Destiny: House of Wolves or Fuck This Game Part 2

In my previous review of Destiny, I stated that aside from some key issues, that I really enjoyed the game and frankly, that still hasn’t changed. In fact, despite the new content in the game with the second major DLC, The House of Wolves, the same flaws are still present (getting worse actually) and the basic game play is still fun. If you don’t want to read my ranting and raving, you can pretty much stop reading now. The content is great, but the random number generator/lookup table lottery and the currency issues are still there: fuck Destiny.

Assuming that you’re reading this, here begins my rant.

While I really, really, really want to bitch and moan about the RNG/lookup table treasure system, I’m not going to. Well, not exactly. In all honesty, it feels like it has gotten better this week:  over the weekend I bought an exotic gauntlets engram from Xur on my warlock, and got gauntlets for a hunter. Today I bought an exotic helmet engram from him on my warlock, and got a helmet for a warlock. While I can’t say definitively that this wrong class bullshit is fixed as demonstrated by this, I can’t; it’s a 33% chance that I got something for a warlock purely by chance rather than by design. In some respects, I think things might have actually gotten worse with regards to equipment and RNG… Special equipment, green and higher, when dismantled has had a particular recipe for what you will get: dismantle an exotic weapon, you’re guaranteed to get an exotic shard and weapon parts. In the case of a Warlock, dismantle an exotic armor piece, you get an exotic shard and hadronic essence. Well, apparently those rules no longer apply to everything. Now that there’s a new weapon upgrade called “ascended”, armor now requires “etheric light” to reach its maximum upgrade status, and legendary purple items are supposed to give that new currency when dismantled.  (You can also get it in the Trials of Osiris, but I barely PvP as is, and I’m not going there for an upgrade material.) Over the last two days, I’ve dismantled several pieces of legendary armor but got nothing but ascendant shards for the efforts. So, if you’re not getting something that was promised in the dismantling description on an item, the game must have resorted to doing another RNG/lookup on at least some items. Which is bullshit. It’s hard enough to get the fucking purple items as is, now we destroy them for a chance at getting something we need to upgrade something else…? Fuck you, Bungie.

Bungie also promised a way to convert all these fucking currencies from one to another so you can always buy what you need to upgrade. It promised to remove the 1200 weapon parts, 1000 hadronic essence, and hundreds of blossoms, spinmetal, and filaments from my inventory as I could then convert them to one currency or another to upgrade my equipment. That was the promise. The truth is that I can exchange ascendant shards, ascendant energy, and motes of light for each other and/or glimmer, in a manner that always causes you to lose some. The following is NOT the actual ratio but an example: 3 ascendant shards and a bit of glimmer can be used to purchase 2 ascendant energies; but if you want those ascendant shards back, you’re paying 7 ascendant energies (plus more glimmer) for each ascendant shards. Want motes of light? Sure, buy 1 mote of light for 3 strange coins and more glimmer. Want a strange coin? Well, fuck you, you can’t have any because there’s no way to buy them, etheric light, or several other new currencies…! (Update 5/25/2015: Since I wrote this, the ascendant shard to ascendant energy and vice versa exchanges have evened out so there’s no loss, at this time at least.)

Did I say “new currencies”? Yes! As if the giant mess of coins, shards, energies, glimmer, etc, weren’t bad enough, we now have an array of tokens that you get for completing various tasks as part of the Queen’s Wrath that allow you to buy ships, shaders, and who the fuck knows what else from Variks. Oh, but first you have to reach an appropriate rank with the House of Judgement before you can actually use those. At the moment, the only way to earn rank with the House of Judgmental Assholes is by fighting in the Prison of Elders. Don’t want to do that? Then fuck you, you can’t spend these new fucking currencies!

And we still come back to the same problem Destiny has had all along: you can’t go to Xur, Rahool (or the new cryptarch), the gunsmith, the vanguard, or any fucking one else to buy exactly what you want even if you have the currency for it. If you’re lucky, they’ll have it in stock, but most of the time, you get a limited selection of items that changes on a particular interval, and was selected randomly.  Otherwise, if you buy the mysterious exotic engram from Xur, for instance, (as I’ve mentioned before) you can end up with something completely unusable by your class. Want a specific exotic weapon? You better fucking hope you get it as a drop in the crucible or a raid, or that you get an exotic bounty for it. I get it, they don’t want everyone to have every fucking weapon, and the rarity of the exotics makes them special. BUT! When you enter a crucible match and 3 out of the 6 opponents are rocking the Vex Mythoclast, things are clearly out of hand any way. If you’re going to include an economic system in a game, you need to make it possible for your consumers to buy precisely what they want. I’m not saying Xur should necessarily have all of them available for the same price, but at least give us a price that we can see and plan for, and the opportunity to save our fucking motes of light or our strange coins to buy the damned thing. That becomes a goal and a reason to play. Depending solely on randomness incites the kind of frustration that I’m complaining about in this “review” and my previous one.

The fucking game play of Destiny is awesome. It feels really fucking good, even the PvP that I’m finally getting used to. But it’s the other shit shows that make me wonder what the hell Bungie is doing with the game. The economic system is absolute crap, and I still don’t know what the fuck the point of the spaceships is beyond glorified eye candy for the load screens. Bungie, can you tell me?