Before Bungie released The Dark Below I was Destiny fan. Probably more than a fan as it’s been the only game I’ve played on a consistent basis since its release. I’ve even been told that Destiny is my drug of choice. But after spending time with the expansion I think it’s time for me to hang it up. As a “lone wolf” in the Destiny universe, Bungie fucked me. Harsh words but they have. Let me explain.
The Path Of The Lone Wolf
As a lone wolf I play Destiny solo. I run missions alone, and the only time I play with others is during strikes and crucible matches. I’ve never completed the raid, because matchmaking is not available. And I rarely complete the Weekly Strikes and Nightfalls because the process of finding people to play with is a pain. Not to mention most people only want to play with lvl 30 players with max weapons. And while I occasionally find people and friends to run a strike or nightfall, I usually end up patrolling the universe alone. And honestly, that was perfectly okay. I knew the system and what needed to be done to progress through the higher levels of the game. Before the update, I reached level 28 with a Titan and level 24 with a hunter. Destiny had its hooks in me and with events like the Iron Banner I was one happy camper.
The Good Old Days
One of the things I enjoyed about Destiny pre dark below was earning the legendary weapons and armor. It was fun to watch my character grow in rank, and have access to some of the most powerful weaponry in the game. When I finally reached vanguard rank 3 I felt a sense of accomplishment. The world was mine and I could buy any gun or armor that I wanted. And if I wanted an exotic I could always wait on Xur. And when I got bored of one weapon I could always run strikes and earn vanguard marks to buy a different gun. Life was sweet. Once I reached the lone wolf cap(level 28) with my Titan I decided to build up my hunter who, at the time, was a level 20. I started grinding with the hunter weeks before the DLC, trying to get ready for whatever new updates came my way. By the time I reached level 24 the DLC was released, so I entered Destiny with my Titan to see what new features and weapons waited me.
Where The F$*# Is The Shadow Price?!
Before the release of The Dark Below, Bungie would make the announcement that players could expect new weapons, armor, and a higher level cap. What they didn’t tell us was that the original set of guns and armor would vanish from the tower, never to be seen again. When I first arrived at the tower after the update, I eagerly ran to the quartermaster to see what was added to the inventory. With a vangaurd rank of 3 and plenty of vanguard marks I was ready to ball out. “Why the hell would you get rid of everything?!” I thought. “And where the F*&% is the Shadow Price?!” I frantically looked through the inventory several times before coming to terms with what I saw. Those who never played the game won’t understand, but I lusted after some of those guns. I wanted the Shadow Price assault rifle so damn bad. And the only reason that I didn’t buy it was because I gambled on the new content and now I realized that I crapped out. None of the weapons that I wanted were in the store, instead I was greeted to an assortment of weird weapons that didn’t make much sense. “Two fully automatic rifles? Why would we need two?” I was pissed, but what really sucked was that I knew I would never see The Shadow Price again. We all know the loot system is terrible when it comes to the work/reward balance, and the chances of me finding a legendary engram are about as good as hitting the lotto. Not only were the new weapons not what I wanted, but some of the best weapons were locked behind certain crucible factions. But worst of all, Bungie decided the original Destiny grind wasn’t enough. Now we had The Grind Part 2.
The Grind Part 2
With The Dark Below, Bungie has tried their best to accommodate the lone wolves. I do believe they really tried to help us, but ultimately they fucked us over. All stores now carry more powerful armor to help those who don’t run the raids still have a chance to reach the level cap. But what Bungie didn’t tell us, is that they added another layer to purchasing legendary items in the store. Now in order to buy legendary weapons and armor, you need vanguard commendations or crucible commendations along with your vanguard/crucible marks. And the only way to get them is raise your vanguard or crucible rank. Oh, I forgot to mention that you only get one mark per rank. Which means if you want legendary armor you better be prepared to grind…even more than you were already doing. It might not mean a lot to some people but to me it’s a slap in the face. I reached the mountain top and had access to anything I wanted in the tower. I worked hard and put in many hours in the game to have access to the equipment that was once out of my reach. But now Bungie has said, “fuck your accomplishments, and do that shit all over again.” Not only must I grind even harder, but the items I do have in my possession look weak in comparison to the new items in the store. And my exotic armor…if I trade it in for the ‘upgraded version’ I have to level it up again, from zero. All of my hard work now means nothing.
Know When To Hold Them and When To Fold Them
I was really enjoying Destiny before the update. But since the update I feel like they let me down. I can no longer defend what’s going on. They essentially reset the system on anyone who isn’t a level 30 with raid gear. The new missions desperately need matchmaking, but since it isn’t available you need to either grind to a level to handle the missions by yourself or get ready to find a crew. The raid, which seems to be the best part of Destiny, will be out of reach for the lone wolf until matchmaking becomes available. I think it’s time to get off the hamster wheel and play something new. It seems when Bungie created Crota it decided that the lone wolf was no longer a valuable part of the community. It was fun while it lasted, but all good things must come to an end.