Bungie released Destiny 2’s first major expansion, Forsaken, just almost a month ago but even in that short amount of time, it has already generated its fair share of memes, drama, and compelling stories. Many Destiny fans might already be familiar with Datto, a popular streamer (Twitch) and YouTuber known for his general Destiny commentary and helpful guides (YouTube). And of course, top tier NieR 2B cosplay.
All of that, or more recently, Datto’s involvement in one of the most dramatic world first attempts in Destiny history. His clan, Math Class, ended up finishing world 3rd, but missed out an exclusive emblem, an in-game trophy essentially, for clearing Last Wish within 24 hours by just a mere two minutes.
Twinfinite spent some time with Datto the other day to talk about this wild experience, and get a sense of how he feels about Forsaken, and the path Destiny 2 is on going forward. Let’s jump right in starting with breaking down Math Class’s thrilling world first attempt. Note: A few responses have been very lightly edited for improved clarity.
Destiny 2’s Datto Full Q&A Part 1: Last Wish & Missing the Emblem
Ed McGlone from Twinfinite: Let’s go down in chronological order here. What was your preparation process like for Last Wish? Was everyone just going with their most comfortable weapons and subclasses to start? Or was there some kind of other thought process about how you all wanted to make sure you were in a position to succeed? Obviously someone going for world first has a lot less room for error.
Datto: Basically, the mindset was: get as high light (power level) as possible. That’s really the one thing that matters the most. Having decent weapons is good. Having decent armor perks is good, but having the most power in terms of your level is the largest contributing factor to how well you’re going to perform.
I can have the god roll armor set, weapons, all that, but if I’m 540 trying to go into the raid, I’m probably not going to have a good time. It was all about what your highest power level stuff was, you put it on. If you happen to get a god roll weapon, or a really good weapon, you put all of your resources into that weapon specifically, and just power level yourself up as much as possible.
If you were playing a Warlock, you needed to have Well of Radiance. If you were playing a Titan, we wanted people to have the new Sentinel super. Hunters, it didn’t really matter because their three subclasses before the expansion were already insanely good. So Hunter wasn’t as much of a requirement.
Just grind, grind, grind as much as you can to get to as high power as possible.
Twinfinite: Looking back at your 24-hour run, which section that you and the rest of the team had to figure out shaved the most years off of your life do you think?
Datto: Honestly, probably Vault. Vault was just a complete enigma to us for a very long time and we tried a lot of different strategies. Like, one guy in my group, toes, he came up with this crazy decoy versus non-decoy system that he was doing; and he was running to all three plates trying to decipher what the code was and we would go based on that.
The thing was, even though that technically wasn’t the strategy, it was working for us in the early development of it, so we kept running with it for a while. After a couple of hours in, we kind of realized, okay this is inconsistent, it’s not working, it’s clearly not what we’re supposed to be doing.
My clan has a very strong tendency to overthink mechanics. That was yet another one of those encounters where we were completely overthinking what we had to do. We weren’t looking at the things we should have been looking at. We weren’t trying enough things, we were hoping that toes’ strategy was going to end up working out.
We actually got really, really close, but it would have been purely on like, somehow we got it, not actually figuring it out. So it wasn’t until a short time after that we tried something different, and we were able to clear it. But the Vault was really the one tugging at our brain cells the most.
Twinfinite: When you’re approaching a section that you have never seen before, what is the thought process behind a high level fireteam for figuring it out from scratch? Is it just trial and error?
Datto: It basically is trial and error. It’s just, get in here, let’s try and figure out as many individual pieces as possible – What does this do? What does this thing do? – and see what is the goal. What is the goal of this thing that we need to do? For most of them it’s “kill the boss.” But, otherwise, it’s what do we have to do here to make this thing go farther.
A lot of it is just head-bashing. A lot of it is also dying immediately to see the death screen, to see what kind of goals that the encounter has in mind for you. So usually you’ll see like kills, deaths, and two other things, like forced teleports and plates cleansed. So, okay, these two things are important to this encounter. Why are they important? How do we get them to happen? And how often do we need to do them? Those are big hints.
Otherwise, it’s a lot of head-bashing. Oh there are some plates on the ground, probably going to have to do something with this. And figuring out what’s working and what’s not working. Using your surroundings, seeing if there’s anything we need to do with the room itself. Just generally a lot of trial and error. That’s all you really can do.
Twinfinite: Was there any point during the raid that you wanted to rage quit and give up?
Datto: I mean, I never really wanted to leave. I definitely wanted to take a bit of a break, but I knew every minute that we spent taking a break would end up costing us time later on. And so it did…
Even in my head I was getting mad at a couple of people for dying constantly. That was less than thrilling.
But no, when you’re in there, you know that you’re in there for the long haul. And, the only way you’re leaving is if your house is on fire, family emergency, internet goes out. Otherwise, I know that I’m in there until that place is done, my team knows that as well. For every moment that you want to quit, there’s five other moments where you’re just like, we gotta keep pushing forward.
Twinfinite: Did you like that it was more difficult for fireteams this time around? Or would you have preferred it if it was a little bit more accessible, or if there was another reset before the raid?
Datto: No I enjoyed the difficult day one experience, because that’s what I think it should be. The day one, or the weekend one experience should always be very, very difficult thing to do because you’re fighting against power levels. Power levels, again going back to the gearing up process, is the number one thing that’s going to set you back in a lot of these encounters.
You can know how to do them, and you can have the right strategies, but if your power level is not up to snuff and you’re getting one-shot by things, you’re probably not going to make it very far.
So, it’s a combination of not only fighting against the mechanics, but also fighting against your terrible, terrible power level, and having to play perfect at all times.
Now that people have started to get up to 600, and high 590s, we can see how quickly this place can demolished by a fireteam. But, that first day, the harder my ass is getting kicked the better.
Twinfinite: For me personally, on day one, I was able to stomach getting to the damage phase of Kalli, but I once realized that we don’t have the DPS to make up for mistakes along the way… the average Destiny 2 player with pick-up groups can’t really play perfectly on that first weekend.
It’s just a mess. It’s just better to wait for a couple of resets because there’s just no room for error.
Datto: Yeah. LFG groups are going to have some errors…
Twinfinite: So let’s talk about the clear now. How aware of the time were you leading up to the clear? Were you trying to peek at either the time or the Twitch chat to get some hints?
Datto: I was very aware of the timer. Every single wipe I was looking at that clock, like, “Hey guys we only have this much time left. Stop dying. Stop doing this, stop doing that.” So I was very cognizant of the timer. But as soon as the timer hit that 24 hours I was kind of like, “Ughhhhh alright, let’s unwind and try to focus up.”
I was pretty deflated after the clock hit 10 a.m. and we hit the full 24 hours and even more deflated after we ended up clearing it on the very next attempt after that.
Twinfinite: As soon as you realized that you definitely didn’t make it under 24 hours [and that you had just missed it], what were your initial feelings? Anger? Disappointment? Did you think it was kind of funny? What was your mental state there?
Datto: When we cleared it we thought it was funny. At the time [when they missed it] I was not laughing. I don’t think anyone was laughing, I was not happy.
I was very disappointed in that moment because I knew that we had gotten so close. Not only during that actual last encounter, but during Riven, we were the first to get to the ascendant platforming section for the final stand, and we just couldn’t get back there fast enough. And we had a lot of opportunities that we choked away. It’s always disappointing… so yeah I was not happy in that moment.
Twinfinite: Has anyone from Bungie reached out to you about your run?
Datto: I got like one or two messages after I had messaged some other Bungie people about like, “good job on the raid,” “it was fantastic,” blah blah blah. And, you know some of them were like “we felt so bad for you guys,” “two minutes away,” this and that.
They are aware, but I’m glad that we did not end up getting the emblem. I never wanted it to be my call, and I doubted from the second that we finished the raid that we were going to get that emblem.
It would have set a horrible, horrible precedent going forward if Bungie had given us the emblem. It would have opened the floodgates for everything in the future. We missed it. We were that close, but what are you going to do?
Twinfinite: Yeah and actually, my next question was: If Bungie offered you the emblem somehow, would you accept it? And it sounds like the answer to that is no. Two minutes is still two minutes too late.
Datto: We had a lot of discussions in the raid group about: Should we petition for it? Should we try and go for it? My view was if they were going to straight up give us the emblem, I would have said no. I just didn’t want that hanging over my head. It’s like, we didn’t get it… Two minutes away… we didn’t get it.
If they were going to give us like a joke emblem that had like a giant asterisk on the emblem. I probably would have been okay with that even though it technically would have been rarer than actually getting the 24-hour emblem.
I probably would have been okay with a joke emblem, but the real one, I would have said no.
Twinfinite: Really weird, again you kind of predicted my next question. I was about to ask: If Bungie wanted to memorialize your team’s run in some way, like either through a lore description, or a meme exotic like No Time to Explain, would you be open to it?
Datto: Oh yes, absolutely yeah. If they wanted to do like, flavor text in a legendary weapon in a couple of expansions from now. I would totally be okay with something like that. We’d all get a kick out of that.
Twinfinite: What did you do directly after signing off? Did you sleep? Have a snack? Take a trip down to Bungie studios and look longingly through the window?
Datto: [laughs] Well when we finished the raid, I hung out on stream for about 30-45 minutes afterwards.
I recorded the entire thing. So I dug through all of the 24 hours of footage, found all of our kills that we got, slapped them all on timeline, through them up on YouTube, and immediately went to sleep after.
Twinifnite: Wow! You did that all right after? Didn’t go to bed first?
D: Nope! Partly because I knew that we were world third, and that the two groups didn’t really consist of a lot of YouTubers, I technically was going to be one the first to have a whole clear of kills on the YouTube channel.
Fortunately that has paid off. I think that video has almost 500,000 views and it got 250,000 like the first day. I knew that if I got those things up fast enough, that it might get some viewership. I just wanted to get it up right away, and be able to go to bed knowing that I can wake up a little bit and not immediately run have to run back to my computer to start working to get those up.
Twinfinite: So overall what do you think of Last Wish? First, do you think it’s the best Bungie has done so far? And slightly different question, is it your personal favorite?
Datto: I absolutely think it’s the best work Bungie has done, and I would say it’s my new favorite, yeah. They have done a fantastic job with the place. All of the bosses were very fun. I love running that raid still. I have already have done probably almost 20 clears now. It’s a very fun place to be in. It’s got a nice mix of puzzle and non-puzzle encounters. You can rip through a lot of the encounters pretty quickly.
A lot of them are one cycle capable. So, Kalli, Morgeth, Riven, all one cycle capable. Shuro and the Vault are not, but you can still move through them pretty quickly. It doesn’t wholly restrict you based on some arbitrary time limit. The fast you go, the faster you get it done. The Vault maybe a little less so, but you can still improve your speed at the Vault to go faster and faster each time. So there’s not too many things that restrict your ability to go faster in the raid which I think is good.
You always want to feel like you’re getting better at doing the raid, and how do you that? By doing more damage and going faster and doing things in fewer cycles. So for the most part, you can do that in this place.
That was meaty and eventful first part! Let’s take a breather. If you’re interested in part two, where Datto talks about Forsaken more in general, the future of Destiny 2, and his favorites, mosey on over to part 2 on page two.