Bungie’s shared-world space opera epic has always had a tough shelf life. Both as its original incarnation in 2014, and now in its current form as Destiny 2 which was released this year. Now it might just be my unwillingness to leave aside my cranky “traditional” gamer mentality, but seeing fans complain over a game that doesn’t have enough content when they’ve already spent nearly 200 hours in it, astonishes me.
It might solely be a result of the pedestal that Bungie themselves have put themselves on (they did, after all, promote the game as an online-only MMO), but the recent controversy still evokes a worrying sense of entitlement on behalf of the players. With raids to undergo, adventures to go on, and a hulking beast of a story mode that easily shadows the narrative of the original, all in all Destiny 2 has done a good job at resolving the glaring issues introduced in the first game. Is it perfect? Of course not. But few games actually are.
It all boils down to the fact that when it comes to Destiny 2, there are likely two different kinds of players – The type that want to get in, experience the bulk of what the game has to offer, and then the type that crave a continuous shooter experience akin to World of Warcraft. With Destiny 2 primarily being a social experience, I suppose its only natural for people to want it to g on for as long as possible. But personally, for me, 2017 has been such a jam-packed year for games, I can’t imagine wanting to pump so much time into just one.
Destiny 2’s problem is that for as fun as it is to play and great as it feels to shoot, Bungie has built and promoted a gameplay loop that encourages a certain subset of players to garner rewards, rather than an experience that is rewarding in and of itself. The carrot and stick formula dominates the game for the most part, with Unspoken Promise and the Last Dance being the rare rewards for those willing to dedicated the extensive time needed to acquire them.
Regardless of which side you land on, Bungie’s recent efforts to keep up the two-way dialogue between them and fans a game like this requires should be commended. They’re listening. And the truth of the matter is that games of Destiny 2’s ilk take time to adjust and get right. Their shadiness about XP distribution is a definite no-no however, and if there’s one good tweak to come of hardcore fan dedication, it’s that Destiny 2 will, in time, be a fairer and more fun game for every type of player.