So I said this in the raid group yesterday, but it kinda surprised people and I wanna know if I’m alone in feeling this: I’m not really feeling Destiny 2 once you’ve gotten to raid-ready power level.
Most of the loot system changes greatly reduce the amount of friction between starting the campaign and getting to an acceptable level to enter a raid, and I commend Bungie for making these changes, as it makes it much easier for the average player to get to experience the greatest content in the game. However, there are no longer any reliable, deterministic ways of getting specific loot items, and that limits your ability to chase after specific builds.
By the end of D1, you had a weekly allotment of legendary marks you could go out and complete activities to get, and you could turn in those legendary marks for specific items at vendors. All of that has been stripped out and replaced with the token system in D2, where you turn in something like 25 vendor-specific tokens in exchange for a vendor engram, containing a random item from that vendor’s loot table. If you want a full set of Nessus armor, there is nothing in the game you can do to work towards a Nessus armor set aside from grinding away endlessly at Nessus activities to get tokens and roll engrams until you get all the armor items. (And for pretty much any planet aside from EDZ, it doesn’t take long before you’ve exhausted all of the side content.)
The infusion system also became more frustrating, because you can no longer infuse with any weapon in a slot, but instead have to infuse an auto rifle with another auto rifle and whatnot. This is a pain in the ass, because beyond 265, legendaries will only drop at a lower light level than what you currently are, and therefore you are not only chasing exotics to infuse with, but you are hoping for exotics in a specific subtype of a specific slot if you’ve got a certain weapon you want to infuse up. If you infuse the exotic, you also lose 5 of its power unless you’ve got a legendary attack mod lying around because exotics are all equipped with a +5 attack mod.
Fixed rolls also play into this to some extent. Age of Triumph was an interesting time in D1 because all faction vendors had weapon perks rotating weekly, and that meant you actually had a reason to check into the vendors every week in case anything they sold was an upgrade on your existing loadout. In D2, once you’ve got a Better Devils, there is no point to any other hand cannon you come across because you have the best one in the game already. Hope you’ve got what it takes to infuse it.
I don’t blame Bungie for going the route they did with the systems in D2. I see how they benefit the casual player to give them a nice gentle ramp up from 0 to 265 power, and usually you aren’t really putting too much thought into your weapon and armor builds until you’ve played the raid once or twice. But once you’re past that point, I just found every opportunity D1 gave me to express my creativity to be cut off by being entirely reliant on RNG, and if I wanted that, I would be playing fucking Granblue Fantasy.
I think Destiny 2 is great if you want to treat this like a 20-hour game and play the raid with people a couple times, but having the main way I enjoyed playing the endgame gutted out of it means I don’t see myself dumping hundreds of hours into this game like I did with D1. This probably means it’s going to be way more accessible and less daunting for a bunch more people, and it’s probably the correct market decision, but D2 endgame feels meaningless and empty to me in a way that D1 never was to me.