Benefits of a Fresh Start in Destiny 2

Back when we posted our wishes for Destiny 2, we mentioned that some sort of ‘clean slate’ could be in store. While this could mean getting new characters, new guns, new worlds, and new gameplay, it also might mean letting go of all your favorite loot. It seems tragic, to be sure. But would the benefits outweigh?

Destiny is all about collecting loot and mastering skills. Some of that loot is very hard to come by, and it makes sense that players might be peeved to have dedicated to the grind “for nothing” if it all gets left behind.  I can imagine some sort of internal balance being struck: perhaps character models are saved, along with shaders and class items.

However, it’s equally important that Destiny 2 include incentives for players who’ve been in since the beginning. The Old Guard emblem, or Moments of Triumph that chronicle our successes – invested players want to feel invested, and a hard reset undoes some of that magic. Hopefully there will be a healthy balance in Destiny 2 that inspires us to explore all that is new, while retaining acknowledgments of our greatest achievements.

There are many benefits for creating an entirely new arsenal. Some problems can’t be solved with simple balance patches – such as the current state of special weapons. For example: it is my opinion that high impact shotguns should not have been paired with a range stat, and that impact and range should have been inversely linked as opposed to impact and rate of fire. However, that can’t change in in a Destiny 1 PvP patch – it could change if Bungie rethinks shotguns for Destiny 2. Likewise any other weapon – drastic changes are possible for a sequel, but very, very unlikely before that.

Perhaps a better example of this is to look at one of the most effective loadouts the in-game PvP meta: The Last Word / Sniper combo. Bungie’s stuck with a thorny issue here: keep the effectiveness of that build and reward people who’ve become skilled at using it at the risk of driving those same players to boredom, or change the effectiveness of this combo and risk the fury of the Destiny community.

These same problems extend to PvE content. Rumors suggest that some D1 locations will, at least initially, not be included in a sequel. I do hope that Vault of Glass comes back at some point, but I also don’t want to be distracted from new content by feeling compelled to grind the old.

I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t be sad to lose my Hunter. On the other hand, she hasn’t spoken in over a year, and I’m a little worried about her mental state.  As much as I’m enamored with the internal backstory I’ve created, I simply don’t feel connected to my character. Similarly, I’d be sad to lose some of the loot I invested so much time acquiring, but I’m not so married to my vault that I’d be lost without it.

At this point, clever Guardians have min/maxed the game, and helpful extensions such as Destiny Item Manager have taught us the most effective ways to play, which is fantastic. But what I’m missing – what many are missing – is the sense of awe and mystery that Destiny initially brought. Not just in the world-building, but in looking at a loot drop and thinking “Wow! What is that? I should use it!” Loading up Destiny 2 and knowing exactly what to do and how to do it doesn’t strike me as an inspiring experience.

Ultimately, a lot of the the fun is simply in having something new, something fresh, and Destiny 1’s longevity has exacerbated that somewhat. If loving Destiny 2 even more means starting over, I’m all for it. Are you?