Destiny 2: Same Story, Different Destiny

Hey there, Destiny 2. How are things going? Not good, are they? It’s OK, maybe, just maybe, we can get over this slump. I know, I know, and we do appreciate you being more open, the communication that you showed us is not taken for granted, but I can’t shake the feeling we’ve been here before. It’s like walking through a familiar home, but the memories can’t be placed. You know what I’m saying? I can trace my finger along a wall and see flickers of old patterns, but it’s not clicking and that worries me. The house feels familiar, but everything is slightly skewed and I’m afraid if things become clearer, I’m not going to like what I see because it reminds me why I left.

If, like me, you have been keeping up with Destiny 2, then it’s not news that it’s been going through bit of a rough spot. After a grueling weekend when it was revealed that Destiny 2 was hiding how XP gain worked for those who “want Destiny 2 to be their hobby,” the community didn’t respond well. Bungie addressed this issue by doubling the XP gain for certain activates or those who grind towards Bright Engrams and then followed by pulling the final livestream for Curse of Osiris to address the issues Destiny 2 has been facing. While this isn’t the solution, it’s a band-aid and Bungie is continuing to work towards tweaking everything to satisfy players. The problems with Destiny 2 didn’t start with just XP though, no, they started with the game’s launch and have been rumbling in the background ever since.

The first piece of DLC, The Curse of Osiris, is now available and while Bungie laid out a thoroughly-detailed plan for what Guardians can except, the question lingers. Is it enough, because Destiny fans have been here before. Way back when Destiny was first finding its footing it released two pieces of content that I can’t help but draw comparisons too for Curse of Osiris. The Dark Below saw the introduction of Eris Morn, a new (lackluster) raid and a few other things, then House of Wolves which saw the introduction of a new horde-mode-light play space with weekly challenges, Trials of Osiris and a new social space.

Curse of Osiris seems almost like an amalgamation of the two, combining both new raid content with a new play space – The Infinite Forest – that is ever changing. Do these two things sound familiar? That’s because they are. The Leviathan getting a new raid space, which will be a more bite-sized version of a Destiny raid, and The Infinite Forest is directly combing both play spaces with parts from Prison of Elders. What’s more, it’s exactly what Destiny has always done. Bungie knows how to do a few things flawlessly; they can make a damn-fine shooter and they know how to keep the player wanting more. It’s hard not to use the phrase “pulling the wool over one’s eyes”, but that is exactly what Bungie has done every time with any new content Destiny related, except for maybe The Taken King.

They get fans excited with all the changes and tweaks coming, saying they’ve been listening to the community (and they have), but it always seems like they are holding something back. Kotaku’s, Jason Schreier reported on this secrecy and how it directly affects the game and company. Managing a team of 700+ people is something that is daunting for anyone, but when that company isn’t communicating clearly internally or with its community, it’s easy to see why people are frustrated. Once more, the fixes seem temporary while Bungie tries to figure out how to best course-correct Destiny 2.

This is not to say Destiny 2 is failing, but for those “Destiny as a hobby” fans Bungie is talking about, the challenge is beginning to match pace with the original Destiny. All this is to say, we’ve been here before. Destiny 2 has made a number of improvements over the original Destiny, but it can’t shake its faulty structure to make playing as much of a pain as possible once hitting the end-game. While this isn’t a problem for most, for getting one’s sixty dollars’ worth of content can be done through just playing through all available content for Destiny 2, what about those who only play Destiny or play it more than their other online games? How does Bungie keep its audience happy? Well, they’re still trying to figure that out.