Changes Coming for Destiny 2 Year One
Bungie is making several changes to Destiny 2 to address issues with both the player base and microtransactions.
A brief summary of the launch of Destiny 2 and the controversy that followed after: Destiny 2 became a hit when released in September 2017, making it one of the top-selling games of that year. Players who were turned off by the first game came back and saw remarkable improvements to the Destiny franchise. Returning players and the hardcore base became enamored to try out the new content. However, problems began to arise for the hardcore Destiny community. Shaders became consumable items that could be purchased with microtransactions; the token system, used to receive rewards, started showing the bare bones item pools; the raid and guided games still face bugs and glitches; events like Faction Rallies and Iron Banner were shallow experiences, and the multiplayer of Destiny 2 suffered because of its change from 6v6 to 4v4.
The game director, Christopher Barret, released a brand blog post that outlines the concerns and changes coming in the near future. This is regarding the state of Destiny 2 and Bungie’s plans to appease its fan base. Following is a highlight of the most important changes and speculation of what effect they could have on the game. For a full overview of ALL the changes coming to Destiny, check out the blog post.
Destiny Content Categories:
One thing we want is to set clearer expectations for is which categories of content are available to everyone each Season, and which are exclusive to Destiny 2 Expansions:
Expansions are purchasable updates that typically add new Story, Destinations, and Gear, as well as new Crucible, Strike, and Raid Lair content.
Seasons introduce content that is made available to all players of Destiny 2, at no additional cost.
Iron Banner, Faction Rallies, and their rewards will be available to everyone as part of Season 2. Additionally, going forward we are making a change that new Seasonal rewards from Crucible, Strikes, and Trials of the Nine will be available to all players.
Faction Rallies returns on January 16 and Iron Banner will be back in the rotation on January 30.
It’s clear that Bungie wants to draw a line in the sand about what content means in Destiny 2. Primarily, the developer wants to make a distinction between what comes with a paid DLC expansion, and how seasons differ when rotating new items in and taking old items out. Faction Rallies and Iron Banner will return with new improvements that will be available for all, meaning people who only bought the base game will no longer exclude from these seasonal events. Previously, Curse of Osiris gated content that was originally accessible to all players.
We recognize that the scales are tipped too far towards Tess at the moment, and Eververse was never intended to be a substitute for end game content and rewards. So, we’ll be making three changes for upcoming Seasons:
- We’re shifting the balance of new content in favor of activity rewards over Bright Engrams. This includes adding Ghosts, Sparrows, and ships (to date found only in Bright Engrams) to achievement reward pools.
- We’ll provide a gameplay path to earn Bright Engrams and all contained rewards (including Event Engrams).
- We’ll give players more direct purchase options and make adjustments to Bright Engrams to allow players to get the items they want more often.
- We’ve begun implementing these changes for the Crimson Days event beginning February 13.
The Dawning was a holiday event that launched in December and finished after New Year’s Day. Bungie faced mass criticism during that time because of the paltry rewards offered and the ridiculous number of new items for Bright Engrams. Bright Engrams are the “loot boxes” of Destiny 2 which contain vehicles, shaders, armor, and other cosmetic items. Players became furious over the fact that there were so few rewards for actual in-game activities, yet the microtransaction store received a slew of new items.
Destiny 2 players started protesting on the Bungie.net forums, with every thread talking about the negative impact that the Eververse store has on the game. These new changes will help address the outrage against the monetization tactics of the game by offering better rewards that can be obtained via gameplay. Some of the biggest changes are the inclusion of sparrows, ghost shells etc. for completing events. All these items were previously available only through Bright Engrams.
Also, they mention that they want players to be able to purchase items directly from the Eververse store. It would be possible to have both Bright Engrams and a direct method of buying cosmetic items, but that would most likely come at a higher price. This update does confirm that Crimson Days is coming back again for February, though.
- We are expanding the Masterwork system to include armor.
- Masterwork Armor provides increased damage reduction while using your Super.
- You can reroll the armor stat type on Masterwork Armor, and similar to Masterwork weapons, you can upgrade a piece of armor to Masterwork by spending Masterwork Cores and Legendary Shards.
Raid Reward Rework
We are updating Raid rewards to make them more unique and interesting. They will now feature mods with Raid-specific perks, and we are adjusting the rewards to ensure a Raid item drops from each major encounter. The Raid vendor will also directly sell Leviathan and Eater of Worlds armor and weapons for purchase with Raid tokens and Legendary Shards.
We are also adding a new Ghost with Raid-specific perks that has a chance to drop from the Leviathan and Eater of Worlds final encounters. We intend to return to creating more Raid and other activity-unique rewards in the future.
The masterwork system has already been implemented for legendary weapons. It is a welcomed addition to the game so far, so it makes sense that Bungie would extend this to armor and possibly exotic weapons down the line. Masterworks is similar to Ancient Legendaries in Diablo 3. Masterwork weapons are legendaries that have an additional perk and stat that can be re-rolled for neat effects like extra orb generation with multi-kills.
Raid changes will help bring back the excitement of earning specific Raid loot and drops. A big part of Destiny’s culture revolves around streamers and YouTubers receiving rare drops. Previously, because of the token system, raids only offered tokens that could be redeemed back at the tower.
- Strike Scoring + High Score Tracking
- Strike Scoring is coming to Nightfall and replacing the current time limit mechanic. The scoring is similar to the Destiny 1 system but with adjustments to emphasize competitive execution of Strike objectives and support for player selectable score modifiers. In February, Nightfall High Scores will be exposed in-game via new emblems and will unlock rewards. We also have plans for Clan and Community High Scores in the works.
- Mods 2.0
- Work is underway on a full rework of armor and weapon mods. This will focus on reducing redundant mods, more unique theming, and greatly increasing their impact on your power. We are aiming for a February release, but the scope of the rework could push parts or all of it out to early spring. We will be evaluating how Mods play into the Bright Engram economy as a result, because we’re sensitive to pay-to-win outcomes.
- Exotic Repetition Reduction
- This will prevent players from receiving the same Exotic twice in a row. You may still receive duplicates, just not consecutively.
- Fireteam Members on Destination Map
- You will finally be able to see the other members of your fireteam on the destination map. No more having to ask your fireteam where they went when they fast travel to another landing zone.
These changes are self-explanatory and less impactful, but still needed to smooth out Destiny 2‘s progression. Some of the outlined changes are quality of life improvements, such as marking fireteam members on the map. While other changes, like Mods 2.0, could be bigger than the initial impression. Mods currently in the game only serve the purpose of bolstering a player’s power level. These mods currently provide bonuses for improved reload times, faster grenade cooldown, etc., but the effects are minimal and inconsequential.
We want to give players new reasons to play, more variety, and balance improvements. Spring will bring a number of exciting and long awaited features to the Crucible.
- Crucible Rank
- Beginning with Season 3 we will introduce Seasonal Crucible Ranks. There will be two different ranks for players to pursue:
- Valor – A progression rank that goes up as you complete matches. Winning helps you move up faster, but there are no loss penalties.
- Glory – A progression rank that goes up when you win and down when you lose. Performance is how you move up here.
- Private Matches
- Private Matches are coming to all players of Destiny 2. Players will be able to invite their friends to play on the map and mode of their choosing.
- 6v6 Playlist
- We’re bringing 6v6 PvP to Destiny 2 in addition to the current 4v4 game mode.
Bungie is finally addressing the issues with Destiny 2‘s multiplayer. I’m glad they’re adding more ranked game modes, but part of the problem isn’t a ladder system. Destiny 2 switched to a 4v4 style multiplayer, foregoing its original 6v6. Several competitive players have lamented this change because guardians are no longer able to perform power plays. The 4v4 format also makes team fights mandatory, which forces players to rely on numbers rather than skill. It is good to see that Bungie is going to implement the 6v6 game mode that was so popular in Destiny. Though 4v4 isn’t terrible, with proper balance adjustments it could become exciting and intense like Halo 5.
Destiny 2 is listening to fans and trying to address several issues as time permits them. It’s always been a push and pull between the development team and fans. Only time will tell how Destiny 2 will evolve in its first year when compared to Destiny‘s launch. Destiny took almost three years to get to a state that everyone enjoyed, but having Destiny 2 start from scratch lends itself to the same problems as before.