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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Kicking Ghaul in the Cabals…. Clan review Destiny 2


It’s been nigh on a month since the Red Legion destroyed the tower and we commenced our counteroffensive to reclaim the city, the tower and our light (or should that be power now?)

So what did we think?  We have all read (or watched) the reviews from the great and good (and somewhat dubious) but as a clan we wanted to give our view on Destiny 2.

We looked at Destiny 2 on its own and in comparison to Destiny. The campaign, the look the feel, the guns, abilities and PVP.  We have collectively completed all available end game activities with a number of sound flawless Trials teams and are getting to know the underbelly of the leviathan very well (the pipes! The pipes!).

So in their own words, here’s what the clan thought.

The Story

It actually has a story! Ok so it hasn’t got the narrative driven story of say, the Mass Effect Series, but that’s not Bungie’s style anyway.  What it has delivered is the connection to NPCs which was largely lacking for most of Destiny (things did start to improve with The Taken King).  You saw Zavala (Vuvuzela) having an existential crisis (“Without the light, are we even Guardians anymore?”), Ikora, the fearless Warlock suddenly fearful for her life, and as for “The Cayde-6” he got out of that Tower and into a mess.  Bungie’s campaign strategy has been about getting to the end game, the campaign is merely a means to that end.  However, compared to Destiny, the story to me had purpose, we had someone or something to get angry at; we suffered loss (RIP purple ball and our over-stuffed vaults), we were at our weakest and we had to start all over again.  Our fears about not getting all our sub-classes back was unfounded (nice touch with the lessons) and we completed the campaign with a sense of revenge being achieved.

Clan thoughts

Clan leader Isoromic gave me some concise but very useful comments 

“Destiny 2 feels like I've upgraded to the 2017 model car from its 2014 version. There are tons of little changes that make it feel so much better, 
- The Crucible redesign brings back that Halo feel
- Streamlining the levelling and item management removes a lot of time originally spent wasting way in inventory screens.
- Not having to "Go to Orbit" to trigger a new activity is an amazing option
Basically Bungie gave us more time to shoot things”

MstrBubbles; “In PVE stuff feels so much better. Like SOO MUCH better.  How you get from A to B.  What you can do besides queuing for activities and how this is presented. 
The power gain experience feels just amazing IMHO (as someone who didn't optimise his power gain on the first character). Just at the right pace. Items having fixed stats and them being ready to go is awesome too! I HATED it whenever I haven't had materials to unlock my perks. The way you level the factions is better too imho.

What I don't like is how they handle mods. I don't mind having to farm Glimmer but I mind having to pay a lot for getting RANDOM rolls. Let me buy the specific kinds of mods for 2.5k and then a 2.5k  fee for upgrading them to legendary mods and make it like 2k max for putting them in the item or remove that altogether and at least lower the price for putting on shaders. The pricing doesn't make any sense. And I hate how they basically made Strikes irrelevant after the 2 or 3 initial strikes. Add a weekly incentive to run 5-10 and add Heroic strikes.

In PVP I feel like I can actually contribute to my team. Like in Trials. I was overall the weakest player but I still contributed as much as I could to the team and felt like I've earned my flawless. That wasn't even remotely possible (for me) in D1 in Trials.
Same in normal PvP. I don't see all those complaints people have about it. Sure your K/D also includes the assists (probably; don't know for sure but it just looks like it) but I feel like, with just 4v4, I can do more for my team than with 6v6.”

JohnnyRah : The campaign is a lot of fun.  Bungie made significant improvements to story telling.  It was reminiscent of Halo in that the characters had depth and even Ghaul seemed to have a method and purpose to his madness.  Gameplay is still the same, and that's not a bad thing.  One thing that always set Destiny apart from all of the other FPS games is the near perfect gameplay.  The game still feels great.  Graphics are definitely stepped up, although the use of particles and texture help with immersion.  I haven't played PVP yet, mainly because there's so much to do in PVE.  Supers are smooth, and I'm very happy they fixed the super issues from the beta.  Supers still make us feel like a badass walking, but they are limited which creates a sense of urgency if you pop them.  There's so much to do!  And so much to do within what there is to do!  It was genius to add a heroic version of public events.  All in all, I'm very happy.  This game is a blast to play and I'm looking forward to getting back to grind out in prep for the raid.  Bravo, Bungie!”

 Adkyth: “Prior to Destiny, I had never played a game that truly made me feel (other than pure rage in Dark Souls) significant emotions. Games were fun, they were entertaining, but that I didn't really involve myself in them to any extent. Even World of Warcraft which ate up an absurd amount of time, never really connected with me emotionally. Not too long into Destiny, however, I was in it. I created twitter and reddit accounts just to learn more, I played every day. I even joined a clan of amazing people who also just wanted to play and talk about Destiny. It was sad to see it come to a close.

Destiny 2 blew it out of the water. From the beginning, I was furious at the enemies, I was genuinely upset at the losses we suffered, I was elated in victory. I have been an emotional wreck for the past week. The campaign was amazing, the worlds are better, the enemies are better, the weapons are better, the progression, the variety and diversity. The post campaign missions, exotic quests, everything has been better, and not even just incrementally better, everything is substantially, amazingly better… except the actual gameplay. Don't get me wrong, Destiny2 is an amazing game. I cannot wait to play more of it...but while the world creates incredible feelings, the gameplay just misses something magical that Destiny1 held. In Destiny1, you became truly, utterly, inescapably, LEGEND. I still have memories of incredible plays, both PvE and PvP from Destiny1, I used to daydream about those plays. Skating over a wall, popping hammers and laughing, literally laughing as enemies would flee, and I laid my enemies to ruin. Last Guardian Standing? Hold mah beer, I got this. Maybe it's because I was 'the skinny kid' growing up, but I loved that immense power, it was incredible. Was it balanced? No. Was it 'competitive'? Laughably no. But was it fun? OH MAH GERD.

Destiny 2 is more tactical, the controls are better, there is more balance, the wins and losses are a true measure of skill...and yet...I am not Legend as I was. In the Pantheon of games, it will hold a place of great will truly, and possibly forever be the #2 game I ever play...but maybe that's why it's Destiny2 and not Destiny 1.”

And me?  Destiny holds a special place in my heart.  At a time where I was struggling it gave me a place to escape.  The fact that I made friends and joined a clan where it didn’t matter about ability, it was about having fun and supporting each other through the game, has truly enriched the experience.  Was I good at trials? Hell no! But I had my go to weapons and load out and by the end Destiny it was like a comfy pair of slippers.  Destiny had moulded to me, but was wearing out. It needed something new.

Destiny 2 is fresh, the graphics are sharper even on a standard PS4.  Am I bothered by it being 30 FPS? Not really, except when the frame rate goes nuts during an heroic event.  I like the changes to the Warlock jump,  I still fluff them from time to time but it is easier to control. I love the clamber, which has provided already many a clutch save from certain death.  Like vanilla Destiny, there’s not the massive number of strikes, and raids, but that will come with expansions.  I am loving Destiny 2 and spend an inordinate amount of time in that world, but it’s a much spending time with my friends as playing alone.   I haven’t yet spent much time in PVP and I haven’t yet attempted trials, but I hope to try that soon.  The fact that SBMM doesn’t apply makes me feel happier about it.  Essentially, it's evolving, it needed to, is everything perfect? not in the slightest.  I am not a fan of single use shaders no matter how plentiful they are.  The Tower loading screen crashes have been annoying, but they hope to have patched it. I am glad Mida-Multi Tool is back and that they have kept a number of the old exotics.  It's in the same universe so I would not be happy if you couldn't find some of the old stuff.

But… I find myself firing up Destiny 1 from time to time and at the moment that still feels like “home”.  I’m sure that will change and I will adapt. Now about those noodz Ubo...