Why did I stop playing Destiny?

Oct
22

Why did I stop playing Destiny?

Like many others, I have been playing Destiny quite religiously since the launch in September. I rolled one character and wanted to see it to the end. How far did I get? As of last week, my Titan is level 27. This is the point where I have decided to stop playing Destiny and I do not see myself returning to it in a meaningful way in the near future. So what drove me to spend as much time as I did in Destiny and why have I lost the motivation to keep going? That is what I will attempt to explain in this article, so read on!

Playing Destiny for the first 20 levels was a refreshing experience. As a long time fan of the Halo series, I found myself right at home with the core mechanics of the game. It is this solid shooting mechanic and triple gun system that made me come back to the game over and over again. For the most part, my time was spent completing story missions and strikes for the first 20 levels of my character. Here we reach one of the major complaints that everyone has with Destiny: the weak and unrealized storyline. It felt as though there was a good story in the game at some point, but it was ripped out shortly before the launch of the game. This is very uncharacteristic of Bungie which is a studio founded on games with deep and fully realized storylines.

On top of the unsatisfying plot, Destiny seriously lacks new content. Once I achieved level 20, I had to participate in strike playlists (which are essentially a collection of strikes that are randomly picked from all available strikes in the game) in order to gain Vanguard Marks which is the only reliable way to get legendary items. As an aside, obtaining legendary items and upgrading them is the only way to progress beyond level 20. Doing strike playlists became a rather boring venture where I had to keep beating the same strikes over and over again in order to rack up reputation and marks. This becomes increasingly annoying as teams of 3 players essentially dash through these strikes as fast as possible which destroys any kind of immersion that Destiny provided. This was worsened by the fact that the random strike selector in Destiny is a disgrace to the word “random”. I was placed in the exact same strike 3 or 4 times in a row which meant that I ran the same mission for 2 hours at a time. The flow of each strike is static. Enemies spawn in the exact same order and rate and in the exact same location every time which encourages players to dash to the finish line as quickly as possible. After all, we have all done this mission 20 times by now.

Trudging through the strike playlists, I was able to outfit my character with all legendary items. That brought me to level 25. To progress further, I had to upgrade my legendary items by gathering very rarely dropped resources which involved doing more of the same strikes and missions in hopes that I could accumulate a sufficient number of these resources to upgrade my gear. So my reward for collecting all of those legendary items was more farming and grinding in the exact same areas where I have now spent almost 100 hours doing the exact same things that I have been doing all along.

The ultimate objective of all this grinding and farming is Destiny’s only raid (famously known as the Vault of Glass) that is only beatable by a team of 6 players who have acquired sufficiently upgraded legendary gear. This is where the cookie crumbled for me. I do not have 5 friends on PSN with whom I could arrange a time to consistently attempt this raid. As a result, attempting these raids without a matchmaking system in the game becomes as cumbersome as the process to level my character so that it could participate in raids in the first place.

I was also particularly annoyed by the low drop rates and the concept of engrams (perhaps the worst idea Bungie has ever had and that includes “The Library”). What are engrams? They are essentially a mystery box of loot. There is an engram type for each level of item rarity in the game: common, uncommon, rare, legendary, and exotic. Each engram can turn into a random item of its rarity. A legendary engram can be decrypted to give a legendary item. The problem is that engrams can turn into an item for any of the 3 classes in the game. That means that my legendary engram could turn into a helmet that can only be used by a hunter. This is incredibly frustrating when more often than not, my sheer excitement from getting an engram was met with complete disappointment as it turned into an item that my character could not possibly use.

God I hate engrams. I paid 23 Motes of Light for an exotic engram that turned in to a Hunter helmet. FYI, my character is a Titan.

God I hate engrams. I paid 23 Motes of Light for an exotic engram that turned in to a Hunter helmet. FYI, my character is a Titan.

Sadly, the promise of endless hours of more grinding and farming with little hope of actually completing the endgame raid was not enough to entice me to keep playing Destiny. You may say that I have already played my money’s worth of this game and you may be right. However, I can not help but be disappointed when I think about what Destiny could have been. For a game that has been in development at Bungie for nearly 5 years and cost $500M, Destiny feels bare and repetitive. I grew bored before seeing arguably the grand finale of the game (The Vault of Glass) and I think that like me, plenty of Destiny players will lay down their controllers before reaching that point in the game. While a significant number of Destiny’s problems can be fixed with updates in the future (including the lack of content), I am afraid that I do not see myself investing any more time in to Destiny while so many new and interesting gaming experiences are fighting for my attention this holiday season.

About Behrang Farzan

Software Engineer by day, video-game enthusiast by night, Behrang spends most of his free time playing AAA games across many genres and platforms. His main loves are SCI-FI and Batman.

10 comments

  • Neniu
    Dec 6, 2014 @ 14:19 pm

    I have gone back and forth with similar feelings over the last month or two, and sadly I think I’m in the situation where I am quitting even though I love the game. I have a lvl 30 hunter and most exotic weapons with the best ones maxed. I also have the more common raid weapons maxed. Right now I’ve created gameplay by leveing up an alternate Warlock character (since there were so many ridiculous bugs that gave them huge advantages in PVE), but otherwise I have almost everything I want (full raid gear, 2 mythoclasts, etc.). The only reason I’ve had to play on my main are the weekly, nightfall, and raid, but I’m beyond diminishing returns there.
    The last straw for me has been a combination of their exotic weapon update strategy and getting no drops for my alternate warlock character on 4/4 raids, the last one on hard mode after the Templar cheese was fixed, so 4-5 hours were wasted there. For exotic upgrades you have to turn in your likely fully-upgraded exotic, pay a crapload of glimmer and a new exotic shard, and get in return an unleveled improved exotic with higher base and end attack levels (to be even with the exotics in the new DLC). They could have just added another bubble for increased attack, but nope, you get to grind your life away and get zero bonus for having already fully leveled the gun you’re turning in.
    Almost every other change that Bungie have done is to slow down progress. Too many users getting ascendent shards/energy from dismantling queen’s gear? Nerf it. There’s dozens of known severe bugs in the raid? Nerf the cheeses before looking into any of those. One friend who plays much more than I only just got a mythoclast after playing maybe 2x the number of hard mode raids as I have. The drop/loot system is simply offensive.
    The best part of the game right now is the DestinyLFG sites where you can group up with others to do the raid, which is the only really interesting part of the game now. Your compaint about the raid and not having the friends is not entirely justified when it is quite easy to use these sites to find great groups (it is much better than matchmaking could ever be) and have a blast playing. Unfortunately Destiny can’t claim credit for this, and it was made difficult to do by the latest PS update which changed the default to prevent others from searching names of those who aren’t already friends (oddly specifically targeted to Destiny LFG, don’t you think?).
    As much as I would love to continue playing this game, I have to cut myself off now because I know that this game will continue to be designed to grind my time away without providing me any meaningful story. They certainly know how to generate addictive gameplay without requiring much actual content. The only fun I have is when playing with friends, which I could easily do in other games that aren’t so obviously designed to waste time.
    And in response to those who say that if it was less grindy we wouldn’t be here, I recall dumping all sorts of time into Halo 4 with its similar co-op gameplay and daily/weekly challenges just because it was a blast to play with friends. I don’t even remember trying to get any challenges BUT for the enjoyment in doing so. This is not so with Destiny.

    Reply
  • Oct 23, 2014 @ 21:00 pm

    Although I definitely do agree with most of the points you’ve made, idk if I agree on the solution. You didn’t talk once about the crucible, which I would say for most fps players is a huge part of the experience desired, which can definitely offer more game time. And although the engrams are a little frustrating at times (giving off-class gear) it’s a different way to “hide” the random generator, so that you feel more involved in the gear you’re getting rather than just receiving it strait from a mob. Personally I feel one of the only major problems with destiny from my perspective is the lack of end game content as you brought up, but if you look at different games from the two genres destiny is mashing together (ie the rpg aspects of a mmo like wow (though the obvious limitations of a fps engine running an mmo) and the fps like halo) fps’s have no end-game save for pvp. And destiny is only a few months old, they need to wait til a healthy amount of players can not only get to almost max level, but also have a hand in the raid, before really releasing anything new, otherwise you leave half of you player base behind. (World of warcraft had only 1% of their population complete the final raid in vanilla before the expansion came out, which means blizzard put a lot of time and effort into a raid that next to Noone had time to do, and now they are on the opposite side of the spectrum having 6month In between the first people to beat it and the new content). So i’d like to just say that people need to give destiny some time to develop as a game before coming down on it so hard.

    Reply
    • Justin Arnott
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 21:06 pm

      I agree with a lot of what you’re saying (especially the Crucicble, which is a large part of the endgame and can be very involved if that’s your thing) but I don’t think that the game should be given more time to develop. If they release a $60 product that they expect us to buy I think it’s unreasonable to wait months (and almost certainly pay more) for content that brings the game up to par.

      Reply
  • Pete
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 13:19 pm

    If the drop rates were better, you would have quit earlier.

    Reply
  • Mike
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 12:55 pm

    Your doing it wrong then lmao I’m not at 60 hours and I’m level 29

    Reply
  • Gavin Powell
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 10:39 am

    Im pretty sure 480 of that 500 million was on marketing and hype

    Reply
    • name
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 14:01 pm

      i agree

      Reply
  • DMITRY SOKOL
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 10:20 am

    That describes my situation almost. I am 24 wizard and have been stuck there for a while despite grinding almost daily the strikes and crucibles. The legendary endgrams I did get ended up being for different classes. Its retarded. Bungie should be sued for this travesty of a game.

    Reply
  • Tim
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 10:11 am

    You’ve spent almost a 100 hrs on a $60 game. I’d say that was a win. How many games have you played less than 20 hrs for the same price? If they were charging $15 a month I would agree.

    Reply
  • jimbo
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 10:00 am

    don’t write an opening paragraph telling us what you’re going to say. just say it in a way that makes us want to read.

    Reply

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