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Does Destiny’s Prison of Elders Desperately Need Checkpoints?

There are no checkpoints. Hate it or Love it?

One of the best features of Destiny’s new House of Wolves expansion is the Prison of Elders battle arena that players were provided in place of a raid.  Though some players are already bored with the Prison of Elders, many find the variety between different stages and combat modifiers provides a challenge worthy of replacing a raid.

The Prison of Elders offers four different levels of challenges. There is the level 28 challenge that includes matchmaking as well as the level 32, level 34, and level 35 challenges that do not. While there are differences between the challenges, they all have one similarity that is a nuisance to many players.


The most major deficit of the Prison of Elders is that there are no checkpoints. This is made painfully obvious when comparing it to the the Vault of Glass and Crota’s End raids which both have checkpoints throughout. Checkpoints that can be joined regardless of whether or not the previous stages of the raid have been completed that week.The logic behind Bungie’s decision on this one is understandable.

What happens with the Vault of Glass and Crota’s End checkpoint systems is that some people only want to complete one section of the raid. One problem this causes is that it incentivizes certain players to join groups to steal checkpoints. Another problem this causes is that when players can skip straight to the final boss in a raid, such as the Atheon or Crota battle, the rest of the raid becomes trivialized. Not to mention all the cheesing.

So, in an effort to prevent the Prison of Elders battle arena from falling victim to the downfalls of the raids that came before it, Bungie removed checkpoints entirely.

While their logic is understandable, that does not mean it is universally agreeable. Completely removing checkpoints from the gameplay elements is a bold move, despite the reasons for making it.

Many players are feeling frustrated about the Prison of Elders’ lack of checkpoints. This is understandable as well. While the players who say they’re bored of the Prison of Elders already would never admit to having any difficulty with the game, for the majority of players, the Prison of Elders presents a difficult, time-consuming, challenge.

It can take hours to play through all five rounds of the Prison of Elders. If your guardian only makes it to the fourth round and then decides to quit or gets booted, then the entire challenge must be restarted from the beginning, leaving the hours spent feeling completely wasted. What’s worse is that sometimes a friend needs to leave to eat dinner or run an errand.

When that happens, It would be nice for players if they could play some PVP or do some story missions while they wait. But they can’t. Or they can, but if they do they’ll lose all of their progress. Its a lose-lose.

So how about if Bungie meets players half-way with the checkpoints. With a bit of creativity, they can avoid the mistakes of the raid checkpoint system without removing checkpoints from the dynamic entirely. Bungie could make it so that in order to join a checkpoint, all three guardians would need to have completed the previous rounds of the Prison of Elders.

That way, no one could steal checkpoints and players would still need to play through all of the rounds in order to triumph over the Prison of Elders. But at least players could take a break for meals, or even to try again the next day after a long and frustrating night of continuous death against a troublesome boss. In fact, Bungie could even implement this as a way to fix the cheesing and sectioning off of the Vault of Glass and Crota’s End raids.

What do you think? Does the Prison of Elders need a checkpoint system? Or is it perfect the way it is? Be sure to let us know in the comments.

 

 

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