Thursday, July 16, 2015

Destiny : Where is your Fantasy ?

(Lets say this is not one of my usual articles and its more like what I think about Destiny right now put into text. That said, lets dive in !)

Anyone remember this video? this is what Destiny was conceptualised as :

Where is this adventure and exploration? secret areas and secret loot?
Yes, Bungie,  the pressing question I ask of you:

Where is the 'fantasy' of Destiny?

The fresh start:

I am fan of Bungie and Halo and I have been playing Destiny since the Alpha, the first time Bungie let players get their hands on it and have loved the gameplay since the first time I moved my trigger finger in it! Its been more than a year of shooting Hive, Fallen, Vex and Cabal and I will be honest, the amazing art and the super fun gameplay loops have kept me hooked for so long. I still remember seeing Moon for the first time and declaring on forums that it was the best Sci-fi rendition of Moon ever. I didn't like Venus then, because it was just like earth, to be honest, but then I landed on mars:

 and watching a dawn on mars was enough to make me stand in awe again till a rocket from the Cabal brought me back into the "shoot>jump>headshot>Super Charged>Obliteration!" loop of Destiny fun :^) ! And boy did the Cabal know how to fall gloriously when shot in the head .........bam...pooff....phhkkhkhkhkh !
That kind of stuff reinvigorated the play sessions with smiles back on where they belonged :) !

Then came the strikes, something that's still my go-to place for fun and then, after month of not being able to form a group came the raid :O

 The Vault of Glass !

Oh, hell yeah ! The feeling of wonder restored beyond expectations, we followed our leader "HarshadB" like hobbits would follow Gandalf into the unknown! Each step taken as told..."Don't worry, jump down"....."Stop !"....."Crouch"....."Hide from the white ones"...."follow me" ! I was a wide-eyed boy again :^) , a little child filled with wonder as the rabbit hole (literally) kept getting deeper and deeper ! "Those are Oracles,this is the Relic, one portal is the past and one is the future", shouts of "I am blind!" "shoot him now !"........I was lapping it all up like a hungry boy let loose in the toy store of his dreams ! I was ecstatic and, like a perfect Hobbit, when "djsinghaero" told me there's a hidden chest beyond Atheon which only the first timers can see, a blatant lie, I immediately jumped over to my death ! :^)

I was in awe, I was in reverence of Destiny and Bungie ! It was one of the most memorable gaming time of my life , up there with Journey !

....and it lasted for a while.Once it was all done, I kept playing for the loot, the exotics, the Gjallarhorn and the fun the game was, including the PvP(however much lag it may have, it does have the needed ingredient: fun) ! But over time, as the surprises and awe faded away and I had my Hawkmoons and Gjallarhorns,  I turned my eye towards the world of Destiny.....only to find none ! 

Then it started snapping:

I mean..... where is the Fantasy of the world? When Bungie initially revealed Destiny as a concept, the world, the fantasy was huge, and even in the final game the way each place is well named , it all hints towards a very strong mythos. 
But where is all of it? Where is the reason to fight? Where is the context? Where are the people who need saving ? 

Something as simple as , Why is the "Valley of Kings" on Mars called the Valley of Kings?  Or Why are we, a group of Exo, Awoken and Humans, going together in this battle against the Hive, Vex and the Fallen? Why are the Exo and Awoken even interested in it? cos the Queen doesn't seem to be and we have no idea where the Exos came from and thats me, my Warlock is an Exo and I have no idea who he is ! I know the game went through some development hell back then, but it been an year since release and we should now be treated to a proper game ! Heck, Witcher 2 got a totally new opening cut-scene months later because the devs felt it was needed and this is supposed to be a 10 year haul of a franchise and we don't get a proper beginning or basis for the fight !
......and Who are we saving? Humans in that slum under the Traveller that we never ever visit? What are they doing there all day?

Who is that Speaker who has nothing to do at all? He has no role I can tell? I have never seen one human from the city, has anyone seen any human we need to save? I am at the tower, I take orders from a broadcasting robot, I go out into the designated areas, do what the broadcasts say and I come back into the tower. 

That's my Destiny ? My Legend ?

The story quests provided no context at all either,except for "Shoot! Its the bad guys!" and the DLCs just keep adding new Bad guys to shoot, albeit in the same old places. I have recently been getting interested in FFXIV and even Elder Scrolls Online and these games provide tons of unique story content before asking you to jump into Dungeons (Strikes in Destiny) and you can stay engaged with unique content for months before you start redoing the missions for grinding.

Dear Bungie, Where is the world of Destiny? Please spare me the Grimoire cards Bungie. I am a book lover and I have read all the books of the Witcher series but..... it did not serve me a videogame when I bought a book, nor did it serve me a book when I bought Witcher 3. There is a difference, right? 
The godforsaken Grimoire cards!

If I want to read a book on Destiny's universe I would buy and love it too, if its good, but I didn't spend $100 to read flash cards on my PC ! I spent them to live in a world full of wonders , forge my own legend in it and there is none in Destiny ! 

House of Wolves: The promised DLC to solve this exact problem !

This was supposed to be the saviour of the fantasy, the story, but it did nothing at all ! Its still the same ol', same ol'.Why is my Queen not angry at me(an awoken) for not serving her but instead serving a Speaker of the humans? And all those mentions of many Houses of Wolves, I got nothing out of it. Skolas is the new bad guy and all other new bad guys are clones of the older bad guys. "Kill them all ! " That's all I got from it because all the past events Ms. Petra keeps referring to while describing missions to me, they have never been told to me by Destiny before.....ever !
             So, how do I care if a certain Fallen Captain clone with a yellow bar on his head has fought in the Great War of AwesomeTreachery? What war, who fought.......never heard of it, never been told ! Oh, maybe my Ghost knows as usual, but he is silent this time....maybe the speaker at the tower would know....nope, he just sells some piece of cloth and arm bands !...........what are you doing Bungie?

So, it all made for no context to me.

 "Get a Scorch cannon and shoot the rest: That's House of Wolves for me !"

 and for all of us out there actually !

 Same problem with the new playable activities:
Prison of Elders: 

Why is there no context in POE at all? We aren't even trapped in a prison by someone's treachery and trying to escape, instead we are just in there playing gladiator for Variks ! Why the hell, may I ask ? The Queen never asked for Gladiatorial events, she asked for help from the Guardians to defeat the Fallen.
 Just to make a point about context, why can't I be escaping out of a prison while finding tougher enemies as I go? Why can't each round instead be about escaping an area, blowing up a wall to get to the next, finding a key from a special target to move on and ending up in cells with tougher enemies untill we reach the boss and escape the prison? It  doesn't change anything, we can still have the same objectives as now, but it changes everything. Now, there is a reason for doing it all, there is a story to it all that fits inside the universe we are fighting for,  not disjointed levels that need clearing of enemies ! Now, its an actual event happeneing in the current history of Destiny. It makes a difference, we are not playing Pong here, Bungie, are we? :-/

Trials of Osiris:

Who the hell is he, the Osiris? Why is he giving out Egyptian headsets that belong more to a costume party than Destiny? Is he a religious fanatic, cos his servant is a "Brother" Vance surrounded by Candles? Why has he organised this event? What purpose does it serve in the overarching (lack of?) story of the Destiny universe? 
Stop checking messages Dude, we are angry here !

.....and for all things spoken and said why the hell is he on The Reef that belongs to the Queen of Awoken? Mr. Vance isn't an awoken from what I can see ! Is the Queen sharing profits with Mr. Osiris from this reality TV fight show of the guardians? I know, its all for fun and everything does not need justification, but going that little extra bit is what its all about ! 

         If I know there is a rogue group of Gaurdians fighting back for mysterious reasons that need to be subdued or if Osiris, the last king of Ancients has an artifact/weapon that can turn the tide against the darkness and Guardians are being tested for being sent to him (Mercury Lighthouse?) then wouldn't this "just-another-MP-Mode" turn into an actual event happening in the Universe? How hard it is to put such context in?

C'mon, Bungie,  HoW content has the same issue that Destiny has had overall.

  Lack of context !

The game is great and the gameplay the best out there, but the gameplay cannot hold on its own forever ! 

Where is the fantasy, Destiny? 
How do I become Legend without a world ?

    I know you will just say 'The Taken King' fixes everything, just like you said House of Wolves will. House of Wolves didn't, it added more activities but it didn't fix the basic issue here, the complete lack of a believable fantasy which we can invest in ! 
After being burnt by it, I am very wary of buying The Taken King and I believe my money can be better spent on a very awesome Hideo Kojima game that month and on a specific Sci-fi game called No Mans Sky after that. And if that doesn't arrive soon, I may just try Final Fantasy XIV instead.

You might say my comparisons are unfair and FFXIV asks you to pay each month to play it(and it ain't a shooter), but then I have also spent $100 on Destiny. With that money I could have bought and played FFXIV for 6 whole months with much larger content and updates and , not to mention, Elder Scrolls Online does not even charge a subscription fee and for the base price $60 I could have had an immense world of my own !

But, lets say this isn't about money, I still can't get over the fact that after putting in $100 and hoping for similar content as other games ,after 2 DLC packs, I am still left with a game which has about less than half the content of a similar format game and has no fresh events regularly which even F2P game Warframe hosts every other week!

I am not optimistic anymore, Bungie ! I think the time has come to put down the rifle and take a break...............

...the problem makes me sad :( ! That's is real problem, that it makes me sad, cos I want to play Destiny, but the game is getting jaded and is revealing its empty-ness as I come any closer. Its a Shiny hollow shell, where my Legend is just a Mirage.............

Save it Bungie !

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