A common complaint among Destiny 2 fans is that developer Bungie does not seem like it is taking their feedback, with aspects fans do not enjoy carrying across multiple seasons before an actual change is made. Whether it is something fans do not want that endures or something they really do want in the game that takes forever to show up, change can often feel extremely slow.
In a recent detailed commentary about Destiny 2, franchise director Luke Smith addressed this complaint and explained why it can take time for changes to be made to the game. The answer, as explained by Smith, is that even though Destiny 2's content drops are launched sequentially, they are being developed in parallel:
"For instance, while Forsaken was in its final few months, Black Armory was well underway, and Season of the Drifter was in development while Black Armory was being built, et cetera."
Smith says, as an example, this is why something that players may have really enjoyed in Forsaken didn't show up in Black Amory, or, vice versa, something players didn't like in Black Armory continued into Season of the Drifter despite complaints to change or remove it. A big reason is the reality of development and the fact that Bungie is creating much of the content in some stage concurrently with each other.
That leaves Bungie having "to place many bets at the same time" when it comes to design decisions, according to Smith. At some point, in order to hit launch dates, the developer has to decide what it wants to do with a content drop and then move forward without the benefit of having the preceding content drop even out yet to receive player feedback on how some of those decisions are being received.
Sometimes those bets pay off, says Smith, with new ideas like Escalation Protocol or the Menagerie being pretty well received. Other times, like the grueling RNG grind of the Reckoning, it fails. Interestingly, despite the Chalice of Opulence being a popular mechanic in the current season, it sounds as though Shadowkeep will not contain a similar way for players to have more deterministic control over their loot:
"[E]ven though Menagerie is sweet, and Chalice is great, while Shadowkeep was being built, the Menagerie and the Chalice hadn't yet been released."
It's an interesting look behind the curtain of development that explains a common complaint many fans have. As much as fans would like Bungie to be more agile with making changes to Destiny 2, the reality is that development is not that simple. With multiple expansions and content drops in development concurrently, it's hard to make quick adjustments when it comes to content that takes a substantial amount to develop.
That may also help explain the negative reception of Destiny 2 at launch, as the sequel was in development well before the release of Destiny 1's Rise of Iron expansion, so many of the refinements that Destiny 1 was making in Year 3 were likely impossible to get into Destiny 2, which was being developed alongside it.
Destiny 2 is available now for PC, Ps4, and Xbox One.