As Destiny 2 Players Mutiny, Bungie Struggles To Respond

As Destiny 2 Players Mutiny, Bungie Struggles To Respond
To sign up for our daily newsletter covering the latest news, features and reviews, head HERE. For a running feed of all our stories, follow us on Twitter HERE. Or you can bookmark the Kotaku Australia homepage to visit whenever you need a news fix.

Throughout three years of Destiny and its sequel, several things have remained consistent. The shooting has always felt great. The aliens have always been fun to kill. And Bungie has always been unable to communicate with players in a way that doesn’t piss them off.

Over the weekend, Bungie announced plans to change the game’s experience system after players discovered that it was rigged against them, which felt particularly onerous because it was connected to the real-life-money Eververse store. Hardcore Destiny 2 players then found that their experience sliders were moving more slowly than before. On Monday, the studio sent out a tweet saying, “The Destiny 2 API has yet to be adjusted to reflect the recent in game change to earned XP. We are working on an API update to address the discrepancy. The correct value to earn an additional level is 160,000 XP.” In the past, players had used said API to determine that you’d level up at 80,000 XP. In other words, it seems like the number has doubled.

The sketchiness of the experience system has frustrated players, but perhaps most infuriating is Bungie’s unwillingness to address so many of the complaints that have been simmering in the three months since Destiny 2 came out. Every day, hardcore Destiny players have put together long lists of gripes about the lack of meaningful endgame content, the inadequacy of the Iron Banner PvP event, the frustrating dependence on tokens for loot rewards, and much more.

It all peaked in hilarious fashion during a stream for Destiny 2‘s first downloadable content, Curse of Osiris, last week, when community manager David “Deej” Dague promised that a new public event would be the most rewarding yet, only to open up a chest and receive two tokens and a common blue engram.

Of course, we’ve been here before. Since Destiny‘s launch in September 2014, the veteran development studio has seemed unwilling or unable to be transparent with fans. (From what I hear, the company remains unwilling or unable to be transparent with many of its own employees, too.) As Destiny went through its ups and downs, Bungie never stopped obfuscating, doing its best to keep even the most basic mechanics as opaque as possible, sticking with marketing plans full of smarmy teases and dripfeed PR streams.

Over the weekend, Destiny 2 director Luke Smith promised that he and project lead Mark Noseworthy will be addressing gripes this week. “Next week the Destiny 2 team will detail the systems side of the December update. It includes: economy updates (vendors & acquiring their gear, tokens, legendary shards), investment updates (new reward systems for weapons & armor) gameplay updates, and more,” he wrote on Twitter. “Additionally, [Noseworthy] and I will also be answering some questions and addressing community feedback we’ve been reading since launch.”

That’s the Destiny cycle. Months of silence, then the promise of transparency. And it goes on and on and on. But hey, at least the shooting’s still fun.


  • you don’t even need to be hardcore to realise there’s a lack of meaningful endgame frankly speaking

    the game slows down when you hit 260 light and after 280 light you’ll rarely encounter much upgrades outside of the weekly milestones. even the raid is a short 45 min to 1hr adventure once you understand how each of the boss fights work

    on one hand this is great for those that don’t have much time to put into gaming, on the other hand if you want to sit down on the weekend for a 8hr Destiny 2 binge… well you’ll probably be bored and out of things to do within a few hours

    • Many of the gripes can be summed up with two words you use – “the raid”.

      Theres just nothing to do in the endgame that delivers any long term rewards. For a game that’s had so much time to learn from Destiny 1, it still made the same mistakes.

      The games that succeed give numerous distractions for the endgame, and with Destiny 2 being almost all endgame, it just doesn’t do enough to keep players playing.

      The game is good. Great even. But its so fundamentally flawed because of how little of interest there is to do, it essentially fails the pub test.

      I’m down to a couple of hours a week, just to grind weekly’s across three characters (and solely to get that last point from 304 to 305), and even with that I couldn’t be bothered this week.

      I went back and played Borderlands 2 instead.

        • Such a crazy, silly game. I hope Borderlands Online is somewhere in our future. I think B2 shows a number of ways Destiny could deliver endgame content that would work, even without the lootsplosions its known for.

        • I’ve played the crap out of Borderlands 2 (Normal, TVHM, UVHM) so I bought Borderlands 1 yesterday. Digging it so far.

      • Lol I am borderlands 2 again as well!
        Just not enough things to do in Destiny and I don’t have enough friends to do the raid, so I am stuck doing boring weekly chores.

      • Destiny 2 kind of reminds me of WoW 1.0 to be honest, minus server instability haha

        the capstone for Destiny 2 is the raid and that’s it… there’s nothing else but as John Brown (down below in the comments) points out, there are other activities in Destiny 2 (adventures, lost sectors, patrols etc). the problem is they are virtually pointless once you hit 280 light

        for me Destiny 2 can be broken down into 3 main content section, the 1 to 20 experience, the 200 to 260 experience and the 260 to 305 experience.

        the 1 to 20 experience is decent ( I personally enjoyed the campaign), the 200 to 260 experience (approx) is awesome with a wealth of activities to do for upgrades, the 260 to 305 experience is horrendous and only gets worse as your light gets close to 305

        • This is how I feel about the game, but I felt that the campaign was rushed (there seems to be a big hole in the campaign between nessus and when you return to earth).

          If Bungie don’t fix their end game no one will play it outside of a few weeks after a release of an expansion

        • Yeah, I agree. I’d toss in theres a small phase from 260 to 280, where purple mods really start to come into it, but in a nutshell those are the 3 main portions you experience.

          I liked the campaign as well, and the grind to 260 wasn’t painful in the slightest, but it was made easier by passing over the high power weapons my first character had by that time.

          But from that point, theres just nothing new to do. For most its PQ’s to get the Flashpoints and Clan stuff done, with maybe a few patrols along the way. That’s an hour or so per character, less if you cheese it.

          Some people just don’t want to do PvP, or able to do Nightfalls, for whatever reason, and need world events to do.

          I think theres a fairly easy answer with Lost Patrols myself. The areas are already there, they just need to give people real reasons to be there. Rare spawns and multistage events would do the trick, if the rewards are there as well.

          Or use that area on every planet that just doesn’t seem to get much action. Like the arcology on Titan. Stick minibosses with unique drops in them, or fireteam bosses, or anything to just give something to do that isn’t a PQ.

          The game has solid mechanics, its just become boring when you’re pushed towards grinding a limited set of PQ’s between 4 planets.

    • Does anyone actually remember in d2 e3 where the interviewer said you your fanbase hates you guys and old bungie bro was like no way we totally give the fans what they want and communicate well.


      I just hope anthem doesn’t make the same mistakes, and I can’t wait to see what bungie attempts to attempt to promise us to come back, maybe if they op PVE Exotics so they feel powerful and useful as opposed to nerfing everything into the ground so four weapons destroy everything including PvP, I cannot help but feel two different stats would make people enjoy the game more,
      But honestly I don’t care, destiny 1 lost it’s player base early and I don’t think d2 or d 2.1 will recover especially when there’s enjoyable games out there…

    • No. What will happen is there will be a few Activision meetings with Bungie asking them what they are doing and what they are gping to do to fix it…

      … then Activision will shunt everyone in Bungie to game engine only developement. (The shooting is solid), and then give creative and content creation to the one company that has 14 years experience. BLIZZARD!

      Its not a coincidence its on… the fact Bungie is not knocking on Blizzards door asking for help is their biggest mistake. Cause Activision will force it. Destiny 3 by Blizzard Entertainment coming 2020

      • I doubt that’s the future for Bungie, but sure as hell agree that they’re idiots to not take better advantage of their cousin-in-law’s experience in this space.

        Probably still sucking their own dicks and thinking that they’ve made something ‘no-one’s ever done before’ that somehow makes it totally unique and unable to take lessons from literally anywhere else in the industry that has solved the problems they’re encountering.

        Deluded fuckwits.

  • Its just so frustrating because the basics of a good game are there, but so many simple things are missing that would make the game ten times better.

  • As a general statement/question – what the hell is going on with the gaming industry? Developers and publishers alike seem to be systematically and surgically ruining the medium as a whole. It’s really depressing. Ironically all this drama continues to catapult it’s popularity into the public consciousness.

    *closes the door and continues to play Nioh; single-player, no loot chests, no chance cards, no micro-transactions, no pay to win, fully fleshed out story-driven DLC that I’m more than happy to pay for…THANK YOU!*

    • Your welcome. I feel lately that most older single player games are the way to go. So much glut around atm. That is until Monster Hunter World is released upon our unknowing brain cells.

    • A couple of things happened.

      Dota, LoL and Freemium mobile showed these giant corporations the potential earnings from Micro transactions.

      Service based business model, again the publishers are looking to extend their tail end earnings.

      Finally, the games market is highly saturated. I would suggest that 5 or ten years ago we would be lapping destiny 2 up were it on the PS3/xbox. But now because its arguably a “poor” game we have more choice and chances to move on.

    • Games are getting more and more expensive to make. For all of these ‘games as services’ games, the development doesn’t end when the game is out, it ends when the successor is released.

      A few years ago all the big devs looked at World of Warcraft and decided that subscription fees were the way to sustain these costs. The problem is, a lot of people who play MMOs enough to justify a monthly subscription don’t play video games, they just play the one. So all these games went free to play.

      Micro transactions were the next solution, Team Fortress 2 proved that people didn’t mind paying for cosmetics, Want that cool hat? It’ll cost ya $2, it makes sense, as you can release easier to make content that people will justify to themselves as okay Well, I can spend a few dollarydoos on those cool pants since I’ve already put 200 hours into this game. When games like Counter Strike and Overwatch showed how customers will spend more for the chance to get a desired item than just selling it to them, of course they’d go for it.

      Being able show projection revenue based on how much the game will be able to bring in from micro transactions influences the amount of development money they have access to (for comparison, GTA IV had a budget of $100 mil, making it the most expensive game at the time, GTA V, with it’s addition of Online and potential extra revenue was over two and a half times that).

      The concept of games as a service is appealing to publishers also, because the longer you spend playing one game, the less you play another game. If you release a single player game, your experience can last as little as 6-10 hours. A continuous game will go for as long as its own community will sustain it.

      TL:DR – A lot of AAA games have gone into an arms race over how nice they look and how long they can try to keep the user-base interested, this has pushed up development costs, which has pushed up the need for more revenue. There’s now much more focus on trying to target the maximum amount of money from a user over the maximum amount of users.

  • What was particularly egregious was that they nerfed the most efficient ways of levelling up and getting loot. There is so much more in Destiny 2 – adventures, lost sectors, new strikes, but Bungie made sure they weren’t connected to the loot grind. It’s a huge shame, and one of the reasons Destiny 2 feels so boring to play. It’s like going to yum cha and only ordering boiled beef dumplings.

  • What they need to do is go the full Diablo and make repeatable, randomly generated dungeons with intelligently randomised loot to fight through.

    Literally 0 people care about the story campaign (even if it was a vast improvement over the first game) or the boring dungeon ‘strikes’.

    Just give me the equivalent of Diablo 3’s adventure mode, with bounty quests, nephalem rift-style random dungeons and other stuff, and then do the one thing Blizzard won’t do: make more content all the damn time.

    Then people will play your game and you won’t need to fudge XP values to force them to buy crappy lootboxes.

    Or maybe I need to get back into Warframe.

    • The thing that’s frustrating about Destiny 2 not taking on the Diablo 3 bounty/adventure model is that they took teensy, weensy baby steps towards that solution by way of milestones… but they put the brakes on that, HARD, by being petrified of power creep and letting anyone progress without raiding/PVPing. So there’s no reward for undertaking their randomized patrol activities whatsoever, and they’re chaining progress to a weekly drip-feed.

      I stopped fucking bothering to even log in and pick up my clan rewards two weeks ago. I give zero fucks about returning to that world. Glad I got it from a key-seller on a massive discount.

      Man jumps in tiger cage, surprised when mauled by tiger.
      This is Bungie. We saw what they’re like now. They believed their own hype, and can do no wrong.

      Warframe is better than ever, so that would be an excellent decision, by the way. It’s pretty crazy how they’re continually improving.

      • I like this idea, maybe not as random as diablo 3 but keep the same premise. Or Bungie could go down the Warframe route where completing activities rewards you with crafting mats and you craft your new legendary weapons and armour

  • They don’t fix all the random crashes / SLI issues either, but the game is still advertised as supporting SLI. They also refuse to give people a refund. They broke the game for me and plenty others with patch-1 and I’m over the crap responses from Blizzard, when trying to get a refund. I requested a refund for the first time 3 weeks ago and then again yesterday and that’s their response:

    Dear Andreas,

    Issue ID: #61466694

    Your ticket has received the following response:

    Hi Andreas,
    Worry not! Game Master Gwelchmai has come to your aid! C= C=C= C=┌( `ー´)┘

    I understand that you are facing problems, let me help you with that!

    After investigation, here’s my report:
    As I’ve mentioned in the previous ticket response, I am afraid I may not provide the refund on this order since it’s way over the timeframe.

    I believe Bungie is working on their system and making progress, I do think the problem is in their schedule to be fixed. If you need me to check what caused the crash, please send in the system info so I can assist on that.

    In the end, if you insist legal action is needed, all I can say is please contact ACCC as you mentioned.


    That’s outrageous!

  • My problem with Destiny is more that you pay for the base game….and then every few months when they add a content patch they call it an “expansion” and you have to shell out more cash.

    That’s not the kind of payment system I want to be involved with…especially since there are free to play mechanics at work too.

  • Guess I’m going to do what I did with Destiny 1:

    Wait until the price isn’t fucking ludicrous ($150 special edition!), buy a cheapish all-in-one pack about 2 years in, have a really great time and then refuse to spend another $60-80 on the final expansion.
    At which point I’ll stop playing entirely because not buying the expansion locks all the multiplayer content away from you.

  • EA’s directive and handling of Star Wars Battlefront 2 now has me completely less hyped for Anthem which I was seeing as a true alternative – All I can think is it will be even more infuriating than Destiny. Fingers crossed that somehow Bungie bucks history and gets this right sooner rather than later…

    Surely someone can make a Diablo 3/Borderlands loot style MMO FPS and get it right…eventually?

  • Admittedly, I’ve just started Destiny 2, and yes it has more story, cinematic etc., but the core combat gameplay just isn’t as fun as the free Warframe!

    • You probably wouldn’t be saying that if you played Warframe day 1, congrats go play Warframe enjoy grind.

  • The only thing that needed to be done for destiny 2 was to separate PVP and PVE, they could keep the random rolls and power fantasy for PVE and they could have made a ranked competitive PVP.

    Instead they decided to screw both sides and make a game that’s controlled by them threw drip feeding content and pushing players towards microtransactions.

    On Thursday Luke Smith will talk about updates to the sandbox and QoL changes, if they are not satisfactory I feel most players will not come back and would grow a forverever dislike for the brand.

    And it’s a really bad time for bungie, with games like Anthem, borderlands 3, cyberpunk 2077, metro exodus, farcry 5 all around the corner, bungie are in a real bad spot right now and the studio seems to think arrogantly that the fans are just going to support them through all of this blindly.

    No thanks Bungie/Activision, you are no better than EA now.

  • Not a bad game really, but after you hit level cap on a few characters there is nothing really worth grinding towards. The strikes etc can be fun, but if you are not grinding towards better loot it seems pointless. As someone said above, I’m also not loving the idea of an extra 50 every time an expansion drops or risk being locked out of content I could preciously access.

  • What honestly is actually the point of hitting level cap in destiny, it doesn’t actually make things noticeable easier, so what is the actual point,
    Everyone wised up after d1 pretty early it was only the pc hype train and peoples belief things would become enjoyable/rewarding have fun EVERYONE who does like the game LFG the nightfall lol

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!