Destiny is just over two weeks old now and has seen millions of players take up its engaging opportunistic myriad of shooting and looting for hours upon end. The core numbers of gamers who have reached the significant and perhaps overbearing level 20 have most likely exhausted much of the game’s content leaving what many would call a grind to seek out something new by playing the same levels over and over – or farming in the now infamous cave in Old Russia on Earth. What’s left for players who want to progress beyond levelling up current equipment is an underlying quest for legendary or exotic gear for their character. However, there’s a lot of noise and lack of understanding regarding rare items with many dismissing its namesake entirely. Having played games such as Diablo III which seems to constantly drop rare loot and older games like Phantasy Star Online and its red colour rare drops that can be stolen by other players, the way games present rare drops and their use is very different. Destiny has its own chance based approach.
There are several factors involved when looking at rare items with the most obvious being, its rarity. One has to ask, when does an item become common if it’s easily obtained? Legendary items aren’t being handed out on a plate a la Diablo III, and cleverly, the game actually asks players for a bit more input than simply handing over purple engrams and reaping the rewards. As of yesterday, the new Queen’s Wrath limited time event has given rise to getting some legendary gear quite easily by completing specific bounties and then using rewards from those to undertake bounty hunter style story missions which are revised from the main story events. At least it means some players can grab legendary gear quickly in comparison, but in this case the rewards are hardly very unique.
Legendary gear can also be purchased from several vendors in Destiny’s Tower, but again requires a bit more work to save up Vanguard/Crucible points and raise one’s reputation for what ever affiliated faction. So this brings us to the enemy drops and the wonderful exchange players have with the enigmatic and rather playful Cryptarch Master Rahool.
The biggest problem players seem to have with Master Rahool is of expectation or lack of understanding, and having sunk hours into fighting off the hordes of fallen, vex and hive are expectant for a reward, namely a purple colour drop from an enemy to be turned into some magnificent legendary item. There’s excitement and nervousness as players head to the tower and see what mood Rahool is in as he turns a purple engram into a blue, less significant item, coin, or shards which help level up rare armour – anything but the legendary armour or weapon you’re after. Then there’s huge disappointment followed by contempt. All that hard work for nothing but then again, who said it would easy?
Well it seems it’s not just a one way street and something which is possibly being overlooked is Rahool’s level and what this means. Imagine the shock and surprise of having a green item purchased from Rahool turn into a blue rare item, or better yet, a blue item turning into a purple legendary. Madness, but very true happening on a number of occasions for some people (ourselves included Ed.) The reason is perhaps obvious, and that’s raising Rahool’s level and making a point of doing so each time you play having an effect. Grab those mostly useless blues and get him to work his magic and thus raise his level. Salvage as many greens as possible and use them for extra cash which can then be spent on buying items from Rahool and raising the rank a little further.
Eventually, there’s an understanding with the loot drops and relationship with Rahool, which has to be said, seems to flourish the more attention that is paid to it as nothing spectacular happens at lower levels. There’s no guarantee of legendary rares unless you grind and pay for it from the reputable vendors in this game. Purple enemy drops are simply a gateway of chance, giving the player a shot at netting something useful. Improving that chance seemingly requires working on Rahool’s abilities so he sells better gear and transforms items at a higher quality.