An Open Letter to Tyson Green at Bungie…

They put your name on it, so this letter is for Tyson Green, the Lead Designer for Destiny. However, I suspect my grievances should probably be directed more towards a director or V.P. or some anonymous suit somewhere who firmly believes that no story + lots of PvP = good and long-lasting dividends.

Bollocks.

Let me start by saying Destiny is beautiful. The short list of environments I’ve seen are gorgeous and detailed and a real achievement. The environments are part of why I signed up and in part why I’m still playing. Let me add that the characters, weapons, and armor are particularly amazing as well. I can’t take that away from the work done over at Bungie. Nor would I want to. However, I didn’t buy an Xbox One so that I could spend my free time in Destiny for an abbreviated and under-developed story and running over the same old ground or through the same few strikes and raids because nobody bothered to actually finish the big piece of what was promised prior to launch date.

When I first heard about Destiny, I vowed to dump World of Warcraft because the Bungie guru at one of the conventions said “We’ll have new content every day,” and “We’ll have a team working 24/7 to give you new content.” That’s what I remember, at least. That very same guy sold his story with promises of expansive and exhaustless environments.

Bollocks.

Thus far, Bungie (and Activision?) have fallen woefully short of what was promised, and this shortfall was exacerbated in today’s weekly update. To be specific, your marketing team had the gall to use the phrase “Destiny is a thing that we wanted to be meaningful to people.

Bollocks.

You might have “wanted” that at some point in the distant past, but you sure as hell don’t seem to want it now. The proof is in every weekly update. The truth was in anorexic, anemic, skeletal content you made available on release day and have not enhanced one whit since that time. Despite a number of promises, I might add.

You may not understand this, but PvPing is not “meaningful.” Sure, it can be fun, but you really need to look up what the word “meaningful” means and consider how many copies of your game sold versus how many current customers have a positive kill/death ratio in your PvP areas. You should also look at what I’m pretty sure are declining numbers. I mean, I keep seeing the same names over and over again. And I’m tired of it.

You’re lie about wanting to be meaningful while in the same breath saying you updated only Iron Banner is as blatant a slap in the face as anything you could have said. It’s an “up yours” with both fingers to every player who bought Destiny for more than getting beat up in your mis-matched arenas. I won’t even go into how monumentally you seem to misunderstand the word “matchmaking.” This correspondence is about story and the lack thereof.

From about the third hour I played, it was painfully apparent that someone or someones at Bungie (or I suspect Activision) determined that abandoning any sense of story was a reasonable course of action. Perhaps it was circumstance. Perhaps it was cost-savings. Or deadlines. The answer as to why does not seem clear “out here in the trenches” and, frankly, those of us who signed up for Destiny’s science fiction story don’t really care. We wanted to kick WoW to the curb. We wanted to finally find a replacement for the Mass Effect franchise that is MIA. We wanted something that combined epic storytelling (like ME and Halo) with the 5-star combat engine that Bungie built its reputation one.

Tyson, you and the folks at both Bungie and Activision had a golden opportunity to combine the best of WoW, Mass Effect, and Halo. Golden. Hell, platinum. And someone over there decided to flush it down the toilet. You know how I know that? Are you curious as to how someone not looking at the user reports can accurately glean such critical business analysis intelligence?

It’s very simple.

The first way I can tell is that the folks I signed up to play Destiny with have already left. They’re done. A few, including myself, will give the DLC one very brief chance to see if you add any semblance of story and content and not more PvP. The rest of my friends? You gave them the finger and they’re not coming back. That’s money out of your pockets. That’s money out of your share-holder’s pockets. That’s what we call in the gaming industry a fail.

The other way is the litany of broken and empty promises… it’s this ongoing teaser strategy of “more to come” and “we’re doing great things.”

No. You’re not.

You’re rehashing the same half-dozen or so maps and fights and coming up with yet another currency to justify it. Let me clue you in on a little bit of psychology. The gamer world has three types of players that make up 100% of the market. You’ve got your PvPers, your PvEers, and then there are those who live in both worlds. You’ve managed to alienate roughly 2/3rds of what could have been a doggedly devoted community. You could have taken lessons from ME. You could have taken lessons from Master Chief. Do you even remember his story?

The rest of us do.

I read somewhere that you had issues with your writer. That happens. Let me take this opportunity to offer to you my own writing services. I guarantee you I can very quickly come up with storyline and characters, and crises, and a game that becomes “meaningful to people.” But it’s clear that with “updates to Iron Banner” as your big announcement, you believe dropping only your full-time PvP customers in the very same five or six meat grinders over and over again is the extent of your imagination. Bollocks.

Just adding some gear and increasing the level and, in fact, making your arenas even more mis-matched, isn’t how you create a meaningful environment.

You’ve managed to run off most of my friends. If you don’t do something about the story in your game, the actual content, you’re gonna loose people like me too. We really want to be your greatest allies, but we can’t because you’ve given us the finger since launch-day and pandered to only the top-tier PvPers.

 

Sincerely,

 

Q J Allen

Vanguard hopeful.

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