Bounties — those repeatable, throwaway little quests that are the primary means of gaining experience — have been a point of contention in Destiny 2 for some time. When last season’s Guardian Games turned out to be almost entirely bounty-focused, the response was so negative that Bungie laid out their plans for the system moving forward. But one aspect of the bounty system remains unaddressed, and has become increasingly apparent to me as I’ve been rising through the ranks of the current season pass.
Most bounties in Destiny 2 task the player with getting a certain number of kills with a specific weapon or ability. That’s fine, and I even kind of enjoy the incentive to play around with different weapon types while I’m completing them. But things get a little complicated when you introduce other players into the mix.
Unlike many other similar games, Destiny 2 does not allow you to play most of its content solo. When you spawn into an open world area, you’ll always be with other guardians. Load into a strike playlist, and the game tries to find two other players to fill out your fireteam. On the face of it, that makes sense — Destiny 2 is a social game, and most of its content is balanced for fireteams rather than solo players.
But when I’m trying to get twenty super ability kills in a strike, the presence of other players — who are presumably also trying to complete their own bounties — means that I end up fighting for each kill. And that turns strikes from leisurely teamwork-oriented activities into mad races to be the player who can tag the most enemies first.
- The Best Hunter Build for the Season of Arrivals in Destiny 2
- Destiny 2 Exotic Cipher Guide
- Where to Find All 50 Savathun Eyes in Destiny 2
It’s a bizarre choice, and a problem that’s come up in Destiny 2 before. Last year’s Moments of Triumph event saw Guardians fighting tooth and nail to complete their own objectives in what was ostensibly a teamwork-focused activity before Bungie changed the rules to make things less competitive. But bounties — which remain the primary means of gaining experience in Destiny 2 — still effectively pit players against one another.
There’s a couple of easy solutions here. The most obvious one is to add a feature long-requested by players — the ability to solo queue into strikes. At this point, strikes are basically trivial activities even for a single player, so balance is a non-issue.
The other solution, and one that would maintain Destiny 2‘s fireteam-focused model, is to simply add “as a fireteam” to every applicable bounty. This wouldn’t completely solve the problem, as players could still be working at cross-purposes on different bounties, but it would make things much less stressful.
As it is, the bounty system pits players against one another in activities that shouldn’t really have any competitive element to them. I suppose you could argue that the current system fits Destiny 2‘s descriptions of Guardians as constantly striving to be the best, but this is one case where I’d prefer the lore wasn’t worked into the game. Hopefully, Bungie will address this issue as they revise bounties over the course of the next couple of seasons.