This week Bungie thanked Destiny players by doling out millions of free legendary weapons. One character per player account received the gift from a mysterious benefactor at the postmaster. I got a heavy machine gun, which was cool because I haven’t hatched one from an engram to date as a level 28 Titan.
However, not all legendary weapon recipients claim to be so lucky. The Internet is aflame with their cries and criticism toward Bungie for not giving them the right gratis legendary weapon. Some got guns they already had. For Pete’s sake! Others got guns they thought they would never use. Shudder… Others still would rather have received no weapon at all. OK, seriously?
So why do players keep coming back to Destiny despite feeling cheated by sub-par legendary gifts and other flaws of the game? Is it their moral charge to save the world? Are they compelled to rescue the last city of mankind? Do they owe it to themselves to restore peace to the Cosmodrome via endless patrols? Or, is it to zoom off into a gorgeous 1080p sunset adorned in the coolest armor with the most powerful rocket launcher slugged over one shoulder? I’m betting the reason players stick with Destiny (and suffer Bungie’s oh-so-impudent gift giving) is for the glory and prestige of looking like a total bad ass. Anyone who knows anything about the game knows you worked damn hard to fully level that Crota raid gear.
Destiny is a glorified slot-machine journey from one chest to the next. It’s a space cowboy-themed gambling addiction in the living room. It’s about the excitement of the unknown and it’s all about the loot. Will you get Gjallarhorn or the same armor shader you got from the last chest. Will it be the last few ascendant shards you desperately need to level up or simply more ascendant energy you could do without? Destiny has players twitching in anticipation to see what they might get next.
Yes, Destiny has the best first-person shooting mechanics I’ve experienced to date. The satisfying melee, rechargeable grenade and fast-paced movement create FPS nirvana. You’re always on the move and combat in Destiny is more of a dance than anything, a ballet of bullets, explosions and well-timed fists. But I think what keeps players coming back for hundreds of hours is their inability to resist the ever-so-slim chance of getting good loot against all odds of getting more junk.
We, as Destiny players, know what we are signed up for. There have been surprises, disappointments and odd development choices along the way, but at this point day-one devotees understand the tune that Destiny hums. There is no excuse for complaining to strangers on the Internet that your free gift wasn’t the perfect one to advance your character. If you don’t like what you got, dismantle it and be on with your life. It’s a just video game and it’s supposed to be fun. Go make yourself useful grind for some Helium Filaments instead of souring the public image of gamers for all who are proud to call themselves or unwillingly categorized as such.
At the end of the day, Bungie gave loyal fans a free shot at getting something cool and that’s what Destiny is all about.
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