[Destiny 2] Bungie, please stop giving us Master RAD content
With today’s TWAB (This Week At Bungie) blog post, Bungie has given us a sort of roadmap with different dates for different upcoming events in Destiny 2. One of those being the date for the Master difficulty of the Vow of the Disciple raid which will release April 19th, 2022.
With this announcement, I want to take some time to appreciate just how awful Master difficulty raids truly are. The only other Master raid we’ve received has been Master VoG (Vault of Glass). Which wasn’t received very well by the community. This is evident in the low number of total clears, the only raid with less clears is Prestige Spire of Stars. Prestige Spire of Stars had its own reasons for being terrible, with the forced loadouts and the fact that most people were awful at the normal raid.
Master VoG is a pain in the ass to run for a multitude of reasons. Yet the reasons to run it are very slim. Master VoG does give Adept, Timelost in this case, versions of all the weapons. These Timelost weapons can take adept mods that are slightly better than the normal version. Master VoG also offers high stat rolled armor with each week having a different stat focus. One week all armor will drop with high recovery, the next with high resilience. You are also forced to complete each of the raid challenges on Master difficulty in order to unlock the Fatebreaker raid seal.
This isn’t the only example of Master difficulty, we also have a Master Dungeon, GoA (Grasp of Avarice). Master GoA is just as painful to run as Master VoG.
There are Master Nightfalls, Empire Hunts, Nightmare Hunts, Replayable Story missions, and Wellsprings as well, but the focus here is RAD (Raid and Dungeon) Content.
Master difficulty is an example of difficulty done wrong, here’s why.
Champions do not make content feel rewarding
Adding champions to every activity doesn’t necessarily add difficulty, if anything it shoehorns the player into using weapons that they don’t like. Pair this with the fact that this seasons overload weapons are fucking awful and it makes for a miserable experience. Adding more champions to the raid just forces us to use loadouts that suck. At this point we just over level to make the experience less painful. Which leads me to my next point.
The bounty grind is a chore
Oh my god, bounty grinding is easily one of the worst experiences that Destiny 2 has to offer. It’s mind numbingly boring while also providing no feeling of accomplishment. Yet, the ability to over level your character for the master raid almost forces the player base to grind bounties and pinnacle rewards like its a job. Now, you might argue that just because the option to over level is there doesn’t mean that people have to do it. Yet, those of us who put considerable hours into Destiny 2 would be silly not to over level if the option is there. Not only is leveling the season pass to 220+ for the sake of Master very painful, it also ruins the experience of it.
Being able to over level ruins the difficulty
Master is supposed to be the highest difficulty of a raid or dungeon. The ability to level up past the level of the raid takes away from the difficulty. Over leveling doesn’t make the raid easy by any means, but it does take away from the difficulty enough to be annoying. Now, there is a way for Bungie to make the raid harder in a way that doesn’t force the players to grind bounties until their eyes bleed.
A possible solution
This is by no means an original idea, but I must echo it due to it being such a fantastic idea. In fact, what I’m going to suggest is already something that Bungie does. Instead of just utilizing the contest modifier for Day One raids, they should replace the Master Difficulty raids with Contest mode raids. This would allow for a level of difficulty without forcing the player base to use shitty loadouts or aggressively grind bounties. It‘s another form of “Artificial Difficulty”, just a more enjoyable form of artificial difficulty.
Please Bungie, just scrap Master difficulty RAD content and make Contest a permanent difficulty option. It’s a much more rewarding and less painful experience. I don’t expect the Master Vow numbers to be any better than the Master VoG numbers, but I could be wrong. Well, back to the bounty/pinnacle grind I go.