How the Season Model Hurt Destiny
Fortnite has changed the gaming landscape in ways that go far beyond our comprehension. For better or worse, it’s going to be looked back on as one of the most important releases in Esports history.
With it came the rise of superstars like Ninja, Courage, and so on, as well as an overwhelming amount of mainstream publicity. Epic Games offered the game for free, which may be the driving factor as to what pushed so many players towards it. However, the company still made a ludicrous amount of money from it, thanks entirely to its cosmetic system, and it’s seasonal battle passes.
The purchasable cosmetics are self-explanatory, but let’s dive into the seasonal aspect a bit more. Ever so often, two or three months at a time, a new season would release with a new battle pass. The battle pass was a way for you to track your progress, earning rewards the more you play, before being reset with the new season and new rewards.
This works just fine for a BR like Fortnite, where you are playing individual games, and the only progression to speak of is that of your abilities.
However, seeing the financial success of the model, many other development teams started introducing it, as well.
Call of Duty did it and implemented it on the side. It didn’t destroy the game, but it was just sort of a whatever factor.
However, Bungie decided to implement it with Destiny, and in this case, they made a mess of it.
To understand why the seasonal model doesn’t work for Destiny, we need to understand the fundamentals on which the game is built. Games like Fortnite and Call of Duty, while there is a progression in ranking up, don’t have character progression. The two of them are games where you play individual matches, and that’s it. Those kinds of games work for battle passes.
Destiny is an RPG. Not only that, but it is an RPG that has been built on the principle of grinding since day one, which means that players sometimes spent weeks at a time working on something to improve their character.
This level of dedication needs to be rewarded with a consistent progression system, which up until now, is what we got. We grinded for the light cap, a new raid comes out, we beat that raid, grind some more, play the event that comes in between raids, then start the cycle all over again, all the while moving upwards.
The seasons model takes that cycle and says, let’s reset it with every module. The result being players grinding for tens of hours, only for all that progress to mean nothing once the next season comes out.
This lack of significance is what has driven Destiny to a point where it has an increasingly declining player base. It has lost the spirit of the original Destiny, as well as what made Destiny 2 such a massive improvement over it.
Where Bungie goes from here is anybody’s guess, but hopefully, there is something different coming in the future, because this model is going to kill Destiny 2.
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