It feels just like yesterday when a GamesBeat reporter stumbled to get past Cuphead's tutorial section. The site threw up the video as a goof, reflecting "look upon my fumbles, ye gamers and despair." Unfortunately, some people can't take an honest joke, and it ignited the ire of a lot of players who see "skill" as essential to any sort of video game coverage.
Well, I have news for you. I was terrible during my first blind attempt at Destiny 2's Leviathan raid. You can see the fruits of my labor during our livestream of the run alongside USgamer's own Mike Williams and Hirun Cryer and other pals in the industry.
It was a mess. I was underleveled. (Thanks for misleading me, dear Destiny 2 director Luke Smith.) The puzzles in the garish palace felt convoluted, also like Destiny 1's raids. Yet we did our best and at the very least got close to finishing the bathing ritual segment, where we stood upon floating circles and shot hoards of evil foes.
The hours-long experience where we barely inched along or made any sort of progress made me think of a lot of things. This was my stream of consciousness during the adventure.
- The only Raid I ever tried to tackle in Destiny 1 was Vault of Glass. Fittingly, it was the first one, and visually it was the best thing about the game at the time. (I never beat it.) Our ships depart to Leviathan, where apparently we're heading to defeat the shunned Calus, who was disliked by Destiny 2's villain Ghaul.
- According to the lore, Calus is a mostly-relaxed dude who just wants to chill out for eternity after dominating the universe.
- According to this quest update I got in my inventory mysteriously, defeating Calus will make me "fat from strength." As a small girl who tops out at an astonishing five-foot-one-inch, I don't think I'll ever be fat with strength.
- We've descended upon this golden city-spaceship-fortress thing, and wow it's pretty. The environment is massive, the hallways intricate with lots of eerie locked doors. Just from a glance, there's already a lot to discover in this mini-dungeon-world.
- As Smash Mouth says, all that glitters is gold. This is really pure gold.
- Leviathan's architecture is no joke. There must be a billion karats of gold constructing this place.
- We're ascending the steps now. There's foes here, but they pay us no mind. My minimap says otherwise, it's blinking red like a police car.
- The first task we have to do is run and grab flags while others guard the post where we place them. We split up: myself and freelance writer Julie Muncy run around to fight big baddies and get flags while everyone else stands guard.
- After a few accidents and resets, we prevail.
- The coffee I made right before embarking on this quest has gone cold. I found this out after taking a sip from my head-sized mug. I'm pretty sad about it.
- We get our first loot crate: we get tokens, fancy shaders that I'll never use probably, and more. I'm getting slightly fatter with strength, like the item in my inventory promised.
- I'm thinking about Buzzfeed and their meme-heavy "Things I Thought While Watching Game of Thrones" series. I wonder if I can apply this to this Destiny 2 raid but without annoying memes while being far dumber. I guess I have done it now.
- I'm thinking about the review games I need to start playing, remembering that I have to fly to San Diego for the weekend for a family member's wedding. I hope I hit the embargos in time.
- I am briefly daydreaming about how many hours of sleep I really need to function.
- I'm thinking about how hot it's going to be in San Diego. Today in San Francisco it is in the low 60s. I love the cold. I hate the heat.
- I'm flying home very early Sunday morning, and I'm imagining how exhausted I will be from the fancy gathering I'll be attending the day and night prior.
- At this point, I'm pretty sure my team would rather I be gone. My mind's drifting to distant places now, far away from this raid we're streaming. I'm a low, low, low 260 light level, meaning I am the weakest link. I am the baby on the team. I need a companion at all times, because I am so useless. I feel bad about it, honestly.
- I wrote previously about the performance anxiety I often get when I play competitive games, and how Destiny 2 is the opposite of that. Turns out raids only reignite those feelings, like a flame that was petering out and a person with a Zippo miraculously appeared to make it bloom again.
- Our goal in this section of the raid is to stop the "Bathing Ritual." Big mustard-colored dudes with large swords keep climbing out of purple sludge, slicing me to death.
- There's a glowing orb we have to absorb—the six of us that is—that makes us immune to said sludge. It's timed though, meaning we have to run back consistently to the middle where it respawns.
- After maybe an hour or so of failing, we decide to head out to the social hub to decrypt engrams from our loot, infuse some gear, same ol', same ol'.
- I got some stuff, but I mostly used it to level up the exotic gear I already had. Yahoo.
- Upon returning to Leviathan, we have realized that there are maybe no checkpoints. Or at the very least, we didn't reach one. We run back into the initial area, only to find the same opening sequence playing over again. My team groans in confusion. (Upon further research, I find out there are checkpoints, you just have to sleuth through secret tunnels to return to the part from whence you came.) We decide to call it a stream.
- According to our own round-up of players' thoughts, others don't seem too hot on the raid. I might be on the outlier that enjoys the obtuse challenge (at least so far), even if it doesn't feel like I'm ready to really take it on yet. There's a wonderful mix of combat and environment puzzles you don't see anywhere else in Destiny 2, which I greatly appreciate. It's like I'm thinking with a new side of my brain for a change instead of outfitting it as the typical mindless shooter.
- When I'm stronger and more capable next week ideally, I look forward to getting my special clan together (My Other Car is Splatoon) and taking on the towering challenge. In the meantime, I got an exotic engram with my name on it to decrypt. I wonder what's inside.