Video Game Tuesday: The Importance of Timing

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m going to talk about why doing certain things pisses off players and how to avoid them. It’s all about The Importance of Timing!

Timing? Yes, Timing. It’s pivotal in making the most money and keeping your player base happy. It’s also why people hate Bungie so much in regards to Destiny and it’s sequels content, or rather lack thereof.

Keeping to a schedule: If you commit to a schedule, and especially if you do so publically and on record, you have to keep to it to the best of your ability. Bungie for example promised frequent content updates for Destiny and it’s various sequels, but it’s frequently and often quite lacking. In particular is the dearth of meaningful content being released regularly, which is always a death sentence for an MMO. It’s why Wrath of the Lich King was the last great World of Warcraft expansion before the disaster that was Cataclysm. The content drought was incredibly long in between Wrath of the Lich King’s final patches and Cataclysm, and that was unacceptable in terms of business. The fact that Cataclysm was highly despised as well did not help matters and led to a significant decrease in subscription numbers for the game. And by regular releases, I mean in periods of no longer than two to three months, which is the acceptable amount of time most games have content updates. Final Fantasy XIV has a major patch about every 3 months, and in between those patches are smaller content patches that add additional content. Compared to a game like Destiny 2 whose first content update post launch happened 3 months and was universally despised and you can see why timing is everything in business.

So what about other games? Well other games, in particular games like Fate/Grand Order’s NA client which is two years behind the original JP client, the community has a general sense of what the hell is going on and what is coming out when. That all went to shit when Aniplex decided to move the Paid Gacha pull, where you paid ~$30 to get a guaranteed SSR servant, two months earlier and left out on two highly sought after servants in that banner, Mordred and Jack the Ripper. It’s a move that would have been acceptable if that was an NA exclusive event, but it was a replacement for the typical New Year’s Paid Gacha that occurs yearly for the JP client. So it pissed off a ton of people, including myself. Not only would it have made a ton of business sense to have both those Paid Gacha occur, in addition to the delayed Anniversary Gacha that just happened a couple weeks ago, but it alienated and upset many people.

In addition Fate/Grand Order’s localization team seems to think that announcing content updates at Anime Conventions is a smart move. That’d be acceptable if they lined up to the expected schedule that the community projected, but they didn’t. They let the NA Client fall 4 weeks behind schedule just to announce an event at an Anime convention that at most .01% of the player base went to. It was just another insult in a long line. Such things could’ve been avoided if they remembered how important Timing is.

So that’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. I’ll close out with a quote from Wit from the Stormlight Archives that puts it best. “What is it we value? Innovation. Originality. Novelty. But most importantly…timeliness. I fear you may be too late, my confused, unfortunate, friend.” 

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Video Game Tuesday: Forsaken Thoughts

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m talking about my thoughts on Destiny’s upcoming content. It’s my Destiny 2: Forsaken Thoughts!

Forsaken?: The next “Expansion” which should be on the level of Taken King in terms of content. Whether it lives up to that particular benchmark, as low as it is notwithstanding, remains to be seen.

What’s in it?: A new story, new Patrol Zone, Bow as a new weapon, Completely Reworked Weapon System, Random Rolls for Weapons (I’m not so psyched about this), New Raid, New Mode of Gameplay, and New Supers and abilities.

Bow?: Yep, honestly this might actually be really cool, especially given the…

Weapon System Rework?: Yea, changing one of the worst decisions Bungie made in regards to trying to balance PvP was to make secondary weapons into Power weapons along with the Heavy Weapons. This was a really unnecessary change that only highlighted one of the bigger issues I’ve had with Bungie which is having PvP balancing influence PvE play. I’ve made comments about that in the past though. Now in Forsaken, you’ll be able to equip weapons to any slot, if you want 3 rocket launchers you can do that. Go crazy.

Random Rolls?: Uh huh, each weapon will have random rolls once more, I personally find this to be a horrible change. It adds replayability, but of the worst sort in that it’s completely random and absolutely bullshit for some people. Others will disagree, but I see this one coming to bite Bungie in the ass given the Weapon system rework. PvP is going to be a nightmare to balance, and I’m already laughing at the amount of crap Bungie will get for this change. God tier rolls will be a thing again, and I personally hate this. I don’t want to run stuff over and over again just because it won’t drop a good roll for me.

New Mode?: It’s called Gambit, and it will be a mix of both PvE and PvP. It features two teams going through a set of rooms with various enemies. The first to reach the end wins, at least that’s what I can understand from the various sources I’ve read from. The PvP part comes into play when you finish certain rooms and cause a mini boss to spawn for the other team that they have to kill before moving on and/or one of your team members gets to go over to the team’s side and take them out. I’m hesitant about this, it sounds interesting, but it’s just another mode where you queue up, which is not what made Destiny fun. It was meeting the random people during Patrol and having them help you out and vice versa. Gambit lacks the spontaneity that marked the best of Destiny 1.

Finally they didn’t announce they’re making Patrol modes doable with a full fireteam of 6 people, which is a huge oversight. If they don’t add that, I’m going to be highly disappointed.

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

Video Game Tuesday: Bungie Can Do One Thing Right

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering one of the better things that Bungie can do, other than screwing up gameplay constantly for fans consistently. It’s all about how Bungie Can Do One Thing Right.

Huh?: So Bungie has always been known for their rather well done ARGs, or Alternate Reality Games. Now while this particular one was done mainly with Vicarious Visions, I have no doubt that Bungie had a hand in it. Stuff like I Love Bees. Now while these are all outsourced, they definitely were helped out by Bungie and they often get the credit for it.

But this one?: So players were given a puzzle in the latest Destiny 2 DLC which lead to a rather massive cipher and it lead to a message from an in game lore character from the first game. It also included a GPS location where there was two containers. One contained a replica of the Valkyrie weapon you get to use in the game temporarily and was given to the first person who found it. There was a second container holding commemorative gold coins for each person to visit the location. I have no doubt they are all gone and probably up on eBay already after the weekend that this was found, which was the week of the DLC launch. Honestly this kind of thing is really cool, though I’ll never get to take part in one really as code breaking isn’t my thing, too much numbers for me.

So give Bungie and their outsourced help credit for doing at least one thing right, their ARGs. If only they could make their actual games halfway as decently as these ARGs. That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday!

Video Game Tuesday: Warmind

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering what we know about Destiny 2’s latest expansion. It’s all about Warmind!

Warmind?: Yeah that’s the title of the next expansion, and frankly the only sure thing we know about this. However there are reports and possible leaks by retailers like GameStop that gives us a look at what it’ll actually contain.

New Enemies: Yay? Frankly I could give less of a shit at this point about new enemies in Destiny 2. They weren’t significantly different from Destiny 1 with only a few additions to the already limited types of enemies. Supposedly the new enemies are called Crypt Exos, which may mean we face things that are roughly “Guardian” shaped and sized and have to fight more traditional humanoid enemies. Again this isn’t really a big change and if anything only more boring.

New Area?: We’re headed back to Mars, whether it’ll include areas from the first game is unknown but highly likely given what we know about the backstory of this expansion which is supposed to deal with the Clovis Bray facilities we last raided during the Dust Palace strike in Vanilla Destiny (If you played on the PlayStation at least). Again I don’t particularly care at this point, but even if just is the same map, which wouldn’t surprise me and I wouldn’t put past Bungie to just copy paste into Destiny 2. Frankly while Mars was an interesting location, like all of Destiny’s various locales it was fairly with sparse enemies. At least if they copy paste the map from Destiny into Destiny 2 we should be able to use our damn Sparrows.

Raid?: Nope, we are supposedly getting another “Raid Lair” activity. This is highly disappointing. At least the Dark Below gave us the Crota raid even if it was ,and still is to the best of my knowledge, a buggy mess.

Horde Mode?: Another thing we are supposed to be getting, and frankly again really disappointing. Firefight hasn’t changed all that much since the Halo ODST days and Prison of Elders wasn’t all that different from that mode Bungie first made in 2009. I’m expecting nothing more, and just more disappointing stuff.

Story?: Supposedly we’ll be getting a story, but again I find that I just don’t give a fuck anymore. None of my friends regularly plays Destiny 2 anymore and I’m not suprised in the least, because it’s a freaking terrible game.

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

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: Things to Improve in 2018 Edition

Happy New Year everyone! I hope all is going well and you’re enjoying the first day of this New Year as much as I will be, hopefully. I’m back with a couple topics that could really use some attention for this week’s Video Game Tuesday.

Transparency: Lots of games failed to do this and made the players do this on their own. When games start treating players like tools and walking cash cows, they need to be stopped. Destiny 2 has had repeated failures on this part, and frankly it’s insulting at this point. Having your game limit you and tell you it’s doing otherwise when it comes to something as basic as earning experience points is unacceptable. It’s exploitation of gamers and everyone knows it. Doesn’t matter how many PR sprinkles you put on it, it’s still a pile of horse shit.

Communication:  If you are running a game that is getting content updates, regularly or not (I’m looking at you Destiny and Bungie), there needs to be a lot more discussion into future plans so people can A. Look forward to it and B. Know that the developers aren’t just taking their money and running off. Final Fantasy XIV and it’s Dev Team headed by Naoki Yoshida is an often used example of mine of how to do this right. So again please take some freaking notes!

Loot Boxes: Let’s all agree that these need to follow some simple guidelines in the future. First way of doing this is that all things in Loot Boxes are cosmetic in nature. Nothing earned from a Loot Box affects gameplay at all, in any way, shape, or form.  The second way of doing this is the Fate Grand Order example, where it can affect gameplay, but you just have to re-roll for a decent 5 star servant that you want. However the kicker is that you can’t have any form of competitive modes AT ALL. Finally and this applies to both ways of doing this, it has to be potentially attainable through purely gameplay means, which means that if you grind or wait it out long enough you could potentially get what you want from these loot boxes.

Net Neutrality: I’m trying to make this horse into so fine a paste that it could be sipped in through a fancy twisty straw like those you see used by kids who just had dental surgery. This shit matters, please don’t let it die. And hey I’m not saying riots in the street are necessary, it might be justified but it’s not necessary. Check both of of my two links in the this paragraph to see some simple things you could do.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. Happy New Year!

Video Game Tuesday: Destiny 2’s Seasons Aren’t Enough

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m talking about why Bungie’s plans for the futures aren’t what players are looking for. It’s why Destiny 2’s Seasons Aren’t Enough!

Seasons?: If you hadn’t heard, Destiny 2 will have “Seasons” which at the beginning of a new will reset many things like Clan Progress, Reputation Rewards, and Vendor Stocks. Frankly while this is a step in the right direction, it’s not nearly enough. I have absolutely no faith that Bungie will be able to keep up with a real full expansion’s worth of content every 3 months, which is the suggested time frame of each Destiny 2 Season. They are supposed to be bringing in outside help, but even with that I have no trust that they’ll be able to bring something like The Taken King every 3 months. However that’s the sort of thing they promised prior to launch.

As things stand now, we probably won’t be getting a new raid in The Curse of Osiris expansion that will launch on December 5th. That single thing being absent is already a failure in many gamer’s eyes as the only real challenging content was the raids, not that the Leviathan Raid is all that hard compared to some actual MMO hardcore encounters. Many of my friends who were excited about Destiny 2, have already stopped playing simply because there’s no point in doing things like Prestige Raids or Nightfalls, the gear rewards in such things is pitifully lacking. The fact that it’s mere vanity isn’t worth the effort in getting all of us together to do the raid. They might be adding things like Prestige Lost Sectors (How?), or Flashpoints. However these sort of stopgap measures are just that, stopgaps. It won’t be enough to keep the player base interested in the game and they’ll move onto other games and forget all about Destiny 2.

So what can they do?: I don’t know, but Seasons aren’t enough at all. Maybe we could actually get to use our ships in real gameplay like a dogfight instead of having them just be loading screen vanity.  Maybe they can add Sparrow Racing as a weekly event like Trials. But with just Seasons it’s painfully obvious that they’re not looking out for the players best interests.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. What do you want to see Bungie add every three months to the game? Leave your answers in the comments below!