“Destiny 2” is a video game. Can’t wait two years to start thinking about the new player experience again.
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In case you haven’t noticed, I like Destiny 2 a lot.
It’s also a game that I have a hard time recommending to…anyone.
Destiny 2 has reached a point where two things have made it very hard for new players to join. Even though Destiny 2 went free-to-play a while ago and gave away its first few years of content for free, all of that content is now…gone. It’s been put in a vault and won’t come out again unless it gets egregore.
Destiny is also a challenge because it is a live game. If you want to start playing, you have to decide which seasons to start with, which expansions to catch up on, and so on.
We haven’t seen much interest in bringing on new players in a long time. Bungie made the Shaw Han New Light quest to replace the Red War campaign, but it’s only about 5 percent as long as all of the free content that was taken away (Red War, Curse of Osiris, Warmind and Season of the Forge, Drifter and Opulence) and replaced with…a lot of random stuff.
Players who don’t pay can go to any location, but they can only do story missions there if they have the X or Y expansion or seasonal content. Players can do the MC Escher-like Prophecy Dungeon or the story-less repeat of the Vault of Glass raid from Destiny 1, but they have to buy something else to do any other raid. They can access 30th-anniversary content where a cosmic horse will neigh things at them. They can play activities from a playlist, like Gambit, which is hard to understand for new players, or strikes, most of which have story dialogue from campaigns that have been taken away. It’s all kind of strange.
The problem is that it’s not clear what Bungie is doing to work on this soon. They’ve acknowledged this is a problem, but it seems like they’re saying that new players won’t be able to jump in until this whole light and dark saga is over, even if we’re not getting a hard reset as we did in Destiny 3.
But that’s a long way off. The Witch Queen just came out a few months ago, Lightfall probably won’t come out until spring 2023, and The Final Shape probably won’t come out until spring 2024, if we get back to a perfect yearly schedule.
I’m not sure what the exact answer is here. My previous ideas don’t seem to work anymore. I’ve said that the Red War should come back, but we’ve already lost half of the planets it was about to content vaulting. I also said that it would make sense for Bungie to make at least the Forsaken campaign free since it has a good story and would give new players at least a set of linear story missions to do. Instead, Bungie recently deleted the Forsaken campaign and the entirety of the Tangled Shore.
You see what’s wrong. The Shaw Han quest is the starting point. After that, there are a bunch of playlists that have nothing to do with each other, one dungeon, one raid, and 30th-anniversary content. If a player does want to pay, Shadowkeep is the oldest thing they can buy, which I would say is the worst place to start out of all the game’s expansions. The “right” thing to do would probably be to jump right into the current season and…watch a bunch of lore videos on YouTube? Even though I don’t know, I do know that this whole process needs to be streamlined and given a lot more attention than it has since content vaulting. We’ll have to wait two more years to see if that happens or if nothing really changes.