Only a few days on the job, Destiny reddit mod u/Cozmo23 is dealing with a very upset community. On late Thursday, the dev team at Bungie put out a blog post dedicated to future weapon tuning: Destiny Weapon Tuning 2.0. In this post the dev team talk about some significant weapon balancing that will be taking place in the near future. This type of re-balancing of weapons and gear is quite common for online games like Destiny prior to an expansion (If you didn't know "The Taken King" Destiny's first major expansion comes out this September). Many of the weapon re-balances including a Thorn and shotgun nerf were much needed in the PvP arena. Recently is in an analysis done by another redditor, it was found that the majority of winning teams in the Trials of Osiris playlist had at least one Thorn user on their team. Among the top ten weapons used, four of them were shotguns. Obviously the community was looking for some changes to make the PvP landscape a bit more varied. So these changes were quite welcome. What no one was expecting were some significant changes to how certain guns act in PvE. Specifically The Gjallarhorn.
If you have spent any time playing Destiny with other players, you are probably aware of the somewhat infamous gun, often referred to as Gjalley. The rocket launch does spectacular damage and is one of the most sought for guns in the game. Sadly one of the reasons this gun is wanted by every player is that many times when players are looking to form groups of end game content, having the gun in your arsenal is required. Often times, bosses that could take a very long time to take down can be burned with a group full of gjalleys. This is not how Bungie wants players to play, which to be frank, makes complete sense from their point a view. The gun was allowing players to skip over the already shallow boss mechanics and get directly to the glorious loot. When Bungie makes a change like this, it screams, "please play the game we designed it to be played" (which speaks to the other much larger issue of Destiny's lack of content) but what Bungie doesn't realize is that most people have already played the content the correct way. Destiny's most hardcore players are staying up late on launch nights to do the game's newest raids or nightfalls. But once that content has been cleared the correct way and people have figured out how to work as a team to take down the newest bosses, why would they want to do it over and over? I understand the best players wanted to help out some lesser experience players clear all of the content, but at what point is it okay to stop? Everyone knows that the content worth playing in Destiny comes about once to get to the level cap, but that doesn't guarantee that all of the excellent and unique guns/gear will drop for you. I'm sure active players of the game have experienced this or know someone else who has experienced doing as specific raid every week on all three of their characters never to get that one white whale of a gun. It is one of Destiny's greatest faults and its why, once I clear the newest end game content I tend to stop playing. Getting frustrated every week when Vision of Confluence doesn't drop for me just isn't worth it. I've had my fun with the game, why torture myself?
It is in this vicious end game cycle of not receiving loot and being hungry for more content do I come to my conclusion for current Destiny players. If you are having fun playing Destiny every time you log on. Keep doing what you're doing. But if are logging on just to see what Xur is selling, or upset that the Goliath Tank on Mars is going to take five minutes longer to kill now that Gjallarhorn/Black Hammer will be nerfed? You should probably take a break from Destiny. The community goes through cycles where when the newest content begins to get stale, players being to shift their desires aware from the intrinsic value offered in destiny and begin to focus on the extrinsic value of guns and gear. In short, "Completing the games content is no longer enjoyable, but acquiring the game's weapons and gear is what is giving me satisfaction". And when the majority of players are looking to clear a hard-mode raid without a wipe, the community becomes poisonous. Players get at angry at each other when they accidentally die or mistime an encounter's mechanic, often leaving the group and not before letting everyone know how terrible they are at the game. So does this Gjallarhorn nerf actually hurt or help Destiny? The answer to that depends on when you ask it. New expansion? Players must clear the content the correct way and get the satisfaction of completing some of the best first person shooter gameplay in the business. Most recent expansion weeks or months old? Chances are the community will be complaining about how bosses they have killed several times still take a very long time to kill.
If you are a Destiny player who plays mostly for the PvP and only dabbles in the PvE content in an attempt to collect some gear, chances are nothing in the previous paragraph applies to you. Which is great! Except for the fact that a huge portion of people you play Destiny with online will at some point begin to sour when content is only being played for the gear. But fear not, the next expansion will most likely only be a month or two away and will cost you somewhere between $20 and $40 dollars.
Thanks for reading! And if you found what I had to say about the community cycle of PvE content you should take a look at Danny O'Dwyer from GameSpot's video on how Destiny is using elements often found in games designed for gambling and whether or not this should be praised in the AAA game industry. Link