One of Bungie’s biggest hurdles since its inception has been communicating what Destiny is. There are several facets to this issue.
First and perhaps most obviously, Bungie doesn’t want to vomit all sorts of far-flung promises and half-considered details all over the internet. Inevitably people will be disappointed with the final product, how long that product takes to get to them, or both. Gamers are a notoriously fickle culture (to put it as kindly as possible) so its usually best to just not tell us things. This was far less of an issue with the Destiny pre-alpha because once a fragment of the experience was out in the wild, the gestalt opinion of the people communicated concepts better than Bungie ever could on their own.
The second problem is now as people play Destiny, all the promises that Bungie made about the content don’t seem to be quite realized. This however is still an issue because…
DESTINY IS NOT COMPLETE YET.
Destiny is an MMO. Let’s call a spade a spade here, regardless of how much Bungie attempted to distance themselves from it. Everything one would consider as a trope of the MMO experience is present in Destiny. As a longtime player of MMOs, knowing how MMOs work has given me a leg up on understanding Destiny‘s mechanics. More importantly, as MMOs are constantly being iterated on, so is Destiny. That is a key difference between this game and almost all others you’ll find on consoles. No MMO is truly complete until the day the developer decides not to work on it anymore, and such is very true with Destiny.
What we have currently is what I’ve taken to calling a “skeleton” of a game. We’re playing the bones of it, banging away on it in a million different ways while Bungie learns in the background. They learn how to balance and fix and tweak. Months before Destiny’s release, Activision mapped out how the Destiny IP would be built for the market. Over the next 10 years, we’d be getting 3 Destiny games, each with 2 major pieces of DLC (called “comets”). For the first Destiny game (which we are playing now) we already know of our DLC future. The Dark Below expansion will be released in December and House of Wolves is set to be released sometime next year. One can also easily assume that even though a Destiny 2 and 3 will be released, they’ll be tantamount to mega-expansions, continuing to build and iterate on the core product.
Yesterday (Nov.7th, 2014… Happy N7 Day!) Bungie released their weekly update over social media. Bungie gave us a glimpse of how they’re digesting all the data and feedback we’re sending them and turning it into a gameplan. Destiny is still being built, and the voice of the playerbase is a major driving force, it seems. Our cacophony became a chorus around serveral issues, and lo and behold Bungie lays out many of them as im-progress.
Here are some things we’ve mentioned:
- Channels for talking to matchmade teammates, if you so wish
- Exotic weapons that are stronger and more interesting to upgrade
- New gear to let you slip into something a little more Legendary
- That which waits in The Dark Below
Here are some things we’ve kept secret, until now:
- New shaders for your gear
- Ways to preview items before you spend your Glimmer
- Greater chances of “showers” in public spaces
- Adjustments to some arenas that needed better traffic flow
- New economies to equip you with upgrade materials
- Fixes, patches, and other invisible technical evolutions
- Some other tricks up our sleeve
- Maybe even a more generous Cryptarch
- (he’ll still be sort of a bastard)
While Bungie is quick to temper expectations about whats and whens, it’s clear they’re acting with all due haste and skill on building this game up. We can also assume that a number of ideas have already been slated for Destiny 2 and perhaps even 3 due to various reasons.
Where do we go from here? Play the game, try to break it if you can, and be active with constructive comments on the feeback forums.
What would you like to see added or fixed in Destiny? I’ll certainly be writing about what I want, but I’d love to know what you crave when battling in the frontier.