For the last month or so (Since Bungie day) I’ve been spending a lot of time, on and off, trying to complete the “Moments of Triumph” in Destiny.
Brief Background: The Moments of Triumph are a list of tasks for the player. A set of quests if you will, which if completed by Sept. 9th will gain the player a special emblem which will only be available to players who have done all these tasks before Sept. 9th. After Sept 9th there is no chance anyone will be able to get this emblem ever again. (In short, if the year one hard core players do everything in Destiny they will get this)
So what are these tasks? (Very minor Destiny Spoilers ahead)
-Apprentice of Light – Character reached the maximum level (Official level max is 20 even though the level cap is technically 34 as of right now but we’ll get into that another time)
-Light of the Garden – Defeated the dark heart of the Black Garden (Finished vanilla Destiny’s campaign)
-Light in the Dark – Prevented the summoning of Crota’s soul (Finish the new campaign missions from the Dark Below DLC)
-Light the Reef – Captured Skolas in the Vex Citadel (Finish the new campaign missions from the House of Wolves DLC)
-Bane of Skolas – Defeated Prison of Elders on Hard Difficulty (Survived Destiny’s horde mode level 35)
-Bane of Atheon – Defeated Atheon on Hard Difficulty (Finished Vault of Glass Raid on Hard)
-Bane of Crota – Defeated Crota on Hard Difficulty (Finished Crota’s End Raid on Hard)
-Public Servant – Completed 50 Public Events
-Crucible Gladiator – Won 100 Crucible Matches (Win 100 PvP matches)
-Chest Hunter – Found all Golden Chests (These are hidden chests scattered throughout the game)
Why does this matter? What can we learn from this?
1. People love to prove they are the best. (hell, look at sports) Having this emblem is one more way of appeasing the hard core Destiny audience.
2. From my time in Destiny I have found there to be 2 kinds of Destiny players. PvE and PvP this forces players of both kinds to cross out of their comfort zone and try something maybe they hadn’t tried before.
3. And most importantly it forces communication between players which can create friendships. (I’ll explain in a second)
This is where we segway into a more controversial part of Destiny. Why there is no match making in Raids or other high level activities. Now this topic has been hotly debated for many months, ever since Destiny has been released and while I have flip flopped on this I would like to explain my reasoning to: A. Why I think they don’t have matchmaking in high level activities and B. Why they shouldn’t.
Friends. It all comes down to making friends and team building. When I want to do a raid I need to either A. Call up 6 of my friends who have Destiny on XB1 and/or B. Find people online. Personally I like to find people on the Bungie forums (Because most of my friends chose to get it on PS4. You might say I chose….. poorly). You make a post like “Looking for 5 lvl 32 guardians for the Vault of Glass Raid normal on Xbox one. Message DestinyGuy3452 for invite.” Then the invites start to trickle in until maybe 10 minutes later you have a full team. The interesting thing about this is that 99.9% of the time the players will have mics. Then you start playing the raid. Everyone is communicating working together and bonding over the struggle of beating this Raid. Fairly frequently about 5 hours later (or less depending on the skill of the team) I will have at least 3 new friends to play Destiny with. A struggle/common goal which unites players + communication creates bonds between players.
Well yeah but why can’t they just use matchmaking?
The strikes use matchmaking. And no one talks in the strikes. No bonds are created. Crucible is match made. And no one talks in the Crucible. (Except Trials of Osiris which isn’t match made. And guess what? Everyone has mics in that too)
**This is particularly strange for a console which is packaged with a headset. So there really is no excuse for people to not be using it online.
Are mics really that important?
Yes. Not only are you sharing an experience with other players, you end up talking to them. Getting to know them. It’s kind of like back in school and you were forced to sit near strangers you had never met but the teacher forces you to work in a group. Before you know it you guys found something in common and are friends.
A pair of metaphors if you will:
Raids/P.O.E./T.O.O. are kind of like group work. You are forced to talk and work with people for a common goal. And after you spend enough time with them you might be friends. Depending on the size of the group you might have a few new friends.
Strikes/Campaign or anything else w/o mics is kind of like working alone yes you may all have the same goal but since you are not spending time communicating there are very few if any bonds being created.
Why this phenomenon happens I can’t say for sure (Hence why this is more of a blog rather than a formal analysis). But when you force the players to find other people and they all want to do well a strange thing happens, everyone brings mics. (This could also be because these quests were designed so you will need mics and communication to even survive. I can’t imagine doing the Crota fight with no mics because two teams, the sword bearer and the guys with the rocket launchers, need to coordinate attacks at the same time) And usually everyone makes at least one friend. And we all know what happens when you have friends playing the same game as you. You guys all play more.
Hold on Scott, I want to do the Raids but I don’t want to do the extra work of going online. It should just be in there.
I’m going to be completely straight with you. Yes, it sucks you can’t just click a button and the Raid matchmaking launches. Yes, it sucks you may have to go out and socialize a little bit. But the only people using this particular argument are the ones who drop Destiny anyways. These are the people who would probably do the raid one time and move on to the next game. Anyone who really enjoys this game and really wants to get this end game content steps out of their comfort zone to do it. The end game high level content was built specifically to reward the hard core fans. It’s not there for everyone. (This could spark another discussion I’d like to have at another time about Does X belong to the fans? And to which ones? Does it belong to the creators? But that’s for another time) And they are willing to do the leg work to put the groups together. If you don’t want to talk to people, then the high level content probably wouldn’t work for you anyways.
How would you know?
Uh… because I did it. I was that guy thinking that there is no excuse for not having matchmaking. But I stepped out of my comfort zone because I wanted to try the raids and made a bunch of new friends by complete accident. And I’m not the only one.
What about if you added in matchmaking but forced players to have a mic plugged in?
Well you got me there. I suppose that could work. But then I ask you what about if the player has a Kinect? Or are AFK? A troll? (Trolls are less likely when they have to actually do some work) There is something special about going out and doing the leg work to find these people. People who have a pretty good idea what they are getting into. And no one who is away from their keyboard (I’ve had too many of these in matchmaking, it infuriates me). People who really want to do this instead of just kind of trying it out. That and you’d have to think of the media storm against forcing players to buy a mic separate from the game to access all the content. I know this probably wouldn’t bother xbox one or Ps4 players but I’m not sure if PS3 or xbox 360s are bundled with head sets or not.
Bungie’s official statement is that they want players to have the best possible experience in raids. People who are AFK or don’t have mics/listen to their team ruin that experience.
So should there be high level matchmaking? If the Designers are smart they will never give in to the public outcry for it. Because it has created bonds between players, strengthened the hardcore audience and made Destiny something more than just another game for some of us.