I’m back with a familiar topic for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. It’s all about why Black Armory’s Launch was a Failure!
Black Armory?: Black Armory was the first DLC drop after Forsaken launched for Destiny 2, and it was a massive middle finger to the player base once again. There were many things I had faintly hoped Bungie had learned from in the past, but apparently five years into this series they still make really stupid mistakes.
Like what?: They decided to make the first new activity of the new DLC an activity that even people who had the very best gear the day before the DLC released couldn’t complete without being highly skilled premade group despite flaunting the ability to match make the activity andlocked it behind a tedious grind. Black Armory wasn’t like past DLC that included Story Missions, Strikes, New Vendor Gear, New Exotic Armor, or Crucible Maps, instead it included none of those things, and just added a new activity and a raid that was locked for a few days after it’s launch that started off at a new gear level that was vastly over the previous cap. They included no ability to catch up for those who hadn’t reached that previous cap, so those who were just hitting 500 power level were still unable to even contemplate doing these activities until a month or more had passed depending on their luck. This has been lessened with a recent hotfixed change that made Prime Engrams drop more often up to the 600 power level cap, but that’s a really shitty bandaid that doesn’t fix the issue with RNG deciding to give you the bird and still requires players to grind constantly.
The fact that the very first activity was geared for people at 630 power level was a big fat screw you to the player base considering the cap was 600, and getting 1 or 2 increase in power level is a serious grind for everyone at the level. People who had stocked up multiple bounties with Powerful Rewards and keys from the Raid could easily skip most of the grind and get a character past this with ease, but most people weren’t expecting to have to continue doing the same old content just to even think about doing the new stuff and still most likely fail.
This was a serious mistake on Bungie’s part, and instead of really creating a solution they hotfixed it the next day to give the activity a 5 power level decrease in total, meaning people had to spend only a day or two less in a very lucky week to get to that level. I’ve long held that Bungie has no clue how to properly communicate with their consumers, and this is another mark in the long list of proof I’ve been keeping of this fact. I had been playing Destiny 2 nearly daily since Forsaken up to the release of Black Armory, a thing that hasn’t happened since the Dark Below way back in 2014. That quickly changed when I was told to continue the grind just to do a new activity that wasn’t really all that fun in comparison to the work required to do it. I’ll be deleting Destiny 2 off my PlayStation’s hard drive once again and I’ll hope Bungie gets a clue in the future on how to treat their player base, but it’s a tiny hope now and I expect only more screw ups from them.
That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. Have a Merry Christmas everyone!
This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m talking about the importance of a very key factor when discussing future games or plans for content. It’s all about Setting Expectations!
Expectations?: So recently we’ve had two really good examples of how NOT to set fan expectations both prior to announcing something and afterwards. The Diablo Immortal Issue, and Final Fantasy XV’s cancellation of almost every future DLC and PC support.
Diablo Immortal: Let’s get this one out of the way first. Blizzard royally screwed up with the announcement of Diablo Immortal at the recent Blizzcon. I don’t think I remember them screwing up so bad, ever. There was the Real ID fiasco that occurred years ago, but that wasn’t as bad I think. They could and had plans to announce not only Diablo Immortal, but also Diablo 4 as well at the end of that announcement. Instead they just announced Immortal, which was a huge freaking mistake. First hardcore gamers in general, and PC gamers in particular, all hate the idea of Mobile games, add in the fact that Blizzard was teaming up with NetEase to make Diablo Immortal and the whole situation looked like a huge betrayal of the Diablo fanbase. One of the developers incredibly poor response during a particularly pointed question during a Q&A session later only exacerbated the issue. They should have gone with their first plan, as it was would have been much better. People would’ve been upset, and arguably rightly so in some views. Having multiple teams working on separate projects for Diablo could be seen as overly ambitious, and division of potential labor towards the quicker goal of completing Diablo 4, as well as the blatant cash grab that was the initial response to Diablo Immortal. I don’t agree with the direction of making a Diablo game for mobile, first it seems like it could easily be a poor clone, and while the demo available was apparently okay, that was a controlled demo that was made to showcase the best of the game. The rest of the game could easily be a huge disappointment, and the response from the people who played the demo doesn’t rule out that possibility. The Blizzard seal of quality has meaning, and if they handle this poorly they could end up repeating Bungie’s mistakes that cost them pretty much every shred of credibility with the gaming community.
Final Fantasy XV: The loss of Director Hajime Tabata seems to be the root issue of this issue, and frankly it’s a huge disappointment. I was really looking forward to playing the second wave of DLC, and because it was announced I hadn’t touched the first wave of DLC. Now I’m not sure I will for a good while. I’ll probably have fun with the Final Fantasy XIV crossover stuff, but I’m highly saddened that Square Enix is cutting back on the entire DLC plan they had for 2019 and beyond. Unlike many, I was looking forward to seeing a different ending that would’ve been included in the Noctis DLC, as while I really enjoyed most of the game and the story, the later portions of the story were incredibly depressing. Knowing that we lost this DLC is highly discouraging and a huge black mark on Square Enix’s record of making Final Fantasy games for me.
How can Developers handle expectation better?: Honestly, knowing their consumers better would prevent many of these issues in my opinion. Nintendo lost many hardcore gamers with their decision to cater to the casual market with the Wii, and they are still feeling the repercussions of that decision still. Granted that the Switch is a huge success, but they lost a lot of trust with the decision to pursue gimmicky controls with the DS and Wii. Others should take note of their mistakes and keep them in mind when they are planning announcements.
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.
This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m explaining why I find Bungie’s actions once again unfathomable. It’s all about Destiny’s Failure (Again).
What Now?: Well they announced that we’d have one set of endgame PvE content, that we already have, for an entire year. This is a common practice in real MMORPGs, because the Developers are working on the next expansion, but Destiny has never been a real MMO. The fact that Destiny has a extreme lack of end game content is unacceptable for a game that has a 10-year $500 million contract with Activision. Though I’ve never been fan of Activision or their practices, (Blizzard is essentially an entirely separate existence thankfully) they do know how to pump out content at a pretty decent pace. It’s not amazing content mind, but it’s content at least.
Yeah but they have their free timed events: Funny thing about that, it’s timed events not a permanent addition to the game. I’d not mind if Sparrow Racing was a full feature that stayed around forever, and was built upon in the future. I had a blast this last weekend playing with 5 other friends and trash talking while I kicked their asses in a race. But the fact that this is a temporary feature and not constant is annoying. The additional facts that Bungie has gutted their own economy, a fact that even Forbes noticed, destroyed all semblance of balance in PvE content and left a fan favorite weapon class absolutely destroyed in their pursuit of “Balance” and even failed to correctly communicate the correct percentages about their most recent update trying to achieve said “Balance” is laughable. It shows a severe lack of staffing in a company that shouldn’t have such a lack, ever.
I’m not even going to get into the Kotaku article which was a very interesting read, but regardless it’s a pity that Bungie has once again shoved their feet into their mouth after shooting them a good dozen times. What was once a highly beloved developer is quickly becoming the laughing stock of the Game Developer world.
Once I earn that King’s Fall raid ship I’m done until I get asked to review the next release. I’ve got better developed games to play like Tales of Zestiria and Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward.
This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering a topic that can really bug me sometimes. It’s Free to Play games!
What is Free to Play?: Free-to-play (F2P) refers to video games which give players access to a significant portion of their content without paying.
What’s so bad about something being free?: I’ve got no problem with a game being free, in fact I laud a company that can make a good game that is free to play. Hearthstone is a great example of a properly done F2P game. However so many other games out there take advantage of the consumer, you, by having incredibly intrusive advertising and constant prompts to buy the game or features that will let you beat it easier. I don’t like having advertising forced on me, in fact I hate it with a passion, and paying to beat a game that is supposed to be free is incredibly unethical. Some games out there are impossible to beat without cheating, it’s not very common, but I find them to be the lowest type of scam and despise anyone who makes such a game. A game is meant to be played for fun, not to frustrate you so much that you end up buying something to beat it because it’s impossible to accomplish for 99.99% of the human population.
Candy Crush is a perfect example of a game that I hate, I can understand if you locked some game modes behind a paywall. Go for it, that’s a reasonable thing to sell. But selling something to allow you to continue playing the already free game modes is incredibly messed up. It scams more ignorant consumers and is to me an incredibly shady sort of business.
Any good suggestions on well made F2P games?: MOBAs are a good example with League of Legends being an incredibly well made F2P game. Hearthstone like I mentioned above is another one. There are F2P games out there that aren’t scams, but you need to be careful and choose wisely.