Features// Destiny: The End Game

Posted 26 Sep 2014 17:09 by
Games: Destiny
I’ve got absolutely no doubt that by this point, you’ve heard about Destiny. How much you’ve heard, however, I have no idea. Assuming that some of you don’t know a great deal, I’m going to lend a helping hand. Well, David Turner is, with his initial review.

Have we all caught up? Good stuff! Now, the purpose of this piece is to let you in on a little bit of extra info – an insight to your Guardian’s life after you hit the “soft level cap” of 20.

By this point, I bet some of you are already wondering what I’m rambling on about… “what does he mean, soft level cap?” Well: on the books, the highest level you can achieve in Destiny is 20. Off the books though, things get a tiiiiiiiny bit more complicated.

The gear that you’ll find throughout the first 20 levels on the game will sometimes offer you specific stats that aid your character in different ways. These stats come in the forms of Strength, Discipline and Intellect, and they’ll affect how fast you can melee, throw grenades and use your super attack.

When you hit level 20 though, you’ll start finding gear with an extra stat – Light.

Light is effectively extra XP. It’ll allow you to level up past the “soft cap” of 20. What’s the point, you ask? Well, Destiny doesn’t end when you finish the story mode.

As you achieve higher “light levels”, harder strike missions, heroic versions of the story mode and even (as of right now) a six-man raid become available to you.

Essentially, Destiny follows in Diablo’s footsteps from this point onwards – it becomes all about bettering your gear.

The problem with this is that nothing is explained particularly well. When the game decides it’s time to throw a piece of level 20 gear at you, it doesn’t come in the traditional “you got a chest item dropped, look how shiny it is”. No no no, it comes in the form of an “Engram”.

Engrams can come in three different colours; blue (rare), purple (legendary) and gold (exotic), each increasing in quality.

In order to find out if the Engram that you received is better than the piece of gear that you’re already wearing, you have to take it to 'The Cryptark', who you’ll find in the tower.

There’s an Engram for each armour and weapon slot, so you’ll always know which slot is going to be filled. The problem is, the colour of the Engram doesn’t guarantee that your item will be of the same quality.

I’ve had about eight legendary engrams through my Destiny career, and I’ve received absolutely no legendary gear from them. The Cryptark is a bully. He stands there in the tower accepting your purple engrams and dumping you with (mostly) useless blue gear, the smug bastard.

Don’t get me wrong, things can go the opposite way. You can trade in blue engrams and sometimes be rewarded with a purple piece of gear – apparently.

What’s even worse than the chance of getting purple (or exotic) loot, is that the engrams don’t guarantee that the gear inside will be for your class. I have a lovely exotic chest in my bank… unfortunately it’s for a Hunter, and I play as a Warlock.

It’s frustrating. Hell, it’s very frustrating. My character was kitted out, with every armour and weapon slot containing a level 20 blue. I was stuck on level 24 for four days... four long days.

This wouldn’t usually be much of a problem, level doesn’t mean that much does it? Well, in games like Call of Duty and Titanfall, no, your level really doesn’t make much of a difference. Hell, I didn’t even care for the first couple of days in Destiny, until the infamous 'Vault of glass' raid was released.

When I was a young teen, I played a whole lot of World of Warcraft. I just couldn’t get enough of raiding. I knew what to do in order to obtain the gear to enter the low level raids, and from there how to progress to the harder ones. Bearing that in mind, you can imagine my frustration when I loaded up Destiny and received a message which read “The Vault of Glass awaits”.

Well no, Bungie, it doesn’t. It could do, if these f@cking purple engrams gave me some f@cking purple gear you f@cking f@ckers.

OK, so that was massively over the top. I wanted to raid, and I knew I didn’t have good enough gear to do so. I decided there must be a better way, and then I realized (incoming SPOnG top tip) that I’d been collecting “vanguard” and “crucible” marks whilst I’d been playing PvE and PvP.

I decided to investigate what these marks were for, and, lo and behold, I could spend them on purple gear – providing I had a reputation level of 2 with those factions.

I didn’t have a reputation level of 2 with either of those factions.

I did, however, know what I had to do to further progress in Destiny, and this motivated me to get back to playing through the strike missions and the crucible PvP mode.

After a few hours' grind, I had the rep I needed to buy myself some purples, and now, well, I guess I’ll see you on the other side of the Vault of Glass!

To summarize, Destiny’s end game (and in general, really) is very badly explained – you’ll find yourself playing through the same missions over and over and over again hoping that the next Engram will give you SOME level of gear increase. You’ll feel like someone’s sat there laughing at you as you dismantle the useless junk The Cryptark hands you. And yet... you’ll keep coming back.

Be it the intense firefights, the breathtaking landscapes, the PvE, the PvP, the battle with your friends to get an edge on their gear, who knows, but all I’ll say is that I can’t wait for the first lot of DLC to be released.
Games: Destiny

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