We’ve all been there, an upcoming game is coming out, the hype for it is huge, constant advertisements, but you unlike most see that and think, “nah I’m good.” With how many games come out on a regular basis I’m sure we all do that plenty of times a month. What about the times where you say no, have absolutely no desire to buy a game, but come release date you are at the store with the game in your hand patiently standing in line to buy it. I think more often than not the common factor in these situations are friends. Friend hype of video games can be a lot more powerful than a trailer or commercial.

In comes Destiny. I played the first Destiny a fairly good amount. I started when it was referred to as “vanilla Destiny,” it was pretty bare bones, lifeless even. Hence “vanilla Destiny” nickname. Despite that, the coop potential with my father and a few friends was not something I wanted to pass up. I actually enjoyed the game for the most part, but I never fell in love with it and as I tried to stick with the end game content and increase my light level, I became bored with the grind that seemed to take more than it gave. I even returned much later to the game when everyone was in full hype mode about the Taken King and how it was described as, “how Destiny should have been on release day,” but alas that ship had sailed, I didn’t even finish The Taken King.

Fast forward to August 2017 and I have zero interest and zero hope for Destiny 2 with absolute zero intention to buy the game. Did I mention zero enough? No part of me thought that Bungie & Activision was going to deliver on their overhyped emphasization of the #2 in Destiny 2 and putting “too much story in Destiny 2.” I simply didn’t buy into it, I was picturing what would likely be Destiny 1.5 or worse, a complete flop. I had no intention of buying in on all the grinding away at light levels and hunting for better gear. Now here I am late September, light level 267, grinding away. How did I get here? Why am I even doing this? Simply put, Destiny is finally fun for me.

Destiny 2 in some ways is what I thought it would be, more Destiny 1.5 than it is 2 and yet I am completely okay with that. There isn’t any major changes, no new species to fight or even new class to add to the Titan, Hunter and Warlock. Sure there are some cool new sub-classes and plenty of other additions, such as an actual story for once, which is refreshing. Even if it is really predictable and a bit mediocre. No huge changes in this game when compared to the first and yet I’m having an absolute blast, most importantly though, the grind doesn’t feel like a grind anymore.

I have to give credit where credit is due, I owe a couple of friends that convinced me to get the game, one of which is a diehard Destiny fan and I’m really glad he did. The biggest draw for me was the prospect of having plenty of people to play with, I joined a clan with similar interests before the game launched, I had a few friends that I was planning on playing with from the get go and I honestly believe the community aspect is one of the biggest reasons for this change of heart. I bought into it and I’ve been rewarded, it definitely helps that clans were added and on top of that the incentives and rewards for being in said clan.

That’s the other biggest and most noteable change by Bungie & Activision, every piece of grinding, fighting and event actually has a purpose to it. Everything you do and the work you put in is rewarded. Gone are the days where you have to look up specific times and a map that is something out of National Treasurer just to find out when the next Public Event is, the Events are consistently going and can easily be found by bringing up your in game world map. It doesn’t feel like you are putting in a couple of hours of time into the game only to be rewarded with Destiny like crumbs (see green armor and weapons), no this one rewards you, sometimes even too much. I’m not complaining though, also gone are the days where everything in the game feels so dry and pointless. That feeling is replaced by an excitement and joy to complete my milestones, to do random side missions that have purpose and can lead to even bigger side missions. Bungie has expertly woven what feels like its own genre of MMO like gameplay with a community that actually interacts with each other and is thus rewarded for it. Simply put, it’s all fun, from random emotes (I got the salt bae meme emote) to side missions just for a weapon and of course teaming up with friends. I haven’t even had a chance to tap into what are arguably the best parts about Destiny 2, the Nightfall and the Raid. I’ll definitely be playing the Nightfall soon, but I think I’m far off from the Raid, but that’s okay, I love that I have plenty of things to look forward to in this game and I don’t think Bungie is going to stop adding little things here or there, such as factions that were added just this week, not to mention all the DLC that is yet to come.

If you were put off by Destiny 1 and have no interest in Destiny 2, I was one of you. I know exactly how you feel. I urge you to reconsider though, even if you don’t have a lot of friends that play the game, find a random clan, it’s easier than you think. I had two of my closest friends start their own clan, the Pilfering Pandas (what a fricken name) and within a few days they already had 40 people and counting in the clan. This is a welcoming community who are looking to play with other people, you just have to open yourself up to it. The game doesn’t explain a lot in how to do things, that might sound like a bad thing, but I promise there is something that feels more rewarding by learning about how to get that gun or how to trigger that heroic event simply by talking to fellow friend and clan members, or even learning how to do it on your own. If you go into Destiny 2 with the right mindset you’ll not only like the game, you’ll love it, I’m not saying it isn’t without its missteps or faults, but Bungie & Activision did the biggest thing that a lot of games these days seem to struggle to accomplish, they made their game fun.

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