Destiny players are reminiscing about all the terrible features the game used to have

There have been so many quality-of-life improvements for Destiny that it's easy to forget the struggles we all faced.


A game like Destiny – that is now so good – has come a long way. It’s a franchise that has been around for almost ten years now, first launching way back in 2014. But it’s not always been such a stellar experience. In fact, even the original Destiny had its fair share of warts and blemishes. The players over on the DestinyTheGame subreddit have taken a stroll down memory lane, and I’m not one to shirk a good hit of nostalgia, so let’s look at some of the dreadful designs and features Destiny has had throughout its life.

Buy a pack of shaders, only get enough to apply to three armor pieces.

The thread over on DestinyTheGame subreddit all kicked off when the original poster, KingToasty, pointed out that Destiny 2’s shaders (the game’s weapon and armor-coloring mechanic) used to be single-use consumables. This meant players would need to farm for cosmetic items in order to change the color of their gear. To make matters worse, paid-for shaders came in bundles of three, meaning players were two shaders short of coloring their five armor pieces. This coerced players into buying an additional pack.

destiny 1 vault space
The original vault space in Destiny was incredibly small. Furthermore, there was no DIM, which meant traveling back and forth to the Tower if you forgot a weapon.

One particularly egregious problem the original Destiny faced was that Legendary engrams could decrypt into lower-quality items. This problem was compounded thanks to Destiny’s other original issue, that armor was directly tied to player level. What this did was create a situation whereby players needed one piece of Legendary armor to hit a high enough level to enter the raid, but could very likely wind up with scraps despite having the right engram.

destiny forever 29
Reddit user ebolaxb shares a memory of their Forever 29 Warlock. Look at those Sunbreakers!

Speaking of the raid, though the Vault of Glass is a highlight for many Destiny players, it also ushered in probably the most iconic issue in the franchise: Forever 29. Level 30 was the maximum level when the game launched, and as mentioned above, armor was tied to hitting max level. The only way to get there was to play the raid, specifically Hard Mode, where the helmet was a potential drop from the boss. What followed were many players stuck at Level 29 for weeks on end, as a helmet never dropped for them.

The problems with levels didn’t end there. Previously, players needed to ensure that their highest leveled gear was equipped as the game wouldn’t check inventory when dolling out rewards. It could be very easy to forget to equip your best item and wonder why all your gear has been dropping so low.

destiny 2 better devils static roll
Wow, another Explosive Payload Better Devils. Bonus points for the +5 Power Kinetic Mod to get your Power to 305.

A Reddit user called AtmoSZN pointed out that Destiny 2 launched with no random rolls. Each weapon had specific perks it could drop with, which meant there was essentially no real end game of trying to find the perfect roll for your preferred playstyle. We all remember sitting getting our tenth Better Devils.

Tompiggy points out that weapons in Destiny 1 required XP in order to level them up and unlock perks. Players would get a brand new Exotic, only to have most of its Exotic traits locked away until they farmed enough XP to improve it. On top of this, the infusion system was based on a percentage instead of raising your weapon up to the level of the infusion material. With the addition of weapon crafting, it seems like Bungie has found a way to introduce weapon leveling back into the game albeit in a far more meaningful and user-friendly way.

Players would need to memorize routes around the patrol zone or use a third-party app to work out where to go. Do you remember your Spinmetal farming route?

Another user, mmmahogany_, pointed out that Public Events weren’t marked on the map. But it’s worse than that. Destiny 1 didn’t even have patrol zone maps to look at. The only time you saw the map was when you were selecting it from orbit and choosing where to land. Players couldn’t even travel between destinations without first returning to orbit.

On the weapon front, Reddit user AdZealousideal8801 recalled that at the launch of Destiny 2, Shotguns, Sniper Rifles and Fusion Rifles used to be relegated to the Power weapon slot alongside Rocket Launchers. Furthermore, Kinetic and Energy is where you’d find what is often considered primary weapons: Scout Rifles, Hand Cannons etc. The early days of Destiny 2 sure were weird.

destiny 2 nightfall timer
Remember how bad Exodus Crash was at launch? And look, Anomalies. Remember to find and shoot those for more time! Image credit: USGamer.

Castitalus’ point made me audibly scoff when I read it. They pointed out that Nightfalls used to have a 20 minute timer, whereby the only way to extend the time was to jump through hoops (literally) or shoot Vex boxes. But, credit where credit is due, good on Bungie for trying something new and then changing it when it didn’t land.

The thread is an interesting read and gives a good look into just how far Destiny has come as a franchise over the past eight years. Bungie continues to make massive, sweeping quality of life changes that dramatically improve the player experience. No doubt we’ll be looking back in a few years and shaking our heads at the lack of some obvious system we’re currently missing.

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler brings a bit of the southern hemisphere flair to his work. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and entering the video game industry, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can message him on X: @SamuelChandler 

From The Chatty
    • reply
      March 15, 2022 7:02 AM

      Still much too complicated to get into if you haven’t already been in the game for years, IMO.

      • reply
        March 15, 2022 8:18 AM

        Yes and no — there's lots of "do this to earn this to upgrade that" complexity, but Bungie both explains things more clearly and doesn't ask you to grind as much. I remember being confused in the original Destiny for months.

      • reply
        March 15, 2022 8:26 AM

        Have to agree with this. Good friends of mine tried to get me into the game. They helped to kind of power me through some early missions, etc. But, trying to remember all the systems, locations, etc. It was too much. Granted, they were trying to get me up to their level of play, not just learn the game. If I went at my own pace I probably would have had an easier time of it, but it would have taken me like a year to understand the game like they do.

        One positive of grinding, which has been minimized in the game, is you do get more familiar with systems at a steady pace.

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