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Can Bungie sustain Destiny’s (alleged) 10 year plan?

Many years and one generation of consoles ago, a developer called Bungie set out on one of the most ambitious projects of all time. Though people were anxious, they had faith that Bungie would bring about a new franchise that would last for years, the same way that Halo has become one of the biggest gaming franchises ever. And at first, there was faith that Destiny was the next big thing: people loved it, played it constantly, and couldn’t stop talking about it.

But one by one, people saw the flaws in Destiny, and one by one, they turned away disgusted, angry, or apathetic. Eventually, even some of the most loyal fans lost faith in Bungie and Destiny, and no one can really blame them.

What happened?

This isn’t including all the shotguns that were dismantled

Bungie simply handled Destiny in a way that many felt unsatisfied with. To this day, a sizable portion of Destiny’s audience can agree that multiple layers of RNG on loot, the lack of fresh content, and questionable multiplayer design are some of the biggest setbacks in what could have been a great game.

Take a look at the Destiny subreddit (or if you’re brave, the Bungie forums). On an almost daily basis, people are voicing their (mostly legitimate) concerns regarding the game, not to mention the countless number of times that people have accused Bungie of outright manipulative, incompetent, and deceitful behavior. Some of the more mild comments tell tales of how friends that bonded over the game just don’t care anymore and have left for bigger and better things.

Something about this seems like it’s mocking Bungie…

But whatever the reason, a good portion of Bungie’s most active audience has become cynical and uninterested, though one can only guess at what the more casual audience feels.

What about the future of Destiny?

It is hard to say what might happen next, but Destiny simply cannot exist in the state that it is in now and hope to have a future. Currently, Bungie has a cycle where they drum up hype for a new content pack, everyone plays it and says it’s the best thing ever for a month or so, and then they go back to hating how little has changed or how everything has changed for the worse.

But when there is no substantial content planned (or at least no new content that the general public is aware of), the hype goes away and people move on, perhaps forever. This is especially true considering how so much existing content is made obsolete with the release of The Taken King.

Look at all this content!

A new hope?

If there is any silver lining in all of this, its that the Destiny franchise isn’t entirely doomed. A good start would be to communicate more effectively with the audience that still exists. According to DestinyTracker.com, there are just over 1 million people that have played enough to reach level 40, the highest level you can get in the game disregarding equipment levels.

True, Bungie does take community feedback, which resulted in things like Sparrow racing and infusion, but lately they have failed to actively engage with the audience. For example, if the Bungie Weekly Updates are mocked for being overly cryptic and full of fluff, then be more open and direct. Take a page out of 343 Industries’ updates and give a teasing picture of what’s to come rather than basically saying “stuff is coming.” Treat people with the respect they deserve rather than as numbers, and they’ll do the same.

In the same vein, why not add in some features that were highly requested in Destiny 2? Optional Raid matchmaking, custom PvP lobbies, less grinding and nonsensical mechanics that are clearly designed to keep you chasing a carrot on a stick, more fulfilling content that isn’t taken away every time a major DLC release rolls out, these are all things that people want, so why not give it to them?

Maybe it is too late for Destiny 1, but Destiny 2 can at least build upon what failed in Destiny 1 and maybe, just maybe, people will return to a game franchise that they were once very passionate about.

About Anson Chan

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  • chris miller

    Great article and very true. Even LFG is dying.

    • Kit dont F wit Howie the Bull

      If you could lfg at the tower it would be amazing and make life so much easier.

      • Judge Rhymehold

        could work similar to PS4 communities, just a feed of LFG posts. Maybe let you select regions, to view a list of lobbies looking for games. and easily talk back and forth without party hopping to get info. that would be perfect, relatively not that difficult, just elaborate forum

        • Kit dont F wit Howie the Bull

          Simple, smart, and connective. That’s probably why it won’t happen.

          • Anson Chan

            To play devil’s advocate, I can see people ignoring the functionality of something like that similar to how people ignore random invites from the Tower. That being said, I vaguely recall in game LFG in something like Star Wars: The Old Republic working very well, so there’s that.

  • no spam

    Agree on the article, even if it’s a rehash of so many other articles and comments which underscore the author writes about.

    So since there’s a LOT out there which speaks exactly to what’s written here, and we have to assume Bungie/Activision is paying even a nominal amount of attention, we should therefore conclude they (Bugnie) don’t give a rat’s a** on what the people who support their very existence think about their game and other ‘practices’….

    I was once a rapid Bungie cheerleader… going back to Halo, even before MS bought them. But unless they actually reverse course on the most criticized of their behavior, I’m out for good. I haven’t played Destiny for months, and very much doubt I’ll ever play it again. They got my cash for the first year, but no more unless real change happens.

    • Judge Rhymehold

      must be tough having to write destiny articles with such a long period of silence from them. Saw youtube content creators struggling to come up with stuff by now

      • Anson Chan

        To a degree, kind of. Personally, I actually like the game itself and would honestly prefer writing about stuff like “You can get this from this event, which is this and this”, even wrote a bit for Planet Destiny a while back, but I can’t write good things about a game if there’s nothing new to write about and people are just not happy with how it is now.

    • Anson Chan

      Personally, I have no idea if there’s a lot of similar articles and stuff out there, I just know the sentiment exists so I was like “Might as well put it out there before I forget.”

  • Matt

    I don’t know. I think everyone is way to obsessed with getting exactly what they want. It isn’t hard to get end game viable gear, and have a great time with the content. Would it be nice to get that God roll primary Imago Loop? Sure, but I have the gear I need to play the game and have a good time doing it. If RNGesus decides to give me the loot I really want great, but I don’t need it.

    Now if you don’t actually enjoy playing the game itself that is a different problem, but right now, I really enjoy the game. It is a FPS with RPG flavor, and I dig it.

    • Anson Chan

      To be fair, I’ve seen people from LFG runs just get absolutely nothing of use after doing a Hard mode clear. I mean, sure, its a pretty small sample size, but they didnt complain about the game not being fun or not getting a god roll gun, they (understandably) were just disappointed that they spent an hour or two beating the most difficult thing in the game and getting 310s or whatever. End of the day, RNG is RNG, but people like a sense of meaningful progression

      • Matt

        Yeah, it is a fair point. You shouldn’t get no reward for doing the hardest content, and the rewards for things like crucible should be weighted towards the top, but I still think it is overblown.

        People are so obsessed with the carrot that they don’t have that they are missing the really great game they are playing. There is a lot of gear I would like to have, but nothing I *need* to enjoy the end game. I’ll get the gear when I get the gear. I figure a few tweaks to loot drops for NF, Raids, and a greater reward chance for winning in crucible would be welcomed.

  • Damn good article.