Daily Reaction – Reigniting Destiny’s Fire with House of Wolves

May 18, 2015 Written by Chandler Wood

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Destiny’s second expansion, House of Wolves, is coming out tomorrow. With the wealth of changes and additions set to come with it, the Daily Reaction team is exploring why this will be the content to reignite our interest in Bungie’s sci-fi world.

Chandler: It should come as no surprise that we’re talking about Destiny. We’ve talked a lot about those epic character moments that Destiny has brought us before. We’ve discussed the team play, the camaraderie with our fireteam, the amazing feeling of being on the moon, not just the first time, but nearly every time we land and gaze into that infinite star-filled horizon.  We have poured hundreds of hours into this game, loving every high point and enduring all of the low points.

There came a time after those hundreds of hours when the appeal burned out though. It happened at different rates, but ultimately we found ourselves falling away and playing other things more frequently. Grinding was forcing us into a corner with specific high level gear, and predictable strategies to obtain it that felt like going through the motions. We got to a point where we could almost do it in our sleep, and then we got to a point where it put us to sleep, and our dreams were filled with how frustrated we were at the RNG and poor economy system. The fact is that we may have all left for slightly different reasons, but we ultimately fell away from something we had loved and been a part of for a very long time.

Then House of Wolves was shown in detail. Alright Bungie, I’m sitting up with my ears perked. When you look at everything being changed or added with House of Wolves, it becomes immediately apparent why this didn’t come out in March like many people had assumed it would. Destiny is being reinvented, no doubt to reignite the fires of the player-base. Destiny has always been about the player’s individual story, and their place in the larger world, and we’re seeing a much bigger focus on not limiting how each player wants to play.

To me, the biggest update coming with this is the ability to upgrade any exotic or legendary gear to House of Wolves’ max level. This means that previously favorite legendaries and exotics that had long passed their expiration date are now becoming useful again. Retro is in right now, and I’ll be damned if I don’t have my old Fatebringer brought to max attack power and holstered with me at all times. This allows a vast amount of player freedom so that old endgame gear doesn’t become obsolete as new gear is introduced, but rather gives players a much larger pool of gear to pick from to personalize their guardian.

Initially, I was wary about there being no raid, but I think it’s the right decision this go around. Player experience and socialization is a key part of the Destiny adventure, and I can’t wait to see what kind of experiences that we can make for ourselves in the new Trials of Osiris and Prison of Elders game modes. While raids are fun, they ultimately grew stale as team tactics are solidified and each run becomes a repeat of the last, hardly offering the spice or variety that the competitive Trials of Osiris and cooperative Prison of Elders promise to bring. I’ve been out of the Destiny scene for a little bit, but House of Wolves has got me itching for a fireteam reunion and another trip around the solar system.

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Dan: I have to admit that when I found out that House of Wolves was not going to contain a raid, I was incredibly disheartened with what that could mean for the longevity of its next DLC release. But, the more and more that I found out about the additions to game, the more I started to realize that this second expansion is designed around expanding the replayability of the game instead of giving players a single goal that once mastered, becomes ground into a fine powder.

Trials of Osiris, the next PVP addition that will be putting the best of the best against each other, was originally something that I couldn’t care less about. This is mainly because of how poor my experience in Crucible has become, especially when I take into account the numerous balancing issues and obvious abuses of some weapons, such as Thorn. But, when I found out more and more about the unlock system, and how I wouldn’t need to solely rely on Bungie’s RNGesus bothering to look my way, I was intrigued.

The ability to earn something is all I have been looking for out of Destiny, as I really cannot stand dealing with the grind in hopes my bad luck breaks before my patience. This is an issue I know I am not alone in, and is something that I think is the biggest push for improving the user experience in the game that I have seen. On top of this, just as Chandler brought up, the ability to level up every piece of legendary and exotic gear will mean that we won’t be seeing every player forced to use only a handful of items to push their light level up to 32, which should make the game look and feel more unique — something it has been missing.

In place of the raid, we are getting Prison of Elders, a new 3 player, PVE, wave-based horde mode that will give players a matchup with various modifiers. This is going to be basically like the nightfall or weekly strike runs that players are already doing, but with enough random variants to truly add some replayability that could potentially keep me interested longer than I was with Crota’s End.

Sadly, while I think Bungie have been making a lot of great decisions with the next expansion, I do wonder if limiting fireteams to three people is the best choice, especially since we have already had to gather six to work together for fireteams. This is still an inconsistency with the game, that will need to either be moved away from completely –which House of Wolves does — or fully embraced. After having spent the last seven or eight months working together, it will be odd segmenting us out as we try to make our way through the new content. But, I must say that I am back on the horse, at least for now.

Are you a Destiny player excited for House of Wolves? What other changes and support do you want to see in the future of Destiny to keep the fire alive? Trade in a mote of light to comment, follow our fireteam on Twitter @Foolsjoker and @Finchstrife, and turn in your daily bounties at DailyReaction@PlayStationLifeStyle.net

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