- Bungie launched the latest season on Tuesday titled Season of the Seraph.
- Shortly after launch players criticised Bungie for effectively recycling the same model and resting on its laurels.
- Destiny 2 Game director Joe Blackburn has said that change will arrive, but only nine to 12 months from now.
On Tuesday evening the final season for Destiny 2: The Witch Queen launched with a dull thud.
Season of the Seraph reintroduces the Warmind Rasputin, Osiris, Clovis Bray, Ana Bray and the Hive War God, Xivu Arath.
As per usual there is an intriguing story here with family politics and betrayal at its core. But, no sooner had the season launched than players were criticising Bungie for phoning in much of its seasonal content.
To put things into perspective, Destiny 2 seasons span three months. A season revolves around one main quest that progresses weekly and effectively blocks players from forging ahead at their own pace.
This is further accomplished via the seasonal vendor and the “7×3” grid of upgrades. The number of upgrades varies from season to season but essentially players need to complete weekly missions and challenges in order to unlock new perks and mission rewards.
Of course there are new activities, new weapons and gear to chase, but it all just feels very repetitive especially with the time gate forcing players into activities they may be worn out by.
In response to these criticism’s Destiny 2 Game Director, Joe Blackburn published a thread of tweets.
“Heard loud and clear on the feedback with our current seasonal backbones. The team is excited to put some more creative risk in seasonal progressions, but there will be some time before the feedback catches up with the dev cycle,” wrote Blackburn.
The game director says that development for Season 20 and Lightfall is all wrapped up aside from ironing out bugs. Development for Season 21 is half way complete so these creative risks won’t be seen until Season 22 at least.
“There’s still novelty, thematic variety, and new ways to progress your character coming to Destiny over the next several months, but while we work to use this feedback in our future releases, I wanted to make sure everyone knows that your words are not falling on deaf ears,” Blackburn added
There have been calls from within the Destiny 2 community for a shake up in the game whether that be new secret missions, new maps for ritual activities and even just a change to the seasonal model overall. Some players have even suggested Bungie dial back the number of seasons from four to three to allow the development team time to flex their creative muscle.
The question we now have is whether nine to 12 months is too long of a wait for Destiny 2 players. Data from Steam Charts for the last year suggests that it may be.
In February this year, Destiny 2 had a peak player base of 289 895 with an average of 75 169 players. By the start of Season of Plunder in August this figure had dropped drastically to a peak of 193 209 players and an average of 68 548 players.
Granted, this is just one platform, but we’d wager that a similar trend would appear on other platforms as well.
Bungie has to be more forthcoming about its plans for the future with more than a Twitter thread from Blackburn. We know Bungie’s This Week at Bungie blog does this at times but it has – of late – become a space for update previews and highlighting social initiatives rather than outlining the future of the game.
A tome of weapon updates is great, for patch notes, but perhaps Blackburn could take a page from former game director Luke Smith’s book and layout his grand vision for the game. While much of Smith’s vision has fallen to the wayside, the idea of sharing it has merit.
What the community needs are assurances and insight into how things will be changing. As mentioned, those changes are going to be at least nine and up to 12 months from reaching players. How this will affect sales of Lightfall, the next expansion for Destiny, will be interesting to see.
Destiny 2: Lightfall arrives on 28th February for Xbox, PlayStation and PC.