Like It or Not, Destiny 2 is Good for the MMO Genre
Destiny 2 is coming to PC. Praise be to RNGeezus, it’s true. While the “Persistent Online Shooter” does everything it can to avoid the term MMO, truth is they’ve invited us (a site mainly focused on MMOs) out to their studio on several occasions. Acronym or not, even Bungie realizes the game’s draw for fans of the genre. With the sequel now officially launching on the PC September 8th, Destiny 2 has become the bright spot on the MMO gamer’s horizon – and like it or not Destiny 2 is good for the MMO genre.
Destiny 1 isn’t your standard MMORPG by any definition. It’s more akin to games like Skyforge, Guild Wars 1, The Division, the upcoming Dauntless… and so forth. The recently announced Secret World Legends is taking this same design point. Still, with a central hub, thousands of players to play with, and a focus on group content we’re content calling it an MMO. The question is, how different will Destiny 2 be? We won’t get a full idea of the scope until later this year, but chances are it’s going to play a lot of Destiny 1.
Will there be new classes? More populated shared zones? Less loading? Will there finally be a real in-game guild/clan management system? Will the lore and mission systems get updated? All of this is up in the air. However, even if Destiny 2 is more of what made the Taken King (Destiny v2.0) so great, we’ll be in for a treat. For those who dismissed 1 after launch, I’d suggest trying out The Taken King now while you wait for the sequel (if you have the consoles).
Now, to the point of this post – why is Destiny 2 good for the MMO genre, just three years after Destiny 1 launched? One of the largest reasons primarily is the simple inclusion of a PC version. While we’re certain Bungie will be up against some serious hacking and cheating issues going in, Destiny 2 will immediately be available and purchased by many more millions of people than its predecessor. There’s a reason many at this site and on our forums have been calling for a PC version for two years. We want to play.
AAA money is all but gone from the MMO genre. Marketing and PR teams are avoiding the acronym for fear it conjures up immediate comparison to World of Warcraft and spending all your time with one game. This is the backlash a decade of Azerothian Also-Rans has wrought. This is the damage to an industry we’re being forced to endure. The funny thing is? Destiny, for a LOT of people, IS as big an addiction as WoW was or is for many. There are people who only play Destiny. It is the consoles’ World of Warcraft.
As big of a success as the first game was, the sequel will likely sell many millions more copies, prompting an army of games that aim to “be like Destiny”. Heck, even mobile developers are getting in on the action already, as Madfinger preps the launch of Shadowgun Legends later this year. It’s basically Destiny, the handheld version. We will get a slew of games in the coming years aiming to be like Destiny in some way or form. Some will be awesome (please be good, Dauntless), and others won’t. But, like it or not, these will be the sort of “MMOs” we’re getting from larger studios for a while.
I know many of you hate the idea of Destiny being considered an MMO. It is one. Even Bungie admits it without outright saying it by including us in all of their media invites. It may not be your cup of tea and we’d all like a larger open shared world and universe capable of supporting hundreds or thousands in one space. But this is where we are at this point in time as the genre struggles to evolve past the Warcraft paradigm. There are the Indie MMORPGs trying to make it work (Ashes of Creation, Pantheon, Crowfall, Camelot, and more). And then there is Destiny: The POS (Persistent Online Shooter).
Oh, and there is one standout AAA MMORPG in all this that we can’t count out until we actually know more: Amazon’s New World. They’re touting it as an MMORPG, so let’s hope they don’t let us down. Until then, open your minds a little bit and see what Bungie has to offer for the PC gaming MMO crowd this September.