If there’s one thing that can be said about Destiny, it’s that the game is constantly growing. From a steady stream of patches, updates and DLC, the Destiny of today is vastly different from the Destiny of a year ago. But while the team at Bungie continues to address the concerns of players, it sounds like the team does not plan to ever make one of the most-requested changes to the game.
Ask any Destiny player to list their top three most wanted additions to the game, and matchmaking for the six-player, extremely difficult Raids will likely be a recurring item.
While Destiny can certainly be played to some extent solo, some of the game’s best content requires the player to team up with a handful of online companions. During the first year of Destiny, Bungie patched matchmaking into some of the harder content that topped out at three players. For the six-player Raids, though, it sounds like matchmaking is a low priority. That, at least, is according to a recent interview between Edge magazine and creative director Luke Smith.
In a recent interview, Smith stated that matchmaking has a tendancy to make the other players “disposable.”
The reason that people quit out of Strikes is because there’s no consequence to their departure, just a punishment for that disposable person on the other end of the line. It’s pretty hard for me, emotionally, to want to subject groups of players to that. What’s not hard for me to think about is a version of Destiny that makes it easier to look for and find groups to go engage in difficult content with, a version that helps bring people together in a way that the current software doesn’t.
We’re of two minds when it comes to Smith and Bungie’s stance on matchmaking. If you don’t have five other friends currently playing the game, it can be extremely difficult to ever even get into a Raid and experience what is considered to be Destiny’s best content. Instead, players are forced to turn to forums and beg other players to join or let them join a group. It’s a tedious process, one I’ve lost literal hours of my gaming time trying to pull off, and the only reason I’ve simply given up on ever trying those events. A lot of players find themselves in a similar boat, which can be frustrating.
One of the simplest solutions here would be to actually punish those players who bail on groups. Make it so they can’t use matchmaking for a few hours and they might be less inclined to simply leave their fellow Guardians hanging.
Barring that, Smith’s second comment is exactly what should have been plugged into Destiny from the very beginning: The ability to actually be social in a social game and find players who want to tackle the same objectives. Add a “looking for group” chat tab to social spaces like The Tower and, boom, the lack of matchmaking is suddenly a much, much shorter hurdle to overcome.