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Bungie lays out plans for Destiny 2 improvements

‘There's more we’re working on’

Destiny 2 - ultrawide shot of Exodus Black on Nessus Bungie/Activision
Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Bungie is working to improve and fix Destiny 2 in an effort to address complaints from fans who have grown disgruntled in the seven-plus weeks since the game’s launch, the studio said yesterday.

This far out from Destiny 2’s debut, the game’s most dedicated players have blown through just about everything there is to offer, and they’re hungry for more. Meanwhile, now that the shine of the immediate post-launch period has worn off, it’s clear that there are many issues with the game’s loot drops and overall reward economy, among other areas. And of course, there are plenty of quality-of-life improvements that players would love to see, like the ability to swap between multiple emotes on the fly.

Bungie’s live team is working on that feature and other updates, game director Christopher Barrett said in the studio’s weekly blog post yesterday. “We’re always thinking about where the game is heading next,” said Barrett. Here’s a subset of the planned changes to Destiny 2:

  • New systems and rewards to give our most engaged players additional, optional pursuits
  • Better incentives for players who complete challenging Prestige activities
  • Better rewards and replay value for strikes, adventures, and Lost Sectors
  • Private matches for the competitive community (we are targeting early 2018)
  • Crucible tuning like adjusted Supremacy scoring and better spawning rules
  • Better incentives for completing Crucible matches (and penalties for quitting competitive games)
  • Continued improvements to Iron Banner and Faction Rallies, including uniqueness of rewards
  • Changes to make the mod economy more interesting and impactful.
  • Ongoing improvements to Exotics, including adjustments to reduce instances of duplication
  • New ways to spend surplus currency and materials (looking at you Legendary Shards).
  • An emote interface that allows players to equip Salty, Spicy Ramen, Six Shooter, and Flip Out all at the same time

Barrett noted that the studio is still figuring out the specific timing of the updates. And some of them are higher-priority additions than others.

Destiny 2 - ultrawide shot of Io environment with Jupiter in the sky Bungie/Activision

An emote wheel is something that players have been asking for since the launch of the original Destiny. Bungie added private matches to that game with the Rise of Iron expansion in September 2016, but Destiny 2 players will have to wait until next year. The Crucible in general could use some work — the shift from six-person teams to four-player squads has put a greater emphasis on what’s known as team-shooting, which has made it much less fun to go it alone. (Bungie previously acknowledged that there were problems with the reward structures for the limited-time Faction Rally and Iron Banner events.)

Destiny 2 offers a wide variety of activities, but the reward economy is out of whack for many of them — for instance, you get the same level of loot from Public Events as you do from strikes, but the latter requires a much larger time investment. And the Prestige version of the Leviathan raid and the Nightfall strike don’t offer rewards commensurate with their difficulty. Hell, even if you get an exotic item, chances are, it’s already in your collection! The benefit there is that you wouldn’t need to spend Legendary Shards on “printing” a copy of that existing exotic — but then, what will you buy with them?

These are the kinds of issues that only come to the surface after weeks and weeks of play; they’re very difficult to see at first. Less than two months after release, it’s nice to see Bungie acknowledge that these problems exist, and it’s encouraging that the studio is being specific with its plans for improvements. Nearly every item on the list is designed to address a particular gripe, and that’s the kind of iterative development that games like Destiny are known for. Destiny 2 was great at launch, but the hope is that it’ll be much better a few months down the line.

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