Level 8 In A Land Of 34s: A Newbie's Take On Destiny

Level 8 In A Land of 34s: A Newbie's Take On Destiny

I am late. The mysteries have been solved. The loot cave has come and gone. I'm the guy just now turning in his first encrypted engram — green, of course. I'm either playing Destiny the best way or the worst way.

Argument for this being the best way to play Destiny: A few million gamers have beta-tested this massively multiplayer online first-person shooter for me, worked out a bunch of kinks, had a to-and-fro with the people making the game at Bungie, got things sorted. I benefit. The game is now full of things to do and, from what I hear, more fair.

Argument for it being the worst way: I bought the DLC before I started, wanted to experience the full offering. Well. The Destiny newbie who buys expansion one and expansion two before starting the game, winds up with an awesome vehicle...

Level 8 In A Land of 34s: A Newbie's Take On Destiny
Level 8 In A Land of 34s: A Newbie's Take On Destiny

...a bunch of gear that is wayyyy too high-level to use at the moment...

Level 8 In A Land of 34s: A Newbie's Take On Destiny
Level 8 In A Land of 34s: A Newbie's Take On Destiny

... and regularly risks walking through the frigging starter area of the game and running into a guy like this...

Level 8 In A Land of 34s: A Newbie's Take On Destiny

Queenbreaker. That sounds...bad. Wasn't this room full of level-one enemies? What was he doing in there? Wait. I paid extra for him to be there? He is part of the House of Wolves DLC and just hangs out in the way of a baby-difficulty patrol quest? And he can take me down in one hit if I'm not crafty enough to sneak by?

This is a disaster.

Revised Argument For It Being The Best Way: If you are just starting Destiny now and have bought the House of Wolves and Dark Below expansions, your travels through this game will be treacherous. Story missions won't be affected, but the open levels of the game will be full of death traps whose armour is too strong for your blasters, though not too strong for the higher-level players who are sharing the game world with you. Having that DLC loaded in turns Destiny into something that feels like a Souls game. You know what I mean: an occasionally brutally tough experience, one where it is beneficial to have a friend or an employee who is unhealthily obsessed with the game within texting range to offer advice. Here I am in blue:

Level 8 In A Land of 34s: A Newbie's Take On Destiny

Yes, I am playing Destiny as if it's a Souls game. I shoot stuff, turn the wrong corner, get mauled, ask colleagues for help. I did this two days ago after finding a large, brooding alien who I incorrectly guessed was going to respond angrily when I stole the object next to him:

Level 8 In A Land of 34s: A Newbie's Take On Destiny

Luckily, I employ the world's foremost Destiny experts who are always available to assist:

Level 8 In A Land of 34s: A Newbie's Take On Destiny

I actually don't need help, really. I'm fine. When I'm just level five and my co-op buddy Kirk Hamilton is level 34 and he says: "Do you want me to shoot that guy with my Gjallarhorn?" I say, "No thanks" and wait for him to revive me. And revive me again. And again. Then he shoots that guy with the Gjallarhorn and it takes some damage off. He laughs like a man who has just hit a building with a wrecking ball and is amused that one wall is still upright. I'm at the foot of said wall with my chisel. Then we remember that I bumped up the difficulty level of that mission because he was with me and I realise I can probably chisel through a normal version of this mission on my own.

I mean, really, what kind of help can a person like this provide?

Level 8 In A Land of 34s: A Newbie's Take On Destiny

Oh, he can probably help me a lot. But I can — and I have — charged through this game mostly on my own.

Level 8 In A Land of 34s: A Newbie's Take On Destiny

I'm already level 7 and look dashing. (Actually I'm already up to level 8, not pictured in this GIF!)

I'm having my own fun playing Destiny this way with all of its meals on my plate at once.

I like that the Destiny I'm playing runs smoothly but is full of high-level danger. The game looks alien and exotic. To me it plays that way. It's weird and spiky, goading me into missions I can completely handle that are roadblocked with enemies I probably shouldn't be fighting until I get from kindergarten to college.

I can't complain, right? I'm stabbing guys while wearing pin-striped sleeves.

Level 8 In A Land of 34s: A Newbie's Take On Destiny

I'm plunging into random events that are so far beyond me and maybe I'm actually lending a tiny helping hand.

I'm going to the bounty board to gawk at how awesome the bounty guy looks. I want to show it in my post, after all.

Level 8 In A Land of 34s: A Newbie's Take On Destiny

But I'm such a novice that I leave this guy without remembering to grab his latest bounties.

I'm still figuring this all out.

I'm still figuring out how you deal with the fact that you can't pause the damn game. Maybe, I figure, I can hide behind this wall here while I have dinner with my wife... only to discover an hour later I've been kicked by the game.

I'm figuring out that the loading times in this game stink and that I don't have to worry about the story because no one seems to understand it or care about it anyway.

I'm figuring out that, predominantly single player gamer that I am, I can still enjoy Destiny a lot, though I'm still intimidated by the idea of scheduling one of these raids I hear are so good and still wary of jumping into player vs player Crucible matches.

I marvel at how good the game looks and how satisfying its shooting feels. I don't get why my sparrow speeder can't shoot, don't have any idea what to do with half of the loot I am collecting and don't think my starter spaceship looks that bad:

Level 8 In A Land of 34s: A Newbie's Take On Destiny

I'd advise other Destiny neophytes to also play this game, but unless you bought the game and its first two expansions already, you should wait. In mid-September, the game's publisher, Activision, is going to sell an entire package including the base game, the two expansions I have and a new, significantly bigger expansion called The Taken King, all for $US60. That will be the best deal. I just hope they don't rebalance the game to make it too easy for newcomers. The weirdly uneven challenge I've experienced has been a large part of the fun.


    I got rid of my copy a while ago, I'm still interested in what The Taken King has to offer. Unfortunately for someone who focuses more on the 'single player' side of games, there's no replayability in the game as it's far too short. Nothing that they've announced for TTK says to me 'we're putting in a lot more content'. A few strikers and a new raid, those can get boring quite quickly. Maybe come the end of 'Year 2' there might be a collectors edition with everything to date that I'll get and there might be a worthwhile game for me to lose myself in for a long time. Until then I'm not taking the plunge again to play a game of grinding for no rewards and imbalanced multiplayer. Plus the whole thing with Bungie having no respect at all for their customers. Having seen a few interviews with some of the developers, I can see where the smug arrogance comes from

      i find this 'no playability' and its too short a VERY confusing complaint about this game. There is heaps of playability and differently ways of doing so. Nightstrikes vs Dailies vs heroic versions of missions. the trials and prison and the raids and then the whole pvp side of things. to stay nothing of patrols and there three questers/bounty people.

      One cant criticise them for not adding replayablity, maybe the problem isnt the game just you dont like the playability they offer. Thats not their flaw so much as it is yours. Its just a question of taste.

      If this was Call of Duty you would get seven hours (if you are lucky) and that is it.

        Perhaps consider the fact that you may not have the same exact understanding of the word "replayability" as the person you are responding to. You actually can criticise them for not adding replayability and it's pretty ridiculous to start arbitrarily telling people they are "flawed" because you like a game they don't. You completely ignore a case for what replayability even is, when the rewards or benefits don't amount to a motivation to play, then you can EASILY make an argument for this not being true replayability. Bioware games have a constantly changing narrative, whereas others simply have collectables. These are not the same thing but you're acting like they are. Some people may enjoy finding collectables in the same place over and over again but when other games' "replayability" can be identified as greater and more adaptive in structure, you can't pretend there isn't more than one way to consider what true replayability is.

    Oh this is so fun. I've had two friends get PS4s and join our Destiny playgroup in the last couple of months and their experience was like yours. Watching a low-level player hanging round prowling Wolves events is quite amusing.

    The experience of wandering round the wrong corner and going "um... wtf?" has been there since the very start. The Hive that lurk in the tunnels below the Steppes, and the other Hive that lurk downstairs out in the Forgotten Shore... these were terrifying as a level 4 or 5 doing some patrolling. :)

      I remember wandering around the Steppes back in the alpha and learning pretty quickly not to go down there :P I wish there was still stuff like that for veterans, honestly - hoping we'll see something like that in TTK. The only challenging thing left in patrol is Urzok... hoping to see some more challenging patrol bosses once TTK comes out.

        Walkers can be tough too (unless Wolves has prowled and we have scorch cannons... walkers don't like scorch cannons....), but yeah, it's a shame there aren't more areas with genuinely random stuff going on - a random strike generator would be cool.

    The Queenbreaker Captain is a royal jerk. Between levels 2 and 26 he killed me over and over. Now, at 34 I make a point of introducing him to the ground every time I pass through that particular section of the Cosmodrome.

    The worst of the grind is between Levels 20-32, Working the Vanguard over for reputation and marks (Which buy you decent-but-retrospectively-mediocre legendary gear) is a chore.

    Don't worry, you will get to 34 eventually........but you will still be a second class citizen when they see you don't have an Icebreaker

      Not really... I have been 34 for ages and have never been excluded for not having icebreaker. Maybe G-jelly-horn, but not icebreaker.

        I'm just kidding man, making fun of the some of the weird elitism that pops up in Destiny every now and always lol

          I have seen my fair share of trials teams that wont take titans...

    haha this takes me back. I had the same thing, I started after the first DLC so was always playing catch up. Was carried through a lot of the story by my level 32 (I think that was the cap at the time) mates, who were helping me level, so I had no idea what was really going on, only that I spent a lot of time as an orb. It wasn't all that fun, and it left me a bit lost and confused, but once you hit that max level.. the game really opens up, and you start to enjoy it.

    I'm having a bit of a break from it at the moment, but still love it.... just that the Thorn bounty is doing my bloody head in lol

    Edit: with regards to the higher level stuff, you do learn how to run and hide very quickly lol Stepping around a corner and running into a ??? means that its time to sprint, slide and double jump the fuck out of there lol

    Last edited 03/08/15 2:38 pm

    They haven't revealed the number of Strikes, but it'll probably be around 3 Totally new ones, plus if you're on Xbox, you get the PS-exclusive ones from the last year. Those are all revamped with Taken Enemies; which really means 4 strikes instead of 2 since you can play them in their original state as well as Taken versions.

    So thats maybe 5 - 7 new Strikes depending on platforms, with all the current locations in the game being revamped for Taken enemies, new areas in PvE, like Mercury and the Dreadnaught. Quests for weapons and loot, what looks to be a huge new Armoury of weapons.

    While its hard to say at the moment, I feel like it will be worth the asking price in the end once all the content is out in the open. I'd like to hope that this will mark the end of their failed DLC program, and they shift to monetizing Customisation products like Ships, Shaders and Emblems as that would be a better revenue stream than the overpriced DLC....might allow for more free content updates through the year and only have a yearly Expansion like TTK. One can wish.

    I played solo to 32, through normal story missions for most of it and strikes for the rest. On the couple of occasions I did patrol bounties I had that same experience accidentally shooting something deadly and being pounded hard. I've stopped at 32 because I don't see myself joining groups for raids and matchmaking strikes gets dull when all the strikes look the same (and I've been doing them since 18). I'll come back for story with expansions, but that's it.

    Just make sure you get a group of trustworth ppl together for your raids. I've only tried it once with 2 friends and 3 randoms. The randoms trolled us constantly and dumped us at the final boss battle. Neither of my friends have played it since. One of them even sold their copy. I'm just an idiot that bought a digital copy.

    Last edited 03/08/15 3:58 pm

      Check out the http://the100.io for meeting some non trolls to play with, I joined and have done a few raids and higher levels strikes with some great people.

    Um that Queenbreaker only started showing up since HoW I think but I didn't even have the DLC and it was still there for me

    Last edited 03/08/15 5:30 pm

      Yeah it's there with or without the DLC.

    Really confused as to how you got the tumbler sparrow. I thought it was a timed exclusive from Dec-Jan and if you didn't claim it in that time you didn't get it?

    I've got the digital guardian edition and didn't receive it from my postmaster as I didn't log in during my summer hiatus.

    I have 3 - 34's on the xbox one along with 9 ghorns, I started a new character on the PS4 and got to level 9 before stopping. That grind is such a chore, I can't imagine going thru it again. I see all these low level people and I want no part of that.

    I'm 99% sure that Queenbreaker Captains and the Servants of Crota are always going to be there regardless of which DLCs you purchased. A certain amount of content is available to all players regardless of their purchases each time a new update comes out.

    I only just got into Destiny recently also, but I did not buy the DLC yet.
    I can confirm that those super high level enemies like the Queenbreaker are present regardless of having DLC or not. And they also screwed me up a few times before I learnt...

    Great article! I love seeing new players while on patrol. They're eager to experience everything Destiny has to offer and I'm happy to help them. That's what I love about the Destiny community - there's always someone willing to lend a hand.

    please stop.
    Destiny failed as soon as it launched and this continued coverage is giving me herpes.

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