Destiny remains to be a contentious subject amongst gamers. While many fans consider the action-RPG to be an exercise in futile repetition – get this gun, shoot that alien, grab that gear, rinse and repeat – there are a lot of dedicated Destiny players who would argue differently. As a matter of fact, the title's gameplay doesn't seem to be slowing would-be Guardians from enjoying it on an almost daily basis, especially as they hone their skills for the upcoming The Taken King expansion. Nor does the game's fan base seem to be shrinking at the slightest, particularly considering that fans have logged more than 2 billion hours of play time since its release.
Bearing all of that in mind, by incorporating some new changes and upgrades in preparation for The Taken King's arrival, Bungie is attempting to keep Destiny fresh and interesting not only for its diehard fans, but also in order to attract newcomers as well. For instance, once the DLC launches this September, the content will have some considerably large changes, including the Update 2.0's alterations to weapon power and balance. Although a significant amount of fans would contend that the "nerfing" – that is, the reduction of potency – of popular firearms like the hand-cannon Thorn, or the rocket launcher Gjallarhorn (one of the best guns in the game) is unfair, the game developers would disagree.
As it happens, in an interview with IGN, Bungie's own Community Manager, David "Deej" Dague, makes an effort to convey why the studio is decreasing certain weapons' powers. To put it succinctly, he explains that they want players to depend on a variety of guns rather than a couple. However, Dague goes on to provide an even longer justification for the changes, saying:
"This is the challenge for us, to create things that you always want to do. . . . We want to give you new things to experience all the time, new places to go, new ways to upgrade your Guardian, new enemies to fight, new weapons to use, new subclasses to master. The act of playing Destiny is all about evolving your character. And using the same weapons for the next decade wasn't really part of that vision."
Furthermore, the Community Manager addresses the Gjallarhorn specifically, saying:
"Our goal as developers is to keep you guessing, to keep you thinking about, 'I'm going into this tactical scenario, what am I going to equip?' And if Gjallarhorn is an obvious choice, then we'd like to provoke you to think a little bit more about your loadout."
Although it's admirable that Dague and Bungie's team of developers are trying to get Destiny players to switch up their attack styles with a mantra similar to "variety is the spice of life", some fans of the game would claim that one of the main reasons they stuck with it for so long was because of their ability to rely on familiar weaponry. Not to mention, with the confirmation of other legendary gear not being upgradeable once Year Two starts, it seems as if Bungie is trying to force fans into liking the new content, which often results in an audience rejecting things immediately out of hand.
At any rate, no one besides Bungie's employees really know exactly how The Taken King will play once it becomes available, but even then the studio can't truly anticipate if it will be received positively by the public. Considering that, it's important for everyone to keep an open mind until we all get our hands on a copy.
Destiny: The Taken King is set to release on September 15, 2015 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.