Despite any of our personal feelings about Destiny, it is not going away. The next DLC is slated to release in March of 2015 and Bungie has a contract with Activision for five more years. The game itself has become a polarizing subject with people either loving or loathing it for various reasons. Bungie has been updating the game since its launch to the tune of over a dozen patches in addition to the first DLC package, but some of their decisions have been questionable.
So, can Destiny be fixed? Whether you care to admit it or not, Bungie did build a functional shell for the game. All the technical makings are there to build upon, but the lack of story and questionable system and resource management seems to be hindering the game more than anything. Changes to the game, like the overhaul of The Iron Banner, show promise that additional patches can be used to address other issues as well. More recently, Crota’s End was patched to improve drop rates for rewards.
On a technical level it would appear that Destiny can be fixed, but the philosophical decisions of Bungie may ultimately be what holds it back. Many, including myself, were disgusted and almost angered when The Dark Below released and made all of the gear received in The Vault of Glass irrelevant; since anyone could now simply buy better gear in the Tower. Take a look at the gear that can be awarded in Crota’s End along with the upgrade materials and XP needed to max it out, then think about the fact that this gear too may become ‘garbage’ grade as soon as the next DLC arrives. If you are a fan of endless grinding then rejoice, but many of us will not be part of it.
“What was to be a ‘fix” became a farce in that it discouraged and enraged players, rather than enticing and rewarding them.”
Key decisions will need to be made about how Bungie approaches the future of Destiny. Will they hold tight the reigns of power and keep true to the vision of the game they imagined? Can they find a compromise between what they desire and what the community wants? Or will they give into the loudest voices in the crowd and make a game that has no heart, but is easily played and enjoyed? Every game faces these decisions and tough choice will have to be made.
The changes we have already seen may foretell things to come. Take a look at how Bungie responded to complaints about Exotic upgrades by negating the need for Ascendant Shards, but creating another currency in the form of Exotic Shards. This attempt to fix a problem actually created a new one and devalued currency that players had already earned. What was to be a ‘fix” became a farce in that it discouraged and enraged players, rather than enticing and rewarding them.
Also look to the statements from Bungie about how The Dark Below would be its best storytelling effort to date, only to have it be the same thinly developed and narrated mission designs that were panned in the original release. There has been news of late that changes are coming in the next DLC, but Bungie stands to its non-committal tongue-in-cheek public relation approach when it comes to details.
The hope is there that Destiny can eventually live up to the billing and hype it received. Bungie did well with the Halo series and Activision has numerous successes under its belt. Even if you look at the genre of MMO’s you can find successes from the vast popularity of World of Warcraft to Planetside 2. Perhaps Destiny can turn things around as other games have, Diablo III for example, but will gamers still be playing? Some will and some won’t and it may come down to what is or isn’t fixed in the game.
Paul Novak is a self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing in the west side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet. Found here at What’s Your Tag? and on the Twitter @dudewantshisrug. Game on with Team XBRO!