Destiny 2: What it Needs.

Destiny 2

According to the aptly named website I have racked up 542 hours of game-play in Destiny 1, so it is safe to say that I have enjoyed my time with it and will probably be much closer to 600 hours before the release of the much-anticipated sequel.

But here are a few things that I think Destiny 2 needs to have to be successful, especially given the mess that Destiny 1 was in when it launched in September 2014.

No. 1 – Story:  

By far the largest problem that Destiny had at launch was the fact that it had no story of note for people to level through. Infamously featuring the line “I don’t have time to explain, why I don’t have time to explain.” Destiny 1’s campaign was full of tidbits that could have been interesting if they had been given the time to grow before you were shoved off to the next mission that would likely have nothing to do with the mission you just completed.

Talking to people who still play the game, most agree the story of Destiny 1 ended the second it actually became interesting, which is rough when it happens 20 hours into the game.

To Bungie’s credit each new expansion brought more story, and the Taken King is held by fans of the game to be the story that Destiny should have had at launch. Rightly so in my opinion as its story is interesting and actually allows NPC character development, not to mention some short but compelling quests that gives each player class a little bit of flavor that previously didn’t exist beyond item flavor text.

Destiny 2 needs to build on the story and characters that were brought to life in The Taken King expansion, and give players some intensive to keep pouring hours of our lives into this franchise. Hopefully without forgetting the original Destiny story, because there are a lot of people who want to see where that story goes after being cut so short.

No. 2 – Game-play:

The moment to moment game-play is the only reason I have poured so much of my free time into Destiny, it just feels so damn good to play. The weapons archetypes all feel unique, and unless you mostly play PVP you have a free rein to choose your favorite types of weapons to play with.

As a primarily PVE player I have gone through periods of favoring just about every weapon type in-game, year one for me was pulse rifles, fusion rifles, and rocket launchers. Year two was scout rifles, shotguns, and machine guns. Finally year three has been hand-cannons, sniper rifles, and swords. So as long as Bungie can keep this feeling good they will probably be able to bring most of the current player base along to Destiny 2.

PVP is where they seriously need to do some work however, they really need to be able to balance weapons in such a way that you can take your favorite load-out into the crucible, without being slaughtered by everyone else who is using the current flavour of the meta OP weapon.

No. 3 – Exploration:

Destiny has deceptively small areas of play, with very little to reward you for exploration. Each planetary map is essentially a circuit with a couple of corridors tacked on, and you very quickly learn that exploring the far side of a map nets you nothing so you don’t bother to go out of your way again.

The Dreadnought that came with The Taken King was a step in the right direction, it was filled with little secrets and puzzles to seek out and complete. Unfortunately after doing them once there is no reason to ever do them again, and for the odd one that may need a group you were out of luck within a month of the expansions launch.

Again the quest to get the Exotic Pulse rifle from the Wrath of the Machine raid, is a fantastic puzzle that the community came together to solve, but it can be buggy and frustrating to find a group to fulfill the quests requirements, such as needing one of each class in a group. Or now finding a group that is willing to do the raid puzzle to even start the quest.

For exploration all Destiny 2 needs is to build on the community’s feedback from earlier attempts, i.e. make them solo-able after a length of time or provide an in-game way of finding people to complete tough quests.

No. 4 – Looking for Group:

The Destiny community and its ability to provide the tools that Bungie forgot is a big reason why people still play the game today. Without LFG websites life,,, and even /r/fireteams I would never have been able to find groups of people to raid with.

Coming from games like World of Warcraft that can have massively toxic groups I needed a fair bit of confidence to get on voice comms with five other people to begin raiding. It didn’t help when the first group I ever joined up with in Destiny kicked me because I didn’t have the perfect perk for my rocket launcher.

So I have to give a MASSIVE shout out to the Sherpa community that sprang up to help teach people destiny raid mechanics and get them that experience and confidence they needed. I found them through /r/DestinySherpa and the people there were fantastic and did a great job of teaching rather than just carrying people through tough content.

Destiny 2 very much needs in-built systems to support these communities, and make it easier for people to create groups to complete difficult content when they don’t have people they know in real life who play Destiny to group with.

No. 5 – Veteran Representation:
As a World of Warcraft player for many years, I have little attachment to current items in terms of stats of benefits they give to your character. Due to the fact that the legendary item you pried from the corpse of the toughest enemy you managed to slay, is replaced by the first uncommon drop you get from that squirrel that just happened to get in the way of your sword while you were out questing.

That said how that item looks is always important, and recognisable when you see it out in the wild. So I am hoping that Destiny will have some sort of system like WoWs transmogrification where we can take the look of the gear we have gained in Destiny 1 and use it to show off in Destiny 2

More likely we will get a couple of emblems and maybe a shader, to show we were their way back in year 1. In my case I just want to be able to show off the raid gear I spent weeks hoping would drop from a specific boss.

Destiny 2 is getting a game-play reveal on May 18th (only a few days away) and I can’t wait to see what direction Bungie has taken the Destiny franchise. It has been rumored, pretty much since launch, that most of the Destiny team has moved onto Destiny 2. So the team has had at least three years to build on their experience with Destiny 1 and as Bungie has been great at using community feedback to improve the game I am quietly optimistic that Destiny 2 will live up to expectations.


World of Warcraft: My History and a Few Hopes for Legion


I have had a bit of a strange history with World of Warcraft over the years. I’ve been a fan of the Warcraft series since I first played Warcraft 2 at a friend’s house, and I was even more of a fan of Warcraft 3 and the epic story that was told there. I think like a lot of people when World of Warcraft was announced I was put off by the fact that I had to pay a monthly fee to be able to play this game.

Of course it was my friends talking about the fun they were having playing WoW that eventually got me to buy the game. This was in early 2006 and I couldn’t have been happier with my purchase, even though I found Vanilla WoW difficult and my Tauren Druid didn’t pass level 17 in the two months of an hour a day I had to play.

When The Burning Crusade launched I re-rolled and began playing a Blood-Elf Mage and I had a lot of fun playing, again I never reached the cap of level 70. In fact it wasn’t until Wrath of the Lich King was announced that I made the push and leveled my mage to 55 so I could play a Death Knight when Wrath launched.

I followed this through and my Orc Death Knight Noxforge was the first character I reached level cap with, and has been my main character ever since. I loved Wrath, but although I played this expansion more than the previous versions of WoW I was still limited by the fact that my mum and I only owned one computer, so I was severely limited in the time I could spend playing.

In the lead up to Cataclysm the pre patch “The Shattering” altered the world, updating many of the lower level areas with brand new visuals and quest lines. I thought this was a great chance to revisit that old Druid I had lying around. So I leveled him though this new world to level 58 where I could enter Outland, and I enjoyed this new content immensely.

Unfortunately I hated the Cataclysm expansion as a whole. I enjoyed leveling through the new areas, as they had fantastic aesthetics and did a great job of telling the story of the Cataclysm and Deathwing’s return. But expansion was also the place I first encountered the toxic elitism that online games are often known for, and I think this was what turned me way from the expansion more than anything.

Because of my experience with Cataclysm the announcement of Mist of Pandaria didn’t do anything for me and I had no any interest in Pandaria until the WoW team announced that players would finally begin dealing with Garrosh Hellscream. The fact that as players we would be preparing for a rebellion against a faction leader was such a great idea to me, so I bought Mists and never looked back. In fact I enjoyed the time I spent playing Mists of Pandaria and as I had moved out to live with friends it was also the first expansion where I actually had the time to raid, and progress through the expansion.

When Warlords of Draenor was announced, I had never been more excited to play a WoW expansion. We were actually getting the chance to go back in Time and see Outland before its destruction, and see a bunch of famous characters from the history of Warcraft. For the first couple of months Warlords was fantastic. Leveling was the best it had ever been, and progressing through dungeons to get the gear required to start raiding felt good as well. The problems began when people realised that they were spending all of their time in their garrisons, making sure work orders had been placed, that their herbs had been picked, and their mine had been picked clean. As a result of this the world outside of the garrison felt empty, and players began to encounter fewer and fewer other people out in the world. For example when leveling my Mage to 100 recently, I saw maybe a dozen other players when questing in the world, in the 7 hours that are levels 90 to 100.

However it is clear that Blizzard has me hooked into their Warcraft universe, as the announcement of Legion has me as excited as I was for Warlords of Draenor. All they did is announce that Illidan is returning and Demon Hunters are the new class and I’m sold. The fact that we will all be getting lore important weapons is also exciting. I just can’t wait to wield the Ashbringer on my Retribution Paladin.

I hope that legion fixes the problems that the game had in Warlords. I don’t wasn’t to be stuck in a garrison the whole expansion, and I want the world to feel full of life because other people aren’t stuck in their garrisons.

From what I have read and watched about legion so far it seems that Blizzard is well on their way to fixing these problems. Garrisons have become Class Order halls, which are supposed to be an area for people of the same class to congregate. Instead of your character being the top hero of the world like you were as the garrison commander in Warlords, this time around you are the leader of your class instead. This is a small step back, but to some people who are heavily into the lore it is a nice addition that focuses the story on multiple characters like a massively multiplayer game should.

Like any expansion to a beloved game it is hard to see exactly how well Legion will do. I hope that it will be a return to form for Blizzard, and if they do run into any problems they are able to quickly fix them. My final hope for legion is that Blizzard fixes their content schedule, as for Mists of Pandaria, and especially Warlords of Draenor the game has been stuck on the final patch for far too long, people just get bored and feel like the game they love is being ignored.

Here’s hoping that Legion is the expansion that we fans hope it will be, as it will be great to get back into a game that we have been playing for over ten years. We have put so much time and effort in to this world, we want it to be good, we want to love this game and once again have hours of fun playing it.