One Destiny 2 player has collected every Guardian title that currently exists in the game. It took him over 1,000 hours to pull off, yet, he tells Kotaku, he doesn’t regret it.
Titles in Destiny 2 are special achievements that players earn by completing various tasks, some very grindy and others incredibly hard. They range from activities like visiting every special location in the game to defeating certain bosses under specific circumstances. Players willing to run down the long to-do lists associated with each of these tasks get special monikers next to their Guardian’s name like “Shadow” or “Harbinger” for their troubles. This way, everyone else in the game knows that they’re part of the Destiny 2 elite. When you spot someone with “Reckoner” in their title, for example, you know they’re a top Gambit player. These titles also give people who have run through most of the game’s regular content new goals to chase, because one of the most coveted rewards in Destiny 2 is the motivation to never stop playing.
“I originally was introduced to the game way back in November of 2014, when I picked up the demo for my Playstation 3,” said the player, Dawncraftian, in an email to Kotaku. He requested that we use his handle rather than his real name. “I played Destiny 1 a lot and I loved it, but I never had the ability to achieve as much as I did in the second game due to school, and not being able to find a group of players to regularly play with.”
When Destiny 2’s Forsaken expansion dropped in September 2018, Dawncraftian made the jump to PC, where the game felt even better, and he found a clan that could support him with some of the game’s harder, multiplayer-focused challenges. His friends had just gone away to college hours away while he stayed in his hometown in Scotland to work fulltime, taking a break from schooling and investing his extra time in testing the limits of Bungie’s online loot shooter.
“Around August last year, I was at a very difficult part of my life,” he said. “My previous job was a very negative environment, I wasn’t getting enough hours, and there were some other personal issues that got very extreme leading to me feeling depressed and struggling to function normally.” Dawncraftian said a close friend was having trouble and it was impacting his own mental health. Diving into the game’s meta-grind provided an escape.
“The way I dealt with this was to sink time into Destiny, but I found this really difficult without a goal, so I started working on a couple of individual titles,” he said. “I already had a couple of the titles prior to this and didn’t plan on achieving them all, but after I got through this time in my life I was only missing a couple titles and thought i’d go the extra mile and finish my collection.”
Destiny 2 titles are not the type of achievements you can pick up by playing the game normally. Some people (like me) have spent hundreds of hours with Destiny 2 and don’t have any. Dawncraftian has them all, earned over the last year, a period during which he estimates he’s played the game for around 1,200 hours. (His total is 1,672.) “I enjoyed the Chronicler title the most,” Dawncraftian said. “It just involves travelling around locations grabbing lore pieces from various locations. I found it really enjoyable to pull a guide up, listen to some music and grab collectables.”
While this sounds like a simple challenge, many have tried and more than a few have wanted to give up after finding out that some of the pieces of lore required to complete the title only drop randomly. The Man They Call Cayde lore book, for instance, has 14 entries which have a chance of unlocking every time you open a treasure chest. The Ace in the Hole mission, which revolves around opening chests, can speed things up when it’s available in the Daily Heroic Story playlist, but that’s not very often and even then, you’re lucky if a piece of lore drops more than a couple times per attempt.
On the other end of the spectrum are titles that require more than a bit of skill. “The hardest and least enjoyable title for me was Reckoner,” Dawncraftian said. “This title requires playing a lot of Gambit Prime, a more competitive spin on the Gambit game mode as well as The Reckoning, an incredibly unforgiving coop activity.” One part of it requires completing a Tier III Reckoning against each different boss without dying. Another tasks you with killing 50 high value targets in Gambit Prime. “This wouldn’t be too bad, but only ONE high value target spawns per game. What makes this even worse is that if a teammate kills the high value target without you, you have to play an extra game,” he said. “That got frustrating fast.”
By September of this year, Dawncraftian had become a title-earning machine, playing an average of five hours a day. The key, like any grind, was chipping away at it bit by bit in a systematic manner. “I never set myself this huge leap of acquiring all titles at once and instead just going for one or two at a time, it made working towards this feel much more rewarding as I kept achieving my goals as opposed to only getting there once I’d acquired the final title,” Dawncraftian said. “Also because of the circumstances I was in, I had a lot of dedication and didn’t want to quit.”
On November 26, Dawncraftian finally achieved his goal, getting every title in Destiny 2. His final was the Enlightened, which required him to, among other things, complete all of the Garden of Salvation’s raid challenges. . This only became possible to complete after the November 26 reset added the latest Destiny season’s fourth and most excruciating raid challenge: Zero to One Hundred. The challenge requires raid teams to split up and pull off a task quickly and efficiently.
“Claiming that final title felt great,” Dawncraftian said. “However, getting the harder triumphs completed after a lot of effort or getting a rare drop I’d needed to complete a collection felt better because that’s what makes these titles stand out. I felt like I’d earned Rivensbane title after I did my Petras Run Last Wish. I felt like I’d earned my Shadow title after completing my flawless Crown of Sorrow and Prestige Menagerie flawless runs. The defining moments of the whole experience for me are beating the obstacles most people struggle with.”