This was going to be a short thing on how £22 for some bells and whistles for Bungie’s 30th anniversary is a waste of money and you shouldn’t buy it. Then I remembered it’s WAY past the point at which the content is out and everyone who was going to buy it has already bought it so nobody gave a monkeys about how good it is or isn’t.

 Then it was going to be a long, interminable, meandering lament about the impermanence of modern “gaming as a service” games. About how products with long life tails cycle content in and out of availability, along with numerous limited time events and modes and how it’s all a bit depressing and seems like a dick move actually, because you paid for the bloody thing so why should you lose access to it?

Instead along the way the writing journey took a left at Ennui Junction and delivered me directly to Introspectionville where I realised some things about where I am mentally in regards to socialisation and interaction with my friends in 2022. And I’m not very fond of what I’ve found.

Behold Sparklehorse!

If you don’t know me I am one of those terrible GAAS loving dickheads that feels entirely incomplete unless there’s a grind to be had in a game. I can’t really explain it. Recently (and we’re talking a year or more) I’ve been entirely unfulfilled by linear, story based gaming. Games with a beginning, middle and end leave me cold. They do not hold my attention in any way so I’ve been playing games where there’s an interminable grind. I need quantification in some form to ‘have fun’ which, when you write it down, sounds incredibly masochistic and (again) depressing. Some would even say that’s the problem with modern gaming, but then people like to piss and moan and actively ignore the abundance of excellent games out there that don’t fall under the GAAS grindathon banner so go and find those and leave me be. You’re not my mum, I don’t have to do what you say!

Where was I? Yeah, Destiny 2. When Bungie announced the 30th Anniversary pack players generally fell into 2 groups; the ones who went “Lol, no thanks” and the ones that, being the self aware and indoctrinated mindslaves that they are, went “Well that sucks, but of COURSE I’m going to buy it”. I was one of the former until our benevolent overlord Bradley Von Marsh of the Essex Von Marsh’s offered me a code provided by the good people at Bungie. 

To be fair I was the default choice to receive the code because I’m the only sad sack that’s still playing Destiny out of the MHG team. So yeah, there’s that.

The pack comes with *adjust glasses and reads from marketing sheet*

  • New Dungeon
  • Gjallarhorn Exotic Rocket Launcher, Catalyst, and Ornament
  • New Weapons Inspired by Past Bungie Worlds
  • Descending Echo Armor Set
  • Bungie Streetwear Ornament Set
  • Marathon Themed Ornament Set
  • Unique Helmet Ornament
  • Exotic Sparrows
  • Exotic Ship
  • Emblems, Shaders, Emotes, and More
Oooooh. Shiny.

What it doesn’t tell you is that a lot of this content is gated behind multiplayer activities that aren’t matchmade. Like, you have to talk to people to get a group. Interact with them! Ugh.

Yes, yes I can hear you. “Why are you moaning about content that’s gated behind multiplayer in a predominantly multiplayer game, you utter bellend?! YOU are what’s wrong with modern gaming! You want your cake and you want to eat it?! ABSURD! GET OUT OF MY SIGHT, YOU PLEBEIAN WHORE!”

Or something along those lines.

The fact is I like playing multiplayer games where I don’t have to talk to my teammates. This is entirely contrary to who I used to be once upon a time where talking and larking about and having ‘bantz’ online *shoots self in head* was massive fun, but as I’ve got older I’ve gotten very anti-social. 

It’s not just me power sliding screaming and on fire into middle age either (although that’s absolutely a thing), it’s been a steady descent over at least the last 2 years that I didn’t really notice. The pandemic has been miserable for everyone but on top of the the world being on fire and people showing how truly disgusting they are, I’ve had some life events over the last 12-14 months that have basically been a series of kicks to the nuts and it appears to have had more of an adverse effect on me than I originally thought.

 I never used to think much of social interactions because they were easy. I’ve always seen myself as somewhat gregarious. Not insomuch that I’d need to socialise but that when put in social situations I’d basically just talk at people until they either talk back or tell me to shut up and go away. Nowadays once I’m in that situation that’s still the case, it’s just the actual act of getting off my arse and engaging in that social activity is borderline impossible because I just want to be left alone.

Like phoning an old friend. Easy, right? Nah. Colossal effort required. Organising a Skype catch up? I’ll get round to it eventually. Maybe. Organising a dungeon run with just 2 online bods on a videogame to access the cosmetic junk from a paid for add-on? You may as well ask me to move mountains. 

Bruce Xursyth. “Nine to see you, to see you Nine!”

I find it very difficult to gee myself up to organise games with people. And I actually like these people. They are friends, both actual and that weird “I met them online and don’t actually know what they look like but know the name of their kids and pets” kind of way. It’s just that initial commitment of getting online and then spending an evening to doing social activities is akin to bench pressing a bus. This never used to be a problem and it’s a never ending source of ire that my brain is such a dick about it.

This means that I don’t have the Gjallarhorn rocket launcher yet. In fact out of that list above the only things I do have are an emote from legendary activities because I happened to be online when someone else piped up to do the the 30th anniversary activity (a truly bizarre game show parallel hosted by Xur, the least meta and 4th wall breaking character in the entire game. And, if I’m honest, I’m absolutely here for that alone) which is available to all players. Oh and the cosmetic stuff which it gives you when you first speak to him.

So I see why Bungie gated this stuff behind activities. I get it. They have to make it seem like it’s worthwhile to pay £22 for trinkets and baubles and to do that they put them behind Triumphs (goals the game gives you that allow you to track progress and provide rewards) so at least you have something tangible to do and aim towards rather than just futzing around grinding arbitrarily or just putting them in your inventory immediately. So there is a grind to get these things. It’s just not a grind my idiot of a brain wants me to do.

As for my idiot brain, I don’t know what to do about it. It’s all well and good going “Just make more of an effort!” but we all know that’s not how it works. We’ve all got the best intentions to get in touch with our friends and family. To contact the ones you haven’t seen in 2 years or more. To hit up those faceless, yet welcoming friends on Xbox Live who you know but don’t know. That’d probably be a good place to start.

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