Post-Patch PVE Consequences: Be Like Future War Cult And Look to the Future, Not Like Dead Orbit Looking to the Stars (With TL;DR)
Hello everyone who reads this,
There's a lot of complaining out there, and quite a few petitions, in the wake of Hotfix 18.104.22.168, and I was hoping that with a bit of direction and perspective that rage could be put to good use. I'm going to be addressing the PVE side of Destiny, and the best way, I think, to make sure Bungie stops letting us down. This post might be a bit long (kind of an essay, and yes a lot of history people already know, but it's there for a reason), so I'm gonna provide a quick table of contents for the upcoming paragraphs:
Prime Example: Bladedancer PVE
So What To Do About It?
TL;DR (The Actual Point)
Year One: In Year One of Destiny, Nightfall strikes sent players to orbit if they wiped, and many players never reached light level 30 from gear in the Vault of Glass. PVE was a lot less forgiving, and Bungie has done a pretty good job with making sure that everybody gets the advantages they need to play through Destiny's more difficult PVE experiences. Those mainly consist of Raids, but whatever. However, Year One was an incredible year for PVE not just because we had two DLCs, but also because it was tough on us, and that made it necessary to replay the game over and over. It made us want to play. And this was a very important part of Destiny, that desire to play PVE. Because, after all, its most incredible selling point from the beginning was that it would be the first ever MMO FPS RPG (even if you don't quite agree with the MMO part).
Content Droughts: When The Taken King dropped, my fireteam and I immediately fell in love with the new subclasses and the new changes to the PVE system. It didn't really feel to us like there were huge content droughts in Year One, but TTK still felt so refreshing and incredible. It felt like playing for hours in a new game, and we loved it. For a fair few months, I will say. Then we had barely anything until April. I'll admit I lasted longer than most. It wasn't until February and the very quick Crimson Doubles event that I really ran out of things to do. But after that, and even with the April Update, Destiny lagged and fell very much behind. I still wanted to play, but I didn't have any reason to play. I got by with a bit of Crucible, in other words, a bit of dessert, but what I really wanted was meat.
Crucible: The Crucible updates are important to Destiny, they are. Guardians should always be training to improve their skills, even between missions. I'd say the Crucible is one of the best ways for players struggling with Raids to better their playstyle. But Crucible has become too great a focus for the developers, and it has distracted very much from the development of more PVE material. It's easy to push out hotfixes for PVP in order to keep people crawling back, but that's the problem. The people who love the PVE of destiny often starve and find themselves crawling to these hotfixes, only to then starve some more. Taking the easy way out has starved a majority of the game's players. And that's for a game that people initially complained had no story (or from what I think, very little) to begin with.
Prime Example: Bladedancer PVE. Bladedancer was my main subclass in Year One for PVE, so this section is a little biased. I'm sure Warlocks and Titans may feel similarly about some of their subclasses, but I don't think those classes have nearly the extent of issues that Bladedancer does for PVE. And the main issue for Bladedancer PVE? Viability. Especially in WotM. I have seen every subclass have its usefulness in PVE aside from Bladedancer. Stormcaller, Sunbreaker, and Nightstalker are great for add clearing. Nightstalker, Sunsinger, and Defender are incredible for DPS increase on bosses. Striker, Gunslinger (especially Nighthawk), and Voidwalker are great for quick kills on majors and for supercharge attacks during Aksis. And both Sunbreaker and Stormcaller have a terrific utility and versatility for all three of these with Sunspots and lightning chaining. But Bladedancer? Bladedancer suffers from little damage over longer time, range limitations on abilities, and its main synergy (invisibility) working MUCH better on an alternate subclass (Nightstalker smoke grenade with Vanish in Smoke). It's meant to be for ad-clearing, yes, but its range prevents that, especially when Nightstalker covers that base so well. But the REAL reason this Bladedancer viability is an issue? BUNGIE DOES NOTHING ABOUT IT. Except nerf and rework Bladedancer in hotfixes for PVP. For a year and a half Bladedancer has been nowhere near the utility of other subclasses in PVE, and yet Bungie has had only one update where they increased its PVE damage output, and left its real issues in the dirt.
So What To Do About It? Hold Bungie accountable in Destiny 2. That's really the only answer. Bungie may be developing more content for Destiny 1 that they haven't told us about (which they really need to do if they are planning PVE, especially in light of the reaction to 22.214.171.124), but if it exists it's not going to be major. Their major content creation teams are too hard at work making something they can sell, Destiny 2. Unfortunately that means that for Destiny 1 the plans are most likely laid and prepared and nothing will change the road PVE will take. So the only voice and discussion Bungie will hear will be in regards to Destiny 2. If you want Bungie to actually do something about where Destiny is going, address the people at the wheel, not the people in the back seat. Talk SPECIFICALLY about Destiny 2. Don't just wait for them to hand you a game with ideas you may or may not like, DEMAND the important things. I'm not talking here about what the story is or whether we keep our characters, I'm talking about a delivery on content that they promise us. Make them promise to fix it, and if they don't fix it... well, maybe we'll just have to find and pay developers that actually listen.
TL;DR (The Actual Point). If you feel strongly about Crucible hotfixes and lack of PVE, then demand that Destiny 2 address the issue. If you're just here for the PVP, don't worry about it. But for PVE, the problem won't be solved in Destiny 1, so don't waste time complaining about Destiny 1. Make your voices heard about Destiny 2 before its too late.
Edit: I talk about Future War Cult and Dead Orbit, but I figured I would mention that I'm a New Monarchy man myself. = P