Destiny 2 may be the gold standard for the current live service looter genre, but obviously it has its own ancestors to thank. Probably most notably Borderlands, for doing loot-shooting years earlier, and Borderlands itself was an attempt to bring many concepts of Diablo to the FPS genre.
One thing that used to be a pretty common trademark among those games, and others in similar genres like MMOs, was the idea that over time, you would add more classes to the game. Diablo famously added extra classes like Assassin, Druid and Paladin. Borderlands had DLC classes like Krieg and Gaige.
But Destiny, now in its eighth year as a series, and five years into Destiny 2 alone, has always kept its original trinity intact, Hunter, Warlock and Titan. And even though it could be easy to write in how a new class gets birthed, or take one from one of the alien races who have recently dabbled in the light, the game never does it, they instead keep building on top of these same three classes with new subclasses.
In short, this is never, ever going to happen, at least not until there is a grand Destiny 3 style clean slate. And even then I’d doubt it.
Why isn’t this possible? A number of reasons, and one that we’ve seen embodied by other games too, recently, as Borderlands 3 and Outriders both ditched the idea of adding new classes in favor of building on the ones they had. Meanwhile, a game like Avengers keeps adding more and more new classes (heroes) to no avail.
The problem is…it’s too late. If this was going to be a thing that happened, it would have had to take place a long time ago. There are just too many obstacles in place here, both for Bungie itself, and for players, and those combine to make a fourth class simply not worth the effort.
1. The new class would be at an immediate disadvantage with scores and scores fewer armor sets, and more importantly, class exotics, that would have to be “made up.” Given that each of the three classes in Destiny currently has around 36 armor exotics each (and hundreds of legendary armor pieces), there’s just no way they’d ever catch up, and they’d always be at a disadvantage.
2. This is also similarly true in subclasses. The current three have been getting iterated on for years at this point. This would require Bungie to invent Arc, Solar and Void 3.0 for this new class, plus Stasis, plus whatever new fifth subclass is about to arrive. Again, hard to fathom “catching up” like that.
3. I am willing to bet that data shows that most players heavily focus on a single main Guardian, and a very small percentage of the population either has a true alt, or runs all three classes. As such, you would be doing all this work to create a new class and you may only have a tiny fraction of the community actually use that class. That is essentially what the Borderlands team told me about why they added new skill trees rather than make new DLC heroes this time around. If you invent say, Stasis, you are guaranteeing almost all Destiny players will use that new subclass on their main character. But if you create an entirely new class to start from scratch, it becomes a mere option that many players may not even touch.
4. The final factor here is time. Even if you do want to cater to the most dedicated of players, in a live game like this, there just is not enough time to run four classes in Destiny’s live service rollercoaster for human players. I have found myself burning out in other games because I just cannot bear the thought of say, taking Jane Foster to max level in Avengers, the eighth time I will have done so in that game with so many new characters who need to be grown from scratch. It’s also why I found it so hard to get into Lost Ark with its massive collection of classes and subclasses that all must be leveled and managed individually.
Across this whole landscape, the idea of constantly adding fully new classes is becoming increasingly dated, and more and more games, Destiny included, are finding more value in continued investment in the ones they already have. It’s too much catch-up work to do for too little benefit, given that many players may just skip the new class entirely. So that’s why this is not going to change.
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