Destiny 2 is failing to offer its most invested players an adequate reason to return. Despite only being a few months old the game’s everlasting grind for loot has already become exhausting. With a lack of other endgame activities for players to pursue, developers Bungie have, so far, missed opportunities to alleviate this problem.
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The Infinite Forest might help if only the studio could spot the wood amid the procedurally generated trees. It is found on Mercury and is a collection of different pieces of architecture randomly pieced together to form a long, snaking pathway, populated by every type of enemy – except the Taken. With a fresh layout each time you enter, the Infinite Forest promised much, but instead feels like a wasted opportunity for a game desperately in need of replayability.
The Infinite Forest serves as a pathway to various simulations that have been crafted by the Vex. You will visit multiple times throughout the campaign, as well as during side activities such as Strikes or Adventures. There are no puzzles in this environment, as advancing to the next portion of the forest simply requires you to kill specific Vex enemies. However, destroying these foes is not always necessary and, sometimes, you can literally run through the entire forest without engaging anyone until the end. Additionally, there are no special foes or even unique loot drops that you can obtain while exploring. The Infinite Forest simply exists to shepherd fireteams between missions. That is a huge disappointment.
Even so, with a handful of changes the Infinite Forest still has the potential to sate the game’s hardcore audience and their desire for more endgame content. One of the most obvious routes Bungie could go is to take inspiration from Diablo III’s wildly successful Rift system. This activity comprises a collection of stitched together locations full of random enemies and a boss at the end. You are able to earn a tonne of loot and the difficulty can scale, allowing for better drops for coordinated teams who are able to conquer the challenge. Shifting the Infinite Forest into a variant of this could give players a better reason to keep returning to Destiny 2. Having an area that is never the same twice would mean it avoids a lot of the tedium other activities like Strikes and Public Events can suffer from.
Given that this location is a simulation there are a lot of fun concepts and references that Bungie could make, too. Imagine a team fighting their way through the Infinite Forest only to stumble on a scaled-down version of the Atheon or Crota boss fight. Even if you had to battle slightly altered variations of enemies it would serve as a more memorable experience than what is currently available in the endgame framework. Despite having a lot of lore locked in place, the Infinite Forest’s design could allow Bungie to play around with some more chaotic or outrageous ideas. Even if the Infinite Forest was simply given different gameplay modifiers it would bring some fresh challenge to Destiny 2, which is much needed at the moment.
Bungie could also have the area take the place of previous activities seen in the first Destiny. The Archon’s Forge and Court of Oryx allowed you to fight a series of mini-bosses for loot, for example. They typically offered special items that could not be acquired anywhere else, and served as engaging, bite-sized events. Bringing this to Destiny 2 via the Infinite Forest is a no-brainer given the limitless possibilities for boss designs. If Bungie wanted to scale this experience up they could always bring back the three-player co-op arena Prison of Elders. However, the twist for Destiny 2’s version of this could be that the levels are randomly laid out.
Regardless of what Bungie might choose to do in future, this section deserves to be somethingbeyond a glorified loading area between missions. If one man can make a plan for an actual infinite forest the the game across two days then Bungie could do so much more. Even if they simply add special loot that can only be earned in the Infinite Forest it would help make this area feel like less of a chore to complete. Given that the Infinite Forest is designed to provide an endless number of simulations, it is profoundly disappointing to discover that its mechanical purpose is so limited.