When Destiny first came out in September, The Edge gave it a rating of 7.5/10. Whilst I was not the original reviewer, I agreed with many of the points made in the review, such as the repetitive level design found in the main story missions, and the lack of real story in the main game. However, even though these points are still valid, I have as of this moment invested over 6 days of time into the game. Clearly there is something there which is enticing me back.
Developer Bungie was right in saying that after you reach level 20, Destiny becomes a completely different game. After this point, the emphasis is on gaining gear which is infused with light. Up until the release of the DLC expansion ‘The Dark Below’, the most efficient way of reaching high levels was by playing the game’s raid, ‘Vault of Glass’. This particular raid is far more fun than any of the main story missions, and involves you teaming up with 5 other people to complete a raid which is both technically difficult and long. Including both normal and hard modes, I have completed Vault of Glass 15 times since starting the game, and I still play it regularly as it is such fun.
The Dark Below came out in November and with it came a new raid ‘Crota’s End’, three new story missions, new gear and multiplayer maps. Since it’s release I have spent plenty of time in the new raid in my search for getting to the elusive level cap which currently stands at 32 (I am currently 1 shard away from 32). The raid is fun (although the newly released hard mode might test that feeling) and I play it weekly after the loot reset. Whilst it is not as fun and innovative as ‘Vault of Glass’, ‘Crota’s End’ is still one of the current highlights of the game and comfortably beats all of the story missions.
Whilst the raids are one of the main reasons that Destiny is so addictive and sees me playing almost daily, there must be other reasons why I just can’t get enough. It is hard to put my finger on quite why I keep going back but the likely reason is Destiny’s loot system. The main prizes in the game are the exotic and raid gear and weapons. The exotics are supposedly the most powerful aspects of your arsenal in the game and this is why you are limited to only equipping one exotic armour piece and one exotic weapon in your loadout. In my pursuit of ‘completing’ Destiny I do not need to get all exotics, but I want them. I currently have many exotic weapons as they are the most fun to play with, and a few pieces of exotic armour. However, the rate at which you are awarded exotic pieces is mostly random. You can gain exotics from the strike playlist, from engrams, from the tower merchant Xur (he only comes on weekends), from random drops in the raids and from exotic bounties.
It may sound like you should have exotic weapons and armour raining down upon you but this is not the case. Players bemoan RNG (random number generation) due to how random and seemingly unfair loot drops are, but this is what entices me back. You never know when you might get lucky, and if you can play strikes and raids and have fun whilst possibly getting an exotic drop, I am not going to want to stop playing.
Ultimately, as other games sites have mentioned, the addictive nature of Destiny lies in its slot machine mechanics. If you keep spending time playing the game, the longer you play, the more likely you are to receive a random drop and get lucky. This, coupled with Destiny’s fantastic gameplay as mentioned in the original review means that I am always enticed back, week after week, in the hope that one day I will be rewarded and in the words of Bungie; Become Legend.