Although anticipation for Destiny prior to release was at an all-time high, it didn't take long for players to realize that what developer Bungie promised and what they ended up delivering were not one in the same. Specific components of the purported sprawling open world and epic story were there, but what was initially thought to be a deep MMO-like experience quickly turned into a disappointing grind fest.
Since launch however, Bungie has done well to keep Destiny players happy by regular patching in useful features (like a less confusing loot system) and patching out more problematic ones. But most of these patches have been focused on the micro - slightly changing the make-up of Destiny without drastically impacting the experience. Which leaves us to wonder: where are the patches that actually improve the game?
While we don't have any clear-cut answers as to how Bungie could make Destiny more enjoyable or less grindy, there are still areas that need attention. Bungie themselves even acknowledged that the game's Strike missions are improperly balanced, with players taking and enemies dealing more damage than normal.
But it's been several weeks since Bungie revealed that the Strikes were imbalanced and so far they have done nothing to change that. As someone who regularly runs strikes (Nightfall, Weekly Heroic, Vanguard Tiger), it would be nice to have the proper experience with them.
As it stands, Strikes feel like overly grindy experiences where bosses suck up damage and can dispatch a full fireteam with only a few shots. In the Nightfall – where various modifiers are in play – that's fine, but an average Strike should not take that long to complete.
Things get complicated when you consider that Bungie has already released several patches and hotfixes for Destiny – patches whose sole focus is on taking certain things away from the player. They killed the loot cave. They made the Queen's Wrath event practically useless. And just this week they told Vex Mythoclast owners that their hard-earned weapon was too strong.
Now, patches like these are fine in the grand scheme of things, even expected, but not when their focus is solely on nerfing the game. Players want to see their game get better as patches roll out, not watch as the developer says, "You're not playing our game right," or, "You don't understand what we're going for." But so far that's all Bungie seems to be telling players.
There are so many different ways that players have come up with that would improve Destiny and the best Bungie has done so far is to say they'll consider feedback. Owners of the Bad Juju and Thorn Exotic primary weapons, for example, have heard that their underpowered weapons will get better, but so far they've seen no such improvements. However, the instant a new, slightly less fruitful, loot cave appears, Bungie is quick to disable it. If they had been as quick with improving the game, it'd be much harder to criticize the product.
And while a patch that fixes Strikes is obviously only a start, it would at least prove that Bungie wants to make the actual playing of their game better. After that they can start looking into other useful improvements like Raid matchmaking or better ways to implement the Iron Banner event. After putting several days' worth of time into the game, it's kind of shocking how little of the experience has actually changed, despite the number of patches that Bungie has released. Hopefully soon Bungie's focus will turn from patching out exploits to making the game more enjoyable.
How do you feel about Destiny's selection of hot fixes? What do you want to see changed in the game?
Follow Anthony on Twitter @ANTaormina