Feature Article

Please, Bungie, Don't Change Destiny 2's Guns To Be Like Destiny 1

Bungie is making a big change to its weapon and armor system that would bring back some of the worst elements of its MMO shooter's beginnings.

When Destiny first launched, I kind of hated it. Bungie's weirdo space shooter was a delight to play when you were actually shooting things, but lost momentum as it picked up all the worst habits of MMOs. In the early days of Destiny, even in the endgame, you were constantly grabbing up new guns and tossing your old ones because of the slightly higher number on the new ones. The loot chase in the game was tedious and time-consuming, forcing you to play and replay content to make minor gains that never seemed like they amounted to much.

Destiny has come a long way since those days, first through the latter expansions of the original game, then through a bunch of smart and interesting changes in Destiny 2. Today, I play Destiny 2 almost every day and the franchise has gone from one of my most reviled to one of my most beloved. I love whipping through the Crucible and raids, I'm fascinated by the story, and I have a heap of cool weapons to use in a variety of situations. I even have come around on chasing the best gun stat rolls, something I'm usually loathe to do in games such as this--it's the thing that keeps me from picking up other MMOs or loot shooters. For some reason, Destiny 2 continues to cut through the noise and make me happy.

But in his last Director's Cut blog post from Destiny 2 director Luke Smith had me a bit worried, and the recent This Week at Bungie confirms those fears. It sounds like, in trying to continue to tweak the game to make it engaging for players long-term, Bungie is considering returning to those early D1 days. To me, there couldn't be a worse move for keeping a live game continually relevant and fun to play than reverting to the earliest ideas of Destiny.

Smith describes the situation into which Bungie thinks Destiny 2 has stumbled in its third year: It's lost some of the aspirational drive that pushes players to work through the game to get the best gear. For a loot shooter, that slot machine aspect of the game is a big part of the draw: You're constantly playing in hopes of getting cool new stuff that you can then use to perform better in PvP, or to more efficiently take down the toughest content, or to get even better cool new stuff.

And in some aspects, Smith is right. Destiny 2 is currently full of weapons that sit in inventories or get immediately discarded and go mostly unused. Each new season introduces a bunch of new, unique weapons, but there's not a lot of drive in the game to ditch your favorite old gear in favor of trying out new gear. Part of that is because some guns are just too good to let go, like some of Destiny 2's "Pinnacle" and "Ritual" weapons, which are unique items you earn through the completion of lengthy quests and grinds. Some are just guns that can have really strong stat and perk rolls, and continue to be dominant parts of the metagame in PvP and PvE settings season after season.

Bungie wants to push players to try new things, and most importantly, to chase new guns. That's the engine that keeps Destiny 2 going, after all. But the solution Smith is proposing sounds like it'll wreck another fun aspect of Destiny 2: the accomplishment of actually using the things you go chasing after.

No Caption Provided

The solution Smith is suggesting sounds like Destiny 1 before the "infusion" system was introduced. In Destiny 2, all weapons have a "Power" number that dictates their overall strength, and the average Power of all your gear determines your total strength as a player--so you often want to have the highest Power numbers you can. In Destiny 1 before infusion, that meant you were always tossing weak guns in favor of strong ones, and even if you particularly liked those weak guns, like the weapons you might pull from the Vault of Glass raid, they would become obsolete when a new expansion was released and raised the Power (then called "light level") cap. That incentivized you to play through the new expansion and try its new guns, but it also meant the stuff you previously earned and maybe really liked was now collecting dust or tossed in the trash because it couldn't hang in the tougher content. Destiny eventually added upgrade paths for guns, but they often required you to put in a lot of work to get the necessary materials.

Infusion changed that by allowing you to cannibalize a gun with higher Power that you didn't want in order to beef up a lower Power gun you did, and it's been the standard of Destiny ever since The Taken King's release in 2015. It also means that, in Bungie's eyes, once you get a set of guns you like, you don't really have a good reason to switch, even if the new guns they release every few months are cool or powerful in their own right. Bungie seems particularly perturbed by this fact, but at the same time, it fits with another of the developer's maxims: that there are a number of ways to play the game and that you can pick the way you want to play.

Smith says Bungie is considering a push back toward a system that would render old guns obsolete over time to push you to chase new ones. You'll still be able to infuse your guns, but after a set period of seasons, an old gun will hit an infusion cap, and you won't be able to drive its Power up anymore. It's a lot like the old Destiny 1 system, in which a Power cap escalation every three months with the start of a new expansion could render lower-Power guns useless, at least in high-level content. It'll just take longer to happen.

It sounds like a bad solution to Bungie's problem. There's a reason a lot of the same guns get used a lot in Destiny 2: They're fun to play with. They're successful examples of Bungie's ability to create weapons that feel good and are effective. This isn't to say Bungie shouldn't be constantly tweaking and rebalancing guns, but players don't just get attached to certain weapons because they're the most powerful ones available. Sometimes people simply fall in love with certain guns because they worked extra hard to earn them, because they carry unique perks that vibe with specific playstyles, or because they look cool. Sunsetting those weapons arbitrarily over time doesn't increase choice and variety, it just shunts players into a new meta box until the next patch rolls around.

No Caption Provided

Bungie's solution of rendering old guns mathematically obsolete in endgame content feels like it'll do nothing but push Destiny 2 toward even more grinding, which, for my money, has always been the worst element of the game. Losing the best guns you worked hard to earn just to force you to work hard to earn new, likely similar ones sounds a lot more like busywork than it does a meaningful interaction with the game, and what's more, it continues to strip out player choice. Smith's blog says Bungie might reintroduce old guns in later seasons to bring them back into circulation, but that just sounds like another grind to get something you already earned.

Yes, there are too many guns in Destiny 2 that players don't use, and yes, that seems like something that unduly burdens the development team as it spends its time creating these weapons, only to find everyone continues to use old standbys. But it sounds like Destiny 2 needs to find new ways to make more of its guns viable choices for players. I'd prefer to see Bungie introduce fewer new guns each season, in favor of, say, more gun perks--things that can change how old guns operate and create new potentially great rolls.

Maybe that's not a viable solution to Bungie's issue, but it also seems that for a game to run on player aspiration, it can't only be focused on goals in the future; it also has to provide the accomplishment of achieving those goals. Your digital trophy room (in this case, having cool guns and armor) is as important as the next hunt you're planning. These proposed changes sound like they'll push more grind back into Destiny 2 just for the sake of that grind, and to me, grindy for the sake of it is the least interesting thing Destiny can be.

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
00:00:00
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Now Playing: Destiny 2 Cutscene Featuring Osiris Teases New Season

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

philhornshaw

Phil Hornshaw

GameSpot editor in Los Angeles, and the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel and The Space Hero’s Guide to Glory. Hoped the latter would help me get Han Solo hair, but so far, unsuccessful.

Destiny 2

Destiny 2

Follow
Back To Top
31 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

15339

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

This is what you get with live services. They have to force you to keep playing by any means necessary. They cannot let you complete the game.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for jako998
Jako998

1189

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 35

User Lists: 5

How about making the game actually good and with substantial content with very half a year? I really want to like the franchise so much but you bungie itsnt like doing there best to do so. I feel like it hasn't reached it's full potential

Upvote • 
Avatar image for moldyketchup
MoldyKetchup

2

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

Bungie: "Play the game how you want to play."

Also Bungie: "You're playing the game wrong. Here, let me show you. You're not enjoying the new guns enough, so let me invalidate all your old favorites real quick."

4 • 
Avatar image for roshby
roshby

189

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

roshby  Staff

@moldyketchup: Yeahhhh

Upvote • 
Avatar image for mrbojangles25
mrbojangles25

46924

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 11

User Lists: 0

Sorry, "MMO Shooter"?

Destiny is not an MMO.

We could certainly do with some more MMO-action games, though, it's definitely a sparse genre.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for roshby
roshby

189

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

roshby  Staff

@mrbojangles25: It is an MMO Shooter and Bungie has decided to lean into that part of its identity which it brushed off for so long.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for mrbojangles25
mrbojangles25

46924

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 11

User Lists: 0

@roshby: fair enough. Would consider it more of a loot-n-shoot, more akin to Borderlands or The Division than an MMO, but I suppose it does incorporate some MMO features.

I have a hard time considering heavily-instanced games like this as true MMO games; they lack the "massive" aspect of it.

But that's just me.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for death_burnout
death_burnout

3005

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 17

User Lists: 0

@mrbojangles25: The term MMO has been watered down for a while now, but Destiny was very much a gateway into MMO's for a lot of people who don't have PC's.

Think about how many games have raids these days that aren't traditional MMORPG's.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for ticktockman1979
ticktockman1979

98

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

@mrbojangles25: DESTINY is very much an MMO

3 • 
Avatar image for mrbojangles25
mrbojangles25

46924

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 11

User Lists: 0

@ticktockman1979: If it is, it's MMO-lite. 0 calories. Fried in olestra.

2 • 
Avatar image for davismeister
davismeister

66

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Here's an idea, make newer guns that are actually worth a damn. These most recent guns they came out with have individual perk pools you can count on one with one hand and none of them are any good except maybe vorpal and that's situational as hell.

Now all those hours/days/weeks of grinding for that perfect weapon were basically a gigantic waste of time. I can live with these changes under 2 conditions: 1.) That they are still viable in crucible. 2.) If at the end of whatever season it is you can infuse them regardless of their limit.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Boonimal23
Boonimal23

79

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

They could make weapons attractive by redoing their entire weapon system. Make interesting, cool gun models and let players customize the models the get dropped by adding specific scopes, perks, etc. let players build guns and the investment with skyrocket. You also don’t worry about a gun going obsolete because you can make the perks, attachments, etc. drops as well.

The problem I’ve always had with destiny is I can’t customize anything interesting.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

12630

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 22

User Lists: 0

Edited By Barighm

"This looter plays too much like a looter!"

3 • 
Avatar image for Utnayan
Utnayan

1570

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 3

User Lists: 0

Anyone who still plays this is a sucker for horrible design and should jump ship. These people have NO Clue how to design an end game and are 100% clueless. Even after YEARS of mistakes. Quit buying this please - maybe they will learn then.

2 • 
Avatar image for millionsedge
Millionsedge

543

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@Utnayan: the game is simply getting long in the tooth. Only so many things you can do with it at this point and most things are just more of the same. It was fun while it lasted.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for ntrocketsurgery
NtRocketSurgery

99

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

@millionsedge: the same could be said about early warframe. there's plenty that can still be done.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for millionsedge
Millionsedge

543

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Constant "balance fixes" and invalidation of old work is what makes me leave loot-shooters. Nothing is worse than your favorite gear getting nerfed or having to leave something behind that took forever to earn.

If you like the weapon chase more than the weapon, that's a kin to gambling. I say no thanks to that.

2 • 
Avatar image for mogan
Mogan

13648

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 0

Mogan  Moderator

@millionsedge: Progression is what loot games are though. If you ever get to the point where you've got the best guns, and you'll never need to leave them behind for something better, then the game's over. Enjoying the loot chase isn't gambling; there's nothing to lose (and most of Destiny's best gear isn't randomly gained). It's like Doom being about the feeling of blasting demons; once all the demons are blasted, there's no more game.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for DougSwan
DougSwan

54

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

D2 developers (and directors) have been pissing off my clan for the better part of the past year and a half and it has only gotten worse. Nerfing invalidates the hard work and effort a player puts into the game to get an "edge." Worse, it takes what might be a promising new weapon and essentially turns it into something that is average. It is the height of arrogance for Bungie to believe that they should show us all a better way to play the game, when the very definition of a great game is allowing all play styles to flourish. A year ago, we had 40+ members playing the game. Today, we have about 8 active members. Most of those not playing are sick of working hard to gain an advantage, only to see the advantage taken away or the grind made easier for newbies. Here's a thought Bungie: less weapons, more play. THAT is what attracts both old and new players.

3 • 
Avatar image for mrbojangles25
mrbojangles25

46924

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 11

User Lists: 0

@DougSwan: "less weapons, more play"

I like that!

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

12630

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 22

User Lists: 0

@DougSwan: "Hard work"?

And to be fair, ANY GAME, even the greatest ever, loses players over time.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for mogan
Mogan

13648

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 0

Edited By Mogan  Moderator

New gear has to be attractive or the progression ends and Destiny 2 is done. But new gear can't just keep getting better without power creep breaking the game. So Bungie has to do something to make the old meta obsolete without making the new meta super broken.

This is why Magic: The Gathering has the Standard format, where only the last two years' sets are legal. It's also why the format where you can use most all the cards, Modern, only ends up caring about a couple cards from each new set of hundreds.

For Destiny 2, maybe the better solution is to stop adding loads of new guns every season. Just add a couple, and then make the rest of what players are chasing unique mods and upgrade materials. So players are using their old favorite guns in new ways, or f. That wouldn't be too different from what they're doing using guns they didn't care for before in ways they do. Shifting the focus almost entirely to mods for the seasonal content, instead of trying to find ways to make yet more legendary weapons relevant in a game already full of them, might be a better way forward.

But no matter what Bungie does, players have to accept that they can't just keep using the same guns the same ways forever; that's not how these games work.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for deactivated-5ed3275ccace5
deactivated-5ed3275ccace5

890

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

Where is the catalyst for "The last word"??

Upvote • 
Avatar image for kstaggs87
kstaggs87

412

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

Lol wow. The more I read about this game the more I’m so glad that I deleted it off my PS4 months ago and will probably never install it again.

2 • 
Avatar image for Crazy_sahara
Crazy_sahara

654

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 0

Edited By Crazy_sahara

Oh please bungie don't make destiny at all, focus on aliens and halo, build a universe that has something people want more of, like.

A space station, people meet up, but not all are nice, not all are willing to collaborate and the real enemy is your allies because in space mistakes happen.

My dream game is, 10 planets, and on each planet based on your default race you will start in a town, city, farm, or what ever the ecology is, after doing a few hours of side quests you graduate to enter to launch bay area to be beemed to a specific themed space station that can become under attack at any given moment.

But before that you must wait outside the launch bay area grinding as the bad ass players pass you dropping loot or trolling you.

After you board a ship via the space station you will embark on light travel, and based on who enters the deck first can choose a route, but everyone is assigned a task, defend the bridge, research abominations in the lab(similar to evolve) and as a research officer (your guns are hand guns and stealth, based on the race.) If a path was chosen by the other race and the ships line up a muteny will commence (like in FTL the game) and similar to how you transition in aliens colonial marines via the bay walk before it blows up) total ship anhilation will commence, hideous creatures based on the research officer (similar to dead space) will roam randomly based on the crazy ideas of each race moving into the ships haul creating a pure unpredictable nightmare, as the marines move through with flame throwers if either side loses the ship can instantly continue route and the planet occupied will need to be captured (so all the newbies trying to level up will be the last defence of that planet, but if they manage to wound the other race they will level up faster, but they will lose the ability to keep their avatar if captured deleting your save from the game, but not your xp) and when the 10 planets are captured the game self destructs wiping all players from the servers but not their XP or levels.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

12630

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 22

User Lists: 0

@Crazy_sahara: You so crazy.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for nilsdoen
NilsDoen

190

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@Crazy_sahara: lol u go girl

2 • 
Avatar image for irishplusfour
irishplusfour

248

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

Ice breaker ftw

Upvote • 
Avatar image for The_Mighty_KELP
The_Mighty_KELP

78

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Agree 100%. I quit Destiny 2 shortly before Shadowkeep hit, because I was too addicted to it and wanted to play other games for awhile, which has gone well for me. But I've been sorta keeping up with D2 news, so that when (not if) I go back to D2, I'll at least know what's going on. But this... this might make me not bother coming back to D2 at all. I really hope they don't do this.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for nilsdoen
NilsDoen

190

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@The_Mighty_KELP: sounds like u should hope they do this.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

12630

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 22

User Lists: 0

Guys, check out Outriders.

2 •