After Bungie tells fans not to expect any big announcements about Destiny in January, one Game Rant editor's faith in the future of Destiny's Year Two is beginning to wane.
I never thought I'd say this, but I've reached that point — I'm starting to lose hope in Destiny's Year Two. It's really a shame because Destiny: The Taken King was such a huge win for Bungie. The major expansion that kicked off Year Two corrected so much of what was wrong with the original game that launched in September 2014. The Taken King had a narrative, characters were fleshed out, it had cutscenes (which, ironically, were also skippable, a feature fans had been begging for). The Quest and new Light systems breathed new life into the structure of the game, creating even more carrots at the end of the proverbial stick to chase. Each class got a new incredible subclass. Elemental primaries became relics of the past, but in turn a new age of weapon variety came to the game. At launch, The Taken King had Destiny firing on all cylinders.
Perhaps that's why this drought — this "content gap" as it's called by fans — feels so dry. We all just came off, arguably, the best time Destiny has ever offered. But now its fanbase is crying out for more. And from what we've seen so far recently, and Bungie's confirmation that no new reveals are on the horizon, even I'm starting to lose hope for the rest of this year in Destiny.
See, I'm a pretty hardcore Destiny fan. It hasn't left my disc tray since the game launched in 2014. I run a fairly well-known Twitter account in the community dedicated to Destiny. I'm part of a widely known Destiny clan. With a little over 500 hours logged, I'm nowhere near the kind of playtime as other players, but even I'm feeling the burnout.
That burnout that many in the Destiny community are having could be because we expect content just as we saw in Year One. The Dark Below expansion was released three months after the launch of Destiny, with the next major content drop, House of Wolves, following five months later. Both were flushed with brand new items and missions, but (according to comments from Bungie) it doesn't appear there is any expansion in the works for Year Two. And that has me worried.
When it was leaked/rumored that Bungie would not charge for DLC in Year Two and instead let the new microtransaction system foot the bill, fans rejoiced. But it appears that where many expected DLC, what we are instead getting are live events. It's events like Festival of the Lost and Sparrow Racing League — developed by the Live Team at Bungie, a subsect of the dev team — that Bungie is counting on to keep players engaged until a full-fledged sequel is release, most likely in the fall of this year. But is that enough?
Festival of the Lost was a fun surprise — celebrate Halloween by collecting masks and other vanity items. But after about a week, I had collected every mask I wanted, save for the Flaming Skull Mask. When I found out that particular mask was stuck behind an RNG paywall of microtransactions, I pretty much stopped participating in the Festival.
Sparrow Racing League was something that players have been clamoring for since the game launched in 2014, so it was awesome to see Bungie cater to fans to make their wish a reality. However, for me, Sparrow racing wasn't my thing and I barely played it. All this to say, these events pulled me back for a few days to a week at the most, and I'm not sure if that's enough to sustain the player base until fall 2016.
Bungie said in December that the first event of 2016 would be on the same level as Festival of the Lost. I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I'm eager to see what it is, but I'm quelling my excitement a bit. In the same blog post, Bungie also teased that later in the year fans would be getting a second experience "far larger than anything you’ve seen since the release of The Taken King." Once again, I can't wait to see what it is, but I can't imagine it being even anywhere near as big as The Dark Below or House of Wolves expansions from Year One. Bungie has already said they can't sustain the kind of development that brought three full expansions in one year.
Because Destiny has become very focused on its PvP content currently, I would love to see Bungie resurrect (or riff off) an improved version of the Queen's Wrath event, a PvE event that launched in October 2014. It was mostly a failure, but I'd argue it was too soon in the game's life cycle for such an event. With a few tweaks to the formula, a mode that pulls players back to the PvE content (maybe even update the old Raids to new Light levels?) would be welcomed.
I love Destiny, Bungie, and the community that surrounds them, but being kept in the dark with no news of what's to come is disheartening. Fans were hopeful to receive at least a hint in the Bungie Weekly Update when it returns January 21, but the developer tweeted yesterday making it clear not to expect any reveals. Whether the Year One marketing cycle was a happy accident or well-planned, we need a little more of the Year One strategy right now. Teases, hints, anything.
I'm not sure how long Bungie can string along its playerbase without any concrete news or new content outside of live events. I've already started to take breaks from Destiny to go back and visit my backlog of games I've missed over the past year. However, thinking about it positively, maybe that's the best thing for Destiny right now — to allow gamers to take a break and expect them to come back for those peak times when special events go live. I know for me, this allows Destiny to be that thing I'll always play during the week, but (for now at least) it's not the only thing I'm playing.
How do you feel about the current content gap of Destiny? Are you okay not knowing what's coming or do you feel like Bungie should reveal more soon?