In a challenge similar to that which faced Hercules when he upset his daddy, I’ve been asked to put together a piece on what Bungie got wrong with the version of Destiny 2 that they recently let us get on hands on with. Now, those of you who have read the pieces I’ve scribbled about Destiny will know that I am partial to a bit of Bungie’s masterpiece. The word “fanboy” has been tossed about, and in all fairness I can’t argue with that epithet. However, as I touched on with my opinion piece about the beta, it wasn’t a clean sweep or a slam dunk for Bungie this time around.
So what I’m going to do is list the things that I feel need to be tweaked before the full game comes out. Now this is very much an opinion piece, so if you disagree with any of my points feel free to chime in on the comments!
1) Ability charge times
These are simply too long.
It shouldn’t take a week and a half for a grenade to ready up, but that’s how long it felt in both PvP and PvE activites. Now, in the bad old days of Destiny 1, whenever the guns were buffed or nerfed as a result of player feedback in the Crucible, the same guns were made useless in the PvE activities too. Take the Vex Mythoclast as an example, if you were lucky enough to have one drop, when you unleashed it in the Crucible you were, in effect, a god. Nothing could outshoot it, and it wrecked other Guardians. When the whinging and crying on the Destiny forums reached a critical mass (and yes, I had one, and no, I’m not bitter, why do you ask?), the gun was nerfed, and nerfed hard. As a result, you’d be better off in the Crucible with a feather duster, but it was ruined in the PvE sector too. It turned out that the guns couldn’t be balanced independently and so changing them for one activity affected the other.
With me so far? Awesome.
What that long ramble is leading up to is that one of the big complaints for Destiny 1 about the Crucible was that it was just a super fest, with players avoiding each other until their supers were charged, then meeting up for a big ruck in the middle of the map. So in Destiny 2, it appears that Bungie have tried to move the balance more towards gunplay over super powers, and hence have increased the charge time to make players fight more using their guns. I’m all for this, as the gunplay and the way the differences between the gun classes interact is one of the things that fascinates me. Auto rifle, scout rifle, hand cannon – they all have their places and situations where they shine. However, part of the fun of being a space wizard is using the flashy new abilities that we have been given, and having such a long and slow charging procedure was incredibly frustrating.
I really hope they change this up, certainly for the PvE sections if not for the Crucible.
2) The way the guns were split up
I’m sorry, but fusion and sniper rifles should not be in the same category as rocket launchers and grenade launchers. They just shouldn’t.
In order to do sufficient DPS to the (presumably) big bosses that you are going to face in the new game, you need a rocket launcher. The grenade launchers seem a little wet, to be honest, even landing a grenade on someones big toe in the Crucible didn’t kill them, so I’m very underwhelmed by this new class right now.
However, You will also need a sniper at some stage in the Strikes or Raids or whatever, and you currently can’t have both equipped. This is just wrong, and made choosing the correct weapon for what was coming up harder than it needed to be. If Bungie still have the ammo penalty in place that they had in the first game, if you change weapon within a class during an activity, then you could be left with nothing more than harsh language when you really want to be throwing rockets around.
This particular one has me worried. A lot.
I think its fair to say that at launch, Destiny 1 was not a story driven experience. Bungie have to bring their A-game this time, not just to lay the ghosts of Destiny 1 to rest, but in order to attract new players and make returning players feel like their concerns have been listened to.
I’m not massively worried about this, as doing the same thing they did on the launch of Destiny 1 is unthinkable, and the story mission we got to play in the beta did have a strong narrative thread running through, already with a promising story arc in place.
4) Dedicated servers
Even giving them the benefit of the doubt for being a beta, there were still way too many people running around with their ADSL leads plugged into a potato – yep, they lagged and glitched about the place.
Surely it is not beyond the wit of man to get rid of peer to peer networking for games like this? There can never be a truly fair or level playing field when so much of the success of a player depends on their connections. With Bungie seeming to have eSports ambitions, it needs sorting out.
5) The 4v4 Crucible
I’m somewhat on the fence with this one. I can see why they have done it as within eSports the smaller teams seem to be more popular.
However, I have a regular fireteam that I play with. When we fancy some Crucible, how do we decide who plays and who sits it out? I don’t want to have to have to make that decision, and it would seem sensible to me to have both four and six player variants of the Crucible.
Whether Bungie will do it though is another matter…
That’s about as much negativity as I can stand about my beloved Destiny, and on a positive note the actual gameplay and new powers appear to work well. With not long to go until the full release (watch out for the review in due course, Destiny fans!), I’ll be rubbing the old prayer beads that the gods of video games smile upon Bungie and Destiny 2.
If you have thoughts on the beta or on the direction Bungie are taking, please chime in below!