Destiny and its latest expansion The Taken King are now running on the 126.96.36.199 build of the game, but it’s the 2.0.0 patch that released a few weeks ago that may be the greatest video game update of all-time. Most of the time a video game patch fixes a bug, or tweaks a few settings to make the overall experience slightly better, but when it comes to Destiny’s 2.0.0 patch, it literally changed the entire gameplay experience for the better. In fact, it’s the 2.0.0 patch that coaxed me and many other haters back into the game’s universe after abandoning it a few weeks after its 2014 release, which is a major feat considering I had written the game off as a ridiculous, repetitive grind with no promise of actually making headway in its odd XP/Light system very early on after the game’s release.
I was content with never playing Destiny again, even though I had a hint of jealously burning inside of me every time I saw my friends religiously playing the game online, or while listening to other gaming buddies talk about how much time and effort they invested into it while going for an exotic piece of gear. It’s just one of those game communities that I wanted to be a part of, but thanks to Destiny’s awful XP system after hitting level 20, and the uncertainty of loot drops from playing the same missions over and over, I just couldn’t commit myself to the game and I was content with that.
Although, with the announcement of The Taken King and the arrival of Destiny’s official second season, I decided to give the game another shot after hearing Bungie discuss its plans for the game’s 2.0.0 update. One prominent change in this update spoke to me, which was the fact that the game’s XP system was getting scrapped in favor of a more traditional one that ACTUALLY rewarded you with XP for just playing the game! The whole Light system was bogus, and the root cause of my frustrations with Destiny’s first season, but thanks to this fundamental change I could now begin to see that Destiny may finally be the game I dreamed it would be the first time Activision and Bungie revealed that the two video game giants were teaming up for a brand new FPS IP with MMO inspirations.
I never took umbrage with the fact that Destiny made you grind, in fact I enjoy grinding video games, but in Destiny your grinding was never guaranteed to grant you anything for your hard work, and I just couldn’t support the monotony. Thanks to just one of the updates in the 2.0.0 patch though, the nonsensical leveling system in Destiny has gone the way of the dinosaur, now making it a much more enjoyable experience in my opinion. So much so that I even decided to scrap my former level 26 Hunter for a brand shiny new level 1 Titan, which I now consider to be a fantastic decision on my part, and proof of how amazing the Destiny 2.0.0 patch truly is.
The sad thing about the patch is the fact that the XP system is only one of many changes, but while the new quest menu and ability to turn in bounties easier are nice, most of the other updates do not have an immediate impact on the quality of Destiny’s gameplay experience like the revamped XP system. With that being said though I still have a hard time finding another free game update for a popular AAA video game that has had such a positive impact on the experience.
Like I mentioned earlier, most game updates are released to address glitches and/or bugs, so in a sense they’re great updates for slightly improving the experience, but they usually don’t reinvent how the game is played. A few of Skyrim’s updates come to mind that could rival Destiny’s 2.0.0 update, such as the ability to fly on dragons, but again it’s not like the ability to fly dragons brought back legions of jaded Skyrim fans to play it all over again. Destiny was literally played by more people on its second year launch than the game’s initial release, which is proof that many gamers like me took notice of the 2.0.0 patch and its many upsides and decided to give the game one more try to see if it would finally conform to the game we dreamed it would be one year ago. Sure a brand new expansion released to help bolster those numbers, but I believe deep down that many gamers flocking to play Destiny all over again are doing so because of what they’ve heard and read about the 2.0.0 patch, and how it completely changes the game for the better.
The PC master race may be able to highlight another popular game that got much better with an official patch, but in terms of a console update I truly believe Destiny’s 2.0.0 patch is the greatest free update to a game of its size and scope of all-time. If you told a Destiny player from the game’s first year that someone could start a new character and have it leveled to 39 with 195 Light score in 6 hours just by playing campaign missions, they probably would have punched you in the face and called you a dirty Guardian, but that’s the exact scenario I’m experiencing right now thanks to the 2.0.0 patch.
The whole Power orb that boosted me to 25 definitely helped with my astronomical rise up the Destiny level ranks, but I still leveled up 14 times in just 6 hours by playing easy campaign missions, which now drop tons of loot and provide plenty of XP, so if that’s not enough proof on how impactful and great this video game patch truly is, then you have never played Destiny and experienced its terrible leveling system from its first year of existence, which was easily the worst MMO leveling system to ever be featured in a video game.
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