When my buddy Zach got an XBOX for Christmas in December of 2001, it was the first time I ever picked up an Xbox controller and was introduced into the world of Halo, and the obsession amongst my friends would begin. One by one we all got XBOX, we all got Halo, and LAN parties started taking over our weekends. We would all bring our XBOXs to one person's house and rotate in and out of playing - even when someone had to go to work for a few hours, their machine stayed behind and people kept playing all the time. We put two machine in one room and two in another - and the trash taking that took place between matches was epic.
Eventually, the games evolved and Xbox Live changed things forever. We could now play at our residences and not worry about organizing everyone getting together. By the time Halo 2 was released, I was married and living on the opposite side of town from most of my friends. But, on November 9th, 2004 we all logged online and despite the Bungie servers crashing often - we got to play some games together. Almost every night was dedicated to Halo 2 multiplayer. Once my (ex)wife would fall asleep, Shane would ninja himself out of the bed and log into the Haloverse.
By the release of Halo 3 in 2007, I was a diehard Halo Multiplayer - and also recently divorced, just giving myself more free time. By this point, I had a very good core group of three buddies to play with: Jason and Michael who were both part of the LAN parties, Jonathan - a co-manager I worked with. We eventually had another friend, Eddie who would get very serious from time to time. These guys and I played together all the way through ODST and Reach. Killing everything that we could together.
At this point in my life - I was a 100% PvP Player. I would play the Halo storylines once on launch day - get the achievements and never touch the PvE ever again. After I knew the story, it was all killing, all the time. This detail is important, when I finally begin to address my Destiny life.
In 2012, with the release of Halo 4 - something became very obvious to me. Despite the poor story, and the fact that many of my friends had burnt out on Halo and didn't even play this newest game with me - it just wasn't Halo to me. It didn't feel right, it didn't play right, and I thought the story was terrible. I was so turned off, that I never even game Halo 4 PvP much play. According to HaloTracker, I have only played 108 hours of Halo 4. To put that into perspective, I am currently averaging 42 hours a week playing Destiny.
What would later become very obvious to me is the fact that I have always been a Bungie-Loyalist, not necessarily a Halo-Loyalist. Those Halo 2 and Halo 3 days of PvP every night with three of my closest friends was the height of my video game playing days. SWAT, Capture the Flag, Griffball, we played it all and we loved it. Once the Daily Challenges were added to Reach, it became more and more fun to make sure we all accomplished all of them each day and week. The majority of my nights were spent with those guys - and a few other friends I made along the way - playing the game that I loved. As time went on, and Halo 4 came out, and lives changed - people moved, other had children - it became harder and harder to find time to kill with those guys.
Then, Bungie came back into my life. In a big, BIG way.