Bungie's early focus for Destiny 2 Year 3 is cause for concern

If you look closely, Destiny 2 could be headed for troubled waters as it progresses through its third year.

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Destiny recently entered the sixth year of its yet undetermined life cycle. Since the launch of Destiny 2 just over two years ago, players have been treated to one not so good year, and then one great year with Forsaken. On the surface it appears things are trending up, but closer inspection reveals that Year 3 of Destiny 2 might be another disappointing experience.

Over the last few weeks, I've been telling my fellow players on Destiny 2 that it's headed in a shaky direction. There are some real high points, such as Nightmare Hunts, dungeons, and challenging Nightfalls, but there are some concerns people are just starting to take notice of and, given Bungie’s rather slow turnaround on fixes and improvements, that could spell a disastrous Y3 for Destiny 2.

To unpack this, it makes sense to begin with Destiny 2’s biggest lightning rod: Eververse. Eververse is the place where a player can go to spend real money to buy Silver, which they can then spend on in-game cosmetics such as armor ornaments, emotes, finishers, and a bunch more. The Eververse stock is given a complete overhaul every season. There is never a shortage of things to spend money on.

What’s troubling, though, is that Eververse continues to infect more and more aspects of Destiny 2, and it isn’t just the cosmetics. Players can now spend real money to get a Power boost with characters lagging behind, or they can buy progress towards leveling up their season pass, which they already paid money for. Both options offer real gameplay benefits that push beyond cosmetics. I recently leveled up my season pass and received the Monte Carlo, an Exotic Auto Rifle I’d never unlocked previously. In theory, I could have used real money to acquire an Exotic weapon that impacts how I play the game and how opponents deal with me during gameplay.

That’s not the main player gripe about Eververse, though. The major issue that comes up more frequently is how much attention Eververse gets, while loot that can be earned through gameplay is left behind. I stumbled on a subreddit post last night titled, “I hope Bungie found the time to create double the amount of Eververse items this season vs new in game rewards.” That post goes on to sarcastically talk about how much effort Bungie pumps into refreshing items players can buy with real money versus how little they put into gear earned through gameplay. That post has 2.1K upvotes and is only one of dozens of player gripes crowding the subreddit after the big Season of Dawn livestream.

That’s where things transition from the lightning rod to the underlying clues that the game is headed for rough waters. One of the biggest player concerns is how little gear there is to earn in game or, better yet, how often gear is recycled. As we head into the Season of the Dawn, the roadmap shows off some Iron Banner gear that, if I’m not mistaken, was originally introduced months ago, if not all the way back in Y1. With actions, not words, Bungie is showing players that, when it comes to loot, their primary focus is on Eververse.

Season of the Dawn looks to have its own problems, too. With no hint of a new raid or dungeon, players are going to get bored rather quickly, and that’s when they’ll start to notice the cracks in the foundation. Folks are already concerned their character builds will become obsolete with each new season, wiping away hundreds of hours of grinding and tinkering every couple months. Have a read at a perfect summary of what this concern looks like from a subreddit post by WhimsyBandit titled, “Bungie, please clarify - is the plan to make us re-grind a full armor set every season just for the mod slot?” I’ve included the main points in the block quotes below:

I myself have put 121 hours into Destiny 2 since October 1 when Shadowkeep launched. That is 1.86 hours per day. I am 10 levels from completing the season pass (although, lucky me, I can buy progress with real cash), and I’m just now getting my character to what I would consider a proper end-game state - one out of the three I’ve created. In five days, all the work I’ve invested into this character will be obsolete. In five days, Bungie will ask me to start the grind all over again.

Unfortunately, it’s not just the PvE side of things that appears to be suffering. With the Season of Dawn livestream Bungie announced they were bringing back a PvP map called Rusted Lands that was in Destiny. They are also introducing the Elimination game mode. Beyond that, PvP looks to be left on the back burner for another season while players scream for news of Trials of the Nine.

Side note: If you’re a Trials of the Nine fan, and this is purely conjecture, my guess is they won’t bring it back until their PvP servers are dedicated instead of the hybrid P2P/dedicated nonsense they currently use.

Now, it would be unreasonable for anyone to expect that each season of Destiny 2 arrives with huge new content drops for PvE and PvP. You just can’t build dungeons, raids, maps, and modes that quickly. There will be content droughts, and nobody should be angry or surprised by that. Where Bungie is failing to do themselves a favor is the lack of transparency. Acknowledge the tilt towards Eververse, the lack of updates to in-game vendors and gear and set expectations of when it will be addressed. Communicate to players that, in order to address some of their gameplay loop concerns, there could be a dialing back of activities for a season or two. Year 3 might be in trouble, but it’s not a lost cause yet, and Bungie has a very narrow window to get in front of this before it blows up in their face like Destiny 2 Year 1 did.

Managing Editor

Bill, who is also known as Rumpo, is a lifelong gamer and Toronto Maple Leafs fan. He is known for his guide writing and, unsettlingly enough, enjoys grinding out in-depth collectible articles. Tweet him @RumpoPlays if you have a question or comment about one of his guides.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    December 5, 2019 4:00 PM

    Bill Lavoy posted a new article, Bungie's early focus for Destiny 2 Year 3 is cause for concern

    • reply
      December 5, 2019 5:48 PM

      Pretty good article. Especially agree with the point about obsoleting gear so quickly. Every time I've come back to Destiny 2, I've quickly lost interest again because the grind is so obvious it blots out the fun.

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        December 6, 2019 9:50 AM

        I actually think they didn't see this coming. They could fix it by changing the season mod slot to sort of a Y3 mod slot (or whatever) and allow for any mod from any season to go in there.

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      December 5, 2019 9:22 PM

      Absolutely agree with this article. The bitter part is they know this - people bring it up frequently at every outlet - but they sure don't seem to care.

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        December 6, 2019 9:49 AM

        This is my main issue. Players will stand by Bungie. Even if Bungie were to tell us they needed a "down" season to address the game, instead of adding new content, players would still buy the season pass to thank them for transparency. I can't for the life of me understand why Bungie is so awful at communicating with their players. TWAB, their livestreams, those are PR moves, and that's fine, but they lack real transparency. They skip questions they don't want to answer.

        Has anyone heard a single word from Bungie on why loot is recycled and yet Eververse is constantly refreshed? Have they ever addressed that? It's a major concern for players.

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      December 6, 2019 6:54 AM

      yah I'm not really liking the direction they are heading... I'm really hating the heavy focus on Eververse. I get that it's a source of money for them but it seems the regular loot is taking a back seat to Eververse!

      Not to mention the armor issue with seasonal mod slots. I never really got any really amazing armor sets last season, but I had maybe 2-3 pieces that had pretty good rolls. Sucks they will basically be useless now with no new mod slot.

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      December 6, 2019 8:30 AM

      good article!

    • Zek legacy 10 years
      reply
      December 6, 2019 8:45 AM

      Can the gameplay affecting stuff all be acquired for free still? Or are there paid exclusive weapons etc?

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      December 6, 2019 9:03 AM

      i would've chosen the increased focus on the grind as my red flag, personally.

      i tried to get back into it when shadowkeep dropped. after the anemic new content was done, all that was left was exotic weapon challenges and various other time black-hole grindfest "content" to which i politely declined. that'll be the last Destiny expansion i buy.

      • Zek legacy 10 years
        reply
        December 6, 2019 9:38 AM

        These kinds of games always come back to grinding if you play them long enough to complete all the main content. I think it's the type of game you should play because you enjoy the simple act of playing, and the rewards and incentives are just perks. As soon as you start allowing the game to force you to play more than you actually enjoy playing, it's over.

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        December 6, 2019 9:45 AM

        I agree with the grind being too much. With my 121 hours, how am I only 90 percent through the season pass levels? I didn't want to get too crazy with the article, so I opted to focus on a few things that were dominating player thoughts right now. I could do an entirely new piece on the grind, and might.

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