Destiny 2: Shadowkeep is a solid reboot for Destiny 2 thanks to its brand-new storyline, gearing system, and story-telling elements, but there’s one thing it doesn’t have: Challenging experiences that push players to their limits. Could it benefit from more Deep Dungeons like ‘The Shattered throne’ and the ‘Pit of Heresy’? Well, yes and here’s why.
Lately, I’ve been playing a lot of Destiny 2: Shadowkeep in my free time. I’ve had a lot of time to do so as of late, which isn’t necessarily bad and honestly, I enjoy it when I get a chance to jump in with my friends. It’s been fun. We’ve hunted down exotics, we’ve cleared new content as fast as we could unlock it and we’ve even enjoyed hunting down the secrets across the Moon.
However, I’ve come across an issue I’ve been discussing with some of my fellow Guardians: Destiny 2 doesn’t have just a lot of challenge to it anymore. You may recall, back in the day, you could choose your light level, which adjusted the difficulty of your strikes and the buffs enemies would have. Unfortunately, that’s not the case in Destiny 2.
I’ve found myself, along with my fellow Guardians, having difficulty adjusting to the fact that much of the older content has felt dumbed down to the extent we can clear strikes in 10-15 minutes tops, each of one feeling as if we just ran through a story mission versus a dungeon. To find a challenge, we decided to take it home and head over to a place we’d yet to experience ourselves: The Pit of Heresy.
One thing came rather apparent rather quickly. We’d never done The Shattered Throne outside of the necessary elements for the Moments of Triumph and giving up because we kept hitting the progressional wall. However, we recently decided to revisit and a few things came rather clear: These are actual dungeons. They weren’t meant to be easy due to the challenge put before us.
“While Strikes used to provide a challenge, those days are gone, and their usefulness feels lost outside of bounties”
After getting access to it, my good pal Elona and I decided to take the jump, load into the Pit of Heresy and see what this thing was all about – aside from the fact we were hunting the Xenophage exotic. At the start, it was immediately clear this wouldn’t work like the Vanguard Strikes. This was indeed something bigger, something harder, and something we may need another for from the get-go.
Within a few minutes, that was the case and we became quickly overwhelmed by what was going on. Enemies packed heavy punches, albeit we were both hovering slightly under the recommended light level, but it was a welcomed challenge. Special enemies with special requirements to eliminate began to pop up, pushing our skills to the test as Ogres poured out from around the corners and Hive acolytes began to gun us down.
While we did attempt the “deep dungeon” itself, the experience in itself was worth the time. It was punishing, it was hard, it reminded me of what I enjoyed about the content being delivered at an “at-level” experience. It was challenging, it put Elona and I’s skills to the test and pushed us to our limits to ensure we had what it take in order to succeed – which at the time of writing – we’ve still yet to clear it and hope to do so soon.
“Unlike Strikes, you can’t clear these Dungeons in a single push. They’re hard and they require coordination.”
They (both Pit of Heresy and The Shattered Throne) are challenging thanks to their raid-like designs. You do have puzzles you need to complete, mini-bosses, bosses, and elites that you must eliminate in order to progress and do what puzzles are put before you. Some are even a combination of both while Vanguard Strikes are quite the opposite.
These days, there’s no need to coordinate, there’s no need to work for the best gear the game has to offer unless you plan on raiding. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem there is any change to this in sight. Sure, you will die here and there during a Vanguard Strike, but it’s nothing compared to the Dungeons themselves.
The dungeons, if you will, aren’t straight forward affairs. Just like raids, you will fight your way through them, you will complete specified tasks in order to get through each and every one of them. These are beautiful, adequate experiences that expand upon that players have sought for quite some time.
“Who wouldn’t like the idea of pushing through more dungeons such as these if it meant fewer Vanguard Strikes?”
Unlike the Nightfall variants of Vanguard Strikes, these dungeons are far more difficult, each one coming with its own unique experience that may include exotic weapon tasks, they even may require you to leave and come back at a later date once you get the necessary gear.
But could Bungie do such a thing and ensure players have the challenges put before them in a timely manner? That’s the question we have to ask ourselves. Destiny 2: Shadowkeep is one such experience that could very well do such a thing. There’s endless potential within such an idea. Who wouldn’t like the idea of pushing through more dungeons such as these if it meant fewer Vanguard Strikes?
While Raids are a great alternative, it’s not always easy to get geared enough for the end-game content, some players may also struggle to coordinate or get in an active team. With an alternative piece of content such as Dungeons, players can get an almost identical experience, gear up, and even prep for the raids themselves.
Our biggest question is whether or not Bungie is willing to take the dive, to make more challenging content or to add in light levels that are even higher than before. It’d have to be just like I stated in my review of Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, “Whatever the cause is, if Destiny 2 keeps on its current path, it’ll be one of the strongest entries yet, but only if it keeps down its current path. With where it’s headed, I can only quote Dinklebot at this point in time: “Heads up, Guardian.”
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About the Writer(s):
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.