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 Worried about Destiny length? You don't understand Destiny!!

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TheBlueOmen
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PostSubject: Worried about Destiny length? You don't understand Destiny!!   Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:04 am

Worried about Destiny's longevity or level cap? You don't understand Destiny


There are two games called Destiny around at the moment. Both of them are by Bungie. Both of them released last week. One of them is a soaring, confoundingly large, dizzyingly ambitious, and seamlessly realised MMOFPS. Refined yet intricate in its systems, immensely, endlessly gratifying in its combat, itís truly exciting in its long-term scope. The other is a short FPSRPG with a tiny level-cap, that youíll finish in a day.


But only the first of these games really exists. The other is a hallucination, fabricated via a jabbering combination of under-researched misinformation, knee-jerk reactions, and standard-issue internet cynicism. Itís a hallucination that an unfortunate proportion of the gaming populace seems to have bought into over the last week, propelled seemingly in part by an unfortunate proportion of early (far too early) online impressions of the game.

Now youíll notice that GamesRadar still doesnít have a scored review of Destiny up yet, over a week since the game launched (though you can read my ongoing review diary here). Thereís a very good reason for that. Itís still too soon. Itís too soon to appraise Destinyís full potential as the evolving, long-term prospect it was conceived as. Itís too soon to properly appraise Destinyís current content. Itís still too soon to have even played its current content. Those early verdicts from writer and gamer alike, erroneously shrieking about its low level cap, basic systems and short story? They came from people who hadnít comprehended Destiny, not really. They came from confoundedly wrong perspectives of a game not understood, viewed as something it is not, and judged by criteria irrelevant to its nature.

Because to judge Destinyís story as short--and it really isnít--is to surmise a gameís quality based on the experience you had playing through its tutorial. To appraise Destinyís content as lacking is to determine a house to be small, having viewed its interior only through the keyhole of the front door. And to state that Destinyís level cap is too low, and its scope for achievement and progress stunted, is to flat-out state that you havenít bloody played the thing and should really shut up right about now.


Because Destiny really does only start once you hit level 20. Because Destiny is a far cleverer, far bigger, and far less finite game than some are choosing to give it credit for. It doesnít communicate its full breadth of horizons to start with, but it ultimately bears very little resemblance to the standard, linear, AAA shooter. Nor do its RPG elements make it simply Halo with levelling. Its scope goes much wider than that. It isnít a mook-grinding, loot-grabbing, Borderlands 2.5 either. Its focus is much more precise, and intricate than that.

What Destiny does with its Ďmainí story is craft a smart, sympathetic segue through which players only familiar with traditional FPS can graduate from the land of A-to-B shooting to the wider world of the more malleable, expansive action-MMO. The true game--not the pure shooter, or even the shooter with loot drops, but the true game--only starts to reveal itself between levels 16 and 20. Rare loot begins to appear relatively frequently from 16 onwards. That loots starts to appear with extra stats you wonít have seen before. Stats for Intellect, Discipline and Strength. Stats that youíd been aware of, but never understood until this Ďlateí stage of the game.

Then youíll come to understand those stats. And youíll come to understand that theyíre the first building block in really customising your character. Youíll learn that each stat boosts the cooldown on one of your special abilities. And if you really think about it, youíll then realise this means that deliberately combining different pieces of armour with different elements of your skill-trees will create feedback loops, causing skills and buffs to resonate with each other to create even more powerful effects.

And still, this is just intro-level stuff.


Get closer to level 20, and youíll start getting weapon and armour-drops with additional, increasingly creative properties, via their own skill-trees. Guns that save ammo on missed shots. Helmets that recharge character-abilities faster when you kill certain enemies.Guns with double-powerful ammo in the second half of their mag. Guns that draw faster. Gauntlets that cause even more powerful cooldown loops, especially if you combine them with the right gun, Intellect, Discipline and Strength stats. And weíre still just getting started.

Hit the Ďlevel-capí that everyone is moaning about, and youíll discover that you have now completed Destinyís tutorial. Congratulations. Welcome to the big leagues. By the way, there are now a load more game systems to learn.

Now you can start buying the Rare and Legendary gear that does all this stuff. You can more actively pick and choose the combinations and abilities you want. Exotic gear is coming too, later down the line, and the good Lord only knows what that will do. But you canít just buy this stuff. Even if you accrue enough of one of the four new, functionally distinct currencies, you still have to have a high enough reputation with the vendors first. That means having high enough Crucible and Vanguard XP ratings from PvP and PvE. And whether you go to the general store owners or the class-tailored faction vendors--whose stuff offers the potential for killer buff feedback loops, as long as you commit your progress to the cabal in question--youíll only get those from completing Bounties, the Achievement-style challenges you ignored as a pointless diversion before level 20. Surprise! Theyíre fundamental to the whole damn thing, and you never realised Ďtil now.


But havenít we already hit the level cap at this point? Oh yeah, sorry, I didnít mention. Destiny just starts using a new leveling system after 20, based on the amount of Light your armour is carrying. Light is another new property that only appears after level 20, and it will take your level as high as you want to go if you can acquire the right stuff, long-term. Iíve seen level 28s running around already. Iím at 24 and-a-half myself, after more than a week of solid play.

But why bother continuing to level up if the game is over? Well, as should be searingly predictable by now, Destiny is--everybody sing it with me--just getting started. Because you now have access to high-level, ludicrously challenging Strike missions, designed for a mandatory three players. And you can remix those previous story levels with new difficulty, new enemies, and a whole bunch of abstract gameplay modifiers. And then a little later, youíll unlock in the Nightfall missions. These come in daily and weekly flavours, refreshed respectively, and combine high challenge with game-mod lunacies, such as enemies having higher defence, quirky immunities, and being more susceptible to certain elemental weapons. The very same elemental weapons I havenít even got access to at level 24, because I havenít got the crafting system rolling yet.

And then there are the full-blown Raids--the first one of which is only releasing today--which promise to provide, if not the long-term backbone of Destiny, then a great deal of the vertebrae. There are few details on these yet, but they are going to be big, they are going to be hard, and they are going to demand a team of six players before they even let you try. Thereís talk that Raids being tested out at Bungie incorporate new platforming, puzzling and problem-solving elements not seen anywhere else in the game so far, and can take anywhere from 3 - 16 hours to complete, depending on how smart your team is. Todayís Raid has a recommended starting level of 26. Just to get through the door. Of Destinyís first ever Raid.


You see why Iím not reviewing Destiny yet? And why Iím wary of anyone who has? You see why Iím waiting at least until Iíve played the first Raid? You see why, even then, Iíll be reluctant to stick a number on the end of the words, knowing that there are three free content expansions dropping into the game world over just the next six weeks, before the first big DLC arrives later this year?

I write a lot of reviews. I know how long they take to craft. I know how long they take to upload to a website and design as a page. So I can take a good guess at how much play-time I can take off any Destiny verdict already delivered. And so far theyíve all come too soon. Hell, a Destiny review that landed today would still be too soon. Look out for mine some time around the end of the week.

No, it might well not be the first one you read, but I donít care about that. On a game like Destiny, Iím not interested in chasing the perceived traffic win that supposedly comes inherent to the first review to hit the Ďnet. Iím interested in really understanding this game, getting it right, and telling you what you really need to know. I understand why others havenít taken that route, but if Iím investing this much time in playing Destiny and communicating it to you, I want to make sure that we all get the maximum value out of that experience. That sound fair?

(Quick spoiler though: Destiny is brilliant)

[Via: GamesRadar]

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PostSubject: Re: Worried about Destiny length? You don't understand Destiny!!   Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:06 am

Interesting view on Destiny compared to what seems to be a negotiable view on destiny so far. Do you agree with what he's said?

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PostSubject: Re: Worried about Destiny length? You don't understand Destiny!!   Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:29 am

Some fair points, but truthfully destiny just doesn't look interesting to me, and the lack of private lobbies is probably the biggest turnoff for me. I care about shooters, I really don't care all to much for the RPG/MMO aspects of the game, and I feel most of the people playing Destiny don't either. Destiny in my opinion is being very overhyped, and I predict it will meet the same fate as titanfall where people are obsessing over it one day, and its dead the next.

I could be wrong, but I definitely have no interest in getting Destiny. No private lobbies = No competitive play, and it kind of defeats the purpose of having clans, teams, etc when you can't play against eachother unless you randomly match with them.
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PostSubject: Re: Worried about Destiny length? You don't understand Destiny!!   Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:01 am

Loving Destiny!

Great method of leveling up past 20.

The strikes are great fun with friends and can't wait to be able to do the raids (lvl 22 atm).

PvP is so unbalanced it's not even funny, but even then you can just hit it for bounty purposes.


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PostSubject: Re: Worried about Destiny length? You don't understand Destiny!!   Sat Sep 20, 2014 12:10 am

Agree with everything in that. In having more fun now at lv 25. I just wanna do the raid! 😝 I actually really like the crucible. Its not unbalanced at all you just need to know how to play it. Hehe. 😉 I was so bad until I realised how to do it(I'm actually still bad). I'm looking forward to the iron banner event when the your armour and weapon levels and upgrades matter. Awwww yeah!
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PostSubject: Re: Worried about Destiny length? You don't understand Destiny!!   Sat Sep 20, 2014 12:40 am

Do you not think that your doing better in the Crucible because you've got better gear Skimp? LOL Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Worried about Destiny length? You don't understand Destiny!!   Sun Sep 21, 2014 5:35 am

Nope. For every kill I get I tend to get killed as well. 😋 Gear makes no difference as its all balanced. I think the only thing that does matter is your subclass skills.
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PostSubject: Re: Worried about Destiny length? You don't understand Destiny!!   Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:30 pm

They were making the point over at Gamespot that the Legendary weapon fire rate is way higher than that of a common weapon... That sort of thing makes a massive difference.

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PostSubject: Re: Worried about Destiny length? You don't understand Destiny!!   Today at 11:16 am

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