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Yeah (Destiny)

by kidtsunami @, Atlanta, GA, Thursday, October 10, 2019, 08:45 (6 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

I’m loving Shadowkeep, and I think there’s loads of potential to some of these new gameplay and customization systems. But now that I’m somewhat past the initial level climb (2 of my characters are at ~960), and I’m starting to become more familiar with armor 2.0, the Champion enemies, and the Artifact, the more I feel like Bungie has painted us into a bit of a corner.

First: Armor 2.0

I think, in the long run, Armor 2.0 will prove to be an improvement over the initial system (right off the bat, I’m appreciating the universal ornament system... I just wish we had a wider selection of ornaments to choose from). However, I do have some concerns. The fact that certain mods are tied to the elemental affinity of your armor is too restrictive, IMO. Needing to consider the light level + the stat roll + the energy level of every single armor drop is a LOT of variables. Add the RNG nature of gear acquisition to the mix, and I end up concluding that if I want to like the way my guardian looks & customize my builds to the degree that I like at the same time, I’m going to need triplicates of any set of armor I want to wear (arc, solar, and void versions of each armor piece). Neither my character inventory nor my vault can handle that kind load, not to mention what an absolute pain in the ass it would be to reacquire 3 versions of my favourite armor sets with decent stat rolls (EP armor, Riven armor, Dreaming City armor, just to name a few).

When faced with all this, I’m pushed to the conclusion that I’m just not going to chase any specific armor based on looks. I’m going to look for decent stat rolls of each element for each armor slot, then use the ornaments to get myself looking half decent. There aren’t many ornament sets that I like the look of, but there are 1 or two I can be happy with. Still, the result is that the game has pushed me away from going after new armor sets, unless they’re ornaments.

Yeah right now I'm just looking at the "total" value and keeping the highest one from each set. I'll uhhhh worry about affinity later.

Then there’s the artifact.

I’m often guilty of speed-reading in-game instructions or tool tips, and missing important details as a result. However, I do think the artifact system could be presented better. When I first started choosing artifact abilities, I thought it worked like an extra skill-tree layered overtop of your existing character build. Seemed pretty cool to me. But then I realized that the abilities I was unlocking were not active... they had to be applied to my gear as a mod. A bit counter intuitive, IMO, but fair enough. So I started experimenting with a few of the different mods. I quickly discovered however, that experimenting with mods is a very expensive process. I went into Shadowkeep with a pretty good stockpile of glimmer and materials, but messing around with my artifact mods (and resetting my artifact a couple times) burned through so much glimmer so quickly that I’ve now mentally set the artifact off to the side, where I can largely ignore it. Once again, rather than adding a new layer of customization and depth to the game, I feel like it’s just not worth the cost of engaging with it, except when I really must.

I have not f'd around with the artifact too much because re-rolling it seemed like a nightmare

Champions:

My problem with Artifact mods dovetails into my problem with the Champion enemy types, and the specific mods that help you combat them.

First of all, if you’re going into high-level PvE activities, you really need to be using these mods if you want any chance of succeeding. The Champions are often too tough to beat without the correct mods.

There are 3 types of champions, and therefore 3 types of anti-champion mods. These anti-champion mods can only be applied to a small selection of weapon types; hand cannons, auto rifles, bows, and sub machine guns (all based on the nodes you’ve selected on your artifact).
So let’s walk through how this plays out. If I’m about to load into to a 920 Nightfall Ordeal, the director will tell me which types of champions I’ll be dealing with during the mission. Let’s say for this specific strike, there are Unstoppable and Overcharge champions. I want to go into this mission with both mods available. I could only equip 1, or none, and hope my teammates cover those needs. But they might not, and even if they do, I don’t want to be in the situation where I’m the last guardian standing with an unstoppable champion barreling towards me, and no unstoppable mods to deal with him.

So, the prudent choice is to go into the mission with 1 of each mod equipped. But that means using 2 primary weapons (what is this, Destiny 2? Lol). More narrowly than that, it means I’m cornered into using hand canons, bows, auto rifles, or SMGs because those are the only weapons that can take anti-champion mods. It also rules out any exotic primaries, as they can’t take mods at all.
So I look through my primaries for weapons that can take the proper mods for this mission. Then I notice that I’ve chosen the wrong nodes on my artifact to suit the specific combination of weapons and mods that I want to bring into the mission, so I reset my artifact ($$$), then equip my Austringer and Recluse. I put an unstoppable mod on my Austringer ($) which replaces the rampage spec mod, meaning the gun will be noticeably less effective than usual. I then put an Overcharge mod on my Recluse ($), which replaces the major Spec I keep on it to help deal with major enemies.
So in effect, I’m being encouraged into a fairly narrow range of gear choices, and then mildly nerfing my weapons (by removing the mods I normally equip to improve their general effectiveness), while spending a fair bit of glimmer in the process, and then when I go to the next high-level PvE activity, I’ve gotta go through that whole process all over again. None of which is all that bad, but it certainly goes against Bungie’s stated goal of giving us the freedom to create our own personal “monster killing machine”. It’s also a non-trivial glimmer drain. Going forward, I plan on keeping a few weapons on each of my characters loaded up with a range of anti-champion mods, specifically for those high level activities. But that’s more slots of my inventory used up on weapons that I won’t use for anything else, and less slots for the stuff I usually like to carry.

Ah man I haven't tried anything re: nightfalls yet (I'm only @ 906...) this sounds like a.... nightmare ;-)

Taken as a whole, I think these gameplay features (in their current state) are either expensive to the point that they deter experimentation and build diversity, overly cumbersome and tough to manage, or directly encourage loadout monotony. I think these issues could be resolved with some tweaks, though. Any thoughts? Anyone having similar issues?


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