Pat’s still missing gold circles, but Destiny means something to him other than completion.
I’m a practical player. Weapons like Icebreaker and Fatebringer mean I can destroy things faster and our group works better as a team. They mean we raid better and have more fun. That’s what success in Destiny means to me: whether or not we’re actually enjoying ourselves.
I was confused about my feelings concerning Destiny’s first year. My excitement for year two is clear: the pre-release patch drops later today and I’m as probably about as pumped as it’s possible for me to be about a video game. But I haven’t completed the Moments of Triumph challenge, despite having played over 360 hours. I haven’t killed Skolas. I don’t have that blue ship. I haven’t even collected all the gold chests.
I have until September 15 to complete the Triumph challenges and collect the emblem (the image below says there are 16 hours left, but the deadline was extended in the last Bungie update). I won’t do it. My befuddlement didn’t have anything to do with regret, but rather that I honestly didn’t care.
After writing this article I understand why. Destiny was never about collecting for me. I’ll admit there have been occasions when I’ve been annoyed at being the only one, say, that hadn’t hit the level cap, or didn’t have the emblem you only receive for killing Skolas, but I’ve always maxed the number and I’ve had ample opportunities to take down the Kell of Kells. I just haven’t. If I was that driven I would have done it, as most of my crew has. I think I’ve tried once. We got to the boss, got him halfway down. I never did it again. It evidently isn’t that important to me. It’s just another dead dude and another notch on the virtual gate-post.
My failure to complete the challenge (not that I was trying) has made me assess what it is about Destiny that’s kept me enthralled for so long. I know people who’ve played maybe quadruple my amount of hours, who’re utterly obsessed with collecting every exotic, every major legendary and every armour permutation across every class. Not me. I play for the thrill of working as a team and for the purest ten-second shooting loop in big budget gaming. That’s why. Another gun I’ll never use doesn’t matter to me, and an emblem is just an emblem. I’m not belittling those who’ve struggled in the past year to rinse everything Destiny has to offer at every level, but I’m not driven in the same way.
That’s not to say I haven’t been pushed by gear and challenge this year. I literally cheered when Fatebringer dropped and there’s no question I rushed at my first Etheric Light legendary upgrade (Oversoul Edict, in case you’re wondering: yes, I know yours was Vision of Confluence). The first time I saw Atheon disintegrate has to be one of the most exhilarating moments I’ve ever experienced in a game, and beating Crota on hard gave my guts an undeniable pinch of justice. I just don’t have the stomach to be the completionist Destiny wants me to be. I’m a practical player. Weapons like Icebreaker and Fatebringer mean I can destroy things faster and our group works better as a team. They mean we raid better and have more fun. That’s what success in Destiny means to me: whether or not we’re actually enjoying ourselves.
Obviously, it’d be nice to have the emblem, and I’d be lying if I said there isn’t a part of me that wishes I’d completed Moments of Triumph. But I looked at it a week ago, at what needed to be done, and I wasn’t compelled. I wasn’t going to spend hours traipsing around story missions with a guide looking for the chests, and I wasn’t going to sit waiting for public events while watching the seconds tick away. That isn’t fun. It isn’t why I play. I couldn’t be bothered.
I’m sure I’ll log-on tomorrow and the rest of the crew will have the emblem equipped, and I’ll probably moan and the others will take the piss. And that’s fine. That’s fun. That’s why I play Destiny, and why I can’t wait to get stuck into The Court of Oryx and the new raid, to check out the new quest system and smash my way up to level 40 next week. It’s going to be amazing, and not having the year one emblem isn’t going to change that. Maybe I’ll kill Skolas before the deadline. Maybe I won’t. I’ll see what everyone else is doing. That’s the real reason I’m playing, after all.
I didn’t complete year one. I’m ready for year two. Are you?