Just a few months ago, developers at Bungie avoided the MMO label, saying they wanted players to define the upcoming shooter, Destiny, after they got some actual hands-on time. Right now, it seems like gamers might lean more towards describing the game as a first-person MMO than a classic Halo-style shooter. Today, Destiny flashed its MMO side with the announcement that the multiplayer won't be unlocked right from the start. That's right: Like many MMO titles, you're going to have to earn the right to enter the PvP arena.
Bungie investment lead Tyson Green spoke to Eurogamer and spilled the beans on some new multiplayer info. Green said that players are required to put in a "couple of hours" of game time before hopping into PVP. The reasoning behind this is that, were fresh characters to jump straight into the competitive multiplayer, they'd get absolutely rocked. You see, characters that are just starting out have shitty guns and no super abilities. So, running straight into a match puts brand-new players at a severe disadvantage. They're going to have to explore a little bit in the PvE realm, grab a new gun, and complete a few missions to unlock a Focus ability first.
And that's all well and good. It all makes sense. I wouldn't want to be surprised by the crappiness of my character's multiplayer capabilities when I enter a match for the first time. After all, Destiny plays quite a bit differently than the way Halo's multiplayer works. In Halo, everyone starts off on the same footing, with equally powerful weapons and abilities to make it a balanced shooter experience. Destiny, however, doesn't set everyone at a level playing field. Your Guardian takes all of the weapons and skills you've picked up while exploring the world and completing missions and brings them into the multiplayer arena--you know, just like an MMO.
There's that comparison again. This requirement will probably be familiar and easily accepted by the MMO crowd. The real question is: How will players looking for a Halo-style experience react to being forced to play a part of the game that might not interest them? It's like telling a shooter fan that they have to get through the Master Chief's single-player campaign before going online. And I imagine that some people are going to have a very serious problem with that. It also begs the question: Who exactly are the developers making this game for? Because at this, the shooter and MMO audiences have very different expectations. Should Destiny have a multiplayer restriction, or would it be better just to let player dive right into the deep end, even if they don't know how to swim? The eventual answer we get will be telling of the kind of game Destiny really is at its core.