The Destiny map size is already being criticized as being too small based upon first impressions from the Destiny beta. After all, the first “M” in MMO stands for Massive and the hype machine has Bungie fans expecting a FPS that beats the size of Skyrim, yet at one point we were told the beta represented about 10 percent of the game. But will Activision be selling gamers a constant stream of Destiny DLC or should we hope for free updates?
In a related report by The Inquisitr, if you considering the games that Bungie created before Halo it seems obvious the company has a history of being innovative, which should means there is a good chance of success for Destiny. But beta players began to express concern about the Destiny map size, which caused Bungie Community Manager Eric Osborne to respond:
“‘Destiny’s’ pretty big. It’s the biggest game we’ve ever made, by far, and we’re sort of known for making games you can play for months, years, and even decades if you’re a little bit… dedicated.
“With ‘Destiny,’ we’re looking to exceed what we’ve done before, not just in terms of scale – the Moon is our smallest destination – but in terms of scope and breadth of activities. That’s true for day one, as you expect, but it also means we want ‘Destiny’ to have super long legs.
“If we’re fortunate enough to have you playing months after launch, you still find lots of compelling stuff to do. That will manifest itself in a myriad of ways, from straight up content to cool activities we’ve yet to show off….
“Beta was water wings. Level 8 is nothing. You barely scratched the surface, and it seems like some folks had fun with what was there.”
The question still remains for how Bungie will resolve the Destiny map size issue. We already know that two expansion packs — The Dark Below and The House of Wolves — are to be released and the Destiny Expansion Pass will cost $34.99. So to a certain extent we know the Destiny map size will be expanded like how World Of Warcraft adds new areas over time. Regardless of whether or not some of the Destiny updates will be free or purchased, it seem obvious the team intends on making enough content to keep players busy based upon the above quote, but how will it be handled?
I see multiple ways to handle the problem. The first I would call the Skyrim solution. The game shipped with hundreds of hours of content but there were also several major expansions and many a mod on the PC side. New areas were made accessible within the existing world of Skyrim by either creating new objects or by having players talk to NPCs in order to be transported to an entirely new section. So it’s possible the new missions provided over time may not increase the initial Destiny map size directly but instead add dynamic experiences that you run into randomly along the way.
That brings us to what I call the Warframe solution. The Destiny map selection process already has us choosing destinations in order to be dropped off via ship. Similarly, Warframe just happens to be in Earth’s solar system and new locations are picked from a menu screen instead of traveling to them from a general world map. Considering the similarities, I believe Bungie would mostly like implement this solution.
The last option would be modeled after Halo 4’s Spartan Ops co-op campaign, which heavily reused a limited set of maps in order to create a longer campaign. To a certain extent, the Destiny beta already did this since we had to traverse old stomping grounds in order to reach the new mission locations. But the current implementation essentially had time standing still since even level 1 players were running into level 8 gamers almost done with the beta content. It’s possible Bungie could create “new” Destiny maps that are divided by leveling progression and also the time line within the plot. For example, let’s say you’re level 10 or higher and the basic old Russia map is transformed based upon events that occurred in the plot. Technically, it’s the same map except with modifiers dropped in to create something entirely new.
All in all, I don’t believe the Destiny map size will be that much of an issue. Bungie could use also three of these methods to expand on content over time and still have an inter-connected world. I just hope the cost of the Destiny DLC does not get too crazy. How do you think Bungie should handle the issue?