Monday, September 15, 2014

Destiny - my thoughts

So I'm about 6 hours into Destiny, it's been okay. A famous quote from someone at Bungie (which I'm probably misquoting) is that they strive for 10 seconds of fun and repeating that over and over. And the game succeeds at that. The core mechanic is fun and it feels right.

Unfortunately, the fun isn't all that the repeat over and over.

Echoing what undoubtedly every other publication has already said is that the recycling of content and the bland generic mission design within that content is a huge problem. The last game that so blatantly recycled content that I can remember was Dragon Age 2 and it got critically panned for it. 

Unlike other MMO's the game only has a few zones and these zones like an MMO spawn the same groups of enemies and the same locations over and over. Your few missions take place in between these random mobs. Everything you do gets you XP and sometimes loot (see below.)

And it is an MMO, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Not in the way that the game forces you to group but in a way that the game is simply a lot less fun without others. Don't solo this game, just don't do it. This isn't like Halo where you have groups of AI marines to back you up. Playing solo just makes you feel alone and the respawn mechanic actively punishes you for this. So why is there no open game mode where you can drop in to someone else's game or they can drop into yours. Not unlike Diablo 3. If you know your game is a miserable experience solo, what do you care that sometimes there is a level difference or that some people may have to play through a mission twice?

It's also a loot game, but the loot sucks. For all the examples out there like Borderlands, Diablo 3 and the piles of MMORPG's out there. How hard is it to design a loot system that actually encourages the grinding that your levelling structure demands? I'm level 8 but am still wearing level 4 boots as I haven't been able to find nor buy a pair of boots anywhere. ANY boots, better or worse.

I played a few matches of Crucible, it was hideously unbalanced. I stopped caring about it pretty quickly. This is not Halo's multiplayer, it's trying to emulate pretty much every other generic shooter out there. No tactics, poor level design and one hit kill weapons abound. 

Will I finish the story? Probably, if I can find people to play with. Will I uninstall this pretty soon afterwards? Very likely. Is this the game were were promised? Not by a long shot....

After a number of patches from Bungies side to improve the loot situation and finding a bunch of goons to play with I did manage to stick it out till hitting level 27 and indeed finish the story.

Now, mid November, as the torrent of games has started I've finally said my goodbyes to Destiny.