It was nearing 2:00am when it finally happened. After approximately 10+ tries, we had finally completed Destiny's Daily Heroic Story mission. It was late but the three of us, myself, Ryan and Dustin (who has a top tier GamerTag with "PlagueOfBabies") all let out a pretty audible exhalation followed by a few <EXPLETIVE DELETED>'s. We beat "Lost to the Light" and got our hands on the exotic sniper rifle, "The Black Spindle".
How many times have I talked about this damn game? How many times have I stated something along the lines of "This game clearly isn't for me"?
It's a funny thing, Destiny. For the lifespan of the game, including the beta (which I participated in as well), I've been at odds with it. There were so many great possibilities left unfurled. Untouched. Yeah, the gameplay itself was fine. Even great in certain aspects, such as the gunplay and handling. But it was so hollow. I still think it's pretty hollow but for many, The Taken King alleviated the ENTIRE lack of story and provided SOME story.
But this isn't about any of that. It's not about story, it's not about how things handled. It's about *that* moment. The moment that puts you right into the game where everything else just kind of fades into the background. Where you're wholly focused on the task at hand and completion not only brings that wave of euphoria but also of the satisfaction that you worked, learned from mistakes and overcame.
"The Black Spindle" is a sniper rifle that is only obtainable through a combination luck, speed, skill and determination. It can only be obtained through the Daily Heroic Story, "Lost to the Light". We're at the whim of Bungie in regards to this because while the Daily rotates on a...wait for it...daily basis, *this* particular mission doesn't come along all that often. Along with that, because it's the Daily Heroic, the difficulty level is higher than normal.
As if that weren't enough, there's a time limit! The mission itself consists of running through a section of Moon base, killing an Ogre, retrieving a piece of rock that contains part of Crota's soul and then making it back out alive. But in order the get "The Black Spindle", we're forced to take a detour on that last part and go through a secret door that only opens if you've made it without a team wipe AND you've done it in a relatively quick manner.
But that's just the start.
Once we've succeeded in making it through the secret door, that's when the real fun starts. You're given a 10 minute time-limit to completely wipe ALL Taken enemies AND a major named Driviks, the Chosen. And when I say ALL the Taken enemies, I mean it. You do not win if there is even 1 little dinger left alive after Driviks' is killed.
In retrospect, it's pretty hilarious that it took us so many tries but this is where that whole "learning from your mistakes" comes in. The final battle against Driviks takes place in a roundish room that, due to the difficulty level, means you're not running around out in the open. Throughout the fight, Driviks spawns these giant orbs that spawn Taken until they're destroyed. That's an important piece of information because ultimately, that's what caused us so many failure.
We had done a pretty good job in every game of taking care of those spawning orbs but we were constantly overrun. It wasn't until the last run, where we finished the mission with over a minute left that we realized what we were doing wrong. There was an orb all the way in the back of the room that we *never* saw. It was Ryan that, after a very successful super, called the orb out. Once destroyed, the mission opened up in a way it hadn't before and we could taste the win.
It was glorious. 10+ times of failure. Going back, rushing through the whole story mission just to get back to the time limit just to try a new strategy...there was some frustration but determination took over as we'd get closer and closer to eking out a win.
I cannot accurately describe the relief, the joy, the excitement and again, the relief when we all saw the last guy die, the timer showing a full minute-plus and the Exotic icon pop up on the screen. It was incredible.
It was the moment where Destiny showed me that version of the game that we all kind of wanted. And I'm very hopeful that I'll get the same feeling again in the near future when I go for the Exotic sword.
Destiny still isn't a great game on the whole but man, let me tell you...it's got it's moments.
And when you're at the center of one of those moments you can't help but sit back and smile