Being two years beyond its original release Destiny still has a steady pool of players and that is a good thing. However, the pending release of Rise of Iron could be another make or break moment for the game. Many people were hoping for a full-blown Destiny 2 and they are only going to get an expansion somewhat equivalent in size to The Taken King expansion.
Here are three things Bungie can do to make the Rise of Iron something players will come back to Destiny for.
3. Matchmaking For PVE
The only PVE space that has built in match-making is the Strike list and this doesn't even include the Heroic and Nightfall Strikes. There are players out there that don't want to use LFG sites and want to stay in the game to find fellow players if no one from their friends list is available. Since Destiny's release the only way to try to recruit for PVE within the game is to find players in the social areas and send them a message asking them to join you. This is less than ideal to begin with and some people consider it an annoyance.
Adding in-game match-making would open opportunities that some players just don't have currently. I have spoken with people that have never played the game's original raid, The Vault of Glass, simply because they don't already have a group to play with. Many people have left Destiny because they only want the PVE element but don't want to play alone. There is a limit on how many Strikes one can run before they get boring and missing out on other content for the fact of being solo can be frustrating. Being able to find people that want to play the same part of the game as you should not be a limitation.
2. Better Chances For Loot
There is plenty of loot to be had in the game but the real problem is getting it. Some loot is locked behind certain events and otherwise inaccessible. Much is the case with weapons and armor that are only available from raids or completing quests. The highest level gear can only be obtained from the highest level events which makes sense but then it may also limit people from obtaining those pieces just because they can't or don't want to complete the hardest level content.
Opening the loot table so that any loot can drop anywhere at anytime would encourage players to vary what they play within the game rather than just grinding away at a particular mode of the game. Many people play the raids every week on all three characters not because they like the raid but rather it gives them three chances to get the loot they want. My experience has been that the loot drops in the Strikes(PVE) are not as good as the Crucible(PVP) and I would end playing the Crucible not because I wanted to but because I felt I had a better chance for better loot. Changing how and where loot drops would make the players feel more rewarded for their playtime and allow them to be playing the content they most want to.
1. Improve The Story
Destiny has been bemoaned for its lack of story telling since its release and little has changed to this point. The Taken King was applauded for improving the story telling but it was just that, an improvement. It was only an improvement because the previous story and its delivery where terrible. The story isn't very well flushed out either, the true nature of the Light and the Dark have never been explained nor the Traveler's relationship to them. To make matters worse, most of the story isn't even told within the game. Bungie has instead taken to using grimoire cards that are not even readable within the game. There may be great details in these cards but the majority of players are never going to see it since they have to go online, out of the game, to do so.
The solution here seems simple, tell a better story and deliver it better. The Taken King content gave little detail about Destiny's universe overall and only served as a setup to its raid. Rise of Iron should learn from this and add to the game's overall story line and not be limited to its own bubble of content. Simply adding more cutscenes, as The Taken King did, does not make the delivery better either. I would rather have important moments detailed to me rather than have them spoken over in-game action or presented in a nearly meaningless cutscene that misses the point anyway. If Bungie would provide an improved story, they would get the emotional attachment they want players to have.
These aren't the only things that could could be fixed or added to make Destiny better. Little things like more inventory space would be nice and more likely to happen since the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game will no longer be a limiting factor. Given time and effort, the technical problems of the game can be fixed and Bungie has shown themselves capable of that much. What they really need to fix are the non-technical issues that would bring greater enjoyment to players.