House of Wolves is Only for Those who have their Own Teams

The Terminus, an elevator to one of the House of Wolves' story missions (Polygon.com).
The Terminus, an elevator to one of the House of Wolves’ story missions (Polygon.com).

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.

Updated/edited on May 20, 2015.

If any of you have read my various Destiny articles, you might have guessed that I have a love-hate relationship with the game.  Well, you might walk away with more of the hate side of my feelings, but, I do LOVE the feel of the game.  I stopped playing it for a while because I had nothing else to do in it.  I don’t play the Crucible, and my son got tired of that part of the game, too, and I don’t do my own match-making in order to play the harder aspects of the game, so . . . there’s nothing to do in Destiny after a certain point for players like me.  And guess what, despite what the trailer may have said or implied, House of Wolves only makes matters worse.  You cannot level up without doing your own match making/team gathering.  At least that’s what is known right now.

I had recently started playing again (and my son followed suit), gearing up for the new House of Wolves dlc that was to come out.  I started a new character, too, leveling her up to 29.  We stopped leveling gear up since we didn’t want to waste our materials prior to the dlc.  So, my son has played today’s Destiny dlc a while this morning, checking out the new social area in The Reef, and doing a number of the dlc’s missions and strikes.  The new crucible matches, called the Trials of Osiris, are only available Friday through Monday, basically, so he has to wait for those.  He was able to get through the whole new story in a matter of hours.

But what do I think of the new aspect of Destiny so far?  I pre-purchased the game after playing the Beta and having fun on the maps.  The Beta allowed you to go up to level 8, which didn’t provide the final and full aspect of the game, by any means.  I thought that with the maps, the game was at least RPGish.  But it’s not.  This second dlc only serves to make that fact very clear.  The Reef opened up, but then again, it didn’t.  The player is only allowed to go to the “social” area on the edge of the reef, and to go into the Awoken’s prison in order to exterminate the population there.  There is no reef map to explore.  The new battles have their own new “maps,” and they are awesome just as all Destiny environments are, but they are not areas to explore or move around in at leisure.  The items shown on the destination map all have maps to interact with, like the earth and moon, but the reef didn’t.  But with this reef-related dlc, it still doesn’t.

So, besides the story missions, the House of Wolves dlc only really expands crucible choices and a different type of strike, the Prison of Elders.  With the Prison of Elders, you go in with two other people to exterminate the prison population in four different prison areas.  The lowest level strike features match making, but the other three higher levels require the player to put their own party together.  This is nothing new for Destiny, but is also a disappointing feature of the game.   Bungie continues to crush the hopes of single, or “non-social” players (those who don’t have their own teams), by purposefully making more game aspects impossible for those types of players.  The lowest level of Prison of Elders features match-making, yes, but players will not get the items of gear necessary to level up by playing the level 28 mode.  You need to organize your own teams and do the the higher level modes to get those items.

To me, games shouldn’t be like jobs, requiring the player to do a bunch of time-consuming stuff elsewhere, like team building (over the internet or finding actual friends who also have the game, and a console microphone, and . . . ) or trying to figure out the story (which you necessarily have to do on the internet).  I, and others, believe Bungie has been deceptive in its promotion of this game, from the beginning, but they’ve only gotten worse about it.  Anything done or gained in early game play appears to be wholly irrelevant now.

So, while my love-level of the game had been relatively high lately, it has been replaced with a new hate-level.  My son has felt the same way, wondering why I play the game.  I love the game interaction feel, yes, and I invested a lot in the game.  But there’s nothing new to explore, just more of the same player-on-player fighting and mind-boggling off-site requirements.  I had a false hope, based on the trailers, that the Prison of Elders would be more of a massive mulit-player sort-of thing, where a bunch of players went into an area (the arena) and went after a bunch of enemies.  Nope; hopes dashed.  Another issue is that the “general” storage was not increased, so players will be forced to delete armor shaders and such they they’ve been saving.  The story, too, is really nothing.  I can see why Bungie put so little into the story.   If all a player is doing is fighting, what difference does the story make?  It makes no difference at all.

Unless Bungie makes some changes to the game, and clearly states what those changes are, we will not be spending any more cash on the Destiny franchise.  Let me leave you with these comments found at a HoW Forbes article.  They are right-on:

Mad Vaz: I put in about 200 hours in Destiny and took me forever for just one character to reach 32 as I had to make a huge effort setting aside time and planning just to do the Raids to get the material I needed. Really bummed out that Destiny continue to ignore solo players and make it difficult for them to max out their armor and character. I know there are pros and cons for matchmaking but it would be nice for some of us to have another way to obtain Etheric light (Ex. Daily events, strikes). I know this game has a 10 year plan, but I’m curious to know if they continue to ignore solo players with Destiny 2, how many players will come back? I enjoy the game and don’t mind putting time to level up my weapons and gears but hate that I’ll be denied obtaining etheric light because I don’t have friends who are on at the same time and day or because I’m not “Socially” active enough.
Oddman:  you mad bro? (couldn’t resist)

@ mad vaz, I agree, the solo player has not been treated well by bungie. They marketed the game as open to all and as an inclusive title. But since last Dec, they have been abandoning the Solo player and forgetting who it was that purchased all those bungie games in the past.

But even worse has been the planned degrading of the game for players who did not buy the DLC. Bungie pulled the rug out from under those players, just a short 12 weeks after game launch. And when players asked them to create a path forward for the non -DLC crowd bungie never replied never engaged and never budged from their policy of reduced rewards and reduced modes of play …

shame on Bungie.

If you like YouTube videos and listening to game commentary, you might like the following (House of Wolves, E3 Hopes, Fallout 4, Doom: Lingering Trees Talk Show 003). These guys are pretty funny (warning – they can be raunchy):

 

PS:  I miss dinglebot.  The voice-over for the beginning cut scene doesn’t sound like either the queen or her emissary, and like the other new voices, just seems kind-of elementary.  The new voices don’t seem to match the tone of the game.  And I don’t know why my ghost isn’t talking to me anymore.

PSS:  Want etheric light?  Good luck, lol.  I’m incredibly discouraged about Destiny at this point (no more Destiny budget after this, no), and I know that once my son finds out that the only thing new about this game is more and longer head-banging sessions just to get something to POSSIBLY level up a bit, he won’t want to play.  The game has become a real waste of time, and for any who also love the story (as I’ve seen in a comment today), I have to wonder what they’re talking about.  To love the very simple escape-from-jail or the power-grabbing intrigue of Destiny’s dlc story seems to be about the same thing as loving the exciting text on children’s cereal boxes.

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