Well, The Dawning is over! Although I didn’t get to do everything it had to offer (SRL was missed by choice), I won’t necessarily miss it. I’ll admit it did help me boost from level 300 to 350 in short work, but trying to remember to login in daily for gift pickups with more than what I needed. It would only frustrate me when I realized I hadn’t logged in for a few days, only to wonder what great piece of armor I may have missed. For me, The Dawning was the game’s way of celebrating new and returning players that picked up the title over the holiday.
If you were new to being a Guardian, then what took place in Destiny over the past month was a great way to keep you comfortable during the game’s grind. However, it may be a bit misleading. Destiny’s progression trek is not as easy as it seemed during The Dawning where you would get gear that was most always 2 to 3 light levels above your equipped items. And, usually not as frequent. I only saw Xur once during the event but I’m sure it was a lucrative venture for Guardians who were aware of his presence. With the amount of drops you got during The Dawning, if the gear wasn’t an upgrade, you would certainly have large stacks of Mote of Light and Strange Coin (aptly referred to around 1Life2Play Studios as “some Strange”). If you visited Xur each of the 4 times the wayward vendor frequented The Reef, you could gran some really nice items, splurge on Three of Coins or pick up Exotic Shards to use later to reach the endgame light level of 400. I wish I could go back and pick up 1 or 2 more. I had no idea I would make it as far as I did. Going from level 300 to 367, at the time of this writing, and having only returned to the game Christmas Eve morning, I’m impressed with myself. Had I been doing all activities or with daily login, yes, I’d probably be max level. But the grind was good anyway.
Now, we move on. I’m back to the mediocre pacing of Destiny. Decrypting engrams for Motes or the exact same level of gear with a slight increase in Discipline (probably the dumbest stat in a game ever. Does anyone know what this does?) becomes a nightly ritual before turning in for bed. Strike Playlist are my only refuge. I get good drops there and the gameplay with a matchmade team is fun. But there’s the catch. I’m a solo player, but to level up beyond 365, the game is requiring you to play cooperatively. So much so, that the next big event, Trials of Osiris, is all about pre-made Fireteam ready to assert their dominance is nothing other than the Crucible, Destiny’s PVP arena.
I’m not a huge fan of Crucible, and what I do play of the mode, I do in matchmaking sessions. I may just be a Debbie-downer here, but I just don’t have friends for this. No one I know is playing Destiny and if they are, they are not into like I am. I lean on things like matchmaking in multiplayer games because I need to be connected to other players, but I would hate to be forced to. I know there are other things to do other than the upcoming Trials of Osiris event that will help me level my light. I just joined in on my first raid run of Wrath of the Machine last night. I used Xbox’s Looking For Group feature to find a Fireteam that would let the likes of me in on the adventure of calling out monitors and safe rooms. It was a fun night with a good group of gamers. But, it took me an hour to find them. I don’t think I’m going to be spending the time each night between January 13th and the 16th to do they a run Trials. I will return to doing things the hard way. Thanks a lot, Bungie for forced co-op without allowing a backbone like matchmaking, that works, to be a part of it. The best location for me right now will be Archon’s Forge. More on that next week.