I used to be what you might call a Destiny junkie. Back in the mid-2010s, I enjoyed the first Destiny game, playing it every day, in fact. I had a dedicated team where I went on raids, chased the highest level gear I could find, and competed in Crucible like it was a job. I’ve hit 400+ hours of gameplay over the course of several years and when Fate 2 launched in 2017, I also started on that path.
But life has changed. My free time became more scarce as I got older, and the idea of spending all my time on a game became a fantasy. I have other things I want to play and it makes no sense to keep up with an MMO where the passion is always escalating. I still check every major expansion, go through any new story content, but I’m starting to feel that I won’t get the perfect experience if I skip mulling.
Witch Queen was the first Destiny expansion that really felt snappy and adjusted to my changing habits. While it brings more of a direct service relationship to the dedicated Guardians, it also ultimately offers a self-contained story campaign that works out of the box.
When Witch Queen dropped in february, i booked about buying it. In the past, expansions like Beyond the light not exactly built for players who just want to get in, continue the great story of Destiny and bounce. Beyond the lightThe Story of More is a tutorial intended to teach players about the new stasis class, while Hold the ball is more of an introduction to the Moon’s position than a compelling story. I don’t want to spend money on something that won’t work right away.
After months of debating, I finally bought the expansion in April. I decided to buy the basic DLC and not tempt myself with a special edition filled with content or even pass the battle of this season. I want to commit as little as possible for the time being.
Fortunately, Witch Queen works perfectly when played like that, which I can’t say for most – if any – other Destiny expansions. That’s largely due to the main story campaign, which gives players the best set of story missions Bungie has done since the Halo days. Savathûn’s story is sincerely engaging, with several plot twists that deepen the lore and play with the player’s understanding of the universe’s established rules. It all ended on an amazing development that immediately sold me on the game next expansion plan, The light.
When I finished the story mission, which took about eight hours, I had a sense of wonder I’d never felt in Destiny: I had no problem putting the controller down. In the past, the blender was the mainstay of the game. The tortuous stories made me feel like I needed to get my money’s worth in some way. I would replay the same strikes or go to public events that I had played 100 times before, turning the game into a series of work.
I don’t feel the same pull after playing Witch Queen. There are still activities and tasks I want to check out, but not because I feel the need to. Instead, I was interested in the story going on in the world and wanted to learn more about what was happening with Hive and the Traveler. In fact, I would have gotten better equipment by doing so icing the cake, rather than the cake itself.
For a long time, I’ve wished that Bungie would remove the live-serve aspect of Destiny entirely and only update the strong story once or twice a year. That wish is not really what I want. Instead, I just wish the game was flexible enough to hit different levels of commitment. I love that I can learn the lore with friends who regularly raid. I still feel like I’m part of the Destiny universe, even if I don’t re-login until the next expansion.
Witch Queen is a healthy change of pace for Fate 2. It emphasizes a return to the complex political and creative sci-fi landscape between the space (and worm) races. As a longtime player, that was the last thing I cared about after living in this world for so long. I want to see my Guardian’s long journey continue, even if I don’t make it past 10th in this season’s battle.