Destiny 1 had a problem. Playing on your own simply wasn’t as fun as playing with others. And if you actually wanted to play with others, finding like-minded or similarly skilled players in-game for a tricky Nightfall, Strike, or Raid was an even bigger problem, let alone actually finishing the mission. Playing the self-proclaimed “shared world shooter” solo may have resulted in strangers blasting the crap out of that Cabal, but it never felt like player experiences were properly integrated together. Bungie had all the right content for excellent multiplayer action in Destiny 1, but it lacked the social infrastructure to let it truly thrive.
It was something that game director Luke Smith confessed when he revealed that Raids hadn’t quite delivered in the first title. Not because they weren’t great, as they’re easily the most challenging and rewarding element of Destiny, but because not enough players actually ran one. “The Raids in Destiny 1 couldn’t be experienced by everyone. Fifty percent of people who reached the level cap got organized into Fireteams and completed a Raid,” which Smith described as “almost a miracle.”
Whether you see that figure as a success or not, Smith and the Bungie team certainly don’t. Raids were a core component of the original Destiny, and it can’t be refuted that the loot-focused shooter is best enjoyed with company. As a result, Bungie wants to make it easier for people to get together, and make Raids more accessible in Destiny 2. The team’s vision for Destiny 2 is one which Smith described as “(a world where) there’s always amazing things for me to do. And if I want, there’s always someone for me to play with.”
Bungie aims to deliver on this social front in a number of different ways in Destiny 2. First off is the proper in-game support of clans. The feature will allow groups of Guardians to join up, change their banners, write a description about themselves, and most importantly, share in-game rewards.
That doesn’t mean the low-Light newcomer is gonna be stealing your Exotics. You’ll still earn loot individually dependent on your own performance and active consumables, but you’ll also be working towards a shared goal that will reward all members with loot regardless of their skill level. A common goal among all clan members makes the idea of joining and playing together more alluring and the grind less arduous; especially when a Strike, Nightfall, or Raid’s payout is underwhelming (which it sure can be).
This overhaul of clans in Destiny 2 has the potential to really help the community grow, providing an incentive for everyone to get involved and play together. Because c’mon, who doesn’t want another means of getting loot?
Not everyone has a group of players to head out on a Raid with, though, and that’s where Guided Games seeks to bring even more people into the Destiny community. Guided Games allows solo players to join up with a clan to fill a vacant spot in a Raid, Strike, or Nightfall. Both parties can accept or decline one another, but the hope is players will find “there’s a community for everyone” in the Destiny 2 world.
While it may sound a little shaky on paper – relying on the good will of experienced players to open their clan doors to those (possibly) less experienced Guardians – Guided Games are a win-win for everyone and could go a long way towards solving the first game’s biggest problem.
Rather than hoping you get matched with equally skilled or like-minded Guardians like in Destiny 1, players are given the tools to find the right Fireteam for them. Who knows, perhaps one fateful Raid in Guided Games will be the start of a successful career as part of a clan.
If all these systems work in Destiny 2 as outlined by Bungie, it might just have found the means to take its “shared world shooter” to the next level. Guided Games will help more people group up and take on the game’s most enjoyable challenges, and the clan system only encourages players to invest in its community. Whether it pays off as intended remains to be seen, but Destiny 2 is shaping up to provide the perfect social platform for its Guardians.