May 8th is going to be a very important date for Bungie. It’s the date that the latest DLC for Destiny 2 – Warmind, will release and when Season 3 starts. It’s arguably their last chance at ‘saving’ the game. If this goes wrong, then I’m not sure how they can come back from it.
I picked Destiny 2 as my favourite game of last year, and I still stand by the fact that I had a bunch of fun playing it. But that fun didn’t last long enough, in fact just after the Curse of Osiris DLC released I stopped playing, as did all of my friends who I was playing with on PC. From my personal point of view I was feeling a bit bored, but mainly I was just frustrated at how far backwards D2 had gone compared to D1 – I wrote about D2 feeling like one step forward and two back last year and it’s kind of sad to see that it’s still the case.
Destiny is probably my favourite game of the XB1 era, Destiny 1 in year 3 was a very fun game with loads to do. So it was sad to see a regression of the franchise with D2, it was sad to see that D2 was the first foray in to the Destiny world for PC players and not D1 and I fear that they’ve lost a lot of the PC market pretty much completely at this point.
Whilst the gameplay has always been solid and fun it was the little things that only really start to stand out over time that started to bug me – over reliance on Eververse items, small vault sizes, juggling inventory in convoluted ways, static weapon perks, poor in game map, the list goes on.
There is hope though, slim as it may be. People are still playing, people are patient, and people are still hoping that D2 can pull a D1. I’m one of those people.
Bungie have been quietly squirreling away at content, updates and the aforementioned DLC, and whilst they have already made some changes (6 vs 6 back in Iron Banner for exmaple) to things which have improved a few areas, the May update is going to be the big one. The most obvious addition is going to be the new DLC and the new activities like Escalation Protocol that come with it. Escalation Protocol is a new PVE activity that is kind of a horde mode that will see Guardians facing off against waves of ever increasingly difficult enemies whilst completing 4 stages of objectives. There are 7 waves in total and Bungie promise that finishing them all will be a real challenge. Specific loot can be earned throughout the activity after certain stages – 3, 5 and 7 I believe. This is the kind of thing PVE players want to grind for; this is the kind of thing that should’ve been in from the start.
On the PVP side, proper ranked competitive play is coming and each season players will be able to grind for a specific weapon that can only be earned by reaching a certain rank. If you don’t get that high, tough, get gud scrub… or something to that effect.
There are also some quality of life changes, new raid lair, exotic weapon reworks and some other bits coming along and to be honest I think it all sounds pretty positive and actually has me kind of excited to play the game again. Most importantly, the changes should give people reasons to play all activities to grind for specific items.
Changes to Destiny are usually going to make me want to play again because I loved the first and I want to love 2 just as much, so I’m always willing to try out the new stuff, plus I brought the season pass when the first DLC dropped so I already have access to the next one anyway. When the game first launched I regularly played with a full fire team and there was pretty much always at least 3 of us online. But now none of us play it and like I said I’m a little easier to sway due to my love affair with D1, but I feel like my friends will be a little tougher to convince although I’m pretty sure they’ve expressed an interest in trying it out again. But that’s where I feel most players are right now – willing to give it a go, but if it’s not right they will probably be gone and gone for good. Maybe you could argue that the May update is stop gap, or a temporary solution to a longer term goal as we know the main expansion will be coming in September and that’s usually the one that feels kind of like a whole new game as Destiny 1 showed us. But I think if they mess it in May, there won’t be people around for the September update – especially with heavy rumours of a new Borderlands game coming this year.
I’m feeling positive about it all though, Destiny 2 was never a bad game in mine and a lot of peoples opinions, it just lacked things for players to really do and fun gear to grind for, Season 3 is the first stepping stone in changing that.
If Bungie mess up May’s update then you won’t be able to convince people to spend another £40 later in the year.
If Bungie mess up, I fear Destiny 2 could actually be dead.