My Love/Hate Relationship With Destiny

My Love/Hate Relationship With Destiny

Compared to a whole lot of people on the Internet, I have not played much of Destiny at all.

This post originally appeared on Kotaku UK.

In fact, according to an online calculator, I have spent 12 hours playing it (although it doesn't count idle time spent in orbit or in the Tower, so it's probably closer to 25 in real hours). The vast majority of that time was in the first week or two after launch, when everybody I knew was playing. I blasted through the story missions, reached level 20, and then abruptly stopped.

I stopped because frankly I looked at the collective mania that my post-level-20 friends were experiencing, with their loot caves and their Light and their endless, endless grinding for equipment that I did not fully understand, and determined that there were better things to do with my brief time on this Earth. Plus, the game would probably be a lot better further down the line. Almost every game you buy nowadays is likely to be better a few months or even years after launch, but with Destiny this felt especially true.

My Love/Hate Relationship With Destiny

I returned to it last weekend because The Taken King looks frankly awesome, and promises to fix a lot of the things I didn't like about vanilla Destiny. I found my weekend playing it to be a timely reminder of everything I loved and hated about this perplexing video game. I believe that Destinyis simultaneously excellent and terrible, a fascinating paradox that is equally worthy of the devotion of its players and the derision of its detractors.

Some of the things I hate about Destiny are actually the precise things that have made it so popular. Firstly, in the vast majority of Destiny's missions, you do not need much skill to feel like you're being an amazing space-hero. I have gleaned this from watching my partner's 9-year-old son play, which opened my eyes to the fact that as long as you can point and shoot at things, the rest is done by the numbers behind the scenes. It is really very difficult to fail at Destiny unless you are suddenly left on your own in the boss section of a strike. I mean, the kid would stand there in open ground, getting shot at whilst he fiddled around with his equipment in the menus, and still wouldn't die.

This made me realise that pretty much all of the tension I'd been experiencing in Destiny missions existed only in my imagination. The stakes are very low. I understand that this can be offset by jacking up the difficulty (or indeed visiting the Crucible, which is very good at showing up how terrible you really are) - but still, this is a design choice that's at the heart of Destiny's appeal: point gun, shoot gun, feel amazing, do it again. Everything else is secondary to that core gameplay loop.

My Love/Hate Relationship With Destiny

Good lord, though, shooting those guns is SUCH fun. I kept playing Destiny - and keep coming back to it - because it is the best shooter I have ever played in terms of feel. The guns are amazingly designed, science-fiction masterpieces of smooth lines, bright colours and interlocking parts. They sound amazing. Shooting them at robots and aliens and watching them dissolve or crumple never gets old, because every different gun makes that same action a slightly different sensory experience. This is what makes both PvE and the Crucible such fun to play - that variety, combined with the variety of character classes and supers. Destiny absolutely nails the actual shooting.

It's also gorgeous. I can't get over how beautiful Destiny's planets are - although every time I admire it, I find myself simultaneously lamenting that there is nothing IN this world. It is an MMO without any exploration. (No, finding dead Ghosts does not count, because that only unlocks Grimoire Cards and those are a whole new flavour of bullshit that I'll get to later.) There is nothing interesting to find in the whole world of Destiny, which is kind of heartbreaking. I thought it was going to be a galaxy to explore, and instead it is a selection of pretty places to shoot things in. There's not even anything to really do in the Tower.

I was more disappointed by this a year ago than I am today. I'm over it now - there are other games where I can explore space. But still, every time I play Destiny I'm reminded of how it could be better. And it would be easier not to care about the lack of interesting environmental storytelling or exploration if the main story wasn't such a big load of nothing.

My Love/Hate Relationship With Destiny

Destiny's story - as presented in the game - really is such nonsense that it's painful to sit through. I "completed" that game without coming to know or care what The Traveller actually was or how anything I had done contributed to saving it. I still do not know which ones are the Hive, the Fallen, the Vex and the Cabal, or why any of them are shooting at me. Why would you have four different races of enemy? Why wouldn't you focus your story on a single bad guy that's easy to develop antipathy for (or, you know, actually give the player a clear reason for shooting the bad guys)? This is basic storytelling.

This is even more frustrating when you learn that Destiny does actually have a pretty good story, but the game actively hides it from you. I discovered this by reading things like this great, exhaustive summary of Destiny lore on Game Informer. Why would you hide it in Grimoire cards that you have to read on a SEPARATE APP or on Bungie's website? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? It's maddening.

Another thing I can't stand: the jargon. Destiny explains itself extremely poorly, and so anyone who wants to understand the game properly has to turn to the Internet for advice. And yet every time I decide to do some reading to catch up on Destiny, I am presented with sentences like this: "I always break down the rate of fire pulse rifles: you've got your 77s, which is a 24 impact with a headshot, you've got your 73s, which is 27, you've got your 66s, which is at 31...". Or: "Once I've maxed out all my vanguard bounties for the day, if I only need a few hundred more rep points to get to a new level, I'll farm specific patrol missions." This is what happened to me last year: I started reading up on Light, bounties, vanguard marks et cetera, and just decided I'd rather do something else.

My Love/Hate Relationship With Destiny

To put that into perspective, I play a lot of Monster Hunter. I can decipher Monster Hunter's arcane stats, but not Destiny's. Several of my Destiny-playing friends have told me that life begins after level 20, that if you just spend 50 hours on it, it all starts to make sense. I am not into spending 50 hours of my life on a game before it gets good. A lot of the people telling me this are the very same people who used to mock me for insisting that if you just suffered through 15 hours of picking mushrooms and killing raptors, it was worth it to hunt a Rathian. (Monster Hunter is a much easier sell now that 4 has done away with all that nonsense.)

All of this has made Destiny difficult for me to enjoy, so far, for its first year of life. I am simultaneously delighted and infuriated by it. But I am looking forward to going back to Destiny for The Taken King. From what I understand, a lot of these problems are being directly addressed, particularly the story-telling and the difficult-to-parse relationship between Light and character level. And the best thing about Destiny, in my opinion, is the community it's fostered - people like the Dads of Destiny, which is part Destiny clan and part support group for fathers of young families.

Most of my Destiny-playing friends are way, way beyond where I am in the game now, and some of us haven't spoken in a long while. But The Taken King is going to be a new beginning for all of us. I'm looking forward to reconnecting with them even more than reconnecting with the game.

My Love/Hate Relationship With Destiny

This post originally appeared on Kotaku UK, bringing you original reporting, game culture and humour with a U from the British isles.


    Man, this article explains everything why I didn't buy Destiny. I only tried the beta (which was a demo) and I was so friggen bored by the game. Nothing but shooting, no tactics, no weapon variety, and nothing to explore.

    I played the missions on hard to give myself a challenge but when I died I discovered that my cooldowns didn't reset. I just had enough and qui before the demo ended.

    Hearing all the stuff that happened in the playerbase makes me glad I skipped out on the game.

      You didn't play enough of the game to really know what you're talking about, but that's not a condemnation, just a statement of the facts as they stand. You're not necessarily wrong, just not fully informed.

      The beta was essentially all of the earth story missions and one strike. I guarantee you didn't explore all of the earth environment, because there are chunks of it the story didn't use at that point and in patrol mode were gated off by high level enemies well beyond the capacity of the level cap placed on the beta, limiting you to level 8 and pretty lousy weapons.

      For the record, your strength, discipline and intellect affect your cooldowns, and these stats are affected with better armour. Harder missions/higher level strikes and raids are where the actual skill and strategies are required, though there's no getting away from the fact that effectively all the bosses are bullet sponges.

      Vanilla Destiny and really, all of year 1 has felt like an extended beta. There have been band-aids to some of the odder design choices that almost introduced as many problems as they solved. The in-game economy is a mess with over a dozen different currencies in play at any given time. Year 1 players are also very disappointed to know that once The Taken King drops all their old gear will be obsolete and even the very best exotics will become relics, possibly dusted off if we really feel like delving back into the old story missions or raids for nostalgia purposes.

      I've played a lot of Destiny and at times loathed myself for it. I am, however, treating the release of The Taken King as a blank slate and am giving it a chance to show me what Bungie are actually capable of. Pre-release material looks promising, though I am trying to avoid spoilers. If I'm not satisfied with the new face of Destiny once this DLC comes out and we properly enter "year 2", I'll cut my losses and go back to all those other games I've let gather dust.

        That doesn't change the fact that I was bored out of my mind fighting the enemies. They all seem to be the same types of enemies. Elites, drones, or melee Elites. Then occasionally a wizard from the moon will appear, but I can't remember a single attack from them.
        You also can't pick up their weapons. Since your secondary and tertiary weapon had limited ammo you spend the majority of your time aiming down the same scope. I was really interested in grabbing their weapons.

        It also doesn't help that you have simple regenerative health. Would have been better with static health, then you could have a better seperation of classes in how they respond to health. Would make battles more interesting aside from sitting behind the same piece of cover.

        I'm hoping the Taken King does change it up enough but at this point I'm just going to wait for reviews.

          True, you can't pick up enemy weapons, but there's a pretty broad range of weapons in the game. Each class actually has different perks they can unlock that make their styles of combat quite dynamic, and exotic pieces of armour can also affect this. Again, things you would know if you had played more than the beta.

          I'm not saying you're wrong to dislike Destiny or that after level 20 it would suddenly transform into the right kind of game for you, just that your opinion is an extremely uninformed one. Making comments like "all the stuff that happened in the playerbase makes me glad I skipped out on the game" is little more than confirmation bias.

            When I'm talking about the playerbase, I'm really talking about people spending hours staring into a cave.

              You mean the loot cave, a community solution to the inherently unfair RNG system, an issue that was resolved about eleven months ago? Well I take back everything I said above, you clearly have your finger on the pulse of Destiny current affairs.

                Resolved? They did fix the loot cave but left the inherently unfair RNG system in place...

                Bungie have been very good at rolling out patches to fix stuff that makes sure you play their way...god forbid they actually acknowledged and fixed their shitty RNG...until TTK, maybe...

                Last edited 08/09/15 2:21 pm

                  Really, how many purple engrams have you had turn into blue items this year? Never seen a legendary drop from a faction reputation package?

                  Engrams drop with more regularity and don't cheat you out of legendary items when they're purple. The chance for an exotic is higher than it once was. Sure, RNG can still be a pain sometimes. I know I never saw a Gjallarhorn drop for myself while my wife got two - and I've received Word of Crota twice while my wife continues to lament the absence of a void-element primary. But yes, for the most part, the RNG is much more reasonable. It's balanced. If you're expecting mad loot to drop every ten seconds like in Borderlands or Diablo, you need to appreciate that this is not a "loot game". Destiny gives you what you need. And if it doesn't drop, you can buy reasonably good items from the vendors, whereas in looting-oriented games vendors are nearly pointless.

                  The loot cave existed in a time where the loot table was bad and you could get blues (rare) loot on the purple (legendary) enagrams.

                  As much as I enjoy all the new features coming in I do wish they would stop making certain gear completely useless (no options for upgrades/ascension) with each expansion and would appreciate Destiny moving forward in a more progressive manor.

                  Still going to play the heck out of it regardless too much fun :)

                  One of the changes they're making in TTK is to have loot drops contain a chance of giving you equipment you currently do not have. So hopefully what you consider to be "unfair RNG" will be less unfair

                  Gotta say I'm with Baron on this. Its easy to hate Destiny, but when you actually spend some time with it, it is a genuinely fun and entertaining game.

                  I thoroughly like the RNG. Great rewards cannot be brute-forced by those who play longer or are better than others. With no clear objective to get some weapons you elimate people cheesing the game instead of just playing it.

        See I don't understand why a lot of players are disappointed that their gear will be obsolete in TTK. I mean, you play any other MMO where the level cap increases, so of course new weapons and gear are released and they are a whole lot better than anything previously because they have higher stats. In WoW, you never read about anyone getting super disappointed when they couldn't use their Warglaives of Azzinoth against the raid bosses in Wrath of the Lich King, or any of the other expansions that released.

          It's one of those things that's untested in Destiny, I'm sure it will turn out fine but it goes against how this was originally pitched to players. They introduced raid-specific gear and exotic weapons and explicitly said they would want players to become attached to them and the stories that went along with them blah blah blah. Now we're 12 months out from launch and it's all "well, time to move on, throw out that old legendary shit and make way for commons!"

          There's just one problem with what you just said: in the last DLC, the new weapons that were brought in as loot for the endgame content (Prison of Elders) were ABSOLUTE GARBAGE. With the exception of Her Benevolence (Sniper rifle), nobody uses any of them. Therefore the old weapons were way better

      If you've got opinions on Destiny, and even if they're contrary to my own, I respect them. But I'm not sure having only played the beta is grounds to form a realistic opinion on the finished launch product, let alone it's state after many patches and several expansions a year odd later.

      Last edited 08/09/15 1:32 pm

        Why do I have to finish a game to learn I'm not interested in it? I already suffered through FF13 for that reason.

          I meant 'finished' in terms of final/complete release. I wasn't suggesting you need to finish it to form an opinion on it.

            Destiny. Final/complete release.

            Dude, what Destiny is now is Alpha-stage.

              Year 1 was Alpha, we get to pay more money so we can have a go at the Year 2 Beta...

            I thought the beta was the final release.

              Destiny is a weird egg.

              What it is now, feels like a jumbled mess of everything clumped together. Yet I still play it.

              The gameplay itself is smooth and sweet, fights are intense and many aspects require team work. For this the game shines. However the game itself in its entirety(where it is at the moment), feels unfinished.

              Too many rehashed monsters, rehashed levels, rehashed this and that. All of this i am hoping they will address in TTK. However i would not be surprised if the multiple missions are just going through a dreadnought map one way, and then going in reverse. I mean the big bad guy is just illidan... cough... i mean Crota with wings. Fingers crossed they deliver something more.

              Trying to shake a destiny fan awake of this fact is useless. They are too intoxicated already to notice anything else. But to each their own.

              Destiny is still far off what was originally promised. But it is still fun to play now and again.

              Last edited 08/09/15 3:01 pm

        The problem with all these counter arguments to him is that beta gameplay didn't change going into the full game. Still hasn't. If he didn't like the gameplay during beta, he's not going to like the current game.

        I played the beta, and played from launch to the point of hard mode Vault of Glass. Took a break over the two DLC and went back about two months ago. Gameplay is still the same, there is no "well they patched this..." about it. They can tweak guns specs, this or that. But the core gameplay will forever be what it is.

        A friend of mine had similar arguments about Elder Scrolls Online when I said "Didn't like the gameplay in beta..." and they were like "Oh it's changed so much!" so I tried the 'real game' as they put it. Gameplay was still exactly the same as the beta. Destiny is no different in that regard.

        Changing core gameplay is virtually impossible without remaking your whole game.

      Disregard people saying you're wrong. I played the Alpha, and the game hasn't really changed at its core.

      Sure, it got a couple fixes and improvements, but only to fuck-ups introduced since (or just never actually working in the first place).

      It's got good shooting mechanics. That's it.

        I know the mechanics were good, it is made by Halo. Even feels more like Halo with ADS than whatever they're doing with Halo now.

        It's just everything else around it.

          Yup, correct. A big shame really, the game could have been magical.

            and everybody is getting mad at me for not liking a game I don't like.

              No one is getting mad at you for not liking it, people are getting exasperated that you're speaking authoritatively about the mechanics of a game you have a sliver of experience with. It would be like me going into MGSV articles and saying "well, I'm glad I never bothered playing any Metal Gear games, I'd hate to have to play with one eye closed all the time because the main character wears an eye patch".

                people? you appear to be the only one getting exasperated with Neo's opinions...I think he has it about right even if he didn't play it much...

                  When I say "people" are getting exasperated, I refer to the "everybody" he claims is getting mad - I chose to use a slightly less encompassing term.

                  I never said he was necessarily wrong, he can hate the game all he likes, and I've nothing against him for that. It has it's flaws and I've been pretty critical of the game in this thread myself. But his remarks about the gameplay were not well informed or contemporaneous, and I find it exasperating when people who admittedly don't play the game nonetheless seize opportunities to speak authoritatively about them.

                  Last edited 08/09/15 3:27 pm

                  I'm exasperated too. I've been in his situation. I played the Battlefield 3 beta and thought it sucked. I have never played Battlefield 3 in it's final release form ever. The difference is I don't go onto articles about it and say that it sucks based on my own limited experience WITH A BETA.

                  Neo Kaiser is certainly entitled to his opinion of the game (an opinion shared by many), but he shouldn't be commenting authoritatively on a product he hasn't touched for a year. A product that has changed and been added to since he last played it.

                  I think enough people agree with him. There are upvotes there.

      Yeah...but that's the difference between an FPS and an RPG. I know what you're thinking, that Destiny is meant to be a MMORPG...but it's clearly an FPS in it's core with a little RPG style quirks. I think a lot of people went into that game thinking it was meant to be a big RPG and to be fair, so did I, it did advertise like that. Compare it to COD, it makes the game so much better haha!

      I agree with @kermitron 's sentiments, people really need to try something before they decide they hate it. I hate olives for example. Never eaten them, I just know. But I accept this is not a rational or informed opinion. I don't have to change it, but I would be out of my mind to judge an olive growers competition.

      This is especially true for Destiny, a game that has frequently been described by fans, critics, and the developers themselves as really defined by its end game content (you shouldn't ignore this discourse). Some people may say "I don't have the time or the patience to level up to 20 just to find out if the game is good or not" and that's a fair position. But that time spent playing the game, acquiring weapons, learning the mechanics; that's all required reading for the far more engaging and challenging end game content. You can't win these things without having a class with all of its abilities unlocked, or without the higher level guns and armour.

      It's also a game that comes to life with its cooperative play. If you don't have friends to play with regularly, or you're unable or unwilling to make friends on the "looking for group" websites, the game isn't for you. Your brief time during the Beta was restricted to a very isolated experience (I played the Alpha and Beta and remember them well) that did nothing to sell the magic of playing Destiny with your friends. It did nothing to sell the magic of getting new gear and weapons that excite you. It did nothing to show you the magic of the raids, Vault Of Glass especially, that upend the gameplay and create an experience unlike anything else on consoles and in shooters in general.

      The missions that were available in the beta are pretty much never revisited. Once you've played through the "Story" content once, there's little reason to revisit it aside from the daily heroic story missions. It's the least exciting part of the game. I'm not saying that Destiny doesn't have problems, because it definitely does. I'm not saying that if you give it a chance you'll love it, cause I have no idea what you like. But I've spent more with this game than anything else in the past 5 years at least, and I am super critical about triple A games.

      I appreciate that you're not like the IGN comments section of Destiny articles, where completely ignorant children say "Destiny was a failure and nobody plays it and Bungie will be bankrupt today", but there's definitely ignorance in your stance. As was already said, it's not an attack, just the situation.

      On its best days and with a few friends, Destiny's uniqueness, bravado and fluidity outweigh any flaws the game may have. On its bad days, it's only a few months away from new content that may (and have previously done so) breathe new life into it. If the last time you played was the beta, you owe it to yourself to give The Taken King a shot; it's my most anticipated release this year.

    Destiny makes a lot more sense when you start thinking of it as an MMO.

    Also getting to level 20 is pretty damned easy. If someone stopped at 20 and had an opinion on Destiny prior to The Dark Below, I would've entertained it - but at this point, the game has changed quite a bit. It's also set to change again quite drastically with TTK. Whether it's enough to make it a game you like again, if you didn't originally - I'm not sure. But it's like complaining an MMO sucked a year ago, and it's since had two expansions, an imminent third, and a multitude of gameplay/balance adjusting patches.

    Again - if you don't like Destiny, that's cool - just you can't really base that opinion when you quit playing, and that was a year ago.

    Last edited 08/09/15 12:14 pm

      I was one of those people, who bashed the game even though i only got to level 20.

      Then a podcast i listened to had a guy who went back and played it and said he liked it, so i gave it another shot and damn, the game gets so much better after 20. Sadly this was only a month ago, and since i'm on PS3 i haven't had people to play with so i only got to 32.

      But damn am i excited for Taken King, the changes look like they are for the better.

      Is it an MMO tho? This is one of my beefs in that it's definitely not 'Massive' as you have 3 player strikes, 6 person raids, and 12 player PVP...that's really barely last gen tbh. They had a chance to develop a shared-world Coop-FPS and not follow some dumb MMO things but it seems to have never really found its place. Bungie continue to tinker with base mechanics which seems to imply even they don't know what sort of game they are developing.

      Such a shame as it is a gorgeous game and such sweet controls but the grind is boring and almost endless simply because of a broken RNG system. For a game that is all about the loot, they have not managed weapon progression very well.

    I completely agree with almost everything in this article. I was looking forward to Destiny for a long time before it came out. I specifically held off buying a PS4 so that I could get the Destiny console bundle. I picked up my pre-order, came home and started playing. Initally, I was blown away. The graphics, the guns, the concept....the potential. Then i played for around 10 hours and thought to myself..."I must be missing something...I've obviously forgotten to do something". But the game never improved.

    I'm the type of gamer that gets around 5 hours per week to play games. Sometimes it's all at once, others times its an hour each day. Destiny requires me to sink too much time into the game before it really begins to reward me. It seems to be designed to be played with friends but I can't guarantee that my friends will be online when I'm able to play. Sometimes I want to play alone and take things at my own pace. But again, Destiny doesn't seem comfortable with that.

    I truly believe Destiny has the potential to be an all-time great, and I'm hoping The Taken King will unlock that greatness...but at this point...what a missed opportunity. Although, I should say...I'm very willing to be convinced otherwise.

    They're adding something truly revolutionary to the game: story.

      lol, I suspect it will be a very thin veneer... There is so much good story in the grimorie that I can't see how they will integrate that much of it...shame really, the writing and story appears to be there but Bungie obviously can't be arsed integrating it...

    For the amount of time that you played it and specifically the state of the game when you were playing it the complaints are reasonably valid.

    That being said I think that you'll be pleasantly surprised with the release of TTK all the updates and changes that have put into place, seems like they're addressing a good chunk of your complaints, plus being able to boost a character to 25 straight away will actually let you use all of the gear in the game instead of being limited to the basic blank slate variety (honestly you should be able to hit 20 in about 3 solid casual sessions

    The majority of the fun that I get out of Destiny is when I have a few good mates online and we run though the timed events (Trials, Iron Banner), Raids and the higher level Prison of Elders runs. Even then I just enjoy completing off bounties and leveling new weapons (Armor, much like war never changes) and seeing just how much I can get done in a session.

    If you never hit 20 there's so much of the game that you just never saw, sure its a bit bare bones on story but the game play is solid and I guess I'm just one of those people that can find enjoyment in actually playing the game, not just in the intangible rewards that you get for finishing something.

    I'm not arguing that Destiny is without it's flaws, It's just a game that's not for everyone and the sooner people come to terms with that and stop complaining about games they don't play (not the original poster just every second person on most Destiny articles that says 'people still play this' and the like) or don't like because their raging entitlement makes them think they actually deserve something catered to each and every one of their whims (sure you can simply not like the game but don't one of those guys that feels like the company owes you anything just because of your personal preferences, you're the one that bought the damn thing after all).

    Here's hoping that TTK actually manages to meet it's mark and reinvigorate the game (it's gonna need to be really really solid to drag me away from MGS).

    I got out of Destiny after getting fed up with the grind. Really got me down that I was doing the same thing over and over not to mention the 12 different currencies and RNG on specific gear *required* to level up.

    Only got back into it a few weeks ago in prep for TTK. Really enjoyed co-op Prison of Elders with mates and did a Raid again reminding me how fun teamwork is in those things.

    Still think PVP can be wiped from the game like the cancer it is. Ruining all of our decent guns!!

    So far sounds coming from Bungie appear positive and I will give TTK a chance as will some of my friends. *Looks toward MGS*

      Destiny would be so much better if the PVP side of things didn't impinge on the effectiveness of weapons in the PVE space. That really is the major issue I take with the constant rebalancing shuffle.

        Agreed, if you don't want Thorn to have certain 1.89765% over-damage effects over a period of time by 66.87596543% of the PVP crowd then take it out of PVP but for goodness sake leave us PVE normals to enjoy the fruit of our (many hours) labour!
        I was good with an auto rifle then they nerfed it so bad I had to 'learn' to play the game with scout and hand cannon. Now........................................................

        Please stop Bungie. Don't listen to the PVP Year 2 crowd whining about the new weapons please!!

          Had the same issue, played exclusively with auto rifles, they killed them, and I had to learn how to use goddamn hand cannons.

          And it was awesome.

          I loved that I got to try a whole new set of weapons that I had previously written off, and I'm really excited to learn to love new weapons all over again when half the year one gear isn't carried across. It can be frustrating to have to give up your favourites, but people get too comfortable with their favourites, and then they get bored.

          I agree that PVP affecting PVE can be frustrating for those who don't play it, but that's the vision they are trying to sell, one world, same characters, same weapons. It's really on the players to take advantage of that other side of the equation. PVE players should try playing more PVP, and vice versa.

            Don't get me wrong, I'm seriously looking forward to new weapons and positive changes the community has been asking for.
            But when you look at some of the many tiny changes they are making to the weapon balancing I feel there is no need for that amount of tinkering. Especially after it has already been done.

            I feel like we're being managed by Claudio Ranieri there's so much tinkering.

            Elemental burn damage changes? Some weapons damage reduced by 2%?
            Sometimes there can be too much change when none is needed - dr_van_nostrand 2015

            As for PvP, no way. Tried it a few times and really gave it a good go getting Thorn and Bad Juju but no way. You can jam that. Didn't enjoy it at all. Personal thing. It also shouldn't have the effect on PvE that it does.

            On the flip side the raids are some of my best gaming experiences. PoE 35 success was a shout out moment as well. Looking forward to next week. :)

    When Destiny was first announced I was all aboard that hype train. It came out, I bought it, and played until I got to level 20. Then it was all about that loot cave, I farmed engrams for like 3 days, and ended up at level 23. And then I just stopped playing. I had been burnt out and bored doing ridiculous bounties and farming the same couple of strikes for gear.

    Expansions one and two came out and I was one of those players commenting on any and all destiny threads with "People still play this?". I got back into playing WoW with some friends and we were going through Draenor, raiding and the like. But then Garrisons made me salty for a game I'd played for years. And one by one, my friends stopped playing it. I kept trying to play WoW but realised that it wasn't enjoyable because it was missing all my friends.

    Then one day, a friend posted a video of him and another guy doing crucible in Destiny, I watched it and began to realise that I missed talking to my friends when gaming. So I sent them both a message and bought the DLC a month ago.

    I came back into the game doing the story missions and noticed a vast number of improvements to the game already. More missions, more strikes, matchmaking and engrams were no longer total pieces of bullshit. I'm playing this game everyday because no matter what I see a friend online and they're always happy for a chat while trying to shoot things.

    This game didn't need to have a seriously in depth storyline, it just needed to provide less of a reason to leave, and better opportunities to game with other players and have a laugh.

    The only thing I really take issue with is Keza saying it takes 50 hours to get to lvl 20. I took me less than 15 hours per character regardless of class.

    Last edited 08/09/15 3:40 pm

      yeah i raised an eyebrow at that too. If it took you more than 15 hours to get to L20 you're doing something wrong. very wrong.

    Love/Hate is right.
    I wanted to love Destiny. And when I couldn't justify it or sustain it, I started to hate it for not living up to what we were promised, what its potential was.

    The Taken King is just another bit of poking at an old scar to see if it still hurts. Let's check some art and trailers and soundtrack... Yup! Yup it does.

    I have gorgeous wallpaper art for it saved that I can't even look at any more. I listened to the soundtrack again and was stunned again at how it could be so moving, poignant, powerful, evocative... and completely fail to deliver any situation that deserved that music.

    That. Fucking. 'Story'.

    DESTINY IS ABOUT: An utterly forgettable guardian, encountering a smattering of utterly-forgettable vendorbot cameos instead of actual characters, who only appear to say 'they were there' on your utterly forgettable ghost-guided solar system tour of bullet-point alien-murder bingo.

    That's OK, everything is a nail and you are the hamm-- oh, sorry. Not THE hammer, but A hammer, and not a very special one. Yes, the low stakes get lowered by the fact that there's plenty of time for shopping, gabbing, crucible, herb-collecting between any impending 'sorta maybe I guess' apocalypse catastrophe minor inconvenience to Lord Shaxx...'s personal assistant who might schedule one of his flunkies to handle this so-called alien raiding party/army/'god'.

    You're not the Master Chief or any other figure that might be worth being called a legend, you're just an ordinary soldier and not a particularly bright, personable, or respected one. Impending threat to the tower? Best take care of that, Guardian! Or don't. Kick back and get some more crucible practice in and we'll send someone better. Oh, you killed that God for us and handed in ten wolf pelts? Well then, I guess we'll go celebrate a bunch of other people who weren't there, because clearly others are doing exactly the same thing all over the system. Have a shitty gun for your reward, it's probably worth a couple glimmer if you shard it, that's all its good for.

    And all the poignancy and drama of that music! It hints at overcoming loss, sacrifice, and great personal risk. What the hell do you ever LOSE in Destiny besides hours of your dwindling life? What do you ever SACRIFICE except newbie gear you were fond of but out-leveled? Where the hell does your character show any sign of growth and development? You know what, fuckit, when do they even show any sign of being a fucking CHARACTER?

    The waste of all this world-building, the waste of the art, the waste of the music, the waste of potential makes me angry that someone gutted this intentionally to make a few fucking dollars more, or to make sure they didn't alienate the bros who needed something to do in between CoD launches. WHERE'S MY SPRAWLING SPACE OPERA EPIC? *shakes publisher* WHERE IS SHE?!

    ...And then I remember that nothing will ever change and all I have is resignation and wistfulness. Sigh.

    Last edited 08/09/15 4:31 pm


      Come back in about 8 years...

      That's when i think Destiny will truly be worth playing.

      Everytime I think of Destiny, I remember the trailers first of all... when they spoke of how this would be your story. About how they sold it as this enormous, sprawling, saga... that just. Never. Freaking, Eventuated.

      I think about how the sparrows seemingly exist so you can traverse these empty maps.
      About how the great differenting factor about the Vex is that you aim for their centre of mass.
      About how the Cabal, which played a big role in the marketing, exist for all of like 3 missions.
      About how you have this really cool looking spaceship... that you do nothing but look at it.
      I think about how pretty those worlds are... and yet how completely barren they are.

      And it's such a shame... because moment to moment, that gameplay is so damn fun. Move around, shoot gun, feel awesome. It's just shackled down by such disappointment.

      My brother in law described it perfectly... he called Destiny "Borderlands for serious people... but somehow much, much, worse".

      Jeff Gerstmann from GiantBomb's GOTY deliberations last year on Destiny:

      Last edited 08/09/15 6:40 pm

      People keep asking for customisable avatars, they keep asking to see "their" character on the screen. People should never be given what they ask for, the customer has no clue what they want. Do you think a customer would have asked for the iPhone before the dawn of modern smartphones? No, they would have asked for another flip / slide phone. Samsung phones are what happens when customers get to decide what they have next. "More ram". "Better camera". "Bigger screen". Evolution (the most basic version of it, no less), not revolution.

      Whenever you give the audience a choice as to who the lead character is, you can't tell a proper story. How could you? You don't know who your lead is, you don't know their motivations, you don't know their relationship with any other character. You can't make those decisions, you aren't allowed. You want a space opera epic, you need a Master Chief for that. Look at The Witcher 3 and Dragon Age Inquisition. One had side quests better than most games' main quests, and the other had hundreds of hours of "content" and a story I can't remember for the life of me.

      I love Destiny, but I knew from day one of the marketing campaign it would be exploring the universe (unfortunately that wasn't exactly the scope it promised either) that excited me, not the story. It would always just boil down to the atrocious Mass Effect-esque "the universe is ending and oh what a surprise, YOU'RE the only one who can save it! ...Are you a boy, or a girl?"

      But like Mass Effect, it's the setting, the lore, the unrealised potential of it, that makes you fall in love. Destiny's my favourite triple A game in years, I love a lot about it, but I think what I love most is its potential to grow.

        Unlike Mass Effect, you never interact with any characters or even the world apart from running across it as you shoot aliens.

        I'll agree that the lazy, self-insertionist avatar nonsense is what killed the possibility of at least letting your OWN character grow, but there's absolutely no excuse for their complete inability to make that gorgeous world feel populated.

        Mass Effect's world didn't feel rich and well-fleshed-out because of its codex entries (which Destiny doesn't even show in-game). It felt real because of the interactions you were witness to and took part in. The effect of people being people in this world. Destiny doesn't have that, and that's it's problem.

        People don't go about their business of being people in Destiny. They spout whatever greeting or farewell is appropriate for their vendortask, or deliver sparse mission objectives via radio. There is no interaction, there is no characterization, there is no growth, there is no interplay.
        It's dead. Lifeless. Empty.

        I'll take a pandering Mass Effect scion-of-fate plot over Destiny's at-best faint echoes of anything interesting that may once have happened or potentially be happening anywhere but where you are.

          I agree that Mass Effect definitely did a better job of explaining the lore to you, but Destiny definitely has that lore too, it's just hidden away. And I honestly don't think you even need to read the grimoires to see the effect that fully fleshed out lore (even if it's not in game) has on the game and the universe. When you take the time to write the history around the events of a narrative, its seeps in everywhere. The story was definitely gutted, but it would have been so much worse if it wasn't Bungie at the helm, bringing their obsessive lore behaviour with them.

          Also, the thing that made films like The Road so good is that they didn't reveal the answers you desperately wanted. You then realised that if you had the answers, it'd probably ruin the immersion. I felt the same way with Mass Effect 1. Before everything was revealed with the Protheans and the Reapers, there was this awesome sense of mystery. Before they removed the chance to go to largely useless, empty planets, there was always that hope in my mind that maybe this one might have some cool secret. Fable 1 had it too, in the world around you that you couldn't access save for a single path through it. Over that fence or through those trees might be a whole new adventure or treasure, but all you can do is imagine it, which gives it no opportunity to disappoint you.

          As for the whole Mass Effect / every other poorly written sci-fi / fantasy game story thing. I'm not a child anymore. I want to learn my place in the universe, not be the entire reason for the universe.

    I couldn't even be bothered commenting in depth like i was going to originally. 12hrs gameplay, of a vanialla version, and you think you know the game? Half the stuff you're going on about has ALREADY been fixed or changed, and the kind of way off the mark. Light level? with 12 hrs gameplay I'm not suprised you don't understand it, as you've probalby not even got there yet

    sorry for the tone... but this article just got under my skin lol I don't even consider myself a hardcore player either, but just some of the shit in this article is just way off. You can really can pick the people who've actually played the game, and those that have just 'demoed' it and think they've seen it all

    Last edited 08/09/15 4:57 pm

    A lot of good analysis on Destiny and what is right and wrong with the current game on this thread. To throw in my 2 cent’s worth, I've recently been back, I left the game after hitting level 20, I was confused about the post 20 progression, Light levels etc. - which I now get. I wanted to make 3 key points:
    1 = the gunplay in this game is probably the best I've seen in any FPS on any systems - it's that good - the weapons are ultra-satisfying to use which makes the game very compelling to play from one 30 Second chunk to the next.
    2 = Playing Destiny is like eating a MacDonald's cheese burger - it's nice going down but afterwards you feel hungry and slight dissatisfied. I think Destiny doesn't feel like it has much of point. Maybe there aren't enough rewards in terms of loot or maybe there aren't any real obvious benefits to being level 24 vs level 25 (why is there no recognition that you've levelled up?
    I've also played Diablo a bit recently and started levelling up a new character - in D3 as you level up your character changes, you get new powers and new things to do - where is this in Destiny. If part of game design is repeating same levels over and over then you need better rewards for time invested.
    3 = Why are causals locked out of raids? Why is there no pick up group option? Are we saying that Destiny is really a game for devoted players only? Why can't casual players be accommodated - WOW seems to manage it pretty well.
    It's a good game but it could be great - make it more approachable for the casual player that wants to login, play for a couple of hours and make some progress.

    I like the world that destiny has built, if you take the time to go through the lore that's completely separated from the game it's a very interesting world to get trapped in, but considering none of this actually present in the game because no one has the time to explain it's like being a starving orphan staring at a great feast through a window. Sure, if you really want it you can find a way to have it, but it's not something that's readily available for the majority of users so they won't even try.

    It doesn't help that for the early game you're set to a very standard level up structure. Go here, shoot the things, scan the thing get xp, level up and once you reach level 20 this changes to be solely based on the armor you've got equipped so at any one time you'll easily see 12 people wearing basically the same armor with different shaders and cosmetic items. Admittedly they're getting rid of this now, but it's only after a lot of backlash and them realising that maybe it wasn't the best idea ... which can actually be said for a lot of destiny's attempts at being a good game.

    In the year that it's been up there's been 6 different ways introduced to upgrade your gear that superceded the previous version, the hard mode of raids were made so enemies were always 1 level above the maximum you could reach at the time ensuring a 30% damage decrease for you and a 30% damage increase from all the enemies. The game itself has very limited matchmaking functions for pve players which considering the amount of high level play that requires a group to experiece as they'd developed it leads to forcing players to create their own matchmaking systems on sites like, the reddit/fireteams board or numerous public groups. For everyone saying the game starts at 20, they're kind of right. A lot of the game is hidden behind this arbitrary level cap, but getting there is the hassle, there's not really anything exciting about the game up until that point. You get pointed in a direction by your ghost until you beat a boss and then get whisked to another planet with none of your questions answered. Plus the vanilla story ending sucks and is a real letdown.

    All in all, destiny's a great game provided you've got decent people to play with, but it's mostly because of the people and not the game itself ... but it's really hard to recommend to people knowing that for the most part it can't really meet the expectations. Oh, if you haven't done it. I'd recommend playing with the music off for a bit, there's so much awesome sound design in this game and it feels less like an action movie when you're not running around to an orchestral score

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