We are all getting a bit itchy to play the Destiny 2 Beta(More info!) here at MGL gamers. Fans are no doubt the same and people… “less into Destiny” shall we say… are probably awaiting to laugh at us all later when the moaning begins! We’ve been talking about where we think we hope we’ll see Destiny 2 improve on the original game and put out thoughts below for you.
There is no question that Destiny improved on PS4 and Xbox One as time went by, and that the chances of the sequel making the same mistakes is low. But, will Bungie get it right in the areas we really want to see improved?
We look at those areas and have our own say on them below with Destiny lovers David, Lawrence and myself. But this is MGL and mostly about YOU. Where does Destiny 2 need to improve on the original for YOU? Let us know in the Disqus Comments at the end, and don’t forget to Share This on social media while you are here guardians!
Getting the Story Right This time
No matter the person we all agreed on thing needed to be massively improved on this time: The Story. The game seemed to be oozing lore and a whole range of story options when originally advertised. As an experience however, it was all a bit flat and forced you onto a website if you wanted any real depth.
Here’s what the team had to say.
Destiny needs a solid narrative from the beginning. I imagine Luke Smith (the game’s director and original lead on The Taken King expansion for the original Destiny) knows this better than anybody.
The game’s lore is actually very impressive, but the original game hid those pieces of information behind nonsensical text walls outside of the game itself. Still, as somebody who eventually succumbed to reading said Lore Cards in the Destiny app, it proved to me how much thought had gone in to the story. Even if that was never reflected in the actual product.
I hope Destiny 2 embraces its story, stays true to them and fleshes them out. In contrast to Lawrence’s broad scope of choice (a bit later in the article), I want to be told a tale that I’m a part of. Not one that my actions dictate.
I don’t want choice in the story-telling. Leave that for minor mission tweaks and interesting twists in the gameplay. A strong story with the conviction to stick to its guns is worth a thousand times more than an arbitrary “will you do this or this?” Decision, which can lead to a million tangled threads down the line with unsatisfying outcomes because a team just can’t fulfil the wants of everybody like that. Hardly any writer could.
“A bad guy… with purpose and depth.”
More than anything, I want to get to know the main cast better: Cayde-6, Zavala and Ikora. I want a few new character introductions. I’d love to exorcise the demon that is The Stranger’s “no time to explain” nonsense with some exposition on her.
I’d love for Ghaul, leader of the Cabal invasion and antagonist of the game (it appears), to be more than what Oryx was. A bad guy, yes, but with purpose and depth.
I hope he’s not just another “non-human = enemy” problem. I want some sympathetic Cabal members, even if it ends in tragedy for us/them. What Destiny truly needs in its story telling is depth, both in the tale and the characters. Particularly the antagonist.
Unlike David, I would like to see storylines which have different choice options that actually affect how the story develops. We’ve had a slight variation in story line with different classes whilst establishing each of the super skills. Decisions of where you go and what you choose to do would introduce personalised stories which would be unique to each play through.
I would also love to see the strike missions being related to story choices and being affected by what decisions you have already made. Raids with different paths would be great as this would greatly improve replayability.
I didn’t really enjoy playing the same story essentially the second and third time for my alternative characters. Adding in that choice, however small or its effect on the bigger picture, would make it more engaging to replay.
One issue of mine was that the storyline in year one had the elusive stranger character… which wasn’t really explained properly. I would like the story mode to make you feel like you mattered, rather than you were just along for the ride. The story could easily involve my choices and decisions, explain how it matters to me as a player whilst I experience the story and show consequences too.
That will give greater meaning to the whole experience for me.
I am a solo player more than I am a social gamer, although I do have a bit of fun here and there on PVP or other modes. But the big draw for me with the original Destiny was: the sci-fi setting, interesting mystery around the Traveler and it’s lore. Plus a feel it was a shooter mixed with some light RPG mechanics.
Now, what I played was always going to be more “shooter” than anything else. Bungie made that clear and I took the risk. But even then, shooters have a hell of a lot better stories than the original Destiny tale without all the setup the game had. Look at Titanfall 2 or COD Infinite Warfare, those are exceptional shooters and fantastic story-lines.
With what David and Lawrence says I can see how both sides can work to make Destiny 2 improve on the original. On David’s side, a static story that is good enough to play again isn’t a bad thing. I made no choices in The Last of Us or Uncharted 4 but have easily replayed them more than the 3 times needed for each Destiny class.
But then there is the huge issue that Destiny has RPG like elements. I can choose a race and my class, surely this should have some effect? I remember losing it with Destiny when my Awoken character met the Awoken… and not a single line of dialog was changed to reflect I was one of them.
So what do we do in Destiny? As Neo said, “the problem is choice…”
Indirect choice and more class specific missions
I would personally like to see the story branch out less in direct choices, more indirect ones based on what you have already chosen. If you are a Warlock (and I WILL be a Warlock!) for example, I want to see The Taken King style missions and sub-plots just for that class. And more than a token amount too, a really deep dive into Ikora and my connection to the Traveller’s power explored as part of the main quests.
The same for other character classes, would really make the game’s story open up and be worth experiencing as a Titan and Hunter.
This could also be the same for my chosen species, with the bare minimum that if I am a Human, people react to me as such. Possibly having it so that certain missions and story elements can be done if you are one species or another. Not necessarily big things. But make me feel that choice mattered in some way.
Into the action
Our time also looked at what they want to see in the gameplay and the different modes available. Some common themes came up including that big issue for this type of game: solo play. But also how you can truly manage co-operative play is also something we want to see improve.
A marketing team will tell you that Destiny is a “great solo experience”, but playing with friends was mandatory for tackling the most impressive and engaging content. At least, playing with patient randoms or hoping for other veterans depending on your ability level and goal.
The raids and the Nightfall strikes, for instance. I hope that Destiny 2’s solo experience is a vast improvement and, regardless of that, that the co-operative elements of the game receive a much more seamless inclusion.
From what I understand, the more open aspects of the areas of Destiny 2 emphasise jump-in, jump-out seamless co-op in a way that feels much less fragmented than Destiny. But all in all, I want a more satisfying solo experience to couple with the more traditional brilliance that is the raiding content.
Much of what would have been my other hopes/concerns have already been covered and/or are about to be revealed by the larger press outlets and dedicated Twitch streamers of Destiny.
I would like to see improved matchmaking for strikes, sometimes you start on your own, sometimes you’re left on your own and it can get very frustrating waiting for others to group up with.
Strikes need to have variation in loot drop rather than just one specific class item, with reasons to actually play the strike relating to your current class. Take away the grinding on strike playlists and make them more relevant to story. Plus, I would also be happy to see the return of hard and easy modes rather than just suggested light levels like in year one.
The big one is the introduction of matchmaking, particularly for Nightfall strikes. I’d love to see this implemented as it’s often a massive restriction to accessing the game mode as it’s often hard getting groups. Hopefully the Clans system will facilitate this.
“DLC needs to be more engaging”
Mainly here the Paid DLC needs to be more engaging. Rather than just regurgitating same old areas with new enemies or different play directions, these need to be substantial packs with new places to explore with more to do.
The biggest dislike of most of the DLC in Destiny was that it felt too short and didn’t provide value, this time they need to really feel like an expansion pack.
I also hope that Clans that have a purpose. In Destiny you joined a clan your allegiance was shown after you name by the clan name. However that’s as far as it got. You could access the social spaces outside of the game via companion app but it didn’t really provide anything in game. I would like to see this expanded in the game allowing in game connection to clan rosters to allow grouping for activities such as raid, nightfalls and strikes.
Back to the solo-play for me gamers. I think there are many things that Destiny gets right in it’s gameplay, even if some elements are in need of improvement. But largely it’s the strongest part of the game.
So going back to my RPG elements reference in my original draw towards Destiny. I want this to truly feel like a world to explore, with things to find and trouble to get into as I do so. Make this feel more open, free and give me the dungeons I crave to explore!
Now, this has been hinted at with Treasure Maps and the Lost Sectors (more on those later). But from what I want to see from the original point of view is simple. I want to get a map and see there are areas I have NOT explored. A discovery type system would help this work. Then I know where to go on patrol and check out places I didn’t or couldn’t do in a story mission.
Saying that… I don’t always want everything easy to find either! Make me work to find that Lost Sector Bungie. It’s not lost if it’s marked on my map exactly where it is now, is it?
I also want this to be reasonably open but also adaptive to either updates or my progress so I can find more areas later in the game. Again, with more things to do, discover and issues to overcome.
Do that and this game will be very hard for me to put down.
Features we are looking forward to most
The team are looking forward to Destiny 2 of course and we already know some features coming along. Here are the ones that the team are most interested in as they head into the Destiny 2 Beta.
It’s all about class in Destiny and I can’t wait to get my hands on those new abilities. Without a doubt, the most exciting aspect of Destiny 1 was receiving your final sub-class in a special mission with The Taken King expansion.
That’s just a brief example, but regardless of how it turns out, I’m very much looking forward to playing those new sub-classes.
PVP changes will introduce more diversity in to battles. The changes that move shotguns, fusion rifles and sniper rifles from secondary weapon types to heavy or as it’s been renamed Power weapon types.
This will bring more interesting battles using primary weapon types remove the reliance on sniper camping and shotgun rushing. This should change the whole meta game for PVP.
Secondly the removal of RNG on weapon drop rolls. For example at launch if you get a drop of a primary it’s ability roll will be the same even for the first and second times. RNG has provided far too much frustration and enforced grinding to improve weapons by small amounts.
But most of all I would like to see Destiny 2 being released with all the relevant day 1 content rather than being delivered over the next 12 months in updates like year 1 and 2. For example the delay of releasing ranked PVP and private matches in Destiny and then not having these features at release in Destiny 2.
For me, it’s the treasure maps and Lost Sectors with bosses and loot to find. Potentially with some side-quest style sub-plots going on too as we know these are given via NPC we meet in the game.
It would make the whole thing far more fleshed out. But it’s something the developers need to maintain for me.
They need to be part up updates and DLC with new areas to find, or Skyrim style where completing one triggers another based on the same theme later in the game. These are all “by design” areas rather than procedural so I hope they also have plenty of variety within them rather than the old: kill enemies while Ghost hacks something method.
The story is also the star of the show, it simply has to be better and at least the Beta will give us some clue on that this week. More from us in the MGL Fireteam later this week with our thoughts on Destiny 2 following the Beta.
What are you looking forward to in Destiny 2? Let us all know in the comments below using Disqus or Facebook. And don’t be selfish Guardians! Share This around and get chatting on social media!