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Long Ramble: (Criticism)

by cheapLEY @, Saturday, July 23, 2022, 19:39 (22 days ago) @ INSANEdrive

Sorry, this is long and rambling, and only mildly an actual response to points you've made. It's just a train of thought I went down. Excuse any spelling or grammar mistakes, as I'm far too fucking lazy to actually proofread all of that. Excuse any bad takes, as I'm just a goddamn idiot.

I don't fundamentally disagree with anything you said.

I don't think this event is fantastic by any means. When I said that I liked it, I did mean it, but that's within the context of just enjoying playing the game. I really like stuff that asks me to do old activities that are long forgotten. I don't think challenges rewarding necessary materials is the most interesting way to do that, but I'll take what I can get. I don't have a good solution, but I will always wish that Destiny was a more cohesive experience that made use of old stuff in interesting ways instead of just moving on to the next thing. That's unrealistic, I think, as it would mean continually developing old stuff, bringing it up to snuff, integrating it with new stuff. I just don't know how they would realistically do that (especially when you know at least half the fan base would just bitch about reusing old content).

I think Destiny is really hit or miss as a long term game such as it is. It's fun to play on a fundamental, moment to moment level. If I had my choice, I'd much rather a return to the old expansion model. I'd take a House of Wolves or even a Warmind once a year in addition to the big yearly expansion over the seasonal model any day of the week. Despite how good the story has been, I don't find the seasonal stuff to be all that compelling. It's up and down. This season was pretty decent, mostly because I think turning the Leviathan into a miniature patrol was pretty novel. I like the weekly cap missions more than just about any other they've done so far. I didn't really like the Shattered Plane stuff from two seasons ago at all. The space was cool and interesting, but having to return week after week with new upgrades wasn't than appealing, especially after week two when it was obvious what was happening. I could see all the stuff that I would eventually be able to do, but waiting until I can just get the correct upgrade was not a compelling way to handle it. That they continued that trend with the upgrades in Savathun's Throne World was pretty annoying to me, to be honest.

This event is just the extension of that philosophy. I'll be honest, in that I think most of the "events" in Destiny are mediocre at absolute best. They're sometimes fun diversions, but they're mostly just more easy, mediocre bullshit to keep people playing (or, more charitably, giving players something to do in the absence of anything else). I can't think of any event that was genuinely captivating at all, much less for more than an evening or two. I don't think this event is any better than that, but it's unobtrusive in a way that I can appreciate, and, again, I genuinely appreciate stuff that at least gestures at all the old, cool stuff Destiny has to offer, and in a way that doesn't feel mind-numbing. I already mentioned loving doing the Blind Well. I got that challenge done in I think three Heroic runs. That's perfect. I'm surprised they were so charitable, honestly. I'd have expected needing ten or fifteen runs, because that how they normally seem to handle it. Hell, they ask for 25 Crucible games. I just happen to be playing a bunch of Crucible right now, so I got that done before I even noticed. If that had asked specifically for 25 games of Gambit, I'd have immediately written that off and probably been annoyed.

And that's the biggest problem with this event or any activity in Destiny. Doing anything over and over again becomes tedious, and that's what Destiny just is at this point. Which is where difficulty comes in. I've run Duality multiple times a week nearly every week since it dropped, but that's because it's challenging enough to be engaging (although even that is fading at this point). I genuinely like doing the solo Lost Sectors because it's a miniature puzzle to figure out. What's the optimal loadout and path through this thing? That's the sort of repetition I can handle, that's why raiding for the first few weeks after a new one drops is so fun. I wish the default challenge of Destiny wasn't "I have no thumbs," but I understand why it works that way.

I still think Destiny has tons of room for improvement, and I do feel like Bungie has just found their comfort zone and is resting on their laurels a little bit. They've found the thing that works and are happy to just continue doing it. Maybe that's not fair and maybe it's not even true, but it's what it feels like. As long as they keep putting out stuff like Duality, I'll be here for it, though.

As for the chase not being the game, I think you're wrong. That's not to say that I personally disagree with you, but the community has spoken in that regard. Every time I bring up Power Level and chasing bullshit on the subreddit, I get downvoted to shit. I genuinely think the majority of people playing Destiny do see the chase as the game, or as the most important thing in the game. Lots of people do play this game just to see the numbers go up or to grind out the exact perfect roll on every weapon they'll shove in their vault and never use and bitch about vault space until the end of time.

I'm no longer sure what my point even is. I think the quality of Destiny is a real mixed bag. The problem is mostly pacing and tedium--the game asks for too many completions of the same tired old content. And I think I've figured out the key to enjoying it all, and it's just to slow the fuck down and only do the stuff that's actively enjoyable. Dares of Eternity is a perfect example. When it was the new thing, how many people bumrushed it to max out Xur rep? I hate myself if I do three of them in a row. It's not that it's not an enjoyable activity, but doing it over and over and over and over again is a recipe for annoyance at the very least. Instead, I do a couple per week, and I'll probably hit max reputation eventually.

So my answer to you, as unhelpful and frustrating as I know it is, is to just don't play Solstice. If you don't like it, just ignore it. The armor isn't good enough to be worth it. The Hand Cannon is cool, but is it really better than any other 120 hand cannon you have sitting in your overstuffed Vault? And I don't say that as a way to excuse a bad or mediocre or lazy or whatever event (as I feel like lots of people do), but just as advice to someone I see getting frustrated with the game. The game has tons of other fun activities to do--do those instead. Or play a different game or whatever.

I understand where you're coming from. I've probably been the most vehement critic of Destiny and Bungie's decisions around these forums for a while now. I probably will be again someday. I can say it's better if you can just let it go. There's a difference between seeing the dogshit and wanting it to be better and letting it make you angry. I was angry for a while, or at least bitter about it. But, although it definitely won't make the game any better as a whole, it certainly makes it more enjoyable to just start ignoring the shit you don't want to play.

I'm not sure it's true anymore, but I still envision Bungie designing Destiny as a buffet of things to enjoy. Lots of options to cater to many tastes. The loot distribution is good enough to support this. Sure, if you don't play Dares you can't get a BxR, but you can get and Insidious instead from the raid, or a New Purpose from the new dungeon, or a Peace of Mind from PsiOps, etc. I know it can be kindof difficult and annoying, but accepting that I don't need the exact thing from the activity I don't like playing and that any other weapon is realistically just as good in nearly any situation has been a real change in my enjoyment of Destiny.

I have a hard time talking about so much and making it make sense as a cohesive point, but I hope I've at least gestured towards something approaching one. In short, Destiny becomes more fun the less of a shit you give about the specifics. I used to feel like that's giving up, like it's just accepting a lower bar of quality. Maybe it is, but I've honestly been starting to feel like it's how the has always been meant to be played. It's a not a checklist of shit you must do--it's a menu of stuff you can engage with at your leisure. That's not totally true (fuck you Power Level system--I genuinely hope you die in a fire), but the game has been much better for me with that approach.

I say all this with the caveat that my attitude towards Destiny is a switch that flips seemingly at random. Some stuff just feels totally fine one day and like total horseshit the next with no real explanation. The other night, I told Korny it was neat that core playlists weapons drop with more perks in each column as you reset your ranks. He laughed and told me I bitched about that exact thing months ago in response to a TWAB in post here. I'm sure he's right. That's the dichotomy of Destiny--it's a fine idea with mediocre execution that relies on too much tedium. Instead of being upset about it, though, I'll just play the game and take whatever I get. I'll never see a Gambit weapon with multiple perk choices, but I'm into my third time around on Vanguard and Crucible, without even focusing on do that. I just naturally played the stuff I wanted to play and that's where I ended up. That's the strength of Destiny.


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