In light of some recent events, I feel like I have to unzip my brain and put thoughts onto paper not just because for the sake of content, but as a gamer as well. While I could reminisce about games being cheaper back in my day or talk about “taking it to the man” as its expressed, this is more about looking at the present situation between us the consumer market and those providing for it.
Since E3 is literally around the corner, it’s crazy to think about how gaming has changed in the great span of years since I originally took up an NES controller. While some of that change has been good and bad, it’s pretty clear that it’s going to continue to evolve and alter itself many times over. So what does that have to do with us consumers and the people who make them?
Presently, Destiny 2 has their “Forsaken” DLC as the next slated thing in terms of a major content update for $40. While this could be considered in the same position as The Taken King back for Destiny 1 in the day, the short version is that Bungie is adding new weapon types and rebalancing, new abilities, one new raid, and a different PVP mode. Having paid $99 for the digital package that comes with the season pass, in comparison to the numbers to what Bungie/Activision is charging for this new expansion, it’s difficult to define what the value is behind the latest $40-$80 content update. Sure, I’d like to have a lot of the aspects I liked in Destiny 1 in Destiny 2 considering that I like the performance experience found in the game through the PC version. At the same time, I had issues with Destiny 1 as a player because I jumped in expecting the Halo style of storytelling, which I didn’t get until the Taken King expansion. Fast forwarding to Destiny 2, it seemed like they improved it quite a bit, yet much of it didn’t feel like any major innovations over the first Destiny. While there were a good amount of cutscenes to lend some character presence in the game, much of the story felt incomplete and had plot holes that never really got explained or just brushed off to the side. The point being that despite this game being somewhat classified as a First-Person Shooter with RPG elements, it feels like this game struggles between what it is and what it isn’t.
Final Fantasy XIV has been my main squeeze when it’s come to MMORPGs mainly because of the content, immersion, and overall experience with the game. In terms of the financials, yes, this game is a lot more expensive considering that the content is locked behind a monthly subscription of $12.99 for the lowest amount possible. However, despite it being more in terms of pricing in the long-term, the amount of things one could do, see, hear, and listen felt and contained a whole lot more in terms of value. Major or minor characters that you encountered felt like they mattered, even if it was only for a few chain quests or an entire expansion.
So why bring up two different games under two different genres. The point being with these two personally for me is the amount of time invested for either one. Both games require a certain amount of time invested in order to progress or reach a certain point in the content provided, hence the grinding. While both games have some similarities in terms of structuring, such as loot, and things that move the story along, what about content that reflects the amount of time that players are investing into these games. No, I am not saying that a repeat of Battlefront II is required, but they have to at least know that people will be eating a lot of time playing their game if they are having a good enough experience with it.
While I could go on and continue to break down different things about Destiny 2, it’s not for the sake of just slandering it. It’s mainly because I feel for the people who really stand behind the brand and despite what is going on, they’re still sticking to their guns. Because of that, I feel like those are the people who are getting thrown under the bus, because they highly value a IP more than the company that is making it. Ironically as I’m writing this, “Destiny 2 + Expansion Pass Bundle“, which I can only assume includes the first two expansions is on discount for $38.99 from the $59.99 original price.
Despite being somewhat excited about the new DLC expansion for Destiny 2, it’s the principle of how this IP is being handled that just makes me shake my head and wonder if there was any point of putting my money where my mouth is. So until September when it releases, I’ll be just watching from the fences and see if this is the Holy Grail that will turn that frown upside down, or be the last nail in the coffin.