From Noob to Master to Noob Again

I recently started up Destiny 2 again after about a year away from it, and I discovered that much of my old knowledge no longer applied. Quite a lot changed in Destiny 2 over the past year, and I had kept up with it for the most part. Still, I hadn’t actually played the game as these changes were made, so I didn’t actually understand their impact. All this is to say that I’ve managed to fall all the way back down to noob status, and it’s a mixed-bag kind of experience.

For a long time, I considered myself something of a master when it came to Destiny. I’d run all the raids multiple times on all difficulties; I’d made several visits to The Lighthouse after standing triumphant in the top-tier PvP mode: Trials of Osiris; I even mastered the sideshow modes like Sparrow Racing League (no one could catch me). I knew Destiny and I loved it despite finding it boring from time to time. With Destiny 2, that sort of changed, but not really. For the first couple of years, the same basic rules applied. It was easy to follow the meta, easy to keep up with the changes, and much of what I knew still applied even as the game continued to grow.

Now, it’s not so much that Destiny has fundamentally changed over the past year so much as it is that it just got bigger and more complicated. There’s a lot more content to play with now, but not all of it is actually worthwhile. Things like “The Menagerie” are still fun and relevant thanks to novel gameplay loops and relevant exotic quests. On the other hand, The Dreaming City’s Blind Well and Ascendant Challenge are really only there for those looking for a slight change of pace. The same goes for the Black Armory Forges, Leviathan Raid and Escalation Protocol. It’s nice to have them, but… there’s almost no reason to run them now. Figuring all this out was the first thing I had to do upon returning last week.

Next there’s the weapons and armor. This won’t be as much of an issue come September thanks to most the current “meta” weapons getting hit with “sunsetting” to make room for the new gear. Right now though, all I can really do is try to figure out what works best for me. I’m aware of the top-tier gear, but it’s hard to tell what’s still actually at the top and what got nerfed at some point. The same goes for armor. I’m used to dealing with only a handful of perks and stats, but now there’s six stats to chase, actually impactful perks AND mods that add even more effects. I sort of understood mods at the outset of Destiny 2, but they’re now much more important for both weapons and armor. Destiny 2 isn’t exactly clear about what’s good to use and what isn’t, so I’m going to take a deep dive into some YouTube guides before messing with them.

In short, it’s kind of frustrating being a noob again. The game is so much bigger now than it ever was before, and my knowledge of it is extremely outdated; it’s basically to the point where I don’t really understand what’s going on at the moment. However, I’m learning more with every session, and it’s actually kind of exciting discovering the game again like this. All I need to do now is find a fireteam to fly with, then I can finally take a bite out of the last couple of raids and dungeons.

Have you ever had to completely start over as noob? What game were you playing, and how was your journey back to mastery?

Lede image from Destiny 2: Beyond Light reveal trailer