Returning to Destiny

The latest expansion pack for Destiny, House of Wolves, has recently been released. If, like me, you also find the cost of the two expansion packs a little difficult to swallow, I have good news; Bungie have brought numerous updates to the main game free of charge.

Possibly, like many others I haven’t touched Destiny for almost half a year. Partly because I got what I wanted out of it without also wanting to do some serious grinding, and because there are other games to be played. Prior to Splatoon’s release I had a bit of free time after having played Valiant Hearts and after having read positive things about House of Wolves I decided to dive back into Destiny; after downloading the necessary 6GB patch.

What greeted me was the same familiar game I left six months ago, but with numerous subtle differences. I jumped straight into the Crucible and instantly noticed that the secondary ammo now spawns in the same way (albeit with a shorter timer) as the heavy ammo. This instantly changed the way in which you make use of the secondary weapons. At the time the shotgun was my secondary weapon, and no longer could I essentially use it as a main, it now had to be used like its category namesake.

After returning to the Tower I then noticed that the bounties were now including materials as part of the reward, and the missions themselves included more material as well. In conjunction with the revamped item upgrading system the grinding that was becoming more essentially when I stopped playing had now been dramatically reduced. This was exactly what I wanted. Destiny may take elements from MMO’s, but grinding is one of the main reasons why I don’t play them, and when it looked like that was going to be the bulk of Destiny’s endgame I had little reason to stay.

After really getting back into the swing of the Crucible, and discovering to my surprise that I was able to hold my own against what I assumed were those who had not dropped off, I began receiving very useful new gear. Gear that caused me to go up a few levels very quickly. What’s more due to my commitment to the Crucible I was now eligible to buy actual gear from my chosen guild, enabling me to rise to an even higher level. This subsequently unlocked more PVE (Player Versus Environment) missions.

After having gained the maximum Crucible marks I delved back into the “single-player”. This happened to be after having explained to Axby’s very own Joe about how much fun I was having playing Destiny again. And there he was on my friends list showing as playing Destiny. What followed was a good few patrols, public events, and missions, really reminding us of what else makes Destiny so enjoyable to play.

I had managed to forget about how diverse the enemy types were among the different races. That simply shooting at an enemy isn’t the best tactic, something Joe kindly pointed out by reminding me of the different element types. The shields of the Vex were no longer quite as daunting.

I’m currently at level 31, but still have a couple of pieces of gear that I can get from my guild which should bump me up a level or two, and that’s without upgrading. But now that the grind has been lessoned I now look forward to the prospect of improving my gear and then tackling even tougher challenges as a result.

I will likely get the expansion packs at some point. Although I’m currently holding out to see what materialises from the rumoured third piece of DLC. It is satisfying to see that Bungie has been able to support and adapt Destiny so much since launch in a meaningful way. We may all wait for Destiny 2 to bring in the real change, but for now it’s as solid as it’s ever been, and it’s only getting better.

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