While Destiny is churning out new content in the form of Sparrow racing and now this Valentine’s Day, Crimson Doubles mode, the focus is clear. It’s PvP, and pretty much only PvP. The reason for that is pretty obvious. It’s a lot easier to make new PvP content than it is PvE. For Crucible modes in particular, all you’re doing is inserting a few rule changes. In this case, Crimson Doubles is 2v2 Elimination where the last person standing for each team gets a buff when their partner is dead. Add in some new rewards (chocolate ghost shells!), Tower decorations and emotes and you’ve got yourself an event.
Unfortunately, this leaves PvE players out in the cold. The only event of any consequence left for PvE players to do is re-run the King’s Fall Raid and its challenges on repeat in the hope that RNG spits out 320 gear.
A few suggestions for fixing this drought are obvious. New DLC packs are what everyone wants to see, but that’s something that is clearly off the table for the time being. The next most popular request is to bring old Raids and Strikes forward into relevance again with tougher enemies and better loot.
But there could be one more thing that could be mutually beneficial for both Bungie and the playerbase. A PvE Forge mode.
This idea was first brought up on the Planet Destiny podcast last week. One of the hosts, Briar Rabbit, brought up the idea of a Strike designer, which is really overly ambitious, but would potentially be a great add on to the game and end the PvE content drought.
We don’t know about Strike design itself. We think that would be really tough to let players design their own encounters using the entirety of the available zones. But that spawned a similar, but more doable idea. What if Forge mode was centered on the long-dead Prison of Elders instead?
Prison of Elders was the Raid-equivalent activity of House of Wolves last year, but has since been completely abandoned in the wake of The Taken King. Many people occasionally farm it for Strange Coins or laugh about how fast they can kill Skolas now, but besides that, it’s mostly dead.
Prison of Elders was a fundamentally great endgame activity with a ton of potential. In the run-up to The Taken King, as there was so much opportunity for new maps and modifiers to make it fresh and fun. And yet, Bungie abandoned it completely.
Enter Forge Mode.
Unlike Strikes, which would require full access to modify pretty much everything about every zone, Prison of Elders has four distinct, smaller-scale areas that would be a lot easier to work with. They’re each a single room, and if players were given the ability to mess with them, we think the community would band together to make some truly excellent creations that Bungie could then harvest and insert into the game itself, building a separate, relevant “community” PoE playlist, and offering rewards to match.
With the Prison of Elders Forge, players could:
- Modify the geometry of the level, putting in platforms and rock formations and ramps and what have you wherever they saw fit, creating new dynamics for familiar levels.
- Use whatever modifiers they saw fit from the existing list, and perhaps Bungie could invent a few more for the occasion. Using multiple ones together is encouraged, and something Bungie didn’t do enough of originally. Or with advanced tools, maybe players could invent their own modifiers.
- New kinds of “event” activities that are more than killing VIPs or mines. Jump puzzles. Spark running. Things like that. The fact that there were only three of these round modifiers in the original PoE was a travesty.
- Dictate which type of enemies spawn from which door during which round. Fallen in the Hive level? Sure. Cabal in the Vex level? Why not. Taken in every area? Absolutely. Pick which type, how many, and the placement of enemy spawns during rounds. Designers could also have access to “boss” level enemies, not just the ones from PoE, but also Strikes, the story and possibly even the Raid, depending on which ones could work. They could use the models at least, if not all the mechanics.
All four of these elements would combine to make hundreds or even thousands of potentially awesome PoE experiences that would be fresh PvE content that Bungie wouldn’t need to design itself. They collect a handful of the absolute best creations, and release them to the public. It utilizes a defunct mode and existing assets, yet creates an endless stream of fresh content for the game.
Even if Bungie isn’t designing the community levels themselves, they would have to build this entire Forge system which is obviously a big job itself. And though Bungie has never officially said this outright, all inside reports indicate that one of Destiny’s biggest challenges is that it allegedly takes forever to modify the maps in the game, taking hours to load and even do something as simple as move a rock a few feet to the left. Even if the system is improving over time, it does not sound like what they currently have is optimized even for them as developers, much less something that could easily spawn a community creation system the way we see in Halo.
And yet, for the long term health of the game, we think the active development of a Forge system is worth it. Start with this PoE idea, and maybe someday players could build their own Strikes, and if not, certainly they could make Crucible maps. It is worth investing in Forge-style capabilities for Destiny, as few other games have a community this large and passionate which would absolutely make engaging, amazing content for the game if they had tools to do so.
Doing this sooner rather than later could help alleviate a lot of the current content concerns. Otherwise, they will forever be stuck developing everything themselves, and the game will remain worryingly devoid of PvE content for who knows how long.
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