Video Game Tuesday: Black Armory’s Launch was a Failure

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 and locked 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!

Video Game Tuesday: Is Cayde-6 Really Dead for Good?

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m back with my answer to a question I’ve been asked by a few friends. It’s all about Is Cayde-6 Really Dead for Good?

Huh?: So in the upcoming Forsaken “Expansion” for Destiny 2 beloved character Cayde-6 is going to be killed, supposedly permanently. Many people, including his own voice actor Nathan Fillion, don’t buy that.

So what about you?: I don’t buy it for a second. There are multiple reasons, from gameplay to lore.

Gameplay: If they really kill Cayde for good, that will cause problems with people playing in the Tower. For those who haven’t done the expansion, Cayde will be showing up to do his usual giving out of activities and the like. But what happens when you have people who have done the expansion and haven’t done it in the same fireteam load into the Tower? If they really mean to kill him off they’ll remove him from the tower, which would require a completely separate instance of the Tower which would cause issues with players in fireteams. Otherwise the impact of Cayde’s loss will be meaningless if we can just waltz up to him and grab a treasure map from him like usual every week after he supposedly dies.

Storytelling: Cayde is a wiseass, and that’s a good thing because honestly Destiny needs someone to lighten stuff up. Cayde has always been the one to do that, and if you kill off that character you lose a huge part to the story. Things will get incredibly dark, and even some darker series like Game of Thrones need some lighter moments and characters interspersed to balance the story out.

Lore: First off, it’s supposed to be really freaking hard to kill a Guardian, which Cayde is. Even more is the fact that he’s an Exo, which means every time he dies he loses a few memories and gains a new number. Cayde’s died 5 times before, but Banshee the gunsmith has died 43 times. Finally, Time Travel has always been a thing in Destiny lore. It’s central to the plot, as both the Exo Stranger AND the Vex travel through time. We even get Cayde out of Vex time warp shenanigans in Destiny 2, and that isn’t even touching upon the whole Osiris expansion, which heavily touches upon the time travel aspect of the Vex in great detail. If Cayde were to die for good, we could just hijack a vex machine to prevent it. Boom done deal, Cayde doesn’t die. It wouldn’t be the first time we messed with the timeline in Destiny to our advantage, that’s the whole point of us going into the Vault of Glass back in Vanilla Destiny in the first place. So I’m not buying into the whole Cayde is really dead for good thing Bungie is spouting. Because from gameplay, storytelling, and lore standpoints, it’s total bullshit. Now Bungie could really kill off Cayde, but it’d be a huge mistake on their part. We’ll see how they decide to play their cards, but I would expect Cayde to be sticking around.

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: 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!