Bungie is wrong for telling us we’re playing Destiny wrong

Posted: September 25, 2014 in Opinion Piece

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by Steve Wright

As many gamers expected since its discovery, the infamous Destiny loot cave has been patched by developer Bungie. Fair call or not, the way in which Bungie did so is a a slap in the face to anyone playing the game.

If you’ve hit the level 20 soft cap in Destiny, you’ve discovered that you can continue to increase your level up to 30 by using armour equipped with Light. This armour will be Rare or above — so Rare, Legendary or Exotic — and at the moment is mostly obtained via in-game drops.

So, loot.

Saavy gamers found a certain cave in Old Russia that was a constant spawn source for Hive enemies. By headshotting anything that tried to come out of the cave, gamers created a nice little spot where enemies could be dispatched quickly and in a contained space. Sitting at the cave for a while meant you’d have a pocket with a couple Rare or maybe even Legendary Engrams to then redeem in an attempt to try to increase your Light score.

It wasn’t perfect; you still had to take those Engrams over to the Cryptarch and watch as he basically fucked you over more often than not, providing gear that was worse than the stuff you already had.

Anyway, that’s how the loot cave worked, now how Bungie has disrespected its players. Let’s delve into that, shall we?

In a post explaining that the cave had been nerfed, Bungie tried to do it in a jovial manner. They failed. Miserably.

“The social experience of a cave farming run is amazing: the herding to get a team of Guardians all behind the line and firing in the right direction, the rush to grab the loot, the scramble when the panic wave starts, the beckoning glow from inside the cave. The speed at which the community organized around this activity was inspiring and humbling to us.

“But shooting at a black hole for hours on end isn’t our dream for how Destiny is played,” Bungie said. “Our hope is that social engagement in public spaces is only one part of the Destiny experience. Expect changes soon which decrease the efficiency of cave farming and correspondingly increase engram drops from completing activities.”

In case you didn’t pick up on it, Bungie has just told us all that loot farming via the loot cave is wrong. We’re not meant to obtain gear in this manner. Rather, we’re meant to repeatedly play Destiny’s handful of (not-even-remotely-) story missions over and over again, hoping that we’ll get loot drops as we play. We’re meant to go and play through The Crucible, hoping for drops. We’re meant to go and play through increasingly more difficult — and still extremely repetitious — special playlists for drops. Call me entitled, but I don’t like being told how I need to play a game.

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Here’s the problem, Bungie: your game is broken. I don’t want to go and play through Strikes and story missions and then find I get drops that are lower than my character can use. Or are for another character type altogether. I don’t want to slog through the Crucible, picking up the best kill/death ratio of the match, only to receive nothing post-game. I certainly don’t want to do that and find that the worst player of the entire match manages to get a Legendary Engram to boot. I can’t go and take on level 24 “Queen’s Wrath” missions by myself — because I get destroyed — and since you don’t offer matchmaking, I’m left to try to find friends that can play with me at the same time. Even then, this whole broken Light system means my friends have to hope for proper gear to get to level 24 or above or else they’re useless to me.

Hell, when two friends and I finally got to do “Queen’s Wrath” twice, I got the same damn Legendary helmet both times.

I know I can align with a faction and grind through the Crucible and Vanguard missions to buy gear, but all of the issues explained above still apply.

Everything about Destiny is frustrating at the moment, and Bungie, you have the audacity to tell us we’re playing your game wrong? I’m gobsmacked. We’ve got missions that are classified as level 28, but no real path to get to that level without things like the loot cave. But, fuck it, it’s gone cause it’s not how we’re supposed to level up.

The loot cave has already been patched, so you don’t need to “expect changes soon,” as Bungie said. That’s a huge slap in the face as well; Bungie’s quite quickly made sure we can’t use the loot cave, but haven’t addressed other pressing issues that they’ve acknowledged exist. The list of issues isn’t small either.

By your own admission, Bungie, Auto Rifles are better at ranged distances than the Scout Rifle. That’s not fixed yet.

The Cryptarch destroys engrams. That’s not fixed yet.

Strikes are “grindy” — your words, not mine. That’s not fixed yet.

If we’ve resorted to playing your game in a certain way, it’s because your game is wrong. Developers on the whole, know that it’s never a case of people playing your game wrong. To say that is to act like a child, threatening to take your toys away from friends because they’re not playing the way you like. It’s pathetic.

Developers should never scold gamers after they’ve found different ways to play their game. In fact, things like this should be encouraged! Bungie, get off your high horse and listen to what gamers are actually saying, or else you’ll find your user base will be diminished quite quickly.

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