Backlog Burner Episode 13 :: Destiny 2

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Q: So how is this backlog any different?

A: Apart from the fact that I am answering questions asked by my own conscience. This backlog is about games that you enjoy, put away and then come back to days, weeks, months or even years later and find out that they have changed for the better. I know you know the feeling. To that effect, put down your pitchforks, settle down around the fire, and let me explain what I don’t have time to explain.

Q: But why Destiny 2?

A: Destiny 2 is like a drug to me. Every day I wake up and don’t play the game, I make a notch in my mental notebook reminding me how many days I have been clean for. Somewhere inside I feel a little proud of it too. I feel even prouder when I play games like Spiderman, God Of War, Darksiders 2 and even Persona 5 in its place. But just like Jay and Vermentide 2, Arko and Hearthstone, Armu and Rocket League, it just takes 15 minutes to slip back in, and the next you know a week has passed, and you are behind on your reviews. Once you press X, there is no coming back.

That is exactly what happened when I decided to try out the 2 DLCs of the game before Forsaken launched. I hadn’t touched the game for months, but here I was again in the director with 2 pulsating icons just begging me to be clicked on. This was a month and a half ago. I started playing Destiny 2 again, in preparation for the Forsaken launch. Yesterday was the first time, I spent more than 2 hours on any other game but Destiny 2. That’s how hooked I am/was with that shoddy greedy incomplete FPS.

Q: So what makes the game so good? Is it the thriving multiplayer.

A: Not really, while the lobby wait times have become better, I still suck balls in PVP, and sometimes playing that mode is more punishment than fun, in fact, I play Destiny 2 almost exclusively as a single player game.

Q: Then it must be a close circle of friends/clan that you may have formed in game.

A: Meh, I am a part of a clan, but the last time I played them was when I was in a different country. I also play with Manas from time to time and piggyback on his multiplayer prowess. But that’s not what makes me stay.

Q: Hmm, what about the deep and layered lore distributed and scattered across the world to be discovered.

Yeah, not that, I cannot successfully answer how the HIVE came to be and why Cabals are pissed off at everyone, and I don’t even want to step into the midfuck that is Vex and time travel. Yeah don’t read, don’t care. You know what’s the kicker, I play Destiny 2 almost exclusively as a single player game. Sure, I check into Crucible, and Gambit from time to time. But I don’t make any friends there. I just join up with random strangers on the internet, shoot some bad guys, complete the weekly objective and then pull out. I haven’t even attempted a raid or a Nightfall Strike.

Its like I am casually playing a game made for hardcore gamers. Its like I am playing a multiplayer game solo. Its like I am intentionally making a game harder for myself.

Q: But why? What makes you wake up at 2 in the night and load up Destiny 2?

A: It’s the fact that it changes so less. What I like about Destiny 2 is that how little it changes its meta. If you were good at something 3 months ago, you are still going to be good at it today. You don’t log in and find out that Hand Cannons have been made obsolete with a new update to the Pulse Rifle. You don’t find out that with the launch of a new bow, your auto rifle is going to be overpowered. This makes investing in skills a valid option. Remember how you spent hours in Counter-Strike to learn bunny hopping, just imagine how infuriated you would have been if a future update would have made bunny hopping impossible. On the contrary look at Call Of Duty, no 2 consecutive games have the same meta. It’s like you are always catching up and learning new tricks. But in Destiny, if you have finally found your way around with a gun, it’s gonna pay dividend in every mode.

Its the fact that every time I play Destiny 2, I seem to become better. I seem to get closer to a weapon, to an engram, to a quest step; that would enhance my light level. 2 hours every day, and in a week I have roughly 7 legendaries, and at least 1 exotic.  It is that grind and loot cycle that I cannot escape. It’s the pleasure of finding and figuring out how to complete challenges made for multiple players solo. It’s the hours I spend online figuring out how to best execute Exotic quests and then going home and executing them.

Q: So you like that it changes so little?

A: Don’t get me wrong, Bungie has improved the game with every update. And every DLC has brought on a new mode for players to try out. For eg. The Curse Of Osiris brought the challenge of Osiris, and The Warmind DLC brought about the Escalation Protocol (essentially a horde mode), and of course Forsaken brought about the much talked about Gambit mode.

And I don’t know if its deliberate or not, but Bungie also adds quality of life improvements with every update. Maybe it’s their plan to make every update feel like a critical one, or maybe its just the way they work. But every Destiny 2 update has made playing the game a smoother experience.

Q: Is that all?

Not Really. <Inhales Deeply>

Remember how you used to play all the campaign levels in Counter-Strike Condition Zero with the AI cranked up to hard. Or that time in Need For Speed, when you used to race your own shadows to beat your own record. Or that time in Gwent, when you were trying to build up the highest offence number possible.

Why did you do it? It’s because you could.

Its because I am good at it. Its because I enjoy being good at it. I don’t have to try to be good at it, I just am. It’s just you competing with you. No pressure.

Its because sometimes a game just clicks somewhere inside of you. And you know you can come back to it if you had a long day, a bad day or even if you had to go to the dentist an hour later. Its the game that you play to escape. Its the game you play to celebrate. Its the game you play to distract yourself. Its because sometimes a game becomes what everyone touts a game should be, a part of your life.

<Exhales Sharply, and click on Save Draft>

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