Cast your minds back to the year 2004. A special year for Xbox fans. After having released classic games such as the original Halo, Myth and Marathon, 2004 was a year in gaming that sticks out for me. Bungie would release perhaps its most applauded game yet – Halo 2. Apart from being a follow up to one of the best launch games of all time, it was a flagship game for Microsofts infant Xbox Live service.
In 2007 Bungie would go on to release yet another fantastic game in the franchise with Halo3, a game still revered to this day for its excellent multiplayer. A game many would play for years and still do.
Which brings us to 2010 – the split between Microsoft and Bungie and the relationship between the later and Activision. The beginning of a change gamers should have feared. This was the start of Bungie changing from that Halo developer we loved, to the micro transaction and broken promises developer we have today.
The release of Destiny in 2014 promised a lot to gamers but launched, not so much with a bang, but a puff of smoke. Sure, it sold like hot cakes but left many gamers feeling angry. How could Bungie, of all developers, release a game in this state? Where was the story? Where was the content? Bungie would go on to rectify much of the problems with the release of the expansion, The Taken King, but by then many players had left.
Surely Bungie would learn from these mistakes and release a sequel that would take Destiny to another level? Short answer? No. Long answer? No, and you introduced more problems. Having previously discussed the lack of grind, PvP etc in previous articles let’s focus on what the greater problems are with Destiny 2 and with Bungie as a whole.
Eververse. This sorry state for a “feature” is not only trying to bleed the player base of money, but it’s bleeding the game of what it needs most – players. Putting up pay walls and having most, if not all, new rewards behind it is a slap in the face to gamers and hardcore Destiny fans. The fans that stuck with the first game through all the problems are now being given the middle finger.
Eververse by itself is enough of a problem but Bungie doesn’t seem to be annoying and frustrating players with this alone. The Curse Of Osiris expansion turned gamers off due to the small amount of content and even smaller new play space in the form of Mercury. The Infinite Forest is greatly underused and it’s obvious Bungie’s quest to include it took time away from simply making Mercury are more engaging space to play in.
We also discovered that player XP was being limited the longer gamers played the game. This was rectified once the uproar occurred but why was it allowed to be in first place? The latest live event in The Dawning hasn’t introduced anything significant apart from including the Mayhem PvP mode which fans seem to enjoy – a mode that was stripped out for the sequel. Even if gamers played all day, everyday, they wouldn’t earn enough in game currency to buy all the rewards for the event. Bungie wants to chop up an entire whole game into smaller fragments and sell them to us on top of a full priced game.
Bungie is nothing like the company we all had a fondness for. They are currently headed down a dark path where the dollar is king and gamers come a distant second. Bungie will take the path that makes them the most money and that is what Destiny 2 is there for. The game of Destiny 2 is simply there at the moment as a means to push microtransactions onto the player. Content, fun, community, engagement, rewards… these are all secondary to the famed loot box.
With frustrated players increasingly making themselves heard,just as they did with Star Wars:Battlefront II, Bungie will continue to do what Bungie always does these days. They will say we are listening to the community and to hold out for an update. The update will land, it will provide the bare minimum required, then the whole process will repeat itself again over and over. Bungie isn’t interested in giving players what they are after or to ‘fix’ what frustrates players. This is by design. This is what Bungie is in 2017. Bungie is only interested in providing ‘just enough’ for players to keep playing the game, to keep buying the Bright Engrams and to limit a backlash (which they are failing at).
Beyond Destiny 2, Bungie has changed as a company. The Bungie I grew up with, the company that gave me Halo, hooking up four Xbox consoles via LAN for all day sessions – is dead. They have discovered loot boxes and the lure of the dollars is too great.
Destiny 2 should not need fixing as it currently does. The original Destiny ironed out many of the problems by The Taken King update. Why all that good work would be put aside is beyond me. Bungie must tread very carefully because how Bungie reacts to and engages with the community will show how Destiny 2 evolves over time. How it does will dictate whether a Destiny 3 is made and whether gamers even care. By this time the gamers may no longer feel respected because as it stands now, Bungie is intentionally restricting content and features which is against the best interests of their fans.
Bungie continually telling the community that they are listening when there is backlash will only go so far with Destiny fans in future. History keeps repeating itself.
You may be talking Bungie, but our ears could be closed by the time you open your eyes.