On paper, Destiny sounds like the perfect game for me. It’s developed by Bungie (the same studio that created Halo, one of my all time favorite game franchises), it’s a loot grabbing, party based shooter, and you can literally spend thousands of hours playing it. Why then do I despise this game?
I’ve never been much of a Destiny player. It’s very much focused on you finding 2-5 friends online (there is no split screen feature), and teaming up with them whenever you play in order to defeat the tougher levels and enemies. The sheer number of foes to battle, as well as their massive hit point pools, makes it almost impossible to play the harder sections by yourself. Teaming up is vital. I don’t have a group of online friends that I game with like that, so I’ve never been able to enjoy that aspect of Destiny. That isn’t where my problem with the game stems from, however. I understand that there are many many people who do play games like that [with online friends], and while I respect that, that’s just not my thing. If that were my only issue with Destiny, then I’d just chalk it up to me not enjoying that kind of game, and move on. What my issue actually is, is the way that the Taken King expansion basically gives players like me, who try their best to enjoy Destiny as much as they can without finding random strangers to play with, a giant middle finger.
I’ve never beaten a raid. The fact that there is no matchmaking for the raids, and that I don’t have a dedicated group to play with, means I likely never will. There was one time when I used the third party Looking For Group website, but the group I found myself in was not friendly to someone who had never beaten the raid before, and we all quit somewhere about halfway through because it just wasn’t fun. Because of this experience, I would mostly just play strike missions (3 man missions that DO have matchmaking). Sometimes I’d hop on the mic and communicate, but it wasn’t necessary unless you had the difficulty jacked up incredibly high. In this experience, it was more like playing with two very smart AI characters, rather than just two random people. This was my preferred way to play Destiny, and I was pretty content with that until the Taken King expansion came out.
When I first bought Destiny, I bought the season pass that came with it. It was $30, plus the $60 for the base game. So right off the bat, I paid $90 + tax for Destiny and the first two expansions. As I said earlier, I don’t have a group to raid with, so I would just stick with the story missions and strike missions. This style of play still netted me relatively good loot, so I was satisfied. Now that the Taken King is out though, all of the available strike missions that released before TK are all bumped down to an “Easy” rating of level 20. My character is level 34. This means that even if I were to go play strike missions all night long, I wouldn’t be getting very good loot, which is imperative to leveling up and improving your character. Yes, there are story missions from before TK that go all the way up to level 30, but you never get great loot for completing them, and the story before TK isn’t worth replaying in my opinion anyway. Once you’ve beaten them, you can either play them again and again at the same difficulty, or you can bump them up to the 240 light level, which seems impossible to attain with my lowly pre-Taken King version of Destiny.
So my $90 investment in this game has me stuck playing all “Easy” strike missions, with no option to increase the difficulty and rewards that I receive for completing them. I’m expected to fork over another $40 for TK if I want to continue to enjoy the game at all. Why? This feels like a punishment for buying the game at release. Someone who has never played Destiny before in their life can right now purchase the base game, and every expansion that has ever released, for $40. These people who have not supported Destiny at all since launch, can now enjoy it even more than me, a day one player, for $100 less than I would have to pay.
I know that you run a certain risk when you’re a day one adopter of anything. For games, you’ll likely experience bugs and technical issues, and get boned on the price. For hardware, such as new consoles, you might experience even more serious bugs. It’s just the way the industry works. That isn’t where my issue stems from, however. I’m upset at the fact that Bungie has nerfed all of the missions that I paid $90+ for, and my only way to keep enjoying Destiny is to hand this greedy company even more of my money. Even If I do that, how long will I be able to enjoy the TK before ANOTHER expansion releases, and all but locks me out of the game yet again?
I’m not asking for free content. If I wanted to play the Taken King, I’d have bit the bullet and bought it. I just want to keep being able to play and enjoy the part of the game I HAVE paid for.