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A Casual Conversation: So You're Thinking About Playing Destiny

Damien Gula Posted:
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Greetings, soon-to-be or new Guardian and welcome to a casual conversation about Destiny 2. In this article, I will serve as a guide to you, dear burgeoning Blueberry, as you find your footing in Bungie’s venerable sci-fi first person shooter MMO.

Now, I imagine that you might have one of three responses to that statement:

  1. 1. Did he really just call Destiny an MMO?
  2. 2. If Destiny is an MMO, how much grinding will I need to do to catch up to my friend?
  3. 3. Why did he call me a Blueberry?

I mean to answer all of these in turn, but first, the last question. “Blueberry” is an affectionate term in the Destiny community for new players. It isn’t an insult. Blueberries are precious and full of possibilities and, just like you, they are always welcome. Questions #1 and #2 we will answer in turn.

With the today’s release of the Shadowkeep expansion, Bungie introduces Destiny 2: New Light - a free-to-play Destiny experience where you can jump into the world with all regions open for exploration. New Light players will have access to the whole scope of Destiny activities and will include Destiny 2’s The Red War, Curse of Osiris, and Warmind campaigns (the entirety of Year One with the option of adding on Destiny 2: Forsaken and Shadowkeep content independent of each other.) Even better? That content follows you regardless of what system you choose to play on!

What is also beautiful about New Light is that it takes new players back to where is all began five years ago in Destiny 1: The Cosmodrome. Experience the world anew with freshly resurrected Guardian meeting their Ghost for the first time, learning of the Traveler and it’s battle against the darkness. Climb through humanity’s wreckage as you make your way to the last safe city on Earth. 

Okay. Perhaps these virtues have already convinced you that it is time to dive is. Where do we begin?

Choosing a class:

Before you can dive in, you’ll need to pick the type of Light-bearer you want to be -  each with specializations based of one on of three energy types in Destiny - Arc, Void, and Solar. These specializations have their own  can be changed at any time. The choice between the Titan, Hunter, or Warlock comes down to the type of gameplay you enjoy.

Titans are hardened warriors born for the front lines. Their heavy armor and shout frames give them a mean right hook, but when imbued by the power of the Light, their bodies become living weapons. Choose colossal slams Arc energies, become an offensive shield of the Void, or hurl the might Hammer of Sol.

Take up the path of the Hunter, wanderers and scouts who find the City’s walls a bit too constricting for their sensibilities. Tame the wilds with the right balance of speed, power, and agility as agents of the Light most familiar with the shadows. Draw your enemies into a tethered net with the Nightstalker’s Void bow, get up close and personal with Arc-staff in hand, or light up the night with the legendary Golden Gun. 

Where Titans pursue the fight on from the front lines with brute force and Hunters operate with cunning, the Warlock prefers the weapon that is knowledge. Through their deep learning, these Guardians disregard heavy armor to freely flow as those who might dance with the Light. Powerful Warlocks can channel Arc energies into static strikes, imbue their blade with Solar flames, or call forth menacing Void bombs to annihilate their foes.

Which ever Guardian caste you choose, each embodiment of the Light is needed to push back the darkness.

Know Your Enemies and Your Allies: Digging into the Lore of Destiny:

While a bit nebulous, the ultimate fight of Destiny is one of Light versus Darkness, or the deep versus the sky. It is a battle between the Sword Logic (a philosophy that sees the purpose of life as destruction, to whet the blade of the strongest) and the Bomb Logic (an opposing view that life, made up of intricate parts, makes for a powerful, even cataclysmic, whole when properly ordered).

While Guardians operate under the later, we have foes whose intimate knowledge of the Sword Logic make them the stuff of nightmares… the pinnacle of which are the Hive. Born millions of years prior, this ancient race made a pact with great and terrible worms in the darkness. They learned the secrets of death and destruction and their very nature is to feed their hunger for it. Out of this hunger for death came the Taken, beings whose very will have beed ripped from reality to serve the purposes of Darkness. Borne of Hive magics, the Taken know only consumption.

The Fallen, or Eliksni, are a broken race of scavengers and space pirates who were once host to the Traveler. No one knows why the Traveler left them, but the Fallen regard is as their Machine God, seeking to win its favor… even if through force. In their brokenness as a people, some have been twisted by heretical methods into Skorn.

The mighty Cabal are a vast empire, spanning systems and civilizations with a heart for conquest. Their once exiled emperor Calus has had dealings with us, making invitations for us to join him and grow fat with strength… for a price: that we might usher in the end of all things as his champion.

And then there are or were or, perhaps, there have always been the Vex. It’s hard to define these enigmatic robots because they have the unique characteristic of being able to manipulate time as we know it… even to the point of erasing a person form it entirely. Their ability to simulate battles makes them formidable foes. But the one thing they could never simulate is our Light.

The world of Destiny is densely rich with lore and many excellent lore masters and storytellers to guide your new journey. I highly recommend a gentleman on YouTube who goes by My Name is Byf. He produces stellar content with the help of some very talented artists within the community and is a fantastic story teller. His latest feat of loremastery tells the entire story of Destiny… in four hours.

Answering the Questions:

Destiny has, up until lately, had a tenuous relationship with the term MMO. However, the team is leaning hard into it with this season, bringing in more options for customization and character development throughout its content. The beauty of this renewed vision is that, unlike longstanding MMOs, with New Light you will be able to dive into the world directly at a Power level capable to running alongside your friends. Regardless of their Power level at the end of Destiny 2 - Year 2, players jumping into New Light and Shadowkeep will be boosted to the previous year’s hard cap: Power lever 750.

So, no, you will not need to grind out hours of content just to catch up to your friends. You can dive in today and run with them as you get your newly minted legs underneath you. And no - the Destiny community does not hate this idea. Like I said earlier, Blueberry, we know that new players can bring value to the community and we welcome the opportunity to walk alongside you all to help you find your way.

Final Words of Preparation:

There is so much to tell you about Destiny, but much is worth discovering on your own. I leave you with a few pointers:

1. Get to Know The Director: This is how you will navigating the UI and where you will find the pressing items in game that you are working on.

2. Pursue Greatness: Any bounties or quests that you pick up will be found under the Pursuits menu (at least, they were at the time of writing this). This is found underneath your map tab and it will contain your progression on each of these.

3. Get the Companion App: I wish this was a bit more prominent advice. One of Destiny’s biggest shortcomings is that the in-game matchmaking only goes so far. Sometimes, there are daring adventures that require a bit more coordination. That is where the Companion App comes in. Through the Android or iOS stores, you can find this app, link your account, and gain access to inventory management tools, look for Fireteam support, and more.

4. Allow Yourself to Get Lost: I know that it is an old adage, but it bears repeating: sometimes, the most important thing isn’t the destination, it’s the journey. The journey through Destiny is one that is made remarkable through the discovery of lore through item and grimoire tabs, the observations or architecture, or even listening to the sweeping scores created for this epic space-faring adventure. Allow yourself the wonder of discovery along the way. 

Whether you are new to Destiny or looking to get back in, New Light provides an incredible entry point into the vast universe that began five years ago. I welcome you to join me in this new endeavor and hope that, even in it’s tumultuous past, you find yourself as a brand new bearer of the Traveler’s Light.

I leave you with Bungie’s life-long declaration to players for generations: Per Audacia Ad Astra - through boldness, to the stars.

Eyes up, Guardian. I’ll see you star-side.


Damien Gula

Born in the heyday of mullets and the El Camino to a tech-foward family, Damien joined the MMORPG.com team back in 2017 to review hardware and games as well as provide coverage for press preview events. He has participated in a number of MMOs over the years, including World of Warcraft, RIFT, Guild Wars 2, and the Destiny series. When he isn't writing for MMORPG.com, Damien is a pastor by trade who loves talking with anyone interested about life, God, and video games (in no particular order). He also co-hosts a podcast dedicated to these conversation with fellow MMORPG writer Matt Keith called Roll The Level.