The Road Ahead
It’s always worth reiterating what I said at the start though, that unlike film, after release, video games can be changed based on feedback. Destiny was improved immeasurably throughout its three-year lifecycle. So fans were willing to wait, thinking that maybe this is just the early game and Bungie will start adapting more to end game content soon, once they have the casual players hooked? We knew we were getting a prestige version of the Raid soon along with the likely return of Iron Banner which unlike other Crucible PvP modes factors in your power level and normally offers very unique gear.
Last week Bungie released their weekly feature called This Week at Bungie or TWAB for short, where they talk with the community playing their game. Click the link below if you want to see the full article
They announced prestige mode Raid arriving on Tuesday October 10th along with Iron Banner PvP arriving later in the Month. As it stands the prestige Raid has been delayed by a week to October 18, and Iron Banner has arrived as of Tuesday October 10. The problem for many fans now, is that they are not raising the power level cap it seems for the prestige Raid, and the rewards from the Prestige mode Raid seem as boring as those from the normal mode. It’s just harder it seems, to provide a small bit of challenge for gamers that are interested in doing all the content the game has to offer.
Not only that, but they announced that Iron Banner will no longer have anything to do with your power level. Again, this seems to be a move to try and not exclude the casual gamers that haven’t gotten to a very high level yet, and totally defeats the purpose for what Iron Banner was famous for. It’s basically now standard PvP content with some shiny looking new armor which doesn’t actually have any gameplay effect. I played a few games, cashed in a few tokens and got pretty much all the guns on offer, which are just re-skins of already existing guns and a couple armor pieces, which while looking pretty cool, have no perks which differentiate them from the gear I can get running low-level activities. After one evening I have no desire to run it again this week!
Finally, and seemingly in response to peoples criticisms of lack of End Game content, the Community Manager essentially told people that have run out of content that the important thing was to make new friends and have fun repeating old content to help them…or that’s the way people wrongly took it.
Someone posed this statement to Datto the same YouTube streamer in the video above and here was his response to Community Manager Deej.
As said in that link by the pro gamer this may have not been the intention of the Community Manager to imply that the End Game of Destiny 2 was making friends, but a Community Manager should really be thinking about the responses they post and the current trends being discussed by the community they are supposed to represent. Bungie could do with talking more to their community and explaining their decisions for good or bad instead of hiding behind a wall of silence, and this really didn’t help.
The problem Bungie have I think in catering to the more casual gamer is a simple one, they are casual gamers, they will move away to play other games on release, especially at this time of year when many big franchises release their yearly instalments. When they are gone, it is only the hard-core player left, and those gamers are currently switching games in their droves. A few weeks ago I was seeing my online friend list almost entirely playing Destiny 2. Some of those are casuals and some of them are far more hardcore gamers than I am, but they are all playing far less and moving onto other games, casuals because they always would anyway and the hard-core because there is nothing left for them to do and they feel disappointed.
Destiny 2 is at a crossroads and I am not sure Bungie are properly equipped to deal with it, they seem to have set their stall on this casual gaming focus to the point that changes would be dramatic and lengthy in their implementation. Can Destiny 2 survive for three years like the first game did? Many of my friends and (almost) myself included have basically run out of things to play for. Sure those top reviews have helped Bungie generate great sales for the game, and that might be the most important thing for the company… right now! What happens however for the development of a Destiny 3 if the player base that made the game so great has all left to go elsewhere. Not to mention the planned “paid for” DLC content they have for release over the next two to three years. Most of my friends bought the season pass for the next two pieces of DLC and I think we may all be regretting buying it on the strength of the first game at this point.
Bungie needs to decide what kind of game they want to be. Bungie needs to seriously think about finally separating their PvE and PvP content to make the PvE content their main focus and allow you to be more powerful, whilst also maintaining a sort of balance in the PvP arena. Bungie really needs to provide gear that is overpowered in order to make the search for that gear part of the fun of the game. Bungie needs to create two mod slots for armour and weapons and introduce rarer and more powerful modifications to make there be a goal to aim for in becoming more powerful. Bungie needs to bring back the fun of the first game and if imbalance is the result of that, then so be it, we play games for fun, if they are not fun, people stop playing.
In closing, Bungie needs to completely rethink the way they are going with this game and fast, because if they make the changes too far on, the casuals will be playing something else and the hardcore will have found a new distraction to keep them entertained. The result could leave Destiny 2 as empty as my guns in the final Raid boss fight. So far the feeling is that Bungie is staying quiet because they feel the community is being unreasonable.
Certainly there is some of that self-entitlement creeping in where people want the game to be catered for them and them alone. This happens in every big game, we all play differently and have different opinions. The fact remains that out of all the friends I made playing Destiny, only a handful are still playing Destiny 2 one month into release and the majority that are still playing were late starting or simply further behind in progression to most of us. Ultimately, right now Destiny 2 is literally half the game Destiny was, despite having much larger worlds and more resources and story. It’s not as fun and it’s not as addictive. I am skipping a ton of detail here which probably wouldn’t help any readers who are new to the game, but for those Guardians in the know I leave all this with a simple request.
Bungie…Please? And don’t increase End Game content by 0.04%!
What do you think? Any fellow Guardians out there like me who have strong opinions on the new game, I’d love to hear from you in the comments down below as always, whether you agree or disagree with my views. And hopefully more press coverage of the issues facing Bungie may influence them to rethink their approach.
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The Road Ahead
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