Just how tiny? Now we have some idea, thanks to a clever fan who decided to show us just how top-tier many of our problems with the game really are.
Redditor btg7471 decided to hunt through his PS4 Destiny trophies and looked at the overall stats on a few of them. The result shows us a rough estimate of how many players have done what in Destiny, and more specifically, what they haven’t done. Here’s the list:
- Only 31.1% of Guardians have equipped a piece of Exotic gear.
- Only 23.8% of Guardians have worn Legendary/Exotic armor in every slot.
- Only 24.2% of Guardians have earned max Vanguard marks in a week, while just 16% have maxed their Crucible marks in a week.
- Only 23.1% of Guardians have reached rank 3 with the Vanguard.
- Only 19.2% of Guardians have completed a Raid.
- Only 16.9% of Guardians have maxed out a Warlock or Hunter subclass, and just 15.2% have maxed out a Titan subclass.
Granted, we see this in many games, where top-tier content is crafted for only a select handful of players, but I think Destiny’s exclusivity problem is exacerbated by the structure of the core game itself, and it’s something that could be improved upon in future installments.
What I’m talking about is what I’ll call “The Gulf.”
“The Gulf” exists as a space of time between beating the game’s story mode/reaching level 20, which are usually roughly the same time, give or take a few hours, and the promised land “endgame” where players are able to take on pretty much all the content the game has to offer.
In the levels between 20-26 or so, Destiny puts players in a weird sort of purgatory. They’ve beaten the main story so there’s no real way to progress there, other than doing the daily “special” story missions, and they’re trapped in the bottom-to-mid-tiers of the Strike playlist, where rewards are relatively sparse.
Eventually, you get to the promised land. After bridging the Gulf, even if you’re not max level, you still exist in a space where you can reliably save up for Legendary vendor gear, earn enough coins to occasionally buy something from Xur, or see a lot of Engram drops from the Strike playlist. This is a pretty fun place to be, but many players will find themselves swallowed by the Gulf, quitting out of frustration or boredom.
Destiny’s item system is disproportionately skewed toward the late game to the point where the rest of the game is largely pointless before level 20. There are simply no Legendary or Exotics before then. There is no “lower tier” of high end weapons to get players excited.
This is contrary to say, a game like Diablo, where the game has a max level of 70. Destiny power leveling make you upgrade easy, yet players can find Legendary drops at level 5 if they’re lucky, which will be better than whatever they currently have, and make the game more fun. Obviously drop rates increase as time goes on, and Legendary gear gets way more powerful, but at least until then there’s something to look forward to during gameplay.
Finally, the 20% Raid stat makes perfect sense, assuming it’s due to a combination of what we’re talking about above, and a lack of in-game matchmaking for the mode.
It’s probably too late for the game to change many of the things discussed here, but it’s definitely something to think about for the longer term health of the game, and particularly how Destiny 2 is structured. The game needs to put its best foot forward from the start, and being yet another game where “the real game doesn’t start until you beat it” means there will be many, many dropouts along the way.