It’s no secret that Destiny hasn’t been performing so well within its community. Lack of content. Shotty DLC in Curse of Osiris. Zero end-game. Nothing to grind for. Poor storytelling...the list goes on and on. Enter Warmind. The latest DLC to hit the community. With Warmind we get a new narrative, we learn more about rasputin, new destination, new enemies, and so much more. However, that’s just what Bungie wants you to feel. So, is Warmind the boost of energy Destiny 2 needed? Is it enough to bring the community back?
Before I answer that question. I want to start by saying this is less of a review and more of an honest talk. I would also like to say that I’m as hardcore a gamer as my time allows. I am an avid Destiny fan and had high hopes for Destiny 2 coming off of Destiny 1. I was with Destiny since the launch and really loved experiencing it evolve. Needless to say, that Destiny 2 being such a disappointment has been a massive let down. Every choice they made hot off the heels of where we left Destiny 1 has been garbage. And though I still purchased the game, collectors edition with messenger bag and survival kit, I’ve never really felt the overbearing urge to play it. Not like I felt with Destiny 1. All that being said I remain hopeful. Thus, even after witnessing what a severe cluster fuck Curse of Osiris was I still held my hopes high for Warmind in the hope that it would be the call to arms I needed to get playing. Here’s what I find.
IT’S JUST NOT ENOUGH!
I jumped back into D2 with the announcement of Warmind. Something about it actually called out to. I want to love Destiny 2. And I let Rasputin's lure reel me back in. I beat the game about a week or so before the release of Warmind, played a little Curse of Osiris, and broke out the Elite Controller to get sweaty in Crucible. Then Warmind dropped and I was off to Mars. Where I was met by the new enemy type...frozen hive. See they can do anything normal hive can do, just with ice on them. Oh and some knights have shields and some acolytes can sniper, so yeah. That didn’t bore me at all. But then you have same old stale missions. “Protect” this, clear that, get to there before it “too late”. Adversely, they do introduce 2 new big baddies Nokris and Xol. You know the other son of the Taken King, brother to Crota, the banished Nokris and his friend the Worm God Xol. Yeah, Bungie didn’t think to flesh them out at all...so you end up killing them in classic destiny, anticlimactic, unfulfilling fashion. It’s just no enough. Where’s the meat? Where’s the heart? Where’s the soul or back bone of this story. Ana Bray is nothing more than a voice in your ear when she should be so much more. We could have had “let’s split up” missions. “‘Protect’ Ana Bray while” missions. There is stupid loss potential here and it’s mind boggling that they would still release this DLC even AFTER how poorly received Curse of Osiris was. You can’t just reskin weapons and armor. Have a shit story. No new enemies, a ruined progression system, and an abysmal crucible revamp that has done nothing more than ruin an already bad game mode.
WHAT IS THIS STORY?
I mean Bungie just doesn’t give a fuck about Destiny lore at all. Or continuity. Like do the writers pay attention to what they’re writing or do they just say “ahhhh fuck it!”? Remember is Destiny 1 Zavala was all about Rasputin? Like if Rasputin had a concert, Zavala would have been front row. Flashing his balls. Well, I don’t know what happened to Zavala, but this Zavala hates Rasputin...and it’s still unclear why. It seemed like a trust thing. Then it sounded like abandonment issues. One can never pin point when or why the change of opinion. Secondly this story is such confusing drool, it’s hard to determine what’s going on. It’s like you get an S.O.S from Ana, you go check it out. You fight Ice Hive and Ogres. You meet up with her.
Then you get to a part where you open some door that only she can open...and POOF Zavala is standing behind it. Yelling at your character. Telling you, "you don’t know what you’re doing." It’s like what!? Bitch, I just saved universe and you gonna give me shit? What are you even doing here!? Do you even go to this school Zavala? Then when you get to the end of this “story”, Rasputin talks...and it’s unclear if he’s a benefit or a treat. However, I guess we need not worry, because Ana Bray’s “got this”. Just freaking trash. And I’m sorry, I’m sure it’s hard what the writers have to do to make a story good and consistent. However, it probably doesn’t make it ANY easier by having so many story loose ends floating around Destiny. It’s like I feel as though we’ll never truly know what comes of Rasputin’s actions at the end. Which really sucks, because this all should have been an amazing adventure! However, Bray is an unmemorable character and doesn't live up to the hype. The campaign is, again, stupid short. And the “new” Strikes are nothing more than recycled campaign levels.
THE GRIND IS STILL RUINED!
Hey! There is A LOT to do in this DLC. A LOT! However, why do them? They’ve done this dumb ass soft level cap at 340 light. And then you’ve gotta bust your ass to get to 380. However, you can’t bust ass in strikes, or crucible, or in free-roam and public events. You have to hit your weekly milestones in order to get those incremental increases to 380. And hey, that would be all fine and well, except what happens if you’re a hardcore player and you bust out your weeklys day one? There is NOTHING left for you to do. Not until the next week. And I get it Bungie wants you to grind hard for that light level. However, this feels less like a grind and more like a chore. I don’t think anyone was complaining that they were hitting their Light Cap too fast. I think there wer complaining about the lack of loot and things to do. And hell even if I wanted to tough it out fight for light...by removing the random rolls on weapons and armor I have zero reason to to care about engrams. Because all the weapons are essentially the same except for exotics, and I can only have one equipped to Weapons and Armor accordingly. All and all they took the heart of Destiny 1 and checked it in the garbage disposal. And it’s sad.
AND THEN THERE’S CRUCIBLE...
FFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU Bungie. You took something that should have been top notch and botched it. If you que in the competitive playlist. You get glory. Win a match and glory goes up. Lose a match and it goes down. This is fine. I’m fine with win streaks and lose streaks. HOWEVER! DAFUQ BUNGIE!? There is no solo que, so you get pitted against squads that basically get in to eat your face...and in the event you do get put on a team that’s decent, the end of every match forces back into orbit to re-que with new teammates! WHY!? This makes no sense. This is made even more frustrating by the long ques and the forever taking load screen. Also it’s crazy to me that so many fans want 6v6 back. Don’t get me wrong. I want 6v6 or 5v5 just as much as anyone. However, these maps are barely big enough for 4v4. Adding those 2 others just lead to more spawn kills and frustration.
Also, to go back to the amount of time Crucible consumes...matches feel like they take forever. Now, I don’t think this problem is exclusive to Warmind, however, it is my first harcore sit down with the game and I’m judging the Expansion as a whole and it’s simply terrible. Elimination would be fun, heart pounding and fast paced...but it’s not. It’s absolutely dreadful and borders on maddening at how long a match can take.
I STRUGGLE TO FIND A REASON TO PLAY.
Here’s the bottom line. I loved Destiny. When people said it sucked, I stood up for it. I say that to say that clearly those gripes by the community carried weight and made Destiny what it was by the end of it’s run. Enter Destiny 2. They took a perfected formula, threw it out the window, and started again. It’s absolutely bonkers to me. Warmind, doesn’t go without it’s pluses though. Escalation Protocol, when you CAN get a
squad (or squads) is fun. I’ve heard nothing but great things about the Raid, however my personal time doesn’t allow for me to have a run. So I won’t touch on it. What they’re trying to do with ranked Crucible is great, just poorly executed. Warmind was supposed to be the start of a turning point for the franchise and the fact is, as far as I can see this DLC does little to nothing to improve the quality of the game.
They tried to improve the grind, by slowing progression, adding exotic catalysts, creating boss specific drops for Escalation Protocol. However, if strikes, exploration, and crucible is your thing. You’re left stuck at the soft light cap. If you have the catalyst you want, or the gear set you want there is no way to improve it without getting super squaded. And even if you do “improve” it, what’s the takeaway? +5 to range? +10 to Stability? My element charges “XYZ” at a much “faster” unsubstantial speed? It’s all nonsense. When you play 5 hours of W.o.W you walk away with it with something. A new level, better armor, new moves, crafting material, etc. When you walk away from 5 hours of Diablo, same sense of accomplish. However, when you walk away from 5 hours of Destiny 2, you walk away empty and probably frustrated.
Warmind was my reason to play...and I’m trying hard not to put the game down, but Bungie is doing very little to keep me engaged. I don’t follow their news like I used to and didn’t get the Clan Engram memo at first. Because of this, I’ve lost out on “Powerful Gear” that I could have used to increase my light. How does Bungie intend to compensate those players who just play and don’t follow the information stream? It’s been one big disappointment after the other.
So is Warmind worth coming back for? No. Most likely you’ve already come back or played Warmind. However, if you’ve not. If you’re waiting for the price to drop don’t. See what September brings when we get the Taken King sized DLC. And even then...wait. Warmind gives us enough to do, but does so without reason, which makes it hard to enjoy what you’re doing. This coupled in with a broken leveling system, poor crucible and crucible matchmaking, no random rolls of weapons, and the lack of being able to seat up a 9 man team for Escalation Protocol just makes for a frustrating and overwhelming disappointing experience. And that’s the thing. Escalation Protocol is the best thing about the new expansion and it’s bogged down by a poor “open world” experience. Bungie wants to make a good game, but for one reason or another, they simply can’t nail it. One can only hope that in the coming months Bungie does more to calibrate, balance, and fix what’s broken before adding something new, pointless, and ultimately broken as well…