The Problem With Destiny’s Paid Character Boosts
My history with Destiny is something I look back on fondly. To be brutally honestly, the initial release back in 2014 was a huge scam. Barely any content and god awful balancing resulted in the whole thing feeling like a Beta. To make matters worse, the DLC plan felt obtrusive and abusive towards the customer. £40 for the core game plus two £20 pieces of DLC within a year. This was disgusting, this was a £80 game.
The Taken King apparently fixed all the problems the game suffered from. Packed with content and rebalancing, I’ve only ever heard good things about it. I’ll never buy it, mainly down to a resulting principle that was forged from the Destiny’s first release. Bizarrely, players can now pay to boost their characters to max level. This is not a new concept for long standing MMOs. The problem arises in the fact Destiny is not a long standing MMO. In truth, it’s barely a MMO to begin with.
MMO games have changed so drastically in the past ten years. Subscription based MMOs are now in the minority, with only a few still successfully living off the model. For the most part, Free-to-play is king. No entry fee, but with the option to spend money on various features and luxuries. It’s a model that works (at least when it’s in a controlled form) and allows games to game.
Destiny isn’t a free-to-play game however, nor is it an long standing title. Destiny has been out for just over a year. In that time it’s had two £20 DLC instalments and a full price expansion pack. That’s £120 of release in less than two years, making the newly added character boosts a problem.
There is no way that a £25 character boost should exist for such a new game. Given the lack of depth in it’s content, and scope among it’s classes, Destiny is a pretty basic MMO(ish) title. It struggles to match similar titles such as Warframe, a title that has been around much longer. Logically thinking, there’s no legitimate reason to offer character boosts this early on in a games life.
Filling a MMO with paid boosted characters is dangerous to the experience. Flavour of the month classes oversaturate PvP. Outrages at the slightest overpowered class skill intensify tenfold. In short, players of certain classes suffer. There’s also the problem of people never ‘learning’ their class. Boosts create lopsided elements, and when the game is as limited as Destiny, that’s a pretty big deal.
Bungie will now be under pressure to maintain some kind of balance within the game. Character boosts have a profound affect on any mulitplayer title they appear in. It’s not just a boost, but a direct impact on end game content and PvP. Destiny may be a game I have little time or affection for, but it’s players deserve better. £25 character boosts is not a feature that makes the game better for anyone but Acitvsion.