Destiny 2 Wants To Get Closer To Lone Wolfs - That's Me!
I had very high expectations for the original Destiny. Being a long-running Halo fan, I was eagerly waiting for Bungie to embark on a brand new quest that could finally unleash the studio's full potential outside of the already, and maybe too much established Master Chief saga. And that quest proved to be a pretty exciting one, even a bit different from what I was expecting them to produce at their first multi-platform release.
With Bungie working on a new title, I was waiting for another story-based universe with a proper PvP component, that could prove to be a serious co-op game as Halo was in the first place, but nothing more -- if that could be considered "nothing". Instead, Destiny revealed being a proper console MMO, with the disappointing story at least upon day one and in the so-called Vanilla build. It took quite some time to get a somehow interesting narrative component indeed.
Anyway, it took me some time in order to "accept" the new Bungie and the way it was working to Destiny as something completely different from what Halo was back in the days, but when I did, I happened to meet something even more disappointing -- I was alone. Those days I spent most of my gaming time playing on Xbox One, but I got PS4 promo copy and really had none of my friends playing Destiny on Sony's console.
While in the early days it didn't look so important, as the game's story progressed and high-end challenges started popping up it felt more and more relevant to have a clan/friends you could help and who could ultimately help you complete the iconic strikes and raids (Crota, Onyx, and so on). Basically, I was ruled out of these modes, those modes that were really defining what the core Destiny experience was, and I learn about the 50% of Destiny players have been in the same situation.
This is the main reason why I enjoyed more The Division than Destiny, despite the first being much more derivative, almost a real world base clone, in comparison of the latter. Matchmaking helped me playing all the kinds of challenges the developers were able to offer throughout the lifecycle of the Tom Clancy's latest MMOFPS effort: raids, bosses, farming Phoenix credits, and more, basically because the community was always there at my disposal to help and being helped.
Sure, having friends was much, much helpful when it came to raids, since completing those required and still requires a strategy to be built up and followed step by step, without making any mistakes along the road. Enemies as bullet receptive as sponges, and capable of bringing you down with one shot or almost, maps you need to learn in order to get to the best spot to survive and do harm, and so on... But at least I managed to play and complete them, something I couldn't do in Destiny, never.
Bungie seems to have understood that, that they need to extend the pool of players enjoying the endgame modes and activities, and with Destiny 2 it looks like they're making several steps into clearing this new mission. This is why they added Guided Games, a new tool that allows you to navigate through the clans and see who needs a sixth component to complete a specific in-game activity. You're not forced to join them until the end of time and can check what they are like before you embark on their quest - which is definitely yours, too.
“You can open up your party to new players who are looking to play with you,” said social lead M.E. Chung about the new feature. On top of that, Bungie is making clans an official in-game tool, too, which means you are not required anymore to get to your smartphone/tablet or computer in order to reach the official website and manage yours over there. On PC, PS4 and Xbox One you will be able to manage your clan and customize it (like banners and stuff) without getting out of the game.
In my opinion, while it could look a minor addition to the sequel, it's perhaps the most important among those that were revealed yesterday. Or, at least, this is the one that will definitely make Destiny 2 closer to me and to the way I play -- without too many friends out there, without the necessity to be too talkative, and so on. This is the way I played The Division and it was satisfying for 1+ year, and if I get the same outcome here I will only be an enthusiast.
Among other stuff the Seattle developer revealed during the gameplay presentation, sure enough, it's very relevant that they're adding new kinds of activities outside of the simple patrols. Lost Sectors will make it meaningful to explore over and over again areas of the game in order to access special chests, with special loot, by beating the boss protecting them and grabbing their keys. Moreover, Adventures are going to be true side-quests like those you play in role-playing games, and public events are also getting Heroic objectives for you to complete.
So yes, Bungie is not making anything groundbreaking, basically because it wasn't required to do that. They needed to offer a meaningful storyline from day one, and that's hopefully happening after the debacle of the Vanilla version of the original Destiny; give players tools to play together and make new friends if they want to; adding new activities that could make the experience less repetitive on the mid and long run. That's enough for me, and it could be for at least 1+ year.