Yesterday, I wrote about ‘5 lessons that Tom Clancy’s The Division can learn from Destiny’. Today I’m going the other way. What must The Division do better than Bungie’s juggernaut to keep their players interested. Destiny is quite a divisive game, it tends to be a Marmite-type of game, you either love it or hate it. So, what can Ubisoft Massive do to avoid the disappointments of Destiny?
1. Story, Story, Story
My biggest issue with Destiny, and I’m sure I’m not the only one, is that the story is drivel, absolute, incomprehensible drivel. Not only is the story a shambles, but there is hardly any of it. Bungie created a great world, but they seemed to spend all their time crafting it and no time on writing a story to take place in that world. The Division clearly has some story involving the crisis caused by a virus, but I think it needs more than that. If the developers can give us a carefully crafted narrative that not only explains the situation we’re in, but gives us characters that we can care about and become involved with, the game would be all the better for it.
2. More Random Events
I still remember playing the Destiny beta (you know, the one that conned us all into buying the game), and one of the things that impressed me was when a random event occurred and all of the players in the area joined together to take part in it. When it came to the actual game though, these events were extremely repetitive, always in the same place, and once you’d reached a reasonable level with your character they were far too easy. I would love to see The Division make them truly random. They should occur randomly, in random places, with random events, difficulties, and enemies. Improving the quality and variety of these events will not only help to make the game more interesting but it will also improve the longevity of the game.
3. Better Progression/Endgame
While the progression system in Destiny was improved alongside the release of The Taken King, it still isn’t great. I do understand that in any game where you level up, the game will level you up quickly to start with and then slow down, but Destiny pretty much took this to an extreme. As soon as your character’s level got into double figures, your progression slowed right down. When you got to around level 16 leveling up was a grind. And when you hit level 20, leveling up was down to blind luck! For The Division to be successful levelling up needs to feel like an achievement and never a chore. What’s more, the endgame needs to be way more fun. Give us various options to change up the missions, varying difficulties, different types of enemies, weapon restrictions, and anything else that will change the way we play a mission.
4. Better Unlocks
Let’s all admit from the start that the engrams in Destiny, suck. The first few times you took engrams for decoding, we all had genuine excitement about what items we might receive. This quickly disappeared as excitement, turned to hope, then wishes, desperation, pleas, voodoo curses demanding decent equipment, before finally losing all interest. What’s more, the items dropped in game were equally poor, with the exception of the end of level bullet sponges (or some people refer to them as bosses). When it comes to unlocks, The Division needs to take its cues from something like Diablo III instead of Destiny. I have completed Diablo III multiple times on Mac, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. I have spent so many hours playing just for the slightest chance of picking up a sweet new unlock. If The Division can achieve this feat, then not only will the game have a great longevity, it will gather a fiercely loyal fanbase.
5. Make the Game Single-player Friendly
Apparently the greatest part of Destiny are the raids, but the vast majority of players have never experienced them. It is estimated that approximately less than 20% of players have played through a raid. This is incredibly disappointing for something that is thought to be the best part of the game. The fact of the matter is that this is purely because Bungie won’t add matchmaking to this game type. The Division really needs to avoid this mistake. Ubisoft Massive needs to give us an option to team up with other random players. Anyone who is used to online matchmaking will already be prepared for the fact that you will occasionally be teamed up with some unhelpful (and sometimes downright disruptive) players. Speaking as a bit of a lone wolf, when it comes to playing online, I’d rather go through this with the possibility of meeting up with some like-minded players than not have the option at all.
So that’s my list of 5 things that I think The Division needs to do better than Destiny. What are your choices? Do you agree/disagree with mine? Please feel free to sound off in the comments section below.