Destiny’s latest expansion has been live for nearly a week, encouraging players from around the globe to dive back into the game and progress their characters towards the new extended Light Level cap. With an entire new storyline featuring SIVA and the Iron Lords, a slew of new activities, and a brand new raid, Rise of Iron promised plenty. And yet, many players are viewing it as a mixed bag leaning a bit more towards bad than good.
The Infinite Grind
There’s no question that progression has been a problem for Destiny since day one, one that — since its introduction in a later expansion — revolves around the consistently increasing Light Level cap as additional content is added. With each individual expansion, Bungie has lifted the Light Level cap higher and filled the game with new tasks for players to grind though to reach it. But this time, many players feel things may have gone too far.
Thanks to the soft cap built into Rise of Iron’s progression, players have been frustrated continuously when working their way towards the new Light cap so that they can participate in more of the activities the expansion offers.
This soft cap will only drop items higher than your total Light Level, not the Light of a specific item. When you’re first getting started on leveling up, this cap doesn’t affect you too much, because items drop within four to five Light above your current Light Level, but once you near 350…things really start to kick in. Here, items will only drop one Light Level or two higher until you hit Light Level 365 where it opens back up once again.
It seems that players are quickly figuring out the optimal ways to push through this artificial wall over on Reddit though, but that doesn’t appear to be solving the Destiny RNG problems veterans are so familiar with.
Paying for Basics
When Destiny first introduced the Eververse Trading Company back in October of 2015, players immediately expressed concern over the introduction of micro-transactions and premium currency to the game. While all of these additions were set to be cosmetic, a few players feel that there have certainly been limitations to encourage players to purchase rather than grind.
In Rise of Iron, Bungie introduced Ornaments, which are basically ways to customize your exotics with unique visual appearances that add some pretty great aesthetics, but they require Silver Dust to activate…as in, the things you pay money to get.
Many players feel that the Silver Dust requirement to activate Ornaments is a little ridiculous on top of the dismal rate at which players obtain Ornaments they actually want, which is understandable considering that some players will only find out they have to pay for Silver Dust after buying an Ornament as well. Basically, in redditor Rehevkor_’s words: “You need to spend a lot of money and get very, very lucky.”
The Short Story
Destiny has never been one to tell an overly complex and detailed story. From the very beginning, it was criticized for its short campaign length and lack of depth contained within. The Taken King mostly fixed those problems when it launched last September. Even with the Iron Lords as the focus in Rise of Iron, many felt the story fell short once again.
The above is pretty spot on. Throughout the roughly 90-minute story, plot points are presented left and right with little explanation, let alone answers. There’s the mention of Rasputin not being a Warmind or that many Iron Lords remain locked behind a veil of secrecy (as in, nothing is revealed about them), despite Bungie seemingly having more than enough opportunity to flesh them out.
The same lack of detail rings true for SIVA, the expansion’s big baddie. Many are still confused about why SIVA is inherently evil. Paul Tassi from Forbes sums it up best:
“What the hell is SIVA? I honestly can’t tell, even as someone who tries to pay pretty close attention to Destiny lore…I thought it was an evil entity itself, but it’s constantly referred to as a weapon to be wielded, not something with its own inherent objectives. Maybe I need to replay these missions and read some new Grimoire cards, but I really had a tough time figuring[sic] out exactly what this nebulous threat was, and that doesn’t make for a very compelling bad guy like we’ve had with Oryx or Crota.”
While it’s safe to say we’ll probably learn more about these plot holes via Destiny’s collectible Grimoire cards scattered throughout Rise of Iron, many avid players feel a little disappointed in the same way that Tassi does. There’s compelling content and lore present, but it just isn’t capitalized on in the game itself, which sounds really similar to the complaints people have had about the game all along.
Either way, Rise of Iron provides players with plenty of new grindable content to last until the presumed unveiling of the next Destiny game next year. But it’ll be interesting to see how things unfold in the coming weeks as the expansion starts to run out of fresh content for players as they progress further and further.