Two Months Later: Destiny 2

Time flies when you’re having fun, right? It’s crazy to think that it’s already been two months since Destiny 2 first hit shelves. I like to think that in that time, the newness aspect of game ownership, you know, where everything is awesome, has worn off. I’ve certainly enjoyed my time with the game, but I’ve started to experience a number of nagging things.

I stand by what I previously wrote because Destiny 2 is absolutely a fun game for players who are still rising through the ranks and aren’t hitting that 280 power wall. The problem starts to creep in after you’ve beaten the story and approached the power level cap. The game simply loses steam.

Let’s break it down a bit further.

My biggest problem with Destiny 2 so far is the fact that I don’t feel rewarded for my time. One of the things I enjoyed most about the first Destiny is that regardless if you played for 20 minutes or two hours, you always felt like you were progressing and advancing. Granted, it took the game a year plus to finally get there, I felt like I was always finding gear I could use to infuse to increase my lever further.

Destiny 2 turns hostile after players reach 280 as vendor tokens unlock gear lower than the player’s current power level, and event rewards typically give out lesser loot like glimmer, rare gear, or tokens which repeats the whole vendor loot issue. My only recourse to better my character is to wait for the reset each week to complete milestones which are really the only way to earn powerful loot. If you have a group of friends and plenty of time, the raid is another option.

I’m really hoping Bungie opts to fix the infusion and reward system to what it was previously. I’d imagine this would be an option after the loot table expands a bit as well. More on that a bit.

Without that sense of progression and reward, the other areas where the game comes up short seem to stand out more. By the end of the road for Destiny 1, the game was in such a great place even if it had two and a half years to get there. Coming into Destiny 2, I believed Bungie would incorporate many of the things it had learned along the way, building on top of an already solid foundation from the get-go.

It feels like Bungie’s biggest focus was making sure to include a kick-ass story, the thing that most players wanted out of the first game. Along the way, many of the things that worked well like Heroic Strikes, strike scoring, private matches, and more were left out of the core game. In my opinion, Destiny 2 strikes are just not worth doing more than once. Yes, they’re fun when you’re experiencing them for the first time and are really well made, but they require 20 minutes of your time, and you’re not rewarded with much at the end. Not only that, there’s no option for higher difficulty on them, so for high-level characters, you’re running through the basic versions of the content.

Part of the added problem is with the loot. As many people know, Bungie removed randomized loot perks, meaning that guns have static rolls and stats. Here’s an example:

  • In Destiny 1, three MIDA Multi-Tool scout rifles = three potentially different weapons.
  • In Destiny 2, three MIDA Multi-Tool scout rifles = the same weapon.

As you can see, this absolutely limits the already smaller loot pool, because if a player as a certain weapon, every time they find it it’s going to be exactly the same. Not only that, players can no longer infuse any type of weapon, it has to match the same type. Let’s be honest, I haven’t been excited for Xur in a few weeks because I pretty much have every piece of exotic gear the game has, considering the loot pool isn’t nearly as large this time around.

Granted, it’s entirely likely that most of this stuff will be added in over time, but why did it need to get to this point? Why did the game not come with this stuff off the bat?

What I find somewhat ironic is that one of the big concerns for Bungie and Activision was the speed of giving players more things to do. There were countless times with Destiny 1 where players complained about the lack of new stuff to keep them engaged. Bungie revealed its plans for releasing new content in waves called “seasons.” Season two starts in December with the first DLC pack, which is fine, but that’s nearly three months since the game first launched. As of right now, the timeline isn’t too different from what players experienced with the first game.

I know this post got pretty negative, but know that it comes from a place of love. I generally feel like Bungie has improved the Destiny experience, and I’m eager to see where this game evolves from here. We all know the first game grew exponentially from launch to the final update and it stands that Destiny 2 is following a similar road. I may not be playing Destiny 2 as much as I did at launch, but I’m hopeful that Bungie can do right by the fans who continue to shape the game.

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