Yesterday was a very full gaming day for me, and many others in my (admittedly tiny) social sphere. Not only was it the start of the Destiny 2 PC beta, but it was also a major patch day for WoW. They didn’t let us peasants that haven’t preordered yet download the beta until mid-day yesterday, so I had to queue up the download after I got home from work. Then I had to pause that download long enough to let WoW get patched up. I let D2 download in the background while I checked out my new WoW spaceship and headed off to another planet.
I only played enough WoW to unlock the new set of world quests on one character, but it’s been a pretty great experience so far. Argus feels huge and dangerous. The opening sequence feels suitably epic, although it still manages to have Blizzard’s trademark “lore character swoops in for the kill steal” moments. Here on the first day of the patch it feels more like a mini-expansion than a mid-expansion update. We shall see how well all of the content on offer holds up in the coming weeks. At least we are promised a bit of meaningful questing as the Argus story unlocks. Anything is better than Broken Shore favorites like “hand Dadghar some currency so he can make a joke at your expense,” and “I don’t know, just go away and kill some stuff I guess.”
Thinking about those quests makes me mad both because they felt like a waste of time and because I had to do them to unlock flying, which is now useless in the new zones. I don’t want to get in an epic rant about flying in WoW but the back and forth of having and losing flying is getting very old. I appreciate the idea that going without flying at the start of the expansion lets them design the zones and questing experience in a more immersive way. I don’t even mind that earning flying requires a bit of effort now. What feels terrible is spending all that effort to get flying for one patch, and then having it taken away again. My $0.02: If you’re going to take it away, don’t make us work so hard for it, or if you’re going to make us work hard for it don’t take it away.
Flying rants aside, I greatly enjoyed my time in Argus up until exactly the moment when the D2 download finished. Then I commenced an epic battle with error codes, graphics drivers, and windows updates until I finally was victorious and could launch the beta. It looks and feels very slick on my machine, and it played nicely with my controller. The small amount of PvE questing available was fun enough, and felt perfectly Destiny-y. I’m not sure how much the story will make sense to someone who’s never played the first game, but I expect that they’ll be too busy struggling with the controls to worry about it since there’s no tutorial of any kind. I hope the full version of the game does a better job of easing people in.
I did get the chance to try out the strike with a couple friends, and I’m glad I did. It felt fairly similar in difficulty and length to the few strikes I’d tried in Destiny before, although the last boss was more complicated than I’m used to. I’m very glad I got to do it with friends so I could enjoy the sights and not feel super rushed. I haven’t tried any of the crucible offerings yet, and I’m not sure if I will during the beta. Most likely I will make a few new characters and play through the quest sequence again until I decide between keyboard/mouse and controller, and figure out the settings that work best for me.
If you’re curious or on the fence about Destiny 2 I’d suggest checking out the beta while you can. It’s definitely not full access to all the game’s content yet, but it is a reasonable sampling that should give you an idea of whether you’d enjoy it or not. I’m definitely looking forward to being able to play the full game!