For MMOs, it’s important to have a wide range of content since it helps keep the game fresh and ensures that players come back for more. However, it’s not enough for developers to put content just so that players have something to do. Instead, they should consider balancing them, so that no particular kind of content will be more prominent than the rest. Unfortunately, for Destiny 2, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Players’ Display of Affection for Public Events
Destiny 2 has a wealth of endgame content. They’re all there as venues where players can get gear and other Destiny 2 items that will allow them to continuously raise their Power Level up to 305 (even 350 for ambitious players). Although Bungie meant to make all content equal, players don’t see it that way. To them, being able to enjoy the full range of what the game has to offer is nice, but it’s just secondary to pumping their Power Levels. In Destiny 2, players tend to prioritize the latter, even if it means grinding one specific type of content over the others.
In Destiny 2, once you hit Power Level 260, leveling up becomes less routine, and more concentrated on fewer kinds of activities. There are weekly events, the Iron Crucible, Nightfall, Strikes, and Public Events. Among these, Public Events have become the most popular among players.
Why players stick with what seems like a rather mundane activity instead of bigger and arguably better end-game content is because it provides an easier way for players to get Exotics gear compared to the others. For those new to the game, Exotics are the game’s highest tier of gears. In fact, they’re the only gear that is either equipped as they are, or infused to increase Power Levels once blues and non-Milestone legendaries no longer do the trick.
Explaining the Rise of Public Events
There are two reasons why it’s easier to get Exotics on Public Events compared to Strikes and The Crucible. First, it’s because of Destiny 2’s new map system. Players can check out any zone to look out for any active and soon-to-be active events, which lets them get to that particular area ahead or just in time. Heck, even late, because there are instances when players arrive at the last twenty seconds of a public event, but still manage to open a chest and get a reward. Besides, Public Events are the most common way to get Exotics, and it’s easy to find other players doing the same thing.
Usually, you’ll find three of four people doing the same Public Event, so you won’t have to worry about going at it alone and struggling. Also, almost everyone already has an idea how to trigger the heroic version of these Public Events, which have a higher chance of giving out Exotic loot.
From the players’ perspective, this is a good thing; it’s a convenient and fun way to boost their Power Levels. However, if we judge this phenomenon from the point of view of sound game development, it’s not something that should continue. After all, Bungie should’ve designed the endgame content in such a way that players will try their hands on all of them equally, and their preference for one over another would be because of personal reasons. The question is, what should they do: nerf Public Events, or buff everything else? We’ll know the answer in the few months to come.
Accessible content is always a pro. When specific content is more accessible than the other, then a few tweaks are in order. Hopefully, Bungie will get this right.