Friday, May 22, 2015

Destiny - House of Wolves (PS4)

It has been a while since I even bothered to touch Destiny, or dedicate any amount of serious time to it. To me it had lost it's appeal long ago when my fireteam members sought other friends to game with, especially when they had left me in the dark during the Crota raid expansion. To be fair though it was also partially my fault as I slowly, but surely drifted away from the game, because of the stress it caused as well as the late nights spending 5 hours trying to defeat a raid boss. Looking back through my articles I realize that the game made my yearly "Top 10" list shortly after launch, but in seeing that I know that's when the friendly co-op was going strong, and when the social aspect of the game was at it's funnest. What you have to realize is that Destiny made my yearly 'Top 10' list, because it was the perfect social experience, at the time. It got friends together, and helped people form online relationships with people they'd never known before. I actually met some Awesome friends through it. For that reason I'll always have a soft spot for the game's social features ...

Outside of the social portion of Destiny though, when you begin to experience the important parts of the game with randoms things begin to take a nasty turn. In fact, today while playing the new "Prison of Elders" arena within the "House of Wolves" expansion I was stranded at wave three after two random players bailed on me. I was pulling more than my weight, and these two jerk wads just couldn't do a damn thing right. Just when I was about to call it quits myself two new randoms who knew what the hell they were doing joined me, and together we were able to beat the rest of the five rounds. This example is unfortunately just a drop in the bucket of the issues that plagued the past, and present build of Destiny.

Other problems, the more generic ones, include a matchmaking system that in no way serves the needs of every gamer who plays the game. Not all gamers are going to be able to find that dedicated fireteam that will help them to achieve online greatness. At the same time not everyone is going to want to chance an important battle with randoms. What Bungie should have done from the start was to give players both options for every online co-op feature, or game mode type in case they didn't have one of the options to turn to. Sadly, even into the 'House of Wolves' expansion this issue still persists. Today, when the 'Trials of Osiris' began, for example I was not able to find a single friend who was willing to join me. This is partially, because my listed PSN friends are on a different time schedule than me. With out said company to tag along I could not enter the Trials at all due to the fireteam requirement. I personally need someone who can play during the day, and that doesn't require late nights to get things done. That has yet to happen.

As far as the "House of Wolves" expansion goes it turned out to be a 3-ring circus on social media, and the internet for warranted reasons. For months Bungie has built up the hype of the game through weapons, gear, and mode leaks along with the epic teaser trailer which once again introduced the Awoken Queen into the story. When the release day came upon us though, and everyone was able to get into what the story, and it's expansion featured they found utter disappointment. The main campaign was easily completed in a short period of time (some say an hour) with the only challenge being the number of lesser enemies you had to face off against. Speaking of said enemies I went on a rant for that very thing. In the trailer we were presented with a supposedly all powerful new enemy. The in-game narrative even tried it's hardest to make you believe this lie.  However when we actually confronted him in-game his cowardice, and shield of enemies that he used to overpower the guardians made him the cheapest boss, and easiest encounter within the history of Destiny. Crota was even more of a badass, and difficult than Skolas.

Another thing that was disappointing beyond the hype deflation, and the short lived campaign was the fact that there was little else to do. Sure the "Prison of Elders" opened up when you completed the campaign, and the emissary's handful of bounties, but even that was limited in providing the bountiful extra content we were promised. On top of that the way things are setup makes the grinding requirements ten times as difficult as before since you'll have to repeatedly brave the "Prison of Elders", and it's other conjoined arena modes in order to gain the reputation to get new stuff from the Varkis vendor. Furthermore the Queen's Emissary has yet to offer up any more of her bounties so that gamers can earn the extra gear, and items that she carries. Along with those letdowns the "Trials of Osiris" crucible game type started today, and it looks to be a weekend only event. An event which will require a dedicated, and focused fireteam that can be there for you. To add salt to the already mile wide wound you will more than likely be going up against cheaters, and modders who have become increasingly commonplace since the launch of the game. I don't actually mind it being a weekend only event, and that a fireteam is required, but if it's going to be a futile attempt due to the cheaters I'd rather be paired with randoms in hopes that my teammates are modding bastards.

At this point I'm finding myself once again disappointed with the way the developer has handled things, and with the fact that no one in a seat of online authority is doing anything noticeable about the cheating that is ruining Destiny's competitive gaming experience. If Bungie were to release "Destiny 2" at the end of this year I would definitely not buy it at launch, because of what I've experienced during my time with the online portions of Destiny. I don't care how cool they make it seem, or how Awesome the trailers are, because quite frankly nothing they've teased has lived up to the hype. A gamer would have to be a punch drunk fool to keep buying into a game series that continues to fail at living up to the gamers' expectations. That is of course how I feel about. You are in no way obligated to agree with me, and are welcome to have your own opinion. In fact I welcome it in the comments below. I just hope Bungie realizes the issues plaguing the game before it's too late, and that they do something about it as well as work to stop the cheating that is taking place in the competitive portions of the game.

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