With the Destiny franchise still going strong after almost ten years, it’s clear that Destiny 2 is still worth playing, right? Well, not exactly, as there’s almost always something the community is complaining about on social media. While sometimes this criticism is slightly far-fetched, there will always be real issues in the game that need fixing (like any other live service game). Many significant changes are coming to the game soon, so it’s a fantastic time to figure out if you want to give Destiny 2 a shot. Here, we’ll cover what changes haven’t been good, the portions of the game continuing to be exceptional, and what may need improvement—all to help you decide if Destiny 2 is the right game for you.
What hasn’t been good in the past few years?
Bungie is constantly adding new systems, weapons, and changes to Destiny 2, so there are bound to be some additions that are met with negative feelings from the community. The most prominent case that immediately comes to mind is the Destiny Content Vault, or DCV. This system, implemented in the Fall of 2020 with the Beyond Light DLC, cycled out destination and activity content to allow Bungie to update the game quicker. While this has been partially reverted to no longer remove Destiny 2 expansions, previously paid content from the Curse of Osiris, Warmind, and Forsaken DLCs is no longer in the game.
The New Light (new player) experience has also been a pain point for most. To supplement the original campaigns that were removed via the DCV, Bungie added a new questline to teach players the basics of Destiny 2. Most players see this new system as a complete failure that barely scratches the surface, leaving new players overwhelmed and lost. Do you want to tackle a Lost Sector solo? Or perhaps chase a Nightfall weapon? To understand the game beyond a superficial level, 3rd party websites, guides, and other online resources are required.
Server and API issues have become more frequent, and general game performance (especially on PC) has slowly worsened since Beyond Light. These issues, along with new monetization strategies, have sparked bad feelings in the community. There’s significantly more to purchase these days, with a year of Destiny 2 content costing at least $100 (not including cosmetics).
What new Destiny 2 experiences have been a success?
Of course, if the game is still as popular as it is, Bungie must be doing something right. What’s so great about Destiny 2’s new content? Destiny’s storyline went from being the last thing players cared about to the primary reason Guardians log in weekly. Seasons provide a story-based questline that spans anywhere from 4-8 weeks. This questline is full of rich dialogue from Destiny’s vast cast of characters and culminates in the next DLC’s campaign. Many players have equated this new story-based model to a television show, with new episodes and drama bringing you back week after week.
Speaking of in-game story, one of the most well-received parts of The Witch Queen DLC was its campaign. Puzzles and essential dialogue filled each mission, unlike any other campaign the franchise has offered. The DLC’s Legendary Difficulty, also coming with Lightfall’s campaign in February 2023, gave players a challenge that felt less annoying and more rewarding than previous endgame content.
There’s more to Destiny 2’s endgame than just a campaign, however. Raids and dungeons (activities filled with puzzles and tough bosses that require communication amongst your team) have always been a strong point for the franchise. Bungie has recently committed to releasing either a raid or dungeon each season, resulting in two of each coming yearly. This is the most consistent endgame content the franchise has ever received, making the higher yearly prices arguably worth it.
We’d be doing a disservice if we didn’t also mention Destiny 2’s art and music. From making weapon and armor models out of alien bones to beautiful songs such as Deep Stone Lullaby and Journey, these teams always bring their A-game.
What areas of Destiny 2 still need improvement?
Destiny 2 isn’t a perfect game, and probably never will be. There are always ways to improve the game’s current iteration, and Bungie tends to be pretty good at implementing meaningful systems that the community wants. But what exactly needs some love at this point?
PVP (and the other two ritual playlists) continues to be a big issue. None of the community can agree on what’s best for the sandbox, but most say that abilities have made weapons obsolete in most activities. With infrequent major updates and maps to Gambit and the Crucible and strikes coming to the Vanguard Ops playlist about once a year, these core pillars of the game have begun to crumble.
It doesn’t help that the seasonal content model, which has also gotten stale, requires you to play these ritual activities consistently. While new seasons always have their strengths, how their content is delivered has recently begun to feel formulaic. Seasonal activities feel “samey”, and gameplay aspects like vendor upgrades have gotten old. The seasonal content model needs large-scale changes soon to keep players invested throughout the year.
In other news: ‘Destiny 2’ Migrating from Battle-Net to Steam
Despite these criticisms, many are hopeful that Lightfall will bring a new wave of changes that give players what they want. An in-game LFG system is coming very soon, along with a commendations system that encourages veteran Guardians to provide a helping hand to New Lights. In-game load-outs are also arriving within the next few months, allowing Guardians to solidify and change their builds on the fly without needing a 3rd party application.
The Destiny franchise has always had its ups and downs. Most high points are golden ages for the game that gamers of all types should try for themselves, while the low points are marked with harsh criticism from Guardians who care about their favorite game. Because Destiny 2 is free to play now, it’s more than likely worth trying out. If it’s not for you, that’s okay, but remember that the game will always have flaws. However, if you enjoy the game, great! Content is always being added to keep you busy, and the community will always provide websites and helpful tools to help you on your journey.
YouTube: The entire history of Destiny (2008 – 2023)
Photo credit: The feature image is owned by Bungie and has been provided as part of a press kit.