Destiny: Goodbye Loot Cave 1.0September 28, 2014
It’s an hour passed the last time you told your fireteam that you can only play for five more minutes. No one is talking anymore because everyone is exhausted and beyond frustrated. Occasionally, the silence is broken by a cough or the sound of the trigger buttons.
You’re blasting into a dark cave on the Cosmodrome, Skywatch to be specific, racking up experience (definite) and engrams (hopefully). You’ve seen so many level 5 Acolytes and Thralls blow apart that it’s all you dream about anymore. You’re upset that there are a lot of green auras glowing in the back of the cave and not enough purple ones. Every time a purple engram does hit the floor, you can’t help by mutter how with your luck, it will definitely downgrade.
You’ve traversed the Cosmodrome a half-dozen times today to reach Skywatch. Without fail, there’s always one person, not in your fireteam of course, who stands too close to the cave. There’s always one loon who is flying around on their sparrow and trying to leach off your “hard work”, and one moron who can’t help but run into the cave after every other wave of Hive enemies.
I imagine some of you’re laughing right now, maybe you’re rolling your eyes, but for those of us who have reached level 20 and been forced to grind to get any farther, a little bit of you probably just died inside right now.
*Sarcastic tone* Fear not fellow Guardians. In an effort to eliminate what Bungie says, “…isn’t our dream for how Destiny is played”, the hot fixes that took place yesterday eliminated the farm cave, and increased the time it takes for enemies to spawn at several other locations.
While I appreciate the fact that Bungie wants to create a positive experience for those playing their game, they completely whiffed on the real problem: The progression system after you reach level 20 is horrendous.
Now, I am firm believer that Guardians were going to use the loot cave regardless of a better system. Still, it got completely abused because of how truly hard it was/is to find weapons and armor that are worth using. That’s because the method in which most people obtain better items without having to respawn a hundred times is the lottery… err, engram system.
The engram system (RNG Loot) is flawed, period. It’s kind of like the lottery that never has any winners, just shattered dreams. The fact that legendary (purple) engrams can, and often will, downgrade is simply stupid. How is having something extremely rare turn into something less scarce/good a fun experience? Is there any situation where people enjoy that, at all?
To make matters worse, the engram might appear to be a primary weapon but get downgraded and turn into class armor. You can see in the notes that the development team says they are looking to address this in the future, but really, that’s a problem that needs fixed right now.
It’s just extremely ironic that Bungie wants to eliminate a highly repetitive task in one place only to force players to embark in longer, more tedious ones at a multitude of other places.
I don’t care that you’re going to make it harder to use auto rifles at a longer range or scale back the range of the shotgun. I care about having to spend three hours trying to farm large amounts of relic iron on Mars so that I can level one piece of equipment slightly more.
If Bungie really cared about our experience, they would have announced the end of the loot cave, but the immediate fix on the variability of engrams and the elimination of downgrades. They would have said they are significantly increasing the drop rate while on actual missions (hinted at), and that the drops would scale more closely to the players current level. Instead, they basically said in a colorful, yet flippant, way that they want us to grind the old-fashioned way.
Heck, they even took away the dismantling of the TWO pieces of possible armor you can get on the Queen’s Wrath missions. Which essentially ended any reason to play those missions more than twice. Unless you want to play them ad nauseam to perhaps obtain the sniper rifle and ship.
In one of the various demos I watched on YouTube for Destiny, right around the games release, one of the developers said that the game really opens up once you reach level 20. It does open up. It opens to an endless trek across areas you’ve adventured through a hundred times, with fingers crossed, hoping to get lucky. All of that is done in an effort to reach level 26+ because that is when the real game actually begins – Vault of Glass.