Almost a month ago to the day, I wrote how great Destiny: The Taken King was. In that post, I also mentioned that it was time to return to the game if you were like me and abandoned it at some point since it first launched last year.
While I still feel that way, I’ve started to see some of the cracks in the old foundation start to appear again.
Make no mistake about it, no matter what anyone tells you, Destiny is a social game. It’s one where players are pushed into working together to overcome a goal or large problem. Sure, you can play solo and the new Taken King quest line can also be handled as such. The problem I’ve started to see is that at a certain point, the game shifts focus away from the lone wolf players, catering more to fireteams, groups, and social activity players.
Lets have a closer look, shall we?
After completing the core Taken King quest line, additional quests become available presenting additional challenges that the player can work to over come. Many are rather involved, tasking Guardians with planet hopping activities, eliminating different Taken VIP targets, or completing varying amount of strikes for example.
Many of these missions start at level 40 and for solo players, automatically ratchet up the difficulty to hard. For a normal Destiny player, these stats can seem a little daunting. For players who don’t have any friends playing Destiny, or are stuck at a specific light level, or maybe play at odd hours, constantly getting killed and having to respawn time and time again is a major downer. Players who don’t feel like they’re making progress are more likely to become frustrated, lose interest, and ultimately leave. A problem which plagued vanilla year one Destiny.
Take the weekly Nightfall event for example. Outside of Raids, the Nightfall Strike represents the most difficult mission in the game, similar to what Halo players would experience if they turned on many of the optional skull modifiers. Unlike the other strikes, this one doesn’t feature matchmaking. I don’t know if Bungie addressed why this was at some point in the past, but to me, this doesn’t make much sense. All other strikes are available for matchmaking, so by not enabling this one, they’re essentially cutting off a certain group of players from playing it.
My point here is that Bungie needs to work on being more inclusive for solo players. The content within The Taken King is vastly improved yes, but at a certain point, the game seemingly leaves those players behind. Doing Patrols or running the same strikes over and over isn’t a great way to retain those players. There should be a better balance regardless if your a Fireteam mainstay or someone who just wants to run a quest solo here or there.
While I still recommend The Taken King, I would advise solo focused players that your mileage may vary as compared to someone who has a number of friends ready to jump in. While it’s fun to play with friends of course, there’s nothing more frustrating than seemingly hitting a ceiling as a solo player, especially when there’s more story content to discover. Hopefully this is an area Bungie will continue to improve upon in future content.
What do you guys think though? Do you agree that there is a ceiling for how far normal players can go through solo?