Why Puzzles Should Define Destiny and Change the FPS/RPG Genre
Several concepts have been ruminating in my head for awhile and I think they've finally percolated into a solid concept.
(It's a long OP...but for those that like it short and simple here's the summary: For gamers who are looking for what will make [i]Destiny[/i] groundbreaking to play, I think an answer lies in making problem solving and critical thinking a part of missions and gameplay. Bungie is amazing at creating complex puzzles in ARGs that engage the community. In order to create a more dynamic and compelling game, I think Bungie should incorporate puzzles and mystery aa a core element in [i]Destiny’s[/i] story and co-op missions, not all of them mind you but some of them. The purpose of this to remove the sense of always being on a guided tour of a game’s content by being directed to point A, B, and C but rather having the element of critical thinking to give ownership and value the act of discovery and completion of goals.)
It seems to me many gamers are looking for a new dynamic in gameplay. You see, ever since [i]Destiny[/i] was announced, I've had this nagging doubt about what's Bungie is going to come up with as far as the co-op experience that will keep me coming back for more. Going on the limited information we have, how is going up against enemy NPCs in variable environments going to keep things interesting? I feel like there's the potential for things to devolve into a morass of: 1) Go take objective A from the enemy; 2) Go find this cool doo-hickey or thing-a-ma-bob; 3) Retake objective A. This time from stronger enemies; and 4) Go find this slightly stronger whatchamacallit. (I am over-simplifying and being somewhat facetious here.) I am thinking specifically of what I did not like about [i]Halo 4's[/i] Spartan Ops. I mean I understand Grognok gives Bungie the ability to quickly generate new content. However, there has to be more to it than just new environments and new scenarios for this game to be groundbreaking.
However, one of the many things Bungie is awesome at is the creation of puzzles in the form of Alternative Reality Games (ARGs) as a promotion or tie-in to games or as a way to interact with the community. Completing such quests usually result in a reward, Easter Egg, or prize. Bungie has been very creative with these types of endeavors and my thought is why not include these types of problem solving exercises into Destiny? In my opinion, Bungie should take something they do well, create cool puzzles, and incorporate them into Destiny's core gameplay.
I think the best way explain what I mean is by painting a scenario: You've been playing [i]Destiny[/i] for a few weeks, going on raids; when suddenly you receive a message: [i]Our faction's intelligence office just intercepted the following transmission: The Destroyer is the eye of the beholder[/i] followed by a bunch of weird looking symbols. You have no idea what any of it means, but you file it away. A month later, you're solo stealthing though a Vex base on a weapon retrieval mission when, lo and behold, you spot one of the symbols tucked away in an obscure corner. You go over and touch it and it downloads part of a diagram into your armor's computer. So the symbols give you more information huh? Maybe the rest are in this base. If not, maybe on the planet or multiple planets. Maybe when I complete the diagram I'll be able to figure out what The Destroyer or eye of the beholder means or maybe it will lead to another clue...I'll let your mind make up the rest.
Having players critically think like this in order to make a discovery or achieve a goal adds significant value to the experience and removes the gimmicky illusion and shallowness of "discovery" that plagues most games today. I am not saying all missions need to be a mystery or puzzle, but I am personally tired of games holding my hand and guiding me every step of the way. Essentially, I think it is much more worthwhile to accomplish and objective because you had to critically think and figured out some clues in a dynamic environment rather than you were told in various ways to go point A,B, and C and completing the mission. (Compare and contrast scenario in the comments)
[b]COMPLEXITY AND SCALABILITY[/b]
The great thing about missions revolving around puzzles is they are varied and scalable in several different categories: 1) Size of Group Needed (Individual, group, clan, faction, the entire Bungie community); 2) Duration and Complexity, and 3) The Reward (New areas, secret boss fights, weapons, gear, abilities, new pieces of the story). Now I know some are thinking, well what will happen is somebody will solve the puzzle and then publicize it and others won’t have to figure things out on their own? Maybe but what if it wasn’t necessarily expedient to share it with other because it would negate a strategic advantage you’ve gained upon completion. What if that strategic advantage benefited your entire faction in Faction Wars? Who’s gonna want to drop any hints to a rival faction?
In closing, I think Bungie should incorporate ARG type puzzles into [i]Destiny’s[/i] story and missions. The purpose of this is to remove the sense of always being on a guided tour of a game’s content but rather have the element of critical thinking to give ownership and depth to the act of discovery and completion of goals.
This post is the results of mulling over a couple of post found [url=https://www.bungie.net/en-us/Forum/Post?id=60092791&path=1]here[/url] and
[url=https://www.bungie.net/7_What-things-have-you-never-seen-in-a-game-before-a/en-us/Forum/Post?id=60363307]here[/url] and by reading the book [url=http://www.readyplayerone.com/][i]Ready Player One[/i][/url], which was recommended to me by [b]Heart Of Osiris[/b]. I am looking forward to hearing the community’s thoughts and feedback and discussing this idea with you!
[Edit: I've significantly changed things to make it easier to read. Hope it helps.]
Didn't read OP but I did read the part where you said puzzles should DEFINE Destiny, and I don't think that's a good idea.
Puzzles in the game, sure but not make it a puzzle game. If you mean like Dark Souls where the game just throws you into the world and you have to figure out what to do on your own then sure, that's not too bad, or learning about the game through context clues or item descriptions, eh I wouldn't mind that too much, but making it full of pure puzzles when I just want to shoot stuff is not a good idea either.
The title makes more sense in the context of OP. The intent was to indicate that mysteries/puzzles would be a defining element that distinguishes it from other FPS/RPG hybrids, but I was not saying it should be the only element or a major one one in terms of frequency. After reading your thoughts, I feel you are closely aligned with what I would like to see.