Destiny 2: The Search for Communication from Bungie

Could Destiny 2 be great? Sure, but Bungie has bigger problems for its 10 year franchise.

Posted By | On 22nd, Mar. 2016 Under Article, Editorials


Remember Bungie’s Destiny? You’d be hard-pressed to really hear anything about it over the success of Tom Clancy’s The Division. Most popular Xbox One title via the Xbox Store, the biggest new IP launch in history, Ubisoft’s fastest selling title ever, the fastest selling title in the UK (breaking an 11 year old record set by Gran Turismo 4) – the list goes on. However, you’ve also been hearing about The Division‘s fixes. When a particularly broken weapon started making the rounds, Ubisoft Massive disabled its broken perk within the first week. Now, two weeks later, it’s fixed the perk and it should be reintroduced in the latest update. How about that glitch where agents had to line-up to activate their status on a laptop?

Yes, there have been issues like a decreased Phoenix Credit drop rate but problems like low High-End drops, high penalties to being rogue, low rewards for killing rogues (or surviving being rogue), etc. have more or less been fixed at this point.

Destiny_April Update

"Of course, you’ll hear the argument that Bungie is dedicating all resources to Destiny 2, as if having another project is an excuse to neglect the current game, never mind delivering minuscule content updates."

Meanwhile at Bungie? Silence. Well, the developer did announce that their April content update won’t have Vault of Glass and Crota’s End – two end-game activities left behind when Year Two began and have been vehemently requested since then. Other than that, you can look forward to their Twitch stream for more details.

And honestly? This Bungie when it’s communicative. While other developers – Ubisoft Massive, Bethesda Softworks, Bioware, 343 Industries – are content with keeping a constant flow of communication and updates (not necessarily content or patch related), Bungie is somehow content with going for three months before even hinting at what you can expect next.

Is it weird? Indeed it is but it’s not unprecedented. This is after all the same Bungie that went for several months before properly balancing Exotic hand cannons that dominated PvP and its answer in that case was to nerf the entire class. Despite strong responses in the beginning of Year 2 to issues, Bungie has seemingly returned to its ways of old and decided that the strong but silent approach is the best.

Of course, you’ll hear the argument that Bungie is dedicating all resources to Destiny 2, as if having another project is an excuse to neglect the current game, never mind delivering minuscule content updates. And that’s a good thing because Destiny 2 will fix everything. It will be the game we wanted the original to be, right?

Unfortunately, that seems unlikely. Bungie’s last initiative to “fix” Destiny was with The Taken King and while it was an excellent expansion, things quickly fell apart. Rather than communicating any plan for the future, Bungie seemed interested in little more than emotes, paltry events and simply teasing players for as long as possible.

Destiny The Taken King_Crucible 05

"Communication is the goal for Destiny 2 because Bungie is so lackluster at it. You’ll hear plenty of hype and hoopla when the game is months out from release. What would really help is at least some kind of roadmap for the year."

Meanwhile, teleporting Ogres in the raid, shabby drop rates, terrible lag in the Crucible thanks to skill-based matchmaking, random deaths galore and melee hit registration issues began to overrun the game. The very fact that Bungie was called out in its lie in implementing skill-based matchmaking and decided to continue with the same formula until further outrage just goes to show you where it’s head was at. Let’s not even get started on the “0.04 percent increase” or “Iron Banner drops working as intended” debacles.

Not every developer can tell us everything that’s going to happen tomorrow. Not every developer can spell out the future. But the best developers always find ways to show they’re out there and react as though they were listening. Ubisoft Massive will truly be put to the test in the months to come for The Division but really, was it so difficult for Bungie to put out a Year One content plan like The Division did? Then again, that was content carved out of the original game and repackaged as DLCs (not including The Dark Below, which was redone in a matter of weeks).

Communication is the goal for Destiny 2 because Bungie is so lackluster at it. You’ll hear plenty of hype and hoopla when the game is months out from release. What would really help is at least some kind of roadmap for the year. What updates are planned on a month to month basis? If the microtransactions and emotes are going to continue, then what events are planned? What kinds of new content can players expect? Will there be a rapid acknowledgment of issues on its public posts?

For that matter, will its weekly update actually be allowed to say things? Will there be more than just the same tired line of “next week we’ll have more information” for months on end? If there is a problem with communication, is it as bad within the company as it is to those outside? If so, how do you go about fixing it?

Destiny

"Consumers are in this for the long, long haul after all. The least you could do in any situation is talk to them."

There’s a problem plaguing Bungie and it’s not simply a matter of fans being “entitled” and demanding too much. There’s a habit of simply saying nothing and letting weeks go by as the fan base falls apart. Even if Destiny isn’t “dead” by any stretch of the imagination, it’s still lost a significant chunk of its player base. We’re not even talking about the players that come and go – we’re talking about those who leave and simply don’t come back because they’re tired of the same song and dance of incompetence.

Forget whether Bungie should focus on current gen or whether class items should have a light level or not. If Destiny 2 is meant to really be Bungie’s best work and the actual result it intended at launch, then the developer needs to do a whole lot more than simply host a couple of Twitch streams for content that’s a few weeks off. Like, you know, offering that information months in advance…especially when it’s not going to offer something important like Year 2 versions of its Year 1 raids.

Because when a game wants you to sink so much time into it with very little actual content to do then the least it can offer is a direction for the future and better post-launch dialogue as opposed to, oh, straight up lies and denial. Consumers are in this for the long, long haul after all. The least you could do in any situation is talk to them.


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