Destiny 2 has been struggling against some negative impressions in recent weeks. Dedicated players have highlighted numerous aspects of the endgame experience that need work. I articulated some of my own concerns in an extensive write-up on the game’s first season experience. More recently, information emerged regarding some questionable practices with XP rewards in Destiny 2, which seemed to point players toward more active engagement with the Eververse microtransactions, and a subsequent change that doubled the XP required to level. Today, Bungie halted its existing plans to roll out more details about Curse of Osiris through a livestream, and is instead offering up an extensive post about the state of the game, and plans for changes in the future.
Released under the title The State of Destiny 2, the post goes into extensive details on several aspects of play that are in for redesign, as well as the expected time frame that players can expect for each feature’s implementation.
For Destiny 2 players, the complete blog post is definitely worth a full read. Expect to learn details about a new tier of weapons called Masterworks, which feature stat trackers, random and rerollable stats, and item detail screens. The post also discusses plans for a heroic strike list in December, better rewards for prestige activities, private matches for the Crucible being on track for early 2018, penalties for quitting competitive matches, an improved mod economy, less exotic duplicates from loot, a new way to get an exotic you don’t yet have in your collection through an engram from the enigmatic Xur, and a ton of other specific outlined points.
In addition, the blog post addresses the recent controversy over XP gains in the game, acknowledging that the recent change (which removed XP scaling based on time played) still has problems, and that the team is working to readjust XP earning.
Game Informer will be digging into all these planned changes, their planned release time frames, and other aspects of Destiny 2’s changing gameplay in the coming days. In the meantime, the blog post offers a lot to consider.
Without seeing these many changes in action, it would be foolish to draw concrete conclusions about how such adjustments will affect a game as complex as Destiny 2. As such, I’m withholding judgment on how profoundly these proposed improvements may affect the game, other than saying that there’s a lot here that (if implemented well) points toward increased replayabilty and fun.
With that said, I am very happy to see this sort of transparency in a post from Bungie, which represents exactly the kind of clear communication that I’d like Destiny 2 (and other major games) to offer to its fans. The Destiny community tends to be very active, and capable of digesting complex information about their favorite game, and this post offers exactly that. It speaks about concrete feature plans that target specific problems in the cyclical experience of Destiny 2 gameplay, and provides clear time frames to players about when they can expect those features to be implemented.
I think fans are still justified in feeling deceived by the recent debacle around XP gains, and I’m not sure this post goes far enough to acknowledge Bungie’s culpability in that system or its implications for pushing players toward microtransactions. However, I’m glad that Bungie is being upfront about plans to address the XP issue, and I’m eager to see the issue improved. It’s also good to see the team acknowledged that the “silent nature of the mechanic betrayed the expectation of transparency that you have for Destiny 2.”