With the console beta behind us and Destiny 2 a little over a month away, I find myself thinking about what I hope to see (and what I don’t) in Destiny 2. You might say I have come up with a Destiny 2 wishlist. After playing Destiny for 3 years, I have developed some strong opinions on what could improve the sequel.
Destiny 2 Wishlist: Make Loot Drops Great Again
I love loot. Who doesn’t love loot? Move beyond the polished gun-play and space magic of Destiny, and you will find that at its heart it is a loot game. Players are always on the grind for the next great weapon drop, exotic, or armor piece. The pull to “get all the things” is quite strong in Destiny, and one of its most compelling attributes as a game.
Getting My “Eleanor”
I clearly remember when I found my first Gjallarhorn. I was playing The Devils’ Layer strike when it was the Nightfall activity for the week. My fireteam and I launched a flurry of supers, rockets, and sniper shots at the immense Fallen Servitor. I lined up the crit spot in the scope of my Black Hammer and fired; Sepiks spun out of the sky with a crash and explosion. Suddenly, to the right of my screen, a yellow square appeared with a rocket launcher pictured in its borders. It was the Gjallarhorn! It took me a second or two to even realize what had happened, but once it dawned on me, I literally lost my mind! I jumped up and down in my living room and screamed over and over, “I got the Gally! I got the Gally!”
Losing Their Way
Somewhere along the way, Bungie in their infinite wisdom made the decision to introduce a new item called the 3 of Coins. This item increased a player’s chances of getting an exotic engram to drop from Strike bosses, the Crucible, and from Raid bosses. On its surface, this seemed like a good thing, as the RNG involved in getting exotics to that point could be frustrating. However, it also completely killed the excitement that came from having that one piece of loot drop as you toppled some of the baddest of the bad in Destiny. You killed a boss and an engram would fall at their corpse. You would take that to the tower and decrypt it with the Cryptarch and hopefully would get what you were looking for. It just kills the moment.
Getting that Magic Back
There is just something anticlimactic about taking an engram and flying back to the tower to find out what it is. Taking out a raid boss, or the Nightfall Strike boss, and having the item you want desperately drop right at the moment you are triumphant is just a way better feeling of exultation. It just is. if you don’t believe me, go look on YouTube at some of the videos of people getting their first Gjallarhorn. Those videos all predate the introduction of the 3 of Coins. 3 of Coins stole the joy and excitement of getting some of the best loot in Destiny, and I hope they do not return for Destiny 2. Make loot drops great again, Bungie!
Destiny 2 Wishlist: Make Factions Matter
Using Factions like a Door
Factions are one of the more interesting parts of Destiny’s lore, as each has their own agenda. They all lobby for you, the player, to join their cause. Joining the causes of New Monarchy, Future War Cult, or Dead Orbit gives Guardians access to that faction’s specific loot. Guns, armor, shaders, and Ghosts are all there to earn, or purchase with Legendary Marks if you are a member. The problem is, there is no incentive to stay with one Faction. You can cheat on your faction of choice and bounce around from faction to faction, taking advantage of whoever has the best wares for the week. The factions feel like just another loot vendor. There is no allegiance; there are no champions.
Championing a Cause
There needs to be a line drawn in the sand. Guardians should choose a faction and be locked into that choice. Each faction has its own set of goals and ideals:
Future War Cult believes in the inevitability, and the necessity of conflict. They seek not to leave Earth or to rebuild, but to wage war, in all its forms.
New Monarchy believes that together, the Guardians can rebuild their lost Golden Age, and that true leaders for the City can be found…or forged.
Dead Orbit believes that the Guardians’ destiny lies not with the Traveler, but out among the stars. They seek to leave the Earth, and travel to a new home.
The player should be the champion of that faction’s goals and ideals. I want to see Bungie make that choice permanent and MATTER! You have the option to play three characters, so barring the introduction of new factions, there is the ability to have each one of your characters champion a different faction and their causes. I would propose that using any of that factions gear, shaders, ships, etc. would require being a member of that faction. Choosing a faction should be about fleshing out your guardians story and motivations. This would make that decision matter.
Forcing the player to choose a faction, and stick with it, opens up the option for Faction Wars. It is no secret to anyone who has read the Grimoire that the factions don’t like each other. As a matter of fact, if you take your guardian and stand next to either Executor Hideo, Lakshmi-2, or Arach Jalaal, you can hear each vendor talk trash about the other factions. If players are locked into a specific faction, now Faction Wars can become part of the Crucible. Strike scoring, if it returns, could also be a part of the Faction Wars. Choosing a specific faction with activities that make those choices matter. It also serves to make the world of Destiny 2 more real and player investment more substantial.
Destiny 2 Wishlist: On that Grind
There are two kinds of grinds in video games: good grinds and bad grinds. Good grinds are ones that involve a player just playing the game the way that they like to and eventually they acquire the goodies they want. Bad grinds make a player go do some specific, tedious task that they would never want to do. Destiny had examples of both of these grinds. Playing raids and getting raid gear from playing (at least after the drop rates were tuned up a bit) was a good grind. Raids are fun. Then there were the exotic sword quests, which made you run all over a destination chasing after materials for hours on end. Not fun.
Countless crafting/upgrade materials for the huge cache of weapons and armor available in a game like Destiny is a detriment to the things it does well. Currently, the material grind for upgrades in Destiny appears like they’re there to deliberately drag out playtime. Material grinds are not a compelling reason to play a game, period. The player wants their time in game to be fun and productive. If materials dropped from slaying enemies, that would be one thing. Then the crafting/upgrade system would be less of a chore, and gaining materials becomes a natural part of your progression and rituals. Now the player can concentrate on conquering all the game has to offer and getting that sweet loot!
Destiny 2 Wishlist: What’s On Your List?
This is my Destiny 2 wishlist. I have high hopes for Destiny 2, and despite a few beta hiccups, I am excited for what is to come. I am by no means the ultimate expert on what should be in Destiny 2. You may feel differently about what a Destiny 2 wishlist should look like. What do you want to see in Destiny 2? Please leave a comment below or drop me your thoughts at my twitter @BigBabyMoose.
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