The Black Armory – Final Verdict

Destiny, part 36

I Hate Everything About You

So this past Tuesday saw the release of the final forge in the Black Armory, Bergusia, and with it came a flurry of problems.  I’d be so bold as to say that this is quite possibly the next worst Destiny 2 DLC after Curse of Osiris, but if not for a myriad of problems it might have been something special and memorable.  Let’s look at the week as it was:

Take On Me

Tuesday started out with the usual teasing from Bungie that the last forge was finally available, but only until someone solved the ridiculous puzzle that was attached to it.  The top players and streamers in the community threw themselves at the puzzle for a solid 24+ hours and came close to victory (or presumed victory since they kept reaching wave 7 of the “puzzle battle”) but to no avail.  The following day, Wednesday, Bungie relented to the cacophony of the community on Twitter and the Bungie forums and uncoupled the final forge from the puzzle so players could access it finally (we did pay for this after all and we wanted what we paid for) but they left the puzzle and its rewards intact for anyone that wanted to attempt to solve it.  Bergusia Forge was open to the public that evening but I was at work for a while longer so for me, I had to wait.  Once my agonizingly long shift was over, I hurried home and got settled and logged in (cue Obsession from .hack//SIGN) I was given instructions from a gleeful Scott to go visit Ada Wong.  She had something for me.

Electric Eye

Boy did she ever have something for me.  Something terrible.  You see, as time has gone on, Scott and myself had already collected and used the three previous keys from the first three forges – Volundr, Gofannon and Izanami – for the puzzle box from Volundr, so this day had been a long awaited event for both of us.  I hurriedly ran to Ada’s room to talk to her, only to be met with a feeling I can only describe as a mixture of irritation, rage and disgust.  Unlike the other 3 keys which simply dropped from the forges for killing the 2 shield drones on the second wave, this key had to be built and the first step was a daunting task – enter the underbelly of The Leviathan.  Now, long before The Black Armory was even a thing, I had been told it was possible to solo enter the Leviathan underbelly from the start of the raid.  I, of course, tried this and had absolutely no success every time I tried.  So upon seeing that this was the first thing I had to do, I was ready to quit.  Scott assured me that we could 2 man the levers to get in so I trusted him and off we went.  A few minutes and 2 tries of 1 – 5 – 3 – 2 – 4 – 6 later (the lever sequence for those playing along at home) we were in.  We ran to the nearest room full of Watchers and began to kill them over and over and over until we were both finished.  The next step would prove to be obnoxious and unfortunately long.

Under Pressure

The next thing we had to do to get the key was to acquire Glimmering Amethyst by doing Strikes or Public Events.  It was a percentage so to test how long this was going to take, we did a public event, made it Heroic unlike most of the lazy slobs in the community, and were greeted with our reward of FIVE PERCENT.

We decided then to go do Strikes.  We found out that Strikes gave TEN PERCENT.  Okay, fine, we’ll do Strikes and proceeded to do them until we had speed ran through Warden of Nothing about 4 times and a few other Strikes until we were done with that step and could move on to the next.  It was then time to go stoke the fires of the Bergusia Forge.

Wrong Bitch

Not really knowing what to expect as neither of us had done it yet, we rushed through the Niobe Labs and its synapse destroying puzzle into the ruins of another room where our target floated quietly.  It’s worth nothing that, in order to get to Bergusia, you have to travel through a side area in the EDZ called Sojurner’s Camp which is this tiny space where you did a couple of throw away missions during the vanilla Destiny 2 campaign.  I distinctly remember hearing Hawthorne say something about being here in the past so every time I come to Bergusia I think to myself ‘I wonder how she feels knowing that she walked passed this?‘  Rushing in, we find Cabal and Fallen fighting each other over the forge and it’s secrets.  We hoped that we weren’t about to fight both of them during the ignition and fortunately we were right.  We faced the Fallen and their horde of exploding Shanks and passed wave 1 with relative ease.  We got super lucky and managed to find and kill both the drones on our first try.  We were feeling pretty good about ourselves, but it didn’t last, at least not for me.

On the next wave we were met with a nasty surprise with a return from an adversary from Solstice of Heroes – Servitors that split.  We manged to keep them under control and ignite the forge, no thanks to the legs that mostly get in the way of you trying to hit the forge with charges.  It was then that we faced the boss and were surprised to see that it A) didn’t have a shield or drones and B) that it was a Fallen Spider Tank.  We killed it with seconds to spare on the clock and opened the puzzle box after what felt like an eternity of waiting to get the last key.  This was the point at which things started to fall apart.

Welcome To The Fold

What we had to do next was go back and talk to Ada about the item in the box.  It was a frame for a weapon, an Exotic, but not the one Scott and I expected.  We both thought it was for Last Word (because we apparently needed another fucking Exotic hand cannon) but no, it was for Izanagi’s Burden, an Exotic sniper rifle that acts like a rail gun.  You know what other Exotic sniper rifle acted like a rail gun?  Icebreaker.  Hearing this, I was determined and reeeeeeeeeally motivated to get this gun.  But this was where the fun came to an end.  You see, in order to complete the next step of the quest chain, you had to complete a rare bounty from Ada.  I had one but didn’t have any intentions of finishing it until I found this out.  Scott on the other hand, had one earlier in the week but was unable to complete it.  The reason?  It required you to complete either Last Wish, Leviathan OR Shattered Throne with at least four pieces of forge armor equipped.  Oh, and to add insult to injury, the same day Scott lost his bounty they added a consumable that guaranteed an armor piece to drop when forging a weapon.  Greeeeat, thanks Bungie.  This, I’d say, was strike 1.  In an act of desperation, Scott began to grind Ada’s bounties day after day the rest of the week in an attempt to get another rare bounty to drop.  Friday night it finally happened, he finally got another rare bounty to drop.  However, joy and rapture were quickly met with frustration and rage because this new rare bounty required Scott to complete one of Ada’s weekly bounties…which he did on Tuesday.

In the meantime while all this grinding and frustration was going on with him, I completed the rare bounty I had (I forget what the requirements were) and moved on to the next step and the reason for Scott’s frustration.  The next step on the chain was to complete The Shattered Throne.  The Shattered Throne is only open every three weeks, so if Scott wasn’t able to get past this part now, it would be nearly a month before he could continue.  Meanwhile…

Good Things Come To Those That Wait…Or So They Say

Scott and Zeke were nice enough to help me complete Shattered Throne Friday night so I could go on to the next step.  We rushed through it as quickly as possible (this time stopping during the fight with Vorgeth to kill the optional boss so Scott could complete his token for a second Wish Ender) and killed Dul Incarnu.  After we killed her, this was when Scott got his fuck you rare bounty about completing one of Ada’s weekly bounties.  This was strike 2.  Strike 3 was about to happen, but not to him, to me.

Happiness In Slavery

After we completed Shattered Throne, Scott and Zeke offered to help me complete the next step of the quest chain.  If Scott wasn’t going to get the gun at least one of us was, right?  The next step was to go do a Nightfall like variant of The Pyramidion, complete with the modifiers Extinguish, Solar Burn, Heavyweight and Equipment Lock.  Ok, no problem, we thought, we can handle this.  Scott made me Fireteam lead and we headed for Io.  We waited around for a good 10 to 15 minutes for a public event flag to show up so we could at least go into this thing with full heavy ammo despite the Heavyweight modifier.  Once all that time had been sufficiently wasted, we faced the awful truth.  I approached the flag to start the Strike only to be met with a red message:  Everyone in the fireteam must unlock this.  What in the actual fuck!?  So, in an effort to keep people playing your fucking game, you not only time gated the FUCK out of this expansion – waiting a week in between the release of each of the forges, requiring completions of a dungeon that’s only open every three weeks – and leaving players to get bounties at the mercy of RNGeezus along with required materials to complete bounties (re: armor pieces) then subsequently rubbing salt in the wound by giving them consumables after they’ve failed a quest but now you’re making people do ridiculously hard strikes by themselves or, as is now my case, waiting nearly a MONTH for other people on my team to get to the same step I’m on?  What kind of shit is this?  This is what I wasted $40 additional dollars on?  To be told that I either have to ‘git gud’ at the game or get fucked out of content that I paid for?  Wow… just wow.  Needless to say that once I read this off to Scott and Zeke, we called it a night after only having been on for an hour.  I ended up sleeping for 10 hours that night.

Welcome to the Black Parade

I suppose in a way that wicked Ahamkara granted my wish too.  I had been thinking that I would wait and take a break from Destiny 2 once this season was complete, but after being shit on and seeing members of my fireteam get shit on, my break is happening now.  I wanted a way out of this game (at least for a while) and thanks to Bungie’s incompetence I now have it.  My final verdict on The Black Armory?  The story of Ada-1 is a tragic one, but doesn’t really hold up to the overall Destiny lore and narrative.  It’s certainly no Book of Sorrow nor is it as intriguing as the fate of the Iron Lords.  The ham-fisted attempt at shoehorning Ada’s presence in the Tower and the Forges on both Nessus and the EDZ is laughable at best.  If constantly chasing god roll weapons is appealing to you, or if RNGeezus is on your side most of the time then this DLC is probably for you.  I’ve never cared about chasing god rolls on weapons; didn’t care about it in Destiny, don’t care about it now.  I personally don’t recommend anyone waste the $40 for Bungie’s first attempt at a season pass, because so far it’s not been an enjoyable experience.  There have been moments here and there that were fun and memorable (like the night the Ether Servitor sadly watched and waited as we killed the Forge Saboteur Servitor in the Outskirts of the EDZ, only for Scott to yell out to us “All Servitors matter!” before we filled it full of bullet holes) but they’ve been few and far between.  The overuse of pre-existing content (like the tour of the EDZ’s Lost Sectors when trying to open up Gofannon) and the tedious and ridiculously long quest chains (looking at you Izanami) do not make for a fun experience.  Memorable, yes, but only because you’ll remember how miserable you were trying to get through it.

Coupled with Bungie’s recent split from Activision (finally!) and maybe things for the game will get better, but I’m not terribly hopeful.  Especially not after reading this opinion piece on Polygon earlier tonight.  I’m certainly not spending another cent on Destiny 2 after reading this and after the terrible experience I’ve had with the season pass so far (sorry Thunderlord and Whisper skins, my money is going elsewhere).  I’m still planning on logging in at least once a week to do Blind Well and see what develops in the Dreaming City, but no more than that.  For now, myself and my fireteam are all off to do our own thing for a while.  Ada and her precious forges can go back to being lost to time and the Fallen for all I care.