I know I'm late to the party here, but I'm just getting into Destiny and I've come to this realization: the game is weird. In concept, it’s really pretty cool. In practice, they’ve made a lot of mistakes. For all intents and purposes, it isn’t a well thought out game. It has a ton of flaws and there isn’t much of a story to speak of. So why can’t I stop playing it?
Destiny has a level cap at 20. So that means that you’re as strong as you’ll get when you hit it, right? Nope. That level 20 is a “soft level cap” that can only be passed using a means other than experience. Some armor has light attributed to it. Get enough light points and you level up past 20 to go as high as 32 (as of this writing). But wait! Even though you stop getting experience to level up, you’re still gaining experience to unlock weapon upgrades and new abilities. Sounds confusing? You’re damn right it is!
Not only is it confusing, it’s frustrating as hell. In any other game, you would complete missions, defeat enemies, and complete tasks to gain experience and level up. It’s a known quantity. Since Destiny’s levels above 20 require specific armor, and the armor drops are random, leveling up becomes a practice in repetition. You’ll find yourself completing the same missions over and over just for a chance to get the armor you need. I got lucky and went from 20 to 24 in a couple days. Now I’ve been stuck at 24 for weeks. There’s no control over how and when you level up.
At least there’s the option to buy light armor or upgrading armor you have for more light. That just requires using some of the game’s multiple currencies and/or materials. There’s glimmer, Motes of Light, Strange Coins, Vanguard Marks, Crucible Marks, weapon parts, armor parts (three of them, one for each class), Spinmetal, Helium Filaments, Spirit Bloom, Relic Iron, Exotic Shards, Ascendant Energy, Ascendant Shards, Radiant Energy, Radiant Shards, Crux of Crota, Embalming Orb, and Runed Cores. Got all that?
The light system also limits what you can use. I had this helmet that gave perks to my grenades, which I use often enough that boosts are helpful. But then I found a helmet with light, something the grenade helmet didn’t have. The defense boost it provided was minimal enough that in any other game I would have kept the one I had. But since this is Destiny, I had to dismantle the helmet I liked for the one with light. Why is limiting your player base to specific armor types a good idea?
But here’s the catch in this monstrosity of an end-game: the game is fun to play. If you played Halo, you know what to expect. Bungie took what they did well with Halo and applied it to Destiny. It controls like a dream and the AI is legitimately challenging. When I’m in a match or in the game world, I love it. Once I get out and return to the Tower to see what drops I got is when the frustration starts. It’s the most conflicted I have ever felt about a game.
That’s where I stand with Destiny. I love it, I hate it. I can’t wait to play it, I think I’ll play something else. If nothing else, the game has made me feel about it in ways I haven’t felt about any other before it. That has to count for something, I suppose.