Destiny 2 - I don't have time to explain Bungie's MMO shooter 2.0

Yea, I see there is a steam link dialogue After accepting the message that states the process is irreversible, so guess it will work.

I don’t think Destiny 2 will ever do it for me, but I’m really curious how a Destiny 3 will look like without interference and oversight from Activision. Has Bungie announced their plans? More DLC for #2, or are they going to get to work on a sequel?

I personally hope Bungie finally starts working on other stuff after Destiny 2.

Well, they’ve said that they understand they can’t just keep expanding D2 much more- the current install size is well north of 100GB, and every expansion just increases that. People like to have more than one game installed, y’know.

Hardly have time for more than Destiny 2 tbh… with all those time limited events, and stuff and achievements disappearing.

Only 6 days left to finish my third character…

And Season 18 in Diablo starting in… 1-2 days??..

Still wish they’d add all the Destiny 1 stuff.

Alright, I went to Bungie’s website and signed up for whole cross-platform thing. So now theoretically when the game becomes free to play, I can continue my Xbox character on any platform: Xbox, PS4 or Steam.

Battle pass announced. $10 for the premium track.

That’s included in Shadowkeep, right?

The first one is.

Wait, why only a discount on the ps4/xbox Forsaken?

I was pretty disappointed to read that this morning. 5 year plan for Destiny 2? Gah, I wish Bungie would return to making challenging single player content. I didn’t really see any hint of that in that article. There’s more work towards infinite grind and your armor and all these other things I have no interest in.

Oh well. Maybe in 2025 I’ll get a Bungie game for me again.

IIRC, Bungie has a secret second game in the works. They got an influx of money a while back from one of the big Chinese game companies to fund it.

So then… mobile reskin?

Prolly an Autochess.

You can now start preloading Destiny 2 Shadowkeep on Steam in advance of next week’s launch.

I wrote this and was planning to post it on reddit. Do you think anyone gives a shit? (answer: nope)

Tomorrow the “new” Destiny 2 comes out. The game is pretty good, it just does its best to shoot itself in the foot.

Destiny 2 has taken a wrong direction, I suggest a few quick and simple fixes to have it back on track

I’m adding at the end of this post a quick summary of the changes I’m proposing, both major and small nitpicks. The rest of this post has the purpose of motivating those suggestions.

I’ll do my best to explain my reasons, but since most of everyone around here is a veteran, their attention is focused entirely elsewhere, on the new content, and so I doubt this will spark interest, even if I feel it’s instead crucial to the success of the game. (and I’ve seen it happen many times, see the high demand in World of Warcraft for classic servers after the “live” game has made bad choices after bad choices, only to realize it’s too late to fix)

The two main reasons that make me say D2 has taken a wrong direction are:

  • The decision to make the immediate level up to 750 obligatory.
  • The decision to have seasonal content temporary, so that it is not playable anymore after the end of its season.

Right now I’ve bought the old annual pass, but haven’t played directly any of its content. But I can still access all of it, if I decide so. If instead I buy the current annual pass and wait a year, then that money would be simply spent on nothing. While this only affects a small groups of players, it still plays a role when it comes to decide whether to purchase a piece of content or not. If I’m not sure I have a big chunk of time to dedicate to the game in the short term, then I’ll have qualms even making an impulsive purchase. In the previous system players were always encouraged to come back after months and “catch up” with all the content that piled up while they were away (which also gives a pleasant feeling, knowing there’s so much to do when you return), in the new system that content is gone, and there’s no catch up at all. The more you lose that time and content, the more you feel detached from the game and more and more less likely to return. The result is that players are actually encouraged to leave the game without looking back, because they will feel like they lost that train and the game moved on without them.

But this post will focus on the new player’s experience, and why I think Shadowkeep will destroy it, at a time when it was needed the most to bring fresh blood into the game. My point is that the new release will bring many new players, but they will abandon it because of some bad choices that make the game feel dull and watered down.

I’ll go to the point: all current story missions (base, Osiris, Warmind and Forsaken) are way, way, WAY too easy. They are unfun not because they are badly designed, but because they require no effort and simply end up feeling pointless and boring. Shadowkeep will make this problem even WORSE by forcing a level up to 750. When already most players will tell you that “the main game is not the real game”. And yet that’s the part of the game that most players will see and use that determine whether or not they stick with this game or abandon it. What you think is unimportant is instead crucial.

The beginning of the game has to be good, because it’s what required to spark the interest and cement the desire to play and be part of the experience.

I’ll tell you that the most fun I’ve had with D2 was this past week, doing for the first time story missions in Osiris, Warmind and Forsaken. What made the experience immensely fun, was that I had the possibility to go into those missions underleveled, 3-4 levels below requirement. The first time I started the first mission of Warmind all the enemies were invulnerable. So I went out, came back after gaining a level, and now all those enemies at the beginning of the mission were going down in two hits.

I was still severely underleveled and to complete that first mission I died more than twenty times, since there’s a part at the end that is “no respawn”, and has waves and waves of enemies. It was HARD, but it was never impossible, and I pretty much felt always in control. I died a lot, but made progress, refined my strategy, got close to succeed many times, and eventually won. When I made it through the feeling was glorious, immensely satisfying, and my hands were even shaking a little bit, as the fight was intense. That’s the kind of stuff that you get only from games like Dark Souls.

Now… none of that is possible anymore. It was already impossible doing the main game missions underleveled, but it was possible for Osiris, Warmind and Forsaken. That’s why this week was incredible for me, and why it’s gone. Starting tomorrow, all that content will be instead significantly over-leveled. New players will see that significant amount of content at its worst. That then will contribute to the feeling of blandness and pointlessness that eventually drives many players away.

Let’s go to the core of the “looter” game design that Destiny is built on: the loot is only meaningful and fun when it’s matched with challenging content. It’s when you’re squeezing all you have to try to push past a difficulty wall that you feel the real thrill of a new piece of loot. Because that loot gives you that bit of help that lets you push through. That makes you climb that wall.

But if instead there is no wall to climb, and you rush through the content effortlessly, then the loot becomes perfunctory. An end to itself without a function. It will feel like a grindy, repetitive and boring experience.

I made through all the missions of the base game without even using my class power. Because enemies and bosses would die effortlessly anyway. If I used my power I could have killed those bosses without even experiencing the mechanics of their encounter. When instead I went through Osiris and Warmind while under-leveled, I had to throw EVERYTHING and the kitchen sink to survive and win. Whenever the class power came up, it felt like a boon. It felt exciting.

So the deal is:
1- The game needs challenging content to motivate the existence and fun of looting mechanics. Otherwise it feels bland and soulless.
2- You cannot only shove challenging content to the end game and raids. As most players have already left bored before reaching that point.

At the same time, you cannot have a new player start, say, from Forsaken 1st mission. That mission is awesome, but a new player needs to be eased slowly in, get comfortable with the mechanics. The main campaign is good, but it’s just way, way too easy, all the way through. It’s extremely boring and pointless because of that.

This part is about solutions. As I said, I got the most fun in the game when I finally had the possibility to run story missions while underleveled (and heroic missions and vanguard strikes, still underleveled and solo).

We don’t just need new challenging solo content. We need ALL the game content be like that. Throwing that out is an immense mistake, and the forced jump to 750 will destroy that content.

And yet it’s very, very easy to fix this.

So… what we need is essentially a way to manually de-level characters, in order to play those legacy missions as I was doing this week with Osiris, Warmind and Forsaken. Extended to the main game missions too. Nothing in the content needs to be redesigned and touched, we just need a way to manually level down characters. There’s already a system in place that does it, but it only caps your character at the content level. What we need is a system to push it further down (manually, optionally), so that the content is challenging too.

There are essentially four variables in play: your character overall level, your active weapon, your active slots, the overall light level for all equipment. Those are the numbers that, at the start of a legacy story mission, should be manually brought down, as desired by the player, and then pushed back at their standard values when the mission is over and the player returns to the main game.

There are also two aspects, in my experience playing under level, that should be addressed and that I’ll add to the list. One is that sometimes some attacks deal way too much damage, and you can occasionally get killed in one or two hits only. This in never fair nor fun, and should be mitigated. The other aspect is that you generally use more ammo to kill enemies when you’re under level, and run out of ammo quite often. The worst aspect to this is that in those “no-respawn” zones it happened quite often that I died and respawned with zero heavy and special ammo, and sometimes low on main ammo too. So I also think that for those hard respawns (those where enemies respawn too), the ammo on your character should be reset to standard values every time.

Consider that allowing players to de-level their character only fixes one half of the problem. The content would be challenging, but the loot you obtain would still be pointless. So my proposed solutions will also address this aspect.

Here’s everything I suggest:

  • At the start of a legacy story mission (main game, Osiris, Warmind, Forsaken) you give the player a menu option where the player can decide the overall character level to start the mission. This allows players to go in a mission under level, and have that content properly challenging, and so FUN to play.

  • Linked to the first point. The de-level choice should not only set the character to that lower level, but all items in the inventory should be also reset to the same light level, for the duration of the mission. Then they are reset to their standard values when the player exits the mission. All the new drops acquired during the mission would be slightly above the de-level (following standard rules), so that they still provide upgrades (at least temporary). Those new drops should also then be bumped up to standard levels, after the mission is over.

  • To encourage players to experience this content when de-leveled, there should be proportional incentives. Like improved loot chances during the mission, or something like that (you can also match the de-level option to intuitive difficulty labels, so that you can pick an “hard mode” that mechanically is playing the same mission while being deleveled).

  • An hard cap to the damage the player receives, so that no matter the condition, a single hit can never do more than 30-40% the total player health pool.

  • In “no respawn zones” if the player dies and respawns, a standard amount of ammo is restored, including heavy and special ammo.

The bottom line is: please make Destiny 2 challenging and fun also for the main story missions, and not only for a remote endgame. The solutions are easy to implement, and can massively impact the success of the game with minimal effort.

They are making destiny harder and seasonal content is casual friendly, since everyone start from the same point every season. I have no read your full post, but I think are a sum of fears and wish that may need updating once you have the oportunity to play the game

It sounds like the beginning of the free to play Destiny 2 is now the beginning of Destiny 1. You even get to hang out in the Tower from Destiny 1 before it’s attacked. I wonder if that means they’ve included other Destiny 1 content after the tower as well? The game only mentions getting up to the Tower, and then being able to talk to an NPC there to activate the normal Destiny 2 story. But I wonder, maybe all the Destiny 1 content is available there at the Tower?

I’m pre-loading this on Steam now, so went to uninstall a barely played Destiny (just finished tutorial) from my Battle net install and found I had Destiny 2 installed. I don’t know if this is just me being well into middle age, Destiny 2 being so unmemorable or the fact it was buried in Battle net and forgotten about.

but anyway, I’ll give it another chance and i’ll certain remember its installed now its the Steam launcher.