Give Me The Loop. Why I Still Play Destiny. Or At All. 

With The Taken King set to come out in two weeks the world of Destiny is ramping up to the conclusion of Act One of the four part saga to be phased in over the next ten years. 

Now I play this game quite regularly. Nearly every day for a bit. The game is dangerously addictive to the point I haven’t touched any other games I own. The thing that perplexes me is that these other games I want to play have much more focus and depth to their content while Destiny is in fact so shallow and uses psychological hacks to keep you playing. Hacks I’m aware of and yet still give in to. 

Right off the bat the game delivers with snappy and tight controls. The guns are the real stars of the creation, even more than the imaginative alien hoards that eat their bullets. The shotguns are chunky giving a thick controller shake with each shot, the snipers are mercilessly focused and the hand guns make you feel like a Wild West slayer. A game can’t get far if it doesn’t hook you in seconds with captivating, cathartic control. 

After the player burns through the horrendously short and forgettable story they are thrust into the end game. An end game that bungie doesn’t do much to explain well, leaving me thinking it was done intentionally to promote community interaction. Regardless this where the loop begins. And oh god is it a skin scratching, teeth yellowing addiction. The end game revolves around a casino style game of engram collection and reputation building. Two systems that are symbiotic. The engrams work as a gamble. They need to be decoded by NPCs called cryptarchs and have a chance of yielding an item that could be better but is most likely trashed for upgrade components. 

These engrams are rewarded from grinding out reputation that one gets from achieving daily bounties. But it really begs the question what is the point of doing the bounties? Well it’s to get to a level above three to maybe have the chance at a better item which you will use to kill more shit to get more rep to get a new item. You see where I’m going with this? 

I’d say the ultimate end game is a collection fest where players show off to each other the rarest items known as exotics which are gold ranked items that only drop once in a blue moon. If one were to collect every exotic item then there would seemingly be no reason to keep playing. This is why Destiny makes the exotic drops so few and far between. This is why I get a crazy rush when one is finally given out sometimes turning around a shit day I’ve had. This shows the mastering Bungie has over the human psyche and reward pathways in the brain. Well done Bungie, well done. Now excuse me I have to go back to the tower casino. 

-Nick

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