14 million people/accounts have played D2 since launch. Yesterday's population: PvP- 490.5k PvE- 570.9k [quote]Edit: shout-out to TattooedOni who pointed out that DTR numbers include Gambit. I did not know that. Yesterday's Crucible was actually 345,415 and hit a low water mark of 268,000 on February 9. Those are as bad as the game has ever seen.[/quote] It will be interesting to see what they bump back up to with the release of the Season of the Drifter, but these numbers are reaching the same lows the game saw in D1 year 3 and D2 year 1. One could obviously make the argument that it's just players siphoning off as the game gets further into each content release, but here's the issue with that; we have been told repeatedly by the anti-sbmm crowd that SBMM was there reason population numbers dropped in D1 and D2 Y1. We also saw the game bombarded by all the "dead game", "D2 sucks", etc comments all throughout year 1 from both community in general as well as from the major influencers. Yet here we are, after an expansion in Forsaken that was extremely well received at launch and generally hailed as one of the best Destiny content releases and one that "brought back the hobby", and yet we're approaching half-way through the annual pass and not only are people not logging on in droves, there's not even a hint of excitement for season 6. This isn't indicative of a game that's returned to "hobby" status and it's incredibly worrying for the remainder of the year. So my question is, what went wrong and why are so many leaving the game? Obviously there's a lot going on right now with Apex having it's huge surprise launch, as well as Anthem and Division 2 out/about to release, and we are in the final week of the season. Those things taken at a glance and in a vacuum would definitely explain away a lot, but it doesn't come close to telling the entire story. For as much as Forsaken added to the game in terms of investment and things to do/chase/grind for, the numbers have been in a decline since before this season began and have continued to fall throughout. This is something that all these changes to progression and the amount we have to grind for everything was supposed to curb. "SBMM makes people stop playing", so Bungie removed it and people have stopped playing faster than than they ever did in D1 and considering the current lack of a massive anti-Destiny campaign like the big name influencers waged in year one to help drive people away, it's staggering how quickly players have left what should have been a light-years better Crucible experience over year one with the complete sandbox overhaul and return to 6v6. I was fortunate enough to attend the Summit and I know the narrative players had going in, the quality of interaction we experienced and now I've seen where we are and there's a massive disconnect for me. I know most of the people in the rooms wanted a far more grindy game, but I never thought that every positive change vanilla D2 gave the game and franchise would be shuttered and we'd see another massive overcorrect; and yet that's what has happened in my opinion. Forsaken and subsequently Black Armory went too far. I'll start with matchmaking because I've already mentioned it as well as written volumes on the topic over the course of the season. I think we can finally dispel the notion that skill in matchmaking is what's driven population declines, again particularly seeing how well received the sandbox is now vs year one. I've said this many times already, but we never got to experience year 2 PvP and all the positive changes with any semblance of fair matchmaking in QP or Comp. Comp has its own fair share of issues there, but QP was easy. Just don't remove skill factoring. Yet that's exactly what happened and in a season where I have ranked up valor 9 times, only 1 of those ranks has been in QP because it's so freaking brutal. It's also made my friends stop playing it outside of needed bounties or quests. No one I know wants to log in just play QP because it's fun, like we did throughout D1 and even in D2 Y1. It also says something that as broken as IB is with rules and scoring, that it's still so incredibly fun with the new Sandbox paired with decent matchmaking and more fair player vs player engagements, that I've ranked up almost 9 Valor ranks playing it. Then there's the sandbox that is admittedly a lot better than year one and at one point in Forsaken, I thought maybe the best ever. I've dialed back from that a bit as year 2 has progressed and we start to see a rippling of little issues that grew throughout D1 with balancing. I never thought year 2 needed kill times dialed to 11 and I think that's starting to be an issue with no ceiling for great weapons without breaking play. Special weapons were really well balanced in year one and just simply adjusting the ammo economy and reworking the slotting would have been a huge start there. They didn't need to have best-in-slot weapons in every slot though or the massive performance boosts to shotguns. Primaries were in a very good place as well by the end with exotics showing how kill times could be quickened without removing the ceiling across the board. Grenades and ability cool downs needed the biggest buff going into year 2 and those were nailed perfectly. I still contend that had year one had the grenades and CDs we have now, it wouldn't have tanked nearly as badly. Heavy was too prevalent in year 1, but it had to be to break up team shooting since that was the only way to use special weapons and again, grenades and abilities were so poor that there were no real neutral games. Then we got fun new supers in year 2, but inexplicably they were given insane damage resistance, durations and/or damage, as well as mods to get them faster. Players with supers in the first minute isn't uncommon. They were too slow charging at launch, but buffing them up to D1 rates would've been great. Instead we went well beyond. Then finally there's PvE that I used to play all 3 characters every week for years. Now I have played less an hour of PvE in the last month. I haven't played my Titan or Warlock since last November and I'm not looking forward to SotD pushing power to 700 and having to regrind another 50 levels and not because the leveling up itself is a bad thing, but from having to deal with the ridiculous infusion economy to just be able to wear and use what I like and already have again. Beyond that, the further up the cap goes, the less and less desire I have to ever even think about leveling one of my other characters again. As long as the current infusion economy exists and forces me to play wearing and using gear I don't like, I won't be touching another character; and for all the awesome content Forsaken did bring to D2 PvE, the experience of playing it was really soured by not getting to use what I had and loved and absolutely hating my characters because they looked like such garbage. I'll never understand the hard stance taken on this or what meaningful infusion adds to the game. It's the single worst change to PvE ever made. Then there's the oversaturation of RNG. Grind is fine. Things like Titles were great. RNG dialed to 11 in everything? Not so much. And finally, I think random rolls were done wrong. I don't think they're bad with the variety of weapons they've added, but making them random rolls of each was a mistake. Destiny is a looter-shooter and so lots of loot is good. Destiny does in a sense have a lot more loot now, but it's completely undermined by how it was implemented. My 10th version of Better Devil's is still just another Better Devil's dropping. Cashing in a pile of Crucible tokens and getting 6-7 Anonymous Autumn's isn't any more interesting. What could have been a lot more interesting is if instead of making the different rolls random versions of the same weapon, is had they been their own named weapons. Even if they had the exact same skins, seeing all the different weapon names all with their own unique set rolls would have been way more interesting. It also could have solved the collections problem for not being able to pull random rolled weapons out. If each was it's own unique named weapon, that isn't a problem anymore. It also gives more clear rewards to chase with a specific named weapon vs a random variation of one, and yeah not all would be as good and there world be standouts, but it would also make kill feeds a hell of a lot more diverse which would go a long way to curbing nerf requests, and if a particular weapon was way too prevalent or good, it would be a hell of a lot easier to tune that one gun vs tuning Better Devil's and having that affect all variations, which seemed to me the entire point of static rolls to begin with. I hope that the things and other community concerns are at least topics of conversation within the studio. I really feel a huge disconnect from this game that I still do love and think could very easily be course-corrected to a game that truly is a hobby game that has something for all levels of investment, but that starts with understanding that the balance needs to fall in-between what D2 was at launch and is currently and ending the cycle of pushing too far when all that's needed is a light touch or digging in and refusing to acknowledge issues as players leave in waves. We're all here because we love the game and franchise and want it to succeed. I hope the future is bright.
Edited by Error_107-RD: 3/4/2019 3:22:09 AMSometimes I just laugh when top players cry about casual and average players low desire to be stomp for an entire night. At the moment, there is still no such thing as SBMM in competitive, you just match people that are on your same rank, rank says nothing about your skills, you could literally go straight to legend if you are just so lucky to always be with 3 beast on your team. Bungie has the system to see how good a player is doing on a daily basis like elo, then why not use it, for the last couple of days you've been playing like a total pro beating everyone(Because you are a streamer) then here, play with some high ability players as well. How is it even possible that while I'm a top 150K in survival I get matched with a top 5k or lowest just because he low on rank because he have not played that much on this season. I'm in favor of people wanting everyone to grow and always be better but what you need to understand is that not everyone learn the same way nor as quickly, no one can actually expect that a regular player with about 2-3 hours a day to play will be able to beat a team of kids that the only thing that do the entire day is play, that's practically their job! getting to the lighthouse is a walk in the park compare to legend and that was not such an easy task to begin with and was still the most fun and great pvp experience in d1