Today, September 5th, 2017, is the last day of Destiny before Destiny 2 drops. While I personally never massively clicked with it, I sure do know someone who did: LPVG’s other co-founder and co-EIC, Vikki “No Seriously She Plays So Much Bloody Destiny” Blake. And so, on this, The Final Day, I decided to ask her about her love for the game and where it will go now the shiny new version is just hours away.
Do you remember your first time playing Destiny? What did you think of it?
We spent a lot of time on the beta; too much, possibly. My fireteam and I were kinda burnt out recycling that Devil’s Lair strike over and over, but as soon as we got to explore the larger Destiny universe – literally – I fell hard. The lush landscapes of Venus, the rusty remains of Earth, the dusty dunes on Mars… it’s stunning. So many secrets stuffed into that world, some I still haven’t resolved today.
I recall that I barely touched Crucible in Year One. I don’t mind a bit of PvP (Spartan life forever, my friends) but I’m not that great, and it took some time before I found my confidence. It got to the point that my fireteam would head off to the Crucible and I’d part ways, heading off to join up with randoms for a Strike or two instead. It wasn’t until I got a little more comfortable with my guns and rolls that I ventured in and realised that I wasn’t as bad as I thought I was. I remember braving Iron Banner for the first time in Year Two, kicking ass, and wondering what the fuck was stopping me from playing before then.
When was the highpoint of Destiny for you?
Completing my Age and Moment of Triumphs books. None of them were easy, and it seems every single one of them had at least one quest or action that took forever. Defeating Skolas, in Year One, really resonates, as did finally kicking Oryx’s arse on Hard Mode in The Taken King.
I’ve never raided in any game before, so I didn’t really understand how formulaic and precise they are, or how important it is to have a balanced team and ensure everyone knows their role. When your team’s in the zone and you’re methodically working your way through, there is no greater feeling. A perfect blend of skill, concentration, timing, and good old fashioned luck come together and it feels like fucking magic.
The record books were really enjoyable, too. Yeah, it’s a bit grindy, but it got me playing a load of modes and weapons I wouldn’t ordinarily have touched. Getting my 100% completion at the end of Year 3 is right up there in my top five gaming achievements of all time, along with completing Vault of Glass for the first time.
And, similarly, what were its dark ages?
Fireteam fighting – and by that, I mean us, not our Guardians! Anytime we’re up against the clock to complete a raid, tempers – and patience – fray. I had a serious falling out with my best mate racing to do King’s Fall on hard for Triumphs, and it almost broke us. Thankfully, we’ve all known each other long enough and well enough to step back and admit when we’re wankers.
It was also pretty shit when most of my clan wandered away from Destiny, leaving me clan- and fireteam-less for activities in Year 3. Being in a clan is a real responsibility, and I know loads of people who’ve been unable to complete a raid or activity in time because half of their mates wanted to play Battlefield instead. It’s really frustrating that your ability to get something done relies on someone who flakes out and decides that don’t want to play anymore (and though we did LFG many times, 90% of the time we’d be paired with some tosser).
I’ve gotta ask the snarky-sounding question, but you’re a story fiend… so did you ever make sense of what was going on?
Latterly, yes! But only because I replayed a load of story missions recently, and actively concentrated on what was happening.
The problem with Destiny, the story’s paradoxically both too flimsy and too complex, and a lot of the exposition you need to ascertain what’s happening takes place when you’re on the loading screen (traditionally the last chance you have to grab a drink, or a take a piss). Alternatively, it takes place when you’re in the middle of intense combat and all you can concentrate on is surviving, never mind Cayde-6’s latest hot take. I also don’t think sticking all the lore on Grimoire cards that you can’t access in-game was a good call, either.
What Destiny delivered was peerless gunplay with a flat, formless story that never gave its characters (apart from Cayde-6, for some reason) chance to shine. I cared about my Guardian because I’ve spent three-years with her (so yes, I’ll be carrying her on to Destiny 2), but I never got to know Zavala, or Amanda etc. and, as I didn’t get to know them, I didn’t care that much, either. Thankfully, already D2’s seems to have addressed this, and I really hope the sequel gives me the chance to care about the Guardians around me.
But yeah, I mostly get what happened now. I think. Maybe?!
Any missions or raids or modes or whatever that stand out as particularly memorable to you?
The raids. For good and bad, they’ve been the times that’ve stuck longest with me. Vault of Glass remains my favourite, maybe because it’s my first, or maybe because it’s the best, shouting “Ritual of Negation” at each other with fatigue-frenzy and desperately trying not to get lost in the maze. But every Challenge mode success, every Hard Mode completion – those were the best.
How do you feel about making the jump to Destiny 2 after sticking with the first for so long? Is there anything you’re going to miss about the first?
From the little I’ve played of D2, it feels every bit as familiar and comfortable as its predecessor. It’ll take a little time to become acclimatised to the weapons and armour, I’m sure, but otherwise it still feels pretty good.
I suspect I’ll desperately miss The Tower. Sitting, running, or jumping around, climbing trees, trying to kill my BFFs whilst they’re looking in their inventories/vaults, prolonging our nighttime departures, getting to know new friends, taking the piss out of old. When I played the beta and saw what the Cabal has in store of it, I felt a very real, very emotional response, and an undeniable bolt of anger. Those bastards are going to annihilate our ultimate happy place.
What a stroke of genius from Bungie to kick off Destiny 2 by destroying it right before our eyes.
Destiny 2 launches on September 6 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with a PC launch coming on October 24. Expect plenty more coverage over the coming months!