Release Date: 2014
Platforms: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One
With the media frenzy around Marty O’Donnell’s case against Bungie and the release of update 2.0.0 a month ago, I thought it time to finally throw in my two cents about the game. I could go on and on about all the usual things, like: game play, replay value, character development and the like. And perhaps some of you reading this want that sort of review. Rather, this is my personal account of Year One.
In the beginning, I lobbied hard for this game and played it from release date. I remember the true grind and that one over-farmed loot cave in the Cosmodrome. I also remember the frustration of RNG and how many of my clanmates refused to play with me because I was clearly blessed by the loot gods while they were not. I remember getting a Hard Light of a Vanguard Dragon Valus Ta’auric strike before he and the psions were nerfed. Remember when you actually had to play the game to reap reward?
As the game evolved with each update, and things were changed here and there, I started to see the cracks. But, like any die hard loyalist, I refused to acknowledge them. I merrily believed that this would work itself out. Now, as a largely PvE player, I was disappointed by the repetitive nature of the games daily and weekly events. I was constantly redoing the same bounties, public events and strikes. I enjoy some good PvP just as much as the next person and remember being excited to discover the wonders of the Crucible, especially because I loved the Halo PvP game types and formats. I wasn’t expecting these two PvP arenas to be identical but I was interested to see what Bungie had up its sleeve. Alas, it was not meant to be… The lag alone keeps me out of the Crucible. No, literally. I DC mid-fight and spend the rest of the match trying to rejoin. Lag-switching during Iron Banner had me quoting the Matrix on more than one occasion:
“Men have emptied entire clips at them and hit nothing but air.”
But still I forged on. I was annoyed and disappointed when an update resulted in Guardians no longer being able to trade in materials (spin metal, spirit bloom, relic iron and helium coils) for Vanguard/Crucible Marks but still I forged on. I tried to justify the clearly half-baked story with the idea that the blanks would be filled in in subsequent DLC or Destiny 2. I ignored the deplorable writing by blaming Dinklebot and I overlooked the lack of inclusion of the Cabal but telling myself I didn’t like Mars that much anyway.
The Dark Below
The first expansion saw the introduction of a new vendor – Eris Morn. A new set of bounties were introduced to garner new reputation and new rewards. There was a new raid – Crota’s End – and new PvP maps. This also saw the exclusion of all original armour and weapons. Anything earned prior to the expansion release was now underpowered in terms of their defense/attack rating. My raid gear and Queen’s gear (earned in the one and only Queen’s Bounty event) were useless. Only gear marked with a little roman numeral in the corner was any good.
Even so, I welcomed the new items and the additional story missions. My frustration started to show when I realised that most of the Raid could be glitched through, much like VoG. There was no real challenge anymore. As a result, I took a break from the game. Thinking that absence would make the heart grow fonder. Slowly the darkness of disillusionment was overwhelming the light of optimism. I was starting to see the game for what it was and listening to the grumblings of my fellow Guardians on the Bungie fora.
Even after my return to the game a month later, my heart was no longer in it and I found myself playing when a clanmate asked for my help, rather than playing because I wanted to. I perked up a little around the time that the second expansion was meant to drop. Maybe it would breathe new life into the game for me?
House of Wolves
We got a new social space, an upgraded vault and a new vendor – Petra Veng. In addition, there were new PvP maps and new PvE missions and bounties. This also saw the introduction of the Trials of Osiris and the Prison of Elders. While patrolling earth and the moon, players would also encounter Packs of Wolves which upon elimination would afford the player a special key to a special chest that was still governed by RNG. But wait… Where was the new raid? The raid that was promised when gamers bought the expansion. Well, Bungie decided that they didn’t really want to give us a half-baked raid (despite the half-baked story) and decided that the raid would be released in December.
I played the expansion for all of a week and then ended up going back to Bloodborne. I would actively enter Destiny once a week to do raids and nothing else. I eventually finished the Prison of Elders on its hardest difficulty and realised, rather haphazardly, that I had completed the year one challenge. I’ve never felt such apathy in my life. The only thing a gave a flying fuck about was my gauntlets. They are sickening!
But, let’s be honest. A pair of pretty gloves wasn’t enough to make me stay. Especially, when you consider that because there was not talk of increasing the attack/defense rating on gear many of us ended up dismantling very unique items. I dismantled several Queen’s gear items from the one and only Queen’s Challenge. The second expansion saw this problem fixed. Items could now be upgraded by means of ascension. Meaning that gear begotten up until now could be upgraded to the new defense and attack levels. Great! I don’t really care. I’m just happy that my Vision of Confluence was ascended and that I had all gear I needed to get to level 34. Not to mention that the second HoW was active, the Blades of Crota stopped spawning and when the Taken King dropped the Packs of Wolves stopped spawning. Essentially, removing large components of both expansions which were paid for by the player.
The Taken King
By this point, I’ve decided not to purchase the third expansion because people always tell you speak with your wallet when it comes to games, and that’s what I’ve done. I’ll be surprised if we ever get that HoW raid and if we don’t have to pay for it. Activision is fast competing with EA for shittiest games publisher. But Bungie is not innocent is all this either.
So, what happened when the expansion dropped and I didn’t have it? The game is unplayable. I cannot gain XP without the expansion. I have received gear from various challenges, which I cannot use because the minimum level is 40 and I cannot get to that level without XP. Crucible is locked so that I can only enter classic matches and the Vanguard Strike list is only accessible for level the 20 strike. This means that even if I do the play list, I receive no rewards. I was one of the unfortunate souls whose glimmer disappeared and my ghost’s defense level is 3. Before you tell me to buy a new ghost, I like my frontier shell, which I fucking paid extra for by buying the limited and Ghost editions (for different consoles), and you can’t tell me what to do!
This household has supported Destiny from it inception to release date and beyond. But, I’m finally done. After purchasing the Ghost Edition for the Xbox One, the Limited Edition for the PS4 and the game and expansion I for the PS3, I’m done throwing money away on developers and a publisher that gives no shits. For a game that promised we’d all be individuals, I sure so find my long lost twins a lot!
My Rating: I’d rather not because it would be fueled by rage
Destiny, and its DLC, is available for download via the PSN Store or the Xbox Games Store.
My 3 Marys
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