Ran Destiny’s Vault of Glass Hard Mode tonight at the conclusion of the Superbowl. I tossed up a thread on DestinyLFG.net stating that I had the Atheon checkpoint, and I was looking for more people to join me in the boss fight.
“Looking for five guardians who want to get this done”
I got a couple of responses through the site – one was a 31 Warlock, and the other stated simply that he had four people with him. Invites were sent out to the relevant parties, and the team came together within minutes of my post.
I was playing my third character, a 29 Titan Defender with Weapons of Light, specced for a quick kill provided that we had a cohesive raid party. I took us to orbit only to find that I couldn’t select Hard mode on account of my never beating the raid on Normal. I relayed this information over to the fireteam, at which point the 31 Warlock stated that he might have the Gatekeeper checkpoint on another one of his characters. He came back into the group with a 32 Hunter and, true to form, we started our instance at the Gatekeeper.
Most of the group, save for the Warlock turned Hunter, lacked any relic-holding experience whatsoever. I assured them that it was easy enough, and we soldiered our way through. We wiped a few times on the Gatekeeper, but we made it before long.
Atheon went down after great difficulty. Although I was the only one in the party below level 30, some of the others were ill-equipped for hard mode. One was running a Sunsinger Warlock without self-resurrection unlocked, and one guy was running a 300 Abyss Defiant because he didn’t have anything better. Fortunately, we had one guy with decent gear (Fatebringer!), and everyone was familiar enough with the mechanics of the boss fight. We must have wiped twenty times. Morale was flagging, but no one took their leave. We had a determined group. At last, we downed Atheon on a run where we lost only one guy.
Now came the loot drop… I got three Ascendant Shards, three Ascendant Energies, and the Aspect of Glass raid ship. One guy got Praedyth’s Timepiece. Two guys got the Vex Mythoclast. One of them shouted excitedly to his mom over the mic to let her know of his good luck. Thank you’s were said all around, and we left to orbit with four members of the fire team remaining.
During the twenty-odd wipes and the aftermath of the loot drop, I’d talked with the 32 Hunter about PvP. He was sore that he didn’t get the Vex Mythoclast (“I’ve cleared this, like, thirty times!” and something about this being his fifth or sixth Timebreaker), but he was up for some PvP shenanigans. We went to the Tower. During the loading screens, the Hunter griped: “How come it’s always the weakest ones who get the good drops,” he asked, referring to the “mama’s boy” and the other filthy casual.
The other two members of our fireteam dipped, leaving me and the Hunter to go to the Crucible alone. He set us to go to the free for all playlist. He used the Universal Remote and the Prudence II. I struggled a bit with my shotgun, but kept at it, wanting to get better. I’ve gone down to shotguns enough times. Unfortunately, my opponents just weren’t having it. My Hunter companion did well, winning two out of the four matches that we played.
He was clearly a seasoned PvP player. After the game’s matchmaking had concluded, he’d always check the other players to see what weapons they were bringing in. He informed me that he’d ranked Iron Banner all the way five times, in spite of his always playing with randoms (aka blueberries [my words, not his]). He’d gotten Destiny a couple of weeks before me, but he had a solid 100 more hours spent in game.
The Hunter cursed every time that he died.
To players who had downed him with the SUROS Regime: “Get a better gun!”
To Murmur: a rant on it being a piece of trash freebie
To The Last Word: “The freaking Last Word!”
To the Vex Mythoclast, a special rant, upon which I chimed in about how good it was
He complained at each post-game reward screen. One time, he made a comment about not knowing what made him keep playing Destiny. It seemed that blowing away opponents with his shotgun was more for therapy than it was out of enjoyment of the game.
He had to leave after our fourth match. Before it, we’d gone back to the Tower. His sergeant had called him in, so he had to leave, but he had time for that last one. I asked him where he was. “Korea.” I asked him what time it was, guessing that they were perhaps twelve hours ahead of US Central Time. I was off by a few hours.
I asked him what line of work he was in. “Intelligence.” I asked for more: this was apparently classified. Later: He didn’t like the people that he worked with. Which ones, I asked, the military personnel or the locals? All of them. Few were competent.
I couldn’t count how many times he bickered about having earned, yet not received, the elusive Vex Mythoclast. He despised all those “less-deserving” players who had gotten theirs. I laughed. I’d gotten mine upon my first HM Atheon kill. I’d joined in with a highly coordinated group, and they’d positively wrecked Atheon.
During our last match, and before parting, I wished him luck getting his elusive drops. I assured him that the random number game would work out – whether it would be a week from now or a year from now, he’d eventually get his reward. He had shared his belief about Destiny’s loot system, prefacing it by saying that I shouldn’t call him a nerd on account of the fact that he played Pokémon. He believed that predetermination was at play. Something about the numbers being generated at the time a name is input.
On hearing this, his tone changed. He wanted to know if I’d be interested in running the raid again sometime (“Sure”), and let me know when he intended to get on (“All day Wednesday and Thursday”). “Take it easy,” he said, and I wished him a good day. He made some bitter remark at this. I told him that he could make the most of his day in any event.
He dropped out after saying, “Some people don’t have all their choices made for them,” or something to that effect.
I go onto DestinyLFG knowing that I will be matched with random players. DestinyLFG is open to anyone to use, so I expect to come across all types. Its existence enables players to find one another – it is a light in the dark.
This was an odd character. I was surprised by the extent to which he believed that he deserved to get the Vex Mythoclast. He seemed confused by the objective reality of RNG, choosing to take a subjective view on the entire experience. I can understand the frustration, but I choose to laugh at it.
This Hunter had the Gjallarhorn, but stated that he didn’t care for it. He’d trade it if it meant that he could have the Vex Mythoclast instead. When he bemoans the lack of trading in Destiny, I laugh again.
Anger towards other players is sometimes warranted. Going back to Destiny: a player’s level is no indication of their skill, or the depth of their knowledge of game mechanics. It’s frustrating to have to carry dead weight, but luckily it can be disposed of with a few thumbstick movements and button presses (as long as one is fireteam leader). There’s always the option of jumping ship yourself.
Would I play with him again? On the basis of his being a skilled player, yes. Certainly not because I admire his attitude.