A Major Improvement

Image Captured by Hatm0nster

I thought I was more or less done with Destiny at this point. I’d long ago maxed out my favorite class, acquired all the weapons and armor I’d wanted, grown tired of the bounties, detested the story missions, and had had my fill of the Raids (even though they were quite fun!). I’d had enough of the grind and had moved on to other games. That is, I did until House of Wolves came out.

Like Destiny’s first expansion, “The Dark Below”, “House of Wolves” doesn’t appear to have added much on the surface. We got some new gear to gather, a new story to follow, a new space to explore, and a new game mode to play. It doesn’t really sound a whole lot, and perhaps it isn’t, but this addition has breathed new life into the game in a way that I didn’t think was possible. It’s made the game’s world larger, more alive. It’s as if I’m finally getting a taste of the adventure I thought I was going to get back when the game launched in September.

I don’t want to be misleading here. The game is still largely the Destiny so many of us have come to love/hate. Much of the activity still revolves around raiding, fulfilling bounties, and running strikes to acquire/level up gear. It just has a different feel to it now. For the first time in this game, I feel like I have options. If I want to level something up, I can any of the above, all of it, or ignore it all and go goof off in the new horde mode instead. Instead of sticking with the same character build all the time since there’s no point in changing it, now there’s good reason to experiment with different skills and abilities. Rather than dread having to take on the “House of Wolves” story missions, they’re just something fun to do. It’s as if Destiny has shifted focus to actually being an enjoyable adventure rather than a boring list of weekly activities to grind through.

Some of this fresh feeling will likely dissipate as Destiny players get used to “House of Wolves”, but I don’t think that we’ll come to dislike it like we did with “The Dark Below”. Where “The Dark Below’ only added a couple of new activities and yet another currency to deal with, “House of Wolves” feels like it has both expanded the game and addressed some its worst problems. Simply put, I feel like Destiny has actually been improved by the addition of “House of Wolves” rather than simply getting more missions appended onto it. It’s still a grind but not nearly as much of one. RNG is still king, but I now get many more rolls of the dice. My progress is no longer invalidated by the addition of new loot; instead I get to decide which of my weapons and armor pieces are the best for me. And it all feels excellent!

I believe that the core of this change was to allow those of us still playing Destiny to feel more in control and less like Bungie is leading us around by the nose. For the first time since I first picked up the game, I’m getting a taste of forging my own legend in the game. And you know what? It feels great! I really hope that the future expansions and the inevitable sequels will continue to follow the pattern of House of Wolves, and perhaps even expand it further! If they do that, I don’t think I’d have any problem with continuing my journey as a Guardian over the next few years!

Have you had a chance to play House of Wolves yet? Did it make Destiny worthwhile for you again, or would you say that there is much more work that needs to be done before that happens?

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