Last year, there seemed to be a bit of a schism between players and Bungie regarding Destiny 2. Yes, even more than usual, since this is a game where the player base often complains about something (myself included). ) and Bungie always has. to try to appease/react.
The disconnect appears to be in terms of seasonal quality, where several members of the Bungie team touted this year’s seasons, specifically Haunted and Plunder, as some of the best they’ve ever done. But now they’ve arrived and the players… would disagree, for the most part. But why? What is the disconnect here? Why has Bungie been thinking that these seasons are going to land much better than they have?
What I think is going on here is the difference between the physical content of the seasons and what it feels like to play them for the player.
I can fully understand why Bungie is proud of what was designed for seasons like Haunted and Plunder. Haunted featured an extremely cool way of bringing back the corrupted and haunting Leviathan, and had a sick horror aesthetic and a huge dungeon attached to it. Plunder had a very fun pirate theme and a wide range of content, Ketchcrashes flying through space, Expeditions and Pirate Lord hunts. Neat armor, fun weapons.
Any player has to admit that, looking back, we have the highest total volume of content that comes out every season these days, more than anything less, for example Menagerie, which Bungie had two supporting studios helping out with back in the Activision days. But it’s easy to imagine that in a past season as Worthy, Plunder’s Expedition could have been the only seasonal activity. Now, things have clearly expanded a lot.
However, the problem is not the content itself, but how it feels to play it. It’s the investment, the reward cycle, and the general commitment to a hyper-fixed seasonal structure that’s just getting stale, even if it’s getting bigger.
weapon cultivation – I’d say the current system, which involves running seasonal activities until our eyes bleed to get red frames, hasn’t improved significantly on things like Menagerie focus (and additional bug drops) or multiple buff casts Season of the Dawn. Crafting has made already long jobs seem even more arduous, most of the time.
seasonal structure – Scheduled story and activity unlock with our little three rows of boxes. Paired activities of six men who never feel like they have Quite Enough enemies for everyone. Resetting the power level of the artifact, buffing for GM and Trials. Every season, the same.
Dungeon sold separately – In an age where players are already starting to burn out, what has been one of the best things added to the game, a new dungeon, is not included and is purchased separately. Even if it’s “worth” the cost, it doesn’t seem to help the seasonal model itself, and is just another cost. In Duality’s case, it also didn’t help that its mechanics broke down for several months after launch.
Top Playlists – They have been painfully static for eons now. The next season’s ranked PVP scaling can help, but these playlists are a staple of the game that have felt thinly focused in favor of the disappearance of seasonal activities. We get 1-2 of those every season now, but we’re still stuck at 0-1 Crucible or Gambit maps by year. And if we get new attacks through an expansion, we usually swap out the old ones because of the content vault.
No secrets – This has been discussed a lot, but we haven’t had an exciting secret quest/community event in a while, which has the community jumping over shadows (or constellations) every time they think they can see one. Just something to mix up the monotony a bit and feel fresh and exciting. Now we’re about to kick off our first community event in a while, but it’s…getting people back to grinding a bunch of seasonal/playlist activities even more.
I can admit that Haunted Leviathan is a cool space. I can say that I love my Plunder Voltshot weapon and the fancy pirate armor ornaments. In many ways, Destiny 2 is producing a lot of great stuff. But I think the biggest problems stem from the rewards, the structure, the game economy and the investment in No-seasonal stuff, which is where things diverge between Bungie’s perception of what they’re doing and the players playing it.