Unless of course you’ve been living under a rock or – gasp – don’t care about it, then you most likely didn’t know that Destiny 2 has an end-game problem. Released in order to positive reviews in September with many, including myself, praising the inclusion of new open world activities, Destiny 2 is a game that’s seemingly at odds with everything the actual series has offered till date.
But first, it’s important to explain what Destiny 2’s end-game is actually. In a loot dependent title like Borderlands 2, the end-game is what you do after beating the final boss and any related DLC. You can choose to fight tougher companies, offered up in a variety of raid encounters, in order to earn better loot. New Game Plus, referred to as True Burial container Hunter mode, provides all the enemies hanging around up to your level, confers different benefits and the loot received goes higher up in numbers. Then you progress to Ultimate Vault Hunter setting where Slag is the friend and the procedure begins again. The true goal of Borderlands 2 is to just keep finding better guns and getting more obscenely effective even as enemies become much tankier.
Now take a game like Diablo 3. The actual end-game in Diablo 3 after the Reaper of Souls expansion is to see how high you can push within Greater Rifts. If you’re after the game’s Gear Sets, then you can easily keep advancing up to GR60 which is the equivalent of the Torment XIII difficulty. You could also run normal Rifts numerous times in said difficulty, donate Blood Shards in order to Kadala, run Bounties, take a chance on Kanai’s Cube, take part in Set Dungeons and Challenge Rifts and Buy Path Of Exile items whatnot. Diablo 3’s true end-game involves creating builds for your class and min-maxing said build in order to push higher and higher Greater Rifts.
There will always be that perfect roll to chase after or that white whale of sorts (like Primal Ancients or stuff like The Witching Hour). This same style of end-game is inherent in Warframe too, though it’s more about mod producing, Forma-ing Warframes to allow for more space with higher ranked mods, Prime weapons and parts and, nicely, looking good (read: FashionFrame).
Finally, let’s look at any open world game like Skyrim, Ghost Recon Wildlands, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Horizon: Zero Dawn and what have you. Those titles are supported by a story, whether or not it’s in the part quests or main quests. They have different degrees of emergent gameplay and activities on view world to go after. When you finish the story in those video games though, all that’s left to do is actually explore the world and find any neat missions to pursue.
If said quests happen to be complete, you attempt to clear out as many markers or activity symbols on the map as possible, clearing the game’s checklist of content as you see suit. Sure, there’s lots of emphasis on getting better gear or weapons and levelling up your character but for the most part, it’s about discovering the world, engaging in a few fun mechanics, perhaps finding some new weapons and lore, or just interacting with fascinating characters.
It’s important to point out that open up world games do not usually have an “end-game” in the looter-sense. Finishing a few extra difficulties and missions hardly qualifies as such with regard to loot-based titles. A good end-game in the looter sense refers to a consistent feedback look in which the player completes quests, gains loot, becomes more powerful and can then tackle other difficulties.
Much of the satisfaction from that loop comes from developing various builds and play-styles so that there’s more variety to the really satisfying part which is the gameplay. Somebody who has fun running a Darkness Impale build within Diablo 3 could get bored and thus change over to a Lightning Archon build that is a completely different play-style while offering up some fascinating benefits. If nothing else, you can maintain levelling for Paragon Points and Enhancing Gems.
But remember that Destiny 2 is not exactly a looter nor is it a pure open world game.
So let’s review Destiny 2’s end-game. There’s a definite emphasis on quests after the main story is actually complete - your mileage of how fascinating the characters are in World Quests will vary. You can still total Adventures, take on small tasks with Patrols and explore Lost Sectors. Despite some great environment and art design, many of the technicians remain uniform throughout the experience. You’ll be going somewhere in order to shoot something, scan something or perform a bit of platforming. This type of open world freedom varies from world to world because some places, such as the European Dead Zone and Nessus, tend to be bigger than others like Io and Titan. Each world has its share of Public Events, which can be morphed into Heroic Occasions, world bosses and Cayde-6 stashes to discover.
In terms of end-game loot, there’s Trials of the Nine and the Leviathan Raid. The upcoming Iron Banner and recent Faction Move could also fit into this along with vendors who you can increase reputation with (by discovering materials and Bridal party in the open world). The actual co-op Strikes take up this weird place of being interesting to explore every now and then but not really beneficial in terms of loot. Even from a characterization and mechanics standpoint, they don’t offer all that much that’s interesting or new from the main video game.
If we look at it from a Borderlands 2 point of view, there is no continuously scaling level of power and threats from foes which feeds the desire to find better guns. There are no random rolls on guns so you’re not chasing after different variations that can offer various benefits. The “Meditations” from Ikora could be the closest thing in order to New Game Plus but their rewards are vastly under-powered in the long run. Being unable to replay story quests, Adventures, World Quests and what have you normally is also a major deterrent.
If we look at it from the Diablo 3 or Warframe point of view, there’s no real depth to the develops on offer either. Sure, you could have a Use Voidwalker that builds up melee damage because of some Exotic mitts and who runs around meleeing every thing, regaining full wellness while also recharging grenades quickly. However it feels more like a situational buff rather than wholly different play-style. From a subclass standpoint, you’re relegated in order to either one set of benefits or the other. A person don’t get multiple different runes with regard to skills or the ability to mix and match Supers. You also don’t get augments or Gear Models that radically modify the way a skill features. In fact , it’s pretty crazy just how barebones the gear is in Destiny 2, especially the actual raid and Tests gear which require substantially more commitment to obtain.
That’s not all though. There are absolutely no “white whales” or even supremely OP products in Destiny 2 like Gjallarhorn, Sleeper Simulant or Raze Lighter. Gear and weapons are given away at a rapid speed, which is fine but progression tends to stop pretty quickly too. Hitting 305 Energy level isn’t really an advantage and you do not even need to strike that to perform good enough in the raid (since that comes down more to coordination and communication).
If there’s nothing really special to get and the possibility of defining builds is extremely, very limited, then not only are you stuck performing it same content with absolutely no variety involved but you’re not even working towards anything. A minimum of the cosmetic end-game in Warframe is just one part of the formula - there are still a lot of weapons, Warframes and mods to build and level up. Oh, and it’s additionally free with considerably meatier content updates than Bungie offers delivered in the 3 years since it launched Destiny.
At least with the original Destiny, Bungie eventually gave you plenty of things to do and lots of things to work your way buy poe items as much as. Even when you hit the actual max Light level cap, you could still go after Adept weaponry in various raids or even try to get that perfect Tier 12 group of raid gear and even grind for Glaciers Breaker which could possibly drop once per week in one character with the Nightfall bounty.
There were Horde modes, Heroic Attacks, modifiers on Attacks, more Crucible modes, Record Books, personal matches, Sparrow Racing and raid difficulties. Destiny 2 offers non-e of that out of the gate, even as Iron Banner and the Prestige Leviathan raid are incoming. It’s easy to understand why current down and dirty players are annoyed, even as many of Destiny’s glaring flaws like grinding for materials, levelling up weaponry and whatnot were removed.
Of course , there’s the argument that Destiny 2 much more for casual players. So why not just explore the world and it’s Lost Sectors, play the campaign, obtain all the gear and call it each day? Well, in my opinion a minimum of, Destiny 2 doesn’t have a very good tale. The main campaign is actually passable and it’s doesn’t help that these annoying characters penetrate all the World Quests and Adventures. Lost Sectors feel like a missed opportunity because for as good as these people look, it’s still just about entering, capturing, killing the boss and getting some dull loot. At least when this was a thing within Fallout 4, I can find some nice lore, ammo or even get EXP in order to level up once the story was total. Surprise, surprise but Destiny 2 offers non-e of that. It might appeal to the informal open world player but even when compared with most open world games, Destiny 2 is fairly barren and unrewarding.
And that’s really the crux of the argument for many Destiny 2 players, whether or not they’re casual or even hardcore. Destiny 2 doesn’t have a point where the game suddenly shifts into gear (unless you really such as the pseudo game display that is the raid). There are some neat mechanics within the story missions but it’s nothing a person haven’t seen before from the base video game. You get to drive a tank for one objective, which is nice but that never occurs again in the open world or any Strike. Therefore in lieu of interesting technicians, compelling sub-plots or even great sights (of which there are plenty even though, again, it’s nowhere fast near the scale on most open world games), Destiny 2 ought to be doing something in order to reward players. If nothing else, it ought to be giving players something unique for their troubles if it doesn’t give them a different way to play the overall game. Alas, it does non-e of that.
When you consider the actual ups and downs that the first Destiny saw, it was amazing how a lot of major additions and quality of life changes were straight up left out of Destiny 2 . Whilst comparing it to some of the best games in the market, there’s so much else it might have done but doesn’t. Next to an MMO like World of Warcraft or even Guild Wars 2, Destiny 2 simply doesn’t match up and even with its gunplay becoming fine and almost all, it’s 2017. There are plenty of games, new and old, that deliver great gunplay.
Destiny 1 had a spark that absolutely no other game seemed to have and catered to fans of that phenomenon in the easiest way possible. Destiny 2 seems more interested in spreading that ignite to a wider target audience rather than further kindling it for the down and dirty. Which is funny because I don’t see a large numbers of casual players staying on with this level of writing and story telling. But hey, many people believed that for the first Destiny and look where we are now.
I can write a whole lot more concerning the lack of progression within PvP, how you never really feel rewarded or even like you’re enhancing in the Crucible unlike other competitive shooters. That’s a whole various story though. The actual fact remains that Bungie may have ensured Destiny 2 was a achievement with reviewers, the actual casual crowd and even Destiny fans in launch but it do this at the expense of keeping them around. Those 30 hours are enough for your average player who will now move on to better things (and truthfully, there are plenty of games for your average “casual” that do a whole lot more than Destiny like, oh, Call of Duty) however for the seasoned Destiny 2 player who’s stuck by Bungie for so long, this feels like an sudden stop.
Frankly, I’m not a fan of blaming the informal player. Games like Path of Exile, Warframe, The Department, Diablo 3 and whatnot have attracted millions of players, informal and hardcore alike. They gave reasons for them - and the hardcore players -- to stay and work at other things. Who understands, maybe the informal player would get to be the hardcore in the process. But when it comes to Destiny 2, whether you’re a hardcore player who’s put in 200 hours since launch or perhaps a casual who still hasn’t done the actual raid, the end of Bungie’s yellow packet road leads basically nowhere, forget Oz .