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!

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Bookish Wednesday: Ascend Online by Luke Chmilenko

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’ve got the first book in another LitRPG series. It’s Ascend Online by Luke Chmilenko!

Plot Synopsis: Diving into a revolutionary new video game, Marcus and his friends escape a stagnant society, entering into a world that defies their wildest imaginations. But from the moment that he logs in, Marcus finds himself separated from his friends and thrown into a remote village under attack by a horde of goblins. Forced into battle, Marcus rallies the beleaguered villagers…

Plot: The plot of this LitRPG is pretty good, It’s not the most enthralling or truly original but it was still quite interesting. There are much worse series you could read, like the Unbound Deathlords or Twilight. Honestly I think I’ll place the former in the league of the latter, since it almost reaches the level of that horrendous piece of garbage which eats peoples brain cells like some really dangerous pond scum. There are better series out there, like Awaken Online, but Ascend Online truly isn’t bad. I’d put it above average.

Characters: Marcus is a pretty interesting guy, and I like the class he specializes in. I won’t spoil what it is, but it’s very interesting. The rest of the cast is also pretty interesting as well.

Overall: A good LitRPG, you could a lot worse than Ascend Online.

For those who like: Fantasy, LitRPGs, Action, Adventure, Drama, Good Plot, Excellent Cast of Characters.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Bookish Wednesday: The Reborn by Edward Brody

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering another LitRPG series. It’s Eden’s Gate Book 01: The Reborn by Edward Brody!

Plot Synopsis: When Gunnar Long logs into into the first fully-immersive virtual MMORPG, he finds himself in a new world filled with magic, mystery and adventure. However not is all as it seems as the creator of the game, Rupert Winston, decides to close off the world’s exit to make the world a true reality. Now trapped in the game and separated by an unknown distance from the one person who he cares for who logged in at the same time as him, Gunnar must make some tough decisions…

Plot: The plot of this book is okay, there are some moments where I really wanted to throttle Gunnar, but overall the story was good. It’s not super amazing, but it’s not bad. There are some seriously overused tropes that were used, trapped in the game etc. However the take on those tropes was interesting enough for me to overlook it for the most part. I won’t say it’s the best LitRPG book I’ve read, because that’s absolutely not the case.

Characters: Like I said above, Gunnar made me want to throttle him sometimes, mostly because he acts like an ass. There are multiple reasons why I dislike Gunnar, but he does get some very needed character growth over the book. The rest of the cast is great, with Adeelee probably being my favorite character of the lot.

Overall: A decent LitRPG, better than some (Unbound Deathlords I’m looking at you), but not as good as others like Awaken Online.

Bookish Wednesday: The Cursed Princedom by G. Akella

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m back with the sequel to Patch 17! It’s The Cursed Princedom by G. Akella!

Plot Synopsis: An immortal wanderer in an enormous alien world, Krian struggles to survive in a closed plane populated by powerful mobs and hostile NPCs. With bungled stats, inadequate gear and no friends by his side, he is driven by only his willpower… and by his hatred toward the people responsible for his misery. Revenge is his purpose now, his entire reason for being. But his path lies through the cursed princedom of Craedia stretching far to the south….

Plot: The plot is pretty awesome. That being said I really did enjoy the parts where Max is the Point of View instead of Krian. Although their two takes on the game are completely different I enjoyed it immensely.

Characters: We get to meet a bunch of new characters in this entry, like a whole bunch. But my favorite would be Bonbon. Easily. The rest of the newcomers were great as well, but Bonbon is just too awesome.

Overall: An excellent sequel to an already amazing book in what is shaping up to be one of the top LitRPG series out there.

 

Bookish Wednesday: The Secret of the Dark Forest by Vasily Mahanenko

Hey all, I’m back with the third entry to the Way of the Shaman series for this week’s Bookish Wednesday. It’s The Secret of the Dark Forest by Vasily Mahanenko!

Plot Synopsis: The Virtual World of Barliona is a place of rest and entertainment – but not for everyone. It has become a survival arena for Daniel Mahan after he was sentenced to 8 years in its virtual jail. Mahan has been through it all: the back-breaking work in the mines, betrayal by other prisoners, and finally, the retrial which has released him into Barliona’s common world. What more could one want? Mahan could have kept a low profile and enjoy relative freedom while serving the rest of his time. But being a Shaman, he can’t help himself…

Plot: The plot of this entry is pretty good, and while there were a few annoying parts I didn’t mind it all that much. That being said if you weren’t a fan of the previous books this won’t change your mind on the series.

Characters: We get introduced to a few new characters, but really the stars of the show aside from Mahan are Anastaria and Plinto, both of whom were pretty awesome. The newcomers were good, but the character we had already met are better. That being said if I had to choose a newcomer as my favorite it would be Barsa.

Overall: If you enjoyed the previous two books, The Secret of the Dark Forest will be just as enjoyable for you. Otherwise you’ll probably not enjoy it all that much.

Video Game Tuesday: Character Customization

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This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering a topic that is a bit contentious. It’s Character Customization!

Character Customization?: Yes, the ability to change your player character’s appearance either during creation or later in the game. To make yourself look unique, or like a famous person, or yourself, or just plain ridiculous.

Give me examples of good customization!: Well there’s always MMOs, with more recent ones getting some pretty awesome character creation abilities. Final Fantasy XIV has a fairly large character customization feature, and you can even go back and change some of it later on. Other games like the Elder Scrolls games have always had a pretty good customization ability.

Some bad examples?: Earlier MMOs had some okay character creation screens, but they limited a lot of options. For example, World of Warcraft had an okay system, but frankly every race choice was limited to a single height, no options to change height were available. They said it was due to PvP limitations, but frankly I don’t know if that’s an okay response in todays market. I’m leaning towards no, but I’m not certain on that. It was certainly useful to be able to call out “Kill Undead Mage” in flag room in Warsong Gulch for example.  No one would get confused about not killing the giant Tauren Warrior instead of that smaller and skinnier Undead Mage. An example of a bad single player character customization are examples like Sword Art Online Lost Song, which had such a terrible character customization system that it might as well have been removed to allow for something more useful.

Variety: I personally think having a great variety of options is always great, but some people find it overwhelming, while others love spending hours upon hours making the “perfect” character for themselves. Personally I’ll spend a bit of time on it, but if it gets past the 15 minute mark, I’ll start to hurry it up.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday! What are some of your favorite character customization in games? How long do you typically spend in character customization? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Video Game Tuesday: What Makes Good Seasonal Events

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This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering a topic many MMO players will recognize! It’s all about What Makes Good Seasonal Events!

Seasonal Events?: I mean stuff like Brewfest in World of Warcraft, or The Rising in Final Fantasy XIV. These events come up every year and celebrate either a real holiday or a game related one, Brewfest is WoW’s version of Oktoberfest, and The Rising is FFXIV: A Realm Reborn’s launch anniversary holiday.

Okay so what’s an example of a good Seasonal Event?: Last year’s The Rising was an amazing event that brought the players and developers closer together than any other in game event I’ve ever participated in. To give some context, I did the “What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been” Achievement in WoW, twice (Switched mains right after Wrath launched.)  But more importantly it needs to allow spontaneous engagement and disengagement depending on the player. Having to wait to participate in the event sucks, and should be an open world thing. Not something locked behind a Matchmaking tool.

What’s an example of a bad Seasonal Event?: Sparrow Racing League from Destiny is a great example, to get anything useful out of the event, other than having fun, it took tons of races to unlock even decently relevant items and the dreaded RNG still might screw you over (I know it did for me!). Not only that, but SRL hasn’t returned since it’s one and only launch, despite constant requests by the community to reactivate it. Oh and it didn’t fulfill the above requirements, at all.

Here’s a list of my favorite in-game events: 1. The Rising, for reasons I linked above. 2. The Wrath of the Lich King Pre-launch event, aka The Zombie Plague (Yes it was a one time thing, but damn if it wasn’t some of the best fun I had in that game outside of ICC25H.) 3. Children’s Week, Because I loved to hear people complain about bringing the orphans into PvP for the achievement (Pro-tip: Do it on the very first day of the event, although I think they made it a Feat of Strength and it doesn’t count towards What a Long Strange Trip anymore.)

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday! Are there any fun Seasonal Events you love? Leave a comment below!