I thought The Division was going to be the one to take me away from Destiny, I thought it was going to be my new shoot to loot game, I thought I would be praying to the gods of RNG to drop me some sweet loot in the Dark Zone. Instead I still find myself orbiting planets across the galaxy waiting to take on other guardians in the proving grounds of the Crucible. I still find myself descending in to the Hellmouth to take on what horrors lie deep within. I’m still dancing with other guardians in the tower, taking a break from the frantic gunplay whilst my fire team ready up for our next adventure.
I’m still here, playing Destiny.
The Division was one of my most anticipated games in a long, long time. The tantalising prospect of roaming around New York with my friends completing missions and gathering up all the loot my back pack could carry was too much.
I had a taste of what life after Destiny could be like at EGX 2015, it tasted good. Climbing over the walls and dropping in to the Dark Zone for the first time was a great feeling. Sure we didn’t have a clue what we were doing, but no one did; we were a rag tag group up against other rag tag groups. We cautiously explored, not sure how long it would be until we found another group. We took in the sights of a dilapidated New York, a city that was on its knees at the mercy of a virus wiping out everyone, the atmosphere was incredible. Then we saw them, another group, they didn’t see us – distracted by something else I’m sure. We moved up ready to attack, then all hell broke loose, teams were swarming Bryant Park, gun fire whizzed from all directions, explosions ringed in my ears, players fell to their knees and then it was over.
I wanted more and couldn’t wait for the full game. “This is it” I told myself, this was the game to keep me busy in 2016. But it’s been almost four weeks since I’ve played it, I’ve not even finished the story, I’m just over level 20 and now I’m back on Destiny.
I try to keep up to date with The Division news, updates, videos etc… But a lot of it just seems to be people complaining about how broken things are or people talking about new exploits they’ve found and it puts me off. I get that games will have glitches and bugs – sometimes you just can’t fix everything no matter how much you test. But it leaves a gap in the player base. One group of players are running around with god rolls on everything and the rest of us are getting downed in one shot before you even know someone is there. It feels like I can’t compete, so I don’t.
I can’t believe I’m about to say this because I didn’t think it could happen, but I think it’s worse than when Destiny first came about. Sure Destiny’s story sucked, the loot drops were terrible and people would stand and shoot a cave opening until the cows came home. But it’s for those reasons that I’m put off of The Division even more, I don’t want to have to go through a year’s worth of the developers working things out until we finally start to see something that’s enjoyable and rewarding – which is what it felt like for Destiny to me. Once The Taken King dropped Destiny felt like a full game, it felt so much better and more rewarding.
I don’t really know what my point is here, I’m not even sure I have one, but I just feel a bit let down by The Division. I guess it’s probably my own fault though, maybe I expected too much, maybe the hype got the better of me. All I know is that Destiny keeps pulling me back in. It feels familiar at this point so I know I can jump on it and get straight back to doing what I do best – I have a direction in Destiny I know what I’m working towards.
With The Division I don’t seem to have that. I load the game up, wonder around the empty PVE area for a while (seriously what is with that? No enemies?), maybe do a mission, maybe do a side quest then log off. I don’t feel like I have any kind of direction with it at the moment and the grind for levels feels a chore. As I said I’m not even max level yet, I have main story missions to do, but they’re a lot higher level than me, the problem is, is it feels really boring to get up to a level to then be able to the mission. But once I’m doing the missions I love it.
I don’t dislike The Division, there are so many things that I really like about it. It just feels like it’s lacking something… Camaraderie? Random encounters? Other people? The only ways to see other people randomly, really, is in Dark Zone and I will almost always treat them as hostile – not that I shoot on site, I just remain cautious. Sometimes I just want to dance with a stranger and chill out.
One thing for me is that I think Destiny feels little more casual at times and therefore more easily enjoyed. I can comfortably sit playing with friends for a couple of hours doing some strikes or PVP and it’s quick, simple and easy to get on with. The Division to me feels… more serious? I don’t really know how else to describe it, other than serious. There is still hope though, as I said Destiny wasn’t the greatest experience around launch, but now it feels rewarding and feels like you can make some meaningful progress without having to be forced to do specific activities. It feels like all areas of the game can get you to the top ranks. I hope that The Division gets to this point too.
Let’s see what the next few months bring eh!?