by kapowaz, Monday, February 25, 2013, 02:38 (4076 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Unfortunately, based on the fact that we know player investment systems will feature heavily into Destiny (given the job posting for a player investment designer), Destiny will more than likely get it wrong.

I don't see the causality behind this. Player investment systems do not inherently break gameplay (there are plenty of examples where they do work, particularly in persistent game worlds), and so far Bungie haven't made any comment on how Destiny's gameplay will work. This is part of my problem with a reveal that gives fans enough room to start speculating but without any attempt to correct or guide when they're wrong.

I remember reading an early review for Planetside that talked about how the cone of fire for weapons becomes smaller as you level up. To me this is a fundamentally unfair system for a game where being able to accurately fire a weapon is an indicator of skill. Yes, it levels the playing field somewhat, but it also increases the chance that in any given one-on-one exchange, you might die purely through bad luck, even when the odds were stacked in your favour. These are the kind of game systems that I would consider broken. But we have absolutely zero evidence for them being a part of Destiny at this stage.

There are lots of other kinds of rewards you can offer to players to encourage investment. In World of Warcraft they're often cosmetic or vanity-based, and I think for a game world that is intended to be as persistent and long-lived as Destiny these make a lot of sense. Seeing somebody with a gold visor or a rarely-seen fighter craft zipping around in-game definitely gives other players a sense of purpose to their actions.

Setting aside the cosmetic, even some gameplay based perks are permissible without breaking things. Let's say that in a given zone there are enemies that respawn periodically that you must clear out in order to reach a deeper location which your real objective lies within. You could do this all on your own and it might take a short while (but killing all of these enemies is both fun and generates some form of in-game currency, or experience) or you could party up with a friend who has a perk that nukes them all instantaneously, letting you get straight to the heart of your objective. Your friend can't do this more than (say) once a day, and you don't get any of the rewards you might from clearing the area manually, but you do save yourself some time. Ultimately you're choosing: do I want to spend some time and gain a reward, or do I want to focus on a subset of that activity within a shorter timeframe?

It boils down to meaningful gameplay decisions. We have very little to go on, but I'm optimistic Bungie have been thinking about this for long enough that the choices offered relating to player investment will be meaningful, and in non-game-breaking ways.

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