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Skill Up’s Beyond Light Review (Destiny)

by cheapLEY @, Tuesday, December 29, 2020, 17:13 (64 days ago)

I think this is well worth the fifty minutes to watch. He comes to Beyond Light after having skipped the past year, I think it’s an interesting perspective, and one he focuses on. Of particular note is that the game does nothing to sell why you should do any particular activity—it just assumes you should know why and have the desire already. It’s a game that is increasingly only for people that already play Destiny, and it’s more and more difficult to do so casually.

I agree with almost everything he says, but sort of disagree with his conclusion. His main point is that this is sort of a test of faith in Bungie, as this expansion is laying the foundation for the game moving forward. If this is what they give us with one hand tied behind their back, imagine what they can give us next year.

I honestly think that’s sort of a silly perspective, as that’s literally what we’ve been saying since basically day one. “If it wasn’t for [whatever bullshit], Bungie would knock this out of the park—they’ll get it next time!” It is absolutely time to accept that this is what Destiny is, for good and ill. Sometimes the game is great, sometimes it’s an awful, disrespectful grindy shitfest. Sometimes it’s both of those at the same time! That’s arguably fine, if you’re enjoying playing the game. But this hope that Bungie will definitely knock it out of the park next time and give us done revolutionary upgrade to the core experience of Destiny is absolutely delusional at this pint. Even The Taken King and Forsaken, while both incredible expansions, were ultimately just more Destiny with as many problems as solutions.

Skill Up’s Beyond Light Review

by EffortlessFury @, Tuesday, December 29, 2020, 21:31 (64 days ago) @ cheapLEY

I think this is well worth the fifty minutes to watch. He comes to Beyond Light after having skipped the past year, I think it’s an interesting perspective, and one he focuses on. Of particular note is that the game does nothing to sell why you should do any particular activity—it just assumes you should know why and have the desire already. It’s a game that is increasingly only for people that already play Destiny, and it’s more and more difficult to do so casually.

I agree with almost everything he says, but sort of disagree with his conclusion. His main point is that this is sort of a test of faith in Bungie, as this expansion is laying the foundation for the game moving forward. If this is what they give us with one hand tied behind their back, imagine what they can give us next year.

I honestly think that’s sort of a silly perspective, as that’s literally what we’ve been saying since basically day one. “If it wasn’t for [whatever bullshit], Bungie would knock this out of the park—they’ll get it next time!” It is absolutely time to accept that this is what Destiny is, for good and ill. Sometimes the game is great, sometimes it’s an awful, disrespectful grindy shitfest. Sometimes it’s both of those at the same time! That’s arguably fine, if you’re enjoying playing the game. But this hope that Bungie will definitely knock it out of the park next time and give us done revolutionary upgrade to the core experience of Destiny is absolutely delusional at this pint. Even The Taken King and Forsaken, while both incredible expansions, were ultimately just more Destiny with as many problems as solutions.

You really can't ignore COVID, though. Also, I disagree with his point that MMO's have never done content deletion before. FF14 deleted its entire base story and started over.

Skill Up’s Beyond Light Review

by Claude Errera @, Wednesday, December 30, 2020, 09:26 (63 days ago) @ cheapLEY

Some of his points were so compatible with my own that I wondered if we'd talked. (We haven't. ;) ) His description of the prism/shard economy, and what he does with his (or doesn't do with them) could have come from my brain. (I'm FINALLY starting to upgrade gear - but I've got a collection of resources that vastly outweighs his.)

I sort of DO agree with his final point - although I'd focus on a different aspect than you did. He made the point, all the way through the video, that Beyond Light, and Sunsetting, was more of a tear-down than a rebuild. All sorts of stuff was removed from the game - and he had legitimate complaints about how that happened (and what went, and what didn't). I saw his conclusion (that the future might be bright) based on the idea that once you've put this system into place, you should be able to add new and interesting stuff without worrying about power creep - which was a major promise from Bungie in the context of sunsetting, one that we mostly felt betrayed by this season. I think his point was that we're still in transition, and that promise WILL be realized in upcoming seasons.

Maybe that's a foolish hope - but I think it's feasible. I think we (the players) might have had the expectation that Bungie would at least show us a LITTLE of that promise out of the gate... and that they (Bungie) might have oversold that promise in a way that allowed us to have that expectation. That failure, though, doesn't negate the possibility that they can still come through - just a bit later than we expected.

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Skill Up’s Beyond Light Review

by cheapLEY @, Wednesday, December 30, 2020, 09:45 (63 days ago) @ Claude Errera

I don’t necessarily disagree with that premise. And I do have hope that Destiny will continue to get better. The series has had its ups and downs for sure, but I think, overall, it’s been an upward trajectory. Beyond Light absolutely feels foundational to what the game might be moving forward. Losing so much content without replacing it in equal amounts was always going to feel bad.

I don’t want to say that I’ve lost hope, because that’s not really what it is. More that I’ve just come to terms with the game that Destiny is. It will never reach the potential I see in it unless they actually completely ditch the power grind, and I see the chances of that as basically zero. Destiny not being the game I wish it was isn’t the same thing as believing it won’t get better.

I just look at the history of Destiny and every single new thing is met with “If wasn’t for X, this would be great.” I think it’s time for folks to stop making excuses and accept that Bungie is just making the thing they want to make. Which isn’t to say that they’re completely happy with it and think it’s perfect. But come on, all of these problems with sunsetting and the economy of upgrades and rewards were completely foreseeable and they did it anyway. Maybe it was necessary to build the game better going forward, but they did not do nearly enough to make that a compelling argument. And I say that as someone who likes Beyond Light as much as any previous era of the game, if not more.

The way I see it is that it’s still trying to straddle the line. He says it’s only for hardcore players. I think that’s largely true. The material economy is a great example of that. But, on the other hand, other than like GM Nightfalls (and champions, obviously), nothing in the game is difficult enough to make build consideration necessary. But unless they completely refine the upgrade system (and mod availability, as SkillUp stated), they can’t make that necessary because then new and casual players wouldn’t be able to play at all. I think every service game faces the same problem, and I’m not sure anyone has really figured it out , but Destiny in particular really seems to struggle with it. It doesn’t feel good from either perspective, I don’t think.

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Skill Up’s Beyond Light Review

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Wednesday, December 30, 2020, 10:25 (63 days ago) @ cheapLEY
edited by Cody Miller, Wednesday, December 30, 2020, 10:35

The way I see it is that it’s still trying to straddle the line. He says it’s only for hardcore players. I think that’s largely true. The material economy is a great example of that. But, on the other hand, other than like GM Nightfalls (and champions, obviously), nothing in the game is difficult enough to make build consideration necessary. But unless they completely refine the upgrade system (and mod availability, as SkillUp stated), they can’t make that necessary because then new and casual players wouldn’t be able to play at all.

I think this sounds like a problem.

If the game has a system, which is as you say basically optional, then what's the point of including it? Isn't it basically superfluous? What point is there to master and exploit a system which doesn't provide you with benefit? Or challenges that scale with your mastery of said system?

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Endgame and solo challenges are where they SHINE

by ZackDark @, Not behind you. NO! Don't look., Wednesday, December 30, 2020, 10:36 (63 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Prophecy solo flawless was basically impossible without mods, both weapon and armor. The resurgence of Warmind mods is an absolute game changer too.

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Endgame and solo challenges are where they SHINE

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Wednesday, December 30, 2020, 10:37 (63 days ago) @ ZackDark

Prophecy solo flawless was basically impossible without mods, both weapon and armor. The resurgence of Warmind mods is an absolute game changer too.

So it would appear the statement that they are only needed in Grandmaster nightfalls is not correct.

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Endgame and solo challenges are where they SHINE

by squidnh3, Wednesday, December 30, 2020, 10:52 (63 days ago) @ Cody Miller

So it would appear the statement that they are only needed in Grandmaster nightfalls is not correct.

"Need" is the key word here.

You can do the raid without any mods, with crap armor, and probably with a random collection of weapons. But it's going to take a while. If you want to do the raid fast (or with fewer than 6 people) you are going to have to dig into the bag of tricks that is currently armor mods.

I've previously complained about this issue here. The mod system is very cool and fun to use, but the leg work required to get there with the minimal amount of in-game organizational support is the problem.

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Skill Up’s Beyond Light Review

by cheapLEY @, Wednesday, December 30, 2020, 11:08 (63 days ago) @ Cody Miller

There’s absolutely a benefit. The mods are worthwhile. They’re just not necessary, and they are annoying to manage and deal with. Every single weapon type has its own set of mods (Targeting, Unflinching, Ammo Reserves, ammo finder, etc). So every time I switch guns, I also switch mods. It makes actually playing the game annoying—to be as effective as possible, you have to spend five minutes swapping mods between activities.

Which means I spend a lot of time not being as effective as absolutely possible, because fuck that. Combine that with the fact that you the number of mods you can apply is directly tied to which masterwork tier it’s at and the current upgrade material economy, and even having a full set of armor that can be maximized is a huge pain in the ass.

And also that all the great Warmind and Charges with Light mods can only be bought from Banshee, who sells one random mod per day (and those are often just general mods and not those really great ones).

It’s a system with a lot of potential that ends up being more trouble than it’s worth most of the time. The people that play Destiny constantly and are drowning in materials and have all the mods unlocked are probably mostly fine, but the rest of us are wrestling with the leftovers of a half baked system.

When you can get a build just right, the system does feel really good. The amount of work and just general management required for that makes it mostly not worth fucking with. Slap whatever mods you have on whatever you can and call it a day, which is not engaging.

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Skill Up’s Beyond Light Review

by ZackDark @, Not behind you. NO! Don't look., Wednesday, December 30, 2020, 11:52 (63 days ago) @ cheapLEY

And also that all the great Warmind and Charges with Light mods can only be bought from Banshee, who sells one random mod per day (and those are often just general mods and not those really great ones).

Yeah, I don't think they thought it through much. IIRC, the universalization of Warmind and Charged With Light mods was a this-season thing. Up to now, they were locked to their respective season's armor (+/-1). So they "fixed" this last part, but not the collecting part. Back on their seasons, it was almost a given you would get at least most of them.

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Skill Up’s Beyond Light Review

by Vortech @, A Fourth Wheel, Friday, January 01, 2021, 19:09 (61 days ago) @ cheapLEY

I agree with all that, but I always thought of it as just being part and parcel of the role playing game aspect. If you’re gonna have a bunch of stats and things that change them then you’re also going to have to do what I have long called “dress up“ it’s something I’ve never really had a taste for because it seems like it brings the game to a grinding halt (ha) but it seems like other people really enjoy it and think of it as a part of the playing of the game, not pre-work?

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+1 & 2¢

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| \[T]/, Wednesday, December 30, 2020, 16:37 (63 days ago) @ cheapLEY

I agree wholeheartedly with your observations cheapLEY, both from the post I quote here and your main post above it. That said, I do have something to add.

I don’t want to say that I’ve lost hope, because that’s not really what it is. More that I’ve just come to terms with the game that Destiny is. It will never reach the potential I see in it unless they actually completely ditch the power grind, and I see the chances of that as basically zero. Destiny not being the game I wish it was isn’t the same thing as believing it won’t get better.

I just look at the history of Destiny and every single new thing is met with “If wasn’t for X, this would be great.” I think it’s time for folks to stop making excuses and accept that Bungie is just making the thing they want to make. Which isn’t to say that they’re completely happy with it and think it’s perfect. But come on, all of these problems with sunsetting and the economy of upgrades and rewards were completely foreseeable and they did it anyway. Maybe it was necessary to build the game better going forward, but they did not do nearly enough to make that a compelling argument. And I say that as someone who likes Beyond Light as much as any previous era of the game, if not more.

I risk waxing philosophically, if there has been one constant in the life of Destiny the Game, it's been how much it changes. And the longer this series goes, the more and more we should expect what was once thought sacred to suddenly be on the chopping block. The game may be free to play, but it seems to me more and more that it would be best to think of Destiny as a AAA game in a perpetual "early access" state. I say this knowing full well that some change is to be expected. In most cases, if a game is updated it's still the game it was, just polished more with stability or content to play within that world. Conventionally, there are no soft "eras" of the game within the game.

As I recollect, Taken King was the first time Destiny found what it needed to be. And naturally, we all thought that this was the start of Destinies continual improvements, as the formula had finally been cracked. All Bungie needed to do was what they did before! Bungie had finally found their footing! Instead, we've found our selves on a metaphorical elevator in the Tower of Terror without realizing it. Sometimes it goes up and sometimes, suddenly, it goes down. In other words even if it reaches a fabled potential, it seems that it will then in time undo that potential. Perhaps it's because the grass is always greener? I wonder who here has made that mistake more, we the fans, or Bungie?

Well, Bungie did say it was going to be a "living game", but I don't think any of us could of expected such a statement to be so meta.

The way I see it is that it’s still trying to straddle the line. He says it’s only for hardcore players. I think that’s largely true. The material economy is a great example of that. But, on the other hand, other than like GM Nightfalls (and champions, obviously), nothing in the game is difficult enough to make build consideration necessary. But unless they completely refine the upgrade system (and mod availability, as SkillUp stated), they can’t make that necessary because then new and casual players wouldn’t be able to play at all. I think every service game faces the same problem, and I’m not sure anyone has really figured it out , but Destiny in particular really seems to struggle with it. It doesn’t feel good from either perspective, I don’t think.

It recently came to light that a member of DBO didn't know much about Champions, in part due to the mod system requirement. Before this, I would have expected that all of us who at least post here (as I have recently seen some new names in the clan that I don't yet recognize,) would understand the ins and outs of this game. I can only imagine how "Destiny the Game" at this point may feel to someone who really is coming into the game alone. That hill outside the wall may be more or less the same, but it sure is different now, yeah? (Which also compounds into the above observation.)

+1 & 2¢

by EffortlessFury @, Wednesday, December 30, 2020, 17:07 (63 days ago) @ INSANEdrive

It recently came to light that a member of DBO didn't know much about Champions, in part due to the mod system requirement. Before this, I would have expected that all of us who at least post here (as I have recently seen some new names in the clan that I don't yet recognize,) would understand the ins and outs of this game. I can only imagine how "Destiny the Game" at this point may feel to someone who really is coming into the game alone. That hill outside the wall may be more or less the same, but it sure is different now, yeah? (Which also compounds into the above observation.)

This problem could be fixed by better tutorialization and information access. Genshin Impact, a game that came out in September, has already implemented an archive system (that wasn't available at launch) where, among other pieces of information, tutorials can be reaccessed. Champions, while introduced in an alright fashion in the season they were introduced, were never given context again.

IMO, Bungie leans way too heavily on its community to do the heavy lifting. Then again, I feel that Bungie primarily designs Destiny for group play, for better or for worse. That does make starting them game overwhelming if doing so outside of an existing group of players.

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Advanced Learning for Blueberries

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| \[T]/, Wednesday, December 30, 2020, 21:50 (63 days ago) @ EffortlessFury

It recently came to light that a member of DBO didn't know much about Champions, in part due to the mod system requirement. Before this, I would have expected that all of us who at least post here (as I have recently seen some new names in the clan that I don't yet recognize,) would understand the ins and outs of this game. I can only imagine how "Destiny the Game" at this point may feel to someone who really is coming into the game alone. That hill outside the wall may be more or less the same, but it sure is different now, yeah? (Which also compounds into the above observation.)


This problem could be fixed by better tutorialization and information access. Genshin Impact, a game that came out in September, has already implemented an archive system (that wasn't available at launch) where, among other pieces of information, tutorials can be reaccessed. Champions, while introduced in an alright fashion in the season they were introduced, were never given context again.

Which is why they now have Shaw Han in the Cosmodrome now, right? (I've not bothered to give the revamped Blueberry experience a look.) Has any one here noticed the addition of "explainer text" in the basic Cosmodrome based content? I don't know how extensive it is, but the little I've read seems very well made talking about the basics. It's curious that Bungie made all this effort in teaching the games basics, but didn't talk about any of the more advanced things that give this game its... um... game play multiplier lets say.

Remember in Destiny 1 coming across the enemies with skull icons? These enemies were primarily in "The Grotto" which is now blocked off in Destiny 2. We learned really quick that trying to fight said foes while at a low light level to be a fruitless venture (though speed running/evading past all the one hit, invincible thrall were kinda fun). It's a shame this space doesn't exist now in Destiny 2, with nothing but Champions of every form. Really feels like a missed opportunity to have something for a new player to look forward to come back to learn about, while having fun doing it organically. No built in "replay" mode required.


IMO, Bungie leans way too heavily on its community to do the heavy lifting. Then again, I feel that Bungie primarily designs Destiny for group play, for better or for worse. That does make starting them game overwhelming if doing so outside of an existing group of players.

Agreed and agreed. I think I've said this here before, but for a game so group focused, I've at times found Destiny to be paradoxically a very lonely game.

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+1 & 2¢

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Thursday, December 31, 2020, 09:05 (62 days ago) @ EffortlessFury

IMO, Bungie leans way too heavily on its community to do the heavy lifting. Then again, I feel that Bungie primarily designs Destiny for group play, for better or for worse. That does make starting them game overwhelming if doing so outside of an existing group of players.

How did you learn that you could bomb walls in the Legend of Zelda? There ARE clues that make figuring it out on your own possible… but likely you realized you could do this because someone else who played the game told you. Either they discovered it, or someone told THEM.

There is a magic in having aspects of the game reveal themselves through social sharing or through discovery rather than be told to you through text or a tutorial. The joy of exploration.

Mankitten now knows about champions. Anyone else could similarly learn through the community.

+1 & 2¢

by EffortlessFury @, Friday, January 01, 2021, 12:05 (61 days ago) @ Cody Miller

How did you learn that you could bomb walls in the Legend of Zelda? There ARE clues that make figuring it out on your own possible… but likely you realized you could do this because someone else who played the game told you. Either they discovered it, or someone told THEM.

Never played Zelda.

There is a magic in having aspects of the game reveal themselves through social sharing or through discovery rather than be told to you through text or a tutorial. The joy of exploration.

Mankitten now knows about champions. Anyone else could similarly learn through the community.

Yeah, except what if I don't enjoy the community? What if I'm isolated from it? Yes, these scenarios enable communal discovery and that's something valuable but the opportunity cost is that folks outside of the community are left to struggle.

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+1 & 2¢

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Friday, January 01, 2021, 14:26 (61 days ago) @ EffortlessFury

How did you learn that you could bomb walls in the Legend of Zelda? There ARE clues that make figuring it out on your own possible… but likely you realized you could do this because someone else who played the game told you. Either they discovered it, or someone told THEM.


Never played Zelda.

There is a magic in having aspects of the game reveal themselves through social sharing or through discovery rather than be told to you through text or a tutorial. The joy of exploration.

Mankitten now knows about champions. Anyone else could similarly learn through the community.


Yeah, except what if I don't enjoy the community? What if I'm isolated from it? Yes, these scenarios enable communal discovery and that's something valuable but the opportunity cost is that folks outside of the community are left to struggle.

You don’t have to find THE community. Just A community. Even just a small group of friends. I played Cyberpunk along side 4 friends, and it was great bouncing things off each other. I played FF7 remake alongside one friend. The beauty of a well designed game is that you can have this experience with whatever community you choose. And if you can’t… well either the game is not for you, or the game does in fact lack discovery.

+1 & 2¢

by EffortlessFury @, Friday, January 01, 2021, 17:08 (61 days ago) @ Cody Miller

You don’t have to find THE community. Just A community. Even just a small group of friends. I played Cyberpunk along side 4 friends, and it was great bouncing things off each other. I played FF7 remake alongside one friend. The beauty of a well designed game is that you can have this experience with whatever community you choose. And if you can’t… well either the game is not for you, or the game does in fact lack discovery.

Trust me when I say I understand the value of community. I've not been able to find one that I feel comfortable in for quite some time. Close to a decade honestly, it's been downhill since Alls Well. XD

And whether a game is for me or not shouldn't be dependent on my ability to find others. It's not so much that the game isn't for me, it's that it is inaccessible to me. Whether I should be catered to is a different question with a complicated answer, but it's got less to do with me and my interests and more to do with where I am in life outside of the game.

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Smash that Unlike Buttin!

by Vortech @, A Fourth Wheel, Sunday, January 03, 2021, 10:39 (59 days ago) @ Cody Miller

How did you learn that you could bomb walls in the Legend of Zelda? There ARE clues that make figuring it out on your own possible… but likely you realized you could do this because someone else who played the game told you. Either they discovered it, or someone told THEM.


Never played Zelda.

There is a magic in having aspects of the game reveal themselves through social sharing or through discovery rather than be told to you through text or a tutorial. The joy of exploration.

Mankitten now knows about champions. Anyone else could similarly learn through the community.


Yeah, except what if I don't enjoy the community? What if I'm isolated from it? Yes, these scenarios enable communal discovery and that's something valuable but the opportunity cost is that folks outside of the community are left to struggle.


You don’t have to find THE community. Just A community. Even just a small group of friends. I played Cyberpunk along side 4 friends, and it was great bouncing things off each other. I played FF7 remake alongside one friend. The beauty of a well designed game is that you can have this experience with whatever community you choose. And if you can’t… well either the game is not for you, or the game does in fact lack discovery.

OK, but the reality is that "learning from the community" means being confused, and needing to watch a Youtube video that takes forever to get to the point and has irrelevant gameplay in the background. There's nothing magical there, just monetized.

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Smash that Unlike Buttin!

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Sunday, January 03, 2021, 13:37 (59 days ago) @ Vortech

OK, but the reality is that "learning from the community" means being confused, and needing to watch a Youtube video that takes forever to get to the point and has irrelevant gameplay in the background. There's nothing magical there, just monetized.

If that's the case you have chosen the wrong community.

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