If there’s one game that I’ve played and written the most about over the last year, it has to be Destiny. It’s a game that just hits all the parts of an FPS that I really enjoy, with some sprinkling of RPG to keep it interesting. Yes it has had its ups and downs – I won’t deny that. But the second year started off so strong that I think expectations shot back up following The Taken King. So much so that if you head over to the subreddit or forums you’ll see a lot of posts demanding information about the next content we’ll get to play. Bungie did announce and introduce a new set of loot to the game this week, but it is gated by the Refer a Friend system; which has a lot of veteran players a little ticked off.
The new loot includes a new sword, the first since The Taken King launched, along with a good mix of cosmetic items. The big sticking point for most of us is the new Sparrow – the first truly new model introduced to the game since launch. It has the same archetype/stats as the Year One Veteran reward Sparrow, but has a sleek Tron-esque look to it. The problem is that the only way to get this gear is by bringing in totally new account to the game, then playing through a quest with them. I understand the need to keep the player base strong with a game like this, and in theory a Refer a Friend system isn’t the worst way to go about it. The problem I have is that for people like myself, all of my friends that I play games with already have Destiny, or did and no longer want to play it. Any friend that I could refer, I did back in Year One so we could play then. That basically means I won’t ever be able to get those new items, which stinks because even with all the great new games I’m playing now, I still make time to play Destiny every week.
Which really speaks to the larger quagmire that I think Bungie is finding themselves in now. The player base was so engaged and recharged after The Taken King launched in September that Bungie really didn’t need to do much to keep us involved. But we’ve now gone two full months with the same content. The majority of players are starting to be the ones who have run through just about everything. The top 1% is growing as Bungie repeats the time-gated events like the Black Spindle mission, and No Time to Explain’s quest line. Even by now last year we were in prime Dark Below preparation mode, since it came out in early December. I would hope that Bungie has a plan for the next couple steps, and we’ve actually seen the very beginning with them outlining the December Patch a bit. But just letting us know that the weapons are getting another balance pass, and we’re getting a new set of Exotics to chase (most of which are Year One items) isn’t really enough. There are too many other fantastic games out right now to pull players away from the grind of Destiny.
I have no idea what the next DLC will be, or even how it will be presented to us. With the microtransactions that are in game now supporting the game, we might not get a huge purchase for a big pack. It could very well be brought out piecemeal for little to no cost. It’s really tough to say for sure because of the lack of an Expansion Pass, and with Activision refusing to say one way or the other how they want to do the DLC this year. That said, I think we’ll find out a lot more in the next week or two. This week will be probably a little weird with Thanksgiving on the usual Bungie Weekly Update day, but who knows, maybe this will be the week they announce it. Whatever route they do decide, I think that the sooner they make the move, the better it will be for Destiny moving forward.