In Retrospect, Perhaps Destiny 2 Should’ve Been An Expansion

About 150 hours into Destiny 2, I have made the conscious decision to put it down and await the first expansion for the game (Curse of Osiris on December 5th)  and honestly, I think that’s okay. Unlike a good chunk of Destiny 2 players, I’m not upset over the idea of putting the game down temporarily, I’m not mad that I’m not devoting all of my gaming time to a single game. It has its advantages, y’know. I’ve gotten to play games that have been sitting on my shelf for ages, hell I’m rediscovering Final Fantasy XII and loving it more than I did when I first played it at age 18. I’m more than okay with not playing Destiny 2 for a little while and I think others need to be as well.

But aside from that, now that I’ve stepped away from the game temporarily and I’ve had the chance to look back at my time with the 150 hours I’ve played of the game so far, I’ve come to a concept that maybe could’ve quelled some of the unrest within the Destiny community:

Maybe, just maybe Destiny 2 would’ve been better off as the next expansion for Destiny.

Now yes, I know this means that this would’ve had to change years of planning and development for Bungie and obviously we cannot correct time in this way. But taking a hypothetical look at things, it really seems to me that Destiny 2 isn’t necessarily a bad game, it just suffers from not being enough in comparison to the game players left to play this new entry in the series. When you take Destiny and Destiny 2, there’s just no comparison, there is already so much more established in the original Destiny that there was no conceivable way that Destiny 2 could have had the same amount of content. Obviously once all the expansions are out, then we’ll be tied, or maybe Destiny 2 will have even more content, who knows. But as of right now, there’s no question that Destiny 2 not only did not but it could not reach the expectations people had for it.

This is why I believe that Destiny 2 should have been an expansion, this game just didn’t offer enough to justify an entire new game, especially one that would erase years and for many, thousands of hours of play. I think that Bungie should have seen what they had and understood that it just wasn’t going to be enough. But like I said, we can’t change years of planning and development, so everything I say from here on out will be purely hypothetical.

So let’s say Bungie halfway into development of Destiny 2, they realized this just wasn’t working out as they hoped and decide to use this as the next expansion of Destiny and start anew on a much bigger game that would become the true Destiny 2. Because let’s be honest, to justify making us spend a whole new set of $60+ on a new game in the series, Destiny 2 needed at least another 25% worth of extra content and even then, I think that would just be barely passable at that point. So Destiny 2 is now back to the drawing board and what’s being finished is now Destiny: The Red Legion, the next expansion pack.

Imagine the start of the game once again, flying back to the Tower after the Red Legion’s attack. You arrive on the scene, and as you are about to get your gear and get moving, your ship is shot down and disappears, all of your gear being lost. You grab a pistol on the ground and now the first mission starts once again.

A major thing I would’ve changed in this game, is remove all the D1 exotics that were brought back to Destiny 2 from the loot table, until the end of the story and you arrive on the “new” Tower for the first time. You go through the entire story using all new gear, learning about all the new weapons and armor, finding new ones that you really like. You defeat the final boss in Ghaul and you arrive at the Tower. You get word from Amanda Holliday that they managed to recover something while they were setting up the new home for the Vanguard, bringing you down to the hangar where you find the wreckage of your ship that had crashed during the first mission. And after your biggest triumph, you’re given the ultimate gift: all your gear back.

By this point, you’ve been forced to try out the majority of the new gear, legendary and exotic. You are now getting set for the new raid with a new outlook on the game and perhaps a new loadout, instead of the same few loadouts you always had up until this point. The problem I’ve always found with Destiny’s expansions, is that you don’t spend a lot of time with the newer gear, because you read them all and only think a couple are actually good, but never really give the others a shot. At least here, you would’ve been forced to at least give some of these weapons a shot.

I think it’s obvious that Destiny 2 suffers because when people play a game for as long as many played the original Destiny for, it cannot create the same positive reaction as Destiny 1 did at first. Destiny was a new project, it was a breath of fresh air, something we (mostly) hadn’t seen before. You’ll obviously stick around with something new, it’s harder to justify spending so much time with something you’ve done before, especially if you’ve done everything there is to do. Grinding in Destiny 2 just isn’t as easy to accept, regardless of thinks like weapons not having unique rolls, leveling up guns and armor and stuff like that. I don’t enjoy the grind of Destiny 2 because the game is bad, but because I’ve done it already before.

Personally, I think until Bungie had a large new world to go through, Destiny 2 should’ve never existed. Blowing up the Tower isn’t enough to justify a whole new game. Games like World of Warcraft don’t have completely brand new games that erase everything, they just keep adding onto the world that we have played in for such a long time. Destiny 2 should have been an addition, an expansion, because there just wasn’t enough change and enough content to give the average member of the community reason to be okay with losing all that time spent in the first game.

Lastly, I’ll go an even more extreme route. If we were truly going to have a Destiny 2, a new game, then when Ghaul kicks our Ghost and Guardian off his ship, presumably to our deaths…we actually die. To justify the loss of all our gear that we accrued over years of the original Destiny, we should’ve started with a brand new Guardian, not our same character (who we still give a new face, hair, even race anyway!) that we ran with for so long.

That way, it justified everything being gone, because we aren’t continuing our journey, we’re starting a new one.

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