Yesterday was if I am counting correctly the third reset we have experienced on the PC version of Destiny 2, and as a result that seems like an interesting time to take a sort of postmortem of my experiences so far. In fact I apparently also made a similar post three weeks after the PS4 launch, that could serve as an interesting comparison. At that point I was sitting at 291 light with the rest of my characters sitting in the 285ish range, and now I am knocking on the door of 305 with my Titan sitting at 304 without completing any of his weekly milestones, and the rest of my characters in the 300-302 range. In fact it was not until October 18th if I am looking at my posts correctly that I could hit 304 which I believe was somewhere in week six after release. There are a bunch of variables at work here, namely that I am trying to get a Nightfall every week and I did not do that before. Similarly I am dabbling in the raid and did not do that before… however the raid itself is not providing much in the way of gear yet other than a higher than normal level engram every week. What I am missing however is that after the second or third week I had access to a raid engram every week on the console side and we have yet to finish the raid on PC side but are getting close. I think when you balance everything out I have had access to roughly the same amount of gear so it isn’t simply that I am getting more of it more frequently. According to WastedOnDestiny.com I’ve spent 126 hours playing the PS4 version and 84 hours so far playing PC… so all things considered I have maybe been playing a little bit more on the PC than I was on the PS4 at this point.
Now the piece that is much harder to account for is ancestral knowledge. By playing Destiny 2 on the PS4 I essentially gave myself an extended beta test period with the game and by playing it as hard as I did I gleaned a bunch of knowledge that I then attempted to share on my blog. I know how things work and more than that I know how to best spend my time at least in the early game when I probably wasted some potential power gains on doing certain things too soon. In the console I was in a rush to see and do everything and now I more or less know what I like playing with and what it takes to get those things again. As a result I am now sitting on stockpiles of tokens that I can then use later as leverage when playing the 300 engram game trying for max level loot. I for example am sitting on 131 EDZ tokens largely because I know there isn’t much on that loot table that I don’t already have. On the converse I burn down my stock of Crucible and Vanguard tokens as soon as I get them because I am still looking for weapon drops from those activities. I could also be doing a lot more, like for example I don’t think I have touched Ikora’s memories at all during the PC launch and they are an additional draw at Vanguard loot that I should potentially be tapping. Essentially I progressed so much faster than I was expecting to… and I would chock that up to experience were it not for the fact that a lot of the Aggrochat crew are also progressing at similar levels. Are they simply getting the benefit of my experience as well, or did the PC game loosen the throttle a bit and let everyone’s item levels drift a little higher than was the case on the console?
The Achilles heel of the PC launch seems to be something that was almost completely overlooked. Destiny 2 added this fairly detailed clan system that allows players to benefit from the actions of other clan members… but does absolutely nothing for helping them communicate. What I mean by that is that while we have a weird text chat system on the Bungie website… that does not exist anywhere in game. The only options for chat in game are /fireteam, /team, and /whisper leaving out the very critical /clan. I mean I realize Bungie is still in denial that they made an MMO but this is the most basic functionality that PC MMO gamers expect from a game. Blizzard introduced this whole “social” section of the battle.net client… but that doesn’t work in game either leaving this huge gap for now to glue people together. Prior to launch I shared out the Beyond the Light Discord as a sort of multi-clan hangout and several weeks in I am still thinking that is going to be the best option to help people connect up for groups. I feel like they largely did not consider how vastly different the PC community would be and what sort of cultural norms we would expect going into the game. The end result however seems to be “use voicechat” as the way to connect up with folks… and there are just times where I don’t want to be talking on voice chat. My dream for Blizzard games is to have some sort of guild chat that spans across all of their games and allows me to talk to people playing Diablo 3 or World of Warcraft while I am playing Destiny 2. However that dream is seemingly still a long time coming, but in the mean time… Bungie please put in /clan.