12 Ways To Improve Destiny 2’s Collection Experience
Destiny 2 is a rich and massive game, filled with opportunities for adventure, cooperation, and competition. I had high praise to speak of the game in my review, but I wanted to drill down into one particular criticism of the new game that I brought up in that article; Destiny 2’s inventory management and vault system continues to be a problem, and I’d love to see Bungie focus some attention on the issue. In some instances, inventory management seems to have taken a step back since the first Destiny. In a broader sense, Destiny 2 is missing out on opportunities to make its collection experience more engaging and fun in the long term.
I’m not privy to the memory needs and other technical limitations of a game like Destiny 2, and it’s easy to point to seemingly simple solutions without acknowledging the way that changing one system could drastically affect other in-game systems. Nonetheless, as a dedicated player of the game, and echoing numerous complaints I’ve already heard from players who I join on a nightly basis, it’s worth considering at least some of these ways that the collecting and keeping of items and info in-game could be improved.
Some of the suggestions below are issues that have been addressed by third-party applications, but there’s no reason that Bungie should ignore those innovations; every player should have access to the best collection experience without digging into external programs.
Increase the Vault Size
I hate to sound like a broken record, but Destiny 2 at launch suffers from the same problem that faced the original game, so the same complaint must spearhead this list of suggestions.
Destiny 2 features 200 vault inventory slots, which certainly seems like a lot at first glance. Why would you possibly need more than that? By the end of its life, the original Destiny vault featured 108 slots for weapons, 108 for armor, and 72 slots for general inventory items. Admittedly, that size was meant to account for a player’s inventory after three years of collecting, but it seems odd to now take a step back.
Some might argue that the limited vault size in Destiny 2 demands that you examine each weapon carefully, and choose which you like to to keep. That could be a sensible argument, but experienced Destiny players know the inherent problem; the terrible weapon today could be the defining path to victory tomorrow. Deleting old legendary items is a recipe for disappointment, as time played and patches undergone change the balance, and demand new tactics.
Moreover, some players simply enjoy the completionist path of collecting. Why deprive those players of a chance to completely snag all the Crucible weapons? Let us keep all our meaningful rewards and memories by providing more dedicated space to store them.
All vault items enter a single main directory, and it can be hard to find what you're looking for
The 200-slot vault is now one giant bag of everything you own, and it makes it hard to find what you’re looking for. While I appreciate the goal of letting players decide which items they want to focus on keeping, (rather than the previous division of weapons, armor, and general), the game needs to offer a better way to section off the items you’re looking for, and find them at a glance. One giant directory is hard to manage, especially since the default organization is confusing.
I like that you can reorganize the vault entries by “newest,” “rarity,” and “quantity,” but other ways of dividing up the vault would be more viable. Oddly, the Destiny companion app offers different organization options, including “power,” “item type,” and “damage type.” I would love to see these organization options available on a pull-down menu from the vault screen, making it easy to find what I’m looking for.
Add Legendary Items To The Collection
In the original Destiny, individual legendary weapons and armor pieces had distinct perks rolled randomly from a selection available for that item. So, one Imago Loop hand cannon might have increased range, while another might have faster reloads. Destiny 2 eschews this structure, and every base weapon comes precisely the same every time it drops, with the exception of light value and (where appropriate) elemental status (arc, solar, or void).
To put it another way, it made sense in Destiny 1 to potentially hold on to two different Grasp of Malok pulse rifles, at least until you decided which you preferred firing. In Destiny 2, you only need one, and the other one should either be dismantled or used as fuel for an infusion.
And that brings us to the point; legendary items should work just like exotic weapons and armor; upon acquisition on your account, they should go into a collection. If you've gotten that item on your account with any character, you should be able to reforge it. Keep the original item (along with its mods and shaders) if you like, or delete it to make space. You can rest easy knowing that a version of that weapon is sitting in your collection, ready to be reforged and infused to an appropriate power level at your convenience.
Collections should show the pieces we're missing, so players have something to aspire to collect
Exhibit Sets And Show Missing Pieces
For many players, endgame content begins to focus strongly on completing full sets. Along with the above request to include legendary items in the collections tab, these should be organized by sets, so players know what they’re missing.
I’m in the process of gathering a full set of Gensym Knight armor from Io for my Warlock. I love the united sleek look of the set, and I’m eager to pull it all together. But it’s hard to recall which pieces I already have, and whether I currently have them sitting on my character or in the vault.
Within these sets, provide grayed out versions of the items I don’t yet have. Doing so provides an aspirational experience to shoot for. I bet there are many players who don’t even know that Io has a dedicated set of armor for each character class, but if their vault collection showed them it was something to shoot for, it would give them a new activity to pursue. Likewise, let us know which exotic armor pieces and weapons we haven’t yet gotten, so we can know what we’re aiming to collect, and can look forward to the drops.
Bring Back Ship And Sparrow Collections
Dedicated collectors rejoiced when Bungie introduced ship and sparrow kiosks in the original Destiny, but the feature is weirdly absent in the new game. Instead, collected ships and sparrows must once again either sit in your character inventory, or take up one of your precious vault slots.
Offer More Than 50 Mod Slots
Dedicated power levelers have already run into this dilemma, but it won’t be long until it’s a problem for large swaths of the player base.
Equipment mods are a deeply integrated system of customization and improvement for your character. They come in many varieties, and at multiple tiers of blue rares and purple legendaries. Unfortunately, there’s just not enough space in the 50-slot mod inventory to hold them all. As soon as you start to collect legendary mods, it can become a problem that demands one of two solutions; either delete some of your low-powered, undesired mods, or offload them into the vault. No fun.
Increase the mod inventory so there is a dedicated slot for each potential mod in the game.
While we’re at it, find a different place to put weapon ornaments for exotic weapons that have not yet been found in-game. As it is now, those are taking up precious space in either the vault or the mod inventory.
The mod inventory has only 50 slots, and it's easy for it to get filled up.
View All Inventories At Once For Each Slot
Players need an easy way to see any given character slot across their entire account (such as all kinetic weapons at once). Many players run two or three guardians on the same account, and there’s value in seeing them side by side.
Who is currently holding the highest power auto rifle on my account? Isn’t this new submachine gun I collected on my Warlock the same one I got at a lower power on my Hunter yesterday? I know I have a D.A.R.C.I. exotic sniper rifle somewhere, but I don’t recall where. Simultaneous viewing of all characters and the items in the vault for that slot would be enormously helpful.
Offer Visual ID For Items With Legendary Mods
Whether working to infuse a weapon to its highest potential power, or sifting through a vault filled with items that may or may not have already taken a mod, Destiny 2 needs a simple at-a-glance way to recognize which items already have a purple legendary mod attached.
Legendary mods add 5 power to whatever item to which they’re applied, but they don’t change the base power of the item as it relates to infusion. As such, when searching through the inventory for what to keep, what to dismantle, and what to use as infusion fuel, an easy way to recognize those purple mod applications is essential.
A quick glance at the top-level character screen should tell players which items have an equipped legendary mod
Allow Mod Transfers Via The Companion App
Bungie deserves a lot of credit for launching Destiny 2 with a fully functioning mobile app that ably allows for transfer of weapons and armor between characters. However, mods that have been placed in the Vault can’t be transferred back into character inventory via the app. You must return to the vault to do so.
It’s an admittedly small inconvenience, but it’s an odd oversight, since most other meaningful power-affecting objects can be transferred using the app.
Max Power Details
Destiny 2 did a remarkable thing when it divorced item drop values from your currently equipped gear. Now, you can confidently gather new gear without worrying that it might drop below your best level.
However, the game offers no way to view what that max power level is for each character. That’s important, because with some situations, (such as turning in Gunsmith Materials) you may want to use your character that currently has the highest max power. The game should provide an easy way (perhaps when hovering over your power) to indicate not only your currently equipped power level, but also the max power that your Guardian can attain with currently available gear.
Likewise, some activities simply demand a particularly high-power value to succeed, such as the Nightfall, or the Raid. As such, I’d love to have an in-game way to request “Equip my Guardian with highest powered available gear.” The system would analyze my account, and pull relevant weapons and armor from other characters and my vault, and put my current character at their best level.
If you want to maintain a shader look when new equipment is acquired, there should be a clear way to go get more of the desired shader
Show Determinative Paths To Shaders
I’m not a fan of Destiny 2’s new shader system, which abandons the prior game’s ease and fun for single-use consumables that are looped into the microtransaction system. But it’s not all bad news, as the shader system does allow for weapon, ship, and sparrow color customization for the first time. But we need a clear path to collect the shaders we want to use.
In several instances, I’ve already found myself running out of the shaders I want to apply to make my character look the way I desire. Perhaps my Titan has been decked out in a sharp red and white armor suit when I get a new high-powered helmet, but I’m out of that shader I’ve used for my set. My only choice is to either recolor my whole Titan, or accept that he’s going to look dumb with a new green helmet.
If Bungie feels strongly that it wants to maintain this individual-use shader system, I recommend offering players clear paths to track down and acquire the shaders they desire. Each shader slot should let you preview it, even if you haven’t already gotten one or more of those shaders. And that shader should also offer a clear description of where and how that shader can be acquired. Some of the shaders already offer this description, including the planetary shaders from EDZ, Titan, Nessus, and Io, and the others should follow suit.
If shaders must be single-use, let people know how they track down the shaders they want, so it becomes an additional activity and reward in the game that players can pursue with intent.
Numerous exotic items include lore tabs, which is a great innovation. But it would be great to have a simple way to read all collected lore in one place
Add Lore Collections
For some players, the fictional landscape of Destiny 2 is a backdrop they don’t care about. However, many other players really enjoy wrapping their heads around the universe, and are eager to pull it together in one place to understand it better. All those cryptic hints about the arrival of Oryx’s sister, Savathûn, start to be much more compelling when you can see them gathered together.
Whether through the in-fiction Cryptarchy, or the voluminous research collections of the Warlocks, Destiny’s tower cries out for a dedicated library space, where lore-minded Guardians could go and peruse the information they’ve gathered so far.
As it is, the lore entries on exotics, Trials equipment, and Raid equipment are only readable on the items themselves. I appreciate the inclusion of an in-game way to interact with these entries (rather than only an external grimoire), but many of these lore fragments have connective elements, like characters who cross over between multiple entries.
Similarly, while exploring the world, your Ghost now has numerous opportunities to “Investigate” unusual sites in the world and provide a snippet of data or dialogue, but those don’t add up to anything, nor are they collected anywhere in the game.
A dedicated library or in-game encyclopedia would serve the same purpose for the story as the vault does for collecting gear – allowing players to gather aspects of the Destiny experience in one convenient place.
I have enormous respect for the complicated design choices that went in to shaping Destiny 2 into a game that appeals to both veteran players and newcomers. But vault and inventory management has never been a fun aspect of the Destiny experience, and I wish that the revised version of that experience in Destiny 2 did more to enrich my playtime. The game is in its early days, and I hope that Bungie continues to iterate on its inventory management and collection systems, and let people play the way they want – even if that playstyle involves a bit more hoarding than might seem necessary.
Looking to read more regarding our thoughts about Destiny 2? Check out an article on the secret storytelling happening in the Trials of the Nine, or read an argument for how Destiny 2 might be a great game for you, even if you hated the first Destiny.