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Just some thoughts, good and bad, about current Destiny. (Destiny)

by cheapLEY @, Thursday, March 14, 2019, 22:02 (380 days ago)

Destiny has me hooked again, so here's a random collection of thoughts after playing since Season of the Drifter started. Let's get the bad out of they way first, so that I can focus on the good.

-The power grind feels completely broken, now more than ever. There's two new things to do, Gambit Prime and The Reckoning. You cannot reasonably play them without leveling up by playing a bunch of old stuff we've been playing for months now. What is there to gain by increasing the level cap every season? It adds nothing to the game, as far as I'm concerned. The only single time I can think of in the entirety of Destiny where increasing in Power was a compelling experience was during Forsaken, when we first got to the Dreaming City. Every step felt dangerous, like we weren't really supposed to be there, and we gradually powered up and could go farther and farther and more confidently. Nothing else in Destiny has ever made watching arbitrary numbers go up a good experience. I got an invite last night to do The Reckoning Tier II with Malagate and few others. I wanted to do it, but I was still in the 650s at the time, so I couldn't do it. It's really frustrating being locked out of playing activities with friends because Bungie doens't think I played the right shit.

-I'm still bummed at the lack of armor. What happened to vendor refreshes?

That's really it for negatives. Now the good!

-Gambit Prime is really fun. I really prefer it to normal Gambit (which is also much better now). I haven't played the new map yet, but I'm excited to tomorrow!

-The Reckoning seems like it has potential to be cool. I'm eager to power up and actually jump into the higher tiers.

-The new lore stuff is incredible. The combination of extensive lore books and reworked missions with new, unique dialogue is a really smart way to handle this sort of stuff, I think. It's short and simple, but I think the Allegiance quest was absolutely fantastic. It really exceeded my expectations. I hope we see more stuff like this going forward. The Aunor pages are great, and the Drifter tapes were really cool. The implications of what's going on are really interesting. I love getting into the more political side of the Destiny universe. I do hope there is a real consequence to that choice, at some point. The only real bummer is that neither Zavala nor Ikora acknowledge the quest at all. As much as I love their voice actors, I really wish they would do the Cayde thing and recast them with people that have more availability and can come in more often to make them more active characters. As as side note, if you haven't, turn in Vanguard tokens for new lore stuff from Zavala, too. I've only got a couple so far, but they're neat little situation reports about different things from around the system. Really great stuff.

-It just genuinely feels good to be back into Destiny. I've missed enough over the last few seasons that I've still got entirely too much to do. I'm doing the Malfeasance quest finally (and Breakneck!), still doing the Forges to try and get Jotunn and Le Monarque to drop, finally making an effort to hit Fabled in Comp (which has been amazingly fun the last few nights!), I want to have a go at soloing the Shattered Throne this weekend. So much to do!

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Just some thoughts, good and bad, about current Destiny.

by Ragashingo ⌂ @, Official DBO Cryptarch, Thursday, March 14, 2019, 22:24 (380 days ago) @ cheapLEY

Yep. I pretty much agree.

I'd be more ok with the power level increases if the content followed the average player's increase more closely. I split my time between my Titan and Hunter so far, but even if I hadn't I think I could have only gotten into the 660 range with the time I had available... and yet Bungie is dropping 680 content on week 2... Yes, it's not nearly as bad as Black Armory's stupid power level brick wall, and I did enjoy running the quests to bring my hunter up to 640, but it's still a bit depressing to see content I won't realistically even try for another few weeks.

And yeah, on the bright sides, this season has been one of the best in terms of features and content. There's not a ton of new stuff outside of Gambit Prime, but I like the smart reuse of missions and areas to get some more playtime out of some of the fantastic landscapes. It helps that this season is really packing in the lore. Black Armory had some lore, but Season of the Drifter's is just more interesting and it reaches far back into Destiny's past (the Drifter has been around since the Dark Age right after the Traveler saved humanity) and is exploring the present tensions in The City, too.

Plus, the Allegiance Quests are both fun, and Gambit Prime is a nice refinement to Gambit, and the Thorn quest is long but enjoyable unlike some past quests that were shorter but annoyingly difficult. (It's gonna take a lot of non-void, non-precision-streak, The Last Word kills to past the Crucible step for Thorn, though... I got 29 in my first game and earned a itty bitty 4% towards the goal!)

And, it sounds like there's still some good stuff coming. Finding Xûr each week looks like it will be Mara Sov level interesting with lore and insights. There's still the mysterious Arc Week coming. And whatever the Revelry is. The way the content and quests have spread me around Destiny's gameplay and worlds without being too drawn out or annoying is really good this season. I'm enjoying it a lot.

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Just some thoughts, good and bad, about current Destiny.

by Korny @, Dalton, Ga. US. Earth, Sol System, Friday, March 15, 2019, 09:09 (379 days ago) @ cheapLEY

Destiny has me hooked again, so here's a random collection of thoughts after playing since Season of the Drifter started. Let's get the bad out of they way first, so that I can focus on the good.

-The power grind feels completely broken, now more than ever. There's two new things to do, Gambit Prime and The Reckoning. You cannot reasonably play them without leveling up by playing a bunch of old stuff we've been playing for months now. What is there to gain by increasing the level cap every season? It adds nothing to the game, as far as I'm concerned. The only single time I can think of in the entirety of Destiny where increasing in Power was a compelling experience was during Forsaken, when we first got to the Dreaming City. Every step felt dangerous, like we weren't really supposed to be there, and we gradually powered up and could go farther and farther and more confidently. Nothing else in Destiny has ever made watching arbitrary numbers go up a good experience. I got an invite last night to do The Reckoning Tier II with Malagate and few others. I wanted to do it, but I was still in the 650s at the time, so I couldn't do it. It's really frustrating being locked out of playing activities with friends because Bungie doens't think I played the right shit.

Yeah, supposedly that's bugged, and shouldn't be as grindy as it is (according to Bungie anyway, but they can say anything to placate the hordes). An upcoming patch should once more alleviate that. I think they just want the no-lifers/streamers to struggle as long as they can before they hit the cap and whine about content again, and then they'll make it easier for the rest of us.
Still, seeing stuff drop that doesn't boost your light level is disheartening, because it's just another roadblock to the fun stuff.

-I'm still bummed at the lack of armor. What happened to vendor refreshes?

On the one hand, the recycled weapons and loot are a good thing (Service Revolver is back for those who like it for some reason), on the other, it continues to highlight the skewed priorities of the 700-person team they have working on the game, if they give us almost nothing new and interesting to chase other than armor that only works in one area of the game.

I wish they'd bring Year 1 armor back. I didn't grind for those ankle warmers to watch them become completely obsolete a single season later.

That's really it for negatives. Now the good!

-Gambit Prime is really fun. I really prefer it to normal Gambit (which is also much better now). I haven't played the new map yet, but I'm excited to tomorrow!

Indeed. They didn't flesh it out as much as I would have liked, but Prime is so much fun, especially as an Invader, because a lot more strategy is involved (unless you use a Machine Gun). Real great stuff.


-The Reckoning seems like it has potential to be cool. I'm eager to power up and actually jump into the higher tiers.

I'm also eager to try the higher stuff, if only because the Tier 1 got boring real quick. That said, since I'm only about 651, I'm not eager to grind Light Level just for access to the potentially fun stuff. Seems like I have no choice though.

-The new lore stuff is incredible. The combination of extensive lore books and reworked missions with new, unique dialogue is a really smart way to handle this sort of stuff, I think. It's short and simple, but I think the Allegiance quest was absolutely fantastic. It really exceeded my expectations. I hope we see more stuff like this going forward. The Aunor pages are great, and the Drifter tapes were really cool. The implications of what's going on are really interesting. I love getting into the more political side of the Destiny universe. I do hope there is a real consequence to that choice, at some point. The only real bummer is that neither Zavala nor Ikora acknowledge the quest at all. As much as I love their voice actors, I really wish they would do the Cayde thing and recast them with people that have more availability and can come in more often to make them more active characters. As as side note, if you haven't, turn in Vanguard tokens for new lore stuff from Zavala, too. I've only got a couple so far, but they're neat little situation reports about different things from around the system. Really great stuff.

This is where I'm less-inclined to agree. Lore isn't story, and the Allegiance stuff feels more like piecemeal lore, with the significance of what lore you get being tied to an early choice. Ultimately, it won't go anywhere. It's going to be an event that ends with the in-game status quo being exactly the same as it always was.
But I get it. Lore is cheap, quick and easy when compared to fleshing out the actual story or player investment/impact. Dressing it up and slapping some rewards on it is a smarter way to present it, but it's still just lore.

Either way, I think this is all steps in the right direction for Bungie. It'll take a while to crawl out of the pit that they dug themselves into, but there are sparks of fun again, which has me hopeful. I want to see what this Nine thing is with Xur today...

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Just some thoughts, good and bad, about current Destiny.

by cheapLEY @, Friday, March 15, 2019, 10:52 (379 days ago) @ Korny

I know the Powerful rewards are broken. Fixing them doesn’t actually fix the issue. That whole system blows to begin with. The fact that gear doesn’t even drop at your level is especially frustrating. I just love going through the Reckoning as a 653 and getting some 638 pants out of it.

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Just some thoughts, good and bad, about current Destiny.

by Harmanimus @, Friday, March 15, 2019, 13:06 (379 days ago) @ Korny

continues to highlight the skewed priorities of the 700-person team they have working on the game

This is a disingenuous interpretation of a company structure. Unless you have a valid source identifying actual numbers of team memebers and what projects they are working at the company, you are seeking to falsely represent their developers.

I would disagree with the suggestion Lore isn’t story but I think this point is splitting hairs. Bungie is providing events and occurances in universe, some historical and some contemporary. They are telling more stories. It is not a cinematic story focused on our Guardian, but that is also an answer to some complaints that everything is always about our Guardian. It is definitely movement in the right direction. And honestly even if it isn’t “story” as you want to consider it, it is better storytelling than a lot of things on market. We should encourage more good things when we get them.

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+7

by MacAddictXIV @, Seattle WA, Friday, March 15, 2019, 13:21 (379 days ago) @ Harmanimus

- No text -

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Just some thoughts, good and bad, about current Destiny.

by Ragashingo ⌂ @, Official DBO Cryptarch, Friday, March 15, 2019, 13:43 (379 days ago) @ Harmanimus

The narrow definition of “story” would seem hard to defend given things like Rasputin, Oryx, the Hive Worm Gods, the Nine, Ana Bray, Osiris, and more first becoming known to us via the Grimoire or a line of dialogue in a mission or from a non-interactive npc in the Tower only to later become enemies we fight and allies we assist in the game.

I always want more new in-game cutscenes and missions and strikes and raids, and I get the feeling we won’t see much of that until at least next season or maybe the fall or maybe all the way until Destiny 3. But until then, I think bringing in new characters and game types and linking them with in-game quests and behind the scenes lore (which is viewable in-game!) is a pretty good way to move forward. Bungie will eventually need to give us a Destiny 3 or at least another The Taken King/Forsaken, but for now, I’m pretty happy with where things are at.

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Just some thoughts, good and bad, about current Destiny.

by cheapLEY @, Friday, March 15, 2019, 14:56 (379 days ago) @ Ragashingo

I’m with you. I’d prefer more cutscenes and dialogue in the game, but I think The Allegiance quest is undoubtedly a story (or the beginning of one) more than it is just lore. Yes, the lore is important context, but big things happen in that quest. We don’t see him on screen, but we now know that Shin Malphur is active, and close. We know that the Praxic order is hunting Dredgens, and specifically the Drifter. Those are active, current, important things happening, not nebulous fairytales from the distant past.

If we could see a version of Destiny that keeps this up, gets one of these mission chains a month or even two, Destiny would be in a really great spot, I think.

I genuinely think that this current season is one of the better examples of Destiny feeling like a real place with important actions taking place. This all seems somehow more real, and more important, than just about anything we’ve seen so far. And it’s much more interesting than just another big bad showing up.

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Just some thoughts, good and bad, about current Destiny.

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Friday, March 15, 2019, 15:20 (379 days ago) @ cheapLEY

I’m with you. I’d prefer more cutscenes and dialogue in the game, but I think The Allegiance quest is undoubtedly a story (or the beginning of one) more than it is just lore. Yes, the lore is important context, but big things happen in that quest. We don’t see him on screen, but we now know that Shin Malphur is active, and close. We know that the Praxic order is hunting Dredgens, and specifically the Drifter. Those are active, current, important things happening, not nebulous fairytales from the distant past.

If we could see a version of Destiny that keeps this up, gets one of these mission chains a month or even two, Destiny would be in a really great spot, I think.

I genuinely think that this current season is one of the better examples of Destiny feeling like a real place with important actions taking place. This all seems somehow more real, and more important, than just about anything we’ve seen so far. And it’s much more interesting than just another big bad showing up.

The key thing that is still missing at this point, for me, is any level of investment in the characters. As far as the in-game experience goes, Destiny barely has “characters”. Our Guardians, the vanguard, Ghost, the vendors... they’re more “memes” than they are characters. Even when they’re entertaining as heck (shax <3), they very rarely take on any level of personhood that might elevate them above the level of caricature. And without that human, emotional thread thing all the current events and lore and backstory together, I find it tough to care about any of it. It’s cool, and it can be fun to talk about where things are currently going, but the only reason I really CARE about this whole drifter/vanguard situation (to the extent that I care) is because I want to see how it affects me, the PLAYER. How will it alter my play experience? I don’t give a crap about what it means for my Guardian or the vanguard or the drifter.

There is the beginning of something resembling character development happening with Mara, Petra, and the whole situation surrounding the Dreaming City. I think that’s the first Tim Bungie has really begun to tap into the true narrative potential of Destiny. I think they need to go much further along those lines for any of Destiny’s lore or story to rise above “cool/interesting” and become “meaningful”.

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Just some thoughts, good and bad, about current Destiny.

by cheapLEY @, Friday, March 15, 2019, 18:01 (379 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

I don't disagree with any of that. I think they're honestly doing good work with The Drifter, though. Sure, it's a small step, but I think it is there, and I really do hope it's only the beginning. This could be a new path forward for Bungie and Destiny . . . or could just be the same old shit that ends up not really mattering. We'll see.

I played through the start of the Vanguard side of The Allegiance quest yesterday, and, even as rudimentary as it as, exploring the Hangar to find the console, making a drop to an agent, and setting up bugs in the Drifter's space in the Annex was super compelling--it felt like I was doing something real, rather than shooting the same Fallen Captain for the thousandth time.

On one hand, me being so thoroughly blown away by The Allegiance quest is surely some sort of commentary on my generally low expectations of how this shit normally goes. I won't pretend this is some amazing new pinnacle of good quest design. But I do think it's a compelling way to reuse old content and still make it feel at least sort of fresh and worth doing. And while I want new cutscenes as much the next person, I genuinely like the lore pages, and I think the way the framed getting the messages from Aunor makes it feel pretty natural as a way to tell that story. With the addition of the new (and good) mission dialogue from The Drifter, and I'm honestly pretty happy with this method of telling Destiny's story on an ongoing basis between major content releases.

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One should never doubt the value of novelty.

by Harmanimus @, Saturday, March 16, 2019, 02:19 (379 days ago) @ cheapLEY

- No text -

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Invitation of the Nine

by cheapLEY @, Friday, March 15, 2019, 20:01 (379 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

I just did the Invitation of the Nine quest from Xur. I can't wait to do these every weekend and see what else is in store.

I'm even more sold on this season, now. I liked Black Armory well enough for what it was, but this is the stuff that makes Destiny compelling.

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Just some thoughts, good and bad, about current Destiny.

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Friday, March 15, 2019, 19:08 (379 days ago) @ Harmanimus

continues to highlight the skewed priorities of the 700-person team they have working on the game

This is a disingenuous interpretation of a company structure. Unless you have a valid source identifying actual numbers of team memebers and what projects they are working at the company, you are seeking to falsely represent their developers.

I would disagree with the suggestion Lore isn’t story but I think this point is splitting hairs. Bungie is providing events and occurances in universe, some historical and some contemporary. They are telling more stories. It is not a cinematic story focused on our Guardian, but that is also an answer to some complaints that everything is always about our Guardian. It is definitely movement in the right direction. And honestly even if it isn’t “story” as you want to consider it, it is better storytelling than a lot of things on market. We should encourage more good things when we get them.

Lore is not storytelling. Lore is world building. But you ostensibly build a world in order to tell a story…

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Just some thoughts, good and bad, about current Destiny.

by Harmanimus @, Saturday, March 16, 2019, 02:25 (379 days ago) @ Cody Miller

By that metric, then, we mostly aren’t discussing lore then when we talk about Destiny “lore” we are talking about stories in the universe.

(Though, humorously enough, there are many cases of real world lore composed almost entirely of stories as far as that information exists today, so the suggestion they are separate and thay lore cannot be storytelling razzes my berries)

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Just some thoughts, good and bad, about current Destiny.

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Saturday, March 16, 2019, 10:10 (378 days ago) @ Harmanimus

(Though, humorously enough, there are many cases of real world lore composed almost entirely of stories as far as that information exists today, so the suggestion they are separate and thay lore cannot be storytelling razzes my berries)

But those exist for their own sake, not to support a video game universe. If the stories of the lore are so compelling, why aren't those the narratives of the games?

Bungie could spin off an adventure game based on all this.

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Just some thoughts, good and bad, about current Destiny.

by cheapLEY @, Saturday, March 16, 2019, 10:33 (378 days ago) @ Cody Miller

The way they’ve handled the new season so far is a pretty strong case that they are the narrative of the game. Destiny isn’t a singular story of our Guardian anymore, and I love that.

I’m totally down for Destiny expanding into other genres of games though! Or even just other styles of FPS. Give me the ODST style game about exploring the Dreaming City.

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Bring back the shaxxophone! !

by Ragashingo ⌂ @, Official DBO Cryptarch, Saturday, March 16, 2019, 10:59 (378 days ago) @ cheapLEY

- No text -

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Just some thoughts, good and bad, about current Destiny.

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Saturday, March 16, 2019, 11:44 (378 days ago) @ cheapLEY

The way they’ve handled the new season so far is a pretty strong case that they are the narrative of the game. Destiny isn’t a singular story of our Guardian anymore, and I love that.

I am glad to hear this but… grind. Or else I'd give it a try.

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Just some thoughts, good and bad, about current Destiny.

by Harmanimus @, Saturday, March 16, 2019, 13:58 (378 days ago) @ Cody Miller

You can experience most of the content without any real grind. I haven't had any time for grinding lately and have still been enjoying progress (sometimes to greater degree than others) but after the lull before SotDrifter I have had something interesting to experience on most days I have time to play. You don't have to streamer-grind to enjoy most of the content.

And in the context of "why isn't this the narrative of the game" I think that falls to the goals of the core gameplay and the experience there doesn't align with a lot of stories that can be told otherwise. The suggestion of branching into other genres with spinoffs would support a lot of Lore stories pretty well.

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Just some thoughts, good and bad, about current Destiny.

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Saturday, March 16, 2019, 15:17 (378 days ago) @ Harmanimus

You can experience most of the content without any real grind. I haven't had any time for grinding lately and have still been enjoying progress (sometimes to greater degree than others) but after the lull before SotDrifter I have had something interesting to experience on most days I have time to play. You don't have to streamer-grind to enjoy most of the content.

And in the context of "why isn't this the narrative of the game" I think that falls to the goals of the core gameplay and the experience there doesn't align with a lot of stories that can be told otherwise. The suggestion of branching into other genres with spinoffs would support a lot of Lore stories pretty well.

I mean, they could have told all these stories well in the first place if Destiny had been an RPG and not an MMO :-p

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Just some thoughts, good and bad, about current Destiny.

by Harmanimus @, Saturday, March 16, 2019, 15:40 (378 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Well, I think they tried to make it very clear they weren’t making either of those (and I don’t believe it is either of those) so idk.

Just some thoughts, good and bad, about current Destiny.

by metwaf100, Friday, March 22, 2019, 06:24 (372 days ago) @ cheapLEY

I wish they let us grind the hell out of power in a ladder with the Reckoning and Gambit Prime, I don't like how long it takes to cap out every season, it's unfun. Actually wish they just brought us a ton of gear without increasing light so much.

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Just some thoughts, good and bad, about current Destiny.

by Korny @, Dalton, Ga. US. Earth, Sol System, Friday, March 22, 2019, 07:58 (372 days ago) @ metwaf100

I wish they let us grind the hell out of power in a ladder with the Reckoning and Gambit Prime, I don't like how long it takes to cap out every season, it's unfun. Actually wish they just brought us a ton of gear without increasing light so much.

Anyone notice how much fun increases exponentially when you get ahold of a weapon like Horror Story or The Vow, when the grind gets cut down severely and you start seeing real progress on your Light Level with almost every drop?

I don't mind grind, but when it exists simply to replace content, as opposed to making you work for it, that's just too much.
Even worse when they increase the grind by giving you powerful engrams weaker than what you already have.

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Just some thoughts, good and bad, about current Destiny.

by cheapLEY @, Friday, March 22, 2019, 10:02 (372 days ago) @ Korny

Yep. The power grind sucks, always. It’s literally never been a fun process. Quests like the one for Thorn and Pinnacle weapons are “grindy,” but are totally fine.

Luckily there’s no real point to getting max power this season. Sure, if you want to do Reckoning. But the rewards for that activity really aren’t worth stressing over, so I’m content to wait and just jump in a few weeks from now.

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