Destiny 2 Game Wide Thoughts

Here I will discuss thoughts about anything and everything in the game. A word document is available here.

The shooting, oh yes, the shooting. The heart and soul of an FPS. As with Destiny 1 the shooting is so good. It feels great and the enemies feel good too. They feel like they’ve had some AI upgrades. The world is beautiful to just look at. The game plays smooth and I’ve experienced very little in the way of lag.

On to the comparison with Destiny 1 and the new features. This is in no particular order.

I’ve talked enough in other sections about the transition from 1 to 2 so I’ll only mention that it could have been better handled.

First the new director system is great. It has detailed maps of each planet, with much more detail about the area then D1 did. Also after visiting certain areas fast travel spots pop up on the map. These are new, and they are wonderful. Though I feel it does detract a bit from the world enjoyment. You just bounce around between fast travel points to do stuff. It’s a tough balance to strike and for the world sizes they have done well. Objectives are in the director, press L2/LT and an overlay slides out to show your current “quests” though they don’t give much detail. I did like the dedicated screen that D1 had for them. They had more information and the screen tracked all things quest related.

The new areas to explore are also very cool. We got 2 new moons and an icy rock that isn’t so icy, thanks Vex. Earth has a nice new place as well. Giving us 4 new locations to run around and each is bigger then the map implies as they also contain underground sections for the new Lost Sector activities. Sadly though all the old locations from D1 are not available and not talked about. It is understandable that the locations are there for us to visit. I mean what would be do but walk around, do patrols and public events? New maps with fast travel points and consistent public events would be great. Then though it wouldn’t mesh with the new story. So, every area would need to be updated and redone to fit the Red legion era. Far too much work. It would be nice to see them released over time as bonus content, with new adventures and patrols.

Adventures are a new feature to D2 and are great ways to tell more story and give guardians more to do. They’re almost identical to missions, but narrower in scope. They each a single purpose and are not interconnected. They each have a story of their own and this is a far better way to tell more story instead of collecting cards that are not even viewable in game. Also, they are re-playable through Asher, just like missions are through Ikora. I really hope to see these continue and grow.

Each of the four races have had additions and/or improvements. This was nice to see. They feel better in combat, more intelligent, and require more thought during combat making it a better experience.

Strikes work differently this time. Instead of becoming available as you level up, which given the story makes sense, you get them at the end after the story. Though instead of them being available on the map for selection and there being a playlist, there is just a playlist. You never know what your going to get and sometimes you get the same one repeatedly. It would really be nice to be able to choose which one you wanted. The strike section has more thoughts on this.

Sparrows, this is really bad. In D1 you get your ride after four missions. Four. In D2 you must wait all the way till the end of the story, sixteen missions, that’s four times as many. There is no explanation as to why you cannot have one in game. Out of game, the claim is they don’t want people to miss content. OK, except that you can get one from the Eververse by purchasing Silver and buying Engrams which may turn into a sparrow. Really? Or if you’re lucky and level 20 before the story is over you can maybe get one from a bright Engram. At least come up with an in-game reason and force the player to finish the story before allowing there use. This just looks like a bad cash grab. Sure, I’ll miss the sparrow, but if I know why, then at least I can be OK with it.

This will be the only spot I’ll bring up the raid. Sadly, I just do not have the time to dedicate to the raid. I’ve been in twice, once for 9 hours, and once for 7. Both times ended in failure at Calus, but I really did enjoy myself. School has been far too busy but with the semester over I hope to at least use a guided game to complete it once. The puzzles were fun and different from anything I’d done before. The ship parts not a part of the puzzles was also lots of fun to explore.

Speaking of guided games. These have been great and really one of the best additions to the game. As a solo player, not having the time to give to a large Clan, mine is only two active people of three, I find that guided games are just what I needed. With the change of Nightfall from well Nightfall to an extra hard timed strike, and the raid needing six people, this allows me to pickup random people and complete the mission. I’ve only used it for Nightfalls, but the experience has been everything I hoped it could be. Thankfully I’ve only ever gotten helpful guardians and every time we’ve completed our task within three tries. I’ve also heard good things about people completing the raid with a guided game and hope to do so myself. I really hope this continues and grows, expanding to other bits of content. Maybe even allowing this in other activities and being flexible on the number of people guiding.

Nightfalls haven’t felt like Nightfalls since Bungie changed them in Destiny 1 and that remains here. The whole purpose of their being has been lost and now they’re just a timed run. Which in and of itself isn’t bad. It’s a cool idea, but belongs in its own place. Nightfall was about doing it right, little to no mistakes or you pay the price. You could go slow and steady or full bore and it was fun. Now it’s just a race against the clock, and while this takes its own brand of skill it’s a different beast. I see no reason we cannot have both.

Destiny 2 has seen a significant set of changes to both Player classes and weapons. First weapons, the most noticeable change has been that the three categories are now Primary, Energy, and Powerful. Also, sniper rifles have been moved to the powerful category and machine guns have been removed altogether. We see the addition of linear fusion rifles and a wide verity of weapons if both the primary and energy categories. Another notable change is that all weapons have static rolls. Thus, once you have one there is no need for another. This makes grinding feel less rewarding and gives less to work towards. Another change is that weapons no longer level up. All the available options are changeable as soon as you get the weapon. The weapons feel good and are lots of fun to use. Ammo drops are really good, sometimes too good.

Second, classes. These have seen a big change. Some for the better, others for the worse. For the most part everything has been streamlined. Each class has been overhauled and three have had significant changes. Sunsinger became Dawnblade, Bladedancer became Arcstrider, and Defender became Sentinel. The Sentinel class feels weird and not at all like the defender class did. Though the option of a defender like is available to Sentinel through a path choice. It feels like they changed to become flashier and in the moment for competitive PvP than anything else. The ability screen looks amazing, but has been super simplified, now you only have two choices of how your guardian is configured. These are paths and you unlock each part by spending points gained by leveling up. Also, there is a new class ability for each class and you unlock that along with your grenades, and jumps with the class points. The new abilities are great and really add to the gameplay. The lack of choice stands out the most, especially in contrast to D1, where you had so many options.

The original vision I saw of Destiny was a Sci-fi, space based, shared world, first person shooter, with RPG elements and it was amazing. So awesome idea that sold me right away. This was it, all the things I really loved wrapped in one neat bundle. Then came some changes, few at first, and not problematic, but over time it slowly lost that feeling. Now it really feels like the game isn’t sure what it is or what it wants to be. I hate to say it but I feel that the want for Destiny to be an Esport is has led it here. Instead of deciding which parts should be allowed in the competitive part of the PvP, the whole game has been changed to fit. Less customization means less balance issues in PvP. This amazing customization is what brought so many players to the game in the first place. I feel that they could be separated and that both could flourish.

This brings me to PvP. This also has changed a lot in D2. Now we have 4 vs. 4 instead of 6 vs. 6 and can no longer pick our own matches. Instead we’re given two playlists, Quickplay and Competitive. Often one is stuck repeating modes you do not like, and the lesser amount of people isn’t always as fun. There are only 5 types of matches, 3 in quickplay, and 2 in competitive. Once a week for a few days, the Trails roll around and a third option is available, though it is picked from one of the current modes. All of this is again streamlined. While I’m not really into to PvP, I do enjoy myself in it and it does play very well. I just miss many of the other modes from D1.

I do believe I have covered all of that which I had wished to cover. It really is a great game, it just needs to finish finding what it wants to be. Regardless though I will continue playing and having fun because in the end that is what games really are for.