YouTube/BungieBack in May 2017, months before the launch of “Destiny 2,” I spoke to the game’s director Luke Smith at length about “unhiding the fun,” a phrase he continually used to describe the upcoming sequel to “Destiny.”
Smith’s “unhiding the fun” mantra was an allusion to the first game, where players felt like too many features stood in the way of having fun: from simple things, like not being able to see where you are on a giant map of a planet, to how you’d need to visit third-party websites to find other people to play with. “Destiny 2″ was an attempt to destroy those barriers between players and the game they wanted to play.”
Over a year later, Smith’s goal to “unhide the fun” was only somewhat successful.
“Destiny 2” stumbled out the gate when it launched to the public, and needed a full year to fix some of its biggest issues that kept players away. The massive “Forsaken” update in September has been a definite improvement, as it offers plenty of new incentives for players to return to the game, but there are five specific aspects of the game that stand between players and having more fun.
The game takes an incredibly long time to load.
This is probably the biggest issue with the game right now: It performs terribly on consoles.
This doesn’t seem to be an issue for PC players, but since the launch of “Forsaken” in September, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One players (myself included) have noticed considerably longer load times — whether you’re flying to a planet, matchmaking with other players for activities like the Crucible, or even just opening your inventory, which you’ll do constantly.
Even engrams, which are encrypted items that drop in the game as random rewards, cause considerable lag and slowdown on consoles when they pop out of enemies. I’m spending far too much time in loading screens instead of actually playing the game.
“Shaders,” one of the best parts of the first “Destiny” game, are still a major headache in “Destiny 2.”
Shaders basically let you change the color of your character.
In “Destiny 1,” you could use shaders as often as you’d like. In “Destiny 2,” shaders became consumable items, which meant you couldn’t change your character’s colors on the fly unless you collect enough of the colors you want.
Also, there aren’t enough slots in your inventory for all of the shaders in “Destiny 2,” which means you’re constantly deleting old shaders to make room for new ones. And though you can “recycle” 5 shaders at a time with a certain in-game vendor, there’s no system for deleting shaders in massive batches: Most players have dozens of each kind of shader, and deleting one at a time takes far too long.
Bungie should go back to how shaders worked in the first “Destiny” game, where they had unlimited uses. This would make the game far more fun, as I’d spend less time deleting shaders, or worrying if I have enough of a certain shader, and more time actually using them.
Bounties are fun, but getting them is a chore.
“Destiny 2” initially killed the “bounties” feature from the first game, which gave you some small rewards in return for completing specific tasks, like killing a certain number of enemies during a strike.
But “Destiny 2” re-added bounties recently, and while more rewards are a good thing, you have to visit certain locations on different planets to pick up all of the available bounties — and since so many bounties reset after a day, you’ll be visiting these planets a lot even before you can start actually playing.
This is made worse by the long loading times in “Destiny 2.” Bungie should give players a way to pick up bounties without having to visit different physical locations to get all of them; either put them all in one physical location, or let people pick up bounties on their ships, while they’re waiting for activities to start.
All armor that was acquired during the first year of “Destiny 2” is now obsolete, and it makes me feel like a sucker.
Dave Smith/Business Insider
I spent hours getting all of the Iron Banner armor, including all the ornaments, across all three of my characters. I spent weeks getting the masterworked solstice gear during the Solstice of Heroes event this summer. But when the “Forsaken” expansion dropped in September, all of that gear I worked so hard to get became obsolete, because of the way Bungie changed armor values in the game. If Bungie respected its players and their time, they would find a way to make the armor accumulated in the first year of “Destiny 2” relevant again.
The “infusion” system is broken.
The first “Destiny” game introduced the idea of infusion. Let’s say you have an awesome scout rifle, but you just found a new gun in the wild that’s more powerful than your favorite gun. No problem! Just infuse that new gun into your old gun, and your old gun will be just as powerful as that new one you found.
In “Destiny,” you needed a small amount of materials for infusion to work. In “Destiny 2,” infusion is way more expensive, and you need extremely rare materials for it to work. This makes infusion unreasonable, since you’ll continually acquire more powerful gear, and there’s no reason to infuse anything ever. This means I’m stuck wearing more powerful armor and weapons that I don’t really like, but need to wear because they’re more powerful than my old gear; I can’t afford to infuse all of my favorite stuff again and again and again.
There is no reason for this new infusion system to be as punishing and grindy as it is; making infusion so expensive serves no real purpose of the game, other than to make it difficult to continue using your favorite gear. This system is anti-fun, and Bungie should make infusion a reasonable transaction so people can actually use the armor and weapons they actually like.