Destiny is viewed quite differently by many people. For many, it’s a bad game with some redeeming qualities, while for others it’s a good game with a few clear flaws. I personally lean toward the latter but can understand the view of those who believe the former. No matter how Destiny players view the game, it seems all are aware that it is clearly not a perfect game. And yet, a common confession among players is that, though they know the game isn’t great, they kept coming back to it.
The reasons for this may be not be clear-cut. Some come back for the satisfying combat, others for the interesting setting, and a few return just for the heck of it. What usually brought me back was the possibility I saw in the game. I saw a lot of potential in the premise of the game and the world it takes place in—potential that I believe has remained ultimately untapped for most of the DLCs. Players might remember how the de facto religious leader of the Guardians, The Speaker, mentions that he could tell them of all events and ventures that happened in the past but doesn’t really have the time—seeing as he has to stand on a balcony all day.
That interaction sums up why I like but also dislike Destiny as a setting. The game teases at the stories that could flesh out the world, but does only that. Though the game delivers background through the online grimoires, I feel that is not an effective way to do world-building, since players would have to spend time out of the game essentially reading up on lore. Lore is better told than researched, in my opinion.
Story was not the only lost potential. When the game was first teased, the trailers gave off an adventurous vibe. People were looking forward to exploring vast worlds with their friends, but they were met with what were essentially planetary loops. Admittedly, it may have been unrealistic to expect MMO levels of exploration given that the game is a genre fusion that has yet to see deep polish.
These are all old arguments however, with plenty more. The only reason I bring them up is because, with the coming release of Destiny 2 later this year, Bungie has a chance to improve upon these flaws. There are two paths that the sequel could take. The first path would be not very divergent from the first game. There would be mostly minor changes to alleviate the more annoying flaws, but the majority of the game would remain the same. Story would be minimal, the characters would be stale, and PvP would continue to be a slide-shotgun hell—essentially a Destiny 1.5.
The second path would feature vast change in almost all areas of the game, an attempt to take the game in new directions by abandoning unsuccessful features. This path is very risky, however. If Bungie decides to overhaul the game and it turns out well, then congratulations, you won. But, if the changes do not turn out well, Bungie risks losing their dedicated players and won’t get any new players to replace them.
This is a risk I think would be worth it. Fans have already been very vocal about what they want in a better Destiny game, like the story and setting. Rather than the stories serving as a premise to the game, they should be interesting and include characters who feel real.
We know very little about the Vanguard, so it’s hard to really care about them. What brought them to where they are? What motivates them to keep going? How do they stay calm in a world where enemies are constantly attacking? I would like to see them as believable and relatable characters rather than vendors that spout one-liners every now and then. Heck, maybe we could even see them in action for once.
If you haven’t been able to tell already, my main gripes are mostly with the writing and story of the game. Of course, there are many other improvements that could be made, including a more balanced PvP experience, a better loot system, and a less grindy endgame—especially the last one.
Once you reach the highest level, it’s a grind until you get tired of grinding. Destiny could really benefit from having more to do aside from shooting baddies and other guardians. For instance, I had fun with the sparrow racing event and would very much like to see it as a permanent activity to take part in. Perhaps they could even add professions.
They could have a profession where you can add specific perk options to weapons and another that can add perks to armor, or one that can make items that give unique or even funny temporary buffs. While professions themselves usually involve a grind, they could at the very least make the grind more rewarding when the RNG doesn’t go in a player’s favor.
From a business standpoint, the first path seems to be the best; it offers the most amount of profit for the least amount of risk. I don’t expect Bungie to take the risky path, but I’m hopeful. After hearing that the loot people obtained from the first game would not be carried over, I suspect that Bungie may indeed take this route. In the latest trailer, we were told that all the gear basically exploded, and we’re left with almost nothing.
Now this may be presumptuous, but that seems like a metaphor. In Destiny 2, all that you own has been destroyed, and you’ve got to start anew, from the ground up. Let’s hope this same approach is taken with the rest of the game.
If the company were to draw out the potential that I have seen in the game and its world, I do believe Destiny 2 could be Bungie’s redemption. However, if I find that September brings what is essentially a larger Destiny DLC, at least we’ve got Nathan Fillion’s Cayde-6.