Destiny Creative Director Admits Game Still Needs Long-Term Goals

By | 11 months ago 

The Taken King’s Creative Director, Luke Smith, took to Twitter yesterday and admitted that Destiny is still lacking long-term goals to keep players engaged.

Even though Bungie has released the new Refer-a-Friend program and has teased that Challenge Modes are coming to the King’s Fall raid (details should be coming today in an early Bungie Weekly Update), many players are feeling what is called the “content gap.” They have consumed all of Destiny’s current content, and especially with great experiences out this holiday season like Fallout 4 and Battlefront, Destiny is starting to run dry for many.

Luke Smith, the Creative Director of The Taken King, admitted yesterday that Destiny still needs long-term goals to keep players engaged.

His tweet came as a reply to Destiny streamer Gothalion, who commented that the work to hit the Light level cap of 320 isn’t worth the effort. Gothalion proposed that if Bungie added some sort of motivation to hitting the level cap—even a visual flair, such as bringing back the blue head flame aura that used to be gained by completing each week’s Nightfall—that players might continue playing to achieve the max level.

The reason reaching 320 isn’t motivation enough is because how level and power works in Year Two. As revealed when the first Iron Banner of Year Two debuted in October, the “Power Curve” as it’s called by Bungie, showed that level differentials only matter in groups of ten. Simply put, players that are within ten levels of each other do the same amount of damage and have the same amount of defense. So a player with 312 Light is theoretically equal to a player with 320 Light.

Smith’s answer confirms that Bungie’s goal in The Taken King was to eliminate the pursuit for maximum Light, saying that even a visual effect for those who have achieved it would go against that objective. In eliminating the pursuit for max level, Smith is referring to the crux of vanilla Destiny (the term for the game that launched in September 2014 before any expansions), which required players to obtain a full set of raid armor from the Vault of Glass raid to hit the max level of 30.

Bungie Luke Smith

The problem was that the drop rates were extremely hit or miss in the Vault of Glass, especially for helmets, which only dropped in Hard Mode (unfortunately, King’s Fall still has a similar problem). Players could do Vault of Glass hundreds of times without ever getting a full armor set. That’s when the “Forever 29” meme broke out in the Destiny community.

Smith, who was the lead designer for the Vault of Glass, has admitted in the past that the “Forever 29” issue was a huge problem that Bungie did not intend. Not requiring 320 Light to be the most powerful does solve that obstacle, but the problem still remains as how to keep players engaged in the long-term.

The Refer-a-Friend program, which debuted this week, is an attempt to bring old players back and new players into Destiny, but it has raised the ire of the Destiny community. The general consensus is that the program has noble intentions but is poorly executed. With Challenge Modes undoubtedly coming soon, some players may return to Destiny, but it appears that even Bungie is struggling with how to keep players engaged during content gaps.

Are you still playing Destiny? What long-term goals would keep you playing?

Source: Luke Smith – Twitter