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Destiny is a unique phenomenon. On the one hand, it received so much hype on which it it failed to deliver when it initially launched 6 months ago; on the other, millions of Guardians, myself included, still log in daily or weekly to defeat the minions of the Darkness – and have fun doing so. After an expansion, numerous updates, controversial patches, and endless tweaking, how much has Destiny changed in the last 6 months? Quite a lot, as it turns out.
Since launch, Destiny needed a lot of minor fixes – small patches, bugs, glitches, that kind of thing. Not necessarily game-breaking, but noticeable. Bungie has remained largely on top of patching the little things that pop up during gameplay; the issues that would have crept past QA testing.
Bungie has also tried to remain transparent since launch with their weekly updates, which highlight everything changing in the game, from small glitches to large holes.
Disconnecting is now less frequent (for me, at least. Other players report less-than-stellar experiences), weapons are largely balanced between PvP and PvE (especially with the latest Shotgun update), Public Events occur more often, and so on.
Heavy Ammo fix
A bug with a fix long in the works, the infamous ‘Heavy Ammo glitch’ stole players’ ammunition after they died, returned to orbit, or watched a cutscene.
Bungie recently fixed the glitch through a series of complicated mathematical equations and lines of code; the basic gist of which is that you no longer lose Heavy Ammo in those circumstances.
This fix is by far one of the more useful, which had the Destiny community just about explode with glee upon its release. The last update in general was pretty great, even though Guardians didn’t warm up to it straight away.
The Dark Below – Changing the way Guardians play the story
With Destiny‘s The Dark Below expansion, the first in a number of DLC packs, Bungie introduced a new way to play through the story – Quests.
Quests are separate to story missions, and instead appear to the player as multi-tiered ‘bounties’ (similar to Exotic bounties) they pick up off a particular story character; in this case Eris Morn.
Quests will make another, further refined appearance in the upcoming expansion House of Wolves, which will feature The Reef as a playable location, and the Queen of the Awoken as an integral character.
Matchmaking for Weekly Heroic
Matchmaking is a feature many fans asked for well before Destiny launched. When Bungie finally did implement the feature, the taste was bittersweet – they listened to the fans, but only implemented it into the Weekly Heroic (rather than the Nightfall and the Raid), and it’s mandatory.
This problem is twofold: one, there are plenty of players who solo the Heroic as a challenge to themselves, who are now forced to matchmake, and two; the players who still want matchmaking would rather have it for the Nightfall or Raids.
This is a step in the right direction for Bungie, listening to what the fans want – it just needs to be a little more transparent in how it goes about accomplishing what the fans want.
Seeing as Bungie marketed Destiny as a social game, fans were confused when it launched without in-game chat functions.
Since launch, Bungie updated it to include the option to quickly switch between different types of voice chat – now you can chat with those you just joined up with instead of going through the effort of starting up a party for everyone. The same goes for the Crucible teams.
Bungie included a lot of content in their latest major update.
In a nutshell, the update dished out a number of weapon buffs and nerfs, allows remote inventory management via the Destiny mobile app, the aforementioned Heavy Ammo fix, and so on.
New Crucible modes
The Crucible launched with a number of game modes all focused on accumulating points – even the basic ‘team slayer’ game type awards points for assists and the like, which boosts a team’s overall score and pushes them closer to winning.
‘Inferno’ playlists are hardcore versions of Bungie’s current Crucible offerings. They get rid of radars so Guardians have to fly blind or focus on teamwork, and they put more of an emphasis on winning through how many kills your team gets.
Bungie included a lot more tiny updates since Destiny‘s launch – far too many to list here. These are by far the biggest changes to the base game. Are they worth the wait? Not necessarily all of them. Have they made the game better? Absolutely.
Destiny may never be the game that fans were promised before launch, but Bungie is working hard on making it the best it can be right now, and at the moment it’s a lot of fun. There are plenty more features the team could improve on or introduce, but they’ve made a lot of progress in 6 months. It will be interesting to see where Destiny stands in another 6 months down the track, and what Bungie has in store for the future of the franchise.