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During Destiny 2’s doldrums, the original Destiny calls to me

Old raids have aged like fine wine

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Hunter looks at the wall in Destiny 1’s Csomodrome Image: Bungie
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

Destiny 2 is in its yearly spring slump — the time of Curse of Osiris, Season of the Drifter, and now, Season of the Worthy. And in the doldrums of Destiny 2, replaying the original Destiny is all I can think about. Destiny 2 is all about moving forward, and the original Destiny is a completed masterpiece.

For the past two years now, I’ve reinstalled the original Destiny when Destiny 2 has taken a turn for the worse. After being an Xbox-focused original Destiny player, I’ve since swapped to the PlayStation, just to recollect all the old gear and complete some of the lengthier weapon quests.

It took some time to get over minor annoyances I have with the older game. But it doesn’t take long to sink into how deep Destiny became during its Age of Triumph event.

Age of Triumph set the original Destiny in stone and prepared it for retirement just months before Bungie launched Destiny 2. All four of the game’s raids now give relevant loot. There are Exotic versions of my favorite raid weapons to chase. I have new quests to complete and incredible ornaments to adorn my raid armor with.

In Age of Triumph, the reinvigorated versions of the old raids are all punishing. If a raider dies, they cannot come back to life until the party either finishes the encounter or loses. A single mistake can ruin a great run, so victory feels rewarding even when you’re playing with seasoned raiders.

In a recent run through the Vault of Glass — Destiny’s first raid — several of my allies started dying toward the middle of the encounter. By the end, my remaining teammates fell one by one until I was alone. All I needed to do was kill a handful of remaining Vex to win the fight, resurrect my allies, and earn us some nice loot. I stayed calm, I focused, I used all of my abilities and ammo, and I solo’d the rest of the battle. My teammates cheered, congratulated me, and I wiped the sweat from my palms.

Age of Triumph offers rewards I will likely never complete. I can get a handful of tokens, which cosmetically enrich my armor, by doing a featured raid. That small, cosmetic incentive is enough to keep me going for the next few weeks — and likely bring me back again next year. To get all of those tokens and upgrade all my armor pieces, it will take months. It’s like rewatching an old TV show I love.

In the original Destiny, I used to delete characters regularly. During long periods of time with nothing to do in-game, I would simply start over. I could experience the game again with new knowledge. I had nothing else like Destiny to play, so restarting was the only way to satisfy that itch.

With Destiny 2’s frequent updates, and time investment, I would never delete an existing character. Instead, the original Destiny helps fulfill that time-killing role that restarting used to. It helps me remember what I love about Destiny while I wait for something new in Destiny 2.

We’ll never see an update for the original Destiny again, and it doesn’t need it. The game reinvigorates my love for my favorite franchise every year, and leaves me that much more excited for what comes next.

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