Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Destiny Update

Yesterday, after a significant wait for the latest update to launch it finally dropped, and I downloaded it with great expectation. I delved back once again into the immersive universe that makes up the Destiny lore hoping for the best. As one of Destiny's paying founders I was anxious to see if Bungie had redeemed themselves with this hyped mini-expansion. The teaser trailers, and studio commentary boasted like it was one of the biggest things to hit Destiny since it's release. The videos showed some fairly impressive new features, some of which have been long awaited by dedicated gamers like myself. I won't lie in saying that I was a little excited to see if these add-ons made sticking around for the long haul worthwhile. At this point Destiny was in desperate need of a revival. Both for the gamers who were invested in it, and for the developers who are pushing it.

One thing you have to understand about this latest Destiny update is that it is an "update". By that I mean it's not some major upgrade like that of a paid DLC expansion. Some of you might have thought of it like that, especially with the hyped teaser trailers, but I'm here to tell you now that it is just a beefy update with a significant amount of new features, and tweaks added in. Among the new stuff you'll find an expanded and altered 'Prison of Elders', a new Petra quest line, a new Varicks quest line, 1-to-1 equipment infusion, returning weapons, new 310 Varicks class gear (Hunter Cloaks ...), weekly crucible matches that drop one Sterling Package (via RNG), and gear that drops at higher light levels (even the blue rares). Other notable add-ons includes a Taken sword which can be earned via the Petra quests as well as a new Sparrow that can be earned via the new quests as well. There's also the new armor with heat sink perks that allow the adding of the Chroma, or colored light effects. When it comes to updates this one is no doubt one of the biggest no cost updates to be launched for a PS4 game, yet. With it being free for Taken King adopters there's really nothing to complain about.

While all of this is noteworthy, and more than welcome I still feel the teaser trailer hyped it up a little too much. It is still very much an update, and contains nothing substantial in the way of plot expansion. The new additions such as the level 41 Prison of Elders aren't really all that difficult with the right set of friends tagging along either. Even Petra's quest line seems too short lived. The fact that the new gear drops come in frequently, and so easily with some dedicated online and co-op grinding it only serves to leave those who rushed through it all to scratch their heads as they wonder what the hype was all about. Truth be told you could probably grind a full day, and get everything there is to get. You could probably even experience all there is to experience. This stems from the fact that all new features just add to Destiny's grind. That's all it does. It's about looting the game for new gear, and items. It is a given that there is a new Prison of Elders experience, and a new Reef guided quest line, but after you've done it you will return to the usual grind you are accustom to.

Those of you looking for a deeper story, or an expanded universe will be hard pressed to find it here. Outside of the introduction of Molock (or whatever the heck his name is) there's not much else added to the lore. Am I complaining about this. Nope. I'm simply stating the facts. Destiny has, and always will be about the grind. While certain story elements are there to give you vague purpose the game is more about the social experience. It's about gaming with friends, and fighting endless threats in a galaxy that is far, far away. I think that's what draws me, and everyone else that still plays Destiny back to the experience. We know the upgrades aren't truly expansive, but we like the social interactions it brings, and being able to do seemingly impossible tasks together in a vividly beautiful environment. I personally don't think Destiny will ever be big like a triple-A action adventure game where you play as an awesome hero in a fantasy world that is fully fleshed out, and ready to explore without the hassle of updates, always online requirements, and DLC to bother you. That's just not what Destiny is about.

I suppose the lesson I'm trying to teach is to go into this update realizing what it is, and don't expect something grand in scale. If you do/don't you might accidentally enjoy it for a while before 'Destiny 2' hits store shelves sometime in the near future. As for me I'm honestly on the fence about 'Destiny 2', but that's a story for another time ...

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