Although the major changes for Destiny’s future are likely being saved for its next retail release, which could be as soon as this year, Bungie still wants players to know they are listening. Yes, the developer has made some questionable decisions with Destiny and its first DLC expansion The Dark Below, but their goal is not to repeat those mistakes.
Designer Luke Smith took to the Destiny forums on NeoGAF to tell players that the response to The Dark Below has informed future design decisions. Lessons learned involving armor upgrades and leveling will influence how they approach those same ideas in the upcoming House of Wolves expansion.
More specifically, Smith explains that those mistakes Bungie made with The Dark Below’s reward economy will not be repeated. He cites things like vendor gear invalidating the effort of Vault of Glass raiders and upgrading exotics by resetting their talents as two examples of the reward economy gone awry, but does not explicitly say how House of Wolves will improve upon or do away with those concepts.
Nothing specific to announce at this time, but the mistakes we made with the DLC1 reward economy will not be repeated. Mistakes like:
- Vendor gear invalidating the effort of VOG Raiders
- Upgrading an Exotic reseting its talents
But the most important change that Smith suggests will come with House of Wolves has to do with barriers. Yes, the introduction of the new Radiant Shard economy was meant to give players more to do, but it also created a barrier between players and upgrading their new gear. That will change, but not until the next DLC.
“We’re not intending to adjust the shard economy for this Tier — we don’t want to invalidate player effort (again). But removing the barrier between that new drop you’re excited to get and actually being able to equip it as a member of your arsenal are something we will do going forward.”
It seems pretty clear based on Smith’s comments that Bungie heard players’ frustrations with the introduction of new materials and the exotic upgrade system. However, it’s unclear how Bungie plans to correct those mistakes while still giving players incentives to come back on a daily basis. Like it or not, the grind is part of Destiny’s makeup, but it’s also one of the game’s most oft-criticized aspects. Shards became all players thought about and worked towards in an effort to get to level 32, but then once they got there the shards became useless. And the same is true of numerous other Destiny currencies after a certain point.
Hopefully, House of Wolves will be exactly what Smith suggests it to be: an expansion developed with a better understanding of what players want out of the Destiny experience. In case they were looking for a few easy fixes, we’ve put forth some that we’d like to see.
How would you like to see Bungie do right by players with House of Wolves? What are some important changes that need to be made?