Destiny can learn from Halo 5

halo 5 destinyDestiny and its PVP mode have been a topic of discussion on my blog and YouTube channel with some regularity. I highlighted the infamous pie chart that showed low PVP engagement numbers and confirms what many people have thought about Destiny’s PVP since launch: it’s not very fun, balanced, or worth playing at any length. Then I talked about how Bungie attempted to incentivize higher engagement with the PVP side of the game by putting all of the best weapons in The Trials of Osiris in the House of Wolves. I’m fairly confident that the Trials of Osiris has failed to garner any resurgence or increase level of interest in Destiny’s PVP, and the new game mode Mayhem is likely proof of that. It’s clear that Bungie is trying to appeal to the more casual players by creating a game mode that will be a constant barrage of action with the quick refreshing supers. The danger with this approach is the same misstep that both Call of Duty and Battlefield have made which is an effort to increase accessibility that dilutes your game and makes it unappealing to your most loyal fans. Hardcore fans of Destiny’s PVP will probably find the shrunken skill gap of the Mayhem game mode very unappealing as lesser skilled players will get lots of easy kills, and casual players will probably find it repetitive and boring in light of their lack of engagement with PVP up to this point. So what can Halo 5 teach Destiny? Continue reading

Destiny has an identity crisis: Destiny vs Destiny

DestinyMuch blood has been spilled over Destiny’s empty campaign, removed content sold as DLC, and numerous promised features that are absent from the game. I think, however, there is a deeper and more foundational problem that will continue to frustrate both the efforts of Bungie as well as the community. The game, at its core, has a split identity. Now, to be fair, many games have two identities and do quite well. Both Call of Duty and Battlefield have a campaign identity and a multiplayer identity. The problem for Destiny is that the two identities are incredibly distinct and yet are largely pitted against each other. The reason for this is because Bungie has attempted to meld the two, with significant overlap between them, allowing players to take weapons and gear found and upgraded in the PVE portion of the game into the player versus player arena. This is why, I believe, both the game and the community are on a path to an inevitable and potentially irreversible dissipation. Continue reading