Destiny's Crota's End Hard Mode is disappointing outside of the final fight


More of the same until the end

I have a stable of around 30 people I raid with in Destinyregularly, but yesterday I picked the five I play with the most and set a scheduled time for the brand newCrota’s End Hard Mode. Everyone showed up, and ten minutes after launch, the switch was flipped. We were in. Not knowing what to expect we all arrived with maxed-out weapons and a variety of Exotic armor pieces, and used our Warlocks just in case we needed the self-resurrection ability a few times (you can’t resurrect in Hard Mode normally).

We breezed through the initial totem section on our first try. Same with the second bridge area. Then the Thrallway chest. Then Ir Yut. Nothing has really changed outside of the addition of a few yellow health bars for certain enemies, and a slight level increase. Our group consisted of fairly skilled players but we weren’t going for the world record or anything, and we absolutely blew 75% of Hard Mode away in roughly 15 minutes.

Our disappointment sums up Destinyin general.

To say we were bummed is an understatement. Unlike the Hard Mode for the Vault of Glass that could take upwards of an hour the first time through just because of the forced length of some encounters, Crota Hard Mode pales in comparison. It felt like we waited ages for Hard Mode here only to be let down.

Of course, there is one bright spot — Crota himself. The final boss of the raid is essentially the same, with a number of added twists that make it the most enjoyable fight in the game currently. For starters, you cannot regenerate health naturally, because there is no longer a chalice (an item in normal mode that lets you gain health back when you hold it).

This is the single most interesting bit, because the playerbase has been tasked to come up with additional means of regeneration, like using the Red Death’s life leech ability, or general class abilities. Right on the spot our group was coming up with ways to regen. It felt like a true MMO raid.

Other changes include a sturdy Wizard popping out to wreak havoc on your team and the swordbearer, unless you take care of him before hitting Crota. There’s also a Gatekeeper (an enemy invincible to every attack but the sword) running around to complicate prior tactics, and the Boomer Knights have additional health. That’s on top of the level increase for enemies. It’s challenging, but many elements feel artificial in nature, the arena feels more constrained, and there are tonsof bugs that ruin perfectly good runs.

Currently, the Crota encounter is arguably the single most interesting fight in the entire game, but the raid as a whole was lazily implemented. Our group had the time to down Crota once yesterday, but with a bit more practice we’ll have him on farm likely next week, then leave until the expansion hits. I really hope that Bungie has some tricks up its sleeve by the time House of Wolveshits, because I’m watching many of my friends slowly quit one by one as more disappointments arise.