A Ruminating Fallacy; A Grandiose Experiment – Destiny: Story Fidelity.

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Now, this. . . Is the law of the Jungle. As old and as true, as the sky. 


Let’s go on the way back machine, Watch this trailer, and enthuse you in the game that we were definitely supposed to get, something concise, it had thought and might. It was the work of a great mind.
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I have wanted to touch upon it in many different ways, I could’ve regurgitated what every single person who has talked about this has done and said, I could’ve gone through every single mission and recollect everything about them and probably regurgitate what they showed and study them, etc.
But in reality, this only needs something that is akin of that of the game that I am speaking about, something simple.
So, I decided I should go upon this on three different topics and sections, Story, Grimoire Cards and Gameplay along with my main issues and consequences with the game. So, without further ado.
Destiny. 
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Story:

So, I wanted to drive this forward here, I like the universe that Destiny is attempting to drive forward with so many issues at hand, it tries and every time it has me on the edge of my seat waiting for that moment that solidifies the universe in my mind.
It just doesn’t happen.
All of the time I’ve spent in this game has shown me little to no reason to really care about this universe, interesting characters that we never get answers for, interesting plot points that never get shown or resolved, possibly due to complexity or a variety of different reasons.
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It’s no secret that the game underwent massive rewrites in order to make it a simpler game – something I truly hope is recanted and fixed in the future title Destiny 2. But as of today, I still remain to wait for that moment. The Warthog Run, The mid-air catch of ammunition that was shot straight at me thanks to a perfectly placed grenade in between enemies, the grand assassination of your enemy, the discovery of a seeding parasite.
All of these things, remain, to this day, shelved in the Destiny universe. There’s no urgency to you as the player, an absolute vicious cycle where you go back to the beginning every single time like nothing has happened. That’s how Destiny’s story feels to me, and probably to many other people, however, let’s get to the points at hand, as I am running on a tangent here.
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What makes a good story?: Why, a variety of reasons I can assure you, consistency, good writing, well thought out events, character progression, world building, etc. In games it is different to books, vastly, show don’t tell is something that is probably said a lot in the industry, however, this is not a movie.
Video games offer a variety of ways where you can offer a great story, but never show and don’t tell. Show and tell.
But ambiguity is good, certainly, Dark Souls comes to mind in this regard, or Outlast 1 & 2, however, when does ambiguity become a bad thing? Simply put, when you’ve got 42 pages of content in different cards that deliver excerpts of story, some more important than others.
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You must let the audience know something, at the very least about the story you want to tell, then leave things to ambiguity, selectively, not leave a collective of information to ambiguity and host it all in a third party location that has absolutely no connection to the game’s immersion whatsoever, you must constantly step away from the world to seek your answers and that’s not storytelling, that’s a cop out when your game has close to none of this. You aren’t showing, and you aren’t telling either.
However, is Destiny Lore good? yes a vehement yes, it’s deep, concise, well thought out. However, it’s convenient that half of it derives from the work that Staten did for Bungie that was cut early in development. All of it plugged into cards outside the game.
Let’s, however, take a step back and look at how they could’ve told some of this into the overall story, let’s go with something that always stood out to me, the very beginning.
Ares One – the mission to Mars.
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Ghost Fragment: Human
– From the diaries of Commander Jacob Hardy, pilot, Ares One

The mission is a go. Crew of three: Mihaylova, Qiao, myself. Immediate departure at the next Hohmann window to Mars. The MREs and return ships will chase us out. How do I feel? I said at the press conference I felt privileged. Historians will read this diary, but it won’t take their insight to tell the world that I’m terrified. It’s the human reaction.

What I wish I could convey is the – the exhilaration. That’s the biggest thing. I’m not a spiritual man, but I’ve always believed there’s something transcendent about spaceflight. Something pure. We go out there because we can. Because it’s who we are. Now we go because we have to. Because the unknown came to us. In fourteen months we’ll be face to face with it, and by the time we arrive, it should be active again – just like it was active on Jupiter, and Mercury, and Venus.

I wonder what happens if it doesn’t stop at Mars. I wonder if it’ll leave us there in the sand, and come to Earth, and do here what it’s done everywhere else. I hate that we’re carrying weapons. I understand the necessity. But I hold to my belief: there’s something beautiful out there.

It’s up to us to reach it.

Of course, a lot of people wouldn’t know this, it’s never told to us who those people are, what they’re doing, what is the giant ball making rain on Mars.
It’s not even clear what is the purpose of the scene in the first place. It’s just there with no explanation on sight. But what if they gave it purpose, those lines could’ve been very easily included into the game, the entirety of the ‘Human’ Ghost Fragments could’ve been included in the game in several different cutscenes focusing on Mars, showing us glimpses of the Golden Age and giving us some information about the Traveller.
But, alas, the game is too preoccupied trying to keep information from you that it forget that it needs to show you and tell you something in order for you to even care and be interested.
I believe the only occasion where Destiny’s story truly piqued my interest was in Paradox Daily, and that was fleeting. As we didn’t hear anything about Praedyth ever again after that mission.
However, that brings me to my next point.

Grimoire Cards:

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It’s no secret that there are countless places that have dedicated themselves to the gathering of these, Ishtar-Collective is one of them, of course, it is twenty times better than Bungie.net’s choppy and tacked on user-interface used for the grimoire card section makes it feel more like a chore to read, rather than anything else. I refused to read them until now, of course, because of my belief that they’re a cop out. I could not bring myself to read anything from there provided by Bungie.

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However, I did, for the sake of anyone reading this and for my sake, as the game was driving me closer and closer to the point of insanity as it left me more questions than it actually answered I very much ventured into Ishtar-Collective.net and tackled upon a list of cards that were provided to me. Among others that I read for myself.

However, even after reading them, the sour taste in my mouth from the collective mess that Destiny – the game – is, remains, and it was only heightened by these. Let’s take a look at a few that stood out to me, however.

Bannerfall.

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Possibly one of the most interesting locations I have ever visited on Destiny and it is only there for one mission and as a multiplayer map. It is almost unjust how criminally underused this wonderful map is, however, it turns out it certainly has its own story that roots deeply to the New Monarchy – my faction of choosing – although none of that is heard anywhere in the game. Not even as a fleeting comment from the NPCs.

ARENA DESIGNATION: Bannerfall
LOCATION: The Last City, Earth

Lysander and the Concordat mark the most recent example of a City political factions rising in opposition to the Consensus. This site marks a legendary battle where New Monarchy’s Guardians rose to deliver the final blow to the Concordat, unraveling the war effort Lysander sought to bring against the Vanguard.

Lord Shaxx has commandeered the area not only to commemorate this last stand, but as a reminder of the City’s solidarity against those who seek to undermine the extreme efforts and sacrifice we make together to keep our peace.

Now let’s take a look at a different Grimoire Card, Ghost Fragment: The City Age

“And so it is agreed. The Concordat shall no longer be recognized among the Consensus. We’ll begin the dismantling right away. But what of those Guardians who have pledged to them? We can’t afford any more banishments.”

“I’m sure Zavala can see to their realignment.”

“We’ll do our best. Lysander chose his followers wisely. It may take some time.”

“Lysander will not back down. He’ll continue his crusade from wherever we stuff him.”

“And so we’ll need to find some new ideas to replace his.”

“The Symmetry has been gaining a strong following…”

“Ulan-Tan’s teachings are too dangerous. Too much fear. Who knew he’d be more trouble dead than alive?”

“We’ll need to refocus our collective minds on combat. The Speaker’s anxious to regain ground we lost after the Gap.”

“There is the War Cult.”

“Too secretive. Have you ever tried to talk to one of their ‘soldiers’? Like a child. Answering questions with questions.”

“They are dedicated to the war.”

“Which one?”

“Good question.”

“Zavala?”

“They seem focused. Strong. More interesting than worrisome.”

“Let’s take it to a vote. All in favor of the ascension of the Future War Cult?”

“Unanimous? Good. We’ll grant the Future War Cult access to the Tower and a seat among us. Ghost, please offer the Speaker this proposal.”

“Now onto the next order of business…Shaxx is here with another proposal for his Crucible.”

So, apparently there once were rogue Guardians in the City who weren’t mindless drones and actually had alignments, maybe the political alignments in the game had more power once. I cannot help but feel saddened however at the lack of interesting concepts such as these in the game, I have always said and continue to say, the past of the Destiny games is more interesting than the present.

This simple card just confirmed to me that we arrived in Destiny in the most uninteresting moment possible.

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Lady Efrideet

This is Lady Efrideet, she has a song dedicated to her and she basically controls the Iron Banner. She was once presumed dead. That’s all you’d know about her following the games alone.

Now let’s go through her card.

In the tales of the Iron Lords, Lady Efrideet was one of the most prominent characters. She once threw Saladin like a javelin into a Fallen Walker—a City favourite retold for centuries. How she met her end is less clear, but the tales agreed that Efrideet had long ago died her final death.

Until she returned.

Now Efrideet serves as the new Iron Banner representative while Lord Saladin devotes his attention to the SIVA Crisis. She urges Guardians to see the Banner tournament as a chance to strengthen their Light, for fighting and for more metaphysical purposes. The Vanguard are also intrigued by Efrideet’s accounts of a nonmilitary Guardian community in the deep system, but Efrideet, though happy to talk about the group’s pacifist philosophies, refuses to disclose the settlement’s location at present.

She apparently has done a lot, a lot we don’t actually see or are even told. Hell, something as simple as a discussion about her throwing Saladin like a Javelin against a Fallen Walker. How do you miss something as awesome as that and don’t let your audience know unless they go out of their way to read these.

I hope my point is coming out crystal clear on these, though, which is, you can not show, nor tell. You must do one or the other if you can’t do both.

Apparently, Bungie took the can’t do both part and kept it close, however.

Now some honorary mentions of characters who get no attention in the game.


Gameplay:

Destiny is entirely addicting, where the story fails the gameplay delivers, but, I can be addicted to Cocaine, doesn’t mean that it is good. . .

Time and time again in Destiny I find myself questioning my actions in the middle of a mission, others, raging at the stupid Crucible as every weapon seems to be the literal definition of trash and my enemy always holds the right weapon for the kill, all the time. At least that’s how it is now, being a Y1 player, Crucible is barely tolerable now.

But I find that I have my favourite moments here rather than with the story, here’s where I find my friends to go play and explore, pretty much my most offensive moments have been had here coming up with an insurmountable amount of slurs that if my ancestors heard me they’d slap me clean.

Even the ‘Rat’ nickname for me surfaced in Destiny. 

But there’s plenty that Bungie needs to fix in this. My favourite missions, raids and strikes, however, that show the variety that Destiny can truly have are

Queen’s Ransom

By far this mission oozed story, from the implications that Skolas is taking his forces from all throughout time to capturing your enemy. Hell, first time ever going into the Citadel as well.

Blighted Chalice

Great mini-puzzle style start of the mission, the pacing is great, focuses more on punishing your abilities than punishing you with countless hordes of enemies.

The Wretched Eye

Environment playing tricks with you, interesting boss fight, interesting mission layout and location.

Vault Of Glass

We all know what Vault of Glass does, and playing it with some of my best friends makes up a perfect mix.

Prison of Elders

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One thing, Firefight, this is the closest thing in Destiny. And Firefight is by far my favourite mode to pass the time

Paradox

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Interesting tone, ideas, characters, great pacing in the mission, exploration is rewarded.

Now mix all of this Bungie, I don’t want to see filler, scan and shoot missions when you can surely give me grandiose concepts such as these. And please give stakes to your missions, give them weight, because as it is right now, my journey usually ends, right at the beginning.

Nothing changes and my actions hold no weight.

So every single mission just feels like it ends, in the beginning.

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Also, give me more of this, it feels special. Wondrous and interesting, first time I felt it in Destiny was right there when I started the fire to become worthy of my artefact.


Author’s Notes:

And with that, I bring this one to an end, mostly because I will keep going in circles if I do, I have expressed what I wanted to express. It has certainly been a long time coming as well, more so than any of my other posts, it went through several different iterations in several different times. My head was a mess trying to think of the many ways I could work with this and how to deliver all of this information, at the time of finishing this I have probably compiled over 10,000 words of information and I only wrote all this in 2k. Quite the accomplishment, however.

I wanted to talk about A Khvostov Rising, the development issues that Destiny suffered, the cut content, etc. However, the more I ventured into this I just realised that it was a worthless amount of content that would only lengthen the post with no worth, certainly wasn’t worth it to bring everything else to the table outside of the things that I mentioned.

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But that’ll be all for today, however, I’d like to mention a few new things I have been working on in the past few days and well a mini update on the status of my country.

First of all, hello, I got a patreon! It’s cool, though I don’t expect much from it, highly appreciated if anyone even considers donating to me something, I am yet to fully finish it, however.

Second, of all, I’m working on two different projects now, one which shall remain under wraps, for now, another one which I am happy to give some details upon right now!

Project March is what I’ll call it, a Post-Apocalyptic universe I’m working on right now, giving it a full Novella treatment, I’m working on world building right at this moment and I’ll have some stuff out for it before you know it!

And third, of all, I am in the process of getting a new page! Thanks to my boy, Joshua Ezzell who has been working on it hard for me, love you, bro, no homo <3.

 

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New HaruspexOfHell site.

 

And an update on A Roman in Blue, I should be pulling all the released chapters from the Archive soon, I shall be touching them up once more and then rereleasing them in PDF format as the full thing on the Archive once more when it’s fully finished. I should quite possibly include my two poems in it.

As for my country, I’m sure you all have seen my retweets on Twitter if you follow me, I’m sure it gets taxing or it is probably a bit too much, I have been keeping away from retweeting NSFW ones but some escape me sometimes.

But my country is basically going through full blown dictatorship right now, rebellion is at an all-time high, it’s a really bad situation and it only gets worse, so if some of my content stalls, that’s one of the reasons.

That should be all for today, though, expect more content in the future

And as always, live your life, be safe, and play lots of Halo, my dudes.

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P.S. I listened through the entirety of Destiny’s three soundtracks three times while writing this. I have the excerpt of the rose stuck in my head. Cheers.

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