Tackling the absurdity of “This small part of an older build means the entire game is ruined!”
Bungie’s open beta for Destiny 2 will be closing on July 23rd, 10 AM PST. Players have an opportunity to visit the new social space, The Farm, but their time on the wide open range is for more than for just hanging out and chasing chickens. For many players, it will be an hour of reflection on the changes that Bungie have introduced in the sequel before the beta closes.
Now, it should be noted that Bungie addressed many of the problems people had with the beta. The fact that Power Ammo doesn’t drop often enough, the one boss that seems to have too much health, PvE damage, etc. all seem to have been rectified. After all, this is a build that’s several months old and Bungie has done the needful.
Many have stated problems like secondary weapons now being relegated to the Power Weapon slot, reduced movement options and a decidedly smaller range of customization as being irredeemable with some feedback. The grievances regarding PvP balancing having ruined the PvE aspect of the game continue to flood in. Basically, for all the mea culpas that Bungie tried to bring, there’s plenty of complaining still going on.
"The real issue is judging the game or any game for the matter simply based on one story mission, two Crucible modes and maps, and one Strike."
And that’s fine because this is a beta. Constructive feedback is necessary. Telling the developer what you think needs to be better tuned is fine. Using the beta as a baseline to decide whether or not you’re going to play Destiny 2 (like I have) is fine. The real issue is judging the game or any game for the matter simply based on one story mission, two Crucible modes and maps, and one Strike.
It’s happened for a pretty long time. Gears of War 4’s “technical test” was taken as an indictment on developer The Coalition. The final game was thought to be ugly, unappealing, boring and what have you, all based on something that was probably an alpha. Granted, the game’s balance is another issue entirely but when The Coalition unveiled the state of the game before launch and blew players away with how the good multiplayer looked, it was an eye opener in terms of this “jumping the gun” phenomenon.
Ghost Recon: Wildlands is another compelling example. When people played the beta, it was judged as a horrible mess, one that had forsaken the tactical approach of the series and had no redeeming aspects whatsoever. The beta happening so close to launch made players suspect that this was indeed the final state of the game. Lo and behold, the initial response was a lot more positive than expected.
"It is ultimately pointless what anyone thinks because Destiny 2 is going to sell gangbusters."
The critical response was still above average at best and the beta did clue players in to the repetitive nature of missions, the hit-or-miss driving and the lack of certain quality of life measures (like every crate needing to be marked by each individual player). Plus the beta told us absolutely nothing about how the DLC would pan out. Narco Road was panned for its subject matter and inability to use weapons in the main game. Fallen Ghosts faced the same criticism with regards to weapons.
The opposite could actually be observed for Tom Clancy’s The Division. Many actually liked the initial experience in the beta but had no clue about the end-game. Lo and behold, the end-game was the weakest part of the whole experience at launch. Don’t even get me started on DOOM whose multiplayer beta was panned. As soon as the campaign was played, DOOM was praised to the high heavens. “Bad multiplayer? What bad multiplayer?”
There’s a difference between “not liking something” and “being prejudiced.” The key difference is that the former consists of people who would prefer to play something else while the latter has people jumping to conclusions about an entire game and its systems based on one beta. It can be infuriating because it happens again and again and again. Ditto for those who play a beta and expect the final product to be the best thing since sliced bread. The whole point of a beta is to solicit feedback so it’s a given that the final product sees improvements (well, aside for cases like Homefront: The Revolution). Otherwise why have a beta at all?
All of this makes it seem like I’m a big fan of Bungie when, actually, I’m just complaining about the complainers (irony, thou art a cruel mistress). It is ultimately pointless what anyone thinks because Destiny 2 is going to sell gangbusters. It will have consumers flocking to Eververse to throw down money on the new dumb emotes. It will have the LFG groups full of people wanting to raid or play some PvP. All of this noise is ultimately irrelevant. And yet, when you’re stuck in a cycle of repeating madness long enough – like people judging an entire game from one single damned beta – it begins to wear on you.
"No one is going to play other games. Their current complaints aren’t even changing anything since this is isn’t the current build."
I could say something along the lines of “I don’t know if Bungie’s story-telling will be up to snuff since the Homecoming mission seemed like more of the same.” But really, that’s just my way of being skeptical. I’m just giving myself a reason to skip this game (not that Bungie’s history when it comes to handling DLC, progression systems, glitches and so on helps either). If this is all Bungie can muster after all these years, I know I’ll just be better off playing something else.
The people acting like this is the final product and lambasting it are still going to buy the game. Not only is there no desire to be patient and see how the final product pans out (patch notes are a thing. Just read them and see what’s changed or watch a let’s play if you’re so concerned) but there’s all this noise in a void that’s ultimately irrelevant. No one is going to play other games. Their current complaints are also just re-affirming what Bungie knew since this is isn’t the current build.
Again, this could just be me “complaining about the complainers”. As long as the Internet is a thing, there will always be those ready to jump to conclusions. It’s something that must be accepted. However as long as there are those willing to condemn an old build of a percentage of a whole game in advance only to buy it months later even if there are no changes, there will always be those to point out the absurdity of it all.
Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to GamingBolt as an organization.