First up, an admission. I am a Destiny Fanboy. There’s no getting away from it, I’ve tried to stop but the hold it has on me is too strong. Destiny is one of those games that ended up stealing a lot more of my life than I thought it would. Having played the alpha and the beta, I enjoyed what I played even in those rough, early days. When the game was finally launched all the way back in September, 2014, I skipped to the game shop, laid down my £40, brought it home and was sucked into the world of Dinklebot, the Darkness and The Traveller. When the DLC was released I bought all that too, turning my £40 game into a £120 game and still I played on, enjoying the universe that Bungie was creating, despite their best efforts to hide the lore away.
When they released the definitive edition recently, with the base game and all expansions for only £40, it was the closest Bungie and I had to a falling out, as I had a moment where I thought “I’ve paid a lot more for this content, and have basically subsidised this price cut!” I looked that evening at my stats for Destiny, and with over a thousand hours sunk into it (more than 41.6 solid days, stats fans!) I began to think maybe it wasn’t such bad value after all. Along the way, I’ve met and befriended a lot of cool people, had some amazing highs (beating Atheon for the first time having spent three evenings stuck just at his checkpoints) and some unbelievable “did that just happen?” moments (such as the first time we beat Crota, where the only guy left with any ammo was wielding the sword, and killed Crota at the last possible moment before he became enraged).
With my three guardians at 400, 399 and 399 light respectively (Titan being the highest because, well, Titan Master Race) my thoughts are turning to Destiny 2, and what Bungie can do to make the transition as easy as possible for me. I’ve come up with a few things I’d like to see, and that I think would make the game better.
1) Dedicated servers for the Crucible.
Seriously Bungie, P2P networking has had its day. With the addition of dedicated servers, the Crucible could be what it was meant to be – a test of a guardians skill, not just of their connections. We’ve all seen those Guardians, who phase through walls, disappear and then reappear two inches away holding a Matador, whose bullets curve around cover and kill you, and who are invulnerable to melee attacks. I’ve hit a guy with two Hammers of Sol before, only to be killed as he melee’d me. I honestly thought I was going to snap my pad on that occasion, and still blush for the members of the Xbox party who had to listen to me swearing for five minutes without hesitation or repetition! Dedicated servers would go a long way to resolving these issues, it works for Battlefield with 32 players a side, it should make Destiny with only six per side run like a dream. And while we are mentioning Battlefield, is it beyond the pale to suggest that slightly larger maps, with 12 players per side, could make the Crucible better than it is today?
2) The lore system.
Whoever thought that the best way to deal with in game lore was with a completely separate website needs to sit down and reconsider his/her life choices. Unlocking a new Grimoire entry, for a cool new weapon or location, then having to come out of Destiny and connect to the Bungie site to read what you’ve just unlocked is one of the most immersion killing things I have ever seen in a game, and I’ve been playing them for 35 years! Please Bungie, make the new lore system accessible in game, even if we have to sit on Master Rahools knee to hear about it. The lore itself is one of the best bits of the game, the way it fills out the backstory of Oryx in particular is just brilliant. Having that in one place, where we can read it from start to finish, would be the icing on the cake.
3) The Cabal and the Vex.
With the first Destiny game, we had expansions that have focused on The Fallen (House of Wolves) and the Hive (Dark Below, and to a lesser extent, The Taken King), but nothing major on the Cabal. The Vex are arguably the main baddies in the first game, with having to stop them coming out of the Black Garden, but I personally would like to see more about their origin, where they came from, and how they are linked to Oryx. With the time shifting capabilities of the Vex, having an adventure where we have to try and stop then from being created in the first place would be pretty sweet! Same deal with the Cabal, we’ve fought them and fought them, but still know next to nothing about them, despite Cayde’s attempts to educate us (“Did you know the Cabal have no word for retreat?”) At the end of one of the missions, the Cabal have managed to get a message back to their homeworld, which appears to be a pretty obvious cliffhanger, and a way of leaving the door open for the Cabal to come back. I wouldn’t be sad to see them as the main focus of the second game, purely because they make a very good foe, and one that deserves to be fleshed out.
4) Carrying over our characters.
This was on my wish list long before Bungie confirmed it would happen, so I think it’s only fair to mention it here. We’ve all spent a lot of time shaping our characters to be just what we want them to be, with the powers and armour, even the shaders set just so. As an example, my Titan is called Tina (that’s how my five year old son read Titan one day, and it’s just stuck), she loves The Armamentarium and the pink shader. Its great in the Crucible running around looking like a blancmange, as I’m sure you can imagine!
5) Equipping multiple exotic weapons.
This next wish is more of a selfish one than anything else. It bugs me that I can only have one exotic weapon and one exotic piece of armour equipped at any one time (I’m not counting the exotic class items before anyone starts shouting!). Can you imagine how cool it would be stepping onto a raid, tooled up with a Zhalo Supercell, Icebreaker and Gjallahorn? I know that Bungie do it for balancing reasons and that it would probably break the game if it was possible, but still, I can’t get the idea out of my head…
6) More classes.
I think this next idea is pretty much a given, but still: More classes and/or subclasses. We’re all familiar with the Hunter / Warlock / Titan debate, and we all know that Titans are the greatest, right? Right? How about more choices? I have literally no idea what they could be, but I get the warm fuzzies just thinking about the possibilities. Add to this the possibility of more subclasses, and the new elemental types that would be required to make it work, and the possibilities open up like a pretty flower in the sunlight. Ice type Titan? Water magic Warlock? Earth aligned Hunter? How would new types counteract each other? Would Arc beat Water like in Pokemon? The future could well be bright, if Bungie gets it right! The other condition that would have to go with this idea is the expansion of the number of characters you could have, so it would still be possible to have one of each class. Add to this a much needed re-imagining of the Vault, so that it could be divided up into sections for each character and their specific gear, then the scope to expand the game into the future becomes almost infinite.
7) Expanding the story and the universe through proper writing.
Remember vanilla Destiny? “I don’t have time to explain why I don’t have time explain?” “That wizard came from the Moon!”? I still cringe when I replay some of those early missions, although I have to say that I do still like Dinklebot’s “We’ve woken the Hive!”. Things got better as the DLC landed, with Variks, Mara Sov and my personal pinnacle so far, Oryx and the whole Iron Lords story arc. If things can continue to improve on the writing front, and I see no reason why they shouldn’t, then Destiny has every chance to turn into the next Halo or Gears, complete with spin off books, kids toys and the whole nine yards. I have to admit that I am a fan of the Gears books, as they fill in around the edges of the games rather than reimagine them, and a series of stories about Cayde, or Eris’s time in the dark, even going back to Praedyth and what happened to him would make me a very happy camper indeed. And Destiny action figures? I did hear a rumour that the Pop! vinyl range was going to be expanded with figures from Destiny, and I have to admit an involuntary “squee!” may have been uttered.
8) Raising the fireteam.
I would like to see the current fireteam raised from three to, say, six, as quite often there will be more people online on my friends list than fit into a single activity, unless it’s a private crucible match. I think running around, shooting bad guys in the face with five like minded buddies would be about as close to gaming nirvana as it gets. Co-op story missions are always great fun anyway, but with more fellow Guardians along for the ride, stealing each others kills and generally horsing about, it would add that extra dimension that would tip the game from good to great. For evidence of this, I would point doubters to the Raids, that have six people along for the ride and can be shining examples of teamwork and are the height of the whole co-op ethos of the game. Of course, they can be a complete shambles, but that’s a whole other article!
9) Re-imagined raids.
Again this is another one off my personal wish list, but I would love to see the early raids re-imagined at current or future light levels. The structure of the the Vault of Glass, in particular, is about as good as a raid gets in Destiny, but now it’s possible to wander through in about half an hour, as long as no-one falls in the jumping section, at least! Raising the light level to the level that everyone is at now, along with the Kings Fall raid (Crotas End, not so much, that raid is about as broken mechanically as it gets), would extend the end game activities a great deal. Besides, who wouldn’t want a Vex Mythoclast or a Fatebringer at 400 light?
So, that’s what I personally would like to see coming from Bungie in Destiny 2. Obviously this type of article is intended to provoke debate, so I’ll hand over to you guys now. Are you excited for Destiny 2? Is the game dead to you? What are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below!