Though Destiny remains popular and retains a dedicated base of players – thanks in large part to the many “tweaks” implemented in Bungie’s latest expansion – there remains a lingering frustration with the property as a whole. At launch, Destiny was criticized for lacking in story and its ridiculously complicated leveling system (among other complaints) and The Taken King may have somewhat alleviated these issues, but the expansion didn’t necessarily fix all that was broken in Destiny.
Recently, Activision and Bungie announced Destiny 2 wouldn’t release until 2017, and some were quick to suggest this is another sign of Destiny‘s imminent doom. However, choosing to delay the sequel’s release may actually be Destiny‘s saving grace, allowing the developers time to further improve the game and (hopefully) continue listening to what players want most.
With that in mind, here are 12 Things We Want From Destiny 2:
12. LESS RNG GRINDING
Let’s get right to most players’ top complaint in Destiny – the relentless grinding for little reward. Early on in Destiny, Guardians earn better gear, engrams, or upgrades as they work through quests, but once the max level is reached and all story quests completed, the usefulness of the loot diminishes dramatically. This is why loot caves were so popular back in the day – Guardians could earn a lot of loot, most of which was garbage, but at least something that dropped was usually worth the effort. Adding insult to injury, once the traditional level cap of 40 is reached, a Guardians’ light becomes the real signifier of a Guardians’ level, with the current cap being 320.
But with light so intrinsically tied to gear, earning loot becomes the only path for leveling – making a player’s progress feel entirely random. Whether playing through Heroic story missions, strikes, or even raids, increasing a Guardian’s light hinges entirely on what drops. Play Destiny for two hours or twenty, it might not make a bit of difference. That’s terribly frustrating and no way to incentivize players to keep playing Destiny. The Taken King may have tried addressing this problem by separating a Guardian’s level from their light, but that’s only stalled progress for level 40 players to a crawl. Destiny 2 needs to create a more straightforward path to reach the max light level as well as offer rewards along the way that are actually worth the time it took to earn them. Otherwise, what’s the point in striving for max light?
11. NEW CLASSES
Unlike traditional MMORPGs, Destiny classes aren’t divided into defined roles like healer or tank. Instead, Hunters, Warlocks, and Titans are mostly balanced in terms of gameplay, with slight differences in the capabilities of their subclasses. There isn’t an inherent advantage to playing as one class or another – though obviously some subclasses are more desirable, the Warlock’s Sunsinger (with self-resurrection), for instance.
Still, the class system for Destiny is unique and it encourages players to try out all three variants. But wouldn’t it be nice to have another class? Maybe even a new set of three classes? Destiny 2 will undoubtedly include new subclasses for Hunters, Warlocks, and Titans, but an entirely fresh class itself would be even more exciting, creating an additional character slot and allow for even more diverse group play. There’d even be a chance for Destiny 2 to further explore role-based play, perhaps refitting the classes with more clearly defined roles, like crowd control or support.
10. A NEW ALIEN THREAT
Along with a new class of Guardian, it would only make sense for Destiny 2 to feature a new alien enemy type. Each of the existing alien races – Fallen, Hive, Vex, and Cabal – have already been used fairly excessively (the Cabal less-so than the others), and by now all their tricks are old news. House of Wolves introduced new Fallen enemies, and the Taken were certainly a welcomed twist, creating a force that combined each of the alien races and added new abilities.
Still, a fully-fledged sequel needs to include some brand new threat for Guardians to face – that, hopefully, can add fresh variations in combat encounters. An expansion may be able to get away with just altering the appearance of already existing aliens, as Destiny did in The Taken King, but that won’t fly in Destiny 2. And it also wouldn’t hurt if Bungie designed a species of aliens that were truly unlike anything they’ve created before, and less like reskinned aliens from the Halo series.
9. NEW RAIDS AND MORE OF THEM
When it comes to earning the best gear in pursuit of max light level, raiding is crucial. So along that train of thought, Destiny 2 will need to include not only new raids but also more of them. With things as they currently are, the King’s Fall raid is the only raid that players can use to advance their character (more on that below), forcing gamers to repeat one raid ad nauseam in hopes of earning a full set of maxed gear. We’ve already touched on the infuriating randomness of loot drops, so why not offer players more than one single experience to attain the gear they so desperately need?
Understandably, from a developer’s perspective, players asking for more raids is a tall order. However, Destiny already has two raids, in addition to King’s Fall, and they’re just sitting there, barely played, gathering dust. And presumably, the same will happen to King’s Fall once a new raid is released. Instead of allowing raids to become obsolete and to avoid needing to create more raids from scratch, why not rework previous raids? This could be as simple as upping the difficulty of enemies and having drops with rewards at the current light level. Destiny 2 could go even a step further and offer entirely new objectives within Vault of Glass and Crota’s End, enticing players to return to these raids or (as is the case for new players post-Taken King) a reason to play them at all.
8. MORE MATCHMAKING
Matchmaking is a staple of online multiplayer games, but Destiny‘s approach to matchmaking is limited at best. The PVP side of Destiny already fully utilizes matchmaking, allowing players to either team up with friends or total strangers, whatever it takes to reach a full fireteam. On the PVE side, however, the only time matchmaking becomes available is during strike playlists, and even then, it doesn’t happen at the highest difficulty, the Nightfall strikes. No matchmaking forces players to either go without those activities, attempt them alone, or seek other players through online LFG sites.
Even more vexing, for raids – that crucial content needed to reach the top light level – there is no matchmaking. Zero. Meaning, that in order to have a full fireteam, players need to be friends (or friends of friends) with six other players on the same system. And perhaps that isn’t a hurdle for everyone, but it certainly is for many of Destiny‘s 23 million players. Destiny 2 needs to include a matchmaking option for raids, and if not that, then at least some kind of in-game forum or chat that would allow players to find groups within the game. Forcing players to seek partners on external sites isn’t just a missed opportunity, it’s ridiculous.
7. MORE STORY, BETTER EXPLAINED
When Destiny first released it came with barely any story at all. There’s an ongoing war between the Light and the Darkness, and this planet-sized super-being, the Traveller comes to Earth and imbues Guardians with the power to wield the Light, which is a pretty basic setup but a cool premise nonetheless. And it turns out there’s a lot more to Destiny‘s story than all that, but unfortunately, playing the game is the absolute worst way to understand the full scope of Destiny‘s story.
Destiny: The Taken King has admittedly tried to make its story more straightforward and clear, giving many of its A.I. characters more personality and interesting dialogue that’s piped in while Guardians are off on missions. But Destiny 2 needs to take it one step further. Instead of including the vast majority of Destiny‘s lore on grimoire cards that need to be read outside of the game, why not turn that information into audio clips that can be played? Or if recording extra audio is too much of hassle, at least make the grimoire entries readable in-game. Basically, players shouldn’t need to seek outside sources (like Game Informer‘s in depth write-up) in order to understand the lore at the heart of Destiny‘s story.
6. A LARGER AND TRUE OPEN WORLD
Both House of Wolves and The Taken King expanded the scale of Destiny, but it still feels small. The playable universe of Destiny is comprised of only three planets, one moon, and an admittedly cool ship, the Dreadnaught. The other visitable locations are the Tower and the Reef, both social areas that are little more than lifeless hulls. Destiny 2 should consider either downsizing these areas or adding more to do. Otherwise, these large structures feel empty, forcing Guardians to run around, needlessly turning in completed story missions.
Besides growing Destiny’s scope even more, either by adding more planets from our solar system or a chance to explore further reaches of the universe (not to mention time), Destiny 2 should also be a true open world experience. No more needing to jump back to your ship in between missions, patrols, or other activities that take a Guardian to a planet’s surface. Once on a planet or moon, traveling to the area where a quest begins should simply prompt players to start that mission.
5. A REASON TO EXPLORE AND COLLECT
A lot of games offer incentives for players to explore the world, either through completing collections or gathering materials. Destiny, too, offers something similar, but its sequel should make exploration a more worthwhile aspect of the game. As it stands, players can either scour Destiny‘s locations for dead Ghosts or treasure chests, but neither really offer a reward worthy of the effort spent finding them. When time can be better spent running a strike playlist or a raid, what’s the reason to explore Destiny?
Instead, what if in Destiny 2 recovering a dead Ghost unlocked its skin and maybe a new perk? What if treasure chests contained legendary engrams instead of low-level gear? This way, players have a reason to hunt down chests no matter their Guardian’s level. Gold chests could also stand to offer better rewards, and perhaps reveal a quest or bounty that, once completed, rewards players with an Exotic or Legendary piece of gear (similar to Exotic bounties, like Touch of Malice).
4. ACCESSIBLE IN-GAME MAP
Throughout the course of playing Destiny there are side quests and bounties that require players to seek out specific areas and complete an assigned task while there. Easy enough, except Destiny makes it rather difficult to know where these areas are – because once your Guardian has landed, there’s no longer an accessible map. And while most story quests will have an arrow indicating where to go on a player’s mini-map, these aren’t present otherwise, and with no way to pull up a full map of the area, players are forced to aimlessly wander or seek out a map made by other players online (example: when searching for dead ghosts).
And again, so many of Destiny‘s failings involve sending players outside of the experience in order to find what’s needed to play the game, which is aggravating and counter-intuitive. In the case of an in-game map, it’s an easy fix for Destiny 2 to offer. There are even maps already in the game that appear when a player is choosing their destination, all Bungie needs to do is have those maps remain accessible once a Guardian has landed.
3. MORE CUSTOMIZATION
When it comes to creating your Guardian’s appearance, Destiny has a good amount of customization, offering distinct looks for each of the three races – Human, Awoken, and Exo. Though it’d be a nice feature if Destiny 2 allows players to change their character’s appearance, not keep it locked as first created. But even then, a slew of options for a character’s facial appearance means little when helmets cover a Guardian’s face for most of the game.
With that in mind, why not let players better customize the look of their armor? Shaders are cool and all, but it’d be even better if players could choose what parts of their armor appeared as a certain color from the shader. In addition to extra customization for armor, shaders for weapons and vehicles are the next logical step.
2. TRADING BETWEEN PLAYERS
It’s understandable that Bungie doesn’t want the hassle that comes with a market where players can buy and sell the gear they collect. But right now, when a player receives gear they cannot use, the only real option is to break the reward down for Legendary marks (if the gear itself is Legendary) and upgrade materials. Which is at least something, but Destiny 2 could do better, offering some way for players to trade or gift gear to other players.
How about when an activity is completed and the gear rewarded, players have the option to either keep the gear they earned or give it to another member of the fireteam before returning to orbit? This would be great for situations where one player earns a piece of gear they either already have or can’t use – because it’s class-specific. It would also make playing together more rewarding, allowing the whole team to potentially benefit from a good drop, not just a single, lucky player. No doubt, opportunistic gamers might find ways to exploit the system but putting certain limitations could help ensure the well-meaning feature isn’t abused (such as only allowing trading during the mission completion screen and only between players that completed the entire activity together).
1. DESTINY 2 ON PC
There are many who only play console games, and Destiny is on most consoles available today: Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, and PS4. But there’s a large market cut off from Destiny – PC gamers. At launch, Bungie’s reasoning for skipping a PC version of Destiny was the effort it took releasing the game across multiple platforms and generations; including developing for Sony’s PlayStation platform, a first for previously Microsoft and PC-exclusive Bungie.
However, it’s absurd Destiny isn’t available on PC when just about every major game released today is available off-console. Why cut them out all together? Destiny 2 needs to be available across all major platforms including PC. That’s especially true if Destiny 2 drops support for the last-gen consoles, Xbox 360 and PS3 – something that’s all the more likely now that the sequel is scheduled for launch nearly 2.5 years after the original game debuted.
Destiny is available to purchase from all participating retailers for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360. Destiny 2 is expected to release in 2017.
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