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What Des2ny has lost (Criticism)

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Thursday, December 20, 2018, 10:12 (178 days ago)
edited by Cody Miller, Thursday, December 20, 2018, 10:16

This is obviously my opinion. I can't believe I have to say that, so now it's out of the way.

I continually go back to what numerous people who were invited to the community event were saying about Destiny before Warmind and Forsaken:

"Make my time mean something"

The implication was that Destiny needed more stuff to grind for. More things for which to invest your hours. But this is wrong. Take them at their words. What they are saying is:

"My time spent playing this game doesn't feel meaningful"

This should clue you in. This is what should be fixed. More grind is masking the symptoms. They are saying they don't actually like just playing the game. In this way, I think Destiny has devolved and lost far more than it has gained. So what has Destiny lost?

1. A sense of wonder

There was plenty of wonder to go around early on. The universe was new, and so were the game systems. Figuring out the best way to play the game was an exploration. Discovering the facets of the universe was intriguing. Going into the depths of VoG or King's fall felt like a forbidden transgression, and you weren't supposed to be seeing what you are seeing. Even though it was not handled as well as it could have been, you were left with the idea that there would be more to explore. More to come. More to learn. More to see.

For me that is almost completely gone.

Part of it is that I know the storytelling will not take us there based on the track record. So much of the universe has already been squandered. We are asked to buy into things that are either retconned in an unnecessary way or are concluded in the least satisfying way possible. We are supposed to invest not in characters and emotions and storytelling but lore and grimoire. The raids now feel ready made and laid out for us, inviting our guardians in on a tour rather than being forbidden (and story wise, both the Calus raids and Riven literally ARE that).

The dreaming city has some wonder, some secrets, but those are for the most part too wrapped up in the machinations of the investment system to feel rewarding and organic on their own. It's a world that feels built just for us rather than a once inhabited city of the awoken.

And so even in the new it feels all too familiar.

2. A sense of purpose

Bounties were never fun pursuits in and of themselves. Yet here we are with them laid in front of us as s pivotal part of the system to now progress in power level, which governs so much of the game. Progression in Destiny was problematic for sure, but was at least tied to the most engaging activities of the time. Now, our progression is spread in milestones over busy work. Forsaken diluted this even more. Rather than add choice it simply adds more chore. Each milestone is worth less than before, and is more boring than before. Your time with this game now consists largely of repeating errands. The dreaming city merely embraces and explains the repetitions of the investment system rather than challenging them.

Progression feels like a series of chores. At least a raid drop felt like and accomplishment in Destiny. Des2ny largely kept this up, but removed a lot of the grind. It was great. I don't ever remember grinding for a second in Des2ny before the release of Warmind. My time did mean something. But not to the streamers I guess, and everything since has been a misunderstanding and overreaction to their response to Des2ny.

Infusing is maddeningly frustrating. Why do planetary materials even exist? If you can buy them for shards, bypass them and make infusion cost shards. The renaming of Masterwork cores does nothing to address their stupidity. Using the guns you want to use is an exercise in frustration and errands, in a game which is supposed to be fun. Time barriers which do the opposite of what was intended.

Here I sit without the Annual Pass, and without even having completed the two most recent raids. These are ostensibly fun, but I feel discouraged from even trying since I cannot just enjoy them without bullshit.

3. A sense of music

From Osiris to now I cannot recall any music being anything other than texture. The music used to be a character in and of itself, to be a driving force rather than an invisible support. A large part of the emotional experience simply exists rather than thrives. I can't help but believe the lack of wonder is also because of this. It hurts the game in ways that can't be quantified or easily explained.

4. A sense of story

It's not like Destiny really had a great sense of narrative anyway, but with Gaul I felt at least they were improving. It was still rocky, but now with the Annual pass it feels like they have just given up and expect the grimoire to fill that gap. It won't.

5. A sense of self

I just don't know what Destiny is supposed to be anymore. It keeps changing, but it doesn't feel like a window into this unique universe anymore. It doesn't feel like a call to adventure. It feels like a trick. A trick to suck my time. Probably part of Savathún's plan. The carrot is too far away, the stick too long, and I am too tired to chase it.

I'm not stopping completely. In fact, next year I'd like to finish the raids with the PS4 group.

But the space magic is almost completely gone for me.

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That’s a real bummer.

by cheapLEY @, Thursday, December 20, 2018, 10:44 (178 days ago) @ Cody Miller

I mean that genuinely. I know I always feel bummed when something I like starts to go in directions that make me like it less. It sucks.

That said, I disagree with a lot of what you said. The milestones system and soft cap sucks and always will, I’ll give you that.

The rest, though . . .

I won’t go point by point—I don’t have the time. Maybe I’ll come back this evening. I’ll jist say that the Forsaken campaign and the Dreaming City is the best story stuff they’ve done since when’s they were still making Halo. It’s not perfect, but it was compelling. And the newest cutscene we got this week continues that thread in a really interesting way with pretty far reaching possibilities.

The music is still great. The themes on the Dreaming City are some of the best in Destiny, and a lot of the Forsaken stuff in general was great.

The investment stuff is a toss-up, and I understand it’s a bummer because it gets in the way for you. But I was just telling Claude the other night how good I think Destiny is, how I just want to stay up late every night and play it, something I haven’t felt about a video game in ages. In fact, I did stay up until 3am last night.

Last night was actually the perfect example of the strengths of Destiny. I jumped on and grabbed some Black Armory stuff. I knocked out a bunch of my Dreaming City milestones while working on a weapon frame for the new Forge. I finished both of those at the same time, jumped into the Forge for a weapon, then joined Cruel and Malagate for some Blind Well. After we visited Mara, we ran the Shattered Throne and I got my Wishender. After that we ran a few Crucible matches. They logged off and I joined up with Claude for the rest of the night while he went through the Forge quest on his third character. We ran the Forge, then switched over and played and few matches of Gambit to finish my night.

You look at all the milestones and see a list of chores. I look at it and see a list of opportunities to do fun things with my friends. That’s a hard switch to flip in your mind, I know, because I used to feel as you do, but if you can find a way to flip that switch, Destiny becomes an amazing game.

I think, fundamentally, you just don’t like the type of game Destiny is, and you’re fighting against it. When it comes down to it, Destiny is far more than the sum of its parts, and if you have the willingness (and, admittedly, the time it requires) to meet it on its teens, there’s nothing else that’s as fun.

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That’s a real bummer.

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Thursday, December 20, 2018, 10:48 (178 days ago) @ cheapLEY

You look at all the milestones and see a list of chores. I look at it and see a list of opportunities to do fun things with my friends.

A chore is still a chore if you do it with a friend.

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That’s a real bummer.

by cheapLEY @, Thursday, December 20, 2018, 11:31 (178 days ago) @ Cody Miller

You’re not wrong. The difference is that I find every activity in Destiny fun. They’re not chores.

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That’s a real bummer.

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Thursday, December 20, 2018, 11:31 (178 days ago) @ Cody Miller

You look at all the milestones and see a list of chores. I look at it and see a list of opportunities to do fun things with my friends.


A chore is still a chore if you do it with a friend.

If the activity in question isn't fun, then sure. The reason I'm having such a great time with Destiny lately is that the majority of the activities I'm doing are activities I legitimately enjoy. The level-up system does influence my decisions to a certain degree, but there are now so many different activities that offer powerful rewards that I can almost always do whatever I'm in the mood to do and level up my character at the same time. And as Cheapley pointed out, Bungie has started to become less restrictive with the way the end-game activities build upon each other. With how the various bounty and quest systems now overlap, I can often do 1 activity and make progress towards 2-4 different goals all at the same time. Running the Blind Well last night earned me the powerful Dreaming City reward, plus I upgraded a Black Armory weapon frame, while also earning materials to use for the Dawning quest. None of which would matter if I wasn't also having fun doing the actual activity... but I was. We had a great time.

So I do think that ultimately, that is the line that will make or break the game for many people. Of course, the time issue is another big one that we've talked about a lot. The only thing I'll add to that part of the discussion is that the raids, while still a big deal, are far from the only compelling activity in the game anymore. There was a time in D1 where I legitimately felt that VoG or CE were the only activities I actually enjoyed doing. But that isn't the case for me when it comes to D2. I still have a blast jumping into Escalation Protocol, patrol/story missions in the Dreaming City, a few rounds of Gambit and/or crucible, running nightfalls, Shattered Throne, etc. None of this ever feels like a chore to me, yet I've already hit 650 on my Titan, with my Hunter and Warlock not far behind. Again, I'm in a position right now where I have the time to put a lot of hours into the game, but they're hours that I'm enjoying and more importantly, they are hours that I'd be playing even if leveling up wasn't a thing. So for me, its not a case of sinking hours into doing stuff that I don't want to do. Destiny 2 right now has the best selection of content that the franchise has ever had, IMO. And the vast majority of that content is accessible without requiring massive time commitments, with a few notable exceptions. But even those exceptions aren't as big a problem right now as they would have been in the past. Last Wish is still a highly active activity on LFG sites because it still provides powerful rewards. It isn't like previous years where a new update makes all the old content "obsolete".

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That’s a real bummer.

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Thursday, December 20, 2018, 11:46 (178 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

Maybe if you were still on PS4 your positivity would infect me more :-p

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That’s a real bummer.

by Vortech @, A Fourth Wheel, Friday, December 21, 2018, 07:58 (178 days ago) @ Cody Miller

God, I want cross-platform accounts.

Now that I have some free time again (oh, yeah. I’m back? I’m working with some friends who are similarly behind on raids (can’t seem to get a prestige win yet…) on PS 4 and it feels like a real problem to put work into either platform because it is done at the exclusion of the other.

I truly don’t know how I did both with D1. Maybe there was just less to do?

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Yeah :(

by ManKitten ⌂, The Stugotz is strong in me., Thursday, December 20, 2018, 11:17 (178 days ago) @ Cody Miller

For the most part I agree with everything you said. I find myself in a weird loop of technicalities with the game. Mental hurdles that I can't get over. Mechanically, I still think Destiny is the best feeling, best looking, best handling game out there. The worlds are vast and vibrant full of enemies and activites. No shortage of options and things to do...yet it all seems pointless. One of my biggest torts is telling people "...how 'bout you just play it because it's fun!" yet I get discouraged by how long it takes me to earn anything worthwhile.

To me, it SEEMED like Destiny 1 satisfied everyone. Yes, many people had critiques and complaints, but for the most part, everyone across the board was happy with it.

To me, it SEEMS like Destiny 2 has just been a divisive little bastard breaking players into two groups. Casuals and hardcores, and somehow managing to alienate both groups. So it SEEMS in an effort to appease someone, they are leaning more towards the hardcores. I fall into the casuals category, so it feels like I'm being left behind.

BUT! That's ok. If Bungie is wanting to take the game in a new direction, I hope they succeed. That would make this current micro-era "growing pains" that will eventually work out. I just need to change my mental expectation towards Destiny. It's no longer the game I can pick up as I please, play, have fun and still stay in a competitive range of progression. It's now just a game I pick up on occasion, play for a bit, then eventually move on to something else.

I can't change the game, so I just need to change my view point and attitude. And that's a tough mental hurdle to leap.

+1

by Avateur @, Friday, December 21, 2018, 14:36 (177 days ago) @ ManKitten

I agree with pretty much all of it, but I would argue that I'm in the hardcore group. I got the DLC pre-Forsaken and said no more. I haven't even finished all of it. I loved the first Raid Lair, haven't attempted the second, and am done giving Bungie my money. No real story to speak of, no respect for player time, and the game as a whole feels pretty soulless. Has that Halo 4 feel to it. Had a blast with D1 and enjoyed D2's launch, but there are just so many other way better games out there. Been loving my Switch a lot lately.

It's nothing personal against Bungie, either. They're stuck in whatever contract hell with Activision and that's that. Hopefully #Codywaswrong with his thoughts on whatever game they have coming in the future with their new deals, but I'm pretty done with Destiny at this point aside from occasionally coming around to murder people in Crucible. And even that got too easy and mundane. Felt like I was just going through the motions. No real fun. Others enjoy it, though, so hey. Maybe some day Destiny will be worth my time again. That time is not right now.

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Back from Christmas break and...

by ManKitten ⌂, The Stugotz is strong in me., Wednesday, January 02, 2019, 06:43 (166 days ago) @ ManKitten

...I played a lot of Destiny. Light level went from 582 to 596.

Went back into the first forge and was able to hurt enemies. I never got matched with anyone so I quickly failed the mission 3 times before leaving.

Played some gambit, got the meatball, won and unlocked the exotic quest. I started the Corrupted mission and was getting pounded into the ground, will probably need some help beating...anyone want to run it with me?

Found my first Trust hand cannon, its pretty sweet. I couldn't quite get it working for me in crucible but it's pretty powerful PvE.

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Back from Christmas break and...

by Harmanimus, Wednesday, January 02, 2019, 16:32 (165 days ago) @ ManKitten

Trust

For PvP it is the relatively forgiving 4-taps that make it feel nice. What roll did you get on it?

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Back from Christmas break and...

by ManKitten ⌂, The Stugotz is strong in me., Wednesday, January 02, 2019, 18:15 (165 days ago) @ Harmanimus

Trust

For PvP it is the relatively forgiving 4-taps that make it feel nice. What roll did you get on it?

Precision Frame
Fluted Barrel
Steady Rounds
Outlaw
Rampage
Tracker Disabled

Added Targeting Adjuster mod

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Back from Christmas break and...

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Wednesday, January 02, 2019, 18:58 (165 days ago) @ ManKitten

Trust

For PvP it is the relatively forgiving 4-taps that make it feel nice. What roll did you get on it?


Precision Frame
Fluted Barrel
Steady Rounds
Outlaw
Rampage
Tracker Disabled

Added Targeting Adjuster mod

Sweet Cheerios, that’s a nice roll :)

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Back from Christmas break and...

by cheapLEY @, Wednesday, January 02, 2019, 19:10 (165 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

Yeah, seriously. I'd love to have that for PvE.

My Small Bore, Drop Mag, Outlaw, Zen Moment with full Range Masterwork is pretty hard to beat for Crucible, though. That thing is a laser.

Although, I'd love to have one with high impact rounds or something similar--I was getting hit with one last week that had my aim all over the place. I don't know what perk it actually had, but it was like getting kicked in the face by a mule every time I got hit.

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Back from Christmas break and...

by Harmanimus, Wednesday, January 02, 2019, 19:23 (165 days ago) @ cheapLEY

My only Trust dropped with Extended Barrel, Appended Mag, Snapshot Sights, Explosive Payload, with a Reload MW. I tend to feel the EP rounds win me fights I really shouldn’t. I dropped a Freehand Grip on it and it makes it a pretty solid defensive HC for PvP. I

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Back from Christmas break and...

by cheapLEY @, Wednesday, January 02, 2019, 19:32 (165 days ago) @ Harmanimus

Yeah, that sounds pretty nice, too.

My first one, the only one I had for all of last season, dropped with Opening Shot and a Hip Fire Grip (to which I also added a Freehand Grip). It made for a pretty solid secondary for PvP. I could switch it out and unload on someone without ever aiming down sights, and it would stay on target.

My new one, though . . . It's so good, I use it as my primary PvP gun and run a shotgun as my Kinetic, unless we're on a really long range map.

The art of engagement

by Claude Errera @, Thursday, December 20, 2018, 11:55 (178 days ago) @ Cody Miller

I see where you're coming from. I even agree with the underlying premise - that if you're not enjoying the activities for themselves, the game feels like a series of chores.

Ultimately, though, I think I lean more towards the view espoused by Cheapley and Cruel - that the game, right now, is fun, and even though I'm being guided to tasks that I might not have picked (or in an order I might not have picked), I don't find those tasks to be 'chores'.

And I agree wholeheartedly with Cheapley that it's a bummer that you don't feel the same way.

I don't think it's perfect, by any stretch. I'm still finding myself annoyed by the extra steps required on the Ada quests - at least 3 times (in each quest), I have to stop playing and return to Ada to basically have her bless my progress. That's an utter and complete waste of my time. And now that I've done it on 3 characters, in three separate forges, I'd love it if I never had to do it again. (I know, though, that next week, I'll be doing it again. 3 times. And that's irritating.) The Gateway Between Worlds quest that pops every week on the Dreaming City makes me go do the same thing every time - visit the Oracle - but there, I get a new story snippet each time. And it's once (per character per week), not 3 times.

But in the grand scheme of things, that's a minor irritation (for me) - in general, I'm enjoying almost all the things I'm doing.

I realize it's not, for you - and that sucks. The spectrum of players is so wide now, though, that I'm not sure you can please everyone any more. There's a point of view (you've expressed it yourself, I think) that 'the grind' was re-added solely for the streamers, and it alienates everyone else. But I don't think that's true. They're the most vocal proponents of a system that requires a large time investment, yes... but I think there are a lot of people who enjoy that investment. Unfortunately, that investment is at direct odds with the desire of another subset of the player base that simply wants to run around and do stuff, and not feel like they're on a hamster wheel. (Let's be clear: I think that the concept of a hamster wheel is not universal; it's felt most by people who don't want to be on it. The perspective of folks who enjoy playing more does NOT include the idea of a hamster wheel.)

::shrug::

It's possible that Destiny is just not the game for you any more. It clearly was, once - but it doesn't sound like you've had fun in a long time. And that sucks.

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The art of engagement

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Friday, December 21, 2018, 09:55 (177 days ago) @ Claude Errera

It's possible that Destiny is just not the game for you any more. It clearly was, once - but it doesn't sound like you've had fun in a long time. And that sucks.

A big part is actually the fact that we are doing the same thing 4 years out. How long can I do the same thing over and over before getting bored? The game is essentially the same as it was at its core.

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WoW is like 14 years old.

by Harmanimus, Friday, December 21, 2018, 15:53 (177 days ago) @ Cody Miller

- No text -

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And WoW has been bad for 14 years

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Friday, December 21, 2018, 16:39 (177 days ago) @ Harmanimus

- No text -

Why Destiny never clicked for me...

by General Battuta, Friday, December 21, 2018, 10:08 (177 days ago) @ Claude Errera

It's possible that Destiny is just not the game for you any more. It clearly was, once - but it doesn't sound like you've had fun in a long time. And that sucks.

I could never get into Destiny because it abandoned what I saw as the heart of Halo's joy — fighting AI characters with clear personalities, who felt like they had the same senses, capabilities, and will to live as you, in a physics sandbox where unexpected and ridiculous things could happen in the chaos. Destiny always felt like a posed diorama populated by lifeless, tethered figures who didn't care whether they lived or died.

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Why Destiny never clicked for me...

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Friday, December 21, 2018, 11:06 (177 days ago) @ General Battuta

It's possible that Destiny is just not the game for you any more. It clearly was, once - but it doesn't sound like you've had fun in a long time. And that sucks.


I could never get into Destiny because it abandoned what I saw as the heart of Halo's joy — fighting AI characters with clear personalities, who felt like they had the same senses, capabilities, and will to live as you, in a physics sandbox where unexpected and ridiculous things could happen in the chaos. Destiny always felt like a posed diorama populated by lifeless, tethered figures who didn't care whether they lived or died.

It's hard to underestimate how much the personalities of the enemies contributed to the fun of Halo.

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Bummer

by aftercompletion, Friday, December 21, 2018, 11:40 (177 days ago) @ General Battuta

So I guess you're no longer interested in novels, then?

Bummer

by General Battuta, Friday, December 21, 2018, 14:13 (177 days ago) @ aftercompletion
edited by General Battuta, Friday, December 21, 2018, 14:24

So I guess you're no longer interested in novels, then?

No, I'd totally do novels! I've never played Destiny (beyond playtests) because it hasn't really hooked me, but I love working on the universe and fiction.

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I do miss this.

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ|f(ಠ‿↼)z|ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ, Friday, December 21, 2018, 14:03 (177 days ago) @ General Battuta

- No text -

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Why Destiny never clicked for me...

by Blackt1g3r @, Login is from an untrusted domain in MN, Wednesday, January 02, 2019, 08:06 (166 days ago) @ General Battuta

It's possible that Destiny is just not the game for you any more. It clearly was, once - but it doesn't sound like you've had fun in a long time. And that sucks.


I could never get into Destiny because it abandoned what I saw as the heart of Halo's joy — fighting AI characters with clear personalities, who felt like they had the same senses, capabilities, and will to live as you, in a physics sandbox where unexpected and ridiculous things could happen in the chaos. Destiny always felt like a posed diorama populated by lifeless, tethered figures who didn't care whether they lived or died.

The fun in Destiny for me hasn’t been fighting the enemies for sure. I think that is one of the consequences of a “shared-world” shooter. I enjoyed PvP on it’s own a fair amount in the early D1 days but that has lessened over time. Instead what I enjoy about Destiny is playing with this community. I would never keep playing Destiny if I wasn’t playing with you guys.

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