OK, maybe I was wrong about Destiny 2

[UPDATE] Playstation Blog just published a good Destiny 2 post. One thing I haven’t seen mentioned:

Class Abilities: A new, third rechargeable icon next to your melee and grenade. Warlocks can hold circle to create a small rift on the ground that either heals or empowers allies. Hunters get a dodge ability (a la Shadestep, but on a cooldown) that will refill your melee charge if used near enemies. Titans can create a small barrier in front of them to protect themselves and teammates. As this barrier takes damage, it displays a cool �shattering� effect so you can tell at a glance how close it is to breaking.

[Original Post Follows]

I have been pretty strongly anti-Destiny 2 for the past few months, but after today’s reveal event I’m having second thoughts. I may have been — likely was — wrong about the direction Bungie is taking the new game.

First let me set the stage. I LOVED Destiny when it came out. I loved it when everyone was hating on it for not having a story and all that. And when The Taken King came out, I was pretty happy..for a while. But then it seemed to me like Bungie was really emphasizing the PvP (Crucible) content and the end-game Raids, and they were kind of leaving solo players behind. I assumed, now that everything is esports and games-as-a-service, that the company would really lean-into those two pillars in Destiny 2, and any single player content would be more or less an afterthought.

But assuming we take everything we learned from the stream today at face value, I was wrong. First we learned that there are Bungie team members who prefer playing solo. Yay! And they talked about how exploring the worlds being a much bigger part of Destiny 2. There will be more to do on planets than the campaign quests and patrols, though the details of what these additional features entail are a little vague. But adding “Adventures” sounds like a good thing. Announcing ahead of time world events so you have time to get to them? Also a good thing. Hidden areas that sounded a bit like The Elder Scrolls Online’s delves (areas that contain a loot chest with a boss to hold the key) — that sounds good too.

Of course Destiny 2 will still have Crucible PvP, 6-man Raids and 3-man Strikes, so we’re not losing anything. The additional solo content is additive. Everyone should be happy and I’m back on board.

I’m less sure about Guided Gaming which is a fancy name for their matchmaking. Destiny 2 will have proper clan support. The idea behind Guided Gaming (maybe Guided Games? Forgive me if I have the name wrong) is that if you’re solo you can rent yourself out to a clan that has a slot to fill. I guess the idea is that instead of 6 random people joining together to do a raid, it’ll be 5 people from a clan and 1 random person. Or maybe 4 people from a clan and 2 randoms. The argument being, I guess, that if at least 4 or 5 of the players know each other there’ll be less chaos and more group cohesion (when compared to a group of complete strangers).

I understand the logic, but wow, do I ever find that even more intimidating than joining a random group. At least when you join a random group everyone is a peer. But if I join a group consisting of 5 people who know each other and game together regularly, I don’t see any way I’m not going to feel like the 6th wheel.

It’s an academic point for me because I’m too old and sucky at shooters to ever inflict myself on a group, but it’ll be interesting to see how this all works out. I guess I have to applaud Bungie for trying something new. They freely admit that they’re trying to do something about the frequently toxic environments brought about by matchmaking. The one silver lining for me is that as the solo player, you don’t just get tossed in with a clan group. Instead you choose them, and you can browse the clans that are looking for an extra player. You see the clan name, emblem and a brief description. Who knows, maybe I’ll find a clan with the description of “People too old to be any good at shooters looking for same” clan. Then I will have found my home. 🙂

Here’s the stream, in case you missed it: