Video Games and Ichabod


So, let me start off by saying I like Destiny. I love the ideas behind the world, or what tidbits I've managed to gleam off the surface. I want more lore! I like the mechanics, namely the world traversing and the shooting. But I have a problem every time I play – I keep thinking I could be doing something better with my time.

I don't mean I'm putting off real world responsibilities and playing instead–I generally take care of all that crap before I sit down to play video games. I mean, just.... anything else feels like a better use of my time. Which is weird because I enjoy Destiny. Or maybe I think I enjoy it.

Most of the times I've played the game, I have been with a pretty solid group of friends, most of which I've known online for a few years now via Twitter. It's fun to shoot the shit, catch up, and just virtually hang out. But when I'm not with them? Well...why am I even playing this game?

I played from character level 1-15 nearly by myself, mostly just running story missions and occasionally exploring the world or doing bounties. But Destiny doesn't open up until after level 20, which is super weird. The entire beginning of the game feels like this long tutorial, and then BAM!, everything changes. Level 20 is the current max character level, but you can gain an additional "Light" level up to 32.  You get all that gear not from outright buying it, but by grinding missions, grinding the Raid(s), grinding the strike playlists, and grinding the daily bounties.

It becomes one...long...grind. You see, right now I'm level 27. In order to get higher, I have to rely on a high level drop in the world (which is rare) or hope I get it from the single Raid I can partake in (if our group makes it far enough to get the chest with gear, and even then I might get something that doesn't help my level). Or I can finish leveling up the pieces of armor I have yet to max out. But in order to do that I need Ascendant shards, and those are fairly hard to come by. And, oh, right, I need 12 of them.

I can also buy high level armor to upgrade my level with 125 vanguard points, Points I get at 10 a time from the 5 daily bounties I can perform/playing the strike playlist and earning some...but those cap out at 100 per week, same with the points you earn from the multiplayer that also caps out at 100.
Oh, and if I have enough "Strange coins" from the two weekly challenges (another item that can also randomly drop) I can buy unique items from "Xur" between Friday-Saturday, two days I have a hard time sitting down to play. 

With friends this can go by quicker, mostly because of good conversation. But why am I killing myself to level up the armor I have if I am going to get better armor in a future drop that ALSO is going to need to be leveled? I don't know? I don't have an answer for that, and that is why I'm questioning if I want to pick the game back up. 

There is no "End game" here. Literally the game has a story mission that concludes the story levels, but it's so anemic that it barely counts. I did the "Vault of Glass," the raid that shipped on the disc. I have completed it once and I did feel accomplished. Sure, there is DLC with more raids and gear:  one out now and one hitting in March, and a rumored expansion, as well as two DLC packs to that by the end of the year, but none of it is "confirmed".  But no end credits, no new game+ –  just the same strikes and story missions being ran over and over to get points and gear and levels and on and on.

Destiny is a child of Halo and an MMO. The difference being that an MMO has days and days of content at launch. Destiny shipped with the same amount of content that a typical FPS has, and they expect you to grind that shit to fucking dust. 

Destiny has been a interesting experience for me, in that it has made me question what I look for in a video game. I've realized what that is. You see, I work a shitty job, with an hour commute, moving nuts and bolts in a warehouse all day. My day to day work is a fucking grind, Why do I want to do that willingly in my off time every day? The answer is simply: I don't. Destiny offers an interesting experience...that I don't think I'm looking for. It's a grind with the most minimal of payoffs: more shit to grind.

Will I continue to play? Crazily enough, I just might. I enjoy the interaction with my friends, but I think going forward I'm not going to care about bounties or levels or any of that shit. I'm just going to point my District 9-ass sniper rifle at things and pull the trigger until they die. Or we die. 


  1. Well said Icha, I wont play this game for the sheer fact of the issues you mentioned. I find it to be a very Halo like clone with the addition of "grinding" and Im not a grinder when it comes to games. Like you the concepts and characters look and sound really cool, but I just cant get behind games that make you grind or basically kill time. The whole playing with friends aspect is the only redeeming quality in my eyes, other wise i'll just stick to regular FPS's.

  2. Love the fact that PO66 is continually expanding. New sections always welcomed.