Let‘s be upfront – Destiny 2 has a notoriously steep learning curve for new players. With intricate RPG systems, intense endgame activities, and sparse tutorials, it takes significant time investment to grasp everything as a newcomer. You may feel overwhelmed by mechanics early on and hit progression walls. But if you push through, Destiny 2 offers one of the most rewarding looter shooter experiences around. This guide will help you decide if Destiny 2 is worth diving into as a new light.
What is Destiny 2?
Destiny 2 is an online multiplayer first person shooter set in an expansive science fiction world. You take on the role of a Guardian, a resurrected warrior who protects humanity‘s last city from alien threats. It blends satisfying FPS action with extensive RPG elements.
The core gameplay loop is based around getting more powerful gear from activities like strikes, raids, and PvP Crucible matches. This allows you to increase your character‘s Power level and take on greater challenges. You can play solo or cooperatively with others.
Destiny features a continuous progression system – it‘s a live service game that grows over time. New story expansions and seasons add more weapons, activities, locations to explore, and mysteries to uncover.
The Confusing New Player Experience
The biggest frustration for new lights is that Destiny 2 does a poor job explaining itself. The New Light quest provides a barebones tutorial, then largely leaves you rudderless. Coming to grips with the complex upgrade systems can be overwhelming at first.
Creating your character provides little guidance on the differences between Hunter, Titan, and Warlock classes. The intricacies of armor stats, mods, elemental affinities, and Champion mods are poorly conveyed. Exotics and intricate weapon perks add another layer of complexity.
Without sufficient context, you may feel lost navigating the dizzying array of menus and currency types as a fresh Guardian. Recent expansion campaigns do a much better job explaining Destiny‘s core concepts and loot loop. But the overall new player experience remains lacking and convoluted.
"Destiny 2‘s new player experience leaves much to be desired. The game doesn‘t do a great job of explaining how a lot of its complex systems work. You‘re left confused at the beginning." – TheGamer
This means you‘ll need to rely on external guides, helpful clanmates, and Trial-and-error to make sense of it all as a newbie. But putting in this initial time investment pays off.
Intricate RPG Systems
Once you push through the initial learning curve, Destiny 2‘s intricate mechanics start to click and become second nature. Let‘s break down some of the key systems:
Weapons – All guns have random perk rolls tailored for PvE or PvP. For example, Rampage does more damage on successive kills while Outlaw gives faster reloads. Different weapon types like Hand Cannons, Pulse Rifles, Shotguns excel in certain scenarios.
Armor – Each armor piece boosts stats like Recovery, Discipline, Intellect. Mods add bonuses like faster grenade recharge or seasonal anti-Champion effects. Masterworking gear increases stats and adds energy for more mods.
Subclasses – The Solar, Void, Arc subclasses have various abilities and perks to customize your gameplay style. Want tanky area control? Go Void Titan. Feel like a space wizard? Try Solar Warlock.
This depth allows for incredible build crafting and theory-crafting as you learn what playstyle suits you best. But early on, just focus on equipping pieces with higher Power level – don‘t stress optimal stats or mods during the campaign.
Punishing Endgame Progression Wall
The soft Power cap can be reached simply via drops from core activities. However, to hit max Power and experience endgame content like Grandmaster Nightfalls and Master Raids, you need Pinnacle drops from weekly challenges.
This is where you hit a brick wall as a newbie. These pinnacle activities demand competent fireteams, strong builds, and intricate mastery of mechanics. Yet there is no matchmaking for high level content, forcing you to manually find groups.
Let‘s look closer at Raids, Destiny 2‘s ultimate PvE challenge. Raids involve conquering complex encounters across sweeping setpieces with 6 players. Communication and coordination are mandatory. But they remain completely inaccessible to new solos unwilling to LFG (Looking for Group).
Even the supposedly entry level Vault of Glass raid is brutal for teams unfamiliar with Destiny‘s intricacies. New players attempting raids often face frustration and toxicity from veterans for not grasping mechanics quickly.
"If you matchmake a raid, new lights will suffer through 4+ hours of bashing their head against a wall, dying constantly with no idea how to improve." – u/CorbinTheTitan, Reddit
My advice is to avoid raids at first and focus on easier Pinnacle sources like 100k Nightfall strikes. Once you have sufficient Power and game knowledge, dip your toes into normal mode raids with a sherpa team willing to teach. Building up skill and confidence is key before tackling punishing Master content.
Crucible Problems for Casuals
The competitive Crucible arena lets you test your legendary Guardian skills against others. However, the lack of skill based matchmaking in most modes means new players inevitably get stomped by PvP veterans.
Reaching Crucible‘s high skill ceiling requires optimal gear and mastery of movement techs like sliding and skating. Map knowledge and game sense also play key roles. You can expect some brutal beatdowns starting out when the matchmaking pits you against seasoned pros.
My advice is to start out slowly in more forgiving modes like Rumble and Momentum Control. Focus on learning maps, dialing in your aim, and finding weapons that feel good to you before jumping into intense Trials of Osiris matches. With time, you can absolutely become a Crucible legend. But temper expectations early on while still learning basics.
Viable Solo Experience
The good news is all of Destiny 2‘s core activities like strikes and seasonal content fully support matchmaking. So while built around social experiences, you can still enjoy hundreds of hours of playtime solo before needing to engage deeply with the community to progress further.
Here are some recommendations on how to make the most of Destiny 2 playing solo:
Take time exploring the worlds and uncovering lore at your own pace. The environments are gorgeous.
Try out every new weapon type you get to learn their unique feel.
Experiment with all the subclasses to discover which power fantasy suits you.
For strikes, don‘t stress about optimal DPS or competing with teammates for kills. Enjoy learning mechanics and enemy behaviors.
For Crucible, play objective modes like Control where you can contribute without being an aim god.
Use Destiny 2 LFG sites when you do want to coordinate for harder content. Plenty of folks willing to help newbies!
And if you desire deeper social engagement, join an active clan focused on community. Having supportive teammates makes the game much more welcoming.
Is Destiny 2 Worth Trying as a New Player?
Destiny 2‘s sheer amount of interconnected systems and activities make for an intimidating initial experience. You may feel overwhelmed by mechanical complexity, progression walls, and steep endgame difficulty spikes as a fresh Guardian.
But while the learning curve is steep, putting in the initial time investment pays off. The fantastic lore, social experiences, build crafting depth, and satisfying gameplay loop make Destiny 2 one of the most rewarding looter shooters.
If you‘re up for the challenge, diving into Destiny 2 in 2023 provides an incredible journey full of mysteries to unravel across the solar system. Find your legend, Guardian.