The Average Gamer

Why I’m Not Buying the Destiny DLC

I really enjoyed Destiny. The minute-to-minute shooting is the best I’ve ever played. It’s fast-paced, it’s active and you get a good array of enemies that require different tactics. Each family of guns feels significantly different and affects the way you play. The planets are beautiful and have their own identity. The plot may be bobbins but playing Destiny is really good fun.

It’s just that every boss has about 15% too much health. This doesn’t sound like much but it’s enough to turn a challenging yet surmountable task into an ultimately tedious slog. Most boss battles are just fending off waves of the same attackers while firing as often as you can into the bullet-sponge boss. You have a team of three, so there’s little room for roles and tactics. Just run, shoot, dodge and resurrect your buddies. Hope your team doesn’t wipe when you’ve got him down to the last 5% because you’ll have to start all over again. I have personally shot my way through 3800 Fallen, 7900 Hive, and thousands more Vex and Cabal. Everybody told me that the game completely changes once you get beyond level 20. It does.

It change from XP grind to a slow and repetitive gear grind. You’re not even grinding for loot drops, really, though they do have those. Mostly you’re grinding for currency that you can eventually trade for gear after you’ve done around a hundred missions. The problem is that to earn much of this currency, you’ll be playing the literally six of the same strike missions (that’s dungeons to you MMO-players) you worked through to get to level 20. You don’t even get to choose which missions to play if you want the right currency – you have to work through a random playlist that might give you the same strike twice in a row.

I’ve killed the Archon priest a dozen times. I’ve taken down the Goliath tank, Valus ta’aurc and all his armoured minions a dozen times. I’ve destroyed that trio of Psion Flayers and their centurion buddies, I’ve waited patiently for Sekrion’s shield to rotate before I shoot him in the face and I’ve pumped millions of bullets into the gut of Phogoth The Untamed in The Summoning Pits. Each and every time Peter Dinklebot says “There’s no telling how far down we’ll have to go” as we descend into the fortress, I want to scream and smash him in his stupid ghosty robot eye with my Storm Fist. We were here an hour ago! Just go past that pair of Hallowed Knights on the left! How do you not remember?

Destiny_20141125161313Sure, there are modifiers that change the way you need to move and shoot. The Juggler only gives you ammo for weapons that you’re not currently wielding, so you have to keep switching guns. Others boost certain types of damage or change enemy behaviour so that you avoid or favour specific damage types. But that’s all that really changes. Swap out your blue damage gun for your orange damage gun and in the end, you’re still flying down the same canyon, shooting the same mobs, listening to the same unskippable plot lines.

Bungie have done a little to mix things up. The Queen’s Bounty missions were available for a while but you had to do yet more grind of the same six missions to earn the tokens to play those. You can choose higher levels for your strikes, but all this seems to modify is the amount of damage an enemy can take in relation to your level. Yes, there is the Crucible PvP section but I don’t enjoy multiplayer, so that’s no help to me. The most promising thing was the Vault of Glass raid, a high-level strike with added complexity. For that you need to coordinate a group of friends that are all level 26 or above and will commit a good few hours to complete it. Great if you’re a teenager or university student. Tricky if you and your friends have jobs and families and games that aren’t Destiny to play.

I gave up at level 23. I don’t care about the Archon Priest any more. I’m done with the Goliath tank. I kill them and I kill them and I kill them. They just keep coming back and my ghost companion is surprised every time. I envy his short memory.

Destiny’s first paid expansion will be released on 9th December. It’s called Destiny Expansion I: The Dark Below and will cost £19.99. Here’s the official list of features.

  • New weapons, armour and gear to earn, including Legendary and Exotic items
  • Light Level cap raised to 32 and five additional Bounty slots added
  • New story quests and missions – after years hiding amongst the Hive shadows, a new character, Eris, has come forth bearing an ominous warning: The Hive seek to summon a god, Crota, to destroy the Earth. Find Eris in the Tower to take on special quests that include three new missions where you will increase your Light and earn new rewards
  • New co-operative Strike, The Will of Crota, pits you and your Fireteam against Omnigul as she works to expand the Hive army at the command of her master, Crota.
  • Three new competitive multiplayer arenas.
  • Pantheon – set deep within the Black Garden in an ancient Vex temple that features Vex-designed landscapes and tight corridors.
  • Skyshock – an old interplanetary defence array that offers both vehicle and infantry engagements.
  • The Cauldron – an abandoned Hive ritual site that offers close-quarter combat.
  • New six-player Raid, Crota’s End, set deep within the depths of the Hellmouth.
  • PlayStation platforms will also get access to an exclusive co-operative Strike, The Undying Mind and an exotic weapon, and more (timed exclusive until at least Autumn 2015)

So that’s a few story missions that will probably bump me up a couple of levels and one new strike (or two on PlayStation). In other words, if I spend 20 quid on the PS4 expansion, when I want to improve my character I still have an 80% chance of getting one of the same six missions I’ve been playing all this time?

Nah, thanks. I’m out.