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First rays of hope start to filter through Destiny 2's stormclouds

by: Rob -
More On: Destiny 2

I'm kind of tired of talking about Destiny 2. I don't really play anymore, nor does anyone in my once extremely active clan, but morbid curiosity keeps me sticking around the news cycle and checking in from time to time. Others I know do too. For them it's out of hope because the original Destiny really was one of those defining gaming experiences for us. Whatever our motivations, for the first time since it became apparent there was nothing worth doing in Destiny 2 after the initial single-player campaign had run it's course, Bungie have announced some changes that actually might get this game back on track.

We've talked about it before [1] [2] [3], but essentially Destiny 2 is in a sad state because frankly there is no endgame and the drastic changes from the original have almost exclusively worked to leave the sequel a noticeably worse experience than the original. In essence, Destiny 1 was a power fantasy where you play the part of a space wizard but Destiny 2 is a slow slog that makes you weaker by design and provides fewer options to play or rewards to chase. In the latest This Week at Bungie (TWaB), one key facet of the power fantasy is finally being addressed: cooldowns on supers and abilities are being drastically lowered and players speeds are getting faster. Supers are now recharging 25% faster, a total of 1:40 being shaved off the clock. Abilities are recharging up to 2x faster with mods. And across the board movement speed changes are in place.

The other big positive news from TWaB is that, for the first time, balance in PvP and PvE are really being separated out. Since Destiny 1's inception this has been a constant problem, usually seeing PvE come off much worse. Let's face it, there is no way to effectively balance both modes equally when pulling from the same weapon pool, because at their core they are decidedly different playing experiences. One, PvE, is a game that rotates between being matched against mobs and hordes of enemy groupings and overwhelming odds to having to chip away at the extended lifebars of overpowered bosses. The other, PvP, is meant tom play out on a fair and balanced field of even odds. Bungie's endless quest for balance flies in the face of PvE by definition. Thankfully, we are seeing the first cracks in that armor with separate weapon balancing per game mode. 

Now along with these positive steps are others that seem a little questionable. We'll have to wait to see how it actually plays out, or rather, how those remaining play it out. But radar is being removed from the competitive and trials playlists. Essentially this is an attempt at spicing up the stale 4v4 gameplay. I don't think it will work because it's just papering over the cracks and failing to address the real issues of TTKs that are just too long with primaries that are too boring, the absence of special weapons entirely, and grenades that simply don't pack enough of a punch. The other big change is power ammo drops are going to be sped up and when a player dies with power ammo in their inventory it will actually fall to their feet to be picked up by another. This is another change that will probably have little positive effect as it also fails to address the real issue with power weapons: that special weapons were pushed into the category unnecessarily and need to be returned to their own slot with their own ammo economy and that power ammo can only be picked up by a single player meaning you have to actively work against your own team to secure it. 

There's still not enough to do, but hopefully these are steps in the right direction as far as removing the tedium of going at it. Then fill that void with content and hope it's not all too late with the continually dropping playerbase. Easy peasy, right?