What’s the biggest problem in any persistent massively online game?
Go ahead, try to guess.
No, it’s not the boring routine of questing, the sometimes bland story, or the lack of high-level content. It is pick-up groups. They’re awful, painful, and at times downright embarrassing.
Destiny, Bungie’s upcoming online shooter, isn’t going to solve this problem. The latest case in point: my strike mission in Devil’s Lair that took place today.
Now, I’m going to give one player a pass for being level 5. The recommended level is 6, but if you’re smart enough, you can get by. Plus, there isn’t really much in terms of skills needed that make much of a difference. To be perfectly frank, though, he needed a skill that increased his intelligence.
During the scenario where we defend Ghost from incoming hordes of Fallen, we wiped several times, mostly due to the fact that my two teammates seemed to not be on the ball when it comes to eliminating Fallen snipers or stealthed units. Instead focused on turtling, I ran around like a mad man, sliding between cover, as dozens of enemies converged onto the point of interest. I meleed as quick as I can, held down the trigger, and did everything I could to ensure victory.
Yet my partners kept dying. I’d turn around and then boom, I’d see two icons asking for revival and a bunch of enemies with a one way ticket to my face.
Eventually, after what felt like an hour, we’d pass on and make our way to the Devil Walker, which included a five minute stretch of my going back and forth reviving people because we were almost complete with the encounter and I didn’t feel like starting over.
This might sound like I’m just a no good whiny ranter, but come on guys. Strike missions are Destiny’s raids. They are incredibly challenging and meant to appeal to the best. I can’t even imagine what these are like on heroic mode. Hell, I don’t even want to imagine. For now, though, I’ll always have the memories of successfully completing a strike mission during the beta while doubling the combined kill count of my teammates.
So… who wants to form some Strike teams? Anyone? Bueller?