Destiny 2 Doesn’t Have a Content Problem
Bungie put more than enough content in Destiny 2; it just needs to give players better avenues to enjoy it.
Destiny 2 launched to good reviews across the board, and players welcomed the sequel. It was overall a tightly-adjusted, well-put-together iteration of the game many had come to love. Unfortunately, within weeks, many players began to complain that there wasn’t enough game to go around.
For the record, I think Bungie may be holding content aimed at dedicated players for future DLC. This would allow casual and new players to get a hang of Destiny, before giving the meatier content to Destiny fans who are more likely to be playing the DLC. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean it's not a problem now.
After examining it, I’ve whittled this multi-faceted problem down. I don’t think Destiny 2 has a content problem. I think it has a much less severe problem that’s easily remedied, but it means players need to be honest about the game’s flaws. The denial of small flaws has created the illusion of a larger one.
There were only four quests and while packaged with substantial story content, I completed them within the first few days. Additionally, the Crucible inexplicably launched with only two playlists: Quickplay and Competitive.
This represented a solid problem, because while the game has great combat, it plays very differently in different game modes. With game modes randomized, it meant players only get game modes they enjoy at best 75% of the time (in which case, you’re one of the few players who enjoys Supremacy).
Despite being directed by Luke Smith, this new game is the polar opposite of Destiny: The Taken King. The Taken King immersed players in a world filled with secrets hidden everywhere. Regularly spawning Ultra-bosses, Dreadnaught chests that required mysterious keys, Strike-specific loot, Exotic and Legendary questlines that kept even dedicated players occupied for months, calcified fragments and new dead ghosts hidden in corners of the world. These were all things that The Taken King was praised for.
So it’s a bit puzzling why Bungie took Destiny 2 in the polar opposite direction. When hit with the complaint that not all of Destiny’s content was accessible to players of all skill or time-commitment levels, Bungie opted to place all content within access of all players. This meant that, outside of The Raid and Trials, all content is very easy. This is not a bad thing.
What is a bad thing, is that there’s not a whole lot to do within that accessible content.
While many players have made similar complaints, with even notable YouTubers like Datto, Mtashed and Sir Wallen expressing their disappointment, there’s a huge amount of dishonesty in how the Community’s discussed this. Reddit and Facebook, in particular, have become incredibly toxic and irrational towards players who voice concerns.
But what’s lost here is any nuanced discussion. Because there’s not honest conversation, we can’t actually identify the real problem:
Destiny 2 has a problem, just not a content problem.
Destiny 2 has enough content to satisfy all players. It just hasn’t created enough activities for players to enjoy that content. It would take very little to remedy this situation.
Dividing the Crucible into Overwatch-style Quickplay and Competitive playlists is based on a good thought: putting a wall between sweaty and casual players. To that end, objective based game-modes are in Competitive; other game modes are in Quickplay.
The problem is that this results in same-y experiences. The hour of Quickplay I play tonight is indistinguishable from the hour I played last night. It’s the same story for Competitive; I like the playlist, but it’s poorly named. It’s not a competitive playlist. It’s unranked, and clearly not trying to be a proving ground for elite players. It’s a nice middle-ground between sweaty Trials matches and casual Quickplay matches.
But because Destiny eschews the competitive gameplay that Halo and Overwatch have, you’re rarely going to have the memorable moments and plays that those games generate. Outside of notable killstreaks or multi-kills, the real treat that makes Destiny great is its sheer variety.
A variety of interesting maps, the special abilities, each class’ mobility options and super abilities are the bread and butter of these matches. What does a popular highlight clip look like? A well-placed trip-mine, a clever use of the Tractor Cannon and a cross-map throwing knife.
Destiny’s great multiplayer comes from its diversity. The core pillar of that is the diversity of game modes. All the game modes: Clash, Rumble, Control, Skirmish, even Salvage and Rift, were instrumental in this.
Without those game modes, Destiny 2 is missing the longevity that made it great. It was something players could return to consistently and have fun with. I love the new Crucible. The new emphasis on teamwork and precision shooting is something I want to spend time with.
I played well over 1,000 hours of Destiny 1, rivalled only by my time in games like Grand Theft Auto V and various Halo games. And Destiny 2 can be that experience, if it lets itself.
Cross-apply that any number of activities within Destiny 2. Lost Sectors can be repeatedly looted, but are stuck with enemies and loot designed for low-tier players. Adventures have fascinating stories, but have poor replay value. The loot system is so streamlined that players get most weapons before hitting a 260 Power Level. After 260, you’re not playing for much but Power level.
All these flaws have lead players to conclude that Destiny 2 doesn’t have enough content. I don’t believe that to be the case. I think Bungie put amazing content in the game. It just needs to give us more avenues to play it.