If you wanted further evidence that Destiny 2 continues to be in a strange place right now, add this to the pile. On Thursday, Bungie announced that a feature that Destiny 2 players have wanted for literally over six years, probably closer ten, if you count similar requests from Destiny 1, was finally arriving. Players will be able to change the faces of their Guardians and their gender as well. It’s free, and you can do it as many times as you want.
After the fact, recently laid-off community manager Liana Ruppert took to Twitter to explain just how long different teams in the company had fought for it, but Bungie didn’t think it was worth allocating the resources. But at long last, they got it done.
To me, this feels like a metaphor for many things that ail Destiny. Something players have wanted for years, something those within the studio have pushed for, something that most other games would take for granted and here, after ten years, it’s finally arriving. Though now yeah, it’s probably too late, and they’re not really even doing what fully needs to be done.
This is a very, very barebones version of character customization. You can change your face and reselect existing face options and markings, but almost all of these have remained identical since Destiny 1, and many of them are pretty terrible. You can change your gender, but not your race between human, awoken or exo. It feels like if this was going to happen it should have come with a host of new options for your Guardian making it worth taking your helmet off, which most of the time, still isn’t going to happen. Again, this is something that should have been possible day one, so while I will applaud the teams who kept pushing for it, Bungie not making this a priority for a decade is not exactly something to celebrate.
I have no evidence of this per se, but I am guessing what finally moved this over the finish line was the compelling argument that trans players, many of whom have indeed transitioned over the course of the last decade, had possibly made a Guardian that was their previous gender identity rather than their current one. My guess is that after years of pitching this as something necessary for inclusivity, not just making ugly Guardians less ugly, that Bungie finally allowed it to happen. Though again, trans players have been saying this for ages, and it’s only now just arriving. This is absolutely a great development for that portion of the playerbase and I expect many trans players to use it more than players who just want to swap hairstyles around. But they shouldn’t have had to wait this long.
Again, while it’s cool something like this is happening, it feels like the ultimate representation of just how slow Bungie can be reacting to players wanting even basic features in the game, constrained by resources and Bungie’s tech that likely made this somehow an extremely complicated problem that needed solving, since it wasn’t inserted from the beginning, which it should have been.
While I wrote many articles about this over the years, I’d given up for a while now. And at this point with no new or better options to choose from? Yeah, I just don’t really care. The helmet stays on.
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