An open letter to Bungie in regards to Destiny

Hello Bungie my old friend,

Chozo here. I’ve been a fan of your games for quite a while starting with good old Master Chief on the original Halo series. The biggest draw for me for buying Microsoft consoles has always been the outstanding story/lore and design/fun of the multi-player of those games. I always do my best never to “fanboy” or take sides on console wars or which IP is better than another, because I try to take in every gaming experience for what they are separately. I also never jump on the “hype train” or “bandwagon” when it comes to the gaming communities because I always want my opinions and my choices to forever be my own. I never watched a video, read a review, nor discussed any bits or parts of Destiny before I purchased it because I wanted the experience to be fresh and new to me much in the way that I was enamored with Halo.

It’s been a month now and at first I was content, but as of late I really feel that we need to talk about a few things.

#1. Destiny PVP is broken and ruining PVE won’t fix it.

Why? – Allowing people to use any and all weapons and armor will forever make it impossible for you to balance the PVP. This is a confusing thing to me, because with all of your experience with Halo and knowing that keeping the weapons simple and the same for all players equals an instant and simple system to balance. Any situation where any player has an advantage over another based on gear will always be an unbalance. Class skills are meant to fit the players style and are fine, but all weapons act/behave differently allowing for there always to be a “better gun” in all situations. (Automatic free reload after a kill on the Bad Juju for example)

How to fix it. – First of all do not break PVE as well by “nerfing” everything. We need good and powerful weapons to defeat the Darkness. Why hurt the PVE players because the PVP players are complaining? The best solution is to simply give players a “Crucible Load-out” selection screen before the match that applies to everyone. Let them pick their desired weapon types (scout rifle, shotgun, rocket launcher) but keep them generic and with the same stats across the board. This will ensure that any fixes you need to make will apply to everyone and that player skill truly determines the winners. You can use events like the “Iron Banner” to allow for the player inventory to be used, because isn’t that what the Iron Banner is for anyways? Also, it wouldn’t hurt to fix matchmaking so that it keeps similarly skilled or at least leveled players together. (your extensive stats system should be able to provide you with a reliable algorithm to accomplish this). I also recommend kicking inactive players that join games just to stand there to win “low score RNG loot” because they absolutely ruin your chances when they force your 4-5 man team to fight alone against 6 people that are actually playing.

#2. Speaking of “RNG loot”…

Why? – A lot of people feel that they are doing the “grind” and getting more items on patrols than for doing special or more difficult missions such as the strikes or in PVP. When we beat a difficult strike and are rewarded with nothing and some “ether seeds” it is a huge disappointment. It’s even worse when a player that sits there or does terribly scores some high quality loot when you rock the house and get absolutely nothing for your troubles.

This situation is simply mind boggling to me…

How to fix it. – You need to ensure that people always get at least something for their efforts. Hell, I would be happy with 2 Spinmetal over getting nothing for 30 minutes of my time. I should never look at the reward screen and think “What the hell am I wasting my time with this for?” There is currently no satisfaction to beating a boss other than anticipating getting nothing in the payout screen and that should probably be dealt with on the high end by giving level and character corresponding loot or on the low end with at least some crafting materials.

#3. Those “exploits” you keep patching.

Why? – The exploits such as sniping bosses from hidden spots, getting into areas that people shouldn’t be, or finding new mechanics to beat your puzzles ARE the reasons why a lot of players enjoy playing Destiny. They don’t seem to be prevalent in PVP, so that side of things is fine, but in PVE your user base enjoys “breaking the rules” and finding their own ways to play the game. They don’t affect anyone but themselves and in some cases are the only way that some players can triumph over the more difficult areas of the game.

Some of us like to do cool things just to do them.

How to fix it. – Don’t. There is no negative aspects to anything a player does that doesn’t bring the game world crashing to a halt. So a guy found a “loot cave”. Let him farm it! If he spent $60 dollars to sit there and shoot into a cave then so be it. That is your money well earned. Him doing this does not affect me or my playing experience, and if PVP was using standardized load-outs it wouldn’t affect that either. I don’t care about the people that use exploits to beat things, because those also do not affect my playing experience. Some players keep playing on an endless quest to be the next person to find something cool and new. Think about that for a moment.

#4. Story (or lack there of).

Why? – I’m adding this one because it is a highly discussed complaint for a lot of people. I’m not going to defend this aspect of things, but I also definitely hold out hope that this is all building up to something amazing. Halo’s story was full (sometimes overly) and you always felt like you were accomplishing something. Destiny seems a bit lacking in this department. A loading screen with exposition is not a good replacement when your reputation previously was beautifully crafted rendered sequences that explain the story and give you a reason to care about why you’re there.

This is how I felt during my first story playthrough.

How to fix it. – These are personally my suggestions, but I would put in more rendered scenes to replace the flying ones during loading times when you can. I would also flesh out the characters in the tower a lot more by giving them communication trees before, during, and after missions that correspond with your player’s position in the story. Think how Diablo 3 does it. Once you beat the missions the conversations can still be selected so that you can recap what has already been said. This little addition doesn’t even need voice acting, but I suggest you go the extra mile and include it. The player base would thank you profusely for it.

Bungie, I love you, I really do, but all of this hullabaloo has really put a damper on our relationship. There are a lot of games out there, but I chose to go with yours because I liked and trusted you. I’m only asking you to like and trust me back so that we can work out the kinks in this relationship.

Please take these words to heart, and let’s work together to craft the most amazing video game experience of this gaming generation.

Eric “Chozo Ninpo” Wright
CEO. Channel Zero WebTV

About the author

Chozo Ninpo

Chozo Ninpo is a founding member of Channel Zero and one of the hosts of The Zero Level. He is the Project Manager for the Orlando Nerd Fest and an avid gamer, as well as a nerdcore rapper, a cosplayer, and the real life inspiration behind the FX cartoon "Chozen".