A Destiny 2 Review, Almost.

IMG_3129If anyone takes the time to read this, especially hardcore Destiny players, you might want a stat sheet to make my opinion worth something of your time.

According to ‘Time Wasted on Destiny’ I had a total of 1250 hours implemented into Destiny 1; I had every single Flawless emblem from Trials of Osiris, almost 200 total Raid Clears, over 5350 Grimoire, every single exotic in the game, etc, etc, etc. I have done everything you can do in Destiny ten times over and then some. I don’t even consider myself a ‘Day 1’ player because I bought this game at Midnight on release and played it till the sun came up the next morning — I’m a ‘Alpha-Beta-Hour-1’ player.

When it comes to Destiny 2, I have already put in way too many hours…. I have three different class characters at max light, I’ve completed all the Nightfalls, (Prestige as well) I’ve been Flawless 4 times, completed the Normal Raid 11 times, the Prestige Raid twice, (once cheese at Calus & once legit) turned in 31 packages during Iron Banner, I have almost all the gear and weapons from the Faction Rally, etc, etc, etc. There isn’t anything in Destiny 2 that I haven’t completed, I’ve done-it-all.

There are 50 people in my clan and I am the last one to walk away from Destiny. For the last few weeks I’ve been pushing that there are things to do. Faction Rally is inbound, Iron Banner was coming, the Prestige raid… I really thought it would change my mind, but after today, for the first time ever I don’t want to play this game.

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Raid

Something that has been one of my favorites, if not my most favorite aspect of Destiny are the raids. Here we get a Raid that is awesome, literally awesome. I think outside Vault of Glass, this is in line with Wrath of the Machine. I’ve always said that the Normal Raid was the warm-up for Hard Mode… the real Raid, so it’s a good start. I can’t think of anything negative to say when it comes to the mechanics. If I had to get really picky there are a couple things, but I can live with it. So what’s wrong with it? The gear and weapons.

Raid Gear & Weapons

When you beat the Raid, you learn the mechanics making encounters faster, but you also get stronger with the gear it drops. In the past, all of the gear would have perks that adapted to Raid, weather it was moving faster or taking less damage… it enhanced certain encounters. It made them relevant, they were an absolute necessity.

The same thing came to weapons in the past with perks like auto reload, more damage on specific enemies, etc. Remember running certain parts of the Raid over and over again trying to get THAT one weapon? Remember getting excited because you FINALLY got the boots? That doesn’t exist anymore. The encounter is the encounter.

Everything with the Raid now is purely cosmetic, if you manage to get the gear to drop, it’s just a skin. None of the gear have perks, so if you get it to drop, it doesn’t matter. A few of the raid weapons are good, but there are replacements all over the board in every slot. You can play the raid start to finish and use no raid weapons or gear and be as-or-more relevant to everyone else on your fireteam. How does that make sense?

Raid gear should mean something, but it doesn’t. Raid weapons should be relevant, but they aren’t. Sure the Auto Rifle is legit and the Rocket Launcher is awesome, but there are equal weapons to them. Why run the Raid after you beat it? Before it was to complete your set, which had perks that meant something, now it’s just cosmetic. You might argue it was like that before, but there were still coveted exotic drop chances at bosses. Even more, you knew what dropped at certain encounters, RNG was still a factor, but you knew what to do and what you could get from it. That doesn’t happen anymore…

Now you get shiny tokens, but we will get to that later.

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Prestige Raid

This was the last new thing, outside of Raid Challenges that was left in Season 1 of Destiny 2. I really thought, for some reason, that things would change, but they didn’t. Beating it on Prestige with an LFG team legitimately was Hard and I was excited when I completed it… Still, there was a little salt at the end because there are so many game breaking bugs inside the boss encounter, but that’s another story I can’t even get into.

Is the Prestige Raid a significant bump from the Normal Raid? Yes.

Does the Prestige Raid feel like what it is (Hard Mode) intended to be? Yes.

Do I have any complaints about the new mechanics? No.

So what’s wrong with it? The same problem as before, the Raid gear and weapons are…. well…. nothing. For beating the Raid on Prestige you get the exact same gear, but with a cosmetic effect, and there are no Prestige weapons, nothing new to earn.

Basically Bungie took the Raid, made it harder, but gave you no purpose to do it. The damn Raid emblem is even a Blue/Rare. I mean, what a trolling mess.

You could argue that Raid challenges and Hard Mode in D1 were cosmetic, they were, adding ornaments is a cosmetic thing, a re-skin is a re-skin… but, you were adding them to gear that was relevant for the Raid. You were getting Raid weapons and gear that had perks, increased chances for exotics, etc. Heck, if you got a full set there was a special shader waiting for you at the Tower.

There was some sort of strategy — getting a full set with ornaments, getting the shader… it was an accomplishment; it was something to do and there was a straight path in doing it. If you were missing that one thing or that one weapon, you knew how to get it.

Now there’s no path, no perks, no special rolls, ships, sparrows, shaders — what you get is some tokens to roll the RNG machine.

Since the gear & weapons doesn’t enhance the Prestige Raid, you literally play for the emblem and then your done. I mean, it’s Week 2 of the Prestige Raid and none of my friends are playing anymore and LFG sites are dull like the game has been out for months and a new DLC is about to drop, except it isn’t.

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Nightfall

Something I use to do like clockwork was play my three Nightfalls every week. Why? For the first few weeks it’s an end-game activity, so you play it to max out your character and weapons. As soon as you hit that point where you are max light, you play Nightfall for the chance of exotics. I’d play every week to get a chance to get that Gjallarhorn to drop, the Ice Breaker or the Hawkmoon… even if I had the most coveted exotics, I still wanted to earn any that I didn’t have.

Playing with the burns depending on the week was awesome. Being able to fix-out your gear messing with the nodes to match the modifiers, building on different Tier 11 & 12 builds… it was stupid, but stupid fun. None of that exists anymore, you are forced into builds by selecting what I like to call a ‘super section,’ and none of the exotic weapons really feel special — so there’s nothing to chase. There needs to be highly-coveted exotics to get people to chase them in activities like the Nightfall. It just isn’t there.

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Weapons

One of the things I was most exited about was the fact that weapons had static rolls. Sure there will still be a META, *cough *cough MIDA & Last Hope, but there will never be that “you got a better roll then me” conversation ever again. Back in D1, if we were even PvP wise and you just happened to have that perfect roll, you had an advantage over me for no reason. Now, whoever has the better gun skill will win 9.5/10 times, not taking abilities and supers which of course come into play…. plus, it’s “team shot or no shot.” Now that I think about it, it may not even matter. There isn’t a lot of 1v1 anymore.

For the most part, if not all, I am happy with the weapons in this game when it comes to PvP. Where the problem lies is in the PvE aspect. The fact that there are no perks on the Raid weapons is a problem, the fact that most exotics don’t feel like exotics is a problem… where did that go? Why is it gone?

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Tokens

This may be the biggest headache in the game, but for some reason it also has a lot of potential as well — it’s strange. All tokens did was replace reputation. Now I can stack Crucible, Vanguard, Iron Banner, Faction Rally, Raid and Trials tokens and turn that ‘reputation’ into any character I’d like.

When it comes to that part of the game, from the outside looking in, I’m all for it, but why the RNG Slot Machine for certain parts of this game? All the content is not the same — running Strikes for a couple hours and turning in reputation is a lot different from the accomplishment of going Flawless or beating the Prestige Raid. There needs to be a difference.

The only aspect of the game where it makes sense and is implemented properly is Trials. If you win games and complete challenges you earn tokens which you can turn in and earn random weapons and gear. BUT if you win 3 & 5 Games you get a chance at a gear drop, 7 Games gets you a high level weapon drop (of your choice) and a Flawless run gets you a piece of guaranteed armor THAT YOU GET TO CHOOSE!

If you go Flawless every week, you will get the gear YOU WANT until you have a full set, because you earned it.

Why doesn’t this exist in the other end-game PvE aspect, the Raid? Since there is no loot table for the Raid and it’s all random, why not have the same thing as Trials? If you beat the Raid that week you return to the vender and he’s selling a couple pieces of armor which you GET TO PICK. You can turn in your tokens for an RNG drop, but the ‘completion’ aspect enables you to beat the Raid every week and then return to collect your reward the same way you do with Trials.

Doesn’t that make more sense? You have guaranteed items to pick up if you beat it. Trials already does this and it can easily be applied to things like the Raid and Iron Banner.

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Iron Banner

Now I feel like I’m beating a dead horse. Destiny 1 Iron Banner had a ranking system, Rank 1-5. Every time you leveled up a rank you earned a package and once you maxed out your Rank you had the option to buy certain pieces of armor and weapons that were available. This enabled you to get guaranteed items every time Iron Banner came around. On top of that you had the random chance at the end of the match to get Iron Banner gear to drop. It all made sense.

For example, the Iron Banner vendor would have the Helmet and the Chest piece at Rank 5. If I got my characters to Rank 5 I could guarantee myself those pieces if I didn’t get blessed with RNG. The next time the Arms and Bond would be sold at Rank 5, etc, etc. There was always a way to earn something and it was understood clearly.

What happens now? No rank, no Iron Banner loot at the end of matches…. just tokens. What can you do with these tokens? Turn them in like reputation and see what you get when you roll the RNG Machine. I turned in all my tokens on one character, my Warlock. 31 packages and I’m sill was missing a piece or armor and weapons. Others turned in 15 packages and got everything. Why?

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Trials of Osiris / Crucible

Honestly, I don’t have much to say about Crucible. Whatever the META is, just is. Weather it was shotguns, snipers, sidearms, MIDA, OP Titans or Warlocks….. there will always be a standard and you just have to adapt to it. Right now it’s something I like to call “team shot, or no shot.” There are no more clutch moments, no crazy 1v3 moments. It’s move as a pack and shoot as a pack.

What do I run in Trials right now?

I run my Stormcaller Warlock with MIDA, Last Hope & the Raid Rocket Launcher with a Pulse Grenade, Healing Rift and Arc Soul. Yes, I am that cancer and I will stay that way until I have to adapt to something else.

TMTR; Conclusion

If Bungie told me that I could make any changes I would want, here’s what I would do.

Raid – the Raid Weapons & Gear have perks that apply to the raid. This makes them relevant and something to chase. Also, make the Raid vender sell armor and weapons that rotate each week. If you beat the Raid you can buy one each week (same idea as Trials.) They will serve the purpose as they used to, something to make you stronger and beat the Raid faster due to these perks.

Examples:

Leg Armor would give you greatly increased speed while running in the Gauntlet.

Chest Armor would give you greatly increased resilience to Bathers in the Royal Pools.

Gauntlets would grant you a short time of invisibility after activating the spores from each flower in the Pleasure Gardens.

Helmet Armor would grant half the damage from Calus’ burns both on the ground and in the air in the Throne Room.

Raid Weapons is a whole other thing, there are endless possibilities…. People like to talk trash about the Scout Rifle, imagine if it had the perk of making Centurions flinch with precision hits. Having that enemy constantly stagger would be a game changer.

Prestige Raid – keep the re-skin theme with Normal Raid gear, but make it look like it got ignited with steroids. How would that work? Add shaders and ornaments to apply for beating and tackling all of the challenges. You should stand out.

Nightfall – bring back the burns the way they functioned in D1! Make it fun first for Normal, but make the Prestige hard. Also, give a special armor set that you can earn by completing the Prestige Nightfall every week along with three exclusive BURN exotics in the loot table. Something new to chase and showoff.

Weapons – create the new Gjallarhorn. We want that.

Tokens the tokens are not that much of a problem, they are just used in the wrong way. Treat everything like Trails when it comes to the Raid & Iron Banner. Allow me to turn in tokens for random RNG packages, but have vendors selling gear and weapons that rotate. This will guarantee certain pieces of gear and armor if you complete the tasks at hand. Make the tasks worthy of the rewards.

Right now there is so much to do in this game, but no reason to do it. It still seems strange to me how much Destiny 1 got better DLC after DLC. The difference between Day 1 of Destiny 1 and the last day was monumental. The fact that out of the gate there are changes that don’t make sense is concerning.

I guess I will be waiting to see what changes will be implemented with the new DLC at the end of this year…. I guess it’s time to hop on Fortnite.

Cheers,

Matt.

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