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.
It took me until now to realize I haven’t done a Game Spotlight on the game that I’ve easily sunk the most time into ever. Minecraft is following behind it, but that’s also because I used that game as a chat tool too, Destiny on the other hand I’ve PLAYED for a ton of time. Checking the Destiny app, I’ve played a total of 615 hours on the PS4 which adding another estimated 300 hours from Xbox 360 when the first game came out brings the total to somewhere around 900 hours. That’s crazy for me, considering how easily I get bored of playing a game for more than 50 hours, very few games ever make that 100 hour mark. But Destiny is one of those games that keep me going.
Obviously the grind is a major part of that, there’s always something to go after. The only point I ever put the game down was actually recently from late February to early April, the newest update making the House of Wolves relevant again bringing me back in and giving me stuff to work towards once again. When you start out in Destiny, there is a plethora of things for you to do, only increasing with the more content that’s been getting added on. You have levels to gain, weapons and armor to find, materials to gather, collectible shaders (skins), ships and so much more, there’s almost always something to do in Destiny. And if not, there’s always the Crucible for some good PvP action.
Speaking of the Crucible, it’s always been a mixed bag for me. I was really bad at it for the longest time, having a really hard time adjusting to the Bungie-style of PvP, as I always have had problems being decent at HALO multiplayer as well, it’s a style of battle I’m not very strong add. I’m not an aggressive player and Bungie multiplayer games usually demand that. But when you play a game for over 500 hours, eventually you’ve gotta learn something. I’ve always been a good shot, it was just a matter of finding the right combination of weapons and skills to suit my style and I’ve recently found it, even having Iron Banner (special week-long PvP event) matches where my K:D ratio was above 10.0! For me that was unheard of, but it was a matter of having great teammates and a setup that just worked perfectly for me. Since then I’ve started really finding my stride, though I still don’t play Crucible a ton, my focus being on the PvE aspects of the game.
And to me that’s where Destiny shines. There’s just so much to do in PvE, especially counting all the expansion packs. Granted at launch, the game could’ve had a little more, but given the amount of grinding you could do, there was enough going on to keep you busy for the time being. The missions in the early going were more just first-person shooter simulator kind of missions, but with the more recent The Taken King expansion really brought Bungie’s best in terms of mission creation, some memorable ones like Lost to Light in there that really prove the game is more than just a shooting simulator.
Of course, you can’t talk about the PvE without the Strikes and Raids in the game. The strikes, minus one or two annoyingly drawn out ones (*cough cough* Omnigul…) are fantastic difficult, but fair missions that are intense and full of waves of enemies you can blow the heads off of. The raids however, are their own beasts, massively difficult multi-hour (except for Crota’s End) missions full of boss fights, puzzles and the requirement of actually having teamwork in a group on an online console video game. Imagine that. Granted, the newest raid, King’s Fall has a problem in my opinion with the Daughters boss fight being more RNG than strategy and makes a lot of raid parties take a lot longer than they should have to for the raid. But the experience large in part is fantastic for me, for one big reason:
The social aspect. If there’s anything I’ve loved about Destiny it’s been having a ton of fun playing the game and having a ton of laughs and great conversations with the various friends I’ve made over the game’s lifespan. Grinding things out, a conversation is fantastic to make it less dull and boring. Raid party, great to have a good time tossing jokes left and right as we struggle to defeat a really tough boss fight. There’s nothing better to me than having a fantastic raid party and we’re laughing our asses off while watching a newbie to the raid learn the jumping puzzles for the first time. It’s always a great experience for everyone, I don’t get the people who have to be super-serious and call everything out, this is so much more fun.
Destiny is a great MMO with some of the best shooting mechanics (didn’t even mention that in all this ’till now) with so much to do and so much to shoot for, both literally and metaphorically. It’s also a great social experience when you find the right people to play with, which is an absolute must for a game you’re sinking hours upon hours into over time.
My only complaint…Eris gave me fucking raisins instead of candy at the Festival of the Lost.
How many major AAA games do you know of that will consistently make changes/additions to their game based on what the fans suggest and ask for?
I recall months ago people talking on the Destiny subreddit and other places about how cool it would be to have Sparrow racing in the game. After all, we spend a ton of time on our Sparrows during our many patrols going from place to place, but that’s really all it’s for, just traveling. Why not have another use for them?
So Bungie decided to implement (for free) a multi-week event featuring just that, the Sparrow Racing League or SRL.
Yet people are still complaining about it.
There’s only two maps, one on Venus, one on Mars. And that is a little odd, you almost figure there should have been 4 maps for each major planet we visit (I doubt Oryx would let us use his Dreadnaught) to the point Earth and the Moon would also have a track. My only complaint, this was a great opportunity for us to see what the city below the Tower looks like.
The physics are a little wonky. Well Sparrow physics have always been a little odd. The only issue I’m really having is once in a while my Sparrow will randomly dead-stop, not hitting anything or letting go of the L2. And I tested that on two controllers, both times it’s happened.
You certainly can’t complain about the rewards, legendary marks are becoming farm-able with this mode. Also you can complete Crucible bounties and even the Jolly Holiday bounty where you get renown while having The Last Word equipped. I needed a glitch like this, as I’m terrible at Crucible.
Honestly, if anything bothers people about the SRL content, just remember one thing: we didn’t have to pay a dime for it!
And that’s pretty damn sweet. We got something we asked for and it wasn’t taking another $10-20 out of our pockets.