So what went wrong? How did we go from D1 which people loved to D2 which is struggling? How can Bungie bring players back?
This is all just opinion of course. You agree, disagree, troll, be salty, whatever floats your boat. I'd like to see things improve. I played D1 for over 1,000 hours. I'm mostly a solo player but had incentive to raid. We had multi step exotic quests and random rolls to chase. But I haven't even bothered with the D2 raids yet to be honest.
It feels like Bungie pulled back in D2. No improved character creator, no new classes or subclasses, no more random rolls, no hidden exotic quests, etc. We have a lot of cosmetics to collect but no real deep customization. Oversimplified subclass and weapon nodes leave a lot to be desired.
It's like they think if things are not simple enough they'll loose their audience. Well I think the reverse has been proven to be true. Bungie needs to take a risk and step outside of their comfort zone. The FPS aspect of Destiny is dead on. The music and art design is great. Now they need to focus on the RPG part of Destiny.
Embrace the RPG elements of Destiny. Make weapons and armor more customisable. Create new classes and or subclasses. Expand upon the subclass nodes gives us more abilities to choose from. Create a real weapon forge that doesn't give you fixed rolls. Expand on the universe add new characters from the grimoire explore their stories. Give us large new worlds full of secrets to explore.
Don't just give us an MMO light version of Halo. Go beyond that. That might mean making uncomfortable decisions. Like how to fix the balance between PVE and PvP. Maybe Destiny won't be an competitive Esport. Maybe the two modes need to be separated and PvP takes a back seat for pve to truly shine. Maybe you'll loose some of the super casuals but would gain a dedicated hardcore base.
Here's a link to the making of Horizon Zero Dawn. https://youtu.be/h9tLcD1r-6w
It shows how Guerrilla games wanted to go in a different direction from killzone and the process to get there. For example at one point they decided multiplayer just wasn't a good fit. So instead of shoehorning it in they left it out. They took their time developed the world the characters and story. I just think it's a good example of following your instincts and thinking outside the box. It's easy to fall back on what you know. But sometimes it's worth it to take that step into the unknown.