Video Game Tuesday: Bungie’s at it Again

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m back with a warning against holding high expectations for a company that doesn’t deserve your patronage. Bungie’s at it Again, and this crap is getting old.

Again? Really?!?: We’ve been here before, many, many times. I’m almost considering making an entirely separate category on my Blog for Tuesday posts that deal with me bashing Bungie. I’d name it Bungie Bashing Tuesdays, or something like that. The fact that I’m even jokingly considering this is mind blowing. I won’t because I’m much too lazy and unwilling to give Bungie the even minimal respect that such a column would give them, even if it’s disrespectful on the most part. So when they made an announcement this last week with their plans for 2018 I’m not going to give them the time of day anymore. I don’t care that they are trying to make up for their mistakes. The fact is really simple, we’ve done this crap before every freaking year since Vanilla Destiny has launched.

We’ve been locked out of content before, with the Dark Below “expansion”. We’ve had massive changes occur for gear before, with House of Wolves and than the Spring Updates (seriously every freaking year). We’ve had all our gear become essentially useless with The Taken King, and the following Spring Update. They’ve promised to listen to their fans, they’ve promised to be more transparent, they’ve promised to not make really freaking stupid mistakes like Legendary Engrams not dropping Legendary Gear, Pushing Atheon of the edge, or their Public Events being worthwhile #TwoTokensAndABlue. We’ve had this told to us so many times that even Kotaku, whose writers are pretty forgiving compared to me, is getting tired of their bullshit.

So please, don’t spend that Holiday gift money, on Destiny 2. Stop buying or pre-ordering their content. They don’t have a reliable track record anymore when it comes to actually delivering a lasting solution to problems their games have. The fact people have started making shirts clearly ridiculing them is not a good sign for the games they make. But hey, at least I have content to bash every year around this time.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday.

Video Game Tuesday: Loot Boxes Are Evil?

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m answering a question I’ve been asked recently. Loot Boxes Are Evil?

Loot Boxes?: A term used to describe a virtual item that could be likened to a booster pack for a trading card game. However since this is a virtual item and made purely of code you can’t really trade the items gained from a Loot Box to someone else for money or other goods. You won’t see people on Ebay selling Overwatch Loot Box contents like you would with rare trading cards from something like Magic: The Gathering.

Evil?: Well recently people have been in an uproar over the stunt EA pulled with the recently released Battlefront II monetization plan which was in lieu of paying for DLC. You had to either spend ridiculously long amounts of time to unlock heroes like Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader, or spend real cash to get a chance at earning them. Frankly I hate EA, I will never ever respect them as a publisher because of the practices they use like this Loot Box debacle, or yearly game releases of series like Madden. This last one is really unnecessary, just add the new atheletes that get drafted that year into the game with DLC for god’s sake.

So EA is at fault?: Pretty much, there is a bit of blame to be laid at the feet of the developers at DICE for going along with their plan for microtransactions, but at the end of the day they are working for EA to produce a game. EA has frequently been named America’s most hated company for a reason, beating out banks and telecom companies like Comcast or Time Warner. They tend to use sleazy means to get people to spend more money on their products.

So why all the uproar?: Well for one it was a Pay to Win situation, where if you spent the money to buy the heroes you had a serious advantage against other players, or at least that is how I understand the issue. I very well may be wrong on this, however as some really cool politician (and I can’t believe I’m putting those two words together in writing) from Hawaii said, EA is playing off kid’s desire to be heroes from Star Wars in a game and milking them and their parents to gamble away their money. It’s a sleazeball practice and frankly really needs to stop. Cosmetic items like Overwatches skins in their loot boxes are one thing, but getting gameplay changes like the ones in Battlefront II is unacceptable.

What about Gacha Games?: That is a topic for another day, which I’ll cover in the very near future. However there are some differences and those are pretty important. Will those differences hold out against the weight of public sentiment? I’m as clueless as the rest of you, personally I doubt they’ll get nearly as much recognition.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday! What are your thoughts on the topic? Leave a comment below!

Video Game Tuesday: Changes Necessary in Destiny 2

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m talking about some things that need to happen in Bungie’s Sci-Fi Shooter. It’s Changes Necessary in Destiny 2!

Storage Space: Why they felt the need to limit themselves to only allowing you to get 100k Glimmer, 50 Modifications and 50 Shaders is beyond me. You’d have thought they would have learned their lesson from the first game with having limited space in the Vault. Hell even the 200 spaces in the Vault aren’t going to be nearly enough for the entirety of the game if it has even just one Taken King Equivalent, let alone a Rise of Iron. As it is you don’t have enough space to have a copy of every type of Modification. Why? That’s a stupid design choice.

Transmat Effects: I like that they allow you to change the transmat effect, one of my Raiding buddies has the Cabal drop pod effect, which always causes me to jump when Isee it because I’ve died way too often to them landing on me. However the fact that they are one time use only is beyond stupid. Frankly some of the effects are really cool and I don’t want to have to not use a new ship I get if I don’t have a copy of the effect I want.

Hell even the one time use on Shaders is stupid in my opinion I don’t particularly want to run the raid every time I want to use the Raid Shader on a new gun. . I also miss my Double Banshee Shader from Destiny 1 and my Outrageous Fortune and Agonarch Karve ships.

There are other things like the various reputation vendors should only pulse on the map when you have sufficient tokens to get the next package, but the above two (three if you count Shaders) things are my biggest pet peeves.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. Any changes you want to see made in the next few weeks to make Destiny 2 better? Leave your answers in the comments below.

Video Game Tuesday: Destiny 2 PC Beta Impressions

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m talking about the recent PC Beta for a game that releases on consoles tomorrow. It’s my Destiny 2 PC Beta Impressions!

What changed from Console to PC?: Nothing really except for supers charging slightly faster it still felt like a stripped down and crappy version of the original Destiny a game I already despised after all the gunplay changes were made after the original launch. Not only that but on my not even a half year old computer the game wasn’t able to run on the preset Medium settings without significant slowdowns. I met all the specs so I’m not really impressed with Bungie on the PC Port. Sure those who have $2000+ sunk into their computer can run the game just fine, but those of us on a budget will do a hell of a lot better just getting the console versions. It could even be cheaper to just buy a standard PS4 and Destiny 2 to play the game and not experience all the hang ups I experienced on my PC. Even with messing with all the various settings to try and get the game to look as nice as possible and not have any issues I still had noticeable slowdown during intense firefights, which is something no one really wants to happen.

As for Gameplay changes, well I mentioned the supers charged faster, but many other things like the Hunter’s dodge, grenades, and melee abilities are all still on a way too long of a cooldown. Before I hear any whining about “There is gear for that” let me say that I am aware. However the gear we are wearing in the Beta should be that kind of gear, plus we start off at level 20 in the beta. Whether that is actually what we’ll start with at launch is a matter we’ll be seeing tomorrow.

Frankly I’m disgusted with Bungie, and if I hear that it’s another “Months” old build I’m going to call bullshit. Beta’s are meant to test the latest build, so I didn’t even buy that excuse during the Console beta. Gunplay changes that were supposed to occur in the PC port, like no recoil weren’t present in the Beta (Not that it’s really needed with a KB&M). It also felt really awkward to try and dodge enemies with a keyboard and mouse. Sure there is the precision in shooting you get from using a mouse, but Destiny has never really been about precision shots. They help, but it’s always been about dodging mechanics and frankly it’s a pain to do with a keyboard. I ended up having to hook up my PS4 controller just to get past the initial level.

The combination of slowdown due to whatever issue is on Bungie’s end and the imprecision of movement and ability usage with a keyboard just kept killing me. As a side note it was amusing to see that I wasn’t the only one to die repeatedly. Zavala died as well during his portion of the mission and his ghost respawned him shortly after mine did for me each time we died.

But all (insert other news site or streamer) said the game runs amazingly!: Yeah they did and they all got to experience it on the same systems. They got to experience it with a very, very high end computer build that was built by Bungie to specifically show off the game. That or they got to experience the game during this beta with their own very powerful computers. This PC Beta is the first time people with varying computer builds have actually touched the game. So while those people got to experience it on a system that can go over 100 frames per second consistently, the rest of us probably won’t unless we sink a ton of money into our computers.

Also remember that they and we weren’t allowed to touch any of the harder content, the stuff where you get dozens of enemies firing at you at the same time. So while the game might be easier to aim with on a computer, like I said Destiny has never really been about precision and has always been more about being able to kill enemies while being extremely mobile.

So again I’m really not impressed with the game, considering that I have a computer that is easily comparable to a PS4, I expect to be able to run the game on a similar level of graphics quality and expect the same smoothness I got during the console beta.

Overall: Unless you have a computer with thousands of dollars sunk into it, don’t bother with this crappy port. Even with such a computer though you’ll probably want to hook up a controller just so you can successfully dodge  enemy fire (which you will be doing a lot of in Destiny 2) if you are coming from consoles. Everything else I’ve already said about Destiny 2 still holds true, and with the game launching on consoles in a little over a week I’m not holding my breath expecting Bungie to actually pull off a decent enough comeback to warrant the year delay that got us Rise of Iron.

Video Game Tuesday: Destiny 2 Beta Concerns

Hey all I’m back with a look at Destiny’s latest Beta. It’s my Destiny 2 Beta Concerns.

My concerns: We don’t have confirmation that the three subclasses added in The Taken King are going to be coming to Destiny 2. We have others like the Voidwalker, Gunslinger and Striker that were in the vanilla game, and the “new” subclasses. However they aren’t really new, because they are almost exactly the same as the ones that are being replaced with the exception of their Supers. I can understand that the Defender Titan and especially Sunsinger Warlock supers were overpowered, and lead to things like people soloing Raid Bosses. I can get why they were removed, it’s a balancing nightmare and frankly overpowered in the case of Sunsinger. In addition I was hoping to see Bungie embrace the fact that PvP (Crucible) is a vastly different experience from the main game. But instead of fixing the issue for just PvP, it seems they’ve also screwed over every PvE player as well. Bladedancer’s removal is odd.

They have completely changed the Primary, Secondary, and Heavy Weapon systems. They are now Kinetic, which is just standard guns and contains the primary weapons from Destiny 1 plus a couple others like the sidearm pistols and the new SMGs. The Energy weapons replace the Secondary, and are exactly the same as the Kinetic, except that they deal elemental damage as well. Finally the Power category which contains every Secondary, minus the sidearms, and the Heavy Weapons. No longer is it possible to equip both a Sniper Rifle and Rocket launcher. I understand why this would have been an excellent change for PvP, and in fact is quite brilliant and would solve a lot of the balance issues faced in the first game. However the gameplay in the first strike showed me that while the weapon systems have changed for PvE players, the enemies behavior and mass numbers haven’t. A lot of strategies in Destiny 1 revolved around taking out enemies from as far away as possible with a sniper rifle and rocket launcher any that got too close in groups.  The enemies haven’t changed since Destiny 1, and you certainly aren’t getting your new class abilities recharged very quickly or your super abilities either. However what you are able to now use highly limits strategies. Harder difficulties are going to be nightmares and will result in a lot of people getting upset.

There are of course ways around that, and it would make tons of sense for the new class abilities to allow you to make up for having to get closer. Except they don’t. The new Titan barriers aren’t a full sphere, and they don’t allow your bullets or abilities to go through.  I can get why having just one or the other occurring making sense from a balancing point of view, but both? No having both occur is just nightmarish. So not only can you kill yourself by shooting a rocket, and having a barrier get set up right in front of you as you fire killing you instantly, but you still aren’t fully protected from enemies that will surround and swarm you in higher difficulties. The Warlock pools of healing and power are better, and might make a lot of difference, but the cooldown on them is going to require you to rotate multiple warlocks using them one after another to protect your team, that sounds like a balancing nightmare for Developers and making a lot players play Warlocks if they want to experience Raids or the like. Finally Hunter’s dodge ability has a much too long cooldown for such small window of invulnerability. I ‘d rather see them removing the invulnerability from it and giving the dodge ability a cooldown of 3 seconds, instead of the 30+ I experienced in the Beta. Will any of these issues be fixed prior to the full release of the game? I doubt it, given Bungie’s lack of forethought and planning in terms of fight mechanics in the past, I’m probably going to be severely disappointed by Destiny 2.

 

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday!