Don’t Buy Destiny . . . Unless

Despite the amazing beauty of Destiny's environments, it's a lousy game (as least for the cost).
Despite the amazing beauty of Destiny’s environments, it’s a lousy game (as least for the cost).

Note:  For those searching for the religious, or any possible biblical, aspect of Destiny, please see Destiny’s Story: The Nature of Evil and It’s Corrupting Influence.

Update of May 20, 2015, based on the House of Wolves expansion:  Don’t buy Destiny unless you are willing and able to make your own teams, period.  And have a mic to communicate with others with, too.  Despite the sound of the trailer, there is only one low-level match making in the Prison of Elders, and items and gear for leveling up will not be found at that level.  Unless you team up youself and like spending hours banging away at enemies, there is no point on spending your money on Destiny.  There is literally nothing else to the game.

Based on the beta, we pre-purchased Destiny with the two DLCs, or expansions, but everyone in our family is very disappointed with Destiny and Bungie, the maker of the game.  During the pre-purchase phase, as far as I am aware, Bungie never let on that to fully play the game players would have to assemble their own teams of six (and have microphones, which isn’t too surprising for an MMO).  Bungie has no customer service to speak of, either, so all in all, buying Destiny was a real waste of money.   Their marketing during the pre-purchase phase was deceptive, with a few players STILL referring to the game as an RPG, which at this point it very clearly is not.

Going back to the teams issue (the only way to be able to play the whole game):  in order to assemble your own team of six you need to have six same-console friends with the game (who have microphones) who are able to do a big raid (the “Vault of Glass”) all at the same time.  This was annoying enough as part of the original game, as purchased, but now – with the first expansion, The Dark Below – Bungie did the same thing.  There is a second such raid, called “Crota’s End,” that one apparently has to do in order to finish the DLC quest line (and there is no matchmaking).

Right now, Weekly Heroic and Nightfall strikes are closed off for everyone: those who did and didn’t purchase the DLC.  However, these strikes will open when “quest” is finished. We finished the first quest line up to Crota’s End, received a reward for finishing the quest, yet the strikes had NOT re-opened.  Odd, huh?  Well, more “quest steps” open up and you need to do them before the strikes open up again; this happens when you get the quest step that is a level 26 strike.  You do not have to do Crota’s End, which is level 30, in order for the older strikes to open or the new level 26 list to open.

Other Destiny issues:

  1. XBOX players do not have full access to the game.  With the original game, a strike was made available to Playstation console players only.  With the new downloadable content – with the same purchase price, mind you – yet another strike is not available to XBOX users that IS to Playstation users.
  2. The strike (a special version of “The Summoning Pits”) for obtaining the exotic weapon, the Thorn, still says that it has “matchmaking,” but it does not.  This strike is incredibly hard to do by one’s self, so, a player is required to go out on the internet somewhere and find players who also have that very particular strike and who are willing and able to do that mission at the same time as the player.
  3. The game keeps changing the rules.
    • A significant change is the way in which armor is leveled up, or upgraded.  This is significant due to the fact that after a player’s character reaches level 20, a secondary leveling system comes into play that is dependent on armor upgrades.  We played two characters up to level 29 without much issue, but, we started a 3rd character recently and cannot upgrade the armor like earlier.  The amount of materials needed from dismantling other armor has increased, or something, since I’m always short.  I’m very short now and won’t be able to level up a single legendary armor piece for a long time.  This experience is completely different from a month ago, when we were never short of these materials (combined, our other two characters have over 1,000).  If I had known of this change (and this a tip), I would’ve simply not leveled up the weaker, earlier armor, and saved the materials for later.
    • This is nasty.  If you have a pre-DLC exotic weapon, it will be not as powerful as the post-DLC versions.  To upgrade your favorite exotic, go to XUR, pay tons of money and have an Exotic Shard, and your weapon is now upgraded . . . NOT.  Honestly, Bungie is truly unbelievable and sadistic.  After you pay all that currency for it and use a new very rare item, the weapon is only RESET!  You have to slowly upgrade it again, AND, use ANOTHER Exotic Shard to finalize the upgrade.  If I had known this ahead of time, I would have thought twice about XUR’s transaction.  Talk about sticking it to the players.  It seems it might be better to simply buy a new exotic weapon from XUR, or do the exotic bounties post-dlc.
    • Changes to Marks, Reputation, and Commendations added.  One of the ways to earn Vanguard Marks was removed from the game.  These marks are used to buy weapons and armor from the Vanguard, and now it is harder for gamers who don’t want to do intense game play constantly to earn these marks.  Vanguard and other “cult” Reputation has not been changed, but, in order to buy most things a new “Commendation” is needed.  A Commendation is gained with each new Reputation level.  The problem with this is while Vanguard gives you a Vanguard Commendation, all the other “cults” require a Crucible Commendation . . . which doesn’t make much sense.  The “cults” should take either type of Commendation; Bungie is apparently trying to force more people to play the player-on-player shooter part of the game (the Crucible).
  4. Only three characters are available to play.  If you have more people in your family that use the paid online account, or if you simply want to experiment and have character variety, forget it.  Only . . . three . . . playable characters.  By way of comparison, Borderlands 2 allows for unlimited characters.  Destiny should at least allow nine, which would be one for each class and “species.
  5. To read more about the game, you can visit my earlier Destiny review here – thanks.

So, don’t buy Destiny unless you like a game with no real story (all your stats and additional story information are kept at Bungie’s web site – ! – not in-game), like doing the same missions and strikes over and over again, and most importantly, you have many friends on the same console who have the same game and who will be able to do the highest level strikes with you.  Oh, and unless you have a Playstation.  Being a wealthy masochist would help, too.  I still play it because (1) relative to our income, we invested a lot in this game, (2) the look and feel of play is very good, and (3) for some reason I keep wanting to upgrade my items.  As with many games, Destiny has it’s own methods of addiction.  I recommend avoiding this form of addiction and looking into other current (or forthcoming games) that offer much more, and for less cost.

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