Tobold's Blog
Friday, August 31, 2018
Destiny 2

I didn't buy the latest World of Warcraft expansion. So if you would have asked me last week whether I was still playing MMORPGs, I would have said no. Instead I am playing other stuff. Just recently I started playing Destiny 2, a game I picked up for $12 as part of a Humble Bundle Monthly. And I was thinking of the game as being just a shooter. Then this week I couldn't play one evening, because there was a big patch and the servers were down. And I realized that Destiny 2 was a MMORPG after all, in all but name.

You have a character, complete with a level, a class, and gear. You do quests, or you participate in public events. There are lots of other players around when you go to town. There is a PvP system if you want (I didn't). And while I never did it in Destiny 2, I remember from Destiny 1 that you can also play in a group. So except for the fact that combat is done with guns instead of sword and sorcery, Destiny 2 plays very much like a MMORPG.

In some ways the genre of old style MMORPGs is dead. The big excitement is over, there are very few new MMORPGs of the old style coming out, and especially the subscription model of MMORPGs is on life-support. But some of the elements, the "lots of players on a server playing together" stuff, and some elements of progress and game flow, are very much alive and can be found in lots of new games. My hope for MMORPGs to develop in living and breathing online worlds never came to pass, but the genre sure developed into something else, more violent, and more competitive, that I am not so much interested in.

You did well not buying Battle for Azeroth. I was very excited to try it and I almost completely skipped any spoiler about the expansion so I could enjoy it at its best. I'm less than a month into it and I'm already starting to burn out due to its limited/removed features. While it "looks" great... It plays just like any other expansion with a lot less stuff to do, very simplified and "autopilot" mechanics and -obviously- extremely outdated mechanics. Plus it's absolutely alt-unfriendly. I play just because I've got useless gold to spend and I can buy multiple Tokens. That's the best thing of any expansion: easy "free" gold for a couple of weeks, when prices go crazy and you can stockpile gold for a full year.
I also got Destiny 2 from Humble monthly and I enjoyed it so much that I subsequently bought the expansions when Humble put them on sale. I found the game to be a taut slick shooter and I really liked the public quests. The game has a level equalisation system that allows new players and veterans to fight alongside each other (at least in the lower zones) and everyone still has a good time. When I reached the end of the campaigns however the game transitioned into a serious gear grind. The old mmo blues hit hard and I realised I no longer have time or patience for that. I may go back to the game some time in the future to play newer campaigns but I am done with repeating the same content over and over repetitively on the small chance of an incremental improvement in gear score.
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