Something unexpected happened last week: while texting a friend back and forth per-usual around mid-afternoon on Wednesday, Bungie dropped the announcement of Destiny 2’s roadmap going forward. It had been updated with both Seasons 3 and 4 firmly laid out and there is promise of even more to come as Destiny 2 gets closer to its second expansion The Warmind. There’s only one problem: who cares?
Why bring up the friend in the opening? To use as the perfect example of how far Destiny 2 and the name in general has fallen. For him, Destiny has been the game, nothing can compare in hours spent within the universe of Destiny. He was (keyword: was) one of those players that just loved every single aspect of Destiny even if people would rag on it. He wanted to play Destiny for himself and others, he loved introducing it to new people and helping any Guardian that needed it. He is the fan that will stick around a game world for years through thick and thin, unless that connection gets so threaded it becomes a tangled mess. Of course, he’s smart and he agreed wholeheartedly with many of Destiny’s woes as I ranted and raved my way through them while blasting aliens together. That’s the trick though, isn’t it? Destiny has always been good blasting aliens in the face while socializing in whatever with pals new or old.
Fast forward to Destiny 2 and we were at it again. This time, though, after a breezy campaign with all the stakes thrown out the window at the last-minute Gal making his final “ARRRGGGG,” a different feeling crept over us that we couldn’t figure it out at the time. Turns out it was the shadow of Destiny 2 looming over us in full view now that the campaign was out of the way. What was left? The grind…go get those coins, Guardian. And so, like hamsters on a wheel, we played through the rest of Destiny 2’s content and had a good time doing it, but still that shadow was ever present. Eventually the bearings on the axle where already showing signs of wear because what Bungie and Activision had really done is slap a new coat of paint on a beat-up jalopy and call it a day; it didn’t even come with the original parts.
The text I received from him in response to Destiny 2’s roadmap update and announcement of the Warmind was telling to say the least. “No new story content, though?” was his only response. A simple question that perfectly captured everything Destiny 2 has failed to deliver on. Here was one of the most hardcore players of Destiny I knew; a guy who loved the game because it was the game, completely unimpressed and oblivious to the plan Bungie has laid out. Bungie, you’re losing them, but you already knew that. On the surface of the question he is asking for new story content, that spice that makes the game taste interesting and complex that will lead to more interesting things like weapons, maps and activities. The story of the Warminds in the mythos of Destiny are popular and known; some of our favorite missions together in Destiny were exploring the old Warmind facilities on earth during the last expansion. Another layer is the want for more information. It’s great Bungie is laying out a roadmap, but they might have screwed the pooch so bad on Destiny 2 that they’re not only going to have to be transparent, but play with an open hand.
This is all going off one fan, of course, but it’s the personal relationship that makes it mean more. It can be read all day online about how Destiny 2 has been in a nose dive with players jumping out faster than landing in one of those hot-new Battle Royal games everyone is talking about. That’s what makes it speak louder, though: when someone directly in your life is confronting you with the problem, because at the end of the day, Destiny 2 is social. More than anyone else we want to play with the people that mean the most to us when playing together. And here the person I looked to for response to all things Destiny was just as clueless as I felt. Sure, the Warmind is coming, but why care?
As per usual Bungie offered up only a still image with the title Warmind across the center, but it feels about as hollow as a piñata without the candy. Going forward this line of announcement might be something to steer clear of — why not introduce the next expansion with a bang? Give us a trailer that gets Guardians excited immediately. Bungie needs to desperately grab players attention and with so many other AAA titles coming out and new styles of play being fawned over by larger crowds, Bungie has a lot of catching up to do. Destiny isn’t just behind in the race, they are in the dust and those who’ve stuck around are starting to lose their way due to all the debris.