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Guardians Of Our Lives: Destiny, and the Skinner Box.


I get up early in the morning, have breakfast and go for a quick jog. After a fresh shower, I sit down and press the black, round button on the controller, and a few seconds later, the character select screen appears. I've only made one character so far: a Defender Titan. He used to be a Striker, until a gold, bright border appeared around his class selection icon. Sure, it is fun to Hulk Smash things and see them fly in all directions, and having all skills learned and finely selected for maximum performance... but after each Vex Goblin falls, a sinking feeling crosses my mind: "there goes more wasted EXP, should have changed to Defender". Nothing more frustating than ending a mission, and not seeing those green round bars circling a shiny, promising skill!. 

Next to his name, a bright, yellow number calls for my attention: 29. And below it, an almost full bar, showing me how close he is to getting to Ligh Level 30. That's OK, it's just a matter of exchanging one last piece of armor with the Crucible Vendor. Why are helmets more expensive than chest plates?. My eyes dart to another number, in a smaller font below this bar: 2005, preceded by a card symbol. Still a long way to go to max it. Maybe I should start using Fusion Rifles in order to get their cards. What was it's requirement? 2500 kills?. Never mind, that will come in time. I hover the cursor over the red banner encompasing it (carefully chosen, as it represents my Level 2 Faction Standing with the Vanguard) and proceed to log in.

My chosen ship appears hovering above a planet. It's a green rarity one, as I have not yet acquired sufficient reputation in order to buy a cooler one. It is not a priority though, I'll buy it later when I have some left over marks. Speaking of marks, let's see what the Daily Mission is... great, The Black Garden again... that one takes so much time!. But I need the Ascendant Energy rewards from it, in order to max up my new Legendary Auto Rifle. 

20 minutes later, and lots of Vex turned to scrap, I'm back again in the Orbit screen. Wonder what the Daily PvP mission is?. Salvage! Nice to see that mode available again. Is not my favorite, but I should make the most of it appearing in the rotation, before it is taken away; after all, I'm just 20 wins short of obtaining its Grimoire Card. Hope I get a good group... Here it goes! Wait, I should equip the Void elemental shotgun, in order to get some kills for the Torn Exotic Weapon Bounty.

We lost the match. Damn Vex Mythoclast. Does everyone and their dog have one?. Can't wait to do the Weekly Raid for a chance at getting it. Oh well, let's go back to the Tower. With some luck, Xur will have something nice to sell this week. Good thing I've already done my Weekly Heroic Strike and got this week's Strange Coins from it. Should start another character soon so the other 18 possible ones don't go to waste... 

Damn Xur hid himself rather well this week. Nothing great on his inventory though. If only I had enough coins that time he sold the Gallahorn... Anyway, let's see what bounties does Xander have this morning. I don't really need the reputation rewards anymore, but why let it go to waste? Maybe my next level up package will have something good! Sweet, easy ones today: -Play 5 games of Control-, -Play games of Rumble-. There goes playing Salvage today...

One hour and half later, everything important is done, and I'm free to turn off the console. Work awaits!. A new expansion comes on Tuesday, if it is good, maybe I'll finally give in and buy that Season Pass. 

Tuesday comes, and I'm greeted by a message featuring the new expansion content. The Prison of Elders mode sounds fun: I was getting tired of repeating the same missions over and over again. Specially the ones about defending the ghost from enemy waves... can't he open those doors faster?. Let's go buy that helmet first though...

The armor I had been working to complete this month is gone. With the new expansion, current vendor gear has been changed in order to provide the new Light Level cap. That means I have to replace my boots, gauntlets and chest plate, as they are no longer useful. That is 225 emblems, or about 56 Crucible matches, that is, 2 weeks hitting the mark cap. Or I could choose to enhance them using some Etheric Light. An expansion only item. Randomly reward for weekly activities.

Fuck this game.

Destiny is a MMO FPS game, with a budget of around 140 millions dollars. Among their design staff is John Hopson, Ph.D. in Behavioral and Brain Sciences from Duke University. Currently, 16 million players spend an average of 3 hours logged in daily to the game.

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About SigfriedLionone of us since 4:55 PM on 01.25.2011