General Critiques

“Making content is HARD”

Since Destiny 2 has been released, Bungie has been underusing content that by and large they’ve already made. It’s a pretty well known secret that most of the content that made up Destiny 2’s initial launch and Year 1 DLC drops isn’t really anything actually new, but instead content that was planned for Destiny 1.

They’re carving up a corpse and serving it to us, usually erring farther and farther from the originally written plan, which is extremely unfortunate, given that Joseph Staten and the writers under him, did a better job than the newer writers, but I don’t really want to talk about that so much as I want anyone who reads this to understand that before I move forward.

This is Better Devils. It’s a handcannon, of course, and also it should be easily recognizable as this handcannon is actually on the cover of Destiny 2’s deluxe edition when it initially launched.

Why is that a big deal? If you played through Year 1, then you’re probably quite familiar with the five times this gun came in five different ‘skins’ counting Better Devils itself. We have the Steady Hand, the True Prophecy, the Service Revolver, and the Living Memory. Now, this isn’t the only gun that was reskinned several times for Destiny 2, there’s several others, but after the community accused Bungie of reskinning guns again and again, we got this.

That gun is the receiver of a Klashnikov-style rifle melded with the lower receiver of an AR-10-style rifle, and a revolver’s cylindrical magazine thrown somewhere in the center of it. There’s also a series of other weapons to go along with this, as this was the first Nightfall specific drop, and they are all equally Frankenguns, made up with much the same parts. It’s the result of Bungie receiving the demand to “make something new,” for their guns.

Now, I’m going to offer a slightly different opinion: the fact that guns were reskinned and spoon fed to the player over the course of Destiny 2’s Year 1 is still not a “good,” thing, but I would like to make the point that there’s several different weapon models Bungie has already made that are fairly unique and speak to more of an under-usage of existing content.

This is one of the very few examples we have in-game of a non-Suros, non-Veist weapon. It’s the same handcannon that’s used as a basis for the Ace of Spades and the Last Word along with it. In Destiny lore, it’s most likely a Tex Mechanica gun – guns which we only see in exotic format. But this guy? It’s an uncommon drop.

If you’ve played Destiny, it goes without saying that blue and green weapons and armor are essentially only there to help you level your light level until you reach the real core of the progression cycle. They’re starter guns, and when you start to move past those, you’ll find yourself in a position where only Legendary and Exotic weapons really matter.

Of course, there’s a handful of exceptions with the way Destiny 2 Year 1 was ran, but we don’t talk about that aspect of the Dark Ages here, except to let those know who weren’t there for it, that it was actually a fairly common occurrence for a ‘blue’ gun to be better than some of the Legendaries and Exotics Bungie had given players over the course of Year 1.

So, imagine a scenario where instead of reskinning the same gun five times, Bungie had instead taken a number of different gun models they already had that were not yet introduced into Destiny 2 as Legendaries yet, and reskinned them a fewer number of times, say two or three times at most.

And what if we extended this to armor: a good portion of Destiny 2’s armor can actually look decent and form a, not necessarily matching set, but can blend nicely. Unfortunately, again, there’s a lot of stylistic choices that are left behind for Titans and Hunters as they move from Uncommons and Rares into Legendary pieces of gear and above. Warlocks aren’t particularly helped by this, and that issue is rearing its head today. Poor space nerds can’t even play dress-up as well as the rest of us.

Hell, even though players may be into Legendary gear today with Shadowkeep, it’s very easy for any gear which a player might find aesthetically pleasing to need to be thrown to the wayside due to the new stat system. Sure, there’s the universal ornament system, but I don’t think I need to say that Bungie is currently trying to keep said system retarded so that if the player wants nice looking gear, they’ll have to look to Eververse in order to obtain said gear.

What I do need to say, is that it wouldn’t take more effort for Bungie to have done a better job than what they’ve done so far. The issue is where they’ve placed their effort and how they’ve chosen to go about doing things. And they are getting better; we are seeing more and more armor sets and weapons from Destiny 1 which, while it may be retreading the old, is still for Destiny 2, and most importantly for PC players, introducing things which Destiny 2 simply doesn’t have, and broadening the aesthetic variety is something that Bungie could have done – they just, chose not to.

After players broke the faction system for about the second (or was it third?) time in a row, Bungie entirely disabled that, and they still to this day haven’t gone and brought back factions. They don’t have to be an ‘event,’ quite frankly if they were just a reward layer that existed on top of the game’s extremely anemic, preexisting reward layers, the activities which were added to patrol areas helped them feel more alive, which is something that can’t really be said today about any patrol area. They’re all extremely robotic: uncanny valley of an open world, where at best, the few NPCs we ever see on the frontier are usually just standing around, not actively doing anything.

And don’t even get me started on story lines and dialogue that Bungie is underusing. If you’ve played through a number of strikes on Nessus, you’ve probably noticed Failsafe actually has three different voices: her normal voice, her extra voice, and a third, more robotic, arguably far more stable which is clearly between the two in terms of tone, inflection, and attitude. The latter of these voices almost suggests a repaired, or at the very least, more functional Failsafe, exists. How this comes about, however, is not clearly determinable and unfortunately isn’t an evolution of the story from the player’s actions doing Adventure or Quest activities on Nessus.

What I’m really saying is, the content for Destiny 2 is largely already made and a great portion of it underused. The problem is whether or not Bungie’s going to serve it to us, and when. For the most part, all their deliveries have been pretty cold, and even if we’re hungry cannibals for the corpse of the original conception of Destiny, it’s undoubtedly mostly Bungie’s own fault their game hasn’t succeeded far more than it has – Activision may certainly be blamed for the damage done to Destiny 1, but Destiny 2 is a creation that now is wholly Bungie’s own. So, we’ll see, whatever does happen.

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