So Destiny 2 is not only out on PC right now, it seems to be doing fine so far and generally seems to wipe of a lot of the stench that was around the first one, which means that right now, the "big new AAA franchises of 2014" are 3/3 when it comes to really delivering on the second installment.
Anyway, Destructoid now has its own cross-platform D2-clan. What does a clan in Destiny do? Glad you ask, because I'm here to tell you.
Basically, it's not really that different from other clan-systems, meaning: it's a collection of players combined under one banner (I made ours in honor of Wes) which makes it easier to run raids or strikes, because it's people you at least to some degree know and which makes this more comfortable and easier to coordinate than trying to run something which requires coordination with some randos.
The added benefit for Destiny 2 is that clans offer specific rewards and level up seperately. Every player contributes to the total XP of the clan and each player's achievements (like finishing strikes, nightfalls etc.) are taken into account and count towards specific rewards. The cool thing here: once someone unlocks such a reward, everyone in the clan gets it. Yes, PS4 owners get rewards someone unlocked on pc and vice versa, so while at the moment it's technically not possible to play together, everyone contributes and profits.
Another cool thing with clans in this one are the so called "guided games" in which a clan purposefully takes one less member with it on a strike, raid etc. to fill that spot with a weaker leveled rando who maybe doesn'T have experience in running that stuff.
The clan is currently invite-only and unless there is a huge ruckus, I'd actually like to keep it at that for the time being, to make it a Dtoid thingy. I'm not gonna exclude someone though, because he/she's "not part of the community for x amount of time". Doesn't matter if you've been part of this for eight years, months or hours; as far as I'm concerned you're part of this.
Also: RL is more important, so nobody will be kicked just for "not 'bootin'". I myself have a job that, while sometimes easier on the workload will have me inactive for sometimes a week or two at a time maybe, so no pressure. Video games should be fun first- and foremost.
Now you might think "Hey, that actually sounds pretty cool, but I don't know about Destiny 1 and new MMOs can be pretty demanding..." so I thought, to give this thing a bit more meat on the bone, I'd give a few quick tips.
1. No, you do not need to know the story of Destiny 1 to enjoy this one.
I myself only played Destiny for a bit and didn't feel like I missed a beat. The campaign does a pretty good job of filling in the blanks and if you are ever so inclined, there are several great videos on YouTube explaining the story in as much depth as you like. I watched this one a day ago and felt rather satisfied:
2. Now how DOES levelling work?
The progression system has always been a bit weird, so here is the most basic rundown: You level up your character up to Level 20 (hard cap). After that, what is important is your so called "Power Level", which is basically an average of your Gear score (and currently soft-capped at 300). The score is also there before you hit level 20 and is basically the more important of the two, as every event has a "recommended power level" attached to it. Some events are also gated to certain power levels; Nightfall strikes for example are gated at 230, fusing weapon mods is gated at 280.....you get the idea. Also: after reaching level 20, you might notice you're still levelling up: once you reach a new "level" you won't level up per se, but you still get a skill point for the abilities of your subclass, as well as a bright engram that can be eredeemed for shaders and rare weapon skins, emotes etc. at a special vendor (yes, those are the ones you can buy for real money, only cosmetics though)
3. So I hear "loot" a lot?
Yup, Destiny 2 is, for all intents and purposes, the lovechild of Halo and Diablo that's not written by Anthony Burch. Loot comes in five varieties: Normal (white), Common (Green), Rare (Blue), Legendary (Purple) and Epic (Yellow). You rarely get specific stuff as a quest reward, rather than the so called "Engrams". They look like a 20-sided die and basically give you stuff in return (most do directly, some (the so-called "encrypted" engrams) need to be decoded by a cryptarch who is located in the social area). The most-often heard criticism is that it'S basically a loot-box system. I agree in that it is a bit of a gamble, since you can get any kind of equipment from an Engram, BUT (and that is a HUGE change from Destiny 2): you get an item of the rarity that the Engram is in. It means: if it's a purple engram, you get a legendary item.
4. So is there any value to the Singleplayer campaign at all?
Definitely. If you take one advice from this: do this first. Concentrate on the campaign at first, because a) it is fun (a bit dumb, but fun), b) it's an easy way to get you up to level 16 (give or take) and c) a lot of mechanics don't unlock until after you finished it and several mechanics get explained over the course of it, so if you're new, this is the place to start. The game really opens up after that anyway and it's a great way to get your first good pieces of gear.
So now for some rapid-fire tips, that I found rather useful (and in some cases I wish someone told me beforehand):
- These weird "tokens" you get on each planet? Actually pretty nifty. You get those for basically every action you suiccesfully complete on a planet and from looting caches and lost sectors. You can use them at the NPC for said planet to level up your "reputation". It doesn'T do anything but fill up a bar, but everytime that bar is full, you get a legendary engram and a bunch of XP. I found this the easiest way to get gear, since it's super easy to just do something on a planet. Also: once you reach a later point in the game, when you "Dismantle" equipment green or above you get "Gunsmith materials". Those are basically the tokens for the gunsmith in the social area and are the quickest way to score purple engrams I found so far.
- "Public Events" are repeating events that are specific to a certain area. They are a bit hit or miss, for when I say repeat, I meant hat quite literally. If the public event in one spot is a "Cabal extraction", it's always a Cabal extraction. What's cool about those though, is that they come in two forms: normal and heroic. To unlock the heroic one, you have to fulfil certain conditions during the event which triggers a harder version, but better rewards. So let'S stay with the Cabal extraction for example: See the lander that kinda circles the place and sometimes drops down to shoot at you? Damage it enough and a boss will drop out. He is a tough cookie on lower power levels, but there is a very real chance you'll walk away with a yellow engram.
- What'S the difference between a normal purple engram and the "powerful gear" one I see in the operator? This is actually tied into how engrams themselves work. Now when you get an engram, they are akin to your power level. If your power level is 220 for example, the item in that engram is 220. Since your power level is an average, this can be good (for the item still might be for the slot with the lowest individual power rating) as well as negative (if the opposite is the case). "Powerful Gear", however, guarantees that you get an item a few specks above that level, so it's pretty much safe to say you get something you can use.
- As well as the previous point might make you feel you'd have to save up all your encoded engrams until you level up: don't sweat it. Go out there and experiment and have fun. You get good stuff on a pretty consistent basis and with infusing (which I will quickly explain in the next point) there is absolutely no need to hoard.
- Infusing seems a bit tricky, but is actually simple: Every item Legendary or Epic can be "infused". WHat that means is that you enhance its power by using another item. The item has to be of the same type, so hand cannon upgrades hand cannon, shotgun upgrades shotgun and the item you want to use has to be at least a power level 5 points hihgher than the thing you want to infuse. So say you have that purple Scout Rifle that you really like, but your power level is 220 and that thing is still crawling around at level 203. Now you find a blue scout rifle that is power 230 but you don't want to change your one (maybe also because you added that sick shader to it and really like it). Open the details page for your purple one and hover over "infuse". You'll see the better scout rifle and then just have to hold the appropriate button to infuse you purple one with the power of the blue one. YOu will lose that blue one, but your favorite is now level 230, because you used the 230 one. All it costs is that wepaon plus a little glimmer (money...you'll have more of that than you know what to do with) and legendary shards (you get those by dismantling equipment purple and up).
- Don't bother buying stuff from NPCs (except Xur...more on him later on). It's green at most and you'll get better stuff so much quicker, especially early on, when green stuff is useful.
- You might notice armor pieces having three stats: Mobility, Resilience and Recovery. It basically means the following: "Mobility" enhances your walking speed, but not your running speed. What it, however, also enhances is the speed you move while aiming down the sights, which is normally drasticvally reduced. "Resilience" is just what it says: it enhances the damage you can take; all the same "Recovery" is also pretty straightforward: it enhances how quickly the Shield-/Health-regen kicks in and at what rate.
- Destiny operates on a weekly schedule and the two days you need to remember are Tuesday and Friday. Tuesdays are when the weekly stuff resets. All the Adventures you already did become available again, new weekly challenges (Powerful Gear) become available and most important of all: those keys from thew raid for the chests to open? Yeah, they reset on Tuesdays. Also: everything clan-related (like the limit to how much XP a single player can contribute, so that not a bunch of lurkers completely benefit of a dude who plays the game for 20 hours a day) reset. On Fridays, the most important thing is a dude called Xur. He is the only NPC merchant worth buying from, so of course he is limited. He only appears on Friday, every time in another location and you can only pay him in shards. In return for what sounds like a hassle, you can buy Epic (meaning yellow, not the overused term) gear from him; sometimes stuff that is only available at him, so be sure to check his stuff out, when he appears. The other thing that resets on Friday are the so-called "Trials of the Nine" which are a set of special challenges for the PVP-mode.
I hope some of that helps, if you have questions, jsut ask, be it here or via the several other channels you can reach me. I hope some of you jopin, so we can make Clan Robobutts the greatest of them all. Also: note the lack of pictures in this one? Yeah...thgere is sadly no built-in screenshot ability, which is a shame, since the game looks and runs amazing on pc. Really a great port.