One Man’s Destiny: Year Three
With The Dawning event over and the paths to light level 400 set in stone, I thought it was time to look back on the Rise of Iron DLC and the impact Destiny has made so far in year three.
Rise of Iron brought new and returning characters to life, added an interesting story arc, and gave players all new areas to explore. There is a lot to love about the narrative elements in Rise of Iron. It is this focus on storytelling that has set Bungie games apart from their competition in the past. The campaign gave life/meaning to the faction known as Iron Lords and allowed players to dive deeper into a backstory of Destiny that they likely otherwise wouldn’t have experienced (unless you are caught up on your Grimoire cards of course).
The Rise of Iron story may not be the longest, but it is fun and – thankfully – a complete experience. It has some really great encounters and enemies to face. I found myself drawn in with each mission, pushing me to play even more. To keep the gameplay interesting after finishing the main story Bungie added quest lines to obtain some of the new exotic weapons. The Gjallarhorn and Khvostov quests give players more story elements to enjoy and more meaning to the weapons being collected.
While there is a lot to experience in this new DLC, it certainly was not as big of an impact as when The Taken King dropped. The enemies are slightly new takes on the same Fallen enemies that we have seen for the past two years. Some small changes to their battle mechanics, but nothing really groundbreaking. Servitors still shoot bombs and shanks still do not have a critical hit spot. If you played the game before, this will be ringing a bell. The Plaguelands were also added, a new Earth area to explore, but they are little too familiar to the earth environment that has been around since day one. Because of this it seems more like a reskin and less like the breathtaking experience that players had when jumping into the Dreadnaught to face the Taken King. And that seems to be the common complaint about year three of Destiny across the community.
And after getting past those awesome missions your reward is ending up with the same grind towards reaching the highest levels. At the end of the day the content was great, there just wasn’t a lot of it and that hurt the overall feeling of excitement.
One part of the game that certainly did not disappoint was the new raid.
Wrath of the Machine feels like a mix of the great aspects of all the past raids. My first play though felt like a whirlwind and found me enjoying every encounter more than the last. What it lacks in the length of a King’s Fall type experience, it makes up for with edge of your seat encounters that will leave you holding your breath. This time around Bungie’s raid design team focused a lot more on teamwork, rather than individuals tasked with completing one mechanic. Each part requires every member to be involved in the fight, meaning that everyone has the chance to be the hero.
The Hard Mode version brings even more of these aspects into the encounters. The updated mechanics add more intricacy for those hoping to build up to 400 light. But that’s not all, want to show off your raid prowess? The Challenge Modes allow you to earn ornaments that augment your armour, showing off what you have accomplished in Wrath of the Machine. This is a great addition to the reward system as it gives physical representation of what you have been able to achieve.
But unfortunately that is where the praise for ornaments in Rise of Iron ends, as they (and the constant battle with in game transactions) are the biggest miss in this DLC. Let me just start by saying that I do not mind the Eververse or the fact that there may be some cosmetic details added that players have the choice to spend their hard earned money on. My issue is with the timing and marketing choices. All of the promo materials for this expansion featured the use of ornaments, showing them off as a cool new way to customize your gear. But after paying the 40 dollars to get the game, you will find that you only have a chance to get one random ornament each week (RNG). I feel that when a consumer pays for an expansion all content within said expansion (as shown in the promos) should be free and earnable within that purchase. I shouldn’t be buying in with some locked content that needs to be further purchased (without fair warning). The path I would have preferred is to see all ornaments in the promo’s free, and then have Bungie release more over time that could be gained through in game actions (RNG is fine in this case), or purchased. The point is, free DLC with locked content is fine but paid DLC with locked content right off the bat is not. And for those thinking that getting one random ornament each week is a good alternative, it really depends on you RNG luck and patience.
But no game is perfect at launch and the great thing about Bungie is that they are still growing by listening to their audience. Some of my complains above have even been rectified to some extents through patches recently released. As I have said before, this is one of the feature that makes Destiny stand above other games that are sitting on my game shelf.
And I may be giving the game more flak than it deserves because all in all I have really enjoyed playing since the update. I have put in countless hours of time and loved working my way up to 400 Light Level with all 3 of my characters. I have gotten more than my money’s worth out of my time spent in game, and that is really all I can ask for.
I am still playing, and not just because I can’t seem to lock down Ice Breaker (RNG is not my friend). This is an interesting DLC that I would recommend anyone to pick up. There is a great bundle out now that includes the original game and all DLC, so if you have yet to check out Destiny, now is a great time to start!
What did you think of Destiny year 3 so far? What would you like to see improved? All Guardians – and future Guardians – are welcome to join the conversation in the comment section below!