Destiny Brings Out The Best And The Worst In Gamers

Mark doesn't Destiny. I, on the other hand, Destiny far too much. This is why he's commissioned a series of articles written from deep within this online obsession. It'll be part insider update on a franchise, part circus freakshow. I honestly suspect this is Mark's way of collecting damning confessions that will be used in, best case scenario, an intervention by my loved ones, or divorce proceedings.

I'm not paranoid. You are, co-conspirator.

Having been starved of new 6-person raid content since Crota's End (which deployed way back in December of last year), the hardcore Destiny community has been all over the new King's Fall content. At the time of writing Bungie reckons only 34% of its playerbase has successfully navigated through this rage-vomitorium to clip the giant mothman wings of Oryx.

I'm clearly mixing with like-minded diehards, because 90% of the contacts on my list have completed this raid. You can tell immediately, thanks to a special red-on-black emblem that all veterans peacock as a status symbol. I estimate that more than half of that number have gotten two other "alt" characters readied and through King's Fall as well. Basically, Oryx has about as much mystique left as a naked drunk guy doing cartwheels. Which in itself is starting to cause problems...

Our old friend elitism is back, and I was a fool to think it would be eliminated when Bungie reworked its levelling and loot drop systems to be more fair and equitable. Basic human dickery cannot be killed off so easily.

Most problems stem from that old chestnut, the haves versus the havenots. A few months ago it was difficult to raid if you didn't have a Gjallarhorn; this season it's the Oryx-wrecking Touch of Malice and a light level of 300+. I've seen people drop into a fireteam mistakenly wearing some Year 1 pants they were using for PVP, and man, nobody expects the Spanish inquisition that follows. “Hey, new guy. Are you REALLY 300 instead of 273? Change your pants, man. Right here, in orbit, where we can watch you. Duit nnnaow!”

My own personal issues come from the fact that my friendslist is a cultural melting pot of every Raider personality type imaginable. You've got the veteran who has the patience of St Michael, but also gives - no bullshit - a 10 minute tactical sermon at the start of each boss fight that nobody but Rainman can remember afterwards.

He's much preferred to the veteran who is simply out there to brag about all the gear he has (that you don't own, because he's secretly inspected your character beforehand, like a stalker). His “Keeping Up With the Space Kardashians” shtick isn't the worst of it, though. Said condescending prick never "joins" your raid. There's always, ALWAYS a turn of phrase in his verbal acceptance that suggests he's not coming to muck in as an equal so much as *sigh* yes, OK, he can help carry you through like luggage. If his abilities were not so formidable you'd have defriended him and paid somebody to track him down and shit in his letterbox months ago.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have the Kinderguardians and the 9-to-5ers who, thanks to work, family, and other commitments I vaguely recall as concepts, have not touched the raid yet. The best of these bunch are very enthusiastic, eager to learn, and communicative. Hearing them shriek with joy when each boss gets vaporised is a reward much more satisfying than any chest-based drop. Though that wouldn't be hard, considering the majority of chests dispense a crappy I.O.U. material that's become unaffectionately known as "moldering sharts".

There is also a unique breed of johnny-come-lately gamer that still wants to do the raid "blind". Disclaimer: I absolutely respect the sort of person who avoids YouTube walkthroughs and wants to test their mettle against the full challenge of a 6-person rubiks cube. However, that sort of guardian doesn't dovetail very with anybody with a lick of King's Fall experience and a reasonable time limit.

I had one mate who idealised the raid as something much more special than it was. He was a 40- year old raid virgin who "wanted the first time to be special” and was as "saving himself for the right team" . Fair enough, and to each their own, but there's always going to be a problem when you put that posse on a pedestal. He wanted a team that would have *minimum* five straight hours to spare on wandering about, appreciating every single new wall texture, and figuring out rather complex puzzles and boss battles from scratch.

Needless to say, nobody's schedule allowed for such a league of extraordinary guardians to coalesce, so after a few weeks of waiting, like a fretting spinster, he was forced to leap into a team that held a couple of veterans. The resulting raid was an unmitigated disaster; one of the most awkward and frustrating online events I've ever been a party to.

From the onset he decides to cut short anybody's attempt to explanations with either belligerent disinterest, or the phrase “I'll just learn as we go". The group is as patient and polite as it is experienced, so we give it a try. We try and we die. Repeatedly. It's clear that he's not open to instructions or hints on which weapons or roles he should play to aid the team as a whole. The more we suggest, the more maverick he becomes. I think he wants to see how each role works... by abandoning his own and getting us all killed.

It gets to a point when one Guardian has to issue an ultimatum to leave the group if the offender doesn't stop acting like a hyperactive child in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. Sharp words are exchanged from both sides, and this devolves into petulant acts of defiance that cause the entire team to wipe once or twice again. At one point, I swear I can hear the sound of grinding teeth over a mic.

Honestly, for the next hour the tension is so thick in the air you can cut it with an arc blade. By the time we reach the halfway mark, what little mojo in the team is gone. People make the usual excuses and leave. "Sorry, I have to get up early tomorrow", or "it's not you. it's me" - you know, a bad day on Tinder type stuff. Nobody will be calling anybody else after this particular play-date. Not even for an impulsive "looty call" in a Nightfall mission.

This is why I think Destiny brings out the very best and very worst in console gamers. Bungie recently stated that it wants players to "not expect" Raid content to be included with each and every expansion they release. Personally, I think that's a cracking idea. A full year of waiting would up the quality of the final content, and it'll allow me just enough therapy sessions to forget the last raid and heal emotionally.

It should also give me enough time to make some new raid friends, because now that I've outed their idiosyncrasies on Kotaku, none of them will want to buddy up with me anytime soon.

Thankfully, it's Iron Banner week, so I can forget about running raids and go kill my fellow guardians in PvP. There's a fair chance I'll be randomly paired against my old teammates. Catharsis, thy name is a sniper round to the face and a “Carlton” corpse dance.


    Markovich Markovich, Markovich. Markovich? Markovich.

    Now my comment looks completely irrelevent :(

    Originally the author of the article was listed as Mark, and talked about Mark as if he was another person, so it seemed we had slipped into an alternate dimension filled with an infinite number of Marks, Marks everywhere.

    Last edited 19/10/15 1:48 pm

      MARKS!? ARE THEY LEGENDARY MARKS!?!??! WHERE !!! GIMME!!! *eyes the Crucible armor*

      yeees lime green preciouses wills be mine

    I still haven't tried the raid. I'm 294 currently, so technically I can do it, but I really don't want to deal with the rage of elitist jerks just yet. You can blame hours of WoW raid leader fury for my hesitation...

    Last edited 19/10/15 11:53 am

      Yeah tend to agree, the only time I've been in is after a few too many beers on a Friday night. Went surprisingly well though.

      Otherwise I'm waiting for my time scarce friends to make their way up to the appropriate light level, this Thursday we are going in for the first time as a group.

        I spent hours over a number of days in order to complete the raid. Had to change groups several times as well.

        Honestly havent touched the game since completing the raid. It's completely warn me down from playing it.

      I raided high end in Everquest and WoW back in the day, and some of those raids I count as highpoints in my gaming life. And it was the people that made them highpoints. Sadly, later on in one of those guilds, it was the people that drove me off raiding for a long time. We recruited asshats, and they ruined the experience in their personal quest to be l33t.

      So these days I have a far more casual approach to gaming. If I get a good experience, sweet. If I dont, well theres always another game around the corner. As I've just discovered Destiny (didnt have a PS4 until last week, shoot me) its going to be a while before I get up to that 280 rating, so I'll choose then, but I've seen the best and worst that raids can bring out in people, and dont need to deal with those asshats that just care about themselves.

      The raid is such a team thing that I think the first time you need to have a good set of destiny friends who are happy to accept your lack of knowledge. I did most of the raid for the first time this week, which took me form 294 to 298. Unless you are a destiny ninja at 294 there will be some carrying involved, especially on the first run. Our group was fun to talk with, and forgiving of my errors (damn you invisibility.....)
      The irony of the raid at the moment is that Touch of Malice, which you only can get after completing the raid, is the Oryx weapon of choice. So newbies get the double difficulty of being under knowledged and under powered.
      If you on XB1 I am happy to try and find time for fellow destiny explorers (who enjoy the game rather than necessarily being awesome at it (GT: PuddinsWorld)

    When I was playing Destiny, I was eternally grateful to have @masha2932 as my Sherpa for anything beyond basic missions. In fact, any person I associated with that wasn't already a friend was a super welcoming and nice person.

    But I may have been lucky.

    Destiny is a very divisive game. I had friends who were" raid ready" when it first came out, while I was barely 250 light. I'm now at a max of 292 if I equip all my best gear so I guess I'm as raid ready as I can be, but I'm still lagging behind in quests on my Titan main and don't even get me started on where my alts are at. I've all but given up on maxing out my Hunter and Warlock anytime soon. My raid buddies have been finding less and less time to play now that they've knocked over the raid and presumably when hard mode is out (which is very soon) that will become their focus.

    I'm not inclined to LFG because I want to do the raid relatively blind and not be a burden on strangers, so I'm just kind of puttering along. After playing Destiny for over a year solid even the wonderful new content is struggling to keep me from burning out.

    I think I'm just going to take a break and come back when there's a resurgence of interest to get my raiding done. I probably won't take a break, because I'm a junkie for this damn game, but I need to wean myself off before Fallout 4.

      21.5 days til Fallout consumes everyone and everything

      Somehow, through luck and some stored 290+ blues for infusion, I got my titan from level 37 to 40 with 292 light in about 3-4 hours yesterday. Might be a bit quicker to level alts than you realise. *shrugs*

    I'm fortunate in that a lot of my friends are on Destiny so we know each other pretty well and the 'randoms' that we've integrated into our group have the same humour and play style and what have you. As a result I've only really noticed the bad behaviour from people in PVP after they've had a quite poor match (we've all had poor matches more often than not) and they send a message that would get you held back in English class.

    That said, the new raid hasn't been what it was hyped up to be for me. Multiple routes, different ways of doing stuff, you could be doing something and finding out something while other people are looking at something completely different...I've seen none of that. It's as linear as Crota's End and there's pretty much one way only to kill each boss

    yeah cause IB is not a complete shit lag fest with Hunters spamming their super exploit ... the game has seriously become un-fun of late...and Bungie are MIA...

    Agree. I have a total love hate relationship with Destiny. I do not remember another game that makes me feel the same way as Destiny. Addictive but demands a lot.

    Played the hell out of The Taken King, but at 296 light as a mainly solo player, with two failed attempts at the raid and the odd kick from strikes and bounties, I called it quits. A lot of the later quests also ask for fireteams or a lot of grinding (crucible, iron banner and exotic quests especially).

    As a mature gamer chilling out wanting to fit in gaming after work or weekends when the kids and wife are asleep, a lot of the late game content is locked behind a lack of match making, luck and grinding. Should accept the inevitable that I'm too old and casual to be the target Destiny demographic. Roll on Star Wars Battlefront.

      I'm exactly the same. It is very difficult to find the time to do the Raid and level up when you're balancing full time work & family commitments. I think I'll just stay in the casual gaming zone.

    And this is why I raced to get geared up for the raid as quickly as I possibly could. I luckily stumbled into a blind group I'd played with before who were looking for a sixth the day it launched - sixteen hours over two days saw us to Oryx; the following week my old VoG group got back together to run it once a week. On the other hand, I have friends I've been playing with daily since January who weren't raid ready until around 2-3 weeks after the raid launched, and simply cannot find a group (or can, but most return with tales of dysfunction and/or dickery that prevented them from completing it). I really wish I could help them - I even tried getting them all together, but conflicting schedules mean we'll never have the time to get very far. I just don't know what I can do... :(

      Patience is required. Took me a good couple of months to do any of the raids after they launched.

      I got very lucky with King's Fall and got in a group I get on with OK. Needed to chuck in occasional reminders to slow down a bit as I'd never seen it before, especially as we entered each new area ("ok, give me a few seconds to take this in and look around") and a clear "captain" for each section helped a lot...

      ...and I'm well aware our mutual friend raided with the same guys the night before and didn't have a good time at all. There's just too much to do with human interactions, clashes of personality and so on when you're stuck listening to the same few voices for several hours in a stressful activity that gets harder as one gets tired!

      Once I've gone through it a couple more times, I think I'll be confident enough to hold a couple of positions and contribute properly, and we'll have enough people in our regular mob to then help the stragglers through.

      Saw it from the other side a couple of nights ago when I was running about with another mutual guardian, and he spotted his brother and a mate, both newbies as of TTK, trying to do Crota's End. So we jumped in and helped (also moderating the help to explaining things and seeing how much hand-holding they wanted), and it was really good fun. A fifth joined us at the Bridge, we got through to Crota relatively easily after only a few wipes each section... and then realised noone in the team had played Sword, and we didn't have a hunter. :D couple of rounds to show the newbies the way the fight is supposed to go, but we just didn't have a hope! :/

      Talk to you tonight, should see if we can help the others out.

    I tried the raid for the first time last night at 295.
    I didn't like the repetitive nature of parts of the raid (like charging the runes for the door).
    So far Crota is my favourite raid; this may be as it's more like a large strike then Vault of Glass.
    It's easier to drag someone through Crota whereas in Vault of Glass or Oryx you have to do your job. Which as stated above can be pretty difficult for kinderguardians.

    It would be awesome to be able to do 6 man public events in the taken king.
    I have only managed to get all of my friends on the same server once.
    The last time we tried to replicate it we spent 2 hours trying to get onto the same server.

    Hard mode strikes with 6 man fire-teams would be awesome.
    A 12 man raid would be amazeballs too for that matter. for anyone still wanting to attempt blind

    I'm yet to do the raid, max gear atm is 299 light level. And the only friend I play Destiny with lives in the states, so I'm always missing out on raid invites due to being asleep or me being at work. Feels bad man. I'm on ps4, if anyone wants to add me. marZey360.

      Hey i know how you feel. Most of my mates are PC master race types or own an xbone where i have a ps4. Bought destiny 2 weeks ago after playing the demo and im currently about lvl 18 because i dont wanna jump to lvl 25 with the shard thingy. So far one person has joined me for a strike, and thats it. Every time i see someone of a same or lower lvl i msg them to team up. Ive lost count of the times ive been ignored or called a scrub. Ive been recommended LFG sites and they are all geared to lvl 40 light 300 teams. Loneliest "multiplayer" ive ever played. Sure ive dicked around with strangers shooting in the same direction but it seems im goin solo til i get to the taken king stuff. And by then everyone will be onto the next thing...

      Normally on around 9:30pm - 12:30am. Have added you.

      Just added you. Lvl 284 on PS4. Tbdia1

    It's no different from any game with difficult, co-op, end game content. Such as mmos.
    Playing the last WoW expansion, our little guild was maybe 2 weeks behind the curve for raiding but that gap meant we struggled to find more peeps, which widened the gap... Until we just couldn't continue.

    I think that no matter what the rest of a game is like, endgame such as raids is for the dedicated players.

    If his abilities were not so formidable you’d have defriended him and paid somebody to track him down and shit in his letterbox months ago. - halfway there!

    I... haven't finished the questlines that let you unlock the dreadnought as a patrol area.
    I got bored pretty fast. Much faster than I was expect. That was... not the best money I've spent. :/

    Last edited 19/10/15 12:57 pm

      The main quest is roughly half the content. There are a lot more missions and worthwhile quests that open up once you complete the Dreadnought patrol.

        Oh, I'm well aware that there's tonnes of content left on the table by not having finished that quest-line. Just noting that I wasn't inspired to finish it. For all the talk about how much better the story is, I still wasn't feeling it enough. Fillion may be dreamy, but there's only so much a handful of voice-overs from him can fix.

        Also, I think the grind was killing me, making it that much harder to push through a story that was upgraded from catastrophically-bad to merely mediocre. Do your bounty/arms-day/xur/heroic chores, eat your vegetables - that didn't change, it's still there.

          Yeah, it's tired me out. I was pretty heavily invested in the lore though, and love the way the new content has expanded upon it. But actually playing the game is taxing.

            It's also probably a side-effect of being an MMO veteran since their inception.
            All the skinner-box mechanics that have been iterated on over time don't work so well when you've been exposed to them for a decade or two, and you've seen behind the curtain. (Edit: Combine it with load screens that seem to last about thirty to sixty seconds longer than I have the patience for, and I become keenly aware of the more interesting things I could be doing.)

            I'd wager a large part of Destiny's more passionate, "I don't know why I'm so hooked on this," crowd were probably not burned out on MMOs before they experienced this latest entry in the genre.

            Last edited 19/10/15 2:07 pm

              Yeah, I'd only ever dabbled in MMOs. I think I spent literally an hour in Ragnarok Online as a teenager, and a handful of hours in Star Trek Online and the Old Republic after they'd both offered limited free-to-play options.

              I am still pretty hooked on Destiny despite having burned out on WoW multiple times and a host of other MMOs. Probably the group I play with making me keep coming back, as they are so fun and easy to play with.

        I dunno, I've finished all the "Major" quest chains and so many of them just turned into repeated prior quests with no new voice acting. After having finished the raid now my cautious optimism that things had changed has run out and I won't be getting the next instalment :(

    My team will get there eventually. Not expecting there to be too much content to outpace the raid too soon, so we're taking our time.

    Last edited 19/10/15 12:52 pm

    Hahaha, I love some of the phrasing in this article.

    This definitely reminds me of my situation. Before TTK came out, I was always able to do the content with the clan pretty well. Taking down Atheon on Hard? No problems. Taking down Crota on Hard? No problems. Taking out Skolas? Done that a few times.

    But something called real life made me miss 2 weeks of the TTK and I return to find that everyone had already done the raid easily. My attempts thus far has result in more frustration at myself and others. Why? Because I was the FNG, the one that missed it all. And every Oryx raid I was involved, there was always 1 new guy along and that saps the time to an unbearable amount because of the f*cking jumping puzzles or having to explain the mechanics to the point where I just leave.

    Honestly, you're better off learning the raid piecemeal and doing it over and over again instead of launching in new. I've deliberately done it this way so that I know all the steps needed without prompting. Learning is a skill that many people seem to forget.

    Where's the best? If you have to be an entitled, impatient, intolerant (not to mention defensive) piece of garbage to play - I don't wanna play.

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