It’s been a couple of weeks since the launch of Destiny 2 and I had the pleasure of completing the raid or six player PvE event Leviathan. Seeing as I have an MMORPG background, I though I’d give my two cents on the raid for those that maybe haven’t seen it or awaiting the game on PC in late October. For those that don’t know. Here’s a a Destiny Noobs raid review (Leviathan).
Mechanics > DPS
If there’s one thing I can say for the design of the raid, adhering to mechanics heavily outweigh your ability to produce damage. Very rarely could you just damage through phases and skip mechanics, you have to know and execute. Don’t get me wrong, there are burn phases where DPS matters otherwise you die, but the general feel was you needed to do your job (everyone). As the “new guy” this was challenging but enjoyable as I wasn’t rewarded based on how much damage I was doing every second but just fulfilling my role.
When I describe mechanics, I mean jumping to platforms, coordinating with your team to hit objects at the same time and even sneaking around avoiding detection. These things had little to do with your power level or gear score, but your ability to work together in a six player team. If one person screwed up, it’s over.
While it may have taken us four hours to beat Leviathan because I had to learn through practice, I felt rewarded based on my ability to play as a team not an individual. Within weeks or a month I can image doing this raid with my eyes closed after mastering the mechanics, but initially it was quiet difficult and the feeling of accomplishment similar to Dragonstar Arena in Elder Scrolls Online was there without the need to be a light attack weaving DPS monster.
Now comes the good or bad part of the raid and that’s the loot and rewards. Essentially the game caps the main portion of the rewards for a weekly limit. This helps the power gap from widening daily to weekly. In other MMOs, you are incentivized to run the content over and over and over. While this is great for folks that have 18 hours a day to play, it’s not good for the overall community. My initial thought is, great for casual players, long term viability of the game, bad for hardcore.
Speaking of rewards, I was disappointed in the amount of relevant loot I received for my effort. Obviously this is very randomly determined, but I literally didn’t get one usable piece that would fit my build. This would be fine for the fact that it’s capped per week per character. It also is disappointing that I don’t have the urge to rush back in their for gear or improvement of my character. This system does prevent me from spending my life in the raid, but maybe there is a middle ground for repeat-ability without sacrificing the power gap between casual and hardcore players.
One of the best features of the raid is that my class mattered and I wasn’t forced into a subclass or class. Warlock rotating rifts for extra damage and healing, great. Titan who has barricade for instant reload, great. Nightstalker Hunter to boost party DPS, great. Everyone had their use yet it didn’t feel like we HAD to have any one particular loadout of characters.
I was rewarded for sometimes swapping out my subclass and grenades for a more burst damage approach, while others was all about the survivability. There was one time I saved the group from a wipe because of my healing rift. This is what gaming is about, those moments where you remember either screwing up (did a lot of that) or making a clutch play to save the group. This raid had plenty of that.
My closing thought on the event is this; I wish this was what Mass Effect could have been. Nothing against Bungie or the lore, world and game but I just love Mass Effect. Large scale, difficult PvE that rewards class balance and mechanics, man is it cool. It feels like the evolution of Halo, turning a great co-op game into a MMO with story. I still have a long way to go in both my skill and understanding of the game, but I will be doing raids in the future because the good definitely outweighs the bad.