On Burnout

As much as I wish I was talking about a different kind of burnout, this is a post about Destiny. Sorry Destiny, but I think I’m done. I expressed longevity concerns when I started, and the things I was worried about mostly came true.

Exhibit A: Story

Let’s be completely, 100% clear here: Destiny’s story is completely terrible. You’re given very little background, almost no justification for anything you’re doing, and it doesn’t even end with a satisfying conclusion. It’s vague enough that it opens itself up to a lot of alternate interpretation. I’m on board with the theory that we’re the super enemies in some game not yet made. After all, all of the player characters are undead, and years of games have taught us that killing undead by the dozens is the right thing to do. How can I blame the Fallen/Cabal for trying to do likewise?

I don’t really demand a compelling story from everything I play, but most games aren’t trying to pretend to more story than they actually have. Transistor doesn’t tell you a lot about what you’re doing when you start, but the information is there in the game as you play it (and serves a dual function of getting you to experiment with the ability system). Gauntlet has an excuse plot, but it’s not trying to be anything more than that. Destiny doesn’t even have that, as there’s no real “goal” to work toward or a reason for most of the actions taken by the main character other than “The Ghost said so”. This isn’t really enough to keep me moving forward.

Exhibit B: Progression

Progression in Destiny is not exactly what I’d hoped it would be. Initial impressions of the way that the guns, armor, and subclasses level led me to believe that there would be more in the way of horizontal progression after the relatively low level cap. Guild Wars 1 does this, as you hit the level cap about halfway through the story and continue earning skills that can let you construct a wider variety of builds.

Needless to say, this isn’t how Destiny works, and what you get at the level cap is either praying to the Random Number Generator or a long Vanguard/Crucible rep/marks grind. Instead of making levels feel rewarding, it mostly serves as a “you must be this tall to ride” mark, as you do drastically reduced damage to enemies above your level. I don’t really find it fun, and facing this is pretty much where I stopped.

Exhibit C: Variety

to be fair, I did mention this as a concern earlier. Destiny reminds me of Diablo 3 (prior to 2.0) in that items that are “interesting” are incredibly rare, and not really all that impactful except in a few special cases (which got nerfed anyway). The equivalent of Borderlands Red Text items is either up to an incredible amount of RNG or lots and lots of grinding (for Strange Coins). (Contrast with Borderlands, where you get them as quest rewards sometimes.)

Enemy variety is a bit better, and the fun of shooting things was enough to keep me interested in the game for a good while. It was on reaching mars and realizing I’d already seen everything the game had to offer outside of the Raid (which I had limited interest in) that I decided to drop it.

Verdict

I know a lot of people find this game fun, and I know others never got into it in the first place, but I’m somewhere in the middle. I suspect that if the above were fixed maybe I could find it fun again, but I’m not sure how they’d convince me to give it a try. As-is, I don’t think Destiny is a long-term game for me.

One thought on “On Burnout”

  1. Agreed 100%. My friend tried to convince me to stay long enough to do the raid as it is supposed to have a wider variety of mechanics, but I needed that creativity a lot sooner.

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