I’ve been grinding the reckoning for a while trying to get a notorious helmet for the moments of triumph triumph. While I was driving myself crazy with this grind I thought about the difference between the reckoning and the menagerie, and why I thought that the menagerie was fun while the reckoning made me want to die. I believe that the menagerie has (had) 2 things that makes it a much more fun experience. 1.) the menagerie has forgiveness for blunders. In the reckoning if you make a mistake you have to start the whole thing over which is torture, especially if you have been doing it for a while 2.) the menagerie has much better and much more reliable loot. While the final chess fix made the loot less reliable (by that I mean a larger chance to get the exact item that you were pursuing) it still is relatively reliable and that makes it feel much better than the reckoning. I can struggle for around 15 minutes in the reckoning and get gear that I already had rendering that time worthless and forcing me to restart the reckoning spending more and more time attempting to the that helmet that I need where in the menagerie I can just enter the ruins and have a decent chance in getting the item that I wanted.
The Menagerie and The Reckoning are the result of two polar opposite design philosophies. The Menagerie is designed to be fun and rewarding. It designed to be in-line with the "power-fantasy" (wish to feel powerful) that drives most loot games and appeals to most loot-based RPG gamers. Its "challenge" comes from **mastery** of the content over time. (How fast and efficiently can you eventually come to running it.) Its why its been so widely praised by the community. The Reckoning is designed to be PUNISHING. It derives its difficulty from making the player feel weak (both in terms of damage done and number of enemies thrown at the player). Its designed to be very narrow in scope. That is there are very few ways to approach the content that offer a good likelihood of success. Its designed to punish failure harshly. Then the problem is compounded by the activity not being very rewarding in terms of loot either. Challenge is all about surviival....not mastery. Odds are----unless you are into Dark Souls games----you're not going to find The Reckoning very fun to play. Part of the problem with Destiny 2 has been the community wants more content like The Menagerie, but there is a contingent at Bungie that is hell-bent on pushing content like The Reckoning....and when ever they do, the community kind of stiff arms it. But the devs don't take the hint....and they just keep coming back with it.