Who Is Destiny Being Made For? (Criticism)

by Ragashingo ⌂ @, Official DBO Cryptarch, Thursday, May 31, 2018, 16:54 (882 days ago)

A section in this week’s THAB has me concerned with the direction Destiny is going in. Here’s what Bungie said:

Normally changing enemy Power levels requires a patch, but during development, we created unique server flags which can flip between two sets of Power levels for all Escalation Protocol enemies. These were created in the wake of the community summit, when we decided to make the activity even more difficult

If you’ll remember, Bungie invited a fair number of high end Destiny players to its offices to show off new things and get feedback on the direction the game was going. And, when Bungie first talked about Escalation Protocol they mentioned that they made it harder based on this group’s feedback but they didn’t say exactly what that meant. Well, now we know. What it meant was Bungie cranked up the later levels of EP from difficult to nearly impossible.

So, what’s the problem here? Well frankly, once again I’m feeling like the game challenges and difficulties are being over-tuned towards the ultra elite Destiny players who have time to attend multi-day community summits. To me, setting the final EP enemies at 400 always sounded like complete overkill. Especially as we got to play Warmind and found how long the road to leveling up was going to be. I feel like I’m being left out if not excluded from cool parts of Destiny 2 based on not being able to play all day long.

Another example of this is the quick release of the newest Raid Lair of that Raid Lair. By releasing the Spire of Stars within Warmind’s first week, Bugine all but ensured that the only players who could even reach its recommended power level were those players who could afford to power level all day long throughout the week. For the rest of us, even us enthusiastic players who put in several hours of play each night? We were nowhere near ready to raid by the time it went live. Once again, I feel like the game and its release schedule was over tuned to favor those players who were able to treat Destiny more as a job than as a form of entertainment.

From what I understand, the community summit was by and large a good thing. I read a lot of the reports that came out of it and agreed with many of the suggestions various attendees said they made. I was especially happy to hear that one group got Bungie to gather the Destiny story team for a previously unscheduled discussion. And that his team brought up a bunch of excellent points about some areas of Destiny’s story and execution. I’ve also really enjoyed leveling up over the past few weeks and being able to make more and more of a contribution to the lower levels of Escalation Protocol. It’s a pretty neat feeling how at Warmind’s launch a whole bunch of us in fire teams could barely beat level 1 and now I can join a couple of matchmade players and we beat the 1st level way more than half the time. That’s pretty cool!

But at the end of the day, things like Escalation Protocol being made significantly harder, or the Raid Lair being released so quickly that the vast majority of players had no real chance of beating it makes me worry that Destiny is being tuned in such a way that puts its gameplay and leveling systems at odds with the amount of time must of us can reasonably dump into it. It sometimes feels to me that Destiny is too often being tuned to please those who can play it for 10 or 12 hours a day at the expense of us who, at best, can only put in 2 to 4.

I think the solution here would be to use Power Level in such a way that virtually all content was comfortably beatable by players who have completed the campaign. That means everything up to and including a new Raid/Raid Lair would not clock above the 340 soft cap this time around. There can always be challenge modes and prestige modes at significantly higher Power Levels, but let the rest of us enjoy all the content too! (Currently Strikes do this pretty well. Almost any player who has stayed current can play the normal versions of the Strikes, while those looking for a tougher challenge can level up to 350 and beyond to tackle the Heroic and Nightfall versions of those Strikes.)

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