Those of you that know me personally, or actively follow me, know that I have enjoyed Destiny since the original game was around and have enjoyed it tremendously; up until this current season. Lots of you who will read this are my personal friends(thank you, by the way) and have long stopped playing Destiny while I continued. The current season of Destiny, however, has made me question why I still play even more so than past seasons have.
Now, I know. I heard the voices in my head already "It's because of the grind" "There's too little reward for all the effort" "there's not enough content" etc.. Right? All legitimate complaints and I couldn't agree more with those reasons. Even though Bungie seems to be trying to give constant content, the kind of content they are giving seems like Big Macs: filling, but not good for you.
After only managing to put in 25 levels of the current season, out of a max of 100, I have struggled my hardest to try and maintain interest but, I just can't. The past two seasons I blew through the season pass rewards system, over leveled the crap out of the relic, and actually had fun. I did almost all the weekly Powerful Gear quests I could(I'm a solo guardian and don't play with other people so Pinnacle/Raids are out of the question for me.) but then around the end of the last season I started to notice that I was playing because I had FOMO.(Fear Of Missing Out). Then, once I figured that out, my mind started to slowly pick apart other areas of the game I guess I just completely overlooked:
I booted up Destiny to no longer have fun. I booted up Destiny to max out my light level as much as I could to prepare myself for the next round of inevitable grind. While striving to max out the Season Pass level as well.
The Champion enemies, which were once cool, were now a tired mechanic that forced you to limit the perks you could use on your guns and essentially force you to use weapons you don't like. The overload/anti-barrier rounds tied to the relic are spec'ed to specific weapons so it's almost as if Bungie forces you to experience their game how they want you to vs you experiencing the game how you want to now.
Leveling up the relic feels like the most artificial way to improve your light level because it resets with the next season no matter how high you get it. It seems like the relic and season pass rewards are just artificial reward systems designed to "reward" you for sinking time into the game, and lets be honest, after you max out the season pass reward(lvl100) the Eververse engrams you get after ever 5 levels for that are not much of a carrot at the end of the stick for continuing to play and the relic seems to need to consume a universe's worth of XP in order to level it after you "max" it out.
This season's event, The Warmind, started at a 980 power level right off the bat. When 80-90% of guardians were barely 960-870 from the end of last season. Forcing you to have to grind right away to even really be able to stand a chance at experiencing the new event. Honestly, it's not hard to jump to those light levels when you do the weeklies and all, but still, it will be a big enough hurdle for a lot of people to not "complete" this season.
I played Destiny in order to obtain specific exotic/legendary gear only offered for the current season, only to obtain them, and have them sit in my vault never to be used.
The Nightmare Hunts and Altar event on The Moon finally just ended up being a repetitive mess that I have completely ignored this current season, same as the Vanguard Strikes. It took this long, but I just can't seem to keep running the same 5 or 6 Strikes over and over and over(I don't know how many Strikes there actually are admittedly) . Especially with some of the bosses having damage gates which, no matter how much you keep shooting, they ignore all damage to progress to the next section of the boss fight and you're just simply forced to play for an additional 10 minutes when you could feasibly eliminate the boss within seconds of them showing up. (Veterans of the game know exactly what I'm talking about. It seems like you'd want to experience the whole strike in all its glory, but after the 90th time of experiencing it, you just want it to end so you can get your Vanguard tokens, whatever loot might pop out of the chest, and get back in the que to run another one.)
I'm not a PvP player, but from what I am to understand Bungie bringing back Trials did absolutely nothing at all for the game itself. With the rampant cheating that is happening on PC and just the overall unbalanced game play in general, it seems like Bungie just shoehorned Trials back into the game because people were constantly asking for it, but didn't ultimately realize how broken it would be with the current state of Destiny 2 until they experienced it for themselves.
There are other reasons as well that many, many, many other articles have shed light on and I myself have written about(like the damn Social Wall Destiny has). But, to get back on point, my main reason that I kept playing Destiny for so long was FOMO. I didn't want to miss out on not have "X" item...even though 8/10 times "X" item was just for vanity reasons; so you can say "I have this" and let it sit in your vault.
I didn't want to miss out on not being max light level in order to get ready for next season, so that way I wouldn't be struggling to play the new content because I was under leveled.
It was fear that was driving me to continue to play Destiny, not joy. Once I figured this out, whatever idolization/rose colored glasses I was wearing about Destiny seemed to slowly slip away and I was left with thinking to myself "What the hell have you been spending your time doing? WHY the hell did you continue dumping hours into this game?" Because, it certainly wasn't for the loot, Destiny 2 has some of the shallowest loot pools I've ever experienced in a MMO RPG type game. It wasn't because the Strikes and seasonal events were fun anymore. I was just simply scared of being left behind and somehow, someway, getting so far behind that actually playing Destiny was no longer an option.
I can't help but wonder how many other other players out there are/were motivated by FOMO and not legit love for Destiny? Maybe next season will appeal more to me, only time will tell. It just seems that for right now, my attentions are beginning to turn elsewhere and I guess it's about time. **This is not meant to shame people for playing and enjoying Destiny. Many have met a lot of good people playing Destiny. Many people still enjoy the game and have fun with their clan/friends and are awesome content creators for Destiny. Keep playing and enjoying the game if it's bringing you joy and happiness. This is merely my experience lately and my opinion on it. Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one. I'm just sharing mine.**