The Destiny 2 beta wrapped up almost a week ago and has left much of the Destiny community divided about the new direction the much anticipated sequel is heading in. Among the naysayers and those who are complaining about the new game, there are some common complaints about Destiny 2 from both the beta and the other details that have been released.
Along with covering a few of those common complaints, I would also like to give my impression of the beta and what we have seen of the game so far. Let’s get started.
Complaint #1: It feels just like Destiny 1.
Some say it feels more like a DLC for Destiny than a sequel or that it is just Destiny with a new coat of paint. I do not understand this complaint at all, but I keep seeing it repeated over and over.
No matter how hard I try, I cannot wrap my head around it. What exactly are people expecting? Should they change Destiny to a turn-based shooter? Were they expecting Bungie to rework the game into a 3rd person view? Should they get away from the feel and mechanics that made Destiny such a popular game?
Of course not. Just about every game sequel on the planet “feels” the same as its predecessor.
Every new release of Call of Duty still feels like a Call of Duty game. Sure, there might be some new weapons, environments, and settings, but it still has the distinct CoD feel to it.
Battlefield has gone from modern combat to Vietnam, back to modern combat, and now to World War I. They all still feel like a Battlefield game, even the most recent release with its more drastic setting change going back to World War I.
If you took a gamer who has not played a Call of Duty or Battlefield game for the past 3 years, and put the newest titles into their hands without telling them which game was which, they would be able to identify which was a CoD game and which was a part of the Battlefield franchise.
Yes, there are some sequels that take more dramatic chances with altering their gameplay. Take Diablo, for example. Diablo III is a much faster paced hack n’ slash dungeon crawler than Diablo II. Diablo III presented us with all new classes that were not present in the prior game.
The games do feel quite a bit different, but at the heart of them it still is the same basic gameplay. Also, in the case of Diablo, you are talking about a game released in 2000 versus one released in 2012. That is a long time between releases for a sequel.
Could Bungie have presented us with all new classes that were not present in the first Destiny game? I suppose so, but I’m not sure how you make that fit the storyline of the game. You have the Vanguard made up of these 3 classes. How would you explain 3 new classes that we never saw in the first game and the elimination of the 3 old ones?
From the story perspective, I think it would ultimately feel a little odd.
We are getting 3 new subclasses, and we are not sure what else might be down the road at this point. We only know of 2 subclasses for each class. In the first game, we got a 3rd subclass with the release of The Taken King. At this point, Bungie will not confirm or deny if there is a 3rd subclass for each class, and if there is, will it be available at launch or somewhere down the road?
At the end of the day, if you are a fan of Destiny, why would you want the sequel to be drastically different?
I think we all want new challenges and new areas to explore. We are getting those. We are getting new weapons as well as class abilities with the Titan shield wall, Hunter dodge, and Warlock healing/buff ring.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Complaint #2: The new weapon slots.
One of the more drastic changes to Destiny 2 is the way our loadouts work. In Destiny 1, we had our primary weapons (hand cannons, pulse rifles, auto rifles, and scout rifles), secondary weapons (snipers, shotguns, sidearms, and fusion rifles), and our heavy weapons (rocket launchers, machine guns, and swords).
Destiny 2 will be using a different approach. We will have a kinetic weapon, energy weapon, and power weapon.
Kinetic weapons match what we had for primary weapons in the first game. Energy weapons are similar to primary weapons except that they do void, arc, or solar damage.
You could roll with two hand cannons or a hand cannon and a scout rifle. Maybe two auto rifles with enormous clips, so that you rarely have to reload. I don’t know, but we will have options to experiment with.
Lastly, power weapons now include snipers, shotguns, fusion rifles, rocket launchers, and presumably swords, but we did not have access to swords in the beta.
Many in the Destiny community are upset that they will not be able to arm a sniper and rocket launcher anymore. They are concerned that this will greatly decrease their damage output in PvE activities.
It would seem that the onus for this change was really to alter play in the Crucible, Destiny’s PvP area. Destiny currently suffers from a PvP that is dominated by snipers (specifically The Icebreaker) and sidearms. From the beta play, it seems they nerfed sidearms and moving snipers to the power weapon slot will greatly reduce the amount of available ammo in PvP matches.
This change also aligns with Bungie’s desire to make PvP more focused on gunplay and less on special weapons and super abilities (more on that in a minute).
I think most of these people are really more worried that they will no longer be able to dominate a PvP map with their Icebreakers and are going to have to alter their playstyle.
The PvE concern may be valid, but really we have not seen enough of PvE to make that criticism. We really don’t know how effective energy weapons will be on bosses when matching the energy type. Also, for all we know, we were playing the beta with weapons that were total trash.
Raids in Destiny 2 might not require the loadouts that people felt were almost required in Destiny 1.
The biggest concern, and one that has really been around since the beginning of Destiny 1, is that Bungie is making balancing decisions based on PvP that have a negative impact on PvE.
Overall, I liked the new weapon slots. I think they bring some additional strategy to PvE encounters. For raids, we may have to decide to have a few players running snipers, while a few are running rocket launchers, for example. I sort of joked above about running with two auto rifles with large clips in the kinetic and energy slots, but that might actually be a viable loadout for 2-3 members of a raid team in some sections allowing them to keep enemies busy while other members complete some task or flank them.
What I’m getting at really is that we just don’t know at this point. The beta did not give us enough content to make a real determination if the new loadout options are going to be better or worse. Maybe neither better or worse. We do not know.
Complaint #3: Bungie is sacrificing PvE for the sake of PvP balance.
This is one it is hard to really argue against at this point, but it is hardly something new. In the past, there were a lot of weapons that got nerfed to balance PvP better. Often times those nerfs resulted in that weapon, or entire archetype, becoming next to useless in PvE.
The loadout change mentioned above is widely believed to be a reaction to the current meta of Destiny 1’s PvP.
Bungie does seem to be trying to satisfy the more competitive PvP players versus the casual players with their shift to 4v4 in the Crucible, the weapon loadouts, and the slower grenade and super charges.
There is even the rumor that Bungie wants the Crucible to become an eSport. Hard to imagine that happening without dedicated servers, but that is the rumor.
Again though, I’m taking the wait and see approach here.The beta gave us access to only a handful of weapons. We did not have access to our full ability choices within the subclasses. We really don’t know what impact those other skill choices will have on PvE or PvP.
From what we did get to play though, I don’t feel like the changes had a drastic negative impact on PvE. In fact, one could argue that the new class abilities (titan shield, etc.) is a fair tradeoff to the loss of our old loadout options and slower super recharges.
Complaint #4: Supers and grenades recharge way too slow.
This was a big difference that was felt right away by the Destiny community.
Super abilities felt like they took forever to charge. In the Control mode of PvP, even if you were playing really well, your super was not available until the final minute of the match, or sometimes the last 30 seconds.
This turned the end of matches into something that often felt more like the Mayhem game mode with everyone just launching into super abilities to use them up quickly before the match ended.
In very one-sided matches, they ended before anyone even had a chance to use a super.
Grenades also had a much lower charge rate. This was a change that I did not mind at all. I hate games where you just constantly get fragged by grenades. To me, that is no fun at all. I wouldn’t mind it if all the grenades were less damage dealers and had more effects like stunning opponents or suppressing abilities. But with the current state of the game, I was totally fine with seeing fewer grenades getting chucked around the maps.
Another thing to keep in mind is that we did not have access to any gear that might speed up charge rates for supers and grenades. We don’t know if gear like that will be available again in the sequel, but I would guess such gear will appear in the new game..
Bungie has already stated that the beta was an older build of Destiny 2, and that they have tweaked super and grenade recharge rates a little bit. Sounds like supers are still going to charge slower in Destiny 2 PvP compared to Destiny 1, but frankly I am totally on board with that.
Complaint #5: No more 6v6, private matches, or Rumble in PvP.
This one I have a hard time arguing against. I think the 4v4 is a great addition, and, in the limited modes and maps we got to experience it with, I enjoyed it more than 3v3. That being said, I do not understand the decision to drop Rumble.
I played my share of 6v6 games and always had fun with them, but I won’t really miss those all that much. I often felt like I was getting shot at from all directions. Considering that the maps for Destiny 2 are being designed specifically for 4v4 modes of play, playing 6v6 on them would probably be a bit too chaotic.
However, there is no reason that these maps would not work for the Rumble game mode. I did not play a lot of rumble myself, but I understand that a lot of people enjoyed it, and it is a great game mode for solo players. Why not include it?
And why get rid of private matches? What if I have 7 other friends and we just want to play some PvP together on maps of our choosing?
My guess is that private matches will come back at some point post-launch. I’m not sure about rumble, and unless they build maps specifically for 6v6, I am guessing that mode will not return.
So I get people’s frustrations here, but I do really like the 4v4 matches both for competitive and casual play, at least more than I like 3v3.
To wrap this up, I think that a large part of the reason we see so many complaints and concerns about the direction Bungie is heading in with Destiny 2 is that it is a favorite game among so many gamers. If people did not care about the game, they wouldn’t be so passionately voicing their opinions, both positive and negative. That’s what makes being a part of the Destiny community so great. We will never all agree on every decision made in the development of the franchise, but we do still all care about the amazing Destiny universe that Bungie has created.
Only 5 more weeks…