And Just Like That, The Final Shape Has Lost All Momentum (2024)

We’re four weeks into The Final Shape and three weeks into Episode: Echoes, and Act 1 is already over. We now have a three-week gap until the story continues with the start of Act 2 on July 16. Based on the seasonal challenges, it looks like Act 2 will also run for three weeks, leading into an even longer four-week gap before the start of Act 3. That leaves three weeks until the end of Echoes on September 10. With three episodes spread over (at least) twelve months, it's likely we won’t see the start of Episode: Revenant until some time in October - likely after another four-week gap. At this point, anyone hoping the episodic format would lead to more consistency than seasons should be able to read the writing on the wall.

Content gaps have always been part of Destiny 2. Since the introduction of seasons in Forsaken we’ve grown accustomed to only getting new seasons every three months, with stories spread out over the first five or six weeks, followed by a six-week wait until the next season. Events like The Dawning, Guardian Games, and Iron Banner help fill in those gaps, but there have always been lulls. The difference now is that instead of getting a complete seasonal arc from beginning to end, these gaps are built into the middle of the story.

I’m not that surprised that the Episode model seems to offer less content than the previous Season model. It’s easy to do the math and realize that three episodes is less than four seasons. I was hoping that fewer seasons would lead to more robust stories and well-developed progression systems, but based on what we’ve seen from Echoes so far, that doesn’t seem to be the case. So far, it looks like Episodes are just going to be longer seasons with really weird pacing issues.

I’m not ready to write Episodes off completely yet. We know new weapons are getting added to the pool with each act, and I expect a new or updated seasonal activity will be available as well. If cutting a season gives the studio more time to beef up Frontiers next year and make it a soft relaunch for Destiny 2, which is what I now expect it to be, then so be it.

But the three weeks on, three weeks off release structure is a frustrating way to time gate new content. Post-expansion player retention has always been an issue for Destiny, but it feels like The Final Shape is just getting started and Bungie is already turning the lights off and telling everyone to go home.

Final Fantasy 14: Dawntrail launches this week, which will make this an especially attractive jumping-off point for a lot of people. When Act 2 kicks off three weeks from now with a couple more guns to collect and one new activity, do you really think people are going to come back? Maybe the real Failsafe stans will, but my guess this week will see a tremendous drop off in players who may not come back until all the acts for all three Episodes are available this time next year, if at all.

And Just Like That, The Final Shape Has Lost All Momentum (2)

A lot of people would like to see episodes (and seasons before it) released all at once so people can enjoy the content at whatever pace they prefer, and while it would be nice to have a lot of things to do all at once, I think Bungie is correct in thinking that some amount of time-gating is necessary if Destiny is to keep people engaged week after week. But taking a pause in Echoes’ story just three weeks in, before anything interesting has even happened, is not going to make people want to rush back to the game next month. It's one thing to end on a cliffhanger, but this story hasn’t even properly started yet.

It seems episodes were a more apt name for the new seasonal model than we realized, given the constant commercial breaks. And we all know what happened to cable television.


It's Time For Destiny To Retire Weapon Crafting

Now that crafting has been stripped down and weapons are enhanceable, it's time for crafting to go away for good.

  • Live-Service Games
  • Destiny 2: The Final Shape
  • Destiny 2

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And Just Like That, The Final Shape Has Lost All Momentum (2024)


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