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Posted on Sep 27th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (wildbil52)
Posted under Destiny, Is Good Now


There have been many games that didn't click with me when I first tried them.  For whatever reason, the game and I were on different wavelengths, speaking different languages, or in different moods.  Oftentimes, I will revisit those games because I believe people change or evolve over even a short span of time, even a year or two.  Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised to find that the game clicks and sometimes I affirm the result of my precious experience with the game.  However, I have never been absolutely convinced that a game wasn't for me to the point that I completely wrote it off, to then go back and give it just one more shot...and have everything completely fall into place to the point where I play that game every single day and love every minute of it...until Destiny.



I know that sounds like pretty high praise, and quite the reversal of position for me, being a guy who was pretty vocal about my displeasure with the game.  There are several factors contributing to this change and I should mention up front that these revelations aren't unique to me.  Any player who experienced what is now refereed to as "Year One" Destiny and has since played the expansion content will tell you that the game that was released and the game we are playing now are two VERY different animals.  As another writer put it, "Year One was a guess, Year Two was a refinement."  But we aren't just talking the addition of some missions or some additional Strikes, Raids, or gear.  Every single system in the game hasn't just changed over time, but has evolved, must like the players themselves.

It would be tedious to go through every change from when Destiny was released up until now, so I'll just give a few examples throughout my analysis.  My first experience with Destiny was during the beta.  I played the beta over 2 or 3 days and I absolutely loved it.  It was a great, big serious and competant shooter with RPG elements. Kind of like Borderlands mixed with Halo (I mean it is Bungie after all).  In just those first few hours, I was confident enough in my experience to pre-order the game, which I don't normally do.  At the time, I had an excess of Space Bucks, so I pre-ordered digitally.  The game was released and my excitement quickly waned. It wasn't any single problem, it was a whole collection of issues:

- The Story was very thin
- All of the guns felt same-ey
- It was hard to know what I was supposed to do next
- The game felt disjointed, since after an activity, you have to go back to orbit

I could give more examples, but the long and short of it is that I was totally expecting a game like Halo or Borderlands.  I choose a character, select Campaign or Multiplayer, and then play through the campaign or play multiplayer.  Destiny is not that kind of game.  People say that it's a shooter with MMO elements.  That's not true.  IT'S AN MMO, PLAIN AND SIMPLE.  Having never played an MMO, I wasn't familiar with the flow of the game, the vocabulary, the required mindset.  The reason you are playing an MMO isn't just to grind to get to a higher level, reach the endgame content, or to obtain better gear, although all of those things are part of the equation.  You play an MMO because it is fun to play.  That's it. 

The shooting in Destiny has always been very solid and everything you do in the game is based around great sci-fi shooting.  Part of the reason the game felt repetitive early on is because there just wasn't that much to do.  Now there is a TON of content built into The Taken King and anyone purchasing the new Destiny Collection, which also includes Rise of Iron, has literally dozens of hours worth of content to play through.  Now that I have spent some time with the game, I understand that you don't just hit campaign, select a mission, and play.  You look at MANY factors when choosing what you want to do. 

Do I raise my faction rep, complete a Crucible quest, get Legendary Marks in a Strike, or get 5 other players to attempt a Raid?  It's all fun.

One of these important factors is the Light Level stat.  The light system has evolved over time, but basically, Light Level is the average attack and defense values of all of your currently equipped gear.  You receive boosts to your attack and your defense as your light level increases, so it should be a constant focus.  A higher light level will make you more effective in combat and open up new activities as some events require a certain light level.  Just understanding how this system works makes all of my time with Destiny important.  Take that a step further and look at the relatively new infusion system.

Light is incredibly important, and very fun to chase.  That yellow number in the upper right corner is my Light Level, the 350 is the attack level of my shiny new Khvostov

Ever play an RPG and have a favorite weapon?  Something about it speaks to you and you love that weapon.  Then you get a better weapon.  Yeah, the better weapon is stronger, kills stuff in new and exciting ways, but you still like your old weapon, you have formed a bond with it.  Infusion lets you consume a piece of equipment with a higher attack/defense value to bring the attack/defense value of another piece of gear to the higher level.  So when your favorite Pulse Rifle with a paltry attack value of 327 becomes needless because you just picked up a new Pulse Rifle with an attack of 347, you can just infuse your favorite gun with the new one and now old trusty is 347.  This solution addresses the concerns of long time players who feel that their grind for gear is invalidated when new stronger gear shows up.  Now instead of old, weak gear, it's just a bigger pool of gear to choose from.

As with most games with complex systems, it's hard for someone who has never played the game to truly understand and appreciate just how intricately all of the pieces fit together.  It is literally a different language: one that I could not understand in September of 2014, but one that I am not only speaking now, but enjoying.  The experience I am now having with Destiny is precisely why I go back and give games that didn't click with me another chance.  I am currently on a 6 hour flight to California for work and I find myself thinking about the game and how I won't be able to get the Legendary Marks for the daily missions while I'm gone. I'm watching YouTube videos on how to obtain hidden quests for Exotic weapons and I'm thinking of different character builds and weapon roles that would be effective in the new Strike and Raid. 

I could go on and on, but I guess the point is to keep yourself open to new experiences while gaming, even if it is an experience that you think you have already had.  One of the snarky comments that I could imagine someone making about how a game was not good when it was released and that it had been fixed with patches and content updates over time goes something like, "Back when X system, was out, they couldn't release a half finished game and had to rely on updates to finish it."  I understand the sentiment, but spin it around:  If modern games could not be updated like they are now, Destiny would still be the stale, uninteresting game that came out in 2014 instead of a fantastic example of how one of the most celebrated shooter developers turned the genre on its ear and still has millions of people chomping at the bit when new content is released. 

This is the new Social Space, the Iron Temple.  I'll see you there.



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Comments
 
Welcome to the world of MMOs.  Enjoy your stay, but be sure to remember that there are other games out in the world that are also fun to play. Take it from me #WoW8YearsSober  Wink
 
@singlebanana: Nah Bil, just play Destiny Smiley
 
I'm with Crabby.
 
@singlebanana: Never had any interest to play traditional MMOs, especially ones with monthly fees.  I TOTALLY understand the adhesiveness of them now. If I ever reached a point where I felt it was taking more of a hold than I am comfortable with, I would tone it down.  This has actually already happened.  When I came home from work one day, I hugged my kids and turned Destiny on.  My wife looked at me, playing Destiny while the kids were screaming and she was trying to make dinner.  I realized what I was doing, turned off the games and played with my kids for a few hours before they went to bed.

@InvadErGII: OK;)  On a biz trip right now.  Wish I could play Wrath of the Machine with you guys.  Soon.  Soon.....

@EngineerMike: Did Crabby say something and I missed it?  Or is that just slang?  I'm with Crabby
 
@EngineerMike: #I'mWithCrabby
 
I played the game for a little in the beginning but I'm done with MMOs. I played a lot of WOW, Everquest, Everquest 2, Guildwars, and Star Wars Galaxies. That was enough for me. I have heard rumors that Destiny 2 is coming to PC and that's worth keeping an eye on.
 
I think that it's great this game is good now.  In my particular case I am not willing to give them any more money because I feel like what I already spent on the game was much more than it was worth.
 
The original Dinkle-bot Ghost (with motion-triggered voice-overs) dangling in the air to the left of my main gaming TV represents my love for Destiny from day-one.  Is it much, much better now?  Oh, of course.  But I've been playing since release, often in binges like most others, and I've always enjoyed it.  It's the only MMO-style game I've ever stuck with.  After the Wrath of the Machine raid, I can continue with, you know, life.

Until Destiny 2. Cheesy

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