A Light in the Void: The Destiny I Aspire to Play
My ship cuts through the Void like a spear of the Traveller’s Light. I feel the pulsing thrum of the engines through the soles of my boots. I glance at the reactor readouts. All green. I’m pushing the Sudden Fury harder than I ever have.
Naming and customizing the appearance of ships and weapons would help with immersion and a feeling of investment in the universe.
Five minutes ago, I awoke to the Tower’s klaxons. Zavala’s face filled my bedside viewscreen. The message was terse. “Outpost Tiamat is under attack. Make all haste.” My wrist computer flashed a familiar sequence, and I touched it, reflexively.
The transmat pulled me apart atom by atom, the cockpit of my ship coalescing around me. The Sudden Fury was already accelerating through the stratosphere, freshly fueled and rearmed. Twenty seconds later, the slipspace drive was spooling up, a course laid in.
Tiamat. A point of light carved into Europa’s icy crust. A Golden Age research station, rediscovered by Ikora’s Warlocks after painstaking analysis of incomplete and corrupted manuscripts. Just a few weeks ago it had been crewed for the first time in seven hundred years.
Now that trove of knowledge and technology was threatened by servants of the Darkness. The Fallen had watched us melt through miles of ice, revealing a treasure they sought to steal. That was the gist of the briefing I glanced through as tendrils of reality stretched to a vanishing point ahead of me.
Every moon and planet would have various bases or territories that Guardians would need to protect. Keeping them safe from enemy attack would have certain benefits to all players. These sources of material and knowledge would count toward larger long-term unlockable weapons, equipment, and abilities, as humanity slowly takes back its old glory.
I pull up the transmat manifest. Three dimensional representations of weapons and armor float before me as the cockpit glass automatically dims. I choose my equipment from among them, priming the transmat buffers for quick equipment transfer in combat.
Allowing equipment loadouts that are nameable and easily swappable will help Guardians choose the correct tools for the job at hand. Loadouts could retain the Primary/Special/Heavy trinity, but allow one weapon in reserve for each slot, allowing instant adaptation depending on combat conditions.
My selections complete, I sweep the manifest aside with a gesture, then examine the latest satellite feeds of Europa’s surface. The Fallen approach Tiamat in force from two directions. The analysts in the Tower estimate two Ketches, at least. Overlaying the approach vectors of a few other Guardians, I choose my landing zone, picking a jagged upthrust of ice that commands a view of the eastern approach. I won’t be able to stave off the assault alone, but I can at least delay them until reinforcements arrive.
Aside from story missions, make large open combat areas a major game mode, allowing pitched battles akin to Planetside, with groups of Guardians facing off against much larger forces. Add more vehicles and scatter turrets and capturable outposts across these areas. Holding guard towers would keep areas open for other Guardians to land and join the battle.
There are two warning tones, then the familiar jolt of deceleration from relativistic speed. Europa’s icy crust fills my view, great cracks and fissures scarring its frozen plains. As the Sudden Fury makes contact with the tenuous atmosphere, I take manual control and sweep the nose right. My helmet display lights up with targets, red squares and diamonds marching to the horizon. A burst of plasma punches through armor, flesh, and ice, steam spitting up in plumes. Hands off the controls, I twist my helmet left and right, confirming the seal. Then the transmat’s tearing snap is all I hear.
Hawkmoon is already in my hand as I stand atop my chosen rise. The Fallen, tracing the path of the ship, have trained their weapons on my parapet. They will not take it easily.
Vehicular combat was one of the defining features of Halo, and though this is not the same game, it owes a debt to the series. Player-controlled ships and space and surface combat would greatly enhance the combat experience.