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Home / Technology / The endless Destiny 2 controversy is a teachable moment for the gaming industry

The endless Destiny 2 controversy is a teachable moment for the gaming industry

Bungie's latest and most significant attempt to address complaints from vocal players around Destiny 2 landed on Tuesday, just over six months after the game's first launch. And yet, in just a few days, the noisy community has regressed to its former state of almost endless indignation. The update, which was called "Go Fast" update to handle complaints about speed and competitive intensity, made a number of big changes in the performance of certain firearms and in the effectiveness and frequency of sci-fi superpowers of the game could, among other things important gameplay changes are made.

But the end result is a similar degree of frustration from players who feel that Bungie is not going far enough and, more importantly, that players' expectations continue to be misinterpreted. At this point Destiny 2 feels chained by its own fundamental design decisions that are almost impossible to uproot and change without a complete restart of the title in the style of the infamous overhaul of Square Enix Final Fantasy XIV . Players want Bungie to return the game to the state it was in during the height of the original Destiny an unlikely event for a studio that has just begun investigating its most critical missteps , These range from a lack of meaningful in-game activities and blatant rewards to a sluggish and uninspired weapon system.

Of course, "video game players" crazy about video game "is not exactly a novel narrative, and it certainly is not specific to games like Destiny 2 But what makes Bungie's endeavors so interesting with the continuation of his shooter / MMO hybrid is how educational it is for the rest of the gaming industry Today, many video games are being developed as enduring, ever evolving products through extensions, Updates and patches can be changed in a subtle and drastic way after launch. Watch Epic Games & # 39; Fortnite a game that has responded to an industry trend over the last year and has since become one worldwide phenomenon has also developed, thanks also to a breakneck and creatively radical update cycle.

But what if the game maker at the highest possible level misunderstands what players really want, and does not listen to or trust these players when they verbalize these demands? No amount of nimble iteration or cool new features can bridge a gap of trust. And that's exactly what Bungie seems to be suffering from today. A player base that almost does not believe that the company has the best interests of the game wants to act accordingly in good faith.

We do not know how much money Destiny 2 earns or how many people play it every day or month. Bungie will not tell, and it could be that the game is healthy and sales from the Eververse Store are flowing in the game. But even from a fleeting community snapshot, players are unhappy and the game feels like it's on the way to becoming unsaved. Bungie recognizes this and the members of the development team became increasingly open-hearted, almost sardonic, in interviews in front of the camera. Sandbox design leader Josh Hamrick described the team's philosophy today with the phrase, "What's the worst thing that can happen?" In a YouTube release of the "Go Fast" update earlier this week.

So, how did we get here and how did we miss the warning signs?

Image: Bungie

Since Destiny 2 in September last year the narrative for the title [19659010] has shifted dramatically and so frequently that Bungie often could not keep up. But from the beginning it focuses on players who want a hardcore experience similar to Destiny 1 and yet Bungie delivers a watered down, simplified version of that experience. Each time the company is in controversy, the developer is committed to hearing more feedback through a changing public voice. But Bungie has taken months to meet the players' demands and try to fix the missing fun factor of the game – the central problem at its core.

For so many of these unfulfilled changes that can be made to players who do not understand the basics of game development, there is an equal number of seemingly simple, philanthropic homeruns that Bungie could not have made much earlier, yet inexplicable. For example, why did it take Bungie six months to deliver a free "Rumble" playlist for the competitive Crucible multiplayer mode? Why did it take just as much time to make the necessary "sandbox" changes that determine the speed and variety of game styles that the game invites to counter the fact that almost everyone has the same tiny weapons, armor and skills?

There's still a wish list that players can continue to put, and Bungie needs months to get it next to the next big content drop in May and even one deliver larger scheduled for September. It's a big question to get the studio to revise the game's overall design and mechanical framework while offering new activities. But players want nothing less than a miracle to save what many have considered their most important pastime.

But what we're really discussing here is not the specific changes that Bungie would make to "fix" the game, whatever that means, or really, where it went wrong and how. (The two-primary weapons system is likely to be a culprit for the latter investigation, alongside a game design philosophy stubbornly rooted in simplicity at any cost.) We're talking about a game developer who misunderstood what the players were from the start just wanted to find out later that it has made almost fatal mistakes. Many of the changes Bungie outlined earlier this year in a development roadmap include the implementation of features that the original game enjoyed, but which were removed from the sequel.

What critics, players, and even the game makers themselves took a step in the right direction were in fact almost several steps back in the almost Gladwellian manner. We could not see it either before or during the start. When I reviewed Destiny 2 in September I said that it was all the fans had been asking for. I sincerely believe there were planetary expressions, a milestone system for simplified progression and a more balanced and team-based, competitive multiplayer mode. All we thought Destiny 2 needed – less one-hit kill-combat in multiplayer, less frustrating systems for managing resources and driving your character, fewer random loot failures – it turned out that that Life of the original player. 19659010]

Photo: Bungie

Destiny 2 has been a counterintuitive failure for more than half a year, whose reality brings many thousands of player hours into a coherent picture of dissatisfaction and unfulfilled expectations. Sure, some players have called it earlier than others, and frustrations bubbled up just weeks after launch. But only in the December expansion Curse of Osiris did it feel as if the game had entered an irreversible downward spiral.

As a rather farsighted fanatic wrote to Reddit in December, Bungie simply reacted wrongly to the right questions, going too far in some respects and not far enough in others. "While I read many of the topics in this subsection discussing the problems of people with Destiny 2, I have come to realize that many of the drastic changes that Bungie has made are the direct result of discomfort throughout the life of Destiny 1 were made] "Wrote the user. "A lot to which I contributed, I participated in discussions and complained about many of the things that Bungie had tried to address in D2 to find the balance between casual and hardcore players. "Players can take some of the blame here Bungie, to move in all directions at once, the developer bears the stricter responsibility to find out what makes the game successful and fun, and then figure out how these aspects of the game can be improved for everyone.

Destiny 2 has become a telling example of how a game maker can overestimate its ability to deliver something that millions of people enjoy without depth You can talk to these players without listening to or trusting in the community when their members say they are unhappy. The biggest flaw of the Games-as-Services shift in the industry over the past 50 years or so is that a developer may create a game with problems that can not fix smaller and even large updates product as conflicting with What players want is that no amount of tweaking will fix their image in their eyes. And because of the nature of the product, this situation may only become apparent to everyone involved months after the launch.

The most successful game-like platforms today, such as Fortnite and Blizzard's Overwatch do not simply iterate quickly, take risks and do so while providing comprehensive communication with players. The developers of these games at a basic level also understand what players want and how to give them. You can not respond appropriately to player feedback when you are not on the same page.

Bungie has the resources and time to repair Destiny 2 though it will most likely happen later when the more expensive September expansion, which mirrors the 2015 King of the Possessed will fall this year. Weathering the storm by then will not be pleasant, but the beauty of games like Destiny is that they are never static. They can always turn into something else. Bungie's team must be willing to let go of what they wanted and focus on what made the original game so good. To find the answer, it is only a question of attuning to the community and listening to what they have to say.

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