Yesterday, Bungie gave a finer, more detailed look at the roadmap for Destiny 2 changes planned for the next few months. By the end of February, players can expect quality of life changes such as being able to see fireteam members on the map, text chat for PC players, reduction of duplicate exotics and more gameplay centered change such as a rework of Nightfall strikes with a potential for better rewards as well. Further out into March, the Iron Banner will allow the return of 6v6, a rotating playlist of game types including the extremely popular Mayhem mode, and the potential for much needed exotic weapon reworks. Finally, the new season will begin in May (presumably with the next expansion) and in addition to whatever the expansion will add for people who purchase it, players can expect to see private matches added, an increase in vault space, changes to faction rallies, Crucible rankings, and Eater of Worlds Prestige mode.
Before we dive into negativity, first we need to toss Bungie some praise for its increased transparency. Destiny as a franchise is arguably in its lowest point right now. The worst thing Bungie could do is go radio silent during a time like this. Fortunately, Bungie is being as open as possible about its work, and that’s crucial. And it’s also worth mentioning that Bungie, to its credit, seems to be acknowledging and agreeing with a lot of the problems players have with the game. The issue appears to be lack of available time and manpower, rather than a lack of effort or want to change. But that’s a discussion for another day.
One could argue that the vanilla Destiny and The Dark Below era was worse, but even then at least there were carrots like the Vex Mythoclast, raid armor, and other hard-to-get items keeping people hanging around and playing while Bungie patched things up in the near future that followed.
Destiny 2 on the other hand is somehow still playing catch up to features seen in vanilla Destiny. Unique raid armor perks were finally just released along with exclusive raid items like the new Exotic ghost. This is the kind of content that always existed in Destiny 1 as of the first raid, Vault of Glass. Sure, better late than never, and it’s a step in the right direction, so it’s senseless to categorically knock it, but to many fans, not having all of this from the get go was and still is a hard pill to swallow.
When Destiny 2 released, we enjoyed the game a lot and appreciated all of the new features it added, especially when it comes to having the planets be more interesting to explore with better public events and new lost sectors. However it took some time (a few weeks after the raid released to be specific), before we, and many others, started to feel the effects of cut Destiny 1 features. Once you cleared the raid a few times, there wasn’t much to keep all but the most hardcore fans going. No god rolls on equipment to chase, no game-changing exclusive exotics, and no armor that felt worth going out of your way to get. In fact, the coolest looking armor that might have been worth chasing, such as the Dawning exclusive set, was locked behind Eververse. The Crucible has become less chaotic with Destiny 1 special weapons being locked away in the power section, and 6v6 game types being removed. This has led to a blander experience that feels dominated by clearly superior weapons that are hard to beat in the right hands. It might be more balanced, but it’s not necessarily more fun for the average player.
At this point in Destiny 1’s first year, while it was struggling, at least you could your hang your hat on the fact that everything that was being added was actually “new” to the game. These roadmap changes from yesterday has very little that will motivate a player that got bored to come back. After all, if you really wanted to play a complete version of Destiny, there’s nothing stopping you from playing Destiny 1. It’s hard to get excited for additions that for the most part are stuff that should have been in the game from the get go. Sure, it’s also filled with excellent quality of life changes for people still enjoying the game and that’s great. But more vault space probably isn’t the reason why someone quit. And while the more noteworthy changes should absolutely improve the game, Destiny 2 has a tougher hole to climb out of than Destiny 1.
When Destiny 1 was in its dark age early on, we were still in the early phase of this console generation. There was competition sure, but not at the level that we’re seeing in 2018. 2017 was absolutely loaded with amazing games to play across all three major home consoles, PCs, and handhelds and 2018 is poised to be just as stacked. There’s nothing in this roadmap that looks so game changing, that it would pull those that flaked out away from newer and popular games like Monster Hunter: World, Fortnite, and PUBG.
Destiny 1 players were also treated to House of Wolves which was divisive, sure, but added two genuinely unique events that revitalized the game enough to make it even better then the Taken King expansion. This roadmap is hopefully just supplementing what needs to be a foundation rocking the second expansion for Destiny 2. Destiny 1 limped its way over to The Taken King. If “Gods of Mars” is at all similar to Curse of Osiris, Destiny 2 is going to be arriving to its first major fall expansion in a stretcher.