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For completionists, Destiny 2’s lead-up to Beyond Light is self-inflicted misery

In the end, it’s worth it for me

Reaper Destiny 2 Gambit Prime 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.

Bungie originally intended to launch Destiny 2: Beyond Light on Sept. 22. But, Bungie delayed the expansion until Nov. 10, giving players a bit more time with the game before Bungie removes four planets and a heap of outdated content.

Players like me — procrastinators — desperately needed this time. I’ve spent hours in Season of Arrivals doing content I hate just to make sure I can collect everything before it disappears forever. It’s been a brutal couple of months, and I’ve miles to go before I sleep.

All work and no play

Destiny 2 title screen Reckoner
All that work for that goofy, purple banner
Image: Bungie

Two weeks ago, I finished something I promised myself I would never do in Destiny 2: I earned the Reckoner title. Reckoner is the rarest title — a list of achievements that, when completed, grants a cool nickname to go under your username — and for good reason. The Reckoner title first arrived during Season of Drifter in 2019, and involves playing more games of Gambit Prime than I ever wanted to play. But Reckoner is leaving the game on Nov. 10. The planned removal gave me just the kick in the butt I needed.

To get Reckoner, you have to win 60 games of Gambit Prime, use a variety of different armor sets with unique abilities — each of which comes from the Reckoning, a different, equally horrible activity from Season of the Drifter — and complete specific objectives like stealing motes, killing enemy players, and destroying an entire wave of enemies by yourself.

As someone who already doesn’t enjoy Gambit Prime or the Reckoning, this was my nightmare. Even if you’re good at Gambit Prime, the title takes well over 100 matches. And with the way the objectives work, the most efficient way to complete Reckoner is to straight up leave matches once the boss spawns (as you can’t make progress on things like stealing motes or killing High Value Targets).

But Reckoner isn’t the only Destiny grind I’m forcing myself through this season. I’m running old raids and activities every week to get mods that are going away — mods I may need if I want to get a competitive edge in the upcoming Beyond Light raid.

I’m also re-running the Reckoning even after getting the Reckoner title to make sure I get all the armor, so my little Collection badge glows gold.

I’m spending tons of time in-game, and having almost zero fun doing it.

Why would anyone do this to themselves?

Destiny 2 Collections tab
Behold: my stuff
Image: Bungie

The question of “why” is something I’ve asked myself frequently. Destiny 2, for me, is a game all about collecting things. If I can’t have it all, why have any of it?

This sounds stupid. And it is stupid. But also? It’s what drives me to play. When Bungie announced it would remove the ability to get the Reckoner title, I briefly toyed with just skipping it.

“I hate Gambit,” I thought. “Why would I play over 100 matches of something I hate just for a title?”

But the longer I entertained this idea, the easier it was to stop caring about collecting other things I didn’t have. If I’m not going to get the title, why would I bother to farm those mods? Will it really make that much of a difference if I didn’t have them come Beyond Light? I felt that desire to collect slipping away from me — the entire reason I keep up with Destiny 2.

The second I miss something, and it goes away forever, my Collection will never be complete. There are plenty of things I haven’t bothered to earn in Destiny 2 — like the Unbroken title — but I’m OK with not having it as long as I can still get it. Eventually.

My Destiny 2 Collection and Triumphs are important to me because I’ve collected it all legitimately over 1,500 hours of playtime. And I’ve never missed a weapon or item that’s no longer in the game. It’s a self-appointed value — this collection matters to me and only me.

I’ve spent very literally hundreds of hours in the Destiny franchise doing stuff I didn’t want to do for the reward. But the true “reward” isn’t the item or even the title. It’s the complete picture of my Destiny experience.

So when I sport my Reckoner title or use these mods in November, I won’t think about how painful it was to get it all. I’ll just open my menu, look upon my vast, in-game accomplishments, and feel complete.

The next level of puzzles.

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