How can Bungie reduce the grind and monotony of Destiny? Here are a few ways.
Ah, Destiny. If you haven’t played Bungie’s online FPS with various MMO stylings, you’re missing quite a bit. With co-op experiences like raids, beautiful visuals and an amazing soundtrack – not to mention the addictive gunplay – Destiny presents an amazing experience.
That’s in the first few hundred hours though. What’s there left to do when your characters all hit level 32, you’ve received every single weapon from the Raids and you’re not willing to mindlessly grind through RNG in order to pick up that shiny Gjallarhorn?
One of the major criticisms of Destiny since its launch has been the utter paucity of content available, especially compared to games like Borderlands. The vision of the game seemed to indicate an experience bigger than what we ultimately got and while Bungie is working hard to improve the experience, there’s still a lot Destiny could use. We take a look at ten more features Destiny could use to stay fresh and remind players that rather than the grind, it’s the gameplay that keeps us coming back for more.
Bungie will be introducing matchmaking for Weekly Heroic Strikes, a source of Strange Coins for many players, thus allowing them to not require friends to net their next supply of coinage when Xur roams around. However, there are still plenty of things that could be done to make Strikes more exciting, especially when one looks at the Strike Playlist.
Why not implement random modifiers to Strikes a la the Halo day? The idea is to include modifiers seen in the Nightfall, thus adding an added element of danger while also increasing the rewards that could be offered. Of course, many players want this just for the sake of having something new to do. A playlist with random modifiers on different Strikes, thus mixing up your play-styles throughout, would have far more replayability than, say, doing the same Strikes again and again.
On that note, many Destiny players have been wishing for a Horde Mode of sorts to just wile away the time, similar to Halo 3: ODST’s Firefight mode. You could throw in the random modifiers to make things more challenging, have a Devil May Cry-style Bloody Palace with tiers of random baddies, progressively increasing rewards or whatever floats your boat.
The main impetus for demanding a Horde Mode is because players are hungering for something new and fresh that will stay new and fresh over the months they play out. When replaying the story mode, it’s not like Dinklebot won’t say you’ve awoken the Hive. You’re not going to have any other option besides killing the Vex god or what have you. Many players have fond memories of Firefight and the total chaos it introduced. Can you imagine that level of chaos and excitement in Destiny?
Private Lobbies for Crucible
It’s incredible how a first person shooter made by Bungie does not have the option for private lobbies. Amazingly, there aren’t options for any kind of customization outside of the pre-existing playlists. Do you want a match without Supers and Radars where everyone is forced to use a sniper rifle? How about a Skirmish match with extended revive timers? Maybe a Salvage mission with various vehicles and other absurdities? Perhaps Class Warfare where each team is composed of the same class and must attempt to beat the others?
Whether Bungie decides to implement custom games or not remains to be seen but it should at least allow users to have their own private lobbies. We’re not going to go as far and say players should have a server browser (because let’s face it, it’s not going to happen) but some opportunity for customization outside of the norm would be a step in the right direction.
More Vault Space
This is a complaint that’s always bothered me. Isn’t there limited space in just about every single RPG out there? Of course, on playing Dragon Age: Inquisition, which will be receiving an additional stash soon and lets your character carry up to 60 items at a time (not counting valuables), I can now understand many of the woes most Destiny players deal with. It’s gotten to the point where collecting and fitting every single Exotic and Legendary into the vault is impossible. You’d need an alt or two to hang on to some stuff in the process.
Bungie has talked about bringing more vault space to players but it’s just that at this point and there seems to be quite the gap between talking about a new feature and the new feature actually being implemented (heavy ammo glitch, anyone?). More vault space for shaders and ships as rumoured is all fine and dandy but hopefully, Bungie will look into substantially increasing the weapons and armour vault to further encourage collecting.
Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls featured the return of one of the most sought after features of Diablo 2 with Seasons. Seasons let you roll a brand new character and take it questing across various difficulties in an effort to earn exclusive gear and drops. Once the season concludes, your character is designated as a non-seasonal character and all the items and drops earned are rolled into your account. This lets your normal characters access all that fancy new gear you got. The addition of Nephalem Rifts and Greater Rifts to the mix has offered Diablo 3 players a reason to keep playing, and with Seasons, they’re encouraged to start from scratch for a chance at even better gear.
Destiny’s major fad is creating alts to increase the odds of receiving drops from Raids and such. So why not implement a season of sorts and a means for players to earn better gear within that season alone so that their other characters can use it? This would encourage players to not only try other classes but further adding purpose to additional alts. It would definitely be more difficult to implement than a straightforward Horde mode but at this point, Destiny needs all the content it can get.
This is way overdue and for good reason.
If you play Crota’s End, the newest raid released with The Dark Below, you’ll hear complaints about enemy levels being higher than players or very low margin of error compared to the Vault of Glass. Many of these complaints are justified but they demand better performance. However, when the sword randomly disappears, Crota jumps back to his feet in an instant to kill your sword bearer or enemies rubber-band due to lag issues, you know there are issues to be addressed.
Let’s not even get started on the glitches to be addressed in the Vault of Glass, including Praetorians regenerating health, detainment bubbles for party members teleported to other planets and even the shield of Relic holders randomly going down, despite players’ efforts. And this is for a raid that’s been out since September. When you consider that raids are the most fun activity in Destiny and contain some of the most essential drops, it only makes sense to ensure they work well.
Bungie has already said it will look into the Exotic Upgrades system when House of Wolves releases. The current system requires players to have an older, pre-The Dark Below Exotic item (which tops off at 300 Attack/Defense) along with an Exotic Shard and 7000 to 8000 Glimmer. Oh, and Xur – who arrives only once a week – must have the upgrade available. And your progress on the item is reset, meaning you have to level it from the beginning.
But that’s not what we’re worried about. We’re more concerned about Bungie’s DLC Exotics and how underwhelming they’ve been. Compare the Dragon’s Breath rocket launcher to, say, the Hunger of Crota. While the latter has tracking and cluster bombs, not to mention increased damage on Hive Majors, the former leaves a Solar Grenade on impact (and you can’t even stack multiple grenades). There’s also No Land Beyond, a bolt-action, primary sniper rifle which must be reloaded after each shot and does pitiful damage. Some items like Starfire Protocol but it simply doesn’t compare to Heart of the Praxic Fire. Others like the ATS/8 Arachnid and Radiant Dance Machines range from “meh” to useless.
Destiny needs more Exotics but it also needs Exotics that are better than the base game’s. Leaving aside all the issues about Raid weapons being obsolete with each new expansion, would anyone be happy if any new item was worse than its predecessors? Doubtful.
As someone who plays Destiny without sound (and not by choice) with music or podcasts running in the background, I can empathize with users who want an option to lower the game’s volume. Maybe you want to lower the level of in-game chat or just reduce the VO volume so you don’t have to suffer Dinklebot’s horrible lines when you’re power leveling your latest character. Heck, maybe you’re playing on a TV and don’t want to mute it during, say, a raid but want to lower the volume to avoid annoying your squad-mates. Having more options to customize your experience shouldn’t be impossible.
It’s baffling that Bungie offers no option for any of this and while it’s one of those things that should be easy to implement – more so than matchmaking for Weekly Heroic Strikes – it’s still oddly missing.
Here’s another option that shouldn’t be hard to implement at all. If you’re preparing for a Story mission, then you can open the menu and customize your character, choosing weapons, shaders and assigning perks as you see fit. This can also be achieved during the transition scenes between missions as your ship flies to the next destination. It’s a great addition and helps make mundane journeys less of a pain.
So why in the name of the Traveler can you not skip cut-scenes? Why are your forced to watch cut-scenes with the context being your survival of the Hive when you’re wearing the friggin’ Deathsinger’s head like a hat? Why do you have to hear about the dangers of the Vex again and again and again? It doesn’t help that most of the horrible dialogue in the game comes from Dinklebot who is in all of the cut-scenes. In the end, in the interest of time, we’d like to skip cut-scenes simply because we already know what’s happening and want to move on.
Ask anyone who played Max Payne 3 whether they were happy to have to rewatch cut-scenes when dying. Skipping them isn’t a new thing.
Different Live Events
When Destiny first launched, Bungie promised a good amount of content outside of the upcoming expansions. It’s funny that a lot of the new items which ended up being the most useful dropped with The Dark Below but didn’t require the expansion to access them. While it was a given that you wouldn’t be getting new Story missions or Raids, one at least expects some new activities or bounties to keep us busy in the meantime.
There has been one single-player “live event” since Destiny released – Queen’s Wrath – and it was, to put it kindly, panned. Since then, every single live event has been multiplayer-based. Iron Banner had a horrible start, cleaned up its act but has been floundering ever since with lag issues, matchmaking issues, disconnects, repetitive bounties, terrible map rotation and more. Aside from the odd Crucible playlist like Doubles Skirmish or Combined Arms, there have been almost no other notable live events like Queen’s Wrath or Iron Banner since the game’s launch.
Granted, creating new content is tough but should it be this hard to give players more variety? Apparently so, as Bungie has proven with multiple aspects of Destiny.
What are your suggestions for Destiny and features it should include? Let us know in the comments.