Destiny 2 is great and all, but it has far, FAR too many options for a new player. I know, because I’m a new player, and I’m suffering anxiety attacks at how full my quest log is.
“Get Destiny 2,” my friends said. “It’s fun, and you like guns, right?” That’s true, I do like guns (at least, in the strictly virtual and fictional sense). So I said sure, why not? I’m in a bit of a lapse as I await the latest installment of Ace Combat 7 DLC, and I heard that Destiny 2 recently released on Steam so as to get out from under the boot of an evil corporation. That, and it’s a Good Game™ according to every review ever read.
So I get in, get through the tutorial, and start playing through the New Light quest chain. It takes me to The Tower where I meet some interesting people (although it doesn’t tell me who they are or why I should care), and then it takes me to a planet where I meet more people, and then it takes me to another planet where I meet yet more people. All the while, each of these nice people are giving me more and more quests without me even realizing it.
And then my friends came online and told me to start playing Shadowkeep, which is the new expansion that brings the Moon to Destiny 2. And now I have Nightmare Essences, Moon bounties, a weird quest to kill a bunch of inter-dimensional robots called the Vex, and I literally can’t deal anymore because my quest log is full.
I nearly had a heart attack. Who gives new players SO MUCH content all at once and then caps their quest log at 63 quests/bounties? For that matter, who gives out so many quests/bounties/pursuits to a brand new player who has no idea what the hell they’re doing?
That’s not even the half of it. In the intervening weeks since the game’s release on Steam, I discovered there is WAY more. There are the original story campaigns, Red War, Curse of Osiris, and Warmind, which provide a far better explanation for Destiny 2’s rich lore than the current on-boarding quest does. There are Crucible and Gambit quests to do, both of which introduce the player to competitive modes that will completely turn whatever they’ve learned during the PvE portion of the game on its head.
There are Vanguard and Nightfall Strikes, designed to quickly put a player into a boss fight with powerful potential rewards. Each planet has its own set of story-based Adventures, Patrols, and Public Events, each rewarding Glimmer and planet-specific resources that help you rank up with that planet’s faction.
Done with that? No, you’re not! Once you reach player level 900, then you have Powerful Rewards to start farming to continue your progression to level 950. Done that? Pinnacle Rewards are your only path to progression, and that involves raids, Vex Offensive, or the limited-time Iron Banner PvP event.
Still think you’re done? NO! There are bounties for all of it! Explore, use a unique weapon, or just do something out of the ordinary to gain XP and more faction resources. Do it while you’re doing something else to double-up your progress and efficiently rank up that Seasonal Artifact and the new Seasonal Battle Pass.
I don’t even know what Escalation Protocols or Forges are, but I see them in my quest log, taunting me. I could abandon them to free up space, but then I wouldn’t know how to get them back. Or even if I’d want to.
So that’s already more things to do than most MMOs give players after 4 years of straight development. It’s more than a little intimidating and slightly insane that Bungie would thrust this on a new player without any warning or even so much as buying me a drink first.
Does this make Destiny 2 a bad game? Absolutely not. The gameplay itself is incredibly fun and there are literally thousands of weapons to cater to every taste imaginable. And there is something to be said for giving even new players the freedom to do whatever they want straight off the bat.
But like a bird suddenly released from its cage, I find myself wanting to return to the sweet comforts of imprisonment from time to time. The vastness of Destiny 2 is like space itself. Infinite possibilities await, but the concept of infinity is not something the human mind can deal with effectively. It can be paralyzing to know that you can go anywhere and do anything.
It’s a good thing I had friends to help hold my hand, otherwise, I’m not sure I would have ever left Earth.