Destiny Year One
There is something to say when you see a game go through growth spurts. Destiny has grown into a monster franchise and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. It’s evident that Bungie along with Activison have given gamers, cosplayer’s, and fans an on going vessel into the darkest places in the galaxy. Perhaps, you don’t see the luster behind it and find this game unappealing or monotonous, but you have to admire its community and momentum. Not every game is for everyone, but this game has changed my life.
I will admit the understanding of this game didn’t come right away nor did I understand every detail, I had to really immerse myself; as a gamer, cosplayer, and fan. Destiny has many avenues of detail and can sometimes be confusing on where to start. Originally, I started Destiny with PvP only and immediately fell in love, I gravitate to FFS so this was definitely up my alley. I did tinker here for a while and then moved to progress through PvE. Then life, travel, and work came in full force and I stop playing as much and stopped at level 12. I had a hard time connecting with game for some reason, and slowly stopped playing it altogether. I think I felt discouraged, as I didn’t have the time to progress. I logged back onto Destiny and played for the first time again in months and everyone around me had amazing armor, interesting weapons, and were having fun! Ideally, its always better with friends, but I came back and found myself having fun meeting new people to play with and just enjoying the gaming experience. Destiny, has this ability to calm me in a way I have not had in a game in a long time. Whether I’m just patrolling, doing my daily Strikes, and jumping in random PvP matches with fans, and even a Raid brought a sense of accomplishment that can only be met with pure gamer satisfaction. In my experience this is a rare thing, I usually move through games quickly, I had days were all I wanted to do was sit in my underwear and play and grind through Destiny. My squad which consist now of my fans, randoms, and friends in the industry, which happens to be quite a few of us has became my favorite gaming escape. The amount of comfort, mixed with some of the most fulfilling experiences has put an everlasting space in my 8-bit heart. The word Guardian, has a new meaning now and I mistakenly waited to play that game later than I should have, but perhaps the grind was a necessary resistance to appreciate the beauty of it all. I put whatever little time I had, which was not much, maybe 2 hours daily and maybe 2-3 times during the week to play. I realized I’m really falling for this game. The success of my progression was addicting, I started to understand the fine lines of the game, and became knowledgeable of the convoluted details I didn’t get before. It was officially a relationship, we’re in it for the long haul, I finally understood the hype and began my road to lvl 34.
I had a little voice that said, “Maybe, I should cosplay this?” Once E3 rolled around I saw the first glimpse of The Taken King and later that day I met community manager Deej and felt such a connection to Destiny even more so. At that point, I had to commit since my friend introduced me as, “This is Pao, and she is doing a Destiny cosplay for San Diego Comic Con.” I played it cool, but I wanted to kill my friend. At that very second, I decided to grind through my Warlock character to maximize her armor and to debut this very ambitious cosplay for SDCC. Later that night, I couldn’t believe I dedicated to such a project. I wanted to die.
So You Want To Be A Warlock?
The reality set in quickly that I committed to the biggest cosplay in my little baby cosplay career. Two thoughts ran through my head, I don’t have enough time to do this. Did I over commit to this? The other thought was if I do this, it’s gonna take every little ounce of my human existence to make this successful. I had one month to assemble a dream team which included, SpaceInvaderK, Hoku Props, and Bear Burge. I began to blue print how we were going to do this. I choose these talented people for many reason, but mainly because they loved Destiny and they were out of their minds considering the time frame. Along with this I had two events I had to manage around ranking my warlock to lvl 34 and working on this cosplay. It was imperative and vital that my cosplay matched my actual in game character.
A sense of panic and anxiety that hits you as a cosplayer, or perhaps I am alone here, but I was stressing. The Trials Of Osiris launched, this meant a complete redesign of my armor was happening. I wanted something current, and different so the decision was final. I also gave my first go at Trials. My Fireteam, were all leveled at 34 I was only a 30 at the time, but I managed to get to armor tier which is five wins. My Warlock had The Robe of Exile chest armor and I knew this was a definite piece to my Warlock cosplay. The next question was what gantlets, helm, and shader. I really loved the Chatterwhite shader and felt it would look amazing with the Light Beyond Nemesis helmet. I knew that I wanted to do Light Beyond Nemesis, since I was highly influenced by Lealoveschief cosplay and someone who really motivated me to make this a reality. She was kind enough to give me a detail description of her cosplay, materials, and process. This was crucial for me to investigate as I need to use my time wisely. My talented friend SpaceInvaderK who made it possible for me to cosplay this was the variable to it all and it was time to head to Downtown LA and find all the fabric and start on construction the coat and chest armor. I had two weeks before SDCC and I was feeling the pressure of completed this, at one point I thought of backing out. I didn’t want to do a half-ass job on this project and I felt like I was suffocating. I finally understood the pains of cosplay like never before we had working 10-15 hours a day along with extreme attention to detail add 2-3 more hours to that, we had stayed up at one point for 48 hours. We were days away from SDCC and we had hit a level of exhaustion, malnutrition, disgusting amounts of coffee and sugar free Red bulls, and falling asleep on the sewing table.
Three days before SDCC and time was just the ever clicking sound of my dying soul. Although, I sound like I’m describing a dying cat, there were moments of Triumphs. Slowly, my cosplay was coming together. The full vision was coming together and there were moments Kristen(SpaceInvaderK) and I looked at each other and said this is coming together! WE CAN DO IT!
It came to SDCC weekend and we drove down with hopes to finish the last finishing touches in our room, we were running out of time and felt all the pressure, noise, and excitement of debuting these Guardians for the first time. On came the second day of Comic Con and we began the “getting ready” process and things were not going well. I had major malfunctions, things were not working and I almost felt like quitting. I had previously tested my makeup and things went well, so well in fact I was ecstatic of the look of my Awoken skin color. My make-up was simply not sticking on like before and I started to feel that I might have to cosplay as a human, my thought was I will give it one more chance and if my makeup-up does not apply well I am scrapping it. Luckily, it cooperated and I almost cried tears of joy, but I didn’t. We had a scheduled shoot with MTV, and we almost missed that due to the malfunctions. Once we got onto the show floor, the Destiny fans all over SDCC flocked to us and we did the most magical shoot and that’s when the photo with Colin Gray became a topic of discussion within the Destiny community. I had no idea it would have been received the way it did. I was over joyed to see it reach so many people, but mostly inspire others to tackle on a Destiny Cosplay. It was like a dream and a honor for Bungie to post our work, it was so unexpected I couldn’t believe they felt it was good enough . Then soon after Kotaku did a piece on my cosplay and I almost fainted on the header. I felt so humbled and once again just floored on the response. I was overwhelmed with joy and all the hours, tears, sweat, and blood had become something that was softened by the excitement of the fans and their love towards it. Of course we got truck loads of salt for picking the Thorn as our primary weapon. The comments were pretty absurd, I just found it so funny as it had been one of the most used weapons. Then I was invited to be on the IGN’s Fireteam Chat Podcast, which was huge. Of course Bungie had a huge announcement of updates the day before I was suppose to be on. The podcast went great I felt I didn’t deliver my best for my standards, my mentality on that is you can always do better. The guys made me feel welcomed none the less and I was delighted to be on the podcast. Want to hear more on this, listen to it here and for details on photos of progression visit my Instagram.
The Taken King
Here we’re today with the launch of The Taken King and coming into this a year as is sweet, lovely, amazing goodness. In one weekend I got to level 34, finished my Triumphs, and was brave. It was not easy, and I officially hate Skolas so much. That was the last Raid I needed to complete my Triumphs, what a sense of accomplishment and over sense of joy. I have no doubt that the new expansion will be what everyone has wanted and some. All the teasers and streams have surpassed my expectations and has brought the community closer than ever. It is the year one fans who should be celebrated; they kept faith, grinded, and believed when most didn’t. For those giving it a second chance it is perhaps a good choice as now you have substance to a story and way to level to 25 with your character by using your one time use of Spark of Light. This makes things great for those who need a little help to level up fast and a chance to enjoy the leveling up process. The Taken King expansion comes with perks for new and existing Guardians. Join the 20 million Guardians and help us defeat Oryx, The Taken King! I will be doing an unboxing of my collectors edition when I get back from London. Till then send me pictures of you gaming out to the new expansion Guardians!
Photo by: Colin Gray