Back in May 2017, months before the launch of “Destiny 2,” I spoke to the game’s director Luke Smith at length about “unhiding the fun,” a phrase he continually used to describe the upcoming sequel to “Destiny.”
Smith’s “unhiding the fun” mantra was an allusion to the first game, where players felt like too many features stood in the way of having fun: from simple things, like not being able to see where you are on a giant map of a planet, to how you’d need to visit third-party websites to find other people to play with. “Destiny 2″ was an attempt to destroy those barriers between players and the game they wanted to play.”
Over a year later, Smith’s goal to “unhide the fun” was only somewhat successful.
“Destiny 2” stumbled out the gate when it launched to the public, and needed a full year to fix some of its biggest issues that kept players away. The massive “Forsaken” update in September has been a definite improvement, as it offers plenty of new incentives for players to return to the game, but there are five specific aspects of the game that stand between players and having more fun.
The game takes an incredibly long time to load.
This is probably the biggest issue with the game right now: It performs terribly on consoles.
This doesn’t seem to be an issue for PC players, but since the launch of “Forsaken” in September, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One players (myself included) have noticed considerably longer load times — whether you’re flying to a planet, matchmaking with other players for activities like the Crucible, or even just opening your inventory, which you’ll do constantly.
Even engrams, which are encrypted items that drop in the game as random rewards, cause considerable lag and slowdown on consoles when they pop out of enemies. I’m spending far too much time in loading screens instead of actually playing the game.
“Shaders,” one of the best parts of the first “Destiny” game, are still a major headache in “Destiny 2.”
Shaders basically let you change the color of your character.
In “Destiny 1,” you could use shaders as often as you’d like. In “Destiny 2,” shaders became consumable items, which meant you couldn’t change your character’s colors on the fly unless you collect enough of the colors you want.
Also, there aren’t enough slots in your inventory for all of the shaders in “Destiny 2,” which means you’re constantly deleting old shaders to make room for new ones. And though you can “recycle” 5 shaders at a time with a certain in-game vendor, there’s no system for deleting shaders in massive batches: Most players have dozens of each kind of shader, and deleting one at a time takes far too long.
Bungie should go back to how shaders worked in the first “Destiny” game, where they had unlimited uses. This would make the game far more fun, as I’d spend less time deleting shaders, or worrying if I have enough of a certain shader, and more time actually using them.
Bounties are fun, but getting them is a chore.
“Destiny 2” initially killed the “bounties” feature from the first game, which gave you some small rewards in return for completing specific tasks, like killing a certain number of enemies during a strike.
But “Destiny 2” re-added bounties recently, and while more rewards are a good thing, you have to visit certain locations on different planets to pick up all of the available bounties — and since so many bounties reset after a day, you’ll be visiting these planets a lot even before you can start actually playing.
This is made worse by the long loading times in “Destiny 2.” Bungie should give players a way to pick up bounties without having to visit different physical locations to get all of them; either put them all in one physical location, or let people pick up bounties on their ships, while they’re waiting for activities to start.