So It’s here. Destiny’s second great stab at being the game they promised us it would be 1 year ago is finally out and chances are I’m currently playing it while our beloved editor shouts at me to finish writing this. It’s been an odd year all together, Destiny started its first year as a massive disappointment in the eyes of many of its fans. And while the following expansion pack would show people what true disappointment looked like, the second expansion House of Wolves moved the game forward and improved on several of the main flaws of the game, most sown seemingly by the first attempt to fix anything with The Dark Below. But with the Taken King finally Destiny has had the chance to retake the ground it somehow managed to lose all on its own. And after a few (about 20, don’t judge me) hours of gameplay I’m starting to get the feeling that the game has finally arrived. Well, I’m 20 hours in and apparently about 40% done with the quests, so that’s a good sign.
But even now, what is left to improve? Destiny, like other games of its ilk is an ever evolving game, and while vastly improved, still needs work doing to the remaining problems facing it. So, in my finite wisdom I have compiled a list of what needs to change to make Destiny the legend it keeps telling us to become, what areas should it possibly focus on for Destiny 3.0? Just as a small aside, this is written at the start of The Taken king, so if you are reading this from some strange future and these HAVE been added, please either ignore them or tell everyone I am to thank. Also Email me Tuesday’s Euromillions lottery numbers.
1. Show us more of the world
When the Darkness attacked, the Earth fell. Within weeks the great golden age of man was sundered and left in ruins. Great cities crumbled, civilisations were wiped out, it was genocide. In the end, only one city, the Last city, remained. The earth is wasteland infested with enemies, and we, the guardians of the Vanguard of humanity have to reclaim it. And by ‘It’ i mean about 1 square mile of it in Russia.
For a game with such potential Destiny has a habit of showing very little of it. With the game’s story not so much improved in TTK as actually brought into existence, it seems like the time is finally here to show off more than just a rusty pile of Russian rockets and old cars. Much is made of the greater world it all in lip service, the dreadnaught is a cool new addiction and when areas have been reused in missions it is done to a stunning degree that hides the recycling well. But we need more. Entire zones for patrol might be too much but individual strikes and missions are well within grasp. Send a team to the martian north pole, to the ruins of europe or even into the last city to defend the last dregs of humanity, something that shows it’s not just a small patch of Russian soul, that the massive world you keep telling us it is.
2. The players guardian should feel more Important
This is a gripe that is mostly just my own, but for the love the the Crooked Warden either make the players guardian a mute or give them a damn role that is not “Listen to everyone else talk”. While I understand the norm for a silent protagonist in MMO’s this is oddly shattered in destiny the few times suddenly when your guardian talks, usually to just the Ghost but talk they do. The problem I have is that they then don’t bother talking for massive portions of the game. It feels kind of disconnected. I don’t want a Mass Effect styled deep main protagonists, but the on and off way it’s done in destiny is kind of annoying, this is hardly the most important issue (that’s coming up) but it gets me for some strange reason, either make them a mute blank canvas or a character. But that could also just be me. No, the children are wrong.
3. Every exotic must be the most powerful but none should be a requirement
Please don’t make me use Thorn for 5 months again. The exotics in Destiny offer some of the most unique and interesting guns offered in this kind of game, with the reliable Multi tool to the exploding street party that is Hard Light, All of the guns have their own personality and feel to them, each has a history and a style with no two being alike, a world of possibilities. And then you have to use Gjallerhorn or Thorn.
In The Taken King and beyond a balance needs to be struck to enable their to be no real right answer with exotics. In the past, no one really used guns like the Universal remote or No land Beyond outside of amusing PVP videos on Youtube. But with taken king adding even more new and interesting weapon styles, make it so that a player can use what they want to use, not what they have too to remain viable. Oh, and make a .50 Cal heavy sniper rifle. Do it.
4. Solo Players need endgame content
House of wolves was a massive step forward when it comes to end game content for the solo player. Prison of Elders, while a step down design wise from the past 6 man raids, game a lot more options for people with less time on their hands, while the level 35 remains the domain of stronger players with nicer, Shinier guns. The matchmaker supported Level 28 mode game a taste of what the high end looked like for the solo guardian with the level 32 mode being a much faster yet challenging version of end game, with the gun’s and exotics safely kept for the more hardcore players.
But while this was a step forward for the more causal among us, it came at the expense of content for the hardcore crowd, with as previously mentioned, PoE never quite matching up to its past raids. Moving forward into TTK more needs to be done make sure both playstyles are rewarded and given content without diminishing the other style. If Kings Fall is designed from the start to be a hardcore experience, then let it be, sacrificing High end group content to focus on the lower end for us scrubs only breeds contempt from the community. But with a pair of now defunct raids lying about unused, maybe it’s time to add some matchmaker powered 6 mans.
5. PVP needs Prestige
With the Trials of Osiris and to a lesser extent Iron banner. PVP finally had some form of end game. But with only a single gear set and match type for either, it won’t take long for them to get tiering and return PVP to something you do to finish your bounties for the day. The answer to the problem Bungie has may lie just down the hall at Activision HQ, Call of Duty. Now I know saying the C, O and D words on an MMO site is sacrilege, but bear with me.
The Prestige system in CoD and soon World of Warcraft works by letting the player increase in rank from experience earned from PVP combat. In these games it unlocks new weapons and modifications (Abilities in WoW) but could easily be modified to offer emblems, shaders, ships or other cosmetic rewards. And the best part? When a player reaches the highest rank they are given the titular option to ‘Prestige’ resetting their experience and rank but for a high level reward. The idea not being to get to the highest level and sit there until a new game comes out, but instead to level up and prestige as many times as possible. This in turn creates a near endless reward system for the player and a reason to set foot in the Crucible again and again. Offering players with both cosmetic rewards and bragging rights (a nice big number to add to their player card) would give much more structure and replayability to the mode.
6. The Addition of an In Game Looking for Group
DestinyLFG.com along with Reddits Looking for Fireteam are both great websites. But the problem is a key part of the game, that being group based activities are forced again to a third party website. A World of Warcraft (and many other MMO) styled in game LFG system would solve this problem in a heartbeat.
Aside from that, Communication needs to be improved as well, as much fun as spam inviting people in the Tower is for some people, A Safer ingame system would not go a long way to helping Solo players move into group play itself.
7: In Game Grimoire Cards
I Cannot comprehend why this is still an issue within Destiny. The Bungie.net site is host to the now infamous Grimoire cards that explain a good 95% of the games story, but still these valuable and mostly well written cards are nowhere to be seen in game. As much as I don’t like the usually lazy design of an ingame database or Journal system, I would gladly accept in in this case. The Tower now has a suite of terminals dispensing your unlocked shaders and other cosmetics, how hard would adding one for your nuggets of lore be? If I want to know exactly what the hell Xúr is, wouldn’t it be better if i could simply check a terminal in game rather than having to stop playing the game to login to a website? Yes I know this is pedantic, but you can’t spell pedantic without Dan.
8. Destiny Needs to Launch on the PC
Of all the things I have listed, this is the most glaring of Destiny’s sadly long line of omissions. This is coming from the mind of a nearly 25 year veteran of the console peasant army, but not launching an MMO or infact any non console exclusive on the PC in this day and age is madness. To ignore the PC market, especially for an MMO is just throwing good money out of the window. Destiny on the PC, especially if given mod support would be the ultimate version of the game and with Taken king set to right most of the wrongs the base game came bundled with, Destiny would fill in the much wanted FPS MMO niche that MMO players have been crying out for.
This is not to say Destiny needs to NOT be on PS4 and Xbox one, I’ve said for a long time now that consoles are one of the biggest market potentials missed by most MMO makers with games like FF15 and ESO reaping the rewards for having console code for sale. But to skip the PC in favor of what I can only imagine is some kind of long time hatred of PC’s stemming from the Days of Halo for the Mac, is just leaving money on the table. I mean, If you can develop a version of the game for the coding hell that is the PS3 you can manage to work out windows 8.Related: Destiny, Expansion, The Taken King, Top List