Destiny 2 – One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

This is my feeling when I think about Destiny 2, there is no doubt that the game has improved  in many way – the story is so much better, missions feel a little more varied, the gunplay is great, but it’s hard not to notice that in a few ways it has taken a step backwards.

On the surface, Destiny 2 has been streamlined, which makes for a much more enjoyable experience when you first start out. Gone are the multiple currencies, gone are the materials needed to level up weapons and armour, gone are terrible RNG loot drops (mostly). But once you get in to the game, you start to notice the other things, the areas where perhaps Bungie trimmed off too much fat.

You will see a trend in this post and it’s over simplification, to me, it feels a lot like the quote at the beginning for every good thing Bungie has done in this game, they’ve created a negative side to it.

The Pyramidion is a great Strike!

Weapon & Armour changes

One of the biggest changes was to weapons, not only did they switch up the ‘slots’ to Kinetic, Energy and Power, but they also added in weapon mods (in place of some perks) that you could add to a weapon to boost it’s stats or give it an additional perk. Weapons also now have static perks meaning that you will never see different ‘base’ perks on the same weapon. On the surface that might not sound too bad – you’re not forever grinding for the ‘god roll’ and it certainly makes things like balancing a lot easier. But, not only have they added in a lot less mods than we had perks in D1, but the grind for the god roll helped keep things a little more interesting. Now you’re just grinding for infusion material. That scout rifle you picked up at 200 Power, it’s never going to change apart from when you infuse it to make it more powerful. It removes variation and it makes only a handful of weapons worth keeping hold of… the rest… scrap em for parts.

My SUROS DIS-47 in Destiny 1 was a god roll and it was awesome, people envied me for having it and I miss that excitement of seeing if a new version of a weapon might be better than one I already have.

Strikes

In my opinion Destiny’s 2 strikes are better than the original ones, with the Pyramidion being a real stand out for me. They’re fun, have a few interesting mechanics and a bit more variation to them. But, strike specific loot has been removed and so has the buff for running consecutive strikes. Most people are looking for ways to level up and get better gear and quite simply strikes are one of the worst ways to do this right now. It’s such a shame because running strikes was one of my favourite things to do in Destiny 1 and the new strikes are great.

We also don’t have the option of Heroic versions of the strikes either. A buff to Vanguard reputation tokens wouldn’t go a miss either.

There are some great places to see!

Menu Changes

Bounties are basically gone, yea ok, they’ve been replaced by challenges for each activity type which is fine. But I quite enjoyed going to visit Xander 99-40 in the Tower to see what he had to offer. But the worst bit about these changes is the fact that you can’t actually see what the challenges are until you’re in the activity. Want to know what you need to do in strikes? Well you’re going to have to start one first… I don’t understand how Bungie reached this decision and I fully expect it to change in the following months.

This actually leads me on to my next point too; the quests and rep screens are no more. Now if you want to see your rep for each vendor you’ll have to specifically visit them on their planets or in the social zones and you can only see very basic information about your quests on the director screen. I don’t quite understand why this changed. Oh, also, you can’t see the challenges if you have a glimmer notification on screen – which you get every time you or your fire team kills something…. good one.

When Destiny 1 first rolled out the info for quests wasn’t great, so they changed it so we could see a bit more detail about what quests we had, what stage each one was at etc… it became so much better, but now they’ve taken a step back and stripped all the info out for a simple one line about what you’re doing.

Crucible & Fireteams

I’m ok with the changes to 4 vs 4, that doesn’t bother me, I’m also ok with the way that matches play out – less one shot shotguns, more team work. You’re now a lot less likely to see one player completely dominate as the time to kill is much higher meaning it’s tougher to take out multiple enemies one your own.

But what I’m not so keen on is the simplification of the playlists, there are two – casual and competitive. Each one rotates through various game modes. I’d just prefer a few more options and they also need to introduce some sort of punishment for leavers as right now there is nothing and people are dropping out left right and centre making it almost impossible to win games.

Layout for the new screens feels disjointed

As I said, I’m ok with 4vs4 in the crucible, but this change has brought about new problems in other areas. Previously you could be a six stack, in that group you could Raid and play PVP, if you then want to go off and do other activities like Strikes, or patrol etc.. you could split in to two nice groups of three. Now though, you have 6 players for a raid, 4 players for PVP and 3 players for everything else, it fragments your group badly. Say you’re playing some Trials of the Nine – where there is no match making, so you need 4 players, great, you have that, you play and then want to move on to the Nightfall, well tough, you’re going to have to split up in two groups of two or leave one person on their own.

I just don’t understand why they’ve done this. For now, on console I only really play with one friend regularly, so it’s not an issue for me personally, but once the PC version drops I know I’ll have three other friends ready to play and it sucks that we’re going to have to split up for a lot of the game.

At the very least bump up the Patrol numbers to 4 players, it’s not like it’s going to break the game, we already see more than players taking part in public events pretty regularly.

 

There a lot of other minor things that have changed for what I feel worse – the companion app is bare of information, shaders are 1 time use, Sparrows aren’t unlocked until level 20. When looking at these things individually it’s not a big deal and you can quite easily look past them, but once you start to put it all together you start to build a picture of just how much Destiny 2 has changed and how many of those changes aren’t all that great.

It feels like for every change or improvement they made, there is an a consequence to it that takes it a step back. There is an overall lack of variety across the board so much so that I just wanted to list out some of the changes.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m really enjoying playing the game, I’ve had an absolute blast going through all of the content and I’ve still got lots left to do, but – and others have said this too, Destiny 2 feels more like an evolution of vanilla Destiny and not year 3 Destiny.

What are your thoughts on Destiny 2? Do these little things bother you?

-Will

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3 thoughts on “Destiny 2 – One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

  1. I played the original Destiny demo, but just found it to be repetitive overall, a complete grind. Based on your review, it doesn’t sound as though the sequel has done enough to vary the gameplay.

    • There is a grind, although I’d say it’s better than before. I totally get that people aren’t going to enjoy that side of it, but it’s something I don’t mind.

      I’ve put in around 30 hours so far and haven’t really repeated anything yet though and the story and overall gameplay is great fun!

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