The level 31 Exo Titan I’ve been playing in Destiny is starting to get repetitive in an unfun way so I began an Exo Warlock.


Exos are sentient robots.

If there is an animal/monster/robot race available as a playable character in any game, I always choose one of them over human (or human-like) races. If I choose a human there’s a lot of complicated decision making that goes into the appearance of the character. My initial impulse is to design the character to look like a general idealized version of myself which ends up looking pretty Hitler-youthy. This always feels uncomfortable (racist/propaganda influenced/fucked up). The next step is to make the character a dark skinned woman. This feels disingenuous (I’m not much of a role player, ask my Pathfinder group). Playing a game as a non-me-like human racehas felt like lying in the past and I dunno if I can dedicate 800+ hours of game play to lying. That’s a politician’s level of commitment and I’m more of an artist-sorcerer-philosopher if we’re being honest (which we are). Then I try a white woman. Then a black man. Then I get into some crazy internal dialogue about how screwed up our society is and how segregated our planet’s human cultures are. At the outset, Destiny randomly generates a character that players can customize, but playing with the unedited random character doesn’t seem like much fun.

Dave has an Awoken (future elf, basically) female hunter that he’s never been super happy about. My old roommate always chooses or makes a young Japanese female character if it’s an option. I mean, sure. To each their own, etc., but I’m going to go with a matte black robot male because it’s a game I play to occupy my self-imposed downtime and jeez, I already go to therapy once a week, have a dedicated meditation practice, and make art that aims to understand the nature of existence.

I chose the Warlock class because space magic.

Man, I just put Dredd on. How am I ever going to finish writing this before Doomed Travelers Podcast recording starts?!

Anyway, my clan (that’s what groups are called on PSN right?), the Doomed Travelers, has been raiding (raids are long complicated boss fights with sweet gear drops) for a few weeks (months?) and some of our members are thirsting for harder challenges. A couple raids ago one buddy, Robert, at a particularly frustrating part in the raid, said “If you don’t like this kind of challenge then PvE (player vs. everyone) and PvP (player vs player) bounties are for you.” This meant that if you don’t like raiding the way we were raiding (in a serious manner, a bit of yelling at each other, no clear direction/leadership) then don’t. I thought about it for a second then and I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. Destiny is fun when I’m doing my best but not when I’m super serious about it.

The rewards for success are usually some materials to level up gear and occasionally some cool gear drops (but not guaranteed). It isn’t worth sitting through four hours of disappointed sighs and frustrated angry voices for some gear when all I want to do is play with space magic.


I haven’t raided in a couple of weeks and I don’t miss it much. I have played trough the story on my new Exo Warlock and have become much better at PvP without having to resort to shoulder charging everyone (an overpowered Titan ability).

It doesn’t seem like anyone noticed that I stopped raiding.

I wonder if people notice I’ve stopped going to PTQs and have been to exactly zero PPTQs? I miss the days of renting a van and taking 6-10 Magic buddies to shitty Magic stores in Connecticut, New Jersey, Upstate New York, and Long Island. I’m taking my first non-Magic trip to Philadelphia this Friday (to look at art and have a Dinic’s sandwich with some Dinic’s virgins). It’ll be a blast. Going with three of my best art friends. I feel a little sad that I probably won’t be playing Magic in Philly until the next GP. The new PPTQ system makes playing Magic at a competitive level feel like work. Work sucks.

Matt Jones (born 1980, Rochester, New York) is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Matt works between a variety of inter-related genres that explore mythology, archaeology, ancient history, theoretical physics, comedy, and the paranormal—all developed and inspired by research and personal experience. Together his bodies of work form a way for Matt to evaluate, negotiate, and play with the world around him. You can check out his art at Matt’s played Magic since early 1995, took a break for a decade or so, and came back to the game the weekend after the New Phyrexia release. With Hugh Kramer he formed New York’s Team Draft League and is one of the original writers for Hipsters of the Coast. Matt’s been sober for seven years.

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