I seem to have reached that stage in Destiny 2 where I’m just doing an endless side quests:
Stasis freeze sixty bad guys.
Destroy fifty Vex in Eventide Ruins.
Perform 100 headshots while eating a single plum, floating in perfume, served in a man’s hat.
Real minutiae stuff.
It drives me crazy because I spend as much time accounting as I do playing, constantly switching back and forth to see if a particular set of kills counted towards a particular goal. Instead of all this picayune stuff, I just wish they’d make the main quest bigger and better.
This could be a function of my age (nyah! I’m old, just let me play), or the reason I play games (to escape the drudgery of accounting), or just poor game design (stuffing the game with filler to make you feel like you got your money’s worth).
My son, on the other hand, loves quests in Fortnite, and tries to complete them all. That could be a function of his age (he’s on vacation during a pandemic, so there’s plenty of screentime), the reason he plays (for fun, and there is a competitive aspect among his young friends), or just really good game design (the quests are clear, quick and offer enticing rewards like character skins).
When I first thought about this quest topic, I figured I’d bank it to next week. No one needs a videogames newsletter on New Years Day. But as the idea rattled around in my brain, it actually seemed like some perfect metaphor for this moment.
At the risk of venturing into Successories territory, this is the time when I (and you, presumably) contemplate what I want to accomplish in the coming year. In other words, it’s time to choose my quest (ugh).
There are the evergreen missions each year to get fitter, happier, more productive.
But that’s no fun, those are literally mundane struggles.
Typically I like to fire up big, ambitious goals for the coming year: write a screenplay, be in Chris Hemsworth shape by my birthday, launch a universe-denting videogame newsletter for the olds.
But considering I spent the first half of 2020 Clorox-wiping bananas and almost the entire year within the confines of my own home, the bar is set pretty low for accomplishments in 2021.
Perhaps the lower bar is all I need going into the new year. Maybe this is the year not for the big main quest, but to clean up the smaller side quests that have been nipping at my heels for so many years. Maybe this is the year to grab the low-hanging fruit like meditate, eat (a little bit) better, be nicer.
I do know you signed up for a videogame newsletter and this particular issue won’t get you through Demon’s Souls any faster. But it is that time of year to think such thoughts.
While I’m ruminating about next year, I want to also take a moment to thank each and every one of you for this year. Thank you for subscribing and (hopefully) reading 40 Bit. I truly appreciate it. I wish I had more time to make it bigger and better, and get it into Chris Hemsworth shape.
I’ll try to make that a side quest this year.
In the meantime, have a safe, prosperous 2021.
-Chris @ 40 Bit
P.S. Since this issue was called Quest Love, I would be remiss if I didn’t slip in a quick recommendation for the actual Questlove’s Questlove Supreme Podcast. It is a wonderful deep dive into music, like the real nitty gritty around recording and stuff.