The original Destiny wasn’t a perfect game, but I loved it. I still love it. And, lately, I find myself wistful for it.
It’s been all over the gaming news, but Bungie has been caught in weird decision after weird decision. Instead of fixing their blunders, they seem to be doubling down on making even more, and I’m starting to feel like we are in a weird video game version of The Producers.
I won’t recap all the news, but I will say, somehow Bungie has managed to take a large amount of the goodwill from the first game and chipped away at it with Destiny 2. It started with odd decisions (e.g.: shaders, not being able to choose specific strikes or Crucible match types), then branched out to “caught in the act” situations like the XP nonsense and, now, throttling tokens during the current faction rally.
I’ve always wanted to believe the best in Bungie. I have. But after this week, I can’t in good faith play the game until things are ironed out, and not just band-aid ironed out, but actually ironed out.
I was playing with a friend and we were trying to get our faction tokens for the day. We would open loot chests in Lost Sectors and nothing would come of it. Neither of us would get anything. We figured they were throttling tokens and, sure enough, they were. In a game all about the endgame grind, they were making it take longer on purpose.
Not respecting your players’ time doesn’t sit well with me.
My friend and I (who both love the first game dearly) were talking about how frustrated we were with the sequel. We spent hundreds of hours with the first game, many of them together. We both miss the first game. We both thought the campaign of Destiny 2 was solid, but the rest has been, well, disappointing.
We connected with a friend and decided to do the prestige nightfall (so I could finally get the trophy they each had for doing it already). It took us a few tries (one of them got booted in the last few minutes due to their router restarting suddenly), but we finally succeeded. I was waiting for the trophy to pop; it never did. I went and looked in my trophy list and there it was…but it had been changed. It was no longer for completing either the prestige nightfall or raid; now it was solely for completing the prestige raid.
I’m not a trophy hunter by any means, but I got frustrated.
It made me think about Destiny 2 as a whole. It’s like Bungie seemingly isn’t taking into account all the things they learned from their growing pains on the first game. There are still such weird choices; why can we not choose which type of Crucible we’d like to play, specifically? That was always an option in the first game. Why can we not choose a specific strike? Again, that was an option in the first game and it has been taken away. Destiny 2 largely feels like a game with less player agency than the first. Between subclasses being drastically simplified, to making an abundance of largely similar shaders that cost in-game currency to use piecemeal, I see so many issues I don’t even know what to think.
That same night my friends and I were playing, I went to turn in some weapon parts to Banshee. I am at the level cap of 335. As I turned in the 40 parts, I hovered over the engram and it showed 330 which would be the correct light. When I picked up the engram, the weapon came out to 326. It happened more than once. My powerful engrams for the week also came out well below what they should.
How are these things still happening? The more I think about it, the less I feel Bungie respects the player’s time. Time is all we have. It’s the most precious commodity. Why they feel their player base will stand for such antics is beyond me.
I don’t know what they are thinking. I really don’t. But I hope they try harder. The moment to moment gameplay in Destiny 2 is as solid as ever; it’s the rest of the game that seems to be crumbling under scrutiny.
Until some real changes are made, and as much as it really disappoints me to say this, I can’t in good faith keep playing. Especially with so many other games to play, it seems ludicrous for me to keep dumping hours in with the bevy of issues on hand and new ones popping up all the time.
With that I ask: what will you be playing this weekend?
I am hoping to get to some co-op silliness as well as continuing my Borderlands 2 run with a friend. I’d like to try to complete What Remains of Edith Finch without hurling, and I’d also love to get back to Dead Rising 4. I sputtered out and I’m hoping to find my groove.
Please be safe out there, friends. Cheers.