Destiny 2 Should Do More Quests Like Dual Destiny, Not Less

Image: Bungie / Sony
Image: Bungie / Sony

Like many other Destiny 2 players, I’ve been slowly digging into The Final Shape’s post-campaign offerings, especially as I get ready to take on the expansion’s especially demanding raid. Unsurprisingly, many of these quests, which center around the acquisition of rare and powerful armor and weapons, are some of the very best things to be found in The Final Shape, continuing Bungie’s tradition of having strong tails in its expansions. The Final Shape has many pleasant surprises, but one of them, Dual Destiny, courted controversy amongst players this week.

Dual Destiny is the latest Exotic mission to grace Destiny 2, and it is one of its most unique. Exotic missions have come and gone to much acclaim, such as The Whisper and Zero Hour (which returned to the game via Into The Light some months ago), but Dual Destiny is the first one to have a real gimmick outside of a timer and some light puzzling. Dual Destiny can only be completed by two players, requires them to adorn certain subclasses—one Dark, one Light—and demands a certain amount of communication. The reward at the end is pretty significant: an Exotic class item that can roll multiple perks, including ones previously accessible via class-specific equipment, meaning classes can now share abilities with one another.

That’s a pretty game-changing incentive to complete what appears at first glance like a neat, but missable mission, and players are a bit incensed about the requirements to acquire such a transformative piece of equipment. Fans of Destiny 2 have gotten upset about secret Exotic missions like this before, because of their difficulty or the timed nature of them, but the ire around Dual Destiny is entirely different. There’s a guaranteed way to make the mission appear , meaning you can only miss out on it by failing to commit to the process, at which point you should know what you’re getting into.. Folks who play Destiny 2 simply don’t want to have to do this mission with another player in order to get the Exotic class item, and they’ve been very loud about it.

I totally understand disgruntled solo players. I’ve been playing Destiny for all ten years it’s been around, and I’ve largely played the game solo. I’ve never had a Destiny static (a reliable group of folks to play with) and probably won’t for a while still. There are six-player raids and three-man dungeons I still haven’t completed, and yes, I’m occasionally upset about the fact that I haven’t been able to experience some of the game’s best content due to lacking a fireteam. Even now, I’m not stoked that such a pivotal item is locked behind a quest I need to find someone else to complete, but believe it or not folks, this is not Bungie’s problem. It’s mine, or yours.

Destiny has always been a multiplayer-first game. Even if large chunks of it can be completed solo, it’s entirely valid for the developer of a multiplayer title to make content specifically for audiences to engage with it on those terms. I don’t think the game needs to cater to an audience that wants to turn it into something it isn’t.

Not to mention, Destiny, as well as its community, have largely circumvented the issue at the heart of this situation. There are numerous forums and Discords where people can meet other players to play with. Over the years, I’ve met at least a couple of friends through Destiny like this. Nowadays, there’s a full-fledged system in the game called Fireteam Finder that allows you to make or search for posts in lieu of matchmaking, and while it’s far from perfect, it is largely functional. Find a lone player, get on the mic for about half an hour to communicate some puzzles to one another, and then complete the mission and move on. It is actually as simple as that. It is a mission like any other, and when there’s a challenge in front of you, the goal is to overcome it.

As someone who’s got anxiety about playing games with literally anyone other than the friends I’ve played with for years, I understand how engaging in these systems may be asking a lot of certain folks. I’m sympathetic to the person who’s riddled with second thoughts and doubts about putting themselves out there, but I’m also not going to enable them to remain closed off. Nor am I going to join the chorus of players demanding that missions like Dual Destiny never be made in the first place because it chafes against what they believe should be allowed.

Destiny has always excelled when it’s pushed itself and the people who play it. Without the kind of experimentation on display in Dual Destiny, we wouldn’t have much of its best content, which includes the numerous secret Exotic missions over the years, every Raid, and the game’s dungeons, which are my personal favorite. We wouldn’t have all of the community-based ARGs that the Destiny community has been privy to over the years. There’s simply so much we’d be missing if Bungie didn’t occasionally ask its players to come together for unique experiences. My advice is to lean into it the few times it happens. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

Inevitably, Bungie will introduce an alternative way of getting the Exotic class items that isn’t tied to Dual Destiny. This was never going to be the only method to get them, it was just an interesting and novel way to handle things, while also testing the functionality of Bungie’s new services and the willingness of its community. It’s been heartening watching folks give it a try despite hang ups and disabilities, such as some Guardians who are either mute or deaf. Though the Destiny community can be as toxic as any, seeing many offer to carry communication-averse players, or those who simply aren’t comfortable with the more involved mechanics of the encounter, is a reminder that these communal experiences are worth having in these games.

I hope Bungie takes that to heart. I’ve no doubt there’s reasonable criticism to be made about Dual Destiny, but its existence is actually one of the best things about games like Destiny 2. It is hardly a problem that needs expunging. Rather, it’s a promise of what the game can look like when it and its team are allowed to fire on all cylinders, and continue to create novel experiences for this community all these years later.

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