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6 Reasons to Avoid Playing Destiny 2 (and What I’m Playing Instead)

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6 Reasons to Avoid Playing Destiny 2 (and What I’m Playing Instead)

Why should you avoid playing Destiny 2? There has been no shortage of live-service games to enter the market over the last few years. They feature addictive gameplay loops meant to entice and hook a player in. Destiny 2’s mix of gameplay elements makes for a fairly satisfying gameplay loop, especially when considering the MMO-styled approach to progression and group activity.

However, there are solid reasons to avoid tossing yourself into the latest and greatest from Bungie. While this is a title that shines with friends, it isn’t something you play on and off. Destiny 2 isn’t a game that rewards breaks and patience, as you’ll through the course of this review. There are some recommendations for alternatives, but nothing is going to fully scratch that itch.

What Is Destiny 2?

Destiny 2 is a first-person shooter developed by Bungie. The developed previously worked on Destiny’s direct predecessor, the Halo series, and Marathon among other titles. At the core of Destiny 2 is an interstellar conflict with the Guardians and a smattering of interstellar empires. Destiny 2 melds together the elements of an MMORPG, looter shooter, and esports title to make for an intoxicating mix.

The game itself has had remarkable staying power, being an active fixture since 2017. While it was once a paid title, the base experience is now free-to-play. However, to get anywhere with the latest content, you’ll have to pay for extra DLCs to enable it. Still, it is a great way to experience the game to see if it is for you.

Reasons to Avoid Playing Destiny 2

Destiny 2 is a highly gamified title, beyond just the general trappings of your typical experience. Everything operates under the notion of creating another positive feedback loop to keep you in the title exclusively. Some players make it their only played title, but with so much on the market today it just doesn’t make sense to devote so much time to it.

Server Instability

Bungie’s servers have never been much to write home about. The first Destiny was plagued with lag issues exacerbated further by the limited hardware of the PS3 and Xbox 360. The PS4 and Xbone releases of the title fared better but still had frequent connection issues. In the intervening years since the first game, Bungie doesn’t seem to have invested in better infrastructure for their game.

At its core, Destiny 2 is going to be a frustrating experience when grouped up at times. During peak usage hours you’ll feel the lag. There also doesn’t seem to be much control over how players are sent to PVP matches. As a result, you get opponents skating all over the place. It doesn’t matter how strong your connection is either, it is entirely on Bungie’s side.

If you play primarily PvE content, then this isn’t much of an issue. However, poor server stability is one of the largest reasons to avoid playing Destiny 2. Things were bad in the first game when it came to network stability, and they haven’t changed much over the last decade when moving to the new game.

Vaulted Content

avoid playing destiny 2
Content isn’t always available to play in Destiny 2, it often gets vaulted as new expansions are released.

Moving on from the fact that you’ll have to look up buyer’s guides on which DLC to purchase for the game, there is a larger issue at play. If you were an early adopter of Destiny 2, you’ve likely purchased expansions like Forsaken. Over time, Bungie has vaulted this content, meaning it is no longer available. Sure, the purchase will still show in your account.

However, the content you have paid for is no longer available. This has been a recurring theme for the nearly 7 years of Destiny 2’s release cycle. Which, does fit in some regard to the MMO pastiche it seems to be aiming for. However, when you consider a title like Final Fantasy XIV, that content is still there. Playing through all of it will have you ready for endgame activities.

As such, it leaves new players at a severe disadvantage. There isn’t a clear sense of progression in any regard for Destiny 2. It is one of the strongest reasons to avoid playing Destiny 2 because Bungie doesn’t respect the purchasing power of its customer base.

It Becomes a Second Job

When you start playing a game like Destiny 2, it consumes you. If you have an addictive personality, it will just become your life. The gameplay loop of Destiny 2 is constantly filled with activities. You have group missions to attend, PvP challenges, raids to learn, and so forth. It doesn’t leave room for the casual player to dip in and out with their friends, as such.

To get anywhere competency in Destiny 2, you’ll have to invest time. Now, some players will love the MMO gameplay loop. You’ve got an ever-changing character who grows more and more powerful. However, if you’re joining a player who has thousands of hours on this title alone in the last seven years, you’re going to be at a severe disadvantage.

That ties in directly to the next point. The extreme investment and devotion of time in general is one of the biggest reasons to avoid playing Destiny 2. Even the most demanding of titles like Warzone can let the casual player jump in for a match and enjoy themselves.

The Ever-Shifting Meta

avoid playing destiny 2
You have to constantly play Destiny 2 to be current with any gear.

Surprising no one, you’re going to be on a treadmill for the latest and greatest equipment in the game. This is by design and has been part of the series for over a decade. You have to log in and do your Strikes, Raids, and other time-consuming content to get decent rolls on equipment. This equipment might have a woefully low chance of spawning during a session.

This leads to replaying the same content ad nauseam to have a chance of doing the endgame content for a particular season. When the next season arrives, all that work and effort is just down the train. The new equipment and weapons can be the new meta.

Changing metas is nothing new in competitive games. However, the amount of time it takes to get good gear in Destiny 2 is almost appalling. Titles like World of Warcraft can have poor drop rates, but you can generally just buy the equipment you need at the auction house. You will be constantly playing every season just to stay on top in Destiny 2.

An Unfriendly Community

You will occasionally find some genuinely kind people to play Destiny 2 with. That said, the more common element is going to be rudeness, especially if you’re new to the title. Many of the players have years and thousands of hours under their belts, and won’t suffer beginners. As such, it just becomes another one of the biggest reasons to avoid playing Destiny 2. Why should you invest time and money in a game where the community rarely extends a helping hand?

Expensive Content for the Latest Gear

You are going to be spending around $60 to $70 for each new expansion that comes out for Destiny 2. At the time of writing, that would be Lightfall. Expansions and content do go on sale, but you have to purchase additional passes and the like the make the most of them.

It is free-to-play in concept, but not if you want to go to the endgame content. Bungie has another expansion due soon. You might as well skip everything entirely and avoid playing Destiny 2 before the whole content cycle begins anew.

What to Play Instead of Destiny 2

Few titles are going to have the sort of appeal that Destiny 2 has. However, if you’re just looking for satisfying combat or gear, there are some good games out there.

Call of Duty: Warzone

Face Some of the Biggest Enemies in COD History
Call of Duty Modern Warfare III - PS5
$67.70
  • Direct sequel to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II
  • Choose different loadouts and different paths as you go through the mission
  • New open-combat missions offer players even more choices
  • Modernized launch maps from the original Modern Warfare 2 plus over 12 all-new core 6v6 maps and new Ground War maps
  • All new open-world zombies and a new Treyarch Zombies story
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/11/2024 03:47 am GMT

Warzone isn’t remotely like Destiny 2 aside from being first person. There is a sense of progression, but you can legitimately play the title for free. Some users do opt to purchase the battle pass and additional skins, but that is purely for cosmetic reasons usually.

Warzone is a battle royale title in the same vein as Fortnite or PUBG. It uses the popular Call of Duty license and setting, however, making for a seriously fun time. The gunplay is tight and the play environment is massive. The latest Warzone is free on just about every major platform aside from the Nintendo Switch.

Warframe

Warframe In-Game Currency
Warframe: 370 Platinum - Xbox One Digital Code
$19.99
  • After purchase, you can access this item in your Games Library
  • DLC requires the base game
  • Spend on Warframes, weapons, consumables, sentinels, Mod packs, and more
  • Can also be used to finish crafting items in the Foundry
  • Currently only available to players in the United States
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/11/2024 04:06 am GMT

Warframe is an older title, but is a great play. It is free-to-play in concept, although some users will likely pay to advance certain elements like the frames and equipment. At its core Warframe is a PvE third-person action RPG. The gameplay focuses equally on melee and firearms, giving a varied approach to how you want to build a character.

If you’re looking for something to scratch that casual MMO itch, this might be the game for you. Warframe runs on just about everything, with an upcoming iOS port in the works for release later in 2024.

Halo Infinite

Xbox Series X and Xbox One
Halo Infinite
$29.99
  • Multiplayer mode
  • Up to 4K resolution at 60 FPS
  • Reduced load times
  • Features the most expansive Master Chief campaign yet
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/11/2024 04:09 am GMT

Like Warzone, Halo Infinite has almost nothing in common with Destiny 2 aside from being a first-person title. However, if you enjoy solid mechanics in team-oriented multiplayer, it is a fun title. The single-player campaign is a paid experience. Halo’s stellar multiplayer is on full display for players for free. If you’ve got an Xbox or PC, you can hop right in and play today.

Diablo 4

Expansive, Open-World Action RPG
Diablo IV – PlayStation 5
$44.99
  • Countless enemies to defeat, numerous abilities to master, and lots of loot
  • Shared world where players can meet in towns to trade, team up, or test their skills in PvP zones
  • Dark settings with treacherous missions and nightmarish dungeons
  • Gripping narrative and memorable characters
  • New events, stories, seasons, rewards, and more in later expansions
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/11/2024 04:22 am GMT

Diablo 4 has gear and more gear. If you love climbing the loot treadmill and min-maxing builds, it is the game for you. This is one of the only paid titles to recommend for approaching the live service methodology seen by titles like Destiny 2.

That said, Diablo 4 is extremely friendly for casual players. You can readily hop in and just enjoy the gothic fantasy story while playing at your leisure.

Closing Thoughts

Destiny 2 isn’t a game intended for casual players. On the surface, it gives the appearance of an experience tailored around playing with friends and exploring the universe. Instead, it is one of the worst examples of games-as-a-service in the industry.

Best Alternatives to Destiny 2

1. Call of Duty: Warzone
2. Warframe
3. Halo Infinite
4. Diablo 4
  1. Call of Duty Modern Warfare III - PS5
    $67.70
    • Direct sequel to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II
    • Choose different loadouts and different paths as you go through the mission
    • New open-combat missions offer players even more choices
    • Modernized launch maps from the original Modern Warfare 2 plus over 12 all-new core 6v6 maps and new Ground War maps
    • All new open-world zombies and a new Treyarch Zombies story
    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    03/11/2024 03:47 am GMT
  2. Warframe: 370 Platinum - Xbox One Digital Code
    $19.99
    • After purchase, you can access this item in your Games Library
    • DLC requires the base game
    • Spend on Warframes, weapons, consumables, sentinels, Mod packs, and more
    • Can also be used to finish crafting items in the Foundry
    • Currently only available to players in the United States
    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    03/11/2024 04:06 am GMT
  3. Halo Infinite
    $29.99
    • Multiplayer mode
    • Up to 4K resolution at 60 FPS
    • Reduced load times
    • Features the most expansive Master Chief campaign yet
    Buy Now on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    03/11/2024 04:09 am GMT
  4. Diablo IV – PlayStation 5
    $44.99
    • Countless enemies to defeat, numerous abilities to master, and lots of loot
    • Shared world where players can meet in towns to trade, team up, or test their skills in PvP zones
    • Dark settings with treacherous missions and nightmarish dungeons
    • Gripping narrative and memorable characters
    • New events, stories, seasons, rewards, and more in later expansions
    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    03/11/2024 04:22 am GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need to pay to play Destiny 2?

No, but you will be cut off from a large amount of content.

Are there still players in Destiny 2?

Yes, it still has a loyal player base.

Is Destiny 2 balanced?

For competitive play, it isn’t balanced. Some weapons and load-outs are better than others.

Do you need a subscription to play Destiny 2?

No, but some passes and expansions are released regularly.

Is Warframe worth playing?

Yes, and it doesn’t cost anything to get started.

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