Friday, July 24, 2015

Destiny - "A Reflection, A Farewell"

This morning, out of sheer curiosity I logged into to Destiny on the PS4 just to see what Xur was selling. It's like a bad habit now. Regardless of the nature of this routine addiction I played through two weekly heroics with my Hunter, and Titan to get the strange coins I needed to buy whatever it was that Xur had in stock. The weekly heroic playthroughs went by fairly quickly, and smoothly on the level 32 difficulty setting, mostly thanks to void burn damage. As usual I was rewarded with 9 strange coins in each playthrough, and went to spend said tokens on Xur's stash. I should also note that someone at Bungie gifted my Titan 9 extra strange coins, possibly because I complained about the state of Destiny this morning. It didn't say it was from Bungie, but the tagline "gift from an unknown benefactor" pretty much stated the obvious. When I finally found Xur near the 'New Monarchy" vendor in the Tower (At the large sealed door) I discovered that he was peddling the same damn crap he always does. It's SSDD at it's worst. Regardless I nabbed some exotic chest armor for my Titan, and a pair of exotic gauntlets for my Hunter. Both of which will not likely be of any use for my preferred play style. As I went about my morning Destiny biz doing all of this some thoughts came to mind. Particularly about the current state of the game, and what it used to mean to me ...

I'll stand by Bungie, and Destiny as a gamer all day in saying that when you have a dedicated fireteam in-game the social aspect of Destiny is like no other. It makes the game the great experience that it seems to be, but mostly because of friends. When you take that social aspect away though, and peel away that positive portion of the game you are left with a grinding session that is outright repetitive, and a multiplayer experience that is growing more intolerable by the day. I had hoped that I could at least enjoy the Crucible more after Bungie sent me that personal email detailing their plans to ban offenders who were cheating their way to glory. For whatever reason though they have not put a dent in the problems that to this day still persist. This in itself is what made me tweet what I did to a friend this morning in regards to Destiny. I said to him that I seriously doubt I'll be buying the DLC, or any Destiny prequel that should arise. With Bungie's poor management of the available weapons, and the crappy Crucible experience this game is not going to get better. At least I don't believe it will.

The fact that many of my friends who were into Destiny are giving it up for one reason, or another points to the fact that Bungie is really losing the core audience it captured from the start. Sure they'll probably sell the DLC, and future sequels like hotcakes to all the gamers who are ruining the game, but in the long run those sales numbers won't matter as Bungie's reputation amongst legit gamers will be forever tarnished. When you are a game developer that provides a social/online experience it is imperative that you maintain it's integrity in order to secure the longevity of the franchise/series. Don't let the CoD crowd (aka, trolls, cheaters ...) flock in like some ungodly swarm of locusts, and steal the thunder from the game's hype. Legit gamers will flee from it like the plague. You can trust me on that as I've personally seen online games become virtual ghost towns, because nobody in their right mind wants to play them anymore. Even trolls, and mischief makers will leave a game when they realize there's no one to heckle outside of the other trolls.

As far as I'm concerned I'm throwing in the towel with Destiny. I'll invest my gaming time, efforts, and money elsewhere. I have had my fill of gaming grief. Even if I have to play offline RPGs only I'll invest in something that's better for me as a paying gamer. In saying that though I'm not trying to persuade you to do the same. Feel free to do as you see fit with Destiny. Maybe your experience is better than my own. I'm not here to judge you for it. This is merely my opinion, and the course of action I'm going to take in accordance to it. You can take my words as you see fit.

I think I'll leave it at that. I hope you enjoyed my heartfelt talk about a game I once admired, and that if you are a developer reading this article you seriously take into consideration what I've said in regards to online gaming. We need developers who don't take the money, and run. We need developers who will stand by, and support their games in order to ensure that they are fun to play.

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