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Is Tomorrow Make or Break Time for Destiny 2?

by: Rob -
More On: Destiny 2

Bungie runs a mostly weekly This Week at Bungie news release/blog post on their official site. It's been off for the holidays since December 14th but it mostly occurs every Thursday otherwise. In this blog post they typically discuss the present state of the game, link to community videos, and/or provide some insight on planned updates. Well, lately the state of Destiny 2 has been desperate. The sequel has alienated a shockingly large part of the dedicated fanbase from the original and the active playing numbers are dreadful, as you can see here and here. The Destiny forums on Reddit and the official site are rife with disappointment, angst, and salt against a game that has took the winning formula from Destiny 1 and introduced all kinds of game changing alterations to make the experience more shallow, and worse on the whole. While I still contend that the core game is a worthwhile experience for a single play through, the latest DLC adds nothing and the trajectory of the franchise hangs in the balance. The game desperately needs a shift in direction, and all hints point to tomorrow's This Week at Bungie (TWaB) as one that will either finally save this game, or perhaps put the final nail in its coffin.  

First off we have a response on the official forums from a community manager on a salty post assuming an expectation for more disappointment in this latest TWaB. It reads: "We have quite a bit of info to go over on Thursday. We've been listening to feedback over the last month and a half, and we're excited to share what will be done to address it." The We've been listening... might as well be it's own meme at this point because the team at Bungie always seem to reuse that line regardless of how far they've gone off the mark or whether to not their response actually seems to identify an understanding of the situation. But it opens up tomorrow's discussion that there is "quite a bit of info" and that it will be time to "share what will be done to address it."

In addition to that nugget, we have Game Director Christopher Barrett confirming via Twitter content that  was in Destiny 1 (specifically collectibles like dead Ghosts) will be returning, but clarified that it would be in future expansions. 

So does that mean that content stripped form the original will only be available by throwing in more good money after bad on a game that has disappointed thus far on many levels? Hopefully tomorrow goes a long way to explaining that.

For me, there are three things that must be addressed for tomorrow's TWaB to be a success.

  • 1.) Let's get an apology. Even if nothing changes, we need the developers to admit that they made mistakes. So far the narrative has mostly been, we're "listening to the community" over and over but seems to underline that there is simply a disconnect between what they were valiantly trying and what a prickly community was demanding. What I think the community needs is a mea culpa because the development team took an eventually successful franchise that a lot of people stuck through as fans through some very lean times an early hiccups and were given a sequel that deviates and therefore breaks so much of what had finally came to be the successful formula. That acknowledgment that mistakes were made would give the community hope that the in the future we might actually see real change, correct those mistakes, as opposed to a team that wants to stick to it's guns and continue to tweak a broken core rather than return to a successful one.
  • 2.) There needs to be a dramatic shift in the core experience. At it's base Destiny 2 is broken. There is no endgame and no reason to continue playing once the single player story is completed. Destiny 1 was a game that didn't really start until the endgame, Destiny 2 leaves no reason to keep playing at that same point. There is some nuance as to why, but what it really boils down to for me is that Destiny 2 is an experience that doesn't make you feel powerful. The timers on supers and abilities ticks too slow, armor is purely cosmetic, and weapons are neutered to achieve a "balance" the developers always harped on that few really wanted. 
  • 3.) This shift should be free. Fixing this game should go out in regular updates as free content to the dedicated fan base. Not locked behind the paywall of the next DLC. Simple as.

What will go down tomorrow, who knows? Bungie claims they've been listening, well now we are doing the same. I hope they knock our socks off with the announcement as to what they actually heard.