The Destiny franchise has always had an issue with matchmaking, both in PvE and PvP. While Bungie has addressed the PvP matchmaking issue, solo PvE players are still left in the dark on some of the best activities Bungie has to offer. Fans of the series have wanted Nightfall and Raid matchmaking since the launch of Vault of Glass in vanilla Destiny. Now with Destiny 2, it’s even more apparent that a solid, well-designed matchmaking system is needed to get fans into the end-game activities that they would otherwise miss out on due to not having a fireteam of friends to play with.
According to PlayStation Network, out of all Destiny 2 players, only 18.2% of them have completed the Leviathan raid, the pinnacle activity in the base Destiny 2 experience. Granted, that number does include players who played the campaign and left, or players who simply played the game for a small time and then stopped, but regardless, the number is incredibly low. Raids hold some of the most challenging and satisfying moments in Destiny 2, so the fact that so many players miss out on these activities is a tragedy. Plus with Destiny 2 getting harder after Warmind launches, players will need an avenue to get end-game level gear.
Destiny‘s raids are something truly unique to the FPS genre. These six-player activities have been the highlight of the series for many Destiny players. The raids are tailored to be more challenging and strategic than the other content in the game. Raids put teamwork and communication to the test as fireteams face off against incredibly challenging enemies or puzzles that need to be solved to advance.
Typically, raids have two or three bosses and a puzzle encounter or two, all of which test the communication and skill of the fireteam as a whole as they try to get higher power gear. Destiny 2‘s Leviathan raid is the first of its kind, where the encounters change order and they are very puzzle oriented. Plus there is a whole underside to the Leviathan which allows players to bypass certain parts of the raid for a chance at more rewards.
In truth, raids are what set Destiny apart from many other first person shooters. They show a new side of the game that expands beyond simply shooting a big bad guy until its health runs out. They are challenging and they are satisfying to complete.
Another big part of the raids is the loot. Every raid has its own unique loot designed specifically to fit the theme of the raid, which drops at higher power levels to help players reach the power cap. The raid lairs, which are small-scale raids that take place within the Leviathan, help flesh out the loot pool for the Leviathan raid so that every weapon type has a special version hand-made for the raid. They also come with their own unique armor sets and shaders for players to chase after during the power grind.
Destiny 2 introduced Guided Games in an attempt to give more players the opportunity to experience these end-game activities, but the system fell flat due to long matchmaking times and a lack of real structure. Even with guided games, fewer players completed a raid in Destiny 2 compared to Destiny, where 21% of players completed a raid. Every player should have the chance to participate in these end-game activities, whether it be the Leviathan, nightfalls, or the new Spire of Stars raid lair, without having to sift through LFG (looking for group) sites.
LFG sites aren’t inherently bad, but some players are frustrated that they have to go to a website to find people to match up with, something that the game should do when the player selects the activity. The typical LFG experience consists of putting in power level, class, desired activity, and hoping that someone sends the player a message.
A great idea would be to rework The Farm in Destiny 2 into an LFG area, where players can look for other people to run raids, strikes or trials with. The Farm is essentially useless after the main campaign ends, so it could be converted to be a bounty board where players can post their guardian’s info, desired activity, language, and whether they have a microphone or not. Players could even say they’re looking to Sherpa/looking for Sherpa, which would replace the mess that is Guided Games. While it would be incredibly difficult to implement a system like this, the quality of life in Destiny 2 would drastically increase if players did not have to go to an LFG site or the Destiny 2 Companion app to coordinate a party. Even if it’s an in-game LFG system, it’s better if it’s in-game as opposed to on a third-party site.
Warmind has Escalation Protocol as well, which is an endgame activity. Having some guardians in a fireteam to run through the horde-mode activity would come in handy when trying to unlock all of the special gear that Escalation Protocol has to offer. Back when Destiny 2 was announced, Guided Games seemed like a great avenue to get new players into the end-game, but perhaps Bungie needs to go back to the drawing board and reevaluate the best way to do this without forcing players through a website or app.
Destiny 2: Warmind releases May 8, 2018 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.