Published on: Jul 22, 2015 @ 15:00
Destiny has one of the most vocal communities in gaming right now, and whether you play the game every single day or grind it out on the weekend, the community has helped shape and change the game for the better. But it’s by no means perfect.
With The Taken King’s launch just under two months away, Bungie has begun to outline what is coming in the huge 2.0.0 update. But there’s still a lot that the community wants, and frankly, what Destiny needs to keep its longevity and fulfill that 10-year-lifespan dream.
Let’s take a look at what update 2.0.0 and The Taken King in general needs to bring to the table.
The Crucible is a vicious monster that gives and takes with each bullet that’s fired between Guardians. There’s been a lot of talk about Destiny’s PvP and the changes that have taken place since the game launched, plus the changes that are on the way. Check out their proposed plans here.
While the promise of these changes has piqued the interest of those who have grown tired of the Crucible’s stale and predictable format, it’s difficult to say if these changes alone will be enough to revitalize Destiny’s PvP. There are still a few things that need to be addressed.
Something has got to change when it comes to Destiny’s player connections in PvP. Over the past few months, the dreaded red bar has gotten seemingly more prevalent. Not only that, but recently since Trials of Osiris, the less reputable players among us have begun to lag switch and even host-boot in certain games. This is unacceptable. If the Crucible is ever going to reach its potential, something needs to be done about the lag.
Bungie has banned some accounts for nefarious acts that negatively impact fellow Guardians, which is a step in the right direction, but what about the people who just have a poor connection speed and are somehow rewarded for it in PvP. Everyone who’s touched the Crucible has come across that one player treadmilling and teleporting across the map. Before you know it, you’re dead without any explanation and they’re leading the team in points.
Stability for the current system should be a top priority for Bungie as The Taken King approaches. You could be playing on a cool new map and awesome new game mode, but if the experience suffers because of the issues mentioned above, it’s not going to be a fun experience.
The community has been wishing for this for a while now, as anyone who’s dabbled in the Crucible knows how annoying it can be to either get locked into the same few maps for a while, or get stuck playing a map that nobody likes. With a map voting system, players in the Crucible should be able to pick and choose what map comes up next. While the practical benefits of this are obvious, it also grants players more agency, which goes a surprisingly long way toward alleviating anxiety re: player choice and an indifferent Bungie.
Ever since the Beta, Guardians were hopeful that they could create a custom match with their friends. This would be useful not only to test your favorite new weapon, but obviously just because a custom match is infinitely more fun than a match with a team who doesn’t talk and opponents who lag across the map. With Halo being a perfect example, Bungie definitely knows the importance of including this in Destiny, and it’s just a matter of time before it happens. It’s probably wishful thinking to hope that it will make it in TTK, but our fingers are crossed!
If nothing else, we need to have access to Elimination (not Trials), Inferno, Salvage, and other less-played modes at a more frequent rate.
Greater Incentive to Succeed
Trials of Osiris added some incentive to do better in the Crucible, rewarding those who go 9-0 and win games in general. But the fact is that doing well in the Crucible still guarantees you nothing. Positive steps have already been made by increasing the chances for top performers to be reward and by increasing the drop rate for Crucible matches, but more incentives to perform well and communicate with your team would go a long way.
How about better rewards from the Faction rank packages? Sometimes the rewards can feel downright insulting! Much of burnout stems from feeling like our time isn’t being valued – and if we’re honest with ourselves, it isn’t. We’re collectively spending millions of hours in-game over any given week, but what is that worth when the turnover of frustrated players is equally high?
Grinding is one thing, and for many it’s not even a big deal, but there needs to be better and more consistent rewards for ranking up and completing challenges.
The Crucible is not for everyone, and that’s okay. Some players love to grind out Strikes, Raids and Prison of Elders to their heart’s content. Bungie also outlined much-welcomed changes coming to the game’s user interface for quests, but we need more. Quests are a great way to keep things fresh. By periodically introducing new content, players will be given a good reason to continue to check in and stay up-to-date with Destiny.
Destiny’s storyline and lore is great. Sadly, most of it is stuck in the Grimoire cards. That’s cool and all, but there needs to be more of the game’s great lore in the game itself. House of Wolves’ storyline was a step in the right direction, adding colorful characters like Petra Venj and Variks to better flesh out what’s going on, but this only scratches the surface of the potential for a more immersive storyline.
If Bungie is going to continue to ride Grimoire cards as the main storyteller, then we need them in-game! A place to pause the game and read a new Grimoire card right after unlocking it would bring the world of Destiny right back into players’ hands without having to take the extra step of surfing Bungie’s site. When the lore is integrated and given in small doses, players will be more than willing to take a moment to read all of the hard work that Bungie’s employees have put into the backstory of Destiny. As many people have suggested, the loading screens would be the perfect place for this.
In addition to this, more cutscenes is a must. Neither The Dark Below nor House of Wolves saw any new cutscenes outside of their opening cinematic. From what the Taken King trailers have shown, it looks like this wish might be fulfilled. Bungie has always done an adept job at telling a story through cutscenes. Storytelling has come a long way since those early days, and there’s no reason that Destiny can’t have a compelling narrative in addition to addictive mechanics.
Whatever else happens, the new Raid needs to be expansive, and we’ve got confidence that it will be. It probably won’t be perfect at launch, as both Vault of Glass and Crota’s End saw numerous tweaks, but this one needs to knock it out of the park from a gameplay standpoint. Hopefully is can combine the best qualities of VoG and CE, weed out the boring bits, and also bring something new to the table.
More puzzles and thinking, less bullet sponge enemy waves, and teamwork required to succeed should be the primary goals, and it looks like this is the plan:
One of the things that the Dreadnaught does represent is our next way that we’re thinking about destination design and iteration. With the Dreadnaught, we wanted to take some of the things that we felt players liked about the Vault of Glass, which is like explorability, discovery, mythology, and mystery, and weave that into the player experience, so that players feel like they have opportunities to go back to this place and figure out different secrets.
People appreciated the Vault of Glass was the sprawling sense of exploration that pervaded the raid. You felt like you could get lost if you weren’t careful, and the bosses felt larger than life. You had delved into the depths of a new location that was unfamiliar, and this atmospheric sense of alienation and dread made the Templar, Gatekeeper, and Atheon truly feel like do-or-die experiences.
In September, Guardians everywhere will unite to finally take down Oryx, and this boss deserves a rightfully epic and challenging Raid that should hopefully have fireteams struggling, arguing, uniting and finally screaming in success.
Different multipliers and burns added in PoE were a welcome addition, but even still, fighting the same few bosses got old in a few weeks. How about allowing those to be toggled off and on for regular Strikes – with increased rewards for the more modifiers you enable?
More timed events would also be a welcome addition! Like a PvE version of Trials or Iron Banner that comes along every so often and rewards only those who succeed and grind it out the hardest. There would be a weekly and monthly event, varying in difficulty, that have exclusive and meaningful rewards.
Another issue that needs to be addressed is the difficulty level of the old Raids. Have you played Vault of Glass or Crota’s End at level 34 yet? It’s a breeze, and frankly, not all that fun when there’s zero challenge involved. It’d be great to have the option of playing VoG and CE on a higher difficulty level – and, of course, to have a chance to earn new and better rewards. Perhaps a “Taken” version in a similar way to what’s happening with a few of the old Strikes.
We need more vault space, but Bungie knows this. There’s already a struggle to maintain everything that hardcore players have now, and The Taken King will add a plethora of new guns and armors and we need a lot more space to hold it all.
As far as loyalty rewards are concerned, if you’ve been with Destiny from the beginning, and take the plunge with the Taken King, you will receive some perks, but is it enough? What about those of us who have been with Destiny since the Alpha and the Beta? Emblems are a nice gesture, but I think it would be even cooler to be able to show off your loyalty in different ways. New Ghost shells spring to mind.
In the end, we have a responsibility to fight those tendencies that entangle us in an experience we aren’t happy with. Which is why, if you feel yourself burning out on Destiny, take a step back and re-evaluate.
When The Taken King launches on September 15, hopefully some of the changes outlined above will be implemented. What do you think about them?
Please let us know what you hope to see – Bungie is listening!