Finding the balance between too little and too much to do in Destiny 2
"We found with Destiny 2–and this is the case, I think, on any game–that players don’t want to be told when to stop playing.”
- Steve Cotton talks about changes introduced in Destiny 2's Forsaken expansion
The Guardian has shared a brief conversation with Destiny 2: Forsaken game director Steve Cotton on how the development team at Bungie approached the careful balance between keeping people playing and avoiding mindlessly repetitive gameplay.
The full story offers devs a look at how the gear system in Destiny has changed since the series’ debut, how players have reacted to those different changes along the way, and how Destiny developer Bungie approaches making those changes.
As the Guardian piece points out, the original Destiny skewed toward ‘grind-filled’ gameplay, causing players to mindlessly work their way through waves of enemies in hopes of getting progressively stronger gear. Destiny 2 aimed to introduce more structure into that formula but may have overcorrected and left players with a seemingly finite list of things to do each week with little reason to log in outside of that.
The game’s most recent expansion, explains Cotton, aims to rectify that by re-introducing some elements from Destiny 1, like random-rolls on some weapons, to imbue the more structured sequel with a light grind.
“Even if they probably should stop playing, they want to believe there’s always something for them to do, and they want to be able to make that choice on their own,” says Cotton. “Destiny 2, as much as it was trying to respect players’ time, had a very bad way of showing you when you were done playing and not giving you more to do.”