For a while now, it feels like the events of Destiny 2 have been cut off a bit. There have been some good ones in the past, periodically, but more than ever they seem less creative and fresh. More than ever, it seems to be all about pushing microtransactions.
Solstice is probably the biggest example of the decline of Destiny events, where when the game started we had redesigned challenging campaign missions and armor sets that we had to visually improve through a lot of gameplay.
Now we are in our fifth year of the EAZ zone. Our second year of Bonfire Bash, which is less interesting than the first three years of rooftop-hopping. Even if the rewards aren’t great (and they aren’t, but I’ll get to that in a minute), one way to engage players is to make the activity itself feel new and fun. But the events now in Destiny 2 are almost purely copied and pasted from previous years, and if they “change” it’s for something like the Haunted Forest converted into Haunted Lost Sectors with different types of spawns. Or like the switch to Bonfire Bash. They’re just… getting worse.
Here are the issues I see using this year’s Solstice as probably the clearest example of it all so far:
- It’s the fifth year in the EAZ, and the “new” additions are a pair of buffs that have nothing to do with the last years of Solstice, when we had specific element-based buffs that were really a lot of fun.
- Bonfire Bash doesn’t even use the whole point of the EAZ, which was verticality, making it a lesser version of the event that existed before.
- You are presented with a full set of armor in the front which you are instructed to use in activities despite the junk stats (you really only need to use the class item most of the time FYI). It’s at least a step up from other events where there are no new armor sets to earn at all, only purchased, though…
- You can “skip” the event by paying for the best finalized, shiny version of the armor with cash, or throwing away your saved Bright Dust for it. White glows “earned” this year are barely noticeable, and color-changing elementals, which cannot be earned through event play, are usually the best anyway.
- One of the draws of the event is to be a (quite convoluted) high stat armor farm for players, which again distinguishes between free and paid players, as this free event makes it a chore, but paid seasonal players can instantly target any HELM engram in high stat armor, making this event pretty useless for them.
- I feel like most seasonal weapons are deliberately crippled to be underwhelming. Although there are a few exceptions here and there, this season in particular the new Rocket Launcher with maybe a single good roll that is vastly outclassed by half a dozen other rockets is worth nothing for farming.
- Finally, the other in-game rewards are almost non-existent. There is only one ship you can earn. One shader is sold for Bright Dust (the first of the entire season!!) and the second is locked in the deeply irritating “event card” for $10, making it the fourth shader this season behind a $10 paywall that can’t be purchased with Bright Dust and comes bundled with other stuff you probably don’t want. As evidenced by the Iron Banner chainmail shader, even a single cosmetic reward like this can inspire a lot of grinding. There is nothing like it offered here.
Simply put, you need to give players a reason to play. First and foremost it would be a new gameplay experience, new map or mode, but without that you need some cool rewards to pursue, which… are also missing in this event. If you don’t engage players at all, no one will even log on to look at all the cute items in the Eververse store in the first place.
Next up is Festival of the Lost, and we’ll see if we’re still digging into Haunted Lost Sectors with a cool shader locked in the event pass…