I’m sitting in a testing room at Bungie, eager to get my hands on the new Destiny 2 Curse of Osiris content, when it hits me. The team responsible for this expansion is not the team that will save Destiny 2. This is not the team that will make the crucial changes needed to better reward the hardcore players and give incentive for repeat play. This is a team that is telling a new story, adding new adventures, and bringing a whole new patrol location. And yet it’s not enough.
What I played a couple weeks ago at Bungie’s studio was fun. After all, I don’t think I ever won’t be excited for new Destiny content. And lack of new content isn’t really Curse of Osiris’ issue. Bungie’s problem right now is in trying to build this new content on a crumbling foundation that many players have found themselves unhappy with. Curse of Osiris is set within the constraints of the Destiny 2 that we currently know, and is simply new content added to a frustrating and reward averse system.
They’ve propped up the new content so much by separating it into three different streams, a progressive reveal to ramp up the hype in the weeks leading to Curse of Osiris’ release. And yet, if the threads on the Destiny Reddit are anything to go by, the first expansion is hardly exciting anyone. A fresh campaign isn’t much of a concession when you feel like Crucible isn’t fun. A massive new public event is fine, until you realize that it doesn’t change how unrewarding the Raid is to do each week. New Crucible maps, Adventures, a Raid Lair, and gear are great for a short time, but Curse of Osiris will be dissolved into the greater Destiny 2 experience, and right now, that greater experience needs some improvement.
The Live Team Will Save Us
Chris Barrett and the live team have already talked about a number of changes they are looking to make in order to address player feedback and change the endgame. We know these changes are coming, but I can’t help but feel like Bungie is putting their focus in the wrong places. Three hour-long streams to highlight the new content in Curse of Osiris is overload. They need to provide a much stronger focus on how the live team seeks to patch up the existing game.
The second live stream was host to a particularly embarrassing moment. Community Manager Deej was setting up the new public event on Mercury to be big, saying that it is the “most rewarding public event ever.” Two chests spawn on completion, one rewarding a single token, and the other rewarding one token and a blue piece of gear. Two tokens and a piece of gear that’s going to get dismantled immediately is the result of the most rewarding public event ever? The community had a good laugh about that one.
Forget a new campaign that will take players under three hours to run through. Forget a new patrol location and the biggest public event ever. Forget the possibilities of the Infinite Forest. The Destiny experience is not made by its content, but by the ability to meaningfully reward players and keep them coming back. By giving them something to chase. People aren’t upset about how Curse of Osiris looks. They are upset about how Curse of Osiris looks in context with the Destiny experience as we know it. Right now, that’s not the strongest canvas to paint a picture of Mercury on.
Blinded by the Light
To have three streams that focus entirely on the new content without a hint of changes coming to the wider experience almost seems like a distraction. I’ve played Destiny 2 for more than 200 hours, and I’d rather discover the new content for myself than see every single piece of gear and half of the story revealed on a live stream. What I want Bungie to communicate is the changes that will be coming. Sit down with Chris Barrett and members of the live team. Tell the community that you hear their feedback. Tell them how you are looking at that feedback and what changes you are trying to make.
Destiny 2 is filled with great content, content that I and many others want a reason to play. More Destiny 2 content is welcome with Curse of Osiris, but the community can’t help but feel it will just be more “stuff” crippled by a poor and unrewarding endgame chase. They want more information on sandbox changes coming in Season Two. They want to know how activities like Strikes, Adventures, Lost Sectors, and Raids will become more rewarding. They want Osiris to come with not only new content of his own, but with changes to the existing Destiny 2 experience.
I need to be clear that problem doesn’t lie with the Curse of Osiris development team. They’ve done a great job with the first expansion, one that will be coming just three short months after Destiny 2’s initial launch. Bungie needs to remember that while the development of Destiny 2 may be fragmented between various groups such as the content teams and the live team, the community sees the final combined result. Giving the Destiny community insight into new content while not addressing their feedback about the current experience is more damaging than helpful, even if those changes are eventually coming.