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Destiny's 'haunted' loot cave makes me hopeful for the future of the game

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Much has been made about Destiny's phenomena of the loot caves, and Bungie's response in patching them out of the game.

The developer has also learned a hard lesson about what players want from loot-unlocked multiplayer events, and the game's overall loot system has already been adjusted. This is the state of the game right now: Bungie is learning.

Which is a why a throwaway joke inside one of said loot caves is so interesting.

What this means, and why you should care

When you head into what used to be the loot cave in Skywatch you see a pile of remains, and then this spooky message:

This is a piece of content that was added to the game after the loot cave was removed, a sort of Halloween-appropriate monument to the amount of time players spent farming engrams and bringing them to the cryptarch, Master Rahool.

It could also be a reference to Dune, which included the line "A million deaths were not enough for Yueh!" in A Child's History of Muad'Dib by the Princess Irulan. Or at least the book tells us that quote appears in that text. It's a reference to Dr. Yueh's betrayal of Duke Atreides and, while it's possible I'm reading too much into things, I'm willing to bet at least some of the art design and epic feel of Destiny was influenced by Dune. It's not a hard connection to draw.

The interesting aspect of this relatively small Easter egg is that it's the first change to the game world itself that shows the impact of the player population. It's a tiny step towards a more living world, and it shows that Bungie doesn't just care about how players interact with the game, they're willing to respond to it and even poke some light fun at our actions.

The players have begun to change the world of Destiny, and this likely won't be the last time this sort of monument is added to the game.

This addition to Destiny has made fans of the game jump into rampant speculation about what it all means, and the conversations have been interesting. "I assume it means that even if you get a million kills and a bunch of engrams, the cryptarch will still not be satisfied/you won't get a legendary or exotic," one player wrote on the game's official subreddit.

"Is that in a hive voice? That just proves the cryptarch is evil! How would the hive know his name?!!?!? Rahool is in cahoots with the hive! BURN HIM!" another wrote.

The players have begun to change the world of Destiny

Forget the Grimoire cards, or the other attempts at building a world and story that have fallen flat. This is a tiny thing that has been put into the game that gives it a history, and has made fans eager to figure out what, if anything, it means. It's something that Bungie didn't expect to put into the game, but it shows they're willing to have a dialog with players over the game, inside the world itself.

Destiny features some of the best combat and visuals you can find in a modern shooter, and most of the complaints about the game can be fixed. The infrastructure is all in place now, and one of the things that was stressed to the press before the game's launch was how easily content could be added to the game.

If this is how the conversation begins, I can't wait to see what happens next.