Last night did not go entirely as planned, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a pretty amazing night. The original plan that I had in my head was an attempt at completing the Nightfall bounty on as many characters as I could for shots at the Icebreaker. However as the day went on that plan slowly morphed into going to my very first Wrath of the Machine raid. So around 8pm last night we managed to pull together the six players needed for the raid and I shifted into full on learner mode. Destiny is one of those games where I am constantly amazed at the level of dedication the community has. A raid in Destiny is this complex sequence of events that have to be completed in a specific way… and the first time I step into one of the encounters it is full on information overload. I find it interesting how fast the community as a whole crowd sources the solution to the fights, sharing tidbits of information and ultimately mapping strategies for how to complete them. I say this because the fights themselves are actually messaged somewhat poorly as to what you should be doing at any given time. Since I am very much a “learn by doing” player, it means for the first few raids I ultimately feel completely lost.
What is extremely interesting about Wrath of the Machine versus Kings Fall is that the “roles” are not necessarily fixed. In Kings Fall you could essentially put your most seasoned player on the job of doing whatever was the most important task on a given fight. While there was a certain measure of randomness, like who got chosen to run the spark on the invisible platforms… others like the person getting Golgoroth’s Gaze were very much something you had in your control. As a result to some extent it was much easier to carry a new player through and allow them to see the fights in motion, before they were ever expected to take up a key roll in the fight. That is very much NOT the case in Wrath of the Machine given the game shifts the roles around quickly and while you might be dpsing one moment, the next you might be needing to toss SIVA charges at fixed markers. The hardest of these fights for me to grok was the Aksis encounter where the raid divided up into three sides, and the game randomly empowered three players at a time… sometimes requiring you to shift around quickly to cover a side if it did not have an empowered player. The end result is that new players ultimately have to learn quickly because you never know exactly when that key role is going to fall on your shoulders.
There were several points during the night where I absolutely know I failed at various mechanics, but while moving through the content I started to get a feel for what I was doing wrong and how to correct it. Now with Kings Fall, most of the encounters were fairly easy… but it was the jumping sequences that were the bane of my existence. With Wrath of the Machine, the encounters themselves seem to be the challenge, and while I died a few times during the much shorter jumping sequences they didn’t see anywhere near as nerve wracking as disappearing ships over of a giant open chasm. Last night was also important because it marked the first time I had really done large group content with Tequila Mockingbird my clan. It has been over six months since Axioma clan was dissolved in a fit, and [TQMB] was formed out of the ashes. It definitely feels like we wound up with the absolutely best natured of folks for the reboot. Within minutes I felt right back at home, which I guess is a strange statement considering I have been proudly sporting the clan tag since the moment the reboot happened.
So while I had no real intent of raiding last night, I am super happy to have seen the content now and to have gotten some of the really awesome stuff that drops there. There seems to be a massive problem with duplicates from the SIVA key caches. On the first boss encounter I got the Ether Nova fusion rifle… and then turned around and got the same thing from the cache. From the second encounter I managed to pick up Arms, that I am extremely happy about given that they have the crazy heavy ammo trait. From the third encounter, I picked up an Artifact which is decent but it is really hard to get excited over an artifact when I am apparently now swimming in 400 light ones. From the final phase of the Aksis encounter I walked away with the Genesis Chain auto rifle, and then spent a key and got an exact duplicate. Past that I wound up with three exotics from the run: 4th Horseman, Hereafter, and Crest of Alpha Lupi. The first two turning into shards since I don’t really like either weapon, and the last from an engram serving as infusion fodder for the Twilight Garrison I had yet to upgrade.
I spent a bit of time after the raid running around in the Plaguelands patrol zone to play with both the Auto Rifle and the Fusion Rifle and I like both. The Genesis Chain feels really awesome when you get headshots and cause the firefly to proc since it has a unique sound effect that goes with it. The Fusion Rifle… largely just feels like a competent Fusion Rifle. I sincerely doubt I will be giving up either The Branded Lord or Saladins Vigil for it, but it is nonetheless a reasonable weapon that is probably going to get ferried off to one of my alts. I have heard it works really amazingly in Crucible, so I will have to give it a shot there. It is bizarre how I have gone from being someone that NEVER used Fusion Rifles, to being someone who largely now favors them over Shotguns for close to medium range engagement. The other really awesome thing that happened is that I am now flagged to do the Outbreak Prime quest, which honestly could be an entire post in itself. It turns out that Lexy is also stalled on this quest, so that gives us Hunter and Titan… and we just need to find a Warlock to ride along with us since that quest requires you to group up all three classes to progress. Wondering if maybe some point this weekend we can knock out the required pieces so that by the time the reset rolls around we are working on the final step which is the run the raid again.