After 700 hours of Destiny, Bungie lost me with Destiny 2 -- but the game is finally starting to look up

Dave Smith/Business Insider

Destiny – from Bungie, the original makers of Halo – has been one of my favourite games to play over the past several years.

I poured over 700 hours into the first Destiny. But I’ve spent much less time in Destiny 2, which has been heavily criticised by many of the game’s biggest fans and hardcore players since its September release.

Thankfully, though, Destiny 2 is starting to look up:


In Destiny, you are a Guardian, a protector of the Last City on Earth. The game gives you incredible weapons, abilities, and superpowers to wipe out hordes of evil aliens with friends or other strangers online.

Bungie

The first Destiny game came out in 2014. It wasn’t perfect, but it was incredibly addicting. <a href=”http://www.businessinsider.com.au/destiny-2-event-precious-memory-with-my-older-brother-photos-2017-5″target=”_blank”>It brought me closer with my older brother.</a> And thanks to feedback from the game’s community of rabid fans, Bungie kept improving the game every week and every month until it was vastly superior to the original product.

Bungie

When Bungie announced Destiny 2 last May, fans assumed the game would be a slam dunk. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case in many fans’ eyes (mine included).

Bungie

Destiny 2 starts off strong, but loses its momentum as the main campaign goes on. And when the game is over, there is not much to chase. This was a strong contrast from the first game, which did not have a strong campaign but really picked up steam after the main storyline finished.

Dave Smith/Business Insider

The “end game” of Destiny was what kept people coming back to that first game: There was always a meaningful goal to pursue, like an exotic weapon that would make you vastly stronger, but would only drop as a reward from completing certain difficult activities. Many of these hooks from Destiny were simply absent from the launch of Destiny 2.

Bungie

Eight months since the release of Destiny 2, though, things are beginning to turn around. Bungie has been more communicative with fans, especially on the game’s popular subreddit.

Bungie

The company’s weekly updates have also been more transparent; lately, each update has included a development roadmap that gives fans a look at what’s coming down the pipe over the next weeks and months. It’s a sea change from before, when Bungie was notoriously secretive about what changes would come to “Destiny,” and when.

Bungie

There are many reasons to be optimistic about the future of “Destiny 2.”

Bungie

First of all, Bungie listened to fans and tweaked “exotic weapons,” the rarest weapons in Destiny 2, as many of them were not living up to the “exotic” name. The vast majority of existing exotic weapons are getting major improvements to be more potent and unique in combat, and Bungie will soon give the same treatment to the exotic armour in the game. Best of all: Bungie is adding an extra incentive for more hardcore fans in the form of “masterworks,” which improve exotic gear in unique ways for completing certain objectives.

Bungie

Player-versus-player, or PVP, activities are also getting important tweaks and better incentives to play.

Bungie

Bungie made some mistakes with PVP in Destiny 2 by fixing things that weren’t really broken — like changing the number of players in a game, for example, or which weapons you can use.

Bungie/Activision

Now, though, Bungie is rolling back many of these PVP changes to return the game to a state original Destiny players will be familiar with. Private matches are coming back, and Bungie is adding more players to certain activities, for example. And an update in May brings new ranking systems for both casual and competitive players, which offers extra incentives — and more incentives is definitely a good thing.

Bungie

Bungie is also slowly reintroducing incentives to activities currently in the game, which adds replay value. Bungie recently added unique rewards to Nightfall strikes, which are weekly rotating three-person missions that are among the most difficult in the game, and fans can expect more unique rewards for more activities very soon.

Bungie

Oh, and there’s a big content drop coming soon: The third planned expansion pack for Destiny 2, called “Warmind,” comes out May 8. That will give players plenty to do for a while: There’s a new story, a new planet to explore, and all sorts of new activities including the excellent-looking Escalation Protocol mode, which pits you and other players against waves of increasingly difficult enemies, which also require you solve some light puzzles to defeat said enemies. Some of the best rewards in the game will come from that new game mode.

Bungie

There’s an even bigger content drop coming in September. Though there’s no official name for the new expansion just yet, fans are expecting it to do for Destiny 2 what the excellent “The Taken King” expansion did for the first Destiny game in 2015 — namely, to make it really, really good. Expect a big new story, more unique activities with unique rewards, more tweaks to how the game plays, and more incentives to actually play the game.

Bungie

It’s understandable why so many people were initially frustrated by Destiny 2: Even though so many expected a superior sequel, much of the past year has been spent on updating the game to be more in line with the first Destiny, at least from an enjoyment standpoint. Now though, it looks like Destiny 2 is finally catching up to where Destiny was, and is starting to look up. In just a few months from now, it could be a whole new game entirely.

Bungie

For more on “Destiny” and what the game has meant to fans like me, <a href=”http://www.businessinsider.com.au/destiny-2-event-precious-memory-with-my-older-brother-photos-2017-5″target=”_blank”>check out my story what it was like to attend last year’s big “Destiny 2” unveiling event with my older brother.</a>

Dave Smith/Business Insider

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