Even though I am playing playing much of it this very moment… Destiny holds an extremely special place in my heart. I love this game and I love what it has become over the course of the two expansions… and multiple content patches. They promised a setting as deep and rich and Star Wars, and while a lot of people will disagree with me… I feel that they ultimately delivered on that. The problem however is that they did not deliver in a contiguous story that was easy to learn. Instead they sprinkled the game with environmental storytelling and nuggets of information that the faithful had to gather up and piece together to learn what was happening in the world. Personally this made me want to know more about the world because each time I uncovered a truth it was like discovering another piece that fit into a giant puzzle I was trying to assemble in my head. For many others however… including the vast majority of my friends… they bounced hard. For them it was of the utmost importance to have a clear narrative that they could follow, and not be forced to do some admittedly silly nonsense in the form of the grimoire cards.
Fix the Narrative
The first hope with Destiny 2 is to do just that… give us this big bold epic space opera that you originally promised. Like I said it is absolutely there.. . but buried deep under the surface and in places that only the most lore hungry can find. There is an epic tale in the game, but you have to piece it together through doing things… and it never actually gives you any sort of threaded tale that you can then experience as a whole when you do finish gathering the pieces. I’ve linked the Book of Sorrow as read by Myelin games… one of the best Destiny Lore channels available. For those who are unfamiliar with it, each time you collected a Calcified Fragment on the Dreadnaught or one of the Taken related raids/missions in the Taken King expansion you unlocked a piece of the Book of Sorrow. Combined together they make a five part tale explaining who the Hive are and where they came from… and how exactly the Taken came to be. The problem is… were it not for lore videos like this one… this is an epic tale that would stay submerged and largely unknown. Bungie, you can craft amazing tales… just present them in a manner that the common player can grasp them.
A Larger Sense of Presence
Destiny is a game that constantly teases us with vistas we will never be able to explore. A prime example of this is that we as Guardians inhabit a Tower overlooking the last city on earth. We are told this time and time again… and if you look off the balcony you can see what appears to be a thriving city below in the shadow of the traveler. However we can never actually go down there and explore the area where all the lights seem to be bright. When we travel to a planet, instead of being able to explore its surface freely we are given a single path that loops around and connects to itself. The hallmark of MMOs is that you can go walking in a direction and more often than not reach whatever it is that you can see in the distance. To some extent I want to see this happening in Destiny 2. I want to find neat hidden areas of the world with interesting spawns or treasures. I want exploration to be a factor in the game, rather than just being somewhere at the right time when the right event fires off. With the Dead Ghosts, Calcified Fragments, and SIVA Clusters… you can tell they want to give us this sort of exploration already. However I just want to see this done on a much larger scale with hidden lairs, that are a challenge to get to… but also extremely rewarding for completing with your friends.
I think everyone at least on some level likes looking out and surveying the scene and seeing a bunch of green, blue, purple and sometimes orange engrams laying there on the ground. The novelty however wears off quickly, and when I am in an area like the Archon’s Forge I know that every so often I am going to have to return to the tower and do some inventory maintenance since you can only have twenty items in your mailbox… before you start losing loot. What ends up happening as a result is that players just straight up delete engrams, so that they can stay out longer. Later patches in the game even implemented a system so that when you pick up a green engram it automatically disassembles into the respective parts. This tells me that they release that the engram system is deeply inconvenient, and since later items like hoard chests drop actual items… I think they see the error of their ways. What I want from Destiny 2 is the ability for actual gear drops like they do in the raids and from item chests. That way I know if the item is useful instantly without having to go back to base and get a decryption. This serves a bunch of purposes… namely that you can then start using gear if it is an upgrade or something interesting. Secondly you can keep clearing your inventory without having to worry about getting that rare chance of something good dropping from a blue engram.
All Infusion All The Time
One of the things that Destiny eventually nailed is the item system. The funny thing about it is that I sort of wish all games had the item infusion system that we have now. So my hope is that Destiny 2 just manages not to fuck this up. Leave it alone… keep things exactly as they are now. Let us infuse gear into items we already have in our inventory, and keep upgrading the weapons we like using. That is the big thing that separates Destiny from other games for me… is that I become emotionally attached to my gear. Folks have talked about the feeling of when they get that first exotic, or the one that they have been chasing for months. For me… I get the same thing when I get that perfect roll on a weapon and know that from that point on I can just use that instead of using some crappy version of it that I had been holding on. The prime example is the Year 2 Haakon’s Hatchet that I use now as my primary weapon. I love this thing and the ability to keep using it into Year 3 had been a huge thing for me. Sure I try out lots of other weapons as they come across my path… but at the same time I know I have this old reliable friend sitting waiting on me whenever I want to return. Let me keep bringing my “companions” along with me in my journey in Destiny 2.
Platform Agnostic Account
This is one of those situations where I think Bungie had an intention but then for whatever reason could not get it to work as intended. When you play Destiny you have a Bungie account, and then those accounts are associated with either your Playstation Network or Xbox Live account. I’ve played Destiny on my original platform of Playstation 4, but I’ve also owned a copy for Xbox 360 that I then upgraded when I got my Xbox One. When I go to the Bungie website I can see both accounts worth of characters, but they are separated by this invisible barrier. What I want to see is for that barrier to fall. My <Tequila Mockingbird> Clan tag extends between the platforms so that even when I am playing on the Xbox I am representing my solely Playstation based group. So that tells me there is already connective tissue, but that things are just not working as they should be. With Destiny 2 there will be three possible platforms at launch: PC, Playstation 4, and Xbox One. Right now I plan on shifting my focus to PC because there is a whole group of players that wanted to play… but just were not console folks that I have been waiting to play with. However if I knew that I could rush out and pick up a copy for PS4 and Xbox One that then take the same characters and play with them? I would do so in a heartbeat. I understand the challenge of making Xbox Live and PSN talk to each other… and the weirdness that happens when an account crosses those boundaries. However the data is just data… and since it is dialing home to Bungie servers to retrieve that data that I can then see through the web interface… it would make sense just to let people have a single batch of characters and inventory spread across all of the platforms. If this expansion I could have taken my Titan main from PS4 and play it with my friends that are Xbox folks… I would have done that a whole lot more rather than trying to level an entirely different set of characters. Granted I did manage to get my Xbox One Titan up to 370 light… but I am also mildly insane.
These are just my hopes and suggestions for things that would improve my Destiny 2 experience. I am curious what exactly my readers would want in the new game?