Division and Destiny gamers: I Prefer to Play Division, What About You?

Division and Destiny gamers: I Prefer to Play Division, What About You?

 

Early in last month, I was playing both of Division and Destiny, but with the update of the two games, I prefer to play Division now. Here is five things Destiny can learn from The Division, just in my own opinion.

 

1. Weapon Skins

 

I'm going to draw the line at weapon attachments for guns, as while that works in The Division, I don't think it would go as well in Destiny, and it would clutter up an already cluttered loot table. But weapon skins? Bring them on.

 

Last week, I wrote the mirror image of this post, where I was extracting lessons from the longer-running Destiny that could be used in The Division, its newest competitor. I talked about how things like exotic questlines, dedicated PvP, better currency balancing and Three of Coins could all be used in The Division, and yet, there are a few things the newer game can actually teach Destiny.

 

Today, before Bungie's April content reveal stream tomorrow, I'm going to talk about what Destiny might be able to learn from The Division. Time will tell which game is ultimately "better" (which will largely be a matter of opinion anyway), but for now, here's how I think they could cross-pollinate to become better.

 

While that works in The Division, I'm going to draw the line at weapon attachments for guns, I don't think it would go as well in Destiny, and it would clutter up an already cluttered loot table. But weapon skins? Take them on.

 

Destiny guns are allowed to be more creatively designed than the weapons we see in The Division, I would argue that because of its sci-fi nature. "high-end" exotic weapons are often just gold-plated/alt-colored versions of normal weapons without any real visual changes in the Division. As for most weapons, you're able to buy skins that give them different types of camo or colorization.

 

Destiny, given how much gamers love to focus on aesthetics, would really benefit from something like this. Nothing is weirder than decking your character out in a sick all-black build, and then having them hold aloft a blue and neon green Crucible weapon. Or having them all in God of War red, and they're holding an assault rifle with a blue camo pattern.

 

There should be a way to get them to work on weapons as well if shaders can work on armor, and yes, it could even be something Bungie sells for Silver at some point, and lord knows they're dying for more opportunities like that.

 

2. Keeping Cosmetics Separate

 

Because it's something that The Division gets very, very right, we'll stick with the cosmetics theme for a moment. I'm not saying that Destiny should adopt The Division's multi-piece, multi-layer cosmetics system with hats, shirts, jackets, scarves, boots and so on, but the idea of keeping cosmetic items separate from armor that actually influences stats is the key takeaway here.

 

Destiny ran into a problem that people were only wearing faction class items instead of what they actually wanted to wear last year. because you had to in order to do missions for Dead Orbit or FWC or what have you. That changed with The Taken King, as you could simply pledge allegiance to whatever faction you wanted, but it was replaced by a new, worse problem.

 

Class items, the one piece of purely cosmetic gear in the game, was suddenly no longer just cosmetic. It became an integral part of stat distribution, not just because it had disc/str/int attached to it suddenly (and orbs on melee hits, hooray!), but because it was given a light level, and made a part of the game's new infusion system.

 

Tons of year one class items were left behind because of this, and by the endgame, gamers were faced with the same problem, they had to usually only wear one cosmetic item, the one they had sunk the most light into, or else their entire light level would drop.

 

The Division says that armor and cosmetics should be like church and state, almost entirely separate, and while I don't think that Destiny needs to go that far, they need to extract class items from the light level system as soon as possible to let people, for the first time pretty much, wear what they actually want to wear in one cosmetic slot. And again, if they did this, surprise, it's something else that could potentially be a microtransaction for Bungie, so let that motivate them, if nothing else.

 

3 The Dark Zone

 

The Dark Zone is certainly the Division's most "unique" aspect , the lawless land of loot and mayhem, and a mode that I think would actually work somewhat well in Destiny with a few tweaks.

 

I would never advocate for a mode that has Destiny gamers facing off against AI and each other that allows them to lose experience, items or currency (can you imagine, dropping Exotics and Strange Coins on death? The horror!). However, I'm fundamentally sold on the concept of PvPvE as a fun game mode, influenced by not just the Dark Zone, but also Halo 5's Warzone, which is a blast.

 

The concept of PvPvE would work really well in Destiny. Maybe not lore-wise (someone else can write that Grimoire card), but gameplay-wise? Absolutely. I'm picturing a new, perhaps smaller exploratory zone which lacks structured missions, but instead has roving pockets of bosses that can drop endgame loot. It's kind of like "hard mode patrol" that Destiny fans have been requesting for a while, filled with high-level enemies and actual scary bosses that drop relevant loot. And on the way, why not be able to kill other fireteams for additional cash and prizes (so long as they don't have to be extracted from their inventory, or extracted out of the map, ugh).

 

With some tweaking, a Destiny Dark Zone could be a fun endgame activity that was something entirely different from Raids, Prison of Elders, Iron Banner or Trials. Hell, it could be the basis for an entire expansion, someday. I'd really like to see this happen.

 

4. Matchmaking

 

Every endgame Division activity has matchmaking, including max-level Dark Zone and ultra-hard Challenge missions. Yes, it is obviously easier and better and more fun to go into these activities with a group of friends or clanmates, but the option being there for matchmaking is the important point. Without it, I would rarely do the Dark Zone and probably wouldn't bother much with endgame farming at all, but I've been very successful with matchmade groups in even the hardest areas of the games. Yes, sometimes it's all gone to hell, but who cares? I know that's a risk, but I still want the option.

 

And that's the thing, there are still tons of options. You can matchmake, you can play solo, you can play with friends, you can find a more cohesive team using TheDivisionLFG.com.

 

The problem with Destiny's complete lack of matchmaking now is that the friends list you used to have is now drying up with players leaving the game, and I can't even complete my No Time to Explain quest because I can't find a VoG group on LFG sites 95% of the time anymore. Persistent matchmaking would solve so many of Destiny's problems, and yet we are still in a situation where there are three raids, the Nightfall strike, Trials of Osiris, special PvP events (Doubles) and even freaking easy-mode Prison of Elders that won't let you play unless you manually find a group yourself.


5. Faster Balance Adjustments

 

It's hard to understate just how responsive Massive has been when addressing player complaints and issues with The Division. It's barely been two weeks since the game has been out, and already they've patched a massively overpowered weapon, killed a cheap farming spot, overhauled high-end drop rates, and completely reworked the risk/reward system of the Dark Zone. In two weeks.

 

If this was Bungie? It would probably be more along the lines of "Let's see how the game develops for eight or nine months, and then maybe we'll take a look at it."

 

That's something of an exaggeration, but in many ways, not really. In Year One, we had weapons like the Gjallarhorn and Thorn overpowering the entire meta for eons before they were finally revised. There were exploits that went unpatched for weeks, months even. Long-requested features took ages to arrive. Months-old bugs still litter the game. In short, Bungie just moves much, much slower when addressing these sort of things, and that can be a serious problem. I don't know if Massive will be able to keep up this Johnny-on-the-spot pace, but so far they're running circles around Bungie.

 

It's unclear how much of this may be Bungie's supposedly archaic content editing system in Destiny, with reportedly makes it take ages to load and tweak things in the game. But at a certain point, that excuse wears thin, and significant changes have to be made to ensure that it isn't a factor over the course of the next decade. A game like Destiny needs to constantly be changing and evolving based on bug feedback and balance issues. It can't operate like the sloth-filled DMV of Zootopia.

 

Also, the big changes have been updated on both of the games.

 

Destiny will get its first major new PvE content since The Taken King came out last September; the light level-cap will raise, new gear will become available, Crucible balance will shift and we'll all have a reason to do Prison of Elders again. Meanwhile, The Division will get its first raid-like Incursion, as well as a big update that will tweak the balance and add a bunch of new features.

 

In short, The Division may be the new kid on the block, but it's learned from many of Destiny's mistakes. But it is only my opinion and it is just for fun and your refernece. Diferent player has diferent ideas about the two games. And Obviously, it'll be possible to play both games, but my hunch is that most people have one they're planning to play more. What game would you like to play more? Or which game you prefer to ? Please let us know your interesting comment on this.

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