I want to make this clear, if it’s not already, I LOVE Destiny 2, and I’m completely biased to the brand because I loved the original and without the friends I made playing Destiny, I wouldn’t be writing games today. I’ve been playing Destiny 2 so much, that my WoW guild probably doesn’t remember the sound of my voice (probably a good thing, my voice is terrible). There is so much to do, be it leveling, story missions, adventures, public events, strikes, Nightfalls, Raiding, PvP, Trials of the Nine. There is a literal crap ton to do in Destiny 2, yet very few things offer rewards worth the time.
If you frequent the Destiny Subreddit as much as I do, you noticed the trend that happens when an update, Expansion, or now a sequel, is released. It get’s rave reviews for a week or two, then turns into a giant collection of what Bungie did wrong. Which is a good thing. In fact, It shows just how much the Destiny community actually cares about the newest additions and direction of the franchise. Spoiler Alert from here on out!
I want to start by explaining how Destiny 2 confused longevity with random chance. Everything in Destiny 2 is random. Want to play a specific strike? Better hope you get it in the matchmaking playlist. Wanna play control in the Crucible? Good, because you’re gonna get that six times in a row without any say. Destiny 2 broke the most cardinal rule that players taught Destiny 1, give the players choices that they can control. Later in Destiny 1’s life, Endgame consisted of not just raids, but Prison of the Elders, PvP, Trials, Faction grinding, and they even revamped the old raids to offer modern rewards. No matter what you wanted to do, you could do it and be rewarded. That is simply no longer the case.
Not only do these lack of choices hurt the game, the lack of rewards do as well. Every weekly reset, there are certain ways a player can earn upgraded loot. Those are Milestones, which consist of Call to Arms, a pvp marathon session, earning 5000 Clan reputation for your clan, completing public events on a certain planet, doing the nightfall and raiding. Everything else has random chances to give you some good loot too, and by random, I mean too low for me to bother with them and just call them happy coincidences. I know the game is but two weeks old at this point, but Bungie forgot the standard they set in Destiny 1, which is a little disheartening.
Speaking of Nightfall, it’s no surprise that it’s now timed. While I personally think timed strikes can make for a cool random modifier, every single week is a mistake. Bungie said they don’t want people playing it safe in Nightfalls and to jump into the action, yet timers don’t do this, at least not in this sense. World of Warcraft’s timer system for their Mythic plus Dungeons would be great as opposed to the Nightfall system in Destiny 2. Offer extra incentive for finishing on time, but don’t just end the strike if time runs out. The community is pretty harmonized in regards to the timer issue and I hope Bungie listens to their pleas.
Finally, let’s talk about the raid. One could argue the entire franchise of Destiny is built on raids. It’s the reason we all keep coming back. Normally you go into a raid, you kill a lot of little bad guys, kill a few bosses and get some sweet loot. Destiny 2’s raid, called The Leviathan, deviates from this comfortable and successful formula. While you still fight loads of small enemies, there’s only one big bad guy at the end of the raid, the rest are just puzzles. I enjoy the difficulty, but they also changed the way you get rewards. After completing a puzzle, you get a key to a part of the underbelly of the giant ship,which shares the name of the raid. Once you get the key and head to the underbelly, you have to complete more encounters to get the loot for the puzzle you completed in the raid. Basically, to dumb it down, after you complete an encounter in the raid, you’re rewarded with another encounter so then you can get the loot after completing the second encounter. It’s something that not only frustrates me as a player, but raids already take hours and this is just a lazy way to artificially extend the play time.
And let’s talk gratification. There was a certain feeling you got in Destiny 2 after you killed Atheon, Crota, Oryx or Aksis. You ended the threat, you felt cool and were like, “Yeah, I killed him.” The end of The Leviathan is the old switcheroo where you thought you were killing the Cabal Emperor, but it was just a giant robot duplicate the entire time. I can accept either a bad loot system or a bad story for a raid. I can’t do both and that’s why I’m not a fan of the raid. People wanted giant Cabal to shoot and kill, not plates to stand on, dogs to sneak by and gauntlets to run, well, keep the gauntlet. I just didn’t feel satisfied by the raid and I don’t have the urge to go at it again.
My overall thoughts are that Destiny 2 is a really fun game, it’s a great way to kill some time and some bad guys at the same time. There is loads of content, but none of it is in depth and a lot of it is out of your control. I’ll still be playing Destiny 2 for a fair stretch, but I see myself taking a break before the First DLC comes out in December. I have hope that Bungie will be able to listen to the community and adjust the game accordingly, as they did with Destiny 1.