This week, Bungie is set to give players details about how it plans to improve the systems in Destiny 2. From the endgame to rewards, Bungie knows that it has a lot of work to do, and the first steps towards making Destiny 2 better will start on Wednesday’s livestream. Previously, Bungie only intended to show off gear from the upcoming Curse of Osiris DLC, but then director Luke Smith assured fans that he and the Destiny 2 development team would address improvements as well.
While there are a lot of areas where Destiny 2 can improve, there are a few that we think are the most pressing. If Destiny 2 is to be the foundation for another three years worth of content, Bungie has some work to do.
1. Crucible Balance
With every Destiny expansion typically comes a sandbox update, and we hope that Curse of Osiris is no different. In PvE, there are a few weapons (sniper rifles for example) that don’t feel worth using compared to some others, but there isn’t too much imbalance.
In PvP, however, there are only about two or three weapons that most good players use, and there are several weapon classes that barely get any attention. Uriel’s Gift, MIDA Multi-Tool, Antiope-D, and Last Hope are everywhere in PvP, while hand cannons and pulse rifles are hardly used. On PC, hand cannons and pulses are much more viable, but balance comes from making everything worthwhile in the right hands. Unfortunately, as it stands now, the Crucible is nowhere near balanced and the competitive scene has dried up.
2. Endgame Reward Systems
We don’t expect the token system to go away, but Destiny 2 needs to find a better implementation of the currency. Every vendor should have an option for players to use tokens to buy items and there should be more extensive loot tables. Events like Faction Rally and Iron Banner lack excitement because players are grinding tokens and then rolling the dice on gear, and usually coming up with a lot of duplicates.
Similarly, the raid is one of the least rewarding endgame experiences, and it becomes difficult to get the items that players want. There need to be some guarantees that extend beyond the Calus chest – a way for players to acquire loot on a regular basis and not be disappointed when they only get coins. To Bungie’s credit, the studio has said that it will address this issue in Iron Banner, but a reworking of the token system in the endgame is much needed.
3. Make Smart Loot Smarter
Along with the token system, Bungie needs to address the duplicates problem in Destiny 2. Over time Bungie had introduced a smart loot system that was mostly well received and made sure that players had a good chance of getting the gear they wanted from an activity or engram. In Destiny 2, players are typically swimming in duplicates, whether it’s an exotic engram or Faction Rally loot.
If Destiny 2 is going to limit players to 30 Faction Rally engrams every event, then there must be a system in place that guarantees players can get every item within those 30 engrams. Without it, there is a lot of frustration, and many players began seeking out farming methods that are barely playing the game.
4. Make Strikes Worth Doing
Of all the activities in Destiny 2, the ones that get the least amount of love are the Strikes. In Destiny 1, players would run Strike playlists for hours because it was the best place to farm gear. But in Destiny 2 Strikes have no guarantees; they are longer than the more-rewarding Public Events, and the bosses have a confusing time-gating system.
What was once an activity that players could rush through and farm gear has now become a chore. And when the rewards are not worth that chore, very few players are willing to run Strikes. Curse of Osiris does re-introduce the Strike playlist back into the Destiny feature set, but Bungie still needs to give people a reason to run them.
5. Expand the Mod System
In theory, the mod system in Destiny 2 is a good idea. It offers players opportunities to customize their loadout to favor a particular play style. But it doesn’t have a vast scope, especially when it comes to weapons.
What we would like to see is a mod system that truly modifies weapons or armor by adding new perks or new abilities. Do you like a particular scout rifle but find it reloads a little too slow? Add an Outlaw mod and make it a viable choice in PvE or PvP. Want to increase the melee range on your gauntlets? Search out a mod to do just that.
Yes, mods like these add even more balance problems for Bungie, but it also lets players customize while still keeping static rolls on weapons. It gives them something to chase in the endgame, and more importantly, it introduces a system that better fists what modifications are all about.
Ultimately, these are some big-picture ways that Bungie can improve Destiny 2 to make it more viable in the long run. We still expect Bungie to remove the chest lockout, to increase vault size, to make menus more intuitive, but there are more significant issues plaguing Destiny 2 that have resulted in many dedicated players moving on to other games.
If Destiny 2 hopes to win players back with Curse of Osiris, the game is going to have to do more than just add new content. The game is going to have to evolve.
Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris releases December 5, 2017 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.