It was all going to be very simple. I needed space on my straining PS4 to preload Destiny 2 and something had to go. The most obvious choice was Destiny. The first installment would be rendered useless to me upon the release of the new game. Then, something odd happened. As I hovered over the delete option I felt a sudden surge of sadness. My Warlock, Titan and Hunter were about to be consigned to the history books. My first ever Guardians would no longer seek the Light and the Traveller’s favor. Three legends were about to become myth and it just didn’t feel right to delete them without saying goodbye.
As I loaded up the game for one last run around with each of my Guardians I thought about why the game meant so much to me. Why I had found it so hard to just delete and move on. I have always had my issues with the game, disliking elements of its design or the strategy by which content was broken up and drip fed to us in the form of DLC and micro-transactions. That said, my love for Destiny outweighs those issues and the more I thought about it the more obvious it became. Destiny had been, for as long as I had played it, an excellent social experience. Playing with friends and making new ones through Destiny had been the highlight of the game and that attempted act of deletion felt like a betrayal of the good times we all had together.
As such, before we all move on I want to celebrate some of my favourite memories from a game that helped a disparate group of friends from all around the world spend time together.
My First Exotic
In any game with a loot system, the very first item of the top tier loot that you get is quite the moment. It’s that feeling that you somehow beat the system and got a present from the game that you simply were not supposed to have yet. Exotics in Destiny are a big deal for new players and mine was no different but possibly even a bit more special than usual. I began playing Destiny towards the latter quarter of Year 1. Up until then I just didn’t have a PS4 and Destiny was one of the first games I bought when I got one.
I started playing with friends and after running through story missions and ranking up it was off to the Reef. I was told if we did a Prison of Elders it was a guaranteed Exotic for me as it would be the first time I had done it. As I approached the chest upon completion I felt a nice thrill and as the Exotic weapon flashed into existence my friends and I all reacted with glee. I had scored a Gjallarhorn, at the time one of the most sought-after Exotics in the game. Some people I played with had been there since Day 1 and it still hadn’t dropped. Little did we know that was just the start of my luck.
All the Rest
The interesting thing about Destiny is that we all play the same game but a combination of how we play and how the game treats us ends up giving us all different in game personalities. Some people fall off every ledge, some people clutch every situation. For me I became renowned amongst my friends for seemingly being able to will the game into giving me the drops I needed or wanted. My first Exotic was the mighty Gjallarhorn, my first time through Vault of Glass I was gifted the Fatebringer, and my second time brought me the Vision of Confluence.
I always seemed to score the best Light levels and loot in Raids and drops and the myth grew even more upon commanding the Exotic chest in the VOG to give up a Hawkmoon and having one delivered straight into my hands moments later. Every one of my friends seemed to be treated slightly differently by the game and it would lead to hilarious Engram opening sessions where everyone’s bounty would be met with jeers or cheers, and one particularly ecstatic moment when a friend who had been waiting for well over a year finally got his hands on that sweet, sweet Gjallarhorn.
From Raid Noob to Hard Carry
When I first started playing the game the Crota and Vault of Glass raids were already long established and I was initially carried through them by friends. Over time I learned the ropes of the game, the Raids themselves, and was holding my own. As time went by I ended up with three different raid groups. One consisted of my American friends, another was made up of my fellow Europeans and the last group, the one which formed the latest into my time playing the game was a group of Streamers.
For the later group, I was pretty much the hard carry. Myself and a buddy would be tagged in when they were struggling and we would coach them through Raids. It had nothing to do with being better than them, that is just the cycle of Destiny. You start out knowing nothing, are taught by the community and go on to teach others. You develop your own quirks on popular strategy, your own affinity for different types of weapons and play-styles and then you go out and teach the Kinderguardians.
One of the best moments of all came when we had a group of five and were starting Vault of Glass. A random player showed up and we invited him in, assigned him a nickname among ourselves ( in this case Carlos Spiceyweiner) and set about raiding. As it happened he had never raided before and my group of friends got to give this Guardian his first taste of Raid goodness. It is a very rewarding feeling to pass on the results of your own and other’s hard work to your fellow players. It’s something I look forward to being ahead of the curve on with in regard to Destiny 2.
King’s Fall was the first Raid I got to do where I felt on par with the community. It hadn’t been run before hundreds of times, all the surprise and nuance hadn’t been taken out of it by hundreds of videos, articles and social media posts. We all went in blind and we all got our ass kicked. My friends and I figuring out its secrets, mechanics and ways to victory felt amazing. Due to everyone having either jobs or time zone issues we were not able to finish it in one sitting.
Some of us needed to up our Light levels to stay relevant as we got deeper into its challenges. In a way that made the eventual victory over Oryx all the sweeter. We cheered as we watched Oryx’s corpse float away into space, sending unused rockets and Supers flying after it. The Raids from Destiny are a very rewarding experience, offering a real sense of achievement when you complete them. They will always stand out as a highlight of the game for those of us who played them.
Some of the most fun you can have in games, Destiny included, is often not even something the devs will consider. With your friends, you make your own fun, come up with your own in-jokes and traditions and go from there. In my group, we would often perform rituals around Loot Chests in the Raids, convinced that combinations of emotes would please RNGesus and he would bestow upon us a blessing. When Rise of Iron dropped we had a different sort of fun and everyone adopted a wolf in the new social space.
After collecting and completing bounties and missions, or playing a good game of “What’s that Engram Gonna Be” we would then head off to spend some quality time with our Wolf while the rest of the party finished up their own chores. Mine was called “Wolf” by the way, because 170 pounds of teeth and claws doesn’t need a name, it just needs a description.
Visiting the Lighthouse
I am far from a skilled player with a controller but over my time in Destiny I eventually learned to piece together some skill for it’s PvP portion in the Crucible and even managed a few successful runs to the Lighthouse thanks to some very skilled team-mates. Trials of Osiris is by far the standout PvP element in Destiny, offering fun rewards for those who excel and a solid challenge for everyone who takes part. The first time I played PvP I lamented my skillset but hard work and dedication paid off. I finally made my way to the glorious Lighthouse and made my bargain with RNGesus.
We have little detail on what format Trials will take in Destiny 2 but I hope it offers the same stiff challenge and solid rewards for the player base as I hope to be far more proficient in PvP now that I can play it on PC. Trials was another wonderful teaching and learning moment for me, playing with more experienced guys and then taking that experience into games with friends who were less comfortable. Special mention to the round where I got quite annoyed at the other team while I was trying to teach a friend something and quickly switched to my 1000 Yard Stare, dropping the entire enemy team in 3 swift shots. The message was clear, no talking while class was in session!
Onward to Destiny 2
So there you have it, an interesting sample of all the memories that came flooding back to me as I tried to delete my Destiny install. After playing the Beta on both PC and PS4 I find myself incredibly excited for the game. I remember standing in the tower and looking down at the vista below and chatting with friends about how cool it would be if some day the Tower was attacked and we were scattered into the city below, striking from the shadows as we sought the Light.
Years later and here we are, the Cabal are coming, the Tower is cracked and broken and we once again have nothing but our fellow Guardians to rely on. If you find yourself facing Destiny 2 in need of knowledge or a guiding hand then check out our Guide Hub here. If it will be your first time taking a trip into the world of Destiny then check out our Complete Story Guide here. Thanks for joining me on this walk down memory lane Guardians, and I hope to see you in Destiny 2 very soon.