Year 3 is slowly, methodically & purposely bringing the game back to Year 1. And Y1 is what drove players away
Think back to everything players hated about Y1: 2 Primary weapons. Static weapons without rolls. Useless armor with no stats. Incredibly SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW charging abilities. Toned down movement from D1. No loot to chase for. Stockpiles of Eververse shit. A slow TTK sandbox & crucible. Uninspired gameplay loop that basically had planet "bounties" as the rank up system.
Sound familiar? Because everything about Year 3, and planned changes for Year 4 is sending us back to that. Just look at how Bungie accomplished this:
2 Primary Weapons = Champion system. So far in 3 seasons, we have exact 1 heavy weapon that can break champion protection (swords this season), which needs us to get up close. No shotguns, snipers, fusion rifles, grenade launchers, rockets or MGs have been given artifact mods to deal with champions. The most common gun in high end nightfalls is Eriana's Vow, and whatever primary you need for Overload or Unstoppable. And 2 of the 3 seasonal exotics that can break protection are primary guns.
Static Weapons without random rolls = Putting key perks in the same slot. This week's TWaB stated what players already know: Damage & reload perks are the best options. Starting in Y3, majority of those perks were added to the same slot, which made the second choice some form of stability improvement. With the nerf to reload speed coming & damage decreases, we're going to find that once again, players are still going to look for the same TTK meta weapons & perks, and mods that help mitigate the nerfs. Thus, almost all weapons are STILL going to look the same even after sunsetting.
Useless Armor with no stats = Armor 2.0 Affinity system. Sunsetting issue aside, we went through this at the start of the year, by limiting which perks are tied to certain affinity. Shotgun & hand cannons mods are not the same affinity. Sniper & SMG are not the same affinity, so loadouts are limited. Stats rolls are nice and differ from the Lightweight, Restorative armor we had in Y1..... but we're still stuck with locked loadout perks due to the Affinity system.
Slow Charging Abilities = Nerfs to exotics with super energy. Skull, Orpheus Rigs, Phoenix Protocol, Doom Fang, Shards of Galanor....... all nerfed. All meant to keep us from having supers too often. Not to mention Armor 2.0 changed the wait times for supers in general. Longer wait times without high intellect builds have slowed our progress down for abilities.
Toned down movement = Jump and movement nerfs. Titan skating, Warlock skating, Worldline Zero, sword flying, Hunter accelerated height jumps (and the absolute refusal to address FOV & Traction perk on consoles to match PC). We're not AS slow as Y1, but our GoFast update has been slowly reverted since it was launched. Piece by piece, our characters are getting slower
Loot issues = Without random rolls in Y1, there was no point chasing static rolls. Better Devils was the same. Nameless Midnight was the same, and no matter how many times you got it, there was no point after the first one. With sunsetting on the horizon, what's the point of chasing loot now? With weak weapons being added, what gun is there to go after? Y3 removed pinnacle weapons, and the ritual weapons have been average overall (Randy's was great, the but the rest are nothing special). Strikes never got specific loot, Nightfall exclusives are still someone statically tied to Y1 rolls for older strikes, pinnacle & ritual weapons are gone................. and next season brings a limited engram pool. For a looter shooter, Bungie is allergic to loot.
Eververse = Beating a dead horse. Do we really need to go over the issues with Eververse? The fact we can access Tess from orbit/our ship, but can't access our vault from space is all players need to know about Bungie's need to push sales.
Slow TTK Sandbox = Y3 nerfs. Low level mooks were beefed up at the start of the year, while powerful guns were all toned down, nerfed or utterly and horrible destroyed (sorry Worldline). And the 1 gun that felt powerful for the season, was glitched! When the Wish Ender was actually killing things and felt powerful, that turned out to be a glitch. Now damage perks are being tuned, reload speeds are being tuned and we're heading back in direction from power. Hence, why there is little reason to believe Bungie is going to have great weapons in Y4.
Finally gameplay loop = Bounties & the core playlists. Back in Y1, there was literally nothing to do and nothing to chase. You would land on a planet, have 3 odd tasks to get tokens..... to turn into a vendor to collect crap. There was literally almost nothing to do in the game for loot or challenges. Y3 has jokingly been a bounty simulator, except it's not a joke. There is NOTHING to play for and the seasonal events so far have more misses than hits. Vex Offense was boring after a few runs with crap loot, the invasion stuff was decent for a powerful drop, but otherwise crap. Seraph towers and bunkers are hot garbage and that leaves the Sundial and obelisk fractaline for god rolls as the only decent thing in Y3. Strikes are going on 1 full year with the SAME F#CKING MODIFIERS!!!!!! Gambit hasn't been touched since Forsaken, Gambit Prime is rage inducing and the crucible rolled out trials not even half baked! But hey, we get bounties?
All these items, show the game is going backwards. Y1 was torn apart by players and lead to all the great changes in Forsaken. Yet since Forsaken launched, Bungie has slowly chipped away at every improvement and is driving the game back to the state it was in when players were absolutely pissed off. And they've purposely done this with each passing update, sandbox tuning, seasonal change & DLC.
I don't know what they found so fascinating about season 1, but it was the low point of the game yet we're heading back in that direction.
I haven't logged on since getting the shotgun, and I hadn't played much at all before that either. Worthy was horrible. Nobody wants to grind bounties non-stop for months on end, and it shows in the numbers. The game is at an all-time low and is losing players rapidly. https://steamcharts.com/app/1085660