Destiny Is Still Missing One Thing: An Endgame

With the recent launch of The Taken King, Destiny is still missing one key element that separates it from the MMO-esque genre: a great endgame. First of all, yes, I consider Destiny to be more of an MMO than just your average shooter. The grind, the loot, the dailies, they’re all reminiscent of an MMO game attempting to keep you playing for as long as possible.

Bungie has always been walking the thin line between “open world shooter” and MMO since the original 2014 launch. The great thing about Destiny is that it is a mixture of both genres. It takes the greatest aspects of a AAA shooter and combines them with the large scale and scope of an MMO. Yet the endgame is one MMO element that Bungie needs to fully embrace.

Now I’m no expert when it comes to the MMO genre, but I have played a respectable amount Destiny to know that the endgame is severely lacking. First of all, what is the endgame in Destiny?

1. Level up to complete the (one) Raid
2. Obtain Raid gear to complete the Hard Raid
3. Reach maximum Light Level
4. PVP/Misc.

That’s about the sum of it. I’ll admit that is breaking it down very simply, but there isn’t much more too it than those four points. My issue arises in the speed and ease of which these tasks can be accomplished. When you think of games like World of Warcraft, EVE, Neverwinter, etc. you think of long and possibly difficult to complete endgames. Let’s break down each step of Destiny’s endgame:

1. Level up to complete the Raid

I played The Taken King for around 25 hours before starting the Raid. I would consider the Raid to be the first step of Destiny’s endgame, so after 25 hours the endgame had begun.

2. Obtain Raid gear to complete the Hard Raid

Most people are currently at this step. The recommended Light Level for the Hard Raid is currently unknown but it is estimated to be somewhere between 300 and 310. Anyone that has been playing TTK consistently since launch is likely above 300, so unless the Hard Raid requires 310 then this step has already been completed.

3. Reach maximum Light Level

Currently the maximum Light Level is 310 but that could change depending on the level of gear the Hard Raid produces. Either way, to complete this step will take some time as you will need a full set of armor, weapons, ghost, and artifact at the 310 level (or whatever the max is). This is the true endgame grind of Destiny.

4. PVP/Misc.

At this point, there isn’t much to do other than play multiplayer matches, complete daily and week bounties, and possibly a few quests. Even the greatest MMO’s have a true end point where there isn’t anything substantial left to do.

Now that the steps are covered, here is where my issue arises: it’s too easy, too fast, and too unrewarding. The first thing Destiny needs to do is to make difficult content. The only content in Destiny that is actually difficult is only due to player ignorance or simply being under-leveled. The Raid’s aren’t actually hard once you understand how to do them and most activities are only hard when you try to complete them at a lower level than recommended.

The speed of the endgame is clearly evident. After a little more than one week of playing, I’ve already completed step 2 (as far as I know). This could be achieved even faster if a player has multiple characters of the same class (three warlocks, three hunters, or three titans). The only other step would be to reach the maximum Light Level. But here’s the thing, why do you need to reach the maximum Light Level? Since you can beat the final piece of content before you reach maximum Light Level, what is your motivation for doing so? A simple fix would be to add another difficulty to the Raid in which you are required to have six players at maximum level to even start it. That would create a tangible goal for players to strive for.

My biggest problem with Destiny is that players are forced to make up their own endgame goals as Bungie has not provided their own. Tasks such collecting all exotic weapons/armor, climbing the leaderboards of third party websites, and boosting your Grimoire score are perfect examples. Destiny is a good game, and TTK has taken a lot of steps in the right direction. The quests are a great example of content that keeps the player engaged over a long period of time. Bungie simply needs put effort into making endgame content for players planning on sinking hundreds or thousands of hours into the game.

What are your thoughts on Destiny, The Taken King, and the endgame? Post in the comments below.

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