Opinion: Bungie Must Learn to Ignore (Bad) Player Feedback
Destiny 2 Beta's been out for 2 days, and players have been able to experience the brand new Crucible.
The changes have been mostly well-received, but there's been a common complaint regarding PvP: A sizable chunk of the player-base doesn't like 4v4, and they want special abilities to be significantly buffed. While I believe Bungie should certainly reduce ability and super cooldown times, this represents another case where, for the sake of the game, Bungie must learn to ignore its fans.
That's a harsh thing to say and possibly communicative of a nasty sentiment that I don't actually agree with. Player feedback is invaluable, and possibly the only reason a game like Destiny is still alive. But in the original Destiny, the Crucible was destroyed by players who frequently demanded change, simply because they were unwilling to adjust their play style. Ultimately, its Bungie's job to create an equitable playing field for you to master, not one where your playstyle works.
For starters, I really think Bungie should include 6 v 6 modes. Nonetheless, 4v4 Control is the absolute best multiplayer mode Bungie's produced since Halo: Reach. So let's talk about why: Because my play style doesn't work.
I can't play the Destiny 2's Control mode like I played Destiny's. And that's fantastic. I've been a shameless shotgun warrior since Day 1. The second I picked up my Party Crasher, I found the perfect weapon to navigate the game. Shotguns were eventually nerfed, again, and again, and again. Destiny's Crucible is less about killing, and more about avoiding absolute bullshit ways to die. And that's why I practically main shotgun: most of those bullshit ways to die are easily one-shotted by the Party Crasher +1.
Tired of getting sniped by my shotgun, stuck by a sticky nade, crushed by shoulder charge, run over by a Juggernaught or even killed by Thorn ten seconds after getting shot? Roughly half your deaths in the Crucible are bullshit. It's not bullshit because dying makes you feel bad, or your ego just can't take it. It's bad because those deaths don't inform your play style in any way.
On an abstract level, that's what makes a game, a game.
Bungie spent more time nerfing weapons than nerfing abilities. With the exception of maybe Year 1 Mythoclast, Shotguns w/ knee pads and Thorn, there was no dominant weapon that couldn't be responded to. And every weapon or ammo nerf made the game significantly less fun. At some point, Bungie should have put their foot down and said: Learn to play the goddamn game. That's how videogames work. That's what makes videogames fun.
Learn how to play them, learning how your play style doesn't work and learn how to learn to create a better one. That's why Halo was fun. You had to figure out how to use the weapons, how to navigate the maps and how to respond to your opponents.
I can't play Destiny 2's new Crucible like I played the originals and the game is better for it. I almost never played Pulse Rifle and I'd never played SMG before, but that's what I had to use since hand-cannon/shotgun combos just aren't a thing. And when I really put my mind to it, I could rock with those guns. My play style changed in just three matches, and Destiny 2's Crucible rewarded me. I easily racked up 5 and 10 kill streaks…that I deserved.
I never got a kill I didn't deserve, and I can't remember a single death I didn't deserve either. In the original Destiny, roughly one-third of my deaths were bullshit. They didn't tell me anything about the game, or how I should change my play style. But every death in Destiny 2 was invaluable.
Don't peek corners unless you're able to fire first. Opening an engagement with headshots is far more important than landing the first shot. Rushing any part of the map will get you killed.
These are just a few lessons, I learned that invalidated my play style. And it's a better game for it.
I'm all about Casual play. I'm a casual player. I've never finished a Trials card in my life. I'm barely in the top 50% of D1 players. I'm in the Top 15% of Control players, which is meaningless since the bottom 60% are people who don't actually play the game. I've never been serious about Destiny's Crucible, because it's a divided experience. The most skilled players can thrive because their gun skill lets them overpower sweaty players' abilities. The majority of casual players won't master either, because the journey to either side just isn't very fun.
I love Destiny's PvE experience, but when it comes to PvP, I have more fun in Overwatch, Counter Strike and Halo 5. And those three games are actually built to be eSports. Yet they're far more fun and are much less sweaty. Because they reward learning and respond consistently to both casual and pro players. So no, Bungie's attention to PvP isn't "ruining" the game. It's saving it. Destiny 2's Crucible was the first time I felt the franchise's multiplayer could go head to head with those other games.
The best thing Bungie can do is give casual players an equitable field where their deaths matter and their kills are rewarding. Believe it or not, giving casual players abilities that grant them free kills does not make for a better casual game. Aside from being bullshit, it's not rewarding, and it doesn't encourage active participation. And more often than not, it's sweaty, try-hard players who are abusing those abilities to crush casual players and drive up killstreaks that defy any objective Bungie centers the mode around.
There are legitimate criticisms of the Beta. There really should be 6 v 6 modes and I don't believe the new gun system is as effective as Bungie intended. But players who want Bungie to return the game's absolute worst, bullshit features are players who need to be ignored. They ruined a decent game in Destiny 1, and I won't stand by and let them ruin a great game in Destiny 2.