This week Bungie live streamed the reveal of Destiny’s new social space in the reef. During that stream, we caught many glimpses of some of the new gear in the DLC, and it really got me thinking.
Items in Destiny right now, particularly armor, particularly PARTICULARLY leg armor, are really boring. Even the leg armor from the two raids are lame. The Vault of Glass greaves lets you carry more heavy ammo. How does that even make sense unless the Hezen Lords loved sewing pockets in their footwear? The boots from Crota’s End are more interesting in terms of design, but the unique perk only comes into play for 17% of raiders (Only one person gets to be sword-duder at Crota), and even then only on the last encounter. Maybe if the bridge encounter wasn’t so easily cheesed more people would experience the benefits, but honestly, even that would not make these boots interesting.
But it isn’t just boots that are pretty uninspiring in Destiny. It’s armor in general. Sure, there are some cool things that are not overpowered enough to warrant being exotic, like the Facade of the Hezen Lords, which offers a choice of two perks that both randomly spawn orbs when you kill a Vex in a certain manner. In the stream, we caught a shot of Kellbreaker’s Gloves, a new item, that had a similar effect. This is absolutely a step in the right direction. All the armor from Crota’s End, light level, armor, and generic perks aside, have absolutely no impact on play outside the raid.
This problem is even worse in the Crucible, where everything is normalized, meaning your light level, armor, and many other attributes simply do not matter. You could seriously wear the boots you start the game with and notice virtually no difference because the only perk boots get outside of Radiant Dance Machines and the Crota’s End gear is increased ammo.
Would it really be that hard to itemize more creatively when it comes to armor? Or even more logically? Think about all the guns you have that have increased slide distance. How does a gun enable that? Wouldn’t it make more sense if your boots had a perk like that rather than a gun? How about moving faster while aiming? Plus two to agility? It’s like Bungie took all the obvious already existing perks for boots and dumped them into weapons.
Yeah, I get that some of the aforementioned perks make some logical sense on weapons, but putting those perks on weapons came at the cost of armor becoming that much more generic. House of Wolves appears to be aiming to fix this issue by making armor choices beyond light level more meaningful for game play. But among the scattered glimpses into the new gear, I saw several perks that, once again, were on weapons but seemed to be perfect opportunities to make armor more interesting, like the new perk “sprint” which increases sprint speed after a kill with the equipped weapon. That could easily be changed to increases run speed after a kill.
I get that maybe programming this stuff into armor wouldn’t be easy, and that when you place a perk on armor, you have to balance it against all weapons rather than just the weapon the perk appears on, but man, I was really hoping to see new perks on the armor teased during the stream, but unfortunately, whenever Deej hovered over a chest piece or leg armor, all it said was “carry more ammo for X weapon.” 😦
Enough being all critical about a relatively minor, though valid, gripe. Overall, the reveal stream was awesome, and still has me excited for House of Wolves next month and the upcoming stream from Bungie(you should probably give them a follow on Twitch) for the Trials of Osiris on April 29th at 11 am pacific. Additionally, the raid armor could be more interesting, as hinted at by the Kellbreaker’s Gloves shown above. I’m also slightly more confident that the Prison of Elders won’t just be a boring horde mode after it was mentioned during the stream(I was worried I had cursed us all by begging Bungie to not let it be that in a previous post).
Let me know your thoughts on armor’s place in Destiny, and your ideas for cool perks you’d like to see on gear in the future. Also, please give me a share or a follow. C’mon, it’s like two clicks. 😛