental Damage) and Power Weapons, which now house Snipers, Fusions, Shotguns, Rockets, Grenade Launchers and Swords.
Now the issue here is best summarized with sniper rifles, they were gloriously good to use in Destiny and they have been marginalized to be of no use at all in Destiny 2 by placing them in the power slot. Snipers simply do not do enough damage to be useful as a power weapon. With fusion rifles and shotguns it’s easier to fix, fusions are fine as they have been changed and have increased damage, in fact they are far better in Destiny 2 so far. Shotguns are almost there, but they need a damage buff to make them considered above other options. Snipers can’t really have a damage buff without making them too powerful, the only solution is to place them back into special/energy slot.
However, this won’t be done because of the PvP balance, because snipers are indeed in the right place for PvP to stop people from using only snipers in every game. Again the PvE game suffers for PvP balance. The less said about grenade launchers the better, they are the most useless gun in the game and for some reason they have created a grenade launcher which goes into the secondary slot called The Fighting Lion, it’s an exotic gun and yet is probably the single most useless gun to have appeared in Destiny yet, was it a joke gun, because it cannot surely be serious? The chase for powerful weapons is simply non-existent and invariably people will be using the same two or three guns in each category, guns they managed to discover within the first week of playing the game.
It’s fair to say that the gamers that played Destiny more than any other game for the last three years are left a little bewildered at the approach Bungie have taken, which seems to direct everything towards the casual gamers who don’t play the game very often and E-sports on a platform they previously never supported.
Below is a video describing the issues as gamers see them from one of Destiny’s most popular You Tube streamers Datto, which echo many of my own thoughts.
The Road Ahead
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