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Welcome to the Grind: A Misconception Of Misconceptions: What I Think Destiny Really Is(A Sort Of Review)

Your Destiny Awaits

I’ve played about 40+ hours of Destiny to date, and despite my efforts I’ve only gained 1 level above 20. That is about 3 low level rares(Level 17 items) with about 5-7 Light each. Me and my brothers(2 of them) continually discuss and bicker about games, about what they are, which we like or hate, anything we can think of. Recently my youngest brother paid me a visit and in the middle of him asking to boost my Battlefield 4 account(he is 1000x better than me at FPSes) so he could boast his BF4 skills, he prematurely spat out: “Destiny sucks people are saying”. Quick to defend my 40+ hours of grind, I quickly said: “Maybe that’s what purist FPS folk say” – which got me thinking, why is an old “thirteenager” like me, who’s more of an MMORPGer, spending so much time on an FPS. Shouldn’t I be worrying about the queues in ArcheAge or grinding another hardcore Beyond league toon in PoE?

Kubasang Tantra Online

Kubasang Tantra Online

So let me try and break it down a bit for you. Some of the best MMO experiences I’ve had were with early 2000’s were with Korean MMORPGs. One that I cannot forget is Tantra Online, from closed beta to release we played that game religiously and even spent nights at the cafe I worked at leveling our characters till our eyes bled. A big factor for me wasting a big portion of my life on Tantra was because I had a lot of friends in game and in the real world playing the game, and we, together, learned the art of “GRIND“. We would find the safest spots to kill “Kubasang“s at level 40 and kill them as fast as we could for 4-6 hours at a time, counting the .1 – .01 they added to experience and celebrate with a cigarette break each time a Strong Kambu would drop. The Kambu would sell for 2-4 million and make up for the hours of labor, the experience points were just a plus when you found a Kambu. We would party up and let another person in the party sleep while the rest of the party marched around the hill all night, leeching friends while chatting up idle banter to keep it interesting.

AllodsAnother game that shook me to the core was the Russian made Allods Online. Not to boast but I may have been one of the earlier players to reach max level. I found a cozy little spot where elementals spawned fast and did a lot of damage to melee players to keep them away and grinded the shit out of it. Being a healer I had all sorts of resistance buffs which made it easy. I played that game almost 10 hours a day. We even exploited the instance reset bugs and just farmed instances until everyone in our group had more orange legendaries filling our inventories than we could use. We had been one of the first groups to actually sail out onto other Allods on the NA servers we actually killed the game for us. It seemed like we’d eaten up almost all of the game content and if it weren’t for interesting group on Team Speak we had we would have stopped bored a long time back. Real life called me back from Allods and soon I left the gaming behind – well just for a while.

In May 2012, Diablo III was released. Beyond the error 37 fiasco and everyone hating on the game, me and a few friends spent more than 500-1000 hours within the first six months of it’s release. I got so into it, I had forgone my Guildwars 2 headstart and completely forgot about it. The real money auction broke that game for a lot of people, for me, the damn thing got me banned. Yes I botted. I had turned a little fortune from the game I am ashamed to say, and even started a small bot farm. When I discovered by one of my brothers, he was speechless, upset and disappointed. He looked at me with disdain even if he didn’t play Diablo III, for him the mere cash driven intent that reeked from my 3 PC make shift farm went against everything honest and “Gamer” credo he ever believed in. Understand that I was looking at this as a source of income now not a game anymore and that’s everything wrong about making gaming about the money.

I remember around that time a popular bot called Hellbuddy had some controversy cycling around the internet. People had paid over $100 for a lifetime license for the software and were using it quite comfortably when all of a sudden Blizzard threw a cease and desist at the developer which made him run off with everyone’s money. Everyone was upset and most payments could not be reversed. On the other hand the German run Demonbuddy had remained strong, winning Blizzard’s court case against them they were able to continue to sell, update and operate Demonbuddy – I guess – upto this day.

Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls

Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls

In no way am I condoning people to use bots, in Diablo III or any game. The four accounts I had been running including my main wizard account have been banned for 20 years and I’ve no intention to bot in any game again, just too much time, effort and risk for such a small operation. I currently have 1 account with Blizzard and haven’t gotten into Reaper of Souls even. Although the hardcore league seems like it is something I might look into in the future.

Another MMORPG I spent a lot of time with was Guildwars 2. More for the WvW facet of it than anything else. I didn’t go for my Legendary although I would have wanted to, WvW season was so much fun and it was what kept me and a few friends into it. I’d found an NA guild which took their World vs World seriously, they had made it a point for everyone to rally at around 8pm – 9pm at night and just run over everything on every borderland map. It was fun until drama started to seep in, being a guild that had bounced around several servers in the past, the guild I was in started to feel “some” weight in keeping the WvW of the current servers standings up. There was a lot of blaming and pointing after the first season, again they moved, and we were left behind. Around then GW2 pushed out a patch that made it impossible for me to play on maps that were populated, I couldn’t even do farming trains, the frame rate would dip to 5-15 frames per second and sometimes even lower. So I held off on most games till I was able to upgrade just recently.

 

So what does all of this have to with Destiny. Aside from wanting to chronicle my long history with MMORPGs(Some of them I haven’t listed here even), I feel like Destiny is gunning for the same grindy feel MMORPGs have. I would have expected to have had some OK gear by now but I have nothing but shitty items that I know are just a bridge toward the Legendaries, which in turn are temps for exotics, and looking at things these legendaries and exotics aren’t the have all end all of the game, expansions are coming and it looks like the level cap will be raised and more items will be added. 6 man raids I hear will only allow friends.

Ok, almost everyone knows this, so what’s your point.

My point is I noticed that hardcore FPS players from Battlefield and even Counterstrike have been bad mouthing the game for being a little too forgiving towards people who suck at FPSes(like me). Even in Crucible everyone is given a chance as enemy location is indicated via motion sensor and ability attacks can wipe out the whole enemy squad. Not that it doesn’t reward skill shots, it does, but it gives people who don’t have cat like reflexes enough to fight back.

Some players are complaining about how much the story line sucked or how little content there is. You’re looking at it wrong, look at early bosses like Sepkis or Abomination like Andariel or the Butcher, if you haven’t died in a Strike mission you’re not playing Destiny right, or at least not the way it was meant. A netizen coined up “World of Halocraft”, and that’s almost about right. You can’t say a game sucks and is boring while playing the normal story mode or dominating Crucible because your a natural with console shooters. Get into a level 24 heroic map and finish it on your own, then you’ll find yourself sliding back to lower heroics or Crucible scouring them for better gear. For sure, sooner or later you’ll find yourself asking friends to help you out. When you’ve reached that point, I will pat you on the back and simply say: “Welcome to the Grind“.

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A happy monkey pretending to be a boy.