Even though it was released in 2014, Destiny was still one of the most popular and obsessively-played games of 2015 thanks in large part to its excellent expansion update, The Taken King. Suddenly, Bungie and Activision’s $500 million shooter/RPG hybrid went from being one of the next gen’s biggest disappointments to one of its biggest success stories, both in terms of sales, and critical/player reception. The Taken King fixed a ton of issues ,while incorporating new elements that finally made Destiny a “must-play” experience.
Still, as good as The Taken King is, players have started to exhaust what it has to offer and naturally, everyone is looking to Bungie’s next big update, which is expected to be a full sequel due out sometime this fall. What Destiny 2 will actually be is something only Bungie can answer, but based on what Destiny and its various expansions have offered so far, these are the things we most want to see from the sequel:
10. In-Game Database
Destiny gets a lot of flak for having next-to-no story and confounding lore. While this is definitely true, it’s not just a result of Bungie being bad at storytelling; it’s that they make the act of discovering that lore so needlessly obtuse. In theory, the Grimoire card system that sees players collect bits of data on various characters, locations, and events is a good way to relay information about Destiny‘s world. For some unfathomable reason though, you can’t actually access Grimoire cards in-game; instead, they can only be looked at through bungie.net, which defeats the whole purpose of providing in-game rewards.
For the sequel, Bungie should implement an intuitive databank (they can even keep the Grimoire system) that lets players read all about the game’s lore. It’s a simple improvement that would do wonders for allowing players to gain some context for why they’re tasked with killing so many evil aliens all the time.
9. More Expansive And Interesting Environments
Destiny features a variety of big, beautiful worlds…that are largely devoid of anything interesting to do. As cool as it is to jump around a futuristic Venus or Mars, these environments don’t exactly encourage heavy exploration because there really isn’t much to find. The same goes for the game’s central hub, The Tower, which just isn’t large enough or filled with the kinds of variety and activity found in other games in the MMORPG fold (yeah yeah, Destiny isn’t a true MMO, but it shares a lot of similarities). Bungie needs to double down on making each of Destiny 2‘s environments compelling in their own right and not pallete swapped fishbowls that exist just to kill enemies in. They were on the right track with The Taken King‘s Dreadnaught and its abundance of hidden areas and secrets, so if they can expand on that sort of idea, Bungie will be well on their way to making the world of Destiny 2 that much more enticing.
8. AI Companions
Let’s face it: not everyone wants to socialize all the time; sometimes we just want to explore the galaxy by our lonesome. While soloing is definitely possible in Destiny right now, it’s not ideal and eventually you’ll be forced to play with others unless you want to play the same few missions and patrols over and over. That’s why we’d love to see Bungie introduce some sort of AI companion element to the game that actually helps you in combat (sorry Ghost, you’re not much help in a fight). These could take the form of another guardian or maybe even Destiny‘s version of a space dog buddy (actually yes, please give us a space dog!). Obviously, no A.I. companion will ever be a true substitute for another skilled human guardian at your side, but Destiny is such a great game to relax and unwind with that it seems counterintuitive to be practically forced to play with others.
7. New Classes
Bungie really deserves a ton of credit for its character class designs, as the Titan, Hunter, and Warlock builds all play similarly enough so that every player enjoys the same core gameplay systems, while also being different enough to not just feel like shallow pallete swaps. The natural inclination is to demand that Bungie introduces some brand new classes with the next game, but considering how significant each class and their respective powers are to the Destiny ecosystem, they have to make sure that any new classes they introduce are not only cool-looking and fun to play, but also that they are balanced properly with the existing ones. Bungie has their work cut out for them here, but regardless, they pretty much have to introduce new classes in Destiny 2 if they don’t want to full-blown fan uprising on their hands.
6. Reworked Raids
Destiny‘s raids are perhaps the game’s most rewarding experience, offering smart, challenging level design, and a need for intricate teamwork unseen in any of the other modes. Unfortunately, the level of commitment needed to actually do a raid is so high that the vast majority of Destiny players have never even experienced one. That’s not to say that Bungie needs to change existing raid dynamics, as they’re great endgame content for more hardcore players. Still, it would be nice to see raids become more accessible in some way, perhaps by scaling to the number of players involved. Players could say, still accomplish a raid with a fireteam of three, but their rewards wouldn’t be as good as what you get when you do a full six-man raid. It would be a great way to give players more ways to experience the best parts of Destiny — regardless of skill level — without diluting the experience of those willing to put the time into the “real” raid game.
5. Increased Character Customization
While half the fun in Destiny is acquiring increasingly more powerful, cool-looking weapons and armor, there’s a surprising lack of customization options in a game built around the concept of attaining new gear. Sure, there are a variety shaders that change the color of your outfit, but this is only scratching the surface of what this game could do in terms of customization. You should be able to change the look of your character whenever you want, including their hair and facial features. There should also be a way to transmogrify armor like in Diablo III, which would eliminate the annoyance of having to use a piece of gear that has good stats but looks terrible. And come on Bungie, we should be able to use our shaders on individual pieces of armor; not just the whole set. These small, but significant quality of life improvements would go a long way in making Destiny 2 fall more in line with what other RPGs are doing in terms of character customization.
4. Use The Damn Ships
One of Destiny’s most disappointing examples of underutilized content is its ships. You’re able to collect a large variety of different personal spaceships for your guardian, but other than making your loading screen a little different to look at, they serve absolutely zero purpose. This has to be addressed in Destiny 2, whether through introducing actual ship combat (which admittedly would require a ton of work on Bungie’s part to make it worthwhile, which may take away from other aspects of the game) or even just incorporating them more into the overall experience. Bungie could take a cue from the Mass Effect series and create some sort of resource-gathering minigame (though hopefully one that isn’t as dull) or even just have more cinematics of your guardian actually flying them to at least give the illusion that ships are important. It doesn’t really matter as long as they actually have a purpose next time around.
3. Larger Fireteams Outside of Raids
As it stands right now, the only gametypes in Destiny where you can have a fireteam with more than three people are raids and player versus player combat (PvP). For a game that’s built around socialization, this feels a bit restricting. It’s no fun having a big party together and only being able to do a few different activities. Patrol missions are a big component of Destiny‘s infrastructure, so why can’t players roll with a team of six while they do those? This would help break up the monotony of getting together with large groups in places like the Tower and really not being able to do much other than jump around and dance. At least this way, you’d be able to shoot a bunch of aliens in the face together!
2. Increased Storytelling (PvE and PvP)
One of the most important fixes that The Taken King introduced was adding actual story content to the mix, with a handful of engaging characters and a decently-delivered plot that was actually comprehensible. Destiny 2 needs to not only double down on its story elements and tell an even more engaging tale than The Taken King, it should also extend this focus on plot to the game’s PvP modes. Think about it: how cool would it be if there was a multiplayer meta game based on the three factions you can join — Dead Orbit, New Monarchy, and Future War Cult — in which the factions are at war for weekly supremacy. At the end of each week, a winner is declared based on PvP statistics (most wins/kills across all players…that’s for Bungie to decide!) and every player aligned with that faction earns a reward. It would introduce a neat wrinkle to the PvP side of things and perhaps even convince people who never play the competitive multiplayer to jump in and give it a try.
1. Go Easy On The Microtransactions
Look, it’s no secret that making video games — especially those with productions values like Destiny‘s — are really expensive to make. Publishers have to recoup their costs somehow and Activision is no different. Microtransactions were added to Destiny a few months ago and for the most part, Acitivison and Bungie are taking the right route in only charging extra for cosmetics such as new emotes. Unfortunately, there’s also cause to be concerned that Destiny will become too microtransaction-heavy, illustrated by the ridiculous $30 instant level they introduced in December is just an absurd amount of money to charge for such a thing. While we’re not quite at red alert levels yet, Activision has to walk a fine line with Destiny 2 (which will almost surely have microtransactions of some kind) so as to not piss off its fan base, many of whom will have already spent over $100 easily on Destiny by the time the sequel ships. Microtransactions are fine in theory and we can only hope that Activision doesn’t get needlessly greedier between now and Destiny 2‘s release.