Onward To Destiny!: Lessons of the Beta

All images captured by Hatm0nstar

It’s kind of hard to believe that the Destiny beta has already come and gone; it seems like just the other day we were all gearing up to see all the the Crucible and Cosmodrome had to offer, which turned out to be quite a bit! The long wait following its conclusion is definitely going to be difficult, but at least we get time to consider what we’ve learned during our time speeding and battling around the beta’s reticent locales.

Destiny_beta_Earth_Orbit
Gotta love that view!

A World Made For Roaming

Players of the beta only got to see one a portion of just one location that will be found in the full game of Destiny: the Cosmodrome. What used to be a bustling port to the stars is now just barren wasteland and the crumbling ruins of a bye-gone age. It’s an expansive space with equal measures of open plain for zipping around on your speeder bike (it’s called a “Sparrow”, but yeah it’s a speeder bike) and indoor areas to get up close and personal with the forces of the Darkness (more on that later). There’s caves with treasure, basements with dungeons, and randomly spawned chests to find in every area. It’s a place that took hours to crawl through, and this was just one small piece!

The beta promises a world made for roaming, exploring, digging, and delving. If the full game delivers on that promise, Destiny will be something special indeed.

Destiny Shotgun
If only I could have used it…

I Need More! (Loot that is)

Destiny will be similar to games like Borderlands or even full MMOs, in that a big part of the game is gathering up that awesome loot, but with two big differences! The first is that you won’t grow to hate the people you play with as loot drop after loot drop is stolen! Instead, everyone will get their own drops, allowing the fun to continue unimpeded by barely-contained resentment. Woo!

As for the other…

Destiny Beta- The Traveler
Just what is the Traveler?

Enter The Crucible

The weapons and armor you collect and painstakingly upgrade in the solo/coop portion of the game come with you into the Crucible, a grueling contest in which Guardians (aka player characters) prove their worth among their peers.

Just like in the alpha, the beta only had the Control game-type available for play, which for former Halo players will feel like a combination of Territories and King of the Hill. Unlike the alpha however, the beta’s Crucible showed that Guardians won’t always be brought down to the same level and will be able to fight at their full ferocity in events such as the “Iron Banner Tournament”. In these events Guardians fight as they are; all level advantages intact, all weapons at their most deadly. It’s a much more difficult challenge for the ill-equipped, but one whose rewards of rare items will inspire players to test their mettle anyway.

The Crucible will have several gametypes available at launch, but the presence of these events definitely help calm fears about the multiplayer becoming stagnant.

Destiny_Beta_Hunter
Stylin’!

Who Am I Exactly?

Aside from a few notable exceptions player-defined characters don’t get much of a back-story. Since they’re just our avatars in the virtual world, they often don’t need one and it’s usually fine that way. I have nothing to confirm this, but based on the circumstances surrounding how our characters become guardians, I can’t help but feel like they’ll have some sort of story of their own woven into the tale that Destiny will be presenting us with. It’s all in the details: where you are in the beginning, your first weapon, your character’s apparent combat prowess…there’s more to our guardians than meets the eye, and I can’t wait to find out more about what that is!

Also, our characters will have their own voice! It seems like a small thing to be excited about, but I don’t think I’m the only one who’s getting tired of protagonists who are silent because of…reasons.

It’s All Better With Friends

Unlike Borderlands, Destiny is likely to be pretty fun when played solo. However, just like Borderlands, it only reaches its peak when played with others. Much of the game looks like it’s meant to have a social element. The story and exploration portions feature drop-in, drop-out coop, and the Strike missions match solo players up with others. It’s all about shared experiences and teamwork, which somehow brings the world to life even more…though perhaps not so much in the story missions.

In short, if this beta is an accurate sample of what the full games has to offer, then maybe, just maybe Destiny will be one of the first games in a rather long while to meet the expectations. The beta wasn’t without some flaws, connections and matchmaking being among them, but if Bungie is able to get those resolved then the game should launch in great shape!

All we have to do now is wait…

What are your impressions of Destiny after having played the beta? If you didn’t have the opportunity to play, how’s the game look to you? What are you expecting?

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Considering we only got about 10% of the experience, I’m pretty darn stoked for the September release. I do hope we get more backstory on who/what the Traveller really is and how this world came to be in the state it is, but won’t be a dealbreaker if it’s not there.

    The one pet peeve of mine is how your party can easily fall apart during strike missions – too many times did I find one or both of my “teammates” bugger off during the mission to leave me to face an near endless stream of mobs. Many deaths were incurred.

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    1. Hatm0nster says:

      Destiny is definitely not immune to the pitfalls of random matchmaking that’s for sure. I had good luck on strikes but not in the Crucible. Several games with imbalanced teams were endured.

      In one of the trailers, one of the tag lines is “Awaken the Traveler!” So, I’m thinking there’s definitely more to be seen and heard about it. If not, I’m of a similar opinion to yours, it’s not a deal breaker so long as there’s plenty of space exploration to be had.

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      1. I did find that I occasionally joined existing Crucible matches, so I’m guessing the repopulation of servers will occur. It just didn’t seem to happen anywhere near as frequent as enough. And it never happened during the strike mission.

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      2. Hatm0nster says:

        Hopefully that will be fixed in the full game. I did one Strike mission a man down and it took quite a bit longer to finish. Imagine what would happen on a higher level strike they didn’t repopulate quitters.

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