A while back I watched the reveal stream for Destiny’s newest expansion Rise of Iron , and it was the usual song and dance. A few Bungie higher-ups sitting in a circle talking about how none of them can believe the time has finally come, and a disenchanted viewership tens of thousands strong waiting to see what’s in store come September. Cue the already-leaked premier trailer, toggle the subscriber-only chat filter so only the Bungie faithful who pay to be members can fill the air with positivity and excitement, and tell us: what have you got up your sleeves for this expansion?
As it turns out, quite a lot. Or quite a lot of the same, I should say. A new campaign, new story missions, a new raid, a new strike, a new hub area, new gear with a higher light cap, and some additional crucible content. I could have told you exactly what would be included in this new expansion; we all saw it coming. I’ve got to say something, and don’t take the following statements the wrong way – I’m not trying to be hateful or take a crap on anyone’s hard work. I just have to bring attention to the elephant in the room.
Rise of Iron is another shortsighted, short-term solution to a huge problem that Bungie seems to be avoiding. Destiny is getting stale, and with every DLC and the previous expansion, it seems Bungie wants to bring us back by offering more of the same. That’s not going to work. Everyone is going to be done with this in a couple of months. Hardcore players will be fully decked out in the best gear and will have reached the new light cap in two weeks tops. Hell, you guys know how crazy people are, I’m sure there will be some people out there who reach the new light cap within days.
The new enemy is just a variant of The Fallen – that’s been confirmed. I’d be willing to bet all of my glimmer that the new social hub in the Plaguelands will be heavily populated for a few weeks, and then everyone will default back to The Tower like they did when The Reef was new. When the raid is conquered and all of the hardcore Destiny fans are decked out in the new gear, then what? Go back to The Crucible and play the new mode nonstop, hoping to see the new map in rotation as much as possible? That’s not going to cut it.
What we really need in an expansion, and what we’ve needed since the days leading up to The Taken King , are new classes. New classes would solve everything. Even with minimal content added in terms of locations, raids, and strikes, new classes would bring novelty to the whole of Destiny . Even the same old haunts in the Cosmodrome and The Dreadnaught would be fresh again as players fought through them with brand new character types using never-before-seen skills. The crucible would come alive as over 30 million registered users flocked back to the game once again to try something exciting; something fresh; something new.
With most online RPGs, new classes are a standard when releasing an expansion. Why Bungie hasn’t considered this as an option is beyond me. It’s obvious that with the Titan, Hunter, and Warlock they were going for the three main archetypes of warrior, hunter, and mage respectively, but there’s still room to expand! How about a rogue equivalent of some kind, or a healer? What about a tank that has additional health and armor, but can only use semi-automatic weaponry? Instead of giving us another few hours of novelty and then hoping we’re content to grind endlessly for a revived year-one rocket launcher, how about making the whole experience new again with new classes?
Does that make sense to anyone else, or am I crazy? It seems to make perfect sense to me, and I guarantee you Bungie would make a killing from at least a few million long-time players purchasing sparks of light to auto-boost their new characters to level 25. It’s a win-win: lots of money and player engagement for Bungie, and the truly new experience fans have been waiting for. Bungie, please make this happen.