It’s Thursday, Guardians, which means a new This Week at Bungie (TWAB). I opened it hoping to find some acknowledgement of one of the biggest player gripes in the last year. Instead, I found details about Trials of Osiris, cheating, disconnects, and emblems. Missing is any mention of the Eververse, probably the biggest complaint players have about the game right now. Let’s dive in.
On the positive side of things, which we’ll get out of the way quickly, Bungie is looking to improve the way Trials of Osiris rewards work, making the activity worthwhile for both the 1 percent and the 99 percent. They’re also continuing to work on banning cheaters and hoping to deploy a fix for the disconnects. Those have gotten so bad I failed to realize I had a real internet connection issue for about a week as it was able to expertly hide among the sea of errors Bungie was tossing at me. The disconnects are so prevalent people are jokingly calling this season the Season of the Beaver, an infamous error code used by Destiny 2. If you want to browse the details of TWAB for April 2, 2020, be my guest, but we have other things to discuss.
What stood out to me (again) was the total lack of acknowledgement that a significant portion of Destiny 2 players strongly dislike the direction the game is going as whole. Each new season brings a major stock refresh for Eververse, Bungie’s microtransaction store. More and more, any cosmetic worth owning will cost real dollars, which are used to buy Silver, the premium in-game currency. Completing activities in the game itself will often fail to provide interesting cosmetic rewards players enjoyed from past years and the original Destiny. This has led some to feel Bungie only cares about getting them to buy ornaments. This belief is amplified by the fact Season of the Worthy is light on content, and what’s there hasn’t been particularly well received.
This failure to acknowledge isn’t a new thing, either. Players have been talking about how Bungie cares more about Eververse and making content for that microtransaction machine than the core of the game for over a year. You can visit the subreddit any day of any week and see the posts and comments. They started off concerned, transitioned to angry, but have more recently moved to a total lack of faith that Bungie cares and hopelessness that anything will be fixed.
Now, I’m not saying Bungie doesn’t care. That would be silly. What I’m saying is that’s the vibe more and more from the subreddit. The onus is on Bungie to address the Eververse in a meaningful way that isn’t watered down by some public relations filter. Basically, no more, “We’re tweaking Bright Dust.” It’s on Bungie to stop telling the players their feedback is valued when, in reality, it’s only acknowledged if it’s something Bungie wants to address. You can’t pick and choose where to be transparent and expect people to trust you. You can’t look people in the eye while they’re asking you a direct question, remain silent, and hold your hand out asking for money. Well, you can, but that person won’t be standing in front of you much longer, and they certainly won’t be giving you money.
As someone who has played Destiny since the first game’s alpha and has since pumped thousands of hours into the world, it’s tough to watch Bungie fumble this one so badly. I mean, Destiny 2 won the Community Support award at The Game Awards, recognizing community support, transparency, and responsiveness. Their players won them that award, and yet four months later they can’t get a reply about Eververse, let alone one that is authentic and honest.
Bungie likes to say they’re listening, but listening isn’t enough. The people who play their game and afford them the opportunity to continue developing it are asking for answers, and every TWAB that passes where they don’t get them is another perceived slap in the face.