50,000 people used to live here. Now it’s a ghost town.
Things might not be quite that drastic, but there has been a noticeable drop-off in activity across the Destiny 2 community as of late. Fans of Destiny rode out the first game on a high note: three years worth of content at end game levels and outstanding quality of life updates. Needless to say, that wave carried right into and through the launch of Destiny 2. The game saw over 1.2 million concurrent players a few days after the game was released. Things were looking great. So… what happened? Here are my thoughts on that matter:
The Content. Let’s go back to that wave we all rolled into Destiny 2 on. Year 3 of Destiny culminated in the Age of Triumph: past raids to bash your heads against and old exotics to chase after once again. There was suddenly much more content to enjoy. I found myself still running the older raids as a primer for people who had never experienced them before pitting ourselves against the daunting Year 3 versions. A day of playing may have included upwards of three or four raids being run with a single fireteam. With nearly 6 months between the launch of the Age of Triumph update and the release of Destiny 2, I feel like we got used to that amount of content. Now, we don’t even have one year of content (if you remember, Year 1 of Destiny encompassed both the vanilla game as well as the first two expansions). While what we have is enjoyable (I love logging in to do flashpoints, and personally think the Leviathan raid is brilliant), it’s not nearly as much as what we had only 3 months ago.
The Grind. In Destiny, everyone always had that one thing they were chasing: that god-rolled Palindrome, T12 capable armor, those exotics Xur absolutely refused to sell, you get the drill. The grind was real. But gears need teeth to grind. And with Destiny 2, in an effort to bring more casual players to the game, Bungie removed some of those teeth. There aren’t as many things to grind with only the vanilla game’s worth of exotics, no weapon or armor rolls, and copious amounts of mods to get your armor stats where you want them. They tried to artificially create the sense of a grind with the faction tokens, but with enough farming it can be pretty easy to roll the dice enough times to get what you’re looking for.
PVP. Destiny 2 shook things up a bit in its competitive scene. Suddenly we went from having playlist options of 6v6, 3v3, and free-for-all, to only being able to play 4v4. Nerfs to individual damage placed a higher emphasis on relying on your teammates to help mop up enemies. These changes left less room for player skill to make a difference, thus killing a lot of the “competitive spirit” of the game’s PVP.
These are just a few issues I’ve observed within the community. Now I don’t expect you to simply take my opinions as fact, so I asked someone who still routinely plays their thoughts on the matter:
Carini: You’re one of the more active players in the Destiny channels, so my question for you is this: what keeps you coming back each weekly reset?
johthohar: At first it was the grind. The story and side quests were just distractions for me. What I’ve always loved about Destiny is the sense of accomplishment I get from coming back everyday and slowly gaining Light Levels and collecting new weapons and armor. Now that I’ve maxed out all three of my characters and gotten most of the gear the game currently has to offer I’ve cutback on my playtime pretty considerably but I still come back every week because the other thing I love most about Destiny is the community. I love meeting new people through the game and the bond that forms from the teamwork and cooperation the game requires, especially in Raids. The grind is a lot of fun for me; it’s not for everybody but I truly enjoy it. But what really keeps me coming back over and over again is all of you who play with me.
Carini: So, with the Curse of Osiris expansion arriving in just under a week, the much anticipated December update is scheduled to come with it. Are there any changes you’re hoping to see Bungie’s Live Team implement, or is it more about just having new content for you?
johthohar: New content is always important; especially in a game like Destiny where lack of progression takes away a lot of the reason for playing the game. But what I’d really like to see is the return of random perk rolls on weapons and maybe perks added to raid armor. In my opinion one of the main things that is wrong with the game right now is a lack of depth. So, I’d really like to see more ways to play, more gear to collect, and a more compelling reason to play the ‘patrol’ locations. At the moment, the only reason I have to visit any of the four core planets is completing the last couple armor sets I haven’t finished that you can only get from planetary vendors. I’d also like to see custom game modes added to crucible, better exotic perks (most of the exotics in the game right now are borderline useless), and, most of all, a new raid. The Leviathan is fun, but I was really hoping for an entirely new raid to be added with the first expansion. Not just a ‘new lair’ tacked onto the current raid. I mean, the primary antagonist race in Curse of Osiris is the Vex and we haven’t seen a Vex themed raid since Vault of Glass if I’m not mistaken, so it was a bit of a let down when I heard the ‘new raid content’ would be more Cabal action. Overall though, I’m excited about the direction the game is going so far and I’m looking forward to playing more in Season 2 and the first DLC.
To see the other side of the coin, I asked someone who fell out of touch with the game how they felt about the situation:
Carini: Where would you say Destiny 2 lost you?
Screaming Rowlet: Halfway through the story. It got really repetitive and grindy around level 12.
Carini: The game’s first expansion, Curse of Osiris, is due for release in just under a week. With it is expected to come the first major update from Bungie’s Live Team. Are there any changes you think they could make that would draw you back in, or is the game essentially a lost cause for you?
Screaming Rowlet: Honestly I can’t think of much. I just wanna be able to enjoy the game without having to spend countless hours grinding to progress on anything. If the expansion adds enough to the game I think I can see myself coming back for it but it’s gonna be a wait and see kind of thing
Now, we’re nearing the release of the game’s first expansion: Curse of Osiris. Bungie’s Live Team has been hard at work listening to our feedback and creating a shopping list of features and changes the community has requested. But I would caution players not to go into next week to find all their problems with the game suddenly fixed. There will be more content, yes, but this small expansion has been in development since long before the live team acknowledged that the game isn’t perfect, and it’s going to take some time for them to get to work fixing everything. But by all means, enjoy every minute of it as you see fit.