One Man’s Destiny: Year Two
In year one the game felt like it had a long if way to go to reach its full potential. Moving into year two Bungie began finally fulfilling its destiny.
I was initially reluctant to purchase the Taken King DLC and follow Destiny into year two after my experience in year one. I don’t usually go back to games that I have left behind, so I was all but certain I would be disappointed. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
The Taken King added the biggest feature that year one lacked, a compelling story/characters. The Destiny universe suddenly felt full again and I became invested in following the story through to the end. Bungie gave life and personality to the characters in the social spaces, adding a much needed depth to the world.
It may have been the narrative that drew me back in, but it was the improvements to character progression that hooked me on the experience. Unlike year one, I could start off as a casual player and still feel that I was getting powerful weapons and growing towards max level. By not having to be a hardcore player from the start, the game kind of tricked me into slowly sinking more and more hours into it. Suddenly, and without realizing it, I was filling all of my game time with Destiny.
During that progression, Bungie featured timed events in-game to keep players entertained and coming back. Festival of the Lost, Iron Banner, Trials of Osiris, Sparrow Racing League, Crimson Doubles, essentially it seemed like Destiny always had something going on (for the most part anyways). This proved to be a very effective strategy to keep the game interesting even for those that had finished the majority of the content.
When I thought I had hit the peak of my time in game, I finally experienced a Destiny raid. I took the chance on a Destiny LFG (Looking For Group) site to find a fireteam. That was how I discovered that there are a lot of great people in the community willing to help others through the various team activities. This was my first interaction with the Destiny community and, while there are some questionable characters out there, it is a pretty great group of people. The Destiny Reddit is a perfect example of that. It features a ton of great content and advice from your fellow Guardians. Sure it’s not ALWAYS the most positive place, but what community is? There are so many ideas and pieces of information that it is easy to get sucked into reading posts for hours. Hands down it is the community that makes Destiny such a fun game to keep up with.
Teamed up with a mismatched group of people from all over the world, I was able to complete the Kings Fall raid. It was a thrilling experience, and I suddenly realized why people keep coming back to Destiny. This was the thing that I had been missing in year one. There are a number of different mechanics to learn to beat the encounters, and the difficulty level adds to the experience leaving you always on the edge of your seat. You have to carry your own to not let down the team, but it also requires your fireteam to work as one coherent group. Needless to say, it is a very satisfying activity to complete.
Though I was blown away with the changes from year one, The Taken King has still had its ups and downs. Bungie closes that gap by consistently listening to the players and making changes to improve the experience. That publisher-user communication is something that makes this game stand out. Sure some changes are better than others, and there are definitely times that they miss the mark. But the point is that they are trying, and that is more than what is done in most other games I have played. Communication is a big piece of the Destiny experience, and it feels like this aspect is something they are constantly improving.
A lot has been done to grow the Destiny experience in year two. Bungie is working to develop the game even further with the introduction of Rise Of Iron, their year three DLC. Part 3 of this series will focus on my first few weeks starting Rise of Iron and my thoughts on the outlook of the next chapter of Destiny. Watch for that coming soon!
Did you play year two of Destiny? Did it bring you back in, or were you one of the loyal fans since day one? Post your thoughts/story in the comments below!