Sorry for not keeping you updated for so long, but Yvonne and I have been immersed in Destiny 2 for the past 9 months and just when we start to get good at something, they add new twists that make us want to get into it even further. So, yesterday, March 5, Bungie updated their Destiny 2 for Season 6, and they outdid themselves.
First of all, if you aren’t familiar with the Destiny line of games, this is one of the most fun first person shooting games I have ever played. I hated shooters, from when I first started playing games on my Commodore Amiga back in the stone age. Even on my old Atari console, I hated shooter games. I thought it was stupid to walk around looking down the barrel of a gun.
But Destiny changed that for me. First of all, the graphics are incredible. But the selection of weapons is ridiculous. They have weapons for every taste. You like hand guns, they have Sidearms and Hand Cannons that will blow you away (well, they will blow the opposition away)! You like shotguns? Wow, these will get you up close and personal with your targets. They have automatic weapons, fusion rifles, sniper rifles and scout rifles that make taking out a battalion of enemies a piece of cake, from 500 yards out. Need to launch grenades? These grenade launchers are highly explosive. Rocket launchers? Heck yeah, these make RPGs look like slingshots.
Not only is Destiny fun for someone like me to learn to shoot at moving targets, but the game world is huge and they bring in 25 people from all over the planet to play in the game world at the same time as you. You can also create fireteams of up to 4 people so that you can accomplish your goals with you best buds. So of course, Yvonne and I have a fireteam and we go all over the place, kicking butt and amassing loot.
They have quests like most good games do, but the free play is wild enough to keep you occupied for hours on end with no clear goal in mind. But Yvonne and I are usually collecting bounties and working on leveling up our characters’ gear by finding mods and other parts we can use to bring their levels up. In the Destiny 2 line, the game world was rocked by a savage war, and the first half of the missions were designed to bring the home world back from the brink of annihilation! After completing that campaign, new quests popped up that introduced more involved locations for hunting loot. Soon, enough we were done fleshing out the world as we knew it, and we worked on getting our gear maxed out. Then came the seasons.
A season is a 3 month or so period where you have new quests and challenges that need to be met in that period. Each season introduced something new that stayed with the game, so that the game world continues to grow as long as you keep on playing in it. When the Forsaken expansion pack came out, they introduced a new area called Gambit, a tournament style area where you work with 3 other players to combat enemies in your “arena” while another team of 4 is doing the same thing in an identical area, but they can come in and pay you a visit (and you can visit them) to raise a ruckus by preventing you from accomplishing your goals (collecting “motes of light” dropped by the enemies you kill in your mission). Obviously, this becomes extremely chaotic and the excitement grows to a fever pitch as you work hard to get your 75 motes before the other team does. Only, once you have 75 motes “banked” you aren’t done… you call up a “primeval” monster that you have to take down before the other side calls one up and kills theirs. Invading the other side and killing other players heals their primeval, so the trick is to take down your primeval while avoiding the incoming invaders and returning the favor to them when you get a chance.
The whole Gambit bit is pretty addictive. We had gotten to the point where we would go get our Gambit bounties from “The Drifter,” and cosmic con man who seems to be making a bundle off of the motes you are collecting, yet he only shares limited stuff with you… yet we still go get them and go take on other fireteams in Gambit on a daily basis. But now they have thrown a big old monkey wrench into our daily routine. Gambit Prime.
With the start of Season 6, also known as the Season of the Drifter, Gambit has undergone some cosmetic changes and some drastic game play changes. First of which is the regular Gambit, that we were so fond of. It consists of the best of three rounds where you fight against another fireteam of 4 players to be the first to collect 75 motes to call up a primeval and then slay it before they do. In the previous season, when you deposited 5 motes, you summoned to the enemy side a taken phalanx, a ghostly looking dude with a big shield that can push you off of a platform, into walls or simply into incoming fire with a burst of energy. These were the lowliest “blockers” you could send. But the new low end blockers consist of taken goblins, which have a nasty habit of protecting each other with some sort of energy beam when they are more than one in an area. So when the enemy sends you one of these blockers, no problem, you can bounce them pretty quickly. But let them send more than one, and you run into mayhem, as one will make the other immune and you have to kill the one before you can kill the other. Obviously, while you are busy doing that, you aren’t sending blockers or depositing motes and the enemy can either send an invader or keep on adding more blockers.
When you deposit 10 motes, the blocker you send is a lot stronger. It used to be a taken knight, a big dude who spews large quantities of flaming liquid. Now, it is a taken captain, a big dude who throws balls of blackness at you. Those balls of blackness not only do damage to you, they disable your healing powers and jumping ability for a few seconds after coming in contact with them. These guys used to be primevals, so they are pretty bad. They also have more hitpoints than the previous taken knights.
At 15 motes, you summon a large blocker and it used to be a taken ogre. These nasty monsters have one huge eye in their face that launches a “rotten surge” that pushes you around and does damage at the same time. Instead, the large blocker was replaced with a more powerful taken knight that spews the flaming liquid all over the place. Great, just when you thought is was safe to stand still.
We played a lot yesterday, which is why I am only getting around to writing this post today, and we did not see all of the potential primevals, although we did see taken ogres, taken knights, taken captains and a huge meatball looking thing called an Ascendant Primeval Servitor that shoots energy beams and calls up satellite orbs that make it immune until you can take them down.
But if you thought that was the end of the changes to The Drifter’s arsenal of torture, you would be extremely wrong. That Drifter has managed to create a few additional ways for you to get your Gambit on. First is the original Gambit that I described above. Then there is Gambit Prime, a one round, winner take all version that takes place in new locations. The premise is that you have to deposit 5, 10 or 15 motes at a time to send blockers like before, but the end goal is 100 motes to summon a primeval. And if your team doesn’t take care of your blockers quickly, a second blocker in your camp starts to pull motes out of your bank and giving it to your opponents until you kill them.
As we do more of these Gambit Prime matches, I will be able to give you more information about them, but they are basically designed to make it impossible for everyone to do everything in the game (collect motes, attack enemies, invade the other side and defeat blockers) all the time. So with Gambit Prime, you can choose a particular task, Collector, Sentry, Invader or Reaper and do that task especially well. Reapers are important for killing the enemies to make the motes for the collector. Collectors are responsible for getting those motes to the bank quickly. Sentries are going to pop the blockers to protect the motes already deposited. Invaders are the ones who go to the other side and deny motes by taking out collectors before they get to the bank, defeating sentries before they can kill blockers and preventing the reapers from making more motes. Each person on a side should decide on what they are going to do immediately, getting into the voice channel of the Gambit Prime Match is important to let people know what you excel at, and to delegate if you aren’t as good at something. I know I love to invade with my trusty rocket launcher and wreak havoc from afar. But I also am pretty good a blocker busting, so I can do either one by swapping my rocket launcher for a sword.
The game play is cranked up a few notches, to put it bluntly, and the location that they started out with is full of obstacles that make it a challenge to find invaders. They plan on adding new locations over the next few weeks, which will make it harder to get used to a particular arena. When you finally get a primeval summoned, it isn’t a piece of cake to take it down like it used to be in regular Gambit. Now, you have to destroy 3 primeval envoys who keep the Primeval immune to damage while they are alive. Once you take out the third envoy, you get about 30 seconds where you can do damage to the big boss, but you do even more damage if you are standing in a rift of light that appears while the Primeval is vulnerable. The irritating part is finding the rift of light in time to get some shots on the Primeval before he spawns a new group of envoys to make him immune to attacks again.
Since this post was meant to discuss Gambit Prime in particular, I will save the rest of The Drifter’s new scams for tomorrow. I have an Xbox One waiting for me to log on!