Tag Archives: Destiny

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).

Continue reading Don’t Buy Destiny . . . Unless

A Destiny Black Garden Photo Album

[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.]

Some photos taken while in the Black Garden.  If by chance you want to use any, you may as long as you include the url of this page.  If you want to know more about the game, you can see Destiny, A New Kind of Online Multi-Player Video Game and Destiny’s Notebook.  Thanks!

A crazy, multi-frame shot from right before battling the Vex and Sol Progeny.
A crazy, multi-frame shot from right before battling the Vex and Sol Progeny.

Continue reading A Destiny Black Garden Photo Album

Destiny’s Notebook

[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.]

This is the ongoing notebook, or journal, of a guardian in Destiny.  It contains information on gameplay, game characters, and the storyline.    . . . last updated on 10-7-14.  For the my “likes and don’t-likes” of the game, see the second part (especially) of Destiny, A New Kind of Online Multiplayer Video Game .

Second Birthday

Well, this is awkward.  And sad . . . that is, I’m sad.  The reason:  one moment I’m battling some earth invaders, the next I’m talking with this little floating angular thing which appears to be staring at me with one bright bright eye, and he – yes, he – is saying how I was dead for a long time but I’m alive now . . . by some unstated, unexplained voodoo . . . and how he’s my “ghost.”  Then run run run.

So, what year is it?  2726?*  Did my family leave any descendents that are now alive?  The Traveler I know of, but all this is new.  Or, I guess, the result of what was beginning when I was killed so many years ago.  So, now there are these “ghosts” The Traveler made before it went into a sort-of hibernation, and I draw power (“light”) from my ghost, or is it The Traveler?  This power is awesome, so don’t think I’m complaining.  Just confused, so far.  Hmmm.  I am a powerful Titan now, but with much to learn . . . and of my past, much to forget.  Even my name, apparently, since it is Amenta but my ghost only calls me Guardian.

A Later Day

I have learned much but haven’t been in any mood to write.  I have done what I ought to, have been going through the motions since my second birth, and now am beginning to get used to my very unexpected new life; all that I knew, all the people I liked and loved, gone . . .  in a flash . . . and yet everyone wants to dance.

Here’s a pic of me.  Not very good, taken before sunrise at The Tower.  But it’ll have to do for now.  I will return later with some of my experiences, but know one thing – it is as annoying as you have imagined having to take a potty break.  Oh, and know a second thing.  With all the incredible tech that goes into the armor, weapons, ships, teleportation, etc., they still can’t get me a helmet with night vision . . .  How crazy is that??

Me, Amenta, at The Tower (yes, I have legendary blue armor on - a bright thing in my new life).
Me, Amenta, at The Tower (yes, I have legendary blue armor on – a bright thing in my new life).

The Sword of Crota – Oh Happy Day!

I had the most fun today.  Patrols can be fun and relaxing, and the missions – well, they can be fun, but those thick-skinned bosses can be a bit tedious as well!  But then I get this mission to find the “Sword of Crota,” some old super powerful sword.  Sounds like a legend that turns out to be, if anything, just an old cool looking piece of steel.  But no, I found the Sword of Crota and it was all that it was touted to be.  Wielding that thing against enemies was like playing an aerobics version of whack-a-mole.  Yes, you actually whack the ground with a sword!  You can slash around with it, too, and slicing up the annoying Hive lackeys was quite satisfying.  Of course, I defeated the three powerful Swarm Princes that guarded it.  They’re not very good guardians if they can’t stand up to their own weapon.  But then again, look who was wielding it.  😉

(I wonder when I’m going to find a blade I can wield against enemies.  That Crota Sword was just so much fun, but I find there is some force that doesn’t allow me to pick up any Hive swords I find laying around.  Hmph.)

How is ANYONE Alive Anymore?

I have been through many battles now on the planets we had settled in our Solar System.  Besides the heart-wrench I feel when seeing all things abandoned and destroyed, especially on wild and beautiful Venus, there are all the enemies.  The Traveler has so many enemies – why?  The Darkness is The Traveler’s foe, but why does The Darkness have so many apparent minions that fight each other?  How can these “civilizations” go on, fighting and killing so much?  Well, THIS guardian is helping to relieve them of their miserable existence, but, there are just so many.  It’s like they breed and grow to adulthood daily . . .

In any case, there are four different enemies:  Fallen, Hive, Vex, and Cabal.  The Fallen; I expected a race having the name “Fallen” to be human, at least, but these things have four arms.  So, the Fallen are insectoid humans?  They are piratical with no real home, apparently feeling most comfortable with their military “houses”–one is called “Devils,” another “Exile,” again making me wonder about a possible human past.  I’ve been told that the weird purple spew that I see when they die is their souls coming out, but I’m going to ask around about that more; I wonder if The Speaker knows?

The ancient, undead Hive are moon-based, but invade Earth too, fighting us and the Fallen.  Their moon settlements are vast and amazing, even though their floors, chambers, halls, outdoor grounds, bathrooms (no doubt), and anywhere a Hive member has walked, are littered with human bones.  I don’t know that humans are their enemies so much, more like their meal source.

The Vex; how I hate the Vex.  They occupy Venus, and they are biological-mechanical hybrids (abominations that, to all appearances, have traded in their biological bodies for mechanical ones) with no desire whatsoever to communicate – exterminating us is their only desire.

I wonder if the Cabal are just imperialistic opportunists who don’t care about The Darkness or The Light, but only go forth and conquer in the name of power and money?  Whatever their motives, they fight any Vex they see on Mars (a VERY GOOD thing), but they also attack Guardians, so . . . another day, another enemy.

Mom, Where do Servitors Come from?

One of Aksor’s servitors.

Went on this strike mission on Venus, at Ishtar’s Sink, and ran into an Archon Priest.  What a bear and a bug it was to take him down!  He was an amusing foe, though, with his wicked laugh and his presumed curses at us.  His name was Aksor, and he was of the Fallen House of Kings.  Besides noting my team’s victory, I wanted to record something else odd and amusing the Archon did.  Servitors are everywhere and I don’t know how they all come into being, but Aksor makes servitors appear to assist him in an odd way.  Maybe he doesn’t do this all the time (or didn’t, I should say), but as I was standing in front of him at one point, he squatted – yes, squatted – and emitted purple energy all around him.  Then pops out a servitor.  OK.  So, was Aksor really female and she births those things, or is Aksor going to the bathroom, or is Aksor a male that drops a ball now and again?  No matter which might be correct, all methods would imply either a limited number of drops or a necessary regeneration time.   At least it didn’t smell.

New Friends

Banshee-44 and Phil
Banshee-44 and Phil

So I’ve been around for a while and have made some new friends.  I took a pic of two of them together – aren’t they cool?  One is the gunsmith at The Tower, Banshee-44–he’s on the left in the photo.  The other is Phil, a strapping Exo Warlock; he’s good to have by your side on strikes.  He has those exotic Sunbreaker gauntlets, which are just so awesome (and I lent him some coin for their purchase . . . . he owes me  ^_^  )!

Banshee-44 and Phil are both Exos and get along great.  I don’t mind just listening to them talk, especially since Banshee-44 is just so funny.  When they first met Banshee dryly said to Phil, regarding his face paint, “Are those bite marks?  Nasty . . . “.

When I first met Banshee, he said, “Have we met?  I know that gun.”  One time when I approached him it was early, and he said, “Nothing like a new gun in the morning.”  “Indeed, indeed,” I said to him, and “If I purchase a new firearm from you, perhaps all three of us could go have some coffee and danish together.”  I didn’t end up buying a gun that day, but next time I do I need to be there in the morning so we can get our Danish!

The Queen’s Wrath

The Awoken Queen said she expected me to answer her calls for assistance after she helped me gain access to the Black Garden, and she has wasted little time in calling!  But as the Queen is rewarding diligence handsomely for doing her bidding, I am pretty much at her beck and call.  She has two new shades to color armor, which I would love! – but, one of them requires that I do A LOT of her quests.  I will see if I can accommodate her while her emissary is with us at The Tower (she is only with us for about two weeks, though I’m pretty sure she’ll be back again).  It IS pleasant seeing her ship docked out past the large tower gate courtyard, with its huge streamers flapping in the breeze.  Her bounties can be fairly easy, but her missions . . . that is another thing altogether.

The Black Garden

What a time I had at The Black Garden.  I made it there, and I made it out alive; I fought the Vex and the Sol Progeny, alone, and have lived to tell of it.  Or rather, I would live to tell of the beauty of that garden.  If I can find a way back to the garden, I will go and maybe be able to get an image of it, an image worthy of its beauty and remembrance.  The images I have seen of it come out so green, and no doubt that is the spiritual essence of the place – or so it was.

The walkway in the center, which is part stairway and travels downward, is beautiful in itself; but from it you can see the utter vastness of the garden.  Its huge, depthless chasms, its field of black flowers that release red petals that float, float up, up; it’s so odd, and it inspires awe.  Before you get to that area there is an interior sort of winding garden area with pools of water.  I mention this because they, too, release something that floats–water coated gas bubbles emerge from the water, travel upwards, and dissipate.  I want very much to return.

I want to mention a curious thing related to the enemy that “lived” in that timeless, placeless place.  What is called The Black Heart was there, a disturbing, roiling mass of what looked like black oil.  It had called the Sol Progeny to fight me, and these three Sol Progeny had been–to all appearances–lifeless statues.  The Progeny were brought to life and emanated dark energy.

The thing I find curious is that I too was lifeless, and I was brought to life and draw on the power of the one who reanimated me, The Traveler.  His energy is light, though.  Just something that occurred to me.  There are powers in this universe that control life and death, that can channel their own power through a living thing.  I wonder if it’s someone’s unchangeable “destiny” to belong to a power that is dark or a power that is light.  I’m glad I’m with the light, but for those with the dark, do they ever wish they weren’t?  Do they ever think of “changing sides,” but cannot?  Or once your being flows with whichever energy, is it even possible to think of being different?  I’m thinking of it objectively now, but I am not tempted to change.

Who Am I, Really?

I have memories of battle, sort-of, and I knew how to use a high powered weapon right after my reawakening . . . it all seemed right and seemed to fit.  But, I don’t know if all my “memories” are really my own.  I mean, it dawned on me that I was found by my ghost amongst a ton of cars that were obviously in a jam, no doubt a jam that was headed outside the city; I wasn’t found at a battleground.  All were dead, and I had seen more than one skeleton.  All the dead there were very dead for a very long time.  Yet, somehow, I was reanimated, flesh and all.  Since The Traveler has the power to do that, He no doubt has the power to make me “know” things, like how to handle a weapon or two . . . and make it seem like my own memory.  Or maybe I happened to be a Guardian (soldier) who happened to be running away . . . yeah.

I wonder if any Warlock has figured this out yet, but is simply holding out on us.

Black Garden Memories

I asked my ghost, and he was able to provide me some images from The Black Garden!  It’s exciting, even though they are not very good.  My ghost is more than amazing, but images simply can’t capture the all-encompassing beauty of The Black Garden.  Here are just a couple, but I’ll be putting more together in a little photo album.

Me and my ghost at the Black Garden, just before the battle to destroy the Black Heart begins.
Me and my ghost at the Black Garden, just before the battle to destroy the Black Heart begins.


Me sitting at an interior garden area.  It was so peaceful . . . after I eliminated my attackers.
Me sitting at an interior garden area. It was so peaceful . . . after I eliminated my attackers.

As Days Go By

The Queen’s Emissary will depart soon, but I’m confident I’ll at least be able to buy a couple of weapons (and the “class armor” item, which for me, is just a fancy butt banner) before she’s gone.  I was able to win her favor to a degree and obtain the Queen’s Emblem and a new shade of color for my armor–they are both very nice.  But I will not have done enough by the time she leaves to have earned the special armor shade or the exclusive emblem.  I’m a good guardian, but I not the best–at least for her purposes.

Destiny, on Venus, fun in purpleI know guardians who like fighting it out in the Crucible and who have guardian friends who can accompany them on the hardest missions.  Those kinds of things are needed to win the highest favor of the The Lady of the Reef.  I do some “strikes” with others, even the hardest Vanguard strikes, but the very hardest things, no, I’m not qualified yet to do them.  My friend Phil, whom I mentioned earlier (and he’s in that great photo!), he’s very good but he’s still not able to do the hardest missions yet.  He and I–we do many missions, even hard ones–by ourselves; still, the social guardians are the most highly rewarded.

PS:  It took many tries at The Lady’s “Kill Order,” but I finally won the Queen’s Armor (the “chest plate”).  I have it on in the two photos here.

Me with my new helmet (Helm of Saint-14) and Queens Guard Plate armor, on Venus.
Me with my new helmet (Helm of Saint-14) and the Queen’s Guard Plate armor, on Venus.


More Guardian Training, Fewer Missions

Now that the Queen’s emissary is gone, someone else has set up shop in our tower:  Lord Saladin.  He’s from the Iron Banner and has some nice things for sale for those who prove themselves in the Crucible.  I’m not very interested in training against guardians in the Crucible (I much prefer targeting real enemies), but he’s offering special bounties and missions there; Phil already made a reputation with Lord Saladin in his first day of doing his quests!  Anyway, the machine gun he offers is just  . . . awesome.  It’s practical looking but in a clean, stylish way, with just the right amount of embellishments.  It’s called “Jolder’s Hammer.”  So, maybe I’ll be persuaded to do Saladin’s wishes!  Or if Phil is nice, he may buy me one of those pretty machine guns.  🙂

The Queen had given guardians missions to do in the worlds, but no so with Saladin.  So, I’ll just be going around, doing some strikes and such, and collecting Relic Iron from Mars and gathering all the other collectable things a guardian can to improve armor and weapons, and to bring to the guilds for trade.  I’ll have enough this week to buy the last weapon that I want that is actually purchasable right now.  After that, I’ll have less to do.   I think it will be time to catch up on some reading!  I might as well add these photos I took, too.  I wish they could really capture the beauty or other aspect of the place that I see when I’m there.

This area is so beautiful - this photo is only part of the whole.  There's a little pond at the bottom of the waterfall, and I often see a rainbow there.  So very peaceful compared to much of . . . everywhere.
This area is so beautiful – this photo is only part of the whole. There’s a little pond at the bottom of the waterfall, and I often see a rainbow there. So very peaceful compared to much of . . . everywhere.
Venus is so beautiful, but it has its creepier and drearier aspects.  Red water, decrepit buildings, bizarre clouds.
Venus is so beautiful, but it has its creepier and drearier aspects. Red water, decrepit buildings, bizarre clouds.
Venus, how beautiful it was; the manmade there didn't take over and overwhelm the natural.  But Venus' nature can't be tamed.  White-blue "lava" can be seen behind the buildings as "comets" fly through the air.  I call this my Venus at night postcard.
Venus, how beautiful it was; the manmade there didn’t take over and overwhelm the natural. But Venus’ nature can’t be tamed. White-blue “lava” can be seen behind the buildings as “comets” fly through the air. I call this my Venus at night postcard.


Going All Out Against The Hive

Since Eris Morn came to the Tower, I’ve been sent off to kill off more Hive enemies.  This is OK by me, but I haven’t gone after Crota himself yet . . .   Eris is interesting and I’d like to know more about her, but she’s pretty tight-lipped.  Or, maybe, she doesn’t really know enough about herself–what happened to her–to even tell me.  I know she’s a former Guardian who is the only survivor of a group that hunted Crota, but how the Hive took away her light, and how she ended up having darkness and Hive elements while still remaining with The Light, is a mystery.  At least to me.  Why does she hold that orb of dark light with a shard of something floating in it?  Since the Hive had used a shard of the Traveler to weaken it, maybe Eris is doing the same thing to The Darkness.  I hope we can find out more about her.  Maybe she’ll open up at the Tower pub??


* The game is  set 700 years in the future, but from “near” our present time, when – as you can see in the opening of the game – humans had landed on Mars.  So, I made up a “we landed on Mars” future date and added 700.  This is the date for my character’s rebirth, not an official date from Bungie.

For a recent review, or impression, of Destiny after its first DLC was released, see Don’t Buy Destiny . . . Unless (honestly, if you like shooters and that’s what you’re after, Garden Warfare might be a better choice).

Destiny, a New Kind of Online Multiplayer Video Game

A newer, post-DLC review, and a story analysis are available.  Please consider viewing:  Don’t Buy Destiny . . . Unless, and Destiny’s Story: the Nature of Evil and Its Corrupting Influence.

The article below is now in two parts (I and II).  The first part deals with the Beta and what I learned about the game at that time.  The second part shares notes about various good and maybe not-so-good aspects of the game pre-DLC (last updated 10-07-14).

A view of the crumbling but future earth in Destiny (beta).  Copyright Bungie, as provided at the Destiny page at Amazon.
A view of the crumbling but future earth in Destiny (beta). Image from Destiny game page at Amazon.com (copyright Bungie).

I.  What the Beta Spoke to Me

During the 4th weekend of July, 2014, I was fortunate to be able to play the public beta of Destiny. My son and I both played it quite a bit, getting a feel for the game. I’m glad I played as much as I did but had hoped to play more! I didn’t expect the beta to end so soon, especially not on Sunday afternoon instead of evening. That my son and I played so much, and wanted more, goes to show what a good game Destiny appears to be.

I say Destiny “appears” very good since the beta provided very little of the story and there was no indication as to the actual level of role-playing (can true choices be made or is the quest line only linear?). For me, the role-playing aspect of games is important and I buy them for that reason. I’m hoping for the best regarding the depth of the game’s story and the level of player immersion into it. The game is rated T for teen and has various game-play modes, including player vs player, making it both widely accessible and no doubt desirable to a large audience.

Leaving the formal talk aside for a moment, I can say that we loved the game so far (with some qualifications) and ended up preordering one of the special editions. Basically, it’s a new type of futuristic fantasy game that’s lots of fun!

Is it an RPG or Action-Adventure MMO, or . . . ?

Destiny is set to release on September 9, 2014, so I can’t say from experience all that this game truly encompasses, but the makers of the game describe it this way: “The next evolution of the first-person action genre that provides an unprecedented combination of storytelling, cooperative, competitive, and public gameplay, and personal activities that are all seamlessly woven into an expansive, persistent online world. Venture out alone or join up with friends. The choice is yours. Personalize and upgrade every aspect of how you look and fight with a nearly limitless combination of armor, weapons, and visual customizations. Take your upgraded character into every mode, including campaign, cooperative, social, public, and competitive multiplayer.”

Playing the beta revealed much of those elements, and from the quote above it can only be guessed that the game is not a true role playing game (RPG). It seems that it’s getting difficult these days to categorize games as true RPGs, where you develop your character via choices and action that is not simply linear (in other words, you don’t just choose your class, looks, and armor, but make choices within a branched story that have effects on your character and on other aspects of the game). This is a “first-person action” game with “storytelling.” So, it doesn’t sound like your choices change you or the story. But, we will all know after the game comes out and is played through. It’s a lot of fun in any case – I’m just not getting my hopes up that it’s a true RPG.

The MMO aspect of this game is not at all like one might think. There isn’t a horde of 100s or 1000s on one map, or area of a map. Destiny appears to allow only so many people on a map area at a time. When you are on a quest you will be doing it by yourself, essentially, unless you specifically ask someone to join you; and when playing the COD type of shooter modes, there are of course a maximum number of players on each team. There is a central area where very many (all?) players can be on at one time and interact, and this is the area where the shops and guilds are. You can interact with other players here, ask them to play with you, dance and play ball with them, and just hang out and be silly (if desired).

Gameplay: Quests, Exploration, Multiplayer, Social Tower

Note: According to the official game site, there is a game mode that has not yet been revealed. Stay tuned!

Story Quests and Exploration. For the beta, part of earth (and for a very short time, the moon) was available for quests in the main campaign and for exploration. Venus and Mars are in the Destiny environment as well. The quests were short but had increasingly long end battles. I, for one, hope that future quests have more to them besides simply running around (“busy work”) and fighting hordes at the end. Exploration mode is fun. Apparently, the whole world can be accessed through explore mode (parts were blocked during beta), where enemies respawn quickly, loot chests are hidden here and there, and “community events” randomly appear. These events involve fighting enemies, of course, and confer a daily reward when finished. I experienced many of these community events and while many were duplicates, there was one unique event that was totally insane.

Social Tower. The Tower is a large place holding the shops and guilds, where people can socialize. It overlooks The Traveler (the large orb hovering over the Earth) and the last inhabited, free city. Not all areas of the Tower were open during beta.

Multiplayer. There are two modes of multiplayer, at least so far. “Strike” involves three players fighting a boss type of situation, and the other is a team of players vs another team, called “Crucible.” The Crucible maps are very nice, but my son thought there was something missing (or the mode was lower-quality somehow) in this capture-the-point mode that he couldn’t put his finger on.

Characters Played During Beta Weekend

There are three classes of characters and three “species,” but all are “Guardians” to what remains of earth’s civilization. As mentioned earlier, both my son and I played the beta and between both of us we played all three classes of characters (but not every species) and leveled two up to the beta high of eight. All characters jump, heal fast, have their own special type of grenade, use floating (but ground-hugging) vehicles for fast travel, and have a little flying mechanical fellow that helps them out, gives them hints, etc. For an as-yet unknown reason, these little guys are called “ghosts.” Regarding physical weapons, all characters have access to the same multitude of weapons. I very much enjoyed many of the firearms, particularly the sniper rifle and the machine gun. These weapons come in different varieties, of course, which have different upgrades. All characters have a very satisfying punch attack; I’ll let you experience that yourself to understand what I mean.

Warlock Class. My son started with a Warlock class female, choosing the “Awoken” species. Warlocks are described as “mystic warriors.” Since the Awoken have swirly light lines on their faces and are the opposite of the Fallen (an enemy type) by name, it seems very appropriate that they be Warlocks. She used powerful purple swirling energy in her attacks while wearing a fairly hideous helmet.

Titan Class. I started out with a Titan Class human female. I love this character, as does my son. Titans use electric-looking attacks, and their special power area attack is awesome. This attack can kill just about anything in the radius of the Titan’s ground slam.

The special ability of the Hunter class: a short-lived but extremely powerful
The special ability of the Hunter class: a short-lived but extremely powerful “fire gun.” Image from Destiny game page at Amazon.com (copyright Bungie).

Hunter Class. I was able to get through level 6 of a male Awoken Hunter Class character before the beta closed down. The hunter seems to be basically an assassin. His first found weapon was a sniper rifle and his special power is a fire gun that seems to have the power of a rocket launcher. He has no area attack. However, the hunter has a nifty throwing knife trick.

II. Like, Love, or Meh?

What I like about Destiny so far

1) Game play with item acquisition.  Since I’m playing Destiny all the time, I must like something about it, right?  Well, yes.  But, a good part of my time playing isn’t due to how much I like the action, but how much I want to acquire or improve certain items.  Since the limited-time Queen’s Wrath activities had begun I’ve been doing a number of her bounties, and some missions, in order to gain her favor and her rewards.  I’m a bit tired now of doing the same bounties every day, but since I put this much effort into it already, I’m going to continue on to her 2nd reputation level in order to buy a special weapon from her emissary.  In order to reach the 3rd level of reputation in the time she’ll be around, a player would have to be very good at all aspects of the game and have the time to do all the types of bounties and missions.

Another temporary event, the Vault of Glass, hasn’t even been on my radar.  Well, it blipped once.  In order to do that limited-time event, you need to have 6 players, but the game doesn’t match people up for this event.  You have to build your own team and spend many hours doing the event.  I’ve seen a few rewards from it, and they’re awesome, but I’m just not into spending time getting people together to do that.  So, this temporary event should be in the “don’t like” section, but obviously temporary events will keep interest in the game up.  The game isn’t a draw in the way of role-playing, puzzle solving, or mystery, so it has to have a way to keep people coming back for more.

For me, it’s been pretty fun so far, but with the whole thing being about acquiring new and interesting clothes and weapons . . . it gets a bit old.  However, it does feel good to work for something and get it, even though it’s all virtual.  I think if anyone could work like that in real life and get those kinds of rewards, they’d want to.

2)  The look and feel of gameplay.  The game is stunning.  Really.  The detail in the environments is fantastic, and no doubt much is missed by the average player, but the weather, and lighting especially, are really great.  I love being in the game, basically, especially being on Venus.   There is much feeling in the control, too, with this game.  Punching, zooming along on your hovercraft, flying through the air – these are all just fun things to do.

3)  It’s first person, not third.  This is a part of the gameplay “feel,” but it’s significant enough to be a separate like.  Being in first person makes for a more personal game.

4)  There’s no gore, sex, or swearing.  I personally don’t mind some of those things (depending on how much and the context), but I know Christian players and parents might want to know about these things.  The characters you shoot do not “bleed,” but some of them do have something come out when you get a head-shot.  The Fallen have what looks like a purple vapor come out, and the Cabal have what appears to be black oil!  The Hive are undead and the Vex are mostly mechanical, so nothing special comes out of them.  If you’re going to become offended in the game, it will most likely be from selfish players you might run across.

What I don’t like about Destiny so far

1)  The ridiculous limit of characters you can set up to play.   You are limited to three, so right now, if you want to have more characters you have to have a second online account (through XBOX or Playstation).  Only three people in your family can have a character, and of course you can’t experiment with other characters unless you’re willing to delete the one you already started.  According to my son, this is a bogus limitation without any technical merit.  If you know differently, please leave a comment.

2)  Bungie’s “customer service” is simply atrocious, as in virtually non-existent.  They even have put down their XBOX customers down online (on Twitter, an XBOX help person even came onto a Bungie thread and helped XBOX players while their own staff continued to ignore them).  They would prefer to have only PS4 customers.  When an error message comes up while you’re playing, it says to go to Bungie help and search for a certain word.  I went there and there was NO explanation by Bungie of that error code, only people asking and complaining about it, since there’s no help.  This company can’t even do basic customer service things . . . at least that was true at the time I’m writing this.

Today, 10-7-2014, Bungie is doing a multi-hour fix so hopefully connectivity issues will improve, and at least they Tweeted about it to let people know.  EA has been a whole universe better about customer service and letting people know about downtimes (they put messages up IN-GAME), and even having information and help at their website.  Given EA’s past reputation, this should really be a kick in Bungie’s pants– but as can be surmised, they very much don’t seem to care.

3) The incredibly bare-bones story.  As in, virtually no story.  The story that does exist in game is of course used to explain why you’re on a bounty or mission, but it’s really just a shoot and loot type of game, at least so far.  Still, I look forward to writing more about the story in the future.

Right now it looks as though a basic good vs evil scenario was concocted–one that will have little chance of offending anyone.  If you’re a Christian you could lament the main mysterious but benevolent power, “The Traveler,” since it helped man progress materially.  The force it commands, “light,” seems like simply a force.  It uses its power to bring your character back to life, with no mention of where your soul was while you were dead (or how it “refleshed” you).  Destiny will have added content and is set to be a trilogy, so who knows what details will emerge about The Traveler and its power, and how they relate to the spiritual realm.

I need to mention something here that cracked me up when I found out and it has to do with Christianity–but the message seems quite mixed.  There is a very hard to get exotic machine gun called “Super Good Advice.”  It is obtained through the bounty called “A Voice in the Wilderness.”  Yes, John the Baptist’s message was “super good advice,” but, he didn’t shoot you dead with a machine gun in order to get his message across.  At first, I thought the developers were just having fun with saying something positive about Christianity, but now I’m not so sure.

Upon seeing the weapon’s color–red, white, and blue–and the description, “This weapon is full of it,” I think they could be using Christianity to put down America.  It could be just my inclination, but it seems to be saying that America, which seems like a Christian nation, really just likes to solve problems with violence.  I wouldn’t agree with that; I’d say that America manipulates through money, and that obviously, money is power.  There are times that morally, we should intervene on the behalf of innocent victims, and we don’t–the opposite of this gun’s possible message.

4) The lack of match-making by the game in order to play certain part of the game.  The need for self-made teams in order to win the best stuff, as mentioned concerning the Vault of Glass above, is obviously biased toward a certain range of players.

5)  Team members that act like they’re not part of a team.  Again, this is a shooting game, and good shooter players tend to be fast and in it for themselves (one person on my team yesterday was a completely selfish . . . ).  If you’re more like me, someone who likes to scout and snipe before jumping into things, the teams are not great and the multiplayer shooter is . . . nonexistent for me right now (my son and I play on one account so if you ever find us, you’ll see he does just fine in the Crucible multiplayer).  It would be a nice change of pace to be on a more none-autobahn-minded minded team (although, certain Destiny missions favor fast playing).  For that to happen, you need to put your own like-minded team together.

6)  As a shooter game, a significant amount of playtime is simply spent on shooting/attacking sub-bosses and bosses  . . . for a long, long time.  My son is faster at boss killing than I am so for him it’s not as bad.  I’m still trying to learn the difference in our play styles so that I can go through boss battles faster, but no matter how good you are, it’s still “busy work.”

Nice view of the Earth from the Moon, Destiny.
Nice view of the Earth from the Moon, Destiny.

____________ Recommended:  Bungie’s Destiny Unveiled [Updated]