I'm Addicted to Destiny

Its 4 am on a Saturday morning. I feel like I haven’t blinked since midnight, and I’m tired but somehow wide awake simultaneously. I have podcasts playing through my phone speaker but they’re blocked out by my concentration. I need a fix. And then it happens…

…a gold engram. And with that, I know I’ll be teased through the same activities as I’ve been playing since dinner to grab some more sweet, sweet loot. And most likely won’t see my bed until the sunrises.

I’m talking, of course, about Destiny – or more specifically “Destiny: Rise of Iron”. But it wasn’t always like this.

When Destiny arrived in 2014, I was hyped. I’d played the Beta and loved it, reaching the level cap for it on both PS4 and Xbox One. It was a beautiful game with sensational graphics, and the promise of being able to jump from planet to planet in our solar system was an alluring one.

When Destiny launched, I dove right in – and landed with a thud. The campaign, while still very pretty and with a unique sense of style to every facet, was boring. Worse, it was a slog to get through. The loot system was stingy, and players would spend hours in front of a cave just to get a glimpse of better gear (until Bungie fixed that). The raid (while apparently fantastic), passed me by – I had few friends on Xbox Live (most jumped ship to Playstation 4, the rest were still playing on Xbox 360) and the ones who were playing Destiny had grown weary of it’s “style over substance” approach. The Crucible was a harsh and unforgiving place, and as I could only ever be considered an “averagely skilled” gamer, I was like a lamb to the slaughter – players with exotic weapons and armour I could only dream of were laying waste to me on a near constant basis. It just wasn’t all that fun.

The two “expansions” barely affected my overall malaise for the title either – The Dark Below added a similarly weak story and another raid I couldn’t access, while House of Wolves added a better campaign and a variation on “Horde Mode” called The Prison of Elders. While this was fun and accessible (it had matchmaking), the rewards paled in contrast to the higher level, non-matchmade versions.

I felt disappointed. Small patches added marginally to the experience, but not enough to pull me away from other title’s that released around the same time.

Then, in September 2015 – Bungie released The Taken King. While the two prior expansions could barely be called that, The Taken King (and the accompanying patch) was more of a reset. The campaign was infinitely more interesting than anything seen in the game up until this point (a low bar, indeed, but an important one to clear for a solo player like myself), and the loot system was improved too. Almost every part of the game was augmented in some way – a quest system, new and revamped strikes, new crucible maps and balance fixes – each of the three character classes even gained a new subclass with new abilities to level up. Somehow a game that was a year old had been made fresh and exciting.

It was almost everything I’d hoped Destiny would be, and this year’s Rise of Iron update (while nowhere near as deep as The Taken King), only served to feed me more Destiny. Most importantly, as my quest to light level 400 continues, I’m not far off and still haven’t played a Nightfall or a Raid. While that may disappoint some (and indeed it feels consistently out of reach), its great to see that Bungie has removed the feeling of being punished for not playing with friends.

So as I sit there, at 4am, eyes searing and mouth slack as myself and two strangers deliver the crushing blow to a strike mission’s final boss – I wonder – will Destiny 2 hook me the same way?

What are your gaming addiction stories? Let us know!