Another similarity to modern MMOs is that you do not have to pick a server to play on. The game is not divided by geographic regions either. I spent two hours last Saturday playing Destiny with Gareth Harmer who lives in the UK. We were in a fire team together and that allowed us to have voice chat over the games built in system. Many Fallen and members of the Hive fell to our bullets that day. As a player you can change the settings on your fire team to allow anyone to join you, anyone on your friends list to join you, by invite only, or to not allow anyone to join your fire team. You can be as social as you want to be. Be careful though as the notification that someone has joined your fire team appears to be missing and you can all of a sudden have someone’s voice coming out of your TV and controller when you least expect it. I had one of my friends talking at me Friday night for about 3 minutes before I realized what was actually going on.
Gear also plays an important part in Destiny just as in most of our favorite MMOs. You can collect loot in a number of ways. You can pick up items as you kill enemies, you can get them as random missions rewards, you can also be awarded items when you complete bounties. There are five quality levels of items in the game. The most basic items are white and have minimal stats. The next tier up is when the items start getting interesting. As you progress and earn experience so too can some of your higher quality items. Once they gain enough experience they could then allow you to have a larger magazine for your rifle. Some items have more than one tier of unlocks. Other will force you to make choices. I have a heavy machine gun that will allow me to have a shorter effective range but my shots will become more accurate as I fire or I can have a longer range but they are less accurate. While neither one of these is really more powerful than the other it allows me to choose based on my personal play style.
One of the last big similarities is character development. At the beginning you will get to choose from three different types of guardian. You can be a Titan, a Hunter, or a Warlock. Each of these also has sub classes and while only 1 subclass for each main class was shown in beta more will become available in time. The Titan is a heavily armored guardian and is the in your face fighter. Hunters are more lightly armored, faster, and more nimble than the Titan. Warlocks are the lightest armored yet but can be extremely powerful with their magic like abilities. There is not a healing class in the game because it is not needed. If you manage to not take damage for a few seconds, even if this is only taking cover while in combat, you will regenerate your health. As you play through the game you will earn experience doing things that you would earn experience for in any RPG. Killing bad guys and completing quests. As you level up you will unlock new abilities. As you level up those abilities you can choose ways to augment them. If you were a Titan and leveled up your grenade abilities you could choose to have a pulse grenade or flashbang grenades but not both at the same time. While in beta the level cap is 8 but even after you hit the cap, as you use your abilities the abilities keep leveling up.
While Destiny is not your typical MMO it has more than enough core components that most fans of MMORPGs can probably find something that they like. Gamers that have played lobby based MMOs will find a number of systems they are already used to. Story driven missions and character development are the name of the game. The game can use some work on its communication systems. There is no way to chat with people outside of your party so coordination can be difficult when you are in the open zones. Outside of that I have found more to like in the game than I realized and hopefully one day it will come to the PC too. Until then, I’ll be spending a lot more time with my Playstation 4 than I have since buying it last year.
Robert Lashley / Robert Lashley is a Staff Writer and Online host for MMORPG.com. Rob's bald and when he isn't blinding people from the glare on his head talking in front of a camera you can find him spending his free time checking out the latest games and technology. Feel free to hunt him down on twitter @Grakulen
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