Destiny 2 is my Massively Single-Player Online Game
Destiny 2 is my comfort game. Period. I know a great deal of it–and other games like it–is meant to be played with others, either as a team or pick-up group/matchmaking, but I love logging in, running a few bounties, touching on the current storyline and then I’m out.
It makes it very hard to “schedule” gaming time with other people because it’s the game I play for 15-20 minutes while making coffee and signing into work. I’ll run a quick strike or idly grind a weapon catalyst between work tasks. I’ll usually save long sessions until after work or after dinner, but even those are very much a solo-player experience for me.
I was the same way with most of the modern well-known MMORPGs though. City of Heroes, World of Warcraft, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2*, Anthem**, Elder Scrolls Online and now Destiny 2. As much as it’s the stories that get me into the games, it’s more that they’re well-crafted and well-maintained–for the most part, I mean sometimes Destiny 2 feels like it’s held together with duct tape and hope.
I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting to play this way, and while games designed to be a single-player experience are wonderful, you often have to worry about replayability, whereas MMOs usually have an ongoing stream of new or changing content, even if it’s set against the same world and repetitive activities.
I don’t pretend that I’m doing anything new or innovative when I transmat into the EDZ in Destiny 2 and defeat countless Cabal and Fallen when “The enemy is moving against each other…” Or that I expect anything to change outside of scheduled content updates or expansions, but it’s still my comfort game, and the thing with comfort media is I really do tend to enjoy it more on my own than with others.
One of the best things about these games is that we all play them in our own way, but that can also be hard when my near-thousands of hours playing a game means I’m not a newbie, I’ve already gotten good, and often I’m just vibing, running through missions on muscle memory and reflex and not stressing if I fall off a ledge or get crushed by an incoming drop pod.
Still, if I label myself as a casual, people think I don’t know what I’m doing or need advice. If I call myself an “expert,” people want the carry, which I’m like… sure, except I probably already got all my objectives done earlier in short bursts, and if I’m not trying to stream the content, I often finish the new main story in a few days.
All this to say that I do feel bad when we can’t defeat the “schedule monster” and make time to play the newest or most fun multiplayer games, but that it also doesn’t stop me from playing them by myself, or occasionally with strangers who I never talk to.
My gaming time is my comfort time, even as a streamer, I really enjoy playing games for myself and not for the consumption of others. And more often than not, I’m going to pick the huge sandbox worlds with online capabilities that let me feel like a badass (in between managing my Animal Crossing island, obviously).
When Lightfall, the new content expansion, drops at the end of this month, I look forward to playing and chatting with my fellow Guardians about the amazing new neon synthwave environment on Neptune… even if we can’t make time to play together. 💖
* you have to say the whole thing
** oh, they at least tried, didn’t they?