This is Toccata-4C, an Exo (mechanoid) Titan (warrior class) and my original playable character in Destiny.
His design and development process followed the typical RPG pattern: choose a class you like based on play style or tradition, spend an eternity shaping their facial features to your liking, level them up as you complete the storyline and seek out equipment that supports their particular skills and abilities. Toccata-4C has been with me through all of Destiny’s story missions up to and including September’s The Taken King expansion, and he’s done a sterling job all round. But then the opportunity to try something a little different arose…
This is Sierra, a human Warlock (mage class). She is my second character in Destiny and represents the Creative Questing equivalent of a concept album, as her creation was inspired entirely from outside of the video game sphere.
The Sierra you see above is my interpretation of Jo Spurrier‘s heroine of the same name, whom you can discover in the Children Of The Black Sun fantasy trilogy. Having enjoyed Winter Be My Shield (the opening book of the series) a few years ago, it occurred to me that reproducing this protagonist – a powerful lightning mage – in a suitable game like Skyrim could be a bit of fun. It was only recently when delving into the expanded world of Destiny that the Warlock’s new ‘Arc’ specialisation reminded me of this shelved idea, and shortly thereafter Spurrier’s Sierra found herself being transported into an unlikely sci-fi universe, well outside of her natural literary environment.
But how to go about this unorthodox Creative Quest given that we’re dealing with futuristic space soldiers instead of the mages and warriors of traditional fantasy?
CREATIVE QUESTLINE 1: She’s Got The Look (click for soundtrack)
Having the same name and hair colour as your inspiration was a good starting point, but hardly enough to justify this as a legitimate character translation. The original Sierra spends much of her time journeying through the snow covered lands of Ricalan, and so something in the style of the white Ricalani war coats was in order. And what is the good of a carefully camouflaged outfit if your weaponry doesn’t blend in?
The firearms in Spurrier’s fantasy world are admittedly a little lower-tech than the pair shown here, but there has to be some creative license available on a crazy mission like this. These sufficiently white weapons took time and effort to acquire, but in doing so provided some additional value to the generic ‘go here and shoot this’ tasks that roll around again and again in Destiny play.
CREATIVE QUESTLINE 2: Ride The Lightning
Now that the new Sierra looked the part, just one question remained…
Where would a lightning mage be without the ability to channel their inner Emperor Palpatine to bring about their foe’s crackling blue demise?
Rather fittingly, acquiring these new skills brought about the union of those impressive sounding orthogame, paragame and metagame elements mentioned in Part 1 of this series. The Stormcaller’s Path is a stock standard Destiny questline (orthogame), but when completed for my own creative purposes (metagame) which are based on a secondary information source (paragame) this Creative Quest weaves the three elements together quite nicely indeed. Another hour or so of alien culling and Sierra was in possession of the basic lightning casting skills that would eventually make her as fearsome in the Destiny universe as her namesake is on the fantasy battlefields she inhabits.
As anticipated, unlocking all of the possible Stormcaller Warlock abilities takes tens of hours, so I’d better sign off and get back to it. This quest isn’t over just yet…
I thought it was worth sharing that not only is Sierra now fully empowered with devastating lightning skills, she also wields a much more thematically-appropriate weapon: the legendary Arc Blade.
I’m sure her literary inspiration and namesake would be impressed with this more traditional choice of armament.
Toccata-4C has also gained a legendary weapon to be proud of in the form of An Answering Chord. Given that the term ‘toccata’ refers to a form of classical music (like in Bach’s famous Toccata & Fugue in D Minor), utilising a weapon with a musical name makes perfect sense. It joins The Villainy pulse rifle, the 1000 Yard Stare sniper rifle and the aforementioned The Next Big Thing shotgun as Toccata-4C’s go-to problem solvers. And in the Destiny universe there aren’t many problems that can’t be solved with more firepower.
FINAL UPDATE (1/1/16)
Here’s a little video of what Sierra gets up to in the PvP arena. Enjoy!