Destiny Doesn’t Offer Major Feature, So Fans Make It Themselves

Destiny Doesn’t Offer Major Feature, So Fans Make It Themselves

No random matchmaking for endgame raids in Bungie’s new “shared world” shooter Destiny? No problem, say these fans. They will just make their own.

Well, OK, kind of a problem, actually. Despite there being an established precedent for random matchmaking — that is, a game automatically sorting you into a group of other players — and pick-up groups in (some) MMOs, Bungie is requiring Destiny players to run endgame raids with their friends.

This is because raids will require a high degree of skill and coordination — not to mention a couple hours of time. Random players could throw off that delicate balance, the Halo creators suggest, so raids will only be for the chummiest of cloak-clad space wizards.

Many fans, however, take issue with this, given that — on the simplest terms — getting five friends together (for a total of six players) is haaaaaaaaaaaard. People have jobs and obligations and hobbies, and only some of those involve space wizardry.

Enter sites like the fittingly titled The Wizard That Came From The Moon, which offers its own sort of player-driven matchmaking system. You plug in factors like platform, timezone, and class, and the fan-made site does the rest. Founder Doug Wickham told Forbes that TWTCFTM already has over 500 members, and it’s growing steadily.

There are also clans like Dads of Destiny, which cut through the wailing, diaper-wetting doldrums of day-to-day life to help people play together. “We provide a general group for the fathers among the community to get together to chat about all things Destiny, fatherhood, juggling children and gaming, and really anything else at all. We keep things relaxed and casual, as some of us may be sleep-deprived. If you feel the need to whine, moan, or flame, please do it elsewhere. This group is for the Dads of Destiny Clan that represents all four consoles.”

In a sense, then, Bungie’s decision to forgo random matchmaking on raids has already created more avenues for friend groups and communities to form — even if it’s not quite as convenient. Success? Perhaps, in a manner of speaking. Some fans seem to like this a lot. I mean, a stronger community and more successful raids? Win-win.

However, others bring up important points about logistical problems here — that Destiny doesn’t offer the full breath of social options you’d get from a more traditional MMO, which might make it difficult to come by groups to raid with in-game:

And as the Forbes article points out, friends-only raids — whether you’re part of a larger clan/group or you’re simply lassoing together a bunch of fellow dads/mums/weird uncles — add an extra organizational step to the process before you get to actually, you know, have fun. Sometimes the difference between doing something and saying “Eh, fuck it” is just one extra bump in the road.

So there are pros and cons to this approach, even if the community seems to be rallying in some really cool ways. It will be interesting to see what happens once Destiny comes out for real next week, as some players will almost certainly sacrifice food, sleep, and general sanity in a mad rush to raid territory. When they peer out at the fruits of their labour through a mask of beard and eye crust, what will they find? Willing raiders or a big fat load of nothing to do? And how much easier will things get after other players catch up? I suppose we’ll find out soon.


  • I don’t know a lot about Destiny, but the more I read about this particular issue the more it sounds like a game design flaw. Why is the content only tuned for really committed group players when clearly lots of individual players also want to experience that content? Resolving this issue will go a long way to ensuring Destiny is around for the long haul.

    This sounds a lot like the problem with vanilla raiding in WoW.

      • If your reaction to being given breathing room is to go AFK then I’d argue you don’t want to play the game to begin with. If all you’re getting is a challenge/loot other people can’t get there are much better games than MMORPGs. Typically in a MMORPG the challenge is just doing the basic pre-raid prep work.

        I find hardcore raiding more boring than overgeared dungeon groups. In one I can do what I want. I can get creative, be social and have fun. In the other I get one week of trying new things and then I’m just doing the strategy we know works with the rotation/priority that delivers maximum output, while keeping group chat to a minimum because the line needs to be clear for people to call things.

        • I have to agree, its far more fun to do easy content or at least content that the skill of a few can carry the rest. Once you start 1 shotting the people who can’t move fast enough (lag or reflexes) and without them you fail is when the fun drys up like nothing else.

          I played and raided wow in BC then quit, joined in wrath and helped make a guild, ended up as raid leader and class leader for 2 separate guilds ( I switched from a US server to the aus one hence change in guild). Did all content at release right up to lich king and I can tell you its far more fun for most people to not beat their heads against a brick wall.

          After switching servers I joined the 2nd best guild on server Schism (I was one of the best if not the best rouge on the server, arrogant yes, but I never lost in dps to any rogue the entire time raiding even from the top guild Gigantor (still top guild now)) and it was beyond brutal. IT took less than 2 weeks for me to quit, the raids where SILENT as the grave, you made a mistake you got verbally assaulted. The progression was amazing by comparison but the entire guild was hostile all the time.

          Compare this with the group I helped found and the one i joined after Schism and it was night and day. We could laugh and joke, pull mobs into someone or accidentally wipe the raid and have fun but always at teh cost of progressing beyond anything challenging (the 2nd guild died while trying to clear sindragosa in the lich king dungeon)

          From all my experience There is almost an equal trade off between progression and fun, “hardcore raiding” and what it boils down to is just a bunch of competent people getting ever more annoyed at the incompetents in their group (Justified or not).

          This all changed with 10 mans and group finders because the content had to be easy enough for limited team work, so you can grab how ever many friends you do have and jump in for instant fun.

          I feel this will REALLY bite destiny in the ass, because While i have a whole FL full of friends they are mostly american, or aussies who are NEVER on at the same time so there is almost no chance I will get to do this content and I’m almost the exact damn demographic they are targeting.

          Ended up as a very winded comment for a tiny bit of destiny talk but anyway, i think this is a terrible over sight on bungies part. Both in content wise and how they dealt with this content, though I wont be 100% sure untill we get to it of course.

          • IT took less than 2 weeks for me to quit

            I lasted years, which is probably why I judge it so harshly. =P Granted I played with a lot of great people over that time and had a lot of fun. Once an encounter was on farm we’d have a blast (although one wipe to screwing around and suddenly everyone cracks it). It’s a strange thing to look back on. I enjoyed hardcore raiding I just got to the point where I’d done it so often that it became sort of interchangable. The hardcore encounters weren’t particularly challenging or engaging the prep work was just demanding enough that most people don’t have time for it. The biggest challenge we faced was keeping an experienced group together (replacing a key player when you’re halfway through heroic progression is harder than any encounter).
            If you want a hardcore experience run with a cookie cutter build, no add-ons, camera at the default distance, no consumable stat buffs, normal mode with entry level gear only. Handicapping yourself is way more hardcore than just dialing up the numbers/gear requirement.

            Granted I think we’ve ventured a bit far off the topic of Destiny. =P

          • Perhaps the way they are approaching it is similar to Gears Of War 3’s Horde mode. Ridiculously difficult, ridiculously fun. I only passed Horde mode this year on that game, and it took me, my brother and his friend 5 hours. Before that I had sunk at least 100 hours into it myself (with matchmaking strangers most of the time) and never completed it.

            I think the problem with WOW being so frustrating when you continuously “wipe” is that the gameplay itself isn’t all that fun. When it comes down to it, at those high levels, you’re literally just clicking buttons in order. I feel like there’s an inherent flaw with World Of Warcraft, rather than Destiny, in that the gameplay isn’t fun enough that failing is fun. Whether you win or lose, you should be having fun, and that is baked into the mechanics of the gameplay. Friends make it better, but the game needs to do the heavy lifting.

            I honestly believe the gameplay of Destiny second to second is strong and engaging enough to “wipe” constantly and still have fun, especially because it’s so much more “skill-based” than something like WOW. The brick wall doesn’t exist because in your head you know it was partially a case of “I didn’t get out of the way fast enough” or “I shouldn’t have reloaded then” rather than a “I don’t have the right gear for this, this is never going to work”.

            I do think this whole “friends only” thing will complicate things though, especially as my friends and I aren’t teenagers anymore, and I’m the only one who actually owns a next gen console. I hope it’s only a matter of time before match-making is enabled, Bungie are pretty good with listening to the fans.

            If that fails, we’ve got people in the comments saying they won’t have people to play with on an article about fixing that problem, the solution seems pretty obvious to me.

    • How is it a design flaw? Bungie specifically designed it this way with team cooperation in mind.

      Raids would TOTALLY suck if you randomed with a bunch of people, then 2 hours into it one or more players just randomly drop out.

      I wish people would STOP trying to act like they know better than the people who built the game. Or at least wait until Destiny releases and you can play the effing Raid before making stupid assumptions.

      • If players are making their own solutions outside of the game, its a clear design flaw that Bungie overlooked. It doesn’t matter what they intended, they miscalculated the demand somewhere and it’s a missed opportunity if they don’t adjust.

        Game developers, even Bungie, aren’t design gods that get everything right. Blizzard is arguably one of the best studios in the industry, and they made mistakes like this with WoW. Learn from your competitors mistakes and move on.

  • Maybe Kotaku could do a regular Destiny post where people can find groups to join and raid with. TBH the community here is much more appealing than any of the other sites I visit.

  • The bungie app now support chat for community boards. You can just join a community and look for group in the chat room.

  • Personally I’d be inclined to just not include raid content. Rework long raids into shorter chapter based two to four player (scaling for party size) content.
    The main problem is that raid content requires the most players and thus it’s always treated like the be the highest point of end-game. Due to that it gets coupled with the longest length and highest skill requirements when instead that should be the easier, social content with small group content being the challenge zone.
    Blizzard actually do it well with PvP. They have small team based PvP in the Arenas as the proving grounds with larger group PvP being the scrub leagues in the Battlefields.

    The trick of course is to get players who already understand MMORPG labels to think differently. Destiny is already stretching it with their use of MMORPG terminology not quite matching up. They’d be burned for being heretics if the best rewards didn’t come from something called a raid.

    • Well that is because Bungie has NEVER called this game an MMO, or designed it like one. The community were the ones who called it an MMO, so don’t be surprised if things in Destiny don’t match up with traditional MMO terms.

      Also, you don’t NEED to complete a Raid in one sitting, your teams progress will save during that week so that you can come back at a later time.

      • What you’ve said there sort of contradicts itself a little. They’re not claiming to be an MMORPG but they are conforming to a bunch of MMORPG standards, taking things directly out of the MMORPG playbook, using the terms (even if in roundabout ways) and trying to secure FPS players using the same techniques MMORPGs use (while also hoping to snag a healthy amount of conversions from current MMORPG players to Destiny palyers).
        The progression system you described comes straight out of MMORPG Raiding 101. Weekly lockouts, multiple attempts and wipes per boss. Do it three nights a week until you’ve got each encounter on farm and clear it in one session. Then wait for the next content patch and bitch about how it used to be good in the olden days but now all the new content sucks. =P
        To say traditional MMORPGs aren’t at least an extremely strong influence on Destiny is a bit naive.

        I’m not trashing the game to try and sink it, I just genuinely like talking about game design and amongst the staples of MMORPGs there are some dated beasts that need to be put down. They’re struggling between thinking outside the box and alienating players who are currently forming oppinions of what the game is and should be. It’s almost heartbreaking for me seeing them bring on dead weight from MMORPGs while genuinely trying to create something that breaks the mould.

  • I read the title and still thought you were talking about the lack of beards. I say we petition Bungie to bloody well put beards in the game. For both men and women! If you want one of course.

  • My only heavy experience with online multiplayer was the Need For Speed series when that first began, but this looks like an excellent solution to an odd exclusion from the game.

    Besides, how are we ever going to get any ‘Leroy Jenkins’ moments from Destiny without a feature like this?

  • At first I thought it was stupid not to include randoms. But after reading Bungies reason for not including it, I completely agree with them.

    Raids are long, time consuming and intense missions. You’re talking several hours long. A lot of the play testers who have played the Raids with a full fireteam of 6 were not able to finish the final boss fight, even on the easiest difficulty. This was people who BUILT the game. Surely we scrubs will have a hard time at first.

    How frustrating would it be if you were 5 hours into the Raid, just about to reach the boss fight, then BAM, one of your Warlocks drop out. That’s a big hole, and Bungie has basically said you won’t finish the Raid with less than a full team.

    Also, co-ordination with randoms is next to impossible. When playing the Alpha and Beta, I would random with people for most Strikes, and to watch them run around and do stupid things, was just so annoying, they wouldn’t listen to anything I told them. Playing with friends (real life friends and those I met during Destiny) was INFINITELY more productive and fun. It is SO easy to meet people in Destiny, do a Strike, if you enjoyed playing with the 2 people you got randomed with, send them a friend request.

  • Lets be honest, the raid matchmaker will be in a future release, the reason they are leaving it hard to start with is so that the hardcore gamers, i.e. the ones that are going to get bored because they maxed out their characters in some stupidly short timeframe and now have nothing to do and are complaining on the forum because the game is too easy and doesn’t provide any challenge. Those are the people bungie are catering for, with the full intention to release a matchmaking system in an update within the next 6-12months when the userbase is there to support it.

  • Why not have it so you can either play with randoms OR you can play with your friends? That way people can put together a team and do the raid if they want, or they can risk it with randoms if they want to do that instead.

  • Am I the only one who doesn’t like friending randoms? It seems to miss the point of it being a “friends” list if you don’t know who these people are… (I don’t have an xbone but it apparently has a “follow” list too? That sounds awesome)

  • Is anyone else sick of mis-categorised articles on Kotaku? I got excited when I see a Destiny article listed under the PC category, but alas.. definitely not a PC title (at least for now maybe). Frustrating… and happens fairly often here.

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