Destiny 2 is spoiling us.
The game right now is a three-layer amaze cake drizzled in awesome sauce and served with a backrub and a glass of bourbon. It’s hard to think that Bungie can keep up this kind of momentum and fan service for too much longer, never mind forever. I hope I’m wrong, of course, and I’m choosing to be cautiously optimistic.
The season so far…
In less than a month, Destiny 2 has given players a new patrol zone, multiple exotic quests, loot, the Vex Offensive, two new strikes, a raid, a new dungeon, a whole new leveling mechanic, updates to the Crucible quality of life changes and a seasonal event. If that weren’t enough, Bungie quietly dropped in the new Altars of Sorrow public event; the new favorite thing we didn’t even know we were getting. And, to be honest, I might be missing something. It’s an embarrassment of riches right now. For the unwashed and unworthy among us who kept playing through the days of lackluster content, it’s the prize on which we were told to keep our eyes.
When they said, “Just wait, it’ll get better,” this is what they were talking about, and, now, it has become as close to the game we were promised as it ever was. The Tuesday reset is no longer an afterthought, but an appointment. Those of us anchored by day jobs are now constantly keeping our eyes on Reddit or Twitter to see what new quests and activities await us when we can next log in.
Bungie, you up?
We’re in a situation with Destiny at the moment like those early days of a new relationship. The days when one person overwhelms the other with gifts and praise and favors. You get used to it and take comfort in the notion that things will always be this way. But, that kind of intensity can’t be maintained and, when it starts to trail off, and those cute texts and check-ins trail off, resentment can sometimes set in.
In this post-Shadowkeep world in which we’re living, Destiny 2 is writing a check that it can’t possibly cover and that bill is going to come due soon. We’ve gotten used to the way things are now, and, in doing so, might be setting ourselves up for disappointment.
Consider a few things:
This season is already a couple of weeks shorter than future seasons due to the rescheduled release of Shadowkeep. The original plan likely called for this content to be released over a longer period of time. In the future, don’t necessarily expect massive content dumps like we saw on Oct. 29. The next season will be the first truly stand-alone season since the launch of the new season pass system. It won’t have the benefit of being able to ride in on the back of an expansion the way Season of the Undying has. There’s content that’s dropping as part of Shadowkeep, the season pass and the Festival of the Lost seasonal event. The lines between what comes with which sometimes get blurred.
It remains to be seen how much playable content a season will carry on its own. Third, there are still a lot of questions about how power levels will work going forward. This includes how current pinnacle activities at 980 will be affected. The quality and reward of the grind will be key in keeping players from either feeling their time is wasted or that the most rewarding activities will remain out of reach for all but the most hardcore players.
The bright road ahead
Presumably, next season will focus on solar abilities across all the character classes. Solar classes have been ignored for the last two seasons and are due. I’ve never been a big fan of the solar subclasses in general (I like purple, sue me). Based on this season, I’m confident Bungie will find ways to make those classes interesting and viable for Destiny 2‘s current meta. These aren’t complaints they’re merely concerns that Bungie has been overwhelmingly good to us. So good, they might be unwittingly setting us up for future disappointment. Some of that responsibility is on us, the players. We need to avoid setting our expectations too high or overlook the benefits of this season. It’s important to enjoy the moment even if future ones don’t quite hit this high of mark.
Bungie has given us a look at what it can do when it is literally in control of its destiny. I can’t wait to see where they take it from here.