It seems to me that over the years the series has stepped away from RNG based loot drops and rewards, moving instead toward quest/bounty completion rewards as the main method of acquiring sweet loots.
I can only assume this change has come as a result of the outcries over not getting desired loot to drop from RNG. And that’s fairly understandable. Running the same content a million times for a specific drop only to never see it? That’s not a great feeling.
But now we are, for the most part, directed to do a specific set of tasks in order to get a specific reward. Whether it’s a single daily bounty or an exotic quest, we are told time and time again to do X task in order to get Y rewards. The bounty fatigue has been here for a while now, this is nothing new, but the exotic gear suffers from the same issue. You don’t have that “OMG Gjally dropped” feeling. Instead, I often find myself thinking “thank God that checklist is completed.”
And with the season passes, more new exotics are getting directly handed out for simply purchasing them with real money.
Even outside of bounties and quests, the weekly Powerful drops tend to force players into specific activities or modes they may not even want to play, simply for getting a “powerful” drop to increase their level.
The issue with these things is that they take the player away from the simple gameplay loop of shooting things with the weapons and load out YOU enjoy, and then seeing what random loot they drop when you do that. Yes, random loot exists, but it’s very clear that it’s not the focus of the game anymore.
In Destiny 1, if I was a PvE player I could grind strikes for valuable gear, not just because I needed to do 3 a week on my guardian. If I wanted the hardcore end game experience, raids were there. And if you were a PvP player, crucible was your bread and butter and Trials was the raid equivalent. Obviously, these modes still exist in Destiny 2, but they are lumped in with a plethora of other game modes and activities that provide weekly incentive to do them, increasing the “checklist” feeling of playing the game.
The more checklist style rewards are prioritized, and the more of them bloat the game, the less Destiny will ultimately feel like a looter shooter. And with things like loot “pity” timers ala Escalation Protocol, Destiny COULD pull off the more RNG loot centric style of the past while providing a kind of safety net for those who have done tons of the same content without a successful drop. And Xur was always the Santa Claus of Destiny 1, providing an extra, though still random, chance of acquiring loot you don’t have. He was exciting, and in my opinion, a trademark of the series. Compare Xur to how he is now.
Let’s steer away from the checklists designed to give the “Joe Walmarts” gear, and return to when Destiny was a looter shooter.
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