The Beginning of Year Four

Destiny, part 21

For the past 3 years, we’ve been starving for the kind of content that Destiny 2 has brought with it.  Ever since Tuesday night it’s been quite the feast in terms of the story content and lore that Destiny 2 contains.  Year Four has started with a bang and now that I’ve started to come down off the high from the game, and the fact that I finished the main story quest last night, I think it’s time for me to voice my thoughts.

Eins

First of all, I’ll talk about what I didn’t like.  I didn’t like the fact that I lost 3 years of work because of the Cabal, however I understand the need to have everyone start over on a level playing field and I think this story idea was a great way to do that.

I’m not real sure how I feel about shaders and weapon mods being one time use things.  If I happen to want another shader that I currently have I’m guessing that I’m at the mercy of RNGeezus if I want another.  I know that I can buy some from Tess Everis at Eververse, but I think the selection is only 3 and you need Bright Dust in order to buy them.  I’m also not thrilled that I have to use Glimmer to apply a shader, but at least I actually have something to do with my Glimmer now.  I’m very happy that they seem to have removed any sort of cap you had on how much Glimmer you could have.

I’m not sure how I feel about Strikes not appearing on any of the maps unless I just haven’t progressed far enough into the game to have that happen yet.  If they don’t I guess it’s ok.

I don’t like that the Roster (people that are currently in the game) has been moved to a screen in the Director.  Having to re-learn the menus is a bit annoying.

For the time being I don’t really like that you can only infuse weapons of the same type (like you can’t infuse a sidearm into scout rifle even if the light level is higher.)

Zwei

Now on to what I love about this game.

I feel like the main story quest wasn’t too long and wasn’t too short.  I think it was just right and it feels like it’s going to be the first in a very long line of good stories to be told in the Destiny universe.

Leveling up to the cap (which is currently 20) was relatively painless and fast compared to Destiny.  I also love that the skill tree for each subclass can be filled out with little to no fuss and not hours and hours of grinding.

I love that my Collections of things (such as Exotics) is all contained in your Vault.  This is going to make looking at everything so much easier and faster.

I love that your Emblems now go across the top of the screen as well as showing up in the Fireteam list.

I love the fact that you can apply shaders to EVERYTHING now, so that no two Guardians end up looking the same. I just hope there are a lot of ship varieties this time around as I don’t want to be looking at the same ship over and over while in orbit.

I love how buttery smooth and fast all the menus run.  I love that the Director now lets you go where ever you want without having to go back to orbit all the time.  I also love that each planet has it’s own explorable map now and the environments are HUGE and artistically dazzling.  Nessus so far is my favorite of them all.

I never get tired of seeing that Milestone animation appear at the bottom of the screen!  Gorgeous!

The music is, once again, so good that I bought the sound track as soon as it was available.

Drei

And now for my thoughts on the main story.

If you’ve gotten this far, please be warned that I’m about to talk about SPOILERS.

At the beginning of the game, seeing our home in flames and ruined was disheartening.  It definitely made me a little sad/angry and motivated me to get revenge on whoever did this.  I had a feeling from the get go that The Speaker was dead as soon as I saw the ruins of his section of the tower, so it wasn’t really a surprise that he ended up dying at the end of the game.  The last thing that he said before he died still sticks with me: “I never said it spoke to me.”  Mind = blown.  In the three years that I’ve been playing this game, it never once dawned on me that The Traveler didn’t actually speak to the Speaker.  Watching him slump to the floor on Ghaul’s ship and seeing his mask fly off and skitter across the floor, you knew that he was gone.  Sadly, now we’ll never know what he looked like under there.

After the last city is attacked and the tower is destroyed, it was extremely uncomfortable watching my character suffer the way he had.  And then, you managed to find your Ghost.  The logical side of me realizes that it’s just a plot device to drive the story but another part of me wants to believe that it is serendipity that I found him.  I’m going to guess in the two days that I was unconscious after unceremoniously being shoved off Ghaul’s ship that Ghost is actually the one that found me; my unconscious form laying in a heap on the ground.  To be lost and cut off from everyone and everything is a kind of personal hell, one that I feel that I know intimately.  But when you’re going through hell, you keep going.

Fuck yeah Winston!

Once we found each other it was time to leave home and try to make our way in the world.

My poor Ghost

Fortunately not long after escaping the city we run into new friends in the form of Hawthorne and her falcon and we go to our new home: The Farm.  Far out in the European Dead Zone (the EDZ for short) there is a shard of The Traveler and near it is an old ruined Farm that has – for the time being – become a home for the remnants of humanity.  It is here that we make our way to the piece of The Traveler and regain our Light.

This definitely emphasizes the ‘chosen one’ shtick that this game and others like to use, but it poses several questions that I doubt will ever get answered.  One of these questions is, if I can regain my light from this shard, why can’t the Vanguard?  Zavala, Ikora and Cayde all seem very melancholy now that they’ve lost their powers and their Ghosts and their connection to The Traveler and the Light.  But why?  Why was I granted my powers back and not them?  It also seems very jarring to me, story wise, that they’re pretending like I’m the only Guardian with light left in existence.  Did they mean to write the script like that?

Anyway, after helping Hawthorne and her friends for a bit we finally find a signal from Zavala on Titan, and this was where the planet hopping goose chase started.  I was glad that I didn’t have to spend ridiculous amounts on time of any of the other planets in the system if I didn’t want to, so all I did do was the main story on each one.  Zavala was ready to fight, Cayde was a bit foolhardy as usual and Ikora was really kicking herself and feeling let down.  I think once she saw that I had the light back and she didn’t, she took it as a personal offense or somehow made her feel unworthy of even still being alive.

I was kind of relieved that I didn’t have to do a lot of arm twisting to get the 3 of them back together again.  It was nice seeing them at the Farm for the short while that we were all there, it made the place feel like it could be home and made it feel intimate in a sense.  I loved it there.

Once we had the three of them back together we had a new and even more terrible problem to deal with besides Ghaul and his occupation: The Almighty.  The Almighty is the Red Legion’s super weapon and their answer for dealing with systems that refuse to bend to their will.  They simply take this massive ship and point it’s “gun” at the star of whatever system they’re in and made it go supernova.  When I heard that this thing was pointed at our Sun, I immediately felt the weight of the world, albeit briefly.  I felt like complete and total failure was a chance and I definitely felt that stakes were getting higher by the minute.  I was kind of let down by how easy it was to sneak on board the thing and take out that gun but I was certainly relieved when it was over.

Once taking out The Almighty was over, it was time to take back the city.  The Vanguard, realizing their own mortality, decided it was either do or die and I was so happy to have them on my side.  This level was very bittersweet as I got my wish from years ago: I got to see the last city up close and personal, finally.  Too bad that most of it was in ruins.  After taking out all the Cabal along the way it was time to fight Ghaul.  I both liked and disliked the fight.  Killing him was relatively easy, but once he was dead, he was dead.  He didn’t pull an Oryx and suddenly vanish only to be trouble later on, there he lay dead on the machine he was using to drain the light from The Traveler.

I was both awed and pleased by what happened next.  As Ghaul’s body lay dead, his “light form” emerged from his corpse and began to mouth off to The Traveler.  I noticed that cracks had begun to form in the cage that surrounded The Traveler and I – along with everyone in the Destiny community – got what we’d been waiting for.  The Traveler woke up!  It shattered the cage and without breaking a sweat, Ghaul was smited right out of existence.  After about 16 hours over the course of two days, I had finished the main story quest in Destiny 2.

You’ve certainly made ME proud Bungie.  You did real good kid, real good.

Once the credits were done rolling, we were treated to one last cut scene.  When The Traveler woke up, a shock wave was sent out into the universe.  First covering Earth, then reaching out to The Reef, then Saturn, then the Kuiper Belt and beyond the bounds of the Milky Way galaxy.  Far out into the darkness of space, the shock wave briefly illuminated something.  What this something is, I have no idea.  What I do know is that we’ve attracted the attention of something.

And it looked like this

Whatever they are, I think it’s something they’ve had planned for a while because that’s concept art from the first game.  I guess in time we will learn whether they are friend, or foe.

I was/am very, very pleased with the game as a whole so far.  There’s so much to do that I don’t think I’m going to have any problems finding something to do like I did with the original.  I think this game fixes everything that was wrong with the first game.

Hey big guy, have a nice nap?

But seriously, The Traveler is awake now?  This is HUGE.  Maybe the Vanguard will get their Ghosts/abilities back?  Maybe a new Golden Age will happen?  Maybe more awful things will come in search of it?  Only time will tell.  I’m both excited and terrified to see where this goes.

I was also a bit bummed out that after all was said and done that we ended up with a brand new Tower as a social space.  I really like The Farm and I hope that they continue to use it for something.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the new digs, and I love that it’s fucking huge compared to the old one (I really really hope that they decorate it for Halloween again this year) I just feel like with a new Tower, The Farm is going to go to waste.  I hope that Bungie proves me wrong.

The new Tower, right next door to the old one.

In closing, I think that Year Four of Destiny is going to be the best year yet!

2 Comments

  1. I also just finished the campaign and hit level 20. I’m in complete agreement on the shaders thing; customisation was a big deal for me in D1 and to find that I’m losing glimmer and the shaders themselves to do it now is really disappointing. I like the idea of weapon mods, but not having the ability to withdraw them and apply them to different gear in the future seems unnecessarily frustrating in a game that is about turning over loot. I hadn’t realised the infusion system had changed either… also disappointing.

    I’m with you on all the positives you mentioned, and loved the fact that there was a central narrative to hang the universe on. Perhaps there are post-game missions that I haven’t encountered yet, but I felt that whilst the length was good there was so much that could have been fleshed out at each point. Can’t have it both ways I guess.

    Those last three or four missions felt pretty special and reminded me of Titanfall 2. Quality stuff! The only things I’d pick on in terms of that initial playthrough was the lack of a harder difficulty option for experienced players and Ghaul’s AI. I felt that either Ghaul required a bit more cunning or perhaps the arena could have been enhanced to make it less of a hide and shoot experience.

    Thanks for the inspiration to get writing myself!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My pleasure! At least playing with my second character isn’t going to be as difficult since I’ll know what to expect.

      It was nice to find that when I started my second character, he had access to all the Glimmer, Legendary Shards, Bright Dust, shaders and weapon/armor mods immediately.

      I too felt like things could have been fleshed out a bit more but over all I’m satisfied with what was presented.

      Like

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