Last night I played Destiny for the first time in a while. It started out amazing, then got noticeably less amazing.

I’d joined a group of my old raid buddies to try the first of the new challenge modes that are being introduced to the King’s Fall raid. This week, if you beat the Warpriest boss in a certain way, you get some cool guaranteed loot. I won’t blow the secret here in case you want to figure it out, but it’s not very complicated.

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I’ve been taking some time away from Destiny, as had several of the people in our group—we hadn’t played together in more than a month. It was nice hearing everyone’s voices in party chat again.

Part One: Yay

One of my teammates had a Warpriest checkpoint, so we started right at the boss. We were playing on Hard Mode, so I was expecting it to be a tough fight, but we actually hashed out a strategy and pulled it off on our first try. It was pretty fun, a little stressful, and generally exciting. I had a clutch hero move at the end, grabbing the aura and keeping it active for just long enough for the surviving players to take down the boss.

When the Warpriest went down, jackpot! I got a ton of awesome shit.

I got a neat new emblem and a new calcified fragment. The Warpriest himself dropped three pieces of gear: a 310 normal mode Defiance of Yasmin sniper with the hot swap perk (probably the best possible drop of that gun!) and a 320 (!!) harrowed Qullim’s Terminus LMG with the Life Leech perk. Hot damn!

Lastly, I got a 320 artifact, 10 higher than the 310 artifact I’d earned ages ago. I equipped all my gear, feeling pretty good about everything. My light went up two whole points, from 312 to 314. Nice!

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20 minutes in, I was already feeling more rewarded by Destiny than I’d felt in a while. Feeling good, my team said, fuck it, we’ve all gotten together, let’s keep going.

Part Two: Hmm

We hurried forward to the next boss, Golgoroth, who we also beat on our first try. No challenge mode there, just the normal Hard Mode boss.

Golgoroth dropped… a kinda shitty 302 set of Normal Mode gauntlets, and some moldering shards. No Hard Mode drop. Hmm. Okay, kinda disappointing, but I guess it’s never bad to have 300+ gauntlets.

Part Three: Boo

After that came the jumping puzzle (I didn’t get an exotic from the exotic chest), after which we fought Oryx’s daughters. Another pretty easy fight that we beat on our first try.

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I approached the chest at the end of the fight and pulled… some moldering shards, and nothing else. No drop. Weak.

Part Four: I’m Out

I’d been pretty ambivalent about attempting to beat Oryx (the final boss) on Hard Mode again. The last time I tried it we spent hours banging our heads against the fight before giving up. But, I thought, what the hell. This is a good group. Almost everyone here’s beaten Hard Mode Oryx by now. Might as well give it a shot.

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We worked out a decent strategy, but there were still so many moving parts that something would always go wrong. Twenty minutes passed, then thirty, and we still hadn’t made it past Oryx’s first damage phase. Abruptly (and heroically), my colleague Jason Schreier said, “Okay, I’m out.” I was right there with him, as were several of our other teammates. We gave up, leaving the fight unfinished.

The whole endeavor took about an hour and a half. In that time I went from feeling extremely excited and rewarded, to vaguely disappointed, to fully disappointed, to frustrated enough to stop. I’m sure they’ll come up with a reason for me to come back at some point soon, but for now, those 90 minutes were sufficient. My Destiny break continues.

To contact the author of this post, write to kirk@kotaku.com.