No HoW Raid: A Blessing in Disguise?

Published on: Apr 15, 2015 @ 10:53

This week Destiny players around the world have gotten a shot of adrenaline with all the recent news, myself included. We all knew House of Wolves was coming, but there’s nothing quite like a surprise teaser trailer and a deluge of mutterings and half-hints at content to revive a weary spirit.

But then word struck the Internet: no raid in House of Wolves, and our collective cries rose into the heavens.

prison of elders arena iconWe already speculated as to what exactly this whole “Prison of Elders” will turn out to be, so this article will consider something that’s not readily apparent: the lack of a raid might just be what we (didn’t know we) needed.

Prison of Elders just might save Destiny from itself, and the reason? It targets the core problem Bungie has had with previous raid content.

Ask yourself: Would you rather have a raid in HoW that’s rushed, or something new that will will add to the available activities?

Destiny’s Core Problem

Everyone who has spent a significant amount of time with Destiny, or really any game, will tell you one thing: it’s repetitive. Why do people say this? Because it hasn’t done anything to alleviate the repetitive nature of it’s core gameplay.

Until now. Prison of Elders is something different, which is desperately needed in a game where the PvE content boils down to essentially two things: linear story/strike missions and behemoth, labyrinthine raids.

Notice the glaring gap? There’s no middle ground. You either take it easy with the short-burst mentality of strikes and story content, or take a deep breath and step across the precipice to raids – which are, if nothing else, a whole new animal for most players.

As mentioned in our first Stranger Than Fiction article, the truth is, a minority of players have actually completed a raid. Stats show very few players have ever stepped foot in the Vault of Glass.

We shouldn’t be surprised by this. There are numerous hurdles that make the jump from Destiny’s core experience to the end-game raids more difficult. Namely, six person fireteams instead of the usual three and the sheer amount of time it takes to complete a raid from start to finish.

It couldn’t be plainer that we’ve needed something to bridge that gap for some time, and we believe Prison of Elders is just the thing. Read on to see why.

The Prison of Elders Solution

This combat arena pits brave Guardian Fireteams against the solar system’s deadliest enemies. Not all who enter survive, but those who do earn glory… and the greatest treasures of the Reef.

Until May 6th with the gameplay reveal, we won’t have as much information as we’d like on the Prison of Elders, but Bungie hasn’t left us completely in the dark.

We know it’s going to have a focus on variety/replayability, and that means there’s lots of room for it evolve and change over time. Also knowing its being built from the ground up means that it will surely be inspired from community PvE feedback that Bungie has received thus far.

There’s at least three essential ways this new battle arena will mix up the familiar Destiny formula enough to not only inject new life, but to also usher players across the content gap.

queen's bay reputation

Fireteam Cohesion

Prison of Elders will be limited to 3 players instead of 6, and this is a smart choice. Now before you close your browser in frustration, hear me out. I love the 6 player teams for raids, and I’ve got about 5 close friends who play Destiny and wouldn’t mind doing a raid.

But have I ever played with all 5 at once? Ha, fat chance.

Our schedules are just too hectic, and how many fireteams of 6 people have enough free time to dedicate 1 or more uninterrupted hours to a raid?

Baby’s crying again – John’s got to go burp him. Bob’s girlfriend hasn’t seen him in days, so that’s another one out. And it sounds like Tom is five beers deep and snoring at the end of his mic.

That, my friends, is why small fireteams are a blessing in disguise. Our chances of a smooth, hiccup-less experience are exponentially increased when we don’t have five other people to organize our schedules around. And for all of those just starting out in Destiny, it means you can bring that small group you’ve grown close to through strikes and the Crucible along for the ride without sending random friend invites or posting endless forum requests pleading for someone to join you.

And let’s be real – there are a lot of wildcards out there. Sometimes it’s just nicer to stick with the tried and true.

Necessity of Novelty

I get excited over brand new things. I’m not going to lie; when I read the outline of what would be dropping with House of Wolves, my eyes instinctively skimmed past all the Story and Strike missions. I acknowledged them, but nothing more.

Call that foolish, but it’s natural. We all know what to expect with another strike or story, and even, to a lesser degree, with a raid. The blueprints were made long ago in Bungie’s magical factory and most of the work is just filling in different doors, walls, and appliances to surprise us.

But a whole new structure – that’s what Prison of Elders affords us, and that is significant. That’s exactly the fresh blood Destiny needs right now.

We shouldn’t discount how necessary that really is to Destiny’s long-term survival, and our long-term interest.

Look at community comments and one trend is plain: we can’t expect to be satisfied by more of what Bungie has already given us. The very reason so much hope was pinned on HoW’s raid, and the reason the blowback was so huge when people discovered there wouldn’t be one, is we look to raids as the only infuser of fresh ideas.

How many people didn’t play VoG or Crota’s End and say, “This is totally different.”

But even raids can’t drum up new ideas forever, especially if they’re rushed out. Eventually something else must come along that reminds us the limits can always be pushed.

Prison of Elders has the potential to do that, and come May 19th we may be all saying in glee, “This is totally different.”

Space for Revamping Raids

Bungie listens to the community, as Deej’s recent catalogue of common player complaints proves. But it’s difficult to fix some of these issues without time to test in a living environment.

Prison of Elders provides Bungie two things they need to ensure the raids they have are perfected: time and test subjects. Normalizing gear levels across raids and all end-game content has been a long time coming, but Bungie now has the opportunity to test these changes in a living laboratory without the burden of a new raid and new raid gear to go along with.

And say what we will about Bungie’s responsibility to get these things right the first time, the fact of the matter is problems this complex aren’t solvable without community feedback.

Bungie has the opportunity with Prison of Elders to test a new way of handling gear levels and revamping the raids they already have. This new battle arena complements the formula without completely breaking it, which affords everyone a much smoother transition to better game balance, and that’s a win-win. It might even be a win-win-win, if the Queen of the Reef is that third party. We all know that Prison of Elders has been a real pain in her neck.

But these are just a few of the things we hope Prison of Elders will mean for the Destiny experience as a whole. Now we turn to yours.

Hopes & Fears

What do you think? Could the Prison of Elders be just the thing Destiny needs? Maybe the current raids will get an increased difficulty level? We want to know your thoughts, and of course, if you’ve got any crazy speculations for what the Prison of Elders might entail, we’d love to hear them!

Maybe the Prison of Elders is really just a trap set up by the Queen’s slimy brother? And are you one of the people who hasn’t done a raid yet but think Prison of Elders might be up your alley?

We want to know your worst fears and greatest hopes for Bungie’s newest surprise, so sound off in the comments.

And the next time you see the Archon Priest, give him a bullet courtesy of the Queen. Let’s make sure there’s one less ugly face to deal with when the Prison of Elders drops.

Taylor Bair

I write about the intersection between the games we love and the lives we live. When I’m not working on websites and marketing projects, I’m writing with a hot cup of chai tea in one hand and a computer in the other. Makes typing exceedingly difficult, let me tell you.

  • Ironos

    The thing that annoys me about this is that my raid group is four guys. Two of which are brothers, and one won’t play without the other, and the other two are myself and another friend. Nightfalls are already a pain in the ass because of it, but now the new progression system means we’ll have to carve out time for someone in the group to sit out, rather than Bungie just allowing groups *up to* six people.

  • sbrozzi

    I know there is much moaning out there about having no Raid available. But I have decided to just wait & see what PoE is like. Who knows, it could very well be amazing.

    • Gabol_BForti

      I share your opinion.. let’s just wait and see. I have my own crazy ideas on how this arena could work but we do have to wait and see actual game footage.. All is left for us is wait and pray.. but imagine: after completation you earn some kind of “coin” that you can trade for a weapon or armor of choice!! no more cursing the randon gods of destiny!!!

      • Taylor Bair

        Haha, but what would we do without all the cursing!? I’ve got to get my scream therapy in somehow.

        • Gabol_BForti

          we can always do the nightfall and curse when we earn the most awesome ascendant energy pack!! I hate it!!!!

      • Charlie

        When it comes to the development of this current and specific product, Bungie has clearly shown a majority of tendencies already. When it comes to the fans, they usually have a variety of personal ideas which are diverse and creative. Two Parties (I do not see David Dague as a producer but an advertiser).
        The Horde-Mode is showing one of these tendencies, which is and has been the method of just dropping a big amount of NPC’s into multiple Areas. This has been shown by Omniguls Strike as well as the Undying Mind. No need to change a whole lot, when it is actually bringing in the money. Lets be honest, most of the fans will be playing it anyway, even if it turns out to be a little uninspired.

        • Gabol_BForti

          You are right. I’m going to play it a lot even if they just send a pack of tralls for us to kill in the arena. But, if somehow they start letting us hardcore players down, I believe we won’t come back to other possible games of the franchise. I already paid for the next expansion so there is no point in not playing it 🙂

          I don’t know.. I played other MMO’s and I have loads of ideas on how make this game even more awesome, but since I don’t work for Bungie (sad face!), let’s just hope they will deliver us a nice and fun expansion. btw sorry for bad english

  • WWFMankind

    I actually have a very consistent group of 5+ guys that I’ve been playing with the past few weeks… and honestly, I was a little bummed when I heard about the no Raid thing. But, after reading more about it, I’m a little stoked to see what Bungie has in store for us… and how the 3-man thing will play out. I’m looking forward to it now!

  • metalman5150

    Taylor –
    You never cease to amaze me!
    You have managed to paint a brighter picture of the most recent Bungie announcements.
    Kudos for presenting the material in the way you have: optimism with a hint caution.
    Your article has given me a breath of fresh air!

  • Raider

    My group we have pretty much just raids all week. We are all trying to figure out what game we can all play together for the summer, now that it’s looking like that’s our other alternative to doing VoG and CE for the next 5 months til “Comet” drops. This decision hurts us, and no one is going to pay for a new raid that isn’t included with the season pass. Honestly, this expansion better best the best one in history, or this game will lose a lot of players. No pressure, Bungie. Knock our socks off. It took months to get a little extra vault space in there, so I’m guessing this “horde mode” you probably threw together at the last minute when you realized your new raid was going to be exploited worse than the other ones will be awesome.

    • DavidVibez

      Fair points from your standpoint. I do however disagree that Destiny “will lose a lot of players” since the stats clearly show that most haven’t even done a raid. Players who do “pretty much just raids all week” are in the significant minority and the game needs to cater to the wider population of players, not just raiders.

      • Sethune

        He is right about destiny losing alot of Players. Those stats you mention includes every player that ever started. The active player database will have a way higher percentage of Players who have finished the raid.

  • kcopen2007

    I guess our group is in a bit of a different situation. I am the creator of a clan that has 12 people and we play the same nights every week. We have enough to do two full raid teams. But like the article states if someone bails it presents problems. If we are doing VoG we have a major problem. I was already dreading trying to pick who was doing the raid first because 8 of us have the 19th off from work. Now with PoE this is not so much a big deal. The 3 man teams means it will be more manageable if someone bails. So i am looking forward to 3 man end game content. But i will miss a raid, it was the funnest thing i had ever done in a video game so I hope the one that comes out later is before comet and just part of HoW. If the next raid isn’t until Comet i think a lot of people will feel shorted a raid since most expected a raid per DLC.

  • Dawid Eduard Roestorf

    no matter how you try to paint it, the fact that there is no raid, is a slap in all the people who love raiding’s faces. It tells you all your hard team work means nothing and that you are not what bungie wants in the game. Bungie has showed all the raid teams a massive middle finger.

  • StolenEyes

    I Great article, and I agree with every word. Bungie’s forums have been toxic since the news broke, with blame and threats of lawsuits. While I appreciate the frustration, if not some of the histrionic reactions, I am very interested to see what PoE has to offer us. Although a Beta/Day 1 player I’ve only done one raid across my three characters, and want to do more. And if delaying a third raid not only allow newer players and raiding latecomers like myself to level up to play VoG and Crota – as well as allowing Bungie to revamp them – then that can only be a good thing.

  • Mike S

    Great article! First off, I agree with most that I’m primarily in “wait and see” mode. I’m disappointed that there isn’t a raid, but have to keep reminding myself that this isn’t a MMORPG, I’m not paying Bungie a monthly fee, so I can’t expect a huge amount of content.

    In terms of rampant Arena speculation:

    – The idea of an “Arena” is concerning to me in terms of variety and replayability. All arena based games I’ve played have been fun, but the same…you fight wave after wave until you die. I hope the replayable part isn’t soley based on running it over and over to get a reward, or just changing what it is that you fight.

    – If they do want it to be replayable, it hopefully will have different objectives other than “kill everything”. Like, a lot of them, randomly chosen when you start. Capture the flag, king of the hill, etc. Same location, different goals, different enemies, different tactics. That could stand as something that’ll keep players busy until fall.

    – That’s my main concern, the gap in endgame content until fall. Without a raid, arena has to last a long time (we all know that the story missions, new strike etc won’t be captivating for more than a couple weeks). It has potential though, and this article gives me hope.

    • h1zz

      An old screenshot showed Burn damage modifiers like the Nightfall.

      So that will help make it different on a week to week basis at least. Hopefully they do a lot of other stuff too.

      I’m personally optimistic. It is much easier and faster to change and tweak settings than creating new content. They should have ample time to make PoE repayable.

      Could you imagine the shit-storm from the community if PoE is stale and repetitive when the design goal was to add replayablilty?

      • Mike S

        Good points. And yeah, after I posted I was thinking something similar in terms of how easy it should be for them to create new ways to use the same space. It seems like a lot less effort than designing an entire raid environment.

        Though, switching back to the pessimistic side, the shit storm is exactly what I’m a bit concerned about. If PoE falls flat as a concept, there isn’t going to be much to keep folks around.

  • The Gnome

    I’ve always felt you shouldn’t have to participate in raids or IB to reach the highest light levels. I do raids and have a level 32 character, but it wasn’t necessarily all that fun and I did as much of it solo as I could. People who live by the raids don’t realize that the majority don’t share this affection. I’d guess gamers are a community that have issues looking big picture to the larger needs and thats what Bungie is doing and what this article so nicely lays out.

    The day Destiny’s top tier armor and weapons are no longer for just a few is the day the game makes a huge step forward.

    I just hope this 3 man option isn’t just a PvP in disguise. There are those that don’t care for that either.

    • Mike S

      I agree completely that raiding shouldn’t be the only path to the top level. What I’ve always seen is 2-3 paths to reach that point.

      I guess it’s unfortunate that they couldn’t add this additional path (which is what Arena sounds like to me) and still have a new raid, creating two paths forward.

      But then again, we don’t pay a monthly fee, so it’s hard to ask for too much.

      • metalman5150

        Mike S ^
        Too many of us like to compare the content dissemination of Destiny to WoW. While I like to entertain those discussions, I often over look the little details (like company size / monthly subs / content dissemination).
        We also forget that WoW is 15$ / month.

        Being a simple console gamer, like I am, I will not allow myself to pay additional $$ towards monthly gaming subscriptions (on top of PS+ or XLive).

    • Time Spiral

      My gripe with PVP is the lag, if your not in America basically your just screwed.

  • insanetrasher

    Thank you. If they don’t mess this activity, everyone will thanks Bungie for it and won’t care that much with the lack of new raid.

  • Keith Christmas

    “Ask yourself: Would you rather have a raid in HoW that’s rushed, or something new that will will add to the available activities?”

    I would rather than considering the amount of cut content held back for DLC, and considering the ginormous development budget, and considering the eight months between launch and HoW they’ve had to construct a decent raid, that the possibility of a rushed, half arsed raid wasn’t even an option.

    It’s nice that we can look for silver linings here. But this is horde mode. They’re charging us £20 for something most games give for nothing. They’re charging significant money for what is, by their own admission, a stopgap measure because they can’t get their shit together.

    I hope there’s another twist here. I hope there’s more to it than just horde mode and nothing else. I’d be so, so happy to be proven wrong. But based on current evidence it’s quite hard to see this as a reasonable move on Bungie’s part. They’ve squandered a LOT of goodwill since launch, and they needed to do better.

    • h1zz

      Unfortunately, this is the consequence of partnering with Activision.

      Bungie has to create a major dlc expansion this fall (Comet) and it has cut into the development time for HoW.

      As big of company as Bungie is, they are still rushed and new at Destiny. Hopefully by Destiny 2 they are better at the schedule.

      It seems too fast-paced to me:
      Full game every 2 years
      Major Expansion in between Full games
      2 DLC’s in addition to the Major Expansion.

      Yikes! I wouldn’t want to be the task manager for that project…

      • Akinokaze Haruichiban

        4 DLC’s even XD

        1) Game
        2) 2 DLC’s
        -End Year 1-
        3) Comet
        4) 2 DLC’s
        – End Year 2-
        Repeat steps 1-4 for a total of 10 years.

        Oh, and as to the insane budget. That’s the budget for the… 6? years the game took plus the budget for the 10 years of games. Plus all the advertising for it. They didn’t spend or get 500million just to reach the first release.

  • Fenrir

    Hello. I know that this has nothing to do with the article, but could you do a new exotic review of the fourth horseman? The upgraded the stability a lot and the rate of fire is borderline insane, but in exchange, they nerf the impact, which, in my opinion, should be the shotgun with the highest impact considering it has 4 barrels.


    • The 4th Horseman’s stats were just reverted back to what they were originally, though now since the PvE shotgun buff, the weapon is much better. We’ll be doing an updated text review if nothing else.

  • WOLF

    I have to point out that Bungie’s stats are very misleading. Those percentages are from the total people who bought the game. Most aren’t playing anymore. Many got to level 20 something and quit. This is common for most games…….I think many of us have a stack of games we haven’t finished. Out of the people who are still playing the game and are the core fans, I promise you that the percentage who have done a raid is much higher. You hear companies releasing stats about the number who complete their game…and it’s usually very low. So game companies shouldn’t bother to include the final stage?
    They will be adding one strike. Think about how many Nightfalls are going to occur from now until the Fall release. And there will be one new strike added. One. If the story missions are anything like The Dark Below, they are rehashes of what we have already done. I’m betting the Arena will be fun. But if it’s what everybody is guessing it is, the same experience can be had with other games. And some of those games will do it better. Raids are unique to Destiny. They are the reason I play the game. I still play the Vault every week. Without Raids, Destiny becomes average in my opinion. Even if the Arena is great, it’s not going to be enough content to hold players over until Fall. I’m not one of those angry loons lashing out. Spring is here and there is plenty to do outside and plenty of games to play. But I was going to take off May 19th to tackle the new raid. Now I will use that vacation day to do something else fun. I’ll be playing HoW, but it’s no longer an event for me.

    • Owen Kurth

      I will totally agree with you on this topic. I would care more about a stat that is how many level 26+ characters have completed a raid

  • Relz

    Great article and I agree. I’m more excited for PoE than I am for a new raid. My group has problems getting organized to run raids and even just getting good enough gear to do them. The raids seem to be more geared for the hardest of the hardcore and punishing for those of us that only get to play once or twice a week.

    If PoE gives us some challenging end game content that has a lower barrier to participation then that’s going to be great.

    I think Bungie is giving us this new mode because they see the really low numbers of players that have actually tried a raid much less completed one and are giving those players something to do.

  • Jack

    My group tends to have issues setting aside a couple hours, so 3 person end game content is exciting

  • sycoteck

    I’ve played a lot of wave based survival games and modes form gears of wars hord to halo firefight to the less popular COD ghosts extinction, and by far the best one is mass effect 3’s where there is and ending and the occasional objective. Hoping the same devs that brought us firefight will do as good if not better then the halo survival mode.

    Fingers crossed for PoE

  • MrJKaiser

    I’m hoping that the gear and guns you have equipped while in the arena get upgraded upon completion of a certain degree. Making those old 27 light legendaries more difficult to upgrade than the vog or c rota gear.

  • TJbrena

    I’m not averse to PvP, but I’m definitely more of a PvE person, so I’m looking forwards to slaughtering Fallen en masse.

    To be honest, when I think of “Prison of Elders”, I imagine a version of the Halo: CE maps “Hang ‘Em High” and “Prisoner”, with cosmetic and gameplay alterations to better fit Destiny; plenty of verticality and cover to play with. But when I think of the term “Arena” as applied to a combat zone, my mind’s eye creates a Colosseum-like area, with scant cover, completely flat terrain, and clear sight lines as long as the playable area.

    While I’d rather the Prison of Elders be closer to the former idea than the latter, ideally this activity would feature multiple different maps, similar to the Crucible.

    With regards to the statement on Raid participation, despite heavily favoring PvE, I still haven’t done a Raid yet, for several reasons, which I imagine would apply to others as well:

    – I didn’t feel like finding 5 people to do a Raid with on Xbox 360 prior to LFG sites and tools becoming widespread, even though I spend the majority of my free time playing video games or doing related activities.

    – I’m content with Story, Strikes, Patrols and the occasional PvP binge.

    – The VoG Raid gear doesn’t interest me aesthetically, and the WoC Raid gear is 2ugly4me. My OCD comes into play coordinating the aesthetics of my gear in any game with a significant amount of gear choices, not just Destiny. I’d have to farm VoG hard to get what I want.
    * For example, I was completely willing to stay at Level 20 for over two months as I built up enough Crucible Marks to get a full New Monarchy set that became outdated when Dark Below dropped around a month later. At least I can just swap out old NewMon gear for newer versions now.

    – Coordinating a time with 5 other people to conduct said Raid is a hassle for myriad reasons.

  • Chaos_slayer13

    I love doing the raids and every week on the refresh, i’ll get them done and out the way. But the agony of waiting for 6 people is a real pain. Maybe the prison of elders will be a smaller version of a raid which is why there is only space for 3 people in a fireteam. I like the idea of bringing 2 others with you because it allows everyone the chance to grab 2 friends and try it out.

  • Owen Kurth

    Hey, I know this is a little off topic but do you guys know at all when a release date for your Planet Destiny lfg. I heard that you bought Your beta lfg is amazing though and I would love to see it more populated on a site like

  • Wils

    My thought on The Prison of Elders will be Destiny meets Diablo 3 (Rifts). Even down to leveling guns from 300 to 365 will be done the same way legendary gems are handled in D3.

  • Barret

    I smell firefight mode from halo as arena. Could be awesome and work better with destiny. No raid but trails of osiris seems to be the weekly now.

  • DedByDwn

    Fantasic article! I agreed with every point, well done!

    I wish eveyone that is freaking out would just stop, take a breath and think about all the positives and not the negatives of the announcement.

    I am going to post the link to this on the Bungie forums.

  • GreenLego

    I think Bungie should allow matchmade players to do a section of a Raid like a mini-Raid or min-Strike. It would have little or no reward (unlike the proper Raid) but it will allow people to ‘try out’ the Raid in short bursts as well as let people practise sections or play around and find new strategies. Each section of the Raid isn’t very long and having it matchmade, I think will open it up to a whole new group of players. Once more players are comfortable with the mechanics of the Raid, then they may be more inclined to try the full Raid.

  • Trevor Browne


  • Olivier Droppert

    My fear is that it will be just a minor addition to the game, limited to be played like Nightfall or raids. It looks like the rest of HoW will be more like the Dark below, so this Arena is the only thing that can make it or brake it. (Because lets be honest, ToO is just going to be a glorified Iron Banner with a different mode, namely skirmish instead of control)

    My hope is that it’s not and that we will get something we can play for days.

  • Tatty42

    I would love to see a survival/wave based game within Destiny. Defeating the mining/drill teams is one of my favourite public events.

  • Alex Howden

    This is going to be something worth look at, when I first heard the news of no raid, I thought this will be an interesting turn of events, Most people love the raids and strive for world first and all that, I’m interested to see how people will handle this new feature and what it will bring to the plate, will it be a hoard mode with leader boards? will the rewards be randomly dropped at certain waves or will we get currency to buy what gear we want from the tower? will it be solo-able or am I going to need a team because of the sheer might of these enemies? Is their going to be an exotic like Vex Mythoclass and Necrochasm (for the love of god not like Necro, make it like Vex plz) and how will it be given out? This is going to definitely show us if destiny is make or break, I’m looking forward to these events.

  • Oneku

    i hate you, the guy paid by bungie in desguised to make us think no raid is a good thing

    • metalman5150

      keeping it classy =)

  • Jimi Marklund

    This article swayed me even further to liking the 3 man content. Sure, those who cry about the missing raid in HoW are the ones who currently have a 6 man raiding team and goes about it weekly.

    But they do forget one major thing. Destiny has a huge player base, and without seeing the facts, the numbers, you can’t just react emotionally and hate Bungie.
    There is a huge number of players that has never set a foot in the raids, they don’t have time to invest. Sure there are clans that clear out content within the hour, but that takes time as well to learn.

    This is filling the gap between the 3 man strikes and 6 man raids. A 3 man “raid” that can give the smaller fire team of friends a chance to actually partake in something “end game” that otherwise elude them due to time constraints or whatever.

    Before you all judge Bungie and HoW without a raid a major fuckup, at least wait until May 6th and check it out in the Live stream. Only then you can truly judge the new end game content.

    WoW is a good example, they adapted and changed and raid content was open to any an all when 10 man and 25 man groups became viable. Sure the large guilds broke up but the majority of the players got to experience end game content like before.

    This 3 man is like the author states, something that Destiny need.

  • ORB1T4L

    I don’t think Bungie would have taken the risk of not including a Raid with this DLC without thinking of something that would compensate this absence. I can’t wait to see what they did and Bungie can be surprising so I’ll just wait for the content release to make my own opinion out of personal gameplay, though I’ll watch the gameplay video for curiosity purpose 😉

  • Time Spiral

    Bungie cant please everyone, I was first pieved but who knows this could be good, and it will likely have a higher player involvement than raids, if not game can go down till comet.

  • Riotpelaaja

    Good, intelligent and fair analysis.

  • Vinous

    I am hoping for something that brings little more randomness to the experience. I could imagine a PvE “crucible” experience where you fireteam is dropped in a random location with a random objective point facing random clusters of enemies in random locations. I look at how much of the existing world is so little used. I rarely play Crucible so would welcome the chance to blast some Fallen off a Crucible map.

    The other day I ended up walking backwards up a well trodden path and realized I had NEVER walked the other direction. Everything looked new and weird from the back. Could that simple trick add some variety?

    So many ways to take advantage of the available assets.

  • Ambient

    You summed it perfectly in one regard. The Prison of Elders is essentially Bungie’s response to the low player involvement in raids. That’s not a good thing, however. It means that Bungie is dumbing down content for wider appeal. Given that it’s a 3 Player activity, there will be very little strategy and teamwork involved by necessity, which pretty much kills any interest I might have had in HOW.

    Short of the raids, Destiny is a fun, but unchallenging shooter that quickly becomes repetitive. The raids are the only thing that really kept me coming back, as they were always fun because of how challenging they could be. I had hoped they would’ve gone in the opposite direction, and added the elements of the raids that demanded strategy and teamwork to the rest of the game moving forward. But it’s not to be, apparently.

  • Dex

    One thing I think is really cool with this, is it gives them the ability to update it with more content(if it’s a random arena fighter thing). A raid is a raid, you cannot add/remove content. With this they can add new elements to it to keep it fresh. They can also update the drop tables to inculde new weapons/armor and hopefully they have a level setting to play at easy(24), normal(28), hard (32), and ultra(34, hoping the level cap in HOW is 34).

  • DavidVibez

    Too many people seem to be playing this game for the wrong reason. I am not playing mainly for the RNG drops or leveling up my character. Those are bonuses. I am playing because I love the mechanics and like shooting stuff with my friends (both PvE and PvP).

    Will I enjoy a wave-based mode then? Hell yes! More replayability, easier leaderboards, smaller fireteam.

    I am a hardcore Destiny players with over 1,000 hours of play time. My clan has 99 members, we raid multiple times per week, hold raid clinics to teach others and I have completed CE NM and HM more than 100 times combined.

    I would have loved a new raid but since day one I have wanted a Firefight/Horde mode and expected one because Bungie already did this in Halo:ODST vs. never having made a raid before.

    The article is spot on in explaining why 3-man teams are much easier than 6-man teams from an organization standpoint and the stats show it very clearly. This is why far more people have completed Nightfalls and Weekly Heroics (before matchmaking) as well.

    A raid is still coming and I look forward to those. I don’t let Bungie off the hook with the excuse that your homework wasn’t done in time so you want to turn it in next week. If a game feature was planned for a release date then developers shouldn’t be praised for a delay, just not berated. We have had enough buggy releases in the last 2 years and I prefer a delay (Master Chief Collection, Battlefield *cough cough*).

    But judging by the initial high then quick about face by many vocal within the community of Crota’s End came out, it’s clear that raiding gets old for a vocal minority quickly and you can’t satisfy them.

    I agree that something different is welcome and I hope I get the same options I had in Halo:ODST Firefight mode. I know that a rockets only option with all gjallahorn would be absolutely insane!

    • Visr

      I agree with you. I play to get that Destiny feel like on patrol, pretending to be a Hunter scavenging in the wilderness. It’s also just fun to play Destiny with friends. RNG is fun, but your main focus needs to be that of the community. Well said, dude!

      • DavidVibez

        The other night I was playing with 4 friends. Started at 9:30pm EDT. Next time I look at my clock and I see it’s midnight. Had to say out loud that I had no clue it was that late.

        Time flies when you’re having fun with buddies and just chatting/catching up.

  • Robert

    Since it’s already paid for with the last DLC, I’ll try it out. Hopefully it hooks me. I haven’t played in a few months, and the only thing I do is check out xur about once a month. I’ve been a 32 since like the 2nd or 3rd week after the last DLC dropped, and at this point, it’s only about collecting weapons really.If this adds something new to do, I’ll probably jump back in for a little bit. But I’m really just waiting for the big expansion to drop later this year to really start playing again.

  • Oriel76

    I’ll wait and see, but I hope there is more than falling into a pit to kill hordes of enemies.

  • Sethune

    Sorry but this is just bullocks… The stats mentioned in that article also include inactive players. Meaning that is by no way a good indication of the real situation. Getting a raid grp is easy if you are not to lazy to go to a forum or a certain matchmaking site. Ofc learning a new raid can take some time but if you are going tot pug it with the matchmaking site then the chances are high that you will have atleast a few experienced folk inside your raid grp. Both vog and CE can easily be completed in 1 hour if like 3 people of the team know what to do and have a bit of patience with the new guys.

    If we compare this to world of Warcraft where in vanilla wow there were raids for 40 people without matchmaking systems and where progressing through a raid could take months for a guild. The raids in destiny get completed in hours. And that’s talking about world’s first. In my opinion its just pethatic that people complain about not being able to get a raid grp or not having enough time.

    Nonetheless I think that the arena will be great as an addition, not as a replacement. I’d rather cut out the 3 story missions which we will all play once and tell the “story” in the raid.

    Of course we will have to wait for more information about the expansion to be sure. But let’s not sugarcoat this “new” mode which takes next to nothing to come up with and even less work to get it in the game.

  • Pure Ego03

    I’m pretty upbeat, for all the complaining about no new raid, I’m not a part of it. Not have to spend time find a random group of people who are not jerk is nice, and it’s still gonna drop gear so who cares? Crota has/had so many cheese methods it’s hard to find people who actually do it legit, so it’s not exactly the experience that people will be missing with the lack of a raid either.

  • Rob Holden

    I’m saving that bullet for the Queen’s Brother and hoping that he turns out to be a traitor that we get to hunt down. Arrogant SOB. 😉

  • Doug

    I will reserve my judgement for the Prison of Elders, but I don’t like the argument that they haven’t had time to properly develop a new raid. Bungie has had far more time with HoW to factor in player feedback and test more extensively. Hell, TDB was basically on disk except for a few elements like Eris and many areas for HoW have already been present in some form for the entirety of the game.

    If they hadn’t done a relatively poor job with TDB and Crota then Bungie wouldn’t feel obligated to release an immaculate raid. That isn’t a fault of the players, but Bungie’s for not putting Crota through more testing. Being able to bring old weapons like Fatebringer to 365 is nice, but that’s either forcing us to rerun old content at a new difficulty to get it or not adding content at all.

    I really like this game, but raids are definitely what sets it apart from CoD and other shooters. I love the MMO aspects and while the Arena isn’t a bad step, it isn’t satisfactory on its own. It will absolutely get repetitive in its own right despite any number of modifiers. Bungie could have really gotten on the players’ good side with a new raid, plenty of GOOD DLC exotics, and the Arena/Horde Mode with HoW to show they wanted to make up for the community’s general disappointment with story, TDB, and repetitiveness.