It’s been quite a road we’ve walked together, Destiny.
From the very beginning, you had only one expectation of me: to ‘become legend’.
When I first started I had no-one to play with and I fell off the perch quite quickly and went onto other things. My attention ebbed and flowed during Destiny’s first year until, like I’d be struck by Cupid’s arrow, I caught feelings and fell in love with Bungie’s ambitious space-opera.
In the hundreds of hours since, I’ve more or less done it all. I’ve managed to check off all of the feats that matter. I threw myself upon the mercy of space-time as I sought out the Glass Throne in the Vault of Glass to overthrow Atheon, an entity capable of disconnecting beings from the timestream itself. I delved into the Hellmouth to slay the Hive Prince, Crota, which drew the ire of his father, Oryx, who also met his end by my blood-red hands. The final hurdle, Aksis, also fell as I realised once and for all, we Guardians are stronger together. At its heart, regardless of what some lone-wolves might manage, Destiny is a team sport. I’ve got my fireteam and they know who they are, it’s been a ride, my dudes.
I put my mettle to the test in the Iron Banner, I reached the Lighthouse in Trials of Osiris, all the while unearthing a treasure trove of exotic wares, some more elusive than others. I remember when Xur, Agent of the Nine and merchant trader of rare oddities, arrived with his weekly inventory only for it to contain a Gjallarhorn, the once king of all heavy weapons in the game. I got straight on the phone to one of my clanmates, I told him and we wailed blood-curdling noises for a while, unable to contain our glee.
After all I’ve done, time is dwindling for me and my beloved Destiny.
Destiny 2 is set for release later this year, and Bungie has declared the upcoming Age of Triumph update Destiny’s last as they continue work on the sequel. It’s set to tread the same path as Rise of Iron, acting more as a celebration of everything we’ve all done in our time with the game. Imagine thumbing through photo albums in your old age, reflecting on a life well-lived. Guardians have long clamoured for the chance to return to the Vault of Glass stronger than they last left it, and it seems as though they’re going to get their wish. It’s got the makings of a perfect send-off, a love letter to where it all began.
It’s no secret Destiny’s story has been a little bit of a hot mess, with flashes of truly gripping sci-fi littered throughout the Taken King era. Who knows, given the nature of the Vault of Glass and its wibbly wobbly, timey wimey state, Bungie might even be able to find a nice way to bring the whole tale full circle and tie a nice knot on it before hitting reset on the game’s canon.
One thing about Destiny that has always shone to me is its community. Sure, there’s bad seeds, just like anywhere online, but I think I can say on the whole, the kindness of strangers is everpresent. Even if it’s as simple a gesture as dancing next to you or taking turns at playing keep up with the bouyant ball at the game’s central hub, The Tower. On a personal level, I’ve managed to forge bonds with some Guardians I’m now privileged to call friends. Some from around the corner, others from well across the pond. Late nights of raiding, grinding and crapping out with heart-breakingly poor weapon rolls brought us closer together. It was always a shared experience. I needed them and they needed me, too.
Destiny has long had a helpful and endearing community. So often I’d have a stranger, as if from nowhere, answer our call to arms and help us with any task, no matter how daunting.
But what’s more gutwrenching are the stories you read, of which there are many, of Guardians rallying around causes that mean something in the real world. Kotaku’s Gita Jackson wrote up a tough read detailing the plight of Mike Mariana, a father of two who was fighting the battle of his life against aggressive colon cancer. Friends of Mike reached out to DrLupo, a Twitch streamer, and asked for his help to ‘carry’ Mike to the Lighthouse. For the uninitiated, reaching the Lighthouse is perhaps Destiny’s single hardest end-game task, requiring players to go 9-0 in a flawless run of Trials of Osiris, Destiny’s PVP event.
Needless to say, DrLupo got the job done. However, despite his steadfast optimism, Mike passed away just over a week ago.
DrLupo caught wind of a memorial fund Mike’s family set up for him, which he then passed onto the Destiny community. Within a day of posting, the $5,000 goal had been funded. A revised goal of $7,500 was also funded, thanks to Mike’s fellow Guardians. It’s a beautiful example of just how tight-knit the community is, and it’s just one reason I’ve been so glad to give it so much of my time.
So if you’re like me, and you’re taking time off from Destiny after hitting it hard in the months that followed Rise of Iron, I implore you to make your return for Age of Triumph. I know my clan and I already have it locked in to run the Vault again. It’ll soon be gone and, as divisive as it has been in its time, I think it’s a game worth celebrating, warts and all.
You might have become legend long ago, but you’ve still got time to leave Destiny something more. Go out and run the raids, hunt down that hard to get helm you’ve longed for, grind yourself senseless for that perfect Imago Loop roll that forever slipped your grasp.
Don’t leave a legend, leave godly.
Share with me some of your cherished Destiny memories as we near the end of the road. Be it your first, blessed Gjallarhorn drop or your first raid clear, I want to hear about it.