The Declining State of Destiny

The Declining State of Destiny

The Taken King offered Destiny a promising future, but the game has since slipped into decline.

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Eh, the sparrow racing was a pretty good diversion. Of course, they fumbled it massively by making it a limited time activity, then dumping it in the Holiday season of December when everyone was busy with family, Star Wars, and various other games that landed then. The Hard mode of Oryx also wasn't received well at all. It was anticipated, but then they dropped the ludicrous RNG loot table for it and the community basically revolted.

Of course, more recently, they've thrown up such laughing stock efforts as the "Valentines Couples Challenge" PvP mode, and made the latest Iron Banner a Rift gametype, Rift possibly being the most despised mode available. After taking a month off from any community updates, that's the note they chose to come back on.

I think the whole game was beyond saving right when it first came out. There's just way too much stuff that needs to be reworked or added in or removed outright. And this focus on Raids and gear and crap make my eyes just glaze over almost instantly. It reminds me so much of WoW, it hurts.

I started playing it in December and have already grown quite tired of it. There's just not enough content to support this style of game design. I had finished the only on-level raid on hardmode (and all the challenge modes) within a month, and Crucible doesn't have the same staying power as Halo PvP did back in the old days.

I started playing FF14 and in the time it took me to get to max level and clear the first raid in Destiny I am only halfway to 60 in FF14. Seems like there's still a mountain of content I have yet to see too.

Part of my bittersweet disappointment with Destiny is because my only experience with MMO gameplay (as a 29 year old) is FFX14 ARR and that game easily curb-stomps Destiny's face in. For one, it has all of the amenities Destiny lacks (why in the capital F F**K is there no matchmaking for Raids and Nightfalls? Why is there no keyboard support for chatting? Why no party finder even?) and for two, FF14 has a ton of content. Don't wanna duneon crawl? Explore the world. Don't even wanna fight or get bored of it? Do leatherwork, smithing, or cooking stuff (which feeds back into your other classes since you use materials and food items to level up yourself or your stuff). Also FF14 has a pretty decent old school FF story, and it again laps around Destiny all over the place.

I plan to fully wait this time for Destiny 2, if it lacks simple things like party finding and text chatting (that even FtP games like Warframe have) I won't bother.

I am more concerned about how closely The Division is shadowing Destiny's foot steps. Even their announced DLC names look like they could've been rejected titles of Destiny's DLC. Underground (The Dark Below), Survival(House of Wolves arena), Last Stand (against the Taken King).

It's the same problem every MMO has - players burn through content fast so devs have to create reasons for their playerbase to log in with free (or paid) content updates. This is a great way to keep cashflow coming and people employed if the right devs have the creativity to push the story forward. The weekly and bi-weekly events are nice but the incentive isn't there for people who have outside lives to live.

Considering how much of Destiny is now tied to The Taken King, it's made it impossible to get new players, as you need both games IIRC, in order to actually play. Every post I've seen about whether or not you need TTK suggests you do if you actually want to have fun.

TTK did nothing but segregate the playerbase.

I tend to play Warframe for my shooter.

When The Division was announced it looked pretty cool, so did Destiny.
But one experience richer The Division will land anywhere but certainly not in one of my systems, that's for sure.
It is basically Destiny mundane close future edition...

RebornKusabi:
Part of my bittersweet disappointment with Destiny is because my only experience with MMO gameplay (as a 29 year old) is FFX14 ARR and that game easily curb-stomps Destiny's face in. For one, it has all of the amenities Destiny lacks (why in the capital F F**K is there no matchmaking for Raids and Nightfalls? Why is there no keyboard support for chatting? Why no party finder even?) and for two, FF14 has a ton of content. Don't wanna duneon crawl? Explore the world. Don't even wanna fight or get bored of it? Do leatherwork, smithing, or cooking stuff (which feeds back into your other classes since you use materials and food items to level up yourself or your stuff). Also FF14 has a pretty decent old school FF story, and it again laps around Destiny all over the place.

I plan to fully wait this time for Destiny 2, if it lacks simple things like party finding and text chatting (that even FtP games like Warframe have) I won't bother.

QFT!

Mazinger-Z:

I tend to play Warframe for my shooter.

Exactly, Warframe is the PC's Destiny... only more fun (and free if you are okay with grind).

And it's now available on the PS4 and Xbox one as well... so Destiny has competition.

I think this, in addition to it being - from comments and people I know who have played it - being very meh all around.

KaraFang:

Mazinger-Z:

I tend to play Warframe for my shooter.

Exactly, Warframe is the PC's Destiny... only more fun (and free if you are okay with grind).

And it's now available on the PS4 and Xbox one as well... so Destiny has competition.

I think this, in addition to it being - from comments and people I know who have played it - being very meh all around.

Grind's not even that bad. They have enough of a stable of Warframes that getting a few options isn't that big a deal.

Where they get you is inventory slots for gear (you ironically aren't even aware of them until you start crafting stuff), but thankfully not for crafting mats. That and cosmetics are literally the only things you need to spend money on.

That and the things that double the 'talent points' (for lack of a better word) on weapons and Warframes are the only things that tinge my disgust, because they are necessary for end-game, you can get them for free very very rarely and its honestly easier to just buy them outright, but I realize I'm playing for free most of the time. I haven't gotten to the point I need one yet, so I'm not sure if/when I'll get frustrated enough to fork over cash for it.

A lot of the cost can be offset by waiting for a discount on platinum (as a login reward) and then buying plat with that.

Honestly, I've been playing for two weeks after not playing it since Nekros in 2013. Prior to that I had like two weapons and no frames. Now I've got 4 frames that are being built (I have no room in inventory, waiting on a plat coupon) and I'm having a blast. I'm especially loving Spy missions and Survival.

Its very hard for me to get into online shooters these days. Red Orchestra 2 still has me enthralled when I'm in the mood for it and I'd just rather play Fallout 4 these days. My friend who plays Destiny regularly has fallen off of it, saying he's done all there is to do. Not my game, not my problem... I just think singleplayer experiences are the better investment for me now.

I keep finding the sheer volume of material about or mentioning The Division to be somewhat odd, especially given how little there actually seems to be to say about it. I'm not sure what The Division would offer in terms of competition to Destiny, because for all the content about it, there's very little information.

It reads as fawning over a game that started before there was any real reason to.

But more to the point, I would personally think that this is the sort of thing that would make people maybe think twice about adopting The Division or other games like it. Given how big a mess Destiny was and how many people are comparing The Division to it, I would think the sort of yellow flag of caution would be going off. But maybe people really don't learn about the issues behind this model. The issues like the ones already mentioned here (systemic problems requiring a large overhaul, expansions fragmenting the base, the disposability of the content.

It seems hard to keep this kind of game afloat, period, and screwing up from the beginning appears to be a good way to make sure that even big names don't keep people interested. I think most publishers don't care enough to keep supporting such a product on the level necessary anyway.

Of course, I do expect that I'll be the one in the wrong, and the next Destiny-like game coming out will sell like 20 million copies before becoming a virtual ghost town in six months or a year. It's been so long since I've heard its name that I'm having trouble remembering what it's called....

A lot of the criticism against the skill-based matchmaking and the recent Iron Banner is pure hyperbole. Sure, the latency is a problem, but Bungie already has tested improved match-making algorithms during IB, which definitely improved the matter, and is currently implementing these changes in the normal Crucible playlists (some already are).

Claiming that SBMM is problematic because skilled players have to be "hyper-competitive" is simply ridiculous. Many of the complaints of these "skilled players" on the Bungie forums boiled down to them preferring to play against simple cannon fodder, but not against actually worthy opponents. Boohoo. This is a luxury "problem" that maybe affects a tiny percentage of the player base. For the vast majority of more average players, the SBMM gives them the opportunity to experience engaging and fair matches with an actual chance of winning. This is a thing that keeps the players motivated.

Similarly ridiculous is the claim that single skilled players had to "carry the whole team". In all the normal Crucible matches, I have never seen a game where a single player or a small group of them had to do all the work. In all these matches, all players contributed more or less evenly to the team's result. Admittedly, this looked a bit different in the Iron Banner, but due to the somewhat wider range of the players' level advantages there were more noticeable differences how much they could to contribute. But even the few times where this happened, the players were always immediately re-matched after the game to ensure a more uniform skill level in the teams.

Rift as game type for the Iron Banner was totally fine. Most critics on the Bungie forums beforehand claimed that due to the amount of team-play necessary in this game type, Rift would have been unsuitable to play with randomly selected teammates. Guess what? It totally worked out. Even without voice chat, I have seen in most matches that the players automatically found their roles and managed to play as team. It was also noticeable that there were more threads complaining about the Rift IB before it started than while it actually ran.

All that said, I have to agree that Destiny seems to be in trouble. They urgently need to add more PVE content and they have to make the Year 1 PVE content (the raids and the Prison of Elders) relevant again by updating the loot drops. The SRL was an interesting idea, but hampered by the lack of courses. And the upcoming 2v2 PVP game type in the Valentine's Day event is unappealing for many players due to the lack of teammate matchmaking.

As a guy who bought it when it first came out and someone who played it religiously two weeks prior to the Taken King's launch, I feel inclined to point out that the game is really good, but a lack of support by the developer past a handful of cheap diversions has turned people off.

There were a lot of reasons that the game essentially ran out of content. Making the previous raids/Prison of Elders completely pointless, a turn to micro transactions and small patches instead of large expansions and Bungie underestimating the internet's ability to find all of the hidden nooks and crannies present throughout the game.

Don't get me wrong, Destiny has taken strides since its initial launch. Its reduced the grindy nature of its farming, the latest raid is a sight to behold and the art design and latest missions are actually quite fun, but Bungie's lack of new content and their tight lipped teasing are just turning people off over bringing them back. I still have it saved to my hard drive in the hopes that they will release a new raid or perhaps a new series of missions related to the Cabal, but right now my Xbox is just sitting there gathering dust.

 

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