Two things are true:

  • The onboarding process of Destiny 2’s Black Armory was and continues to be terrible, as huge chunks of the playerbase are unable to complete even the first Forge to get the expansion moving given its power level
  • Once you do complete that Forge, however, Black Armory starts to open up, and you understand where this expansion is going and what Bungie had in mind for this new kind of content.

I didn’t want to give up on Black Armory just because of its roadblock-esque start, and I’m glad that I’ve been proven right, at least in my own mind. After forging my first machine gun, finally beating the Volundr Forge, you discover that there’s a lot more to this expansion than meets the eye.

After the Forge, you will be sent on a new quest by Ada and Spider that will have you racking up Fallen kills and running actual missions for the first time. Granted, these missions are mostly just clearing out chained-together Lost Sectors, but there are new bosses and new enemies and new traps and I hadn’t even been in a couple of these Lost Sectors yet, apparently, so it’s certainly better than nothing. This “questline,” which just appeared yesterday, ends with a boss fight preview against the new Servitor enemy you’ll be facing off in the second, Fallen Forge, Gofannon, where you’re now trying to craft a Sniper Rifle from Ada.

I have no idea why Black Armory didn’t just open with the questline we saw yesterday. No, it’s not like terribly substantive story content or anything, but it’s way, way better than the “farm for this HMG, go into a Forge you can’t beat after 20 minutes” opening that Black Armory presents initially. These missions are at 620 power so that would have had to have been changed (but you can’t wipe in them), but this would have put a better foot forward.

I have beaten both these Forges on my Hunter at ~615 power, but I still lose probably 4 out of 5 times when paired with randoms via matchmaking, as Stage 2 of Volundr with the Colossi seems to trip a lot of people up and the Stage 3 Servitor boss can be tough as it can sometimes get stuck in an infinite immunity loops when hovering near other smaller servitors. I have gotten to 615 power in part because of the Prime Engram drops I’ve found when failing the Forge, so even losing on repeat does help you to make progress because it’s a great place to farm for these hefty upgrades.

I do believe that once everyone starts hitting 620-630, these Forges will all go from tough to a cakewalk in short order, and at 650 they’ll be a breeze. The biggest obstacle right now is just having the DPS to burn the final boss, and once that threshold is crossed well, it’s going to be open season.

The Forge weapons you create are really, really cool, and even though I haven’t gotten any god rolls yet, I do see how this is going to be a good sort of grind for a while, at least a few weeks to get us through most of the season, bolstered by holiday events and the eventual Last Word quest. Clearing these Forges, getting bounties for Forge armor, hunting down exotics (none of which have been found yet, short of the raid one), this is a loop I am enjoying (minus the one Gofannon unlock quest step which had me waste 90 minutes trying to kill a bugged HVT on Nessus). I understand what Bungie was going for here with these Forges and for now at least, I think it works, as does the slow rollout. If all these Forges have these mini “questlines” in between them, that’s pretty cool, and honestly more than I was expecting from this content pack.

Black Armory’s Forges are starting to remind me of Prison of Elders. You have a dedicated arena filled with a specific enemy type, you have a specific objective to accomplish in early rounds (ignition, mines, HVTs), then you have a boss to kill. It’s…very, very similar, and I’d argue there’s even more and better loot here.

Ignite forge, yesssss?Destiny 2

I really do think that Black Armory is going to deliver more overall content in the end than at least The Dark Below and House of Wolves, Destiny’s earliest DLCs. The Forge stuff is more substantive than it appears initially, and I’ve gone through this entire article without even mentioning the new raid, a shorter, Wrath of the Machine-like experience that appears to be a lot of fun with sparrow segments and giant mecha bosses (I’m still not strong enough to beat it yet, so I haven’t tried).

The point is, there’s a good amount here. And for those saying the Forge is too grindy I mean, yeah, it’s a grind, but are we really pretending the entire point of Destiny isn’t to grind? But there are good grinds and bad grinds, and from what I’ve seen so far, once you get past that initial power level hurdle, this is a good kind of grind, and I’m really enjoying my time with it.

Bungie really needs to fix the barrier to entry quickly. Lowering the power level by 5 was enough to get me over the threshold, but I’m also someone who started the expansion at 600. I know they’re adding a new “catch-up” mechanic for other players next week with more Prime Engrams, but that will still require some old content grinding from players who can’t be bothered. I’ve already talked about how I wish the introduction to Black Armory had gone, but it will be a shame if this poor opening makes people miss out on what’s actually a decently cool expansion.

Alright, I’m off to go beat Gofannon Forge again because I forgot to get the last quest step from Ada first and didn’t get my sniper rifle. See you out there. Maybe literally:

Follow me on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Read my new sci-fi thriller novel Herokiller, available now in print and online. I also wrote The Earthborn Trilogy.





READ SOURCE

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here