There have been a lot of criticisms about this game, but chief among them that I've found is the very sterile way in which Bungie treats its playerbase, and engages with them. From a PR standpoint this makes sense... But that sort of conventional thinking is quite frankly outdated.
The reactive nature in which Bungie has addressed community concerns is being outpaced by new issues that arise, and so it's an endless game of catching up to what people want after the fact. This is where the Public Test Realm, or PTR comes in.(Or Public Test Environment, Server, Papa Osiris' Sandland Funville, whatever.)
Having something of this nature would allow for players to do additional QA testing, and give feedback on content that is under development, or in the later stages of development, before it is released live. Because when that happens, and it is happening right now, it is a saltmine of issues that we have to react to, then Bungie interprets, goes back to their enclave to have meetings and design, and [i]finally [/i]answers once they've already been largely done working on what [i]they [/i]think is the fix.
Luke Smith in the recent podcast said saying and doing are two different things; he's right, but he's making this a two-step process. Instead of recieving, confirming, [b]then[/b] fixing, it is simply recieving, then fixing in Bungie's best approximation of the problem.
This is not good communication.
It is also one of the reasons people are so frustrated with their communication style, from what I've seen.(Maybe someone's personal experience differs; that's fair, but I've been reading the same things over the span of weeks now from different people about this. There's a pattern.)
The Division is a very similar game, and it launched terribly, and was flat-out not that great. However, Massive decided to really take seriously the community and start work on improving things. They have. One of these things was a test environment, because players asked for it, and it allowed problems to be caught or criticisms and feedback to be recieved before the final product went live.
Obviously other games do this too, and most MMOs worth their salt do this already.(Not an MMO, got it, but the release cycle and many other things pull directly from that model.)
So Bungie, this needs to be taken seriously. If you keep just putting out a podcast a month, a few tweets and a blog post every few weeks, not much will change in how most people are percieving you. And with the way this expansion has been recieved, it is clear that there has not been a real engagement with what the collector and hobbyist players are after here.