Destiny 2 is a fine video game. Destiny 2 is not a fine Destiny game, yet. Destiny 2 launched with plenty of content for $60. Most people would easily find 20-40 hours of entertainment from the base package of Destiny 2. It is difficult to compare the current state of Destiny 2 to its predecessor and not be disappointed. Destiny 1 (D1) had 3 years of patches and DLC making the comparison in someways unrealistic. In many ways Destiny 2 has been a let down for the hardcore fanbase from D1. I understand everyone’s frustrations. At the end of the day I think Bungie was trying to improve on their product, which is better than not trying. Changes (D1 to D2) to Crucible, weapon slots, and the loot pool are the root of the problem resulting in a lackluster endgame for dedicated Destiny players.

Most of the frustration with Destiny 2 has stemmed from Bungie’s communication with its player base, or lack of. Sorry Bungie but after almost 4 years this has gone from a long distance relationship to a marriage. To Bungie’s credit they’ve recently been communicating better in the form of blog posts, development road maps, and even recently held a summit with a bunch of well known influencers/gamers in the Destiny community. I’m not trying to defend Bungie or Destiny 2. I don’t feel like I was cheated out of money, just a little dumbfounded at some of the changes they made. Bashing Bungie or calling their game shit (its not) isn’t a constructive way to reach what I think everyone’s goal is, for the Destiny franchise to achieve its true maximum potential.

Illustration: Jaime Jones (https://kotaku.https://www.artpad.org/com/the-art-of-bungies-destiny-2-1818642231)

Go Fast[(er)est]?

The recent patch, Go Fast, was certainly a good step in the right direction. They buffed some guns, made a few tweaks to the Crucible, switched up the Nightfall, and enhanced some gameplay features that have been holding Destiny 2 back since launch. You can find the changes here. Go Fast brought small quality of light life changes to D2 that probably should have been addressed much sooner. There is no rule or law saying that a developer has to support their game after launch or even listen to their fan base.

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It all comes down to what kind of product do they want to sell or put the Bungie branding on. Everyone knows it’s hard to admit when you’ve made a mistake. Bungie might be an old school developer but recently they’ve been doing a decent job of adapting to the way gamers now consume content. If you asked me this same questions three months ago I would of said “Hellll No, Bungie is gonna do what they wanna!”. All of the recent open communication and patches are Bungie’s way of saying we may have made a few mistakes or misjudged our player base’s desires. Congratulations Internet you won.

Illustration: Dorje Bellbrook (https://www.artstation.com/dorje)

Expansion Time

I’m looking forward to the new expansion, Warmind, dropping on May 8th. I was terribly let down by the Curse of Osiris expansion, I think it may actually be worst piece of paid Destiny content Bungie has ever put out. As a side note, I was totally fine with the Crota Raid in D1 when it launched, I just hosted groups that refused to cheese the Raid encounters. I don’t think we can expect much more content than what was in Osiris for the newest expansion.

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My biggest disappointment with the expansions for Destiny 2 is the exclusion of new Raids. Raids are the most unique activity for Destiny and what really got me hooked with D1. They replaced Raids with what they are dubbing Raid Lairs. Lairs act as add ons to an existing Raid. Lair’s are much shorter, lasting roughly 30-60 minutes. Raids generally last 90-120 minutes.

Illustration: Ryan Gitter (https://www.artstation.com/ryan_gitter)

Warmind Expansion

I always get excited about new Destiny content, even Sparrow Racing League (which was short lived). Sorry I’m a big sucker. Bungie is deploying a new paid expansion in Warmind which will feature content locked behind a paywall. Is Warmind worth the price of admission? Couldn’t tell you, yet. Along with Warmind on May 8th Destiny 2 will also launch season 3 which will bring with it a huge patch to address some of the issues surrounding Destiny 2’s endgame.

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What we didn’t get with the Trials of Osiris expansion was a huge update to the sandbox of Destiny 2 like we are getting with Warmind. This is one of the main reasons I’m optimistic for launch of Warmind. Go Fast offered minimal improvements on basic gameplay for Destiny 2 and I can already feel the difference in a positive light. They’ve also implemented 6v6 in some Crucible modes, I played some 6v6 Iron Banner last night and boy did I have a great time.

Illustration: Sung Choi (https://www.artstation.com/sungchoi)

What I’m[{(you)we}Guardians] are Paying for?

  • New Story missions - I’ve always been just ok with the story missions for Destiny, it’s not why I play Destiny. The story is centered around Rasputin (The “Warmind”) which is an AI from D1. He (They) She likes opera and is apparently in trouble. They’ll be introducing a new character named Ana Bray. Sorry if my Destiny lore is off.
  • New Strikes - I’m not sure how many they’re giving us but I’m always down to run some Strikes.
  • New Raid Lair Spire of Stars - This is another addition to the Leviathan Raid supposedly similar to Eater of Worlds. Eater of Worlds was brief, it looked fucking fantastic and the boss encounter was pretty cool. The unfortunate part is that’s all it was, a boss encounter with a few jumping puzzles. I’m hoping they add more to it this time around.
  • New Social Zone/Semi Patrol Zone - They will have a new location for us to touch down on in Mars. I doubt they are bringing back any part of the Mars patrol zone from D1, an area that big would be welcome. I wouldn’t expect it to be much bigger than Mercury was for the Trials of Osiris expansion. 
  • New End Game Activity/Hoard Mode Escalation Protocol - I guess you fight waves of frozen hive horde mode style. They’re calling it a mix of Court of Oryx and Prison of Elders which were activities from D1. Basically round based waves of enemies capped off with a boss encounter that would sometimes feature some light gameplay mechanics to finish. This sounds promising, it has to be challenging and rewarding for me to enjoy it. I doubt we will suddenly find D2’s loot pool to be fully rewarding with the upcoming patch, more on that later.
  • New Loot - Of course there will be new loot. I don’t know how exciting it will be with the current issues facing Destiny 2, again more later.

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Illustration: Darek Zabrocki (https://www.artstation.com/zabrocki)

What Everyone gets for Free

The great thing about the season 3 patch is that everyone gets this, regardless of if you purchase the new expansion or not. This is what Trials of Osiris was missing when it launched.

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Exotic Weapon Masterworks/Upgrades - It sounds like they are going to be offering upgrades to some Exotic weapons in the form of a masterwork upgrade. It doesn’t sound like all Exotics will be getting upgrades. Basically a masterwork catalyst will drop from specific activities or randomly depending on which Exotic you are trying to upgrade. After the catalyst drops it will then require you to complete specific goals relating to that Exotic, kill enemies, beat strike bosses etc. Each weapon will be different. On completion the Exotic weapon’s masterwork version could be a stat boost, entirely new perk, or a combination of both.

Custom Crucible Matches - You get to hold your own Crucible matches and customize them how you see fit. Apparently there was a decent tournament scene in D1, I was never aware of it. This could have a lot more meaning with the integrated clan system in Destiny 2.

New Crucible Maps - Going forward it sounds like Bungie will be releasing new Crucible maps for everyone, before they would lock them behind a paywall when an expansion came out. I think this is a good move for everyone. Splitting the player base sucks, especially in PvP.

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Illustration: Sung Choi (https://www.artstation.com/sungchoi)

Crucible Ranking - They’re gonna have two styles of rankings, one just based on how much you play and the other based on wins and losses. These rankings will allow you to also grab special Crucible gear that can only be obtained through ranking up.

Heroic Strike Modifiers - Bungie will let us add modifiers to the Heroic Strike playlist, hopefully this will allow us to make them more difficult, not easier.

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Miscellaneous - A multi emote wheel, which has sorely been needed since D1. If they wanted to sell more emotes this should have been a no brainer years ago when they introduced paid emotes. Additional Vault space, I heard we will get 50 spots. I still don’t understand why vault space has been an issue since D1.

Going Forward

I think the biggest change coming to Destiny 2 on May 8th is the Exotic masterwork system in the season 3 patch. Exotics in Destiny 2 have been lackluster at best, with the exception of a few. It’s good to see Bungie tackling a long standing issue with part of Destiny 2’s loot pool. It’s not a game changer but will give Destiny veterans an activity with promising rewards. Season 3 is also switching up how we rank up light levels, here is the article. It’s pretty in depth so check out the link if you want to know the details. I’m totally on board with the changes and think that it will have a profound impact on Destiny 2's end now and going forward.

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One of the big issues surrounding Destiny 2 hasn’t been lack of content but the rewards we have been getting for finishing activities. For someone like me I’ve already collected most of the guns in D2 making my loot drops for the past few months worthless, I never had that issue in D1. In Destiny 2 Bungie decided to take away random perks from weapons, drastically shrinking the loot pool. They also took perks completely away from armor, again shrinking the loot pool even further. The Exotic masterworks seems to be a good step towards strengthening the existing loot pool and rewarding dedicated players. After this patch hopefully they will work towards fixing the rest of the loot pool.

Giddy

I am excited enough for the new Raid Lair that I took work off and will be in the rat race for Worlds First on May 11th at 10am, which of course I will be streaming here. When the Raid Lair for Osiris launched I did the same thing and it was an awesome experience racing the Destiny community to see who can finish first. I did it for a few other Raids in D1 as well. I prefer to go in blind to these events, figure things with my fireteam, and ignore the internet. My group last time was awesome, by the time we had reached the final phase of the boss someone checked the other streams to see where everyone else was at and we were tied with most of the big groups. We got stuck on the final phase of the boss and couldn’t agree as a group on a strategy which ended up in us disbanding a few hours later. It was still a glorious failure. The race was real, the challenge was fun, and I’m looking forward to May 11th.

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Illustration: Dorje Bellbrook (https://www.artstation.com/dorje)

Invite ONLY!

I alluded to the Bungie Summit earlier where they invited a bunch of content creators and contributors to the Destiny community. Roughly 45 individuals were invited to attend the event at Bungie headquarters in Bellevue Washington. The goal of the event was to provide feedback from both sides and discuss upcoming and proposed changes to Destiny 2. I’ve read multiple accounts of what went on at the Summit. The participants signed strict NDAs that prevents them from providing any specific details on upcoming changes to the game, planned patches, etc. I got the feeling most of the attendees left feeling positive about future planned updates for Destiny 2. Most of them stressed Warmind isn’t going to be solving Destiny 2’s longstanding problems. Based on early impressions we can expect it to be similar in scope to the amount of content we got with Osiris.

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Most big issues were covered over multiple days with interactions from different members of Destiny 2's development team. I’ve read they have plans to address the following,

  • Random Gun Perks
  • Reinventing the mod system (this could be part of the random gun perks)
  • Loot Pool
  • Gun slot/load-out changes
  • TTK (time to kill) - I personally don’t see a big issue with Destiny 2’s current TTK, although I don’t play a lot of Crucible. The fixed some of this with the Go Fast update.

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I think the above are some of the biggest issues facing Destiny 2. I may have even mentioned a few of these back in my review of Destiny 2. There were other topics covered such as Eververse, Shaders, Vault Space/Weapon Collections. A consensus among the group is that long time D1 fans will have to wait for Comet, dropping this Fall for more meaningful updates to Destiny 2. Bungie has also teased they will be showcasing new mode for Destiny 2 that will impact the way everyone plays “any” FPS at E3 this year, most likely at Sony’s booth. After Warmind there is a Summer update planned that will bring a few more quality of light life changes, something to do with Exotic armor is rumored.

Illustration: Sung Choi (https://www.artstation.com/sungchoi)

My Destiny 2 Wish List (I kept it short as possible)

Weapon load-outs/slots and the loot pool have rendered a majority of Destiny 2’s loot meaningless. This is my biggest personal issue with Destiny 2. One item that I did not see addressed is the ammo economy in Destiny 2. I think this is a vastly overlooked issue that was kind of an issue in D1 but they fixed it with ammo packs. They decided to take away ammo packs entirely for D2 and even without ammo packs I still feel that the ammo drops are severely lopsided. They changed how Heavy ammo is dropped, only from tougher enemies. Ammo runs are ridiculous but still needed for Raid runs.

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My dream game mode for Destiny 2 is a weekly Nightfall Patrol Zone. I was really hoping at the launch of Destiny 2 they would include something like this. Nightfall style enemies, one drop zone, only revives (time limit) from other players otherwise you’re booted back to orbit. Randomly spawning bosses and public events. As you progress through the Nightfall patrol zone it gets harder with bosses or public events dropping keys that unlock the next part of the zone. The idea here would be to survive and make it to the end of the Patrol zone with the promise of some unique loot. You get your fireteam of 3 players as well as other randys (random players) out there.

In Closing

The Destiny franchise has brought me some of the most amazing gaming experiences ever. I’ve had great experiences solo, with friends, and with complete strangers. It is still a truly unique gaming experience and innovative approach to a multitude of video game genres. Some people bashing Destiny probably have never player it and some people bashing it might just be frustrated. Right now its “cool” to hate on Destiny and Call of Duty loves it.

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Towards the end of Destiny 1 most players were satisfied with the product. Destiny 1 took longer than everyone anticipated but ended up being well worth the wait. Destiny 2 came out with a multitude of changes that aren’t quite panning out yet. I’ve told myself countless times I’m done with Destiny out of frustration only to log on a week later and briefly be reminded of just how much damn fun playing Destiny is. The amount of “fun” has certainly been in shorter spurts with Destiny 2, especially when I’m getting my loot drops. I am however optimistic for the future of Destiny 2 with the already implemented and upcoming changes. Share in my optimism? Let me know below, haters keep hating (even though I know your ass started hating at the first sentence). Fire on Crota!

Illustration: Tyley Bartley (https://www.artstation.com/tyler_bartley)

I enjoy writing for TAY and have dabbled in making different types of gaming and lifestyle content. I like playing games and interacting with gaming communities to wind down. You can find me here!

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