Falling In Love
Getting older is a strange thing. I remember being a teenager with next to no responsibilities in life. I remember staying up all night, getting four hours of sleep then doing it again the next day with no problem. I remember not having demands on my time and energy. I remember being okay with doing the same thing over and over again. The thing about growing up is life just doesn’t work that way anymore. I work three jobs and care for a disabled parent, I don’t have unlimited time anymore. My time being limited makes my love of gaming that much more important to me because instead of being stuck in reality, I get to journey to faraway lands, meet new people and experience new things.
That journey is why I fell in love with Destiny at first. I’ve played Destiny since the alpha of Destiny 1. I’ve logged in to Destiny and played faithfully since September 9th, 2014. The problem is, Bungie is failing to give me and many others like me a reason to keep logging in. Content in Destiny lately hasn’t felt like meaningful progression, it’s felt like busywork. Playing through this season “Season of Worthy” feels like a chore, not something I want to do. Instead of being given exciting quests and storylines to chase down, I’m doing the exact same thing I’ve done in seasons past.
Upgrading some arbitrary device that will disappear at the end of the season and take all my investment with it. I’m participating in a group activity with mechanics so simple even a three-year-old could figure them out. I’m chasing weapons and gear that are no better than what I already have in my inventory. I’m doing the exact same thing I’ve done in seasons past, just with a “new” label on it. And at the end of the season, everything I’ve done goes away. All my progression on the seasonal pass and the bunker upgrades gets wiped away. All my hard work, time and effort are just gone. It feels like I have no real or lasting impact on Destiny and that kills me. I’ve spent over a thousand hours in this game and it feels like I’m not making a dent in anything anymore.
To make matters worse, it feels like Bungie doesn’t care what the community has to say or how we feel with the decisions they’ve made lately. The biggest of which being weapon retirement. To make it simple, Destiny has a power level system, your power level is determined by averaging out the power level of each piece of gear you have equipped in your inventory. Bungie has decided that we’ve been holding on to our weapons for too long and not playing with new guns when it comes to end game content. So in an effort to “shake things up” they’ve introduced weapon retirement.
Destiny has a system of infusion that allows you to take a piece of gear that is at a lower power level and “infuse” it with a piece at a higher power level to bring its stats up. Weapon retirement does away with that in end game content. Instead of being able to infuse our weapons up, Bungie has decided that old weapons in the game will no longer be able to be infused past a certain point. Effectively preventing us from bringing our old favorite weapons into new end game content because those weapons won’t be powerful enough. Bungie says they want to shake the sandbox up and see the community use new weapons but this was a horrible way to try and make that happen. Instead of forcing the community to retire weapons, they love so much, give us a reason to retire them.
I retired my Better Devils for my Sunshot. I retired Sunshot for Ace of Spades. I retired Ace of Spades for Thorn and I retired Thorn for Outbreak Perfected. I made the choice to put each and every one of those weapons aside because I found something that I enjoyed using more than what I had. That was my decision, it wasn’t forced on me, I don’t like having decisions taken away from me, and that’s exactly what weapon retirement is. It feels like I’m being forced to play Bungie’s way, not the way I want to play. It feels like I’m not really progressing unless I do what the game wants me to do, not what I want to do.
I’m tired of logging out after a four to six-hour play session and feeling like I’ve wasted my time because I haven’t made any meaningful progress. I’m tired of going and doing milestones for powerful rewards hoping to level my character and walking away disappointed. I’m tired of the RNG in the game being so bad that there are people who have run raids like Last Wish and Scourge of The Past over fifty times and still haven’t received the exotic weapons. I’m tired of the community complaining to Bungie about fixes we need to see and content we need to be added to the game only to have them do the exact opposite of what we’ve asked for. I’m tired, Bungie, I’m tired, so is the community.
I love this game, I love this community. I’m proud to say that I’m a Guardian of the Last Free City on Earth. I’m proud to say I aligned with the Drifter. I’m proud to say I’ve earned 6 of the title seals in the game. I’m proud of the accomplishments I’ve made and I love my time with Destiny for the most part. The Destiny universe has given me some of the most memorable moments of my life these last 5 years.
Where Do We Go From Here?
The problem is it feels like Bungie continues to think that they can do the bare minimum and get away with it. This seasonal pass/annual pass model where content is lightly sprinkled throughout the season where rewards are just reskinned versions of old content can’t be the future of the franchise. The player base has grown tired of the same content and same gameplay modes being repackaged sold to us as “new” experiences. There are people like me who have played since day one of Destiny 1. There are players like me who stuck with Destiny through content droughts so severe you’d have thought the servers were the streets of Silent Hill because they’re so empty. There are people like me who bought Shadowkeep’s deluxe edition to get the expansion and all the season passes. There are players who love what Destiny is and are excited for the future of the franchise, but we’re slowly realizing we’re in love with potential, not reality.
My fear is that if things don’t change soon, and radically that Bungie is going to lose its most devout player base as an end result. There are entirely too many other games on the market that give a continual reward for your time investment that Destiny just doesn’t. Nothing feels worse than needing a weapon drop with your power slot and getting three pairs of gauntlets in a row. Eventually, we’re going to get tired of logging in day after day to keep playing the same content. Eventually, we’re going to get tired of finding ways to work around bugs. Eventually, we’re going to stop being Guardians and step into the role of something else. I love Destiny, I love Bungie but lately, it doesn’t feel like they love me.