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The Next Big Thing – Destiny: Bungie’s MMO

February 17, 2013
by

Hey Guys,

Watched the reveal this morning, but thought I would post it on here. A couple thoughts:

o Queue the cheers, there are no monthly payments to play.
o This could be the first big MMO on consoles, and really has a lot of potential for massive sales with multi-platform offerings.
o The art is absolutely beautiful.
o Reading the details, this appears to be designed for the ground up for consoles.
o No release date… I am assuming next-gen as the graphical fidelity looks great in the actual in-game footage. (MMOs usually aren’t beautiful because of the scale of the game, and the need to support many ranges of PCs in computer gaming)
o No word on cross-play between PS4 and Xbox720.
o PVP – ‘Faction Wars’ is likely a PVP portion of the game, with Bungie at the wheel, this could be as good as a stand alone MP shooter game.

This could seriously be the next big game for us. MMOs are always new experiences each day, and with a plan to support the game for “10 years”, this could be one of our primary games next-gen.

Here is the link for IGN’s coverage, a quick google should bring more.

UPDATE: IGN’s FAQ and The Cover Story.  In the FAQ they state that Destiny will be current and next gen consoles (360/720 and PS3/PS4), but NOT for PC.

UPDATE2: Ben Kuchera offers his impressions here.

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14 Comments
  1. February 17, 2013 3:43 pm

    Thanks, Zos! I embedded the YouTubes from the IGN page, but the extended version isn’t working yet so everyone needs to check out Zos’ link above and go to the site proper.

    Comments later after I have watched it.

  2. Blankman permalink*
    February 17, 2013 5:30 pm

    Don’t know if I should feel “Meh” or “Yay!” After all, it’s Bungie. Then again- it’s Bungie… 😦 They have never convinced me that they were adept storytellers.

    • February 17, 2013 6:58 pm

      I think that may actually be a good thing for Bungie, as storytelling isn’t THAT important in an MMO VS lore/universe. A lot of the storytelling comes from the interactions and much is left for the gamer to interpret.

  3. February 17, 2013 6:00 pm

    Ok, I am caught up a bit. First of all, Zos, your enthusiasm is infectious, and the vid doc is definitely cool. I love the Naussica look, and the glimpses of Bungie’s new digs is no joke and confidence inspiring.

    Random thoughts:
    – They are saying PS3 and 360, but I have a feeling that this is another 2.5 years in the making at least, which will probably ensure its appearance on the next gen only. No problem. That is what I will be playing on in two years anyway.
    – MMOs have always had appeal, but they also raise flags for people like me who are prone to obsessive compulsive behavior.
    – In the end, I suspect it will be a 100 per server MMO, and maybe even more like 48 max.
    – The idea of being able to play with friends against NPCs on quests is cool, as it seems we have been naturally gravitating to that kind of play more than the MPvs stuff recently.
    -Being able to play with the gang would be insanely fun, but I can envision myself jumping on after work Saturday, with my level 3 squire in leather armor brandishing a Hobbit dagger, trying to run along side (or below) you guys with your adamantium suits, plasma cannons, and your fire and brimstone breathing dragons.
    – Again, level discrepancies are problematic. We actually experienced considerable solo play with Borderlands 2 because of it. How much more so with an MMO – if there is leveling.
    – No subscription fees. I suspect Activision plans on making their coin via avatar customizations: armor, weapons, rides, and capes. So, unless you want to spend a lot of money, be prepared to look like this guy:

    Or this guy:

    Ultimately, until there are hours of gameplay footage available, it is impossible to say whether this will be crazy fun, or deadly boring, or again, to what extent they will even be able to deliver on the “MMO” aspect. Devs and publishers alike have been promising a console MMO for years now, and everything has ended up something less than, or not at all like a PC MMO.

    Having said all that, this is Bungie and Activision, and I am very curious to follow this through its long development process.

    EDIT: This is one of the necessary “Exclusives” that the console makers need to keep people from drifting over to PC.

    • February 17, 2013 7:16 pm

      o Interesting regarding them saying current gen systems, I agree that seems optimistic.
      o MMOs aren’t as lifedraining as WOW was for many people. I expect the game will be more formulated for shorter interactions at a time (this is kind of how WOW ended up years later as well).
      o Looking at the size of the map, I think we could see more than 100. I think technically, the hardware and most people’s networks would be able to handle it. In the live stream, they did some analysis of the backgrounds, and everything from the mountains to the cities are explorable, the game may feel really empty with only 100 people (no matter how many NPCs they add).
      o Understood regarding leveling, that is a problem in games like borderlands. The thing is, in games like WOW, you can have your friends help level you up and it tends to happen very fast. Also, one would hope that public would be half decent to help each other level.
      o Digital downloads are a definite with game, but I would imagine a lot of good gear will be unlockable in gameplay (you may be able to pay to get it early). That is how a lot of free-to-play mmos do it on PC.

      This MMO has been in the works at Bungie for a while now, I too am interested to see how it develops. I think PVP, RAIDS, and other common aspects of MMOs (auction house, crafting) could make it one of the first console MMO games to gain momentum. Also, I really hope that xbox and playstation gamers will be able to play with one another.

    • Blankman permalink*
      February 17, 2013 10:55 pm

      I believe that Destiny will be multi-console generations because of the install base & next-gen systems due to the tech. There will most likely be an up-rezzed version for the Durango & Orbis much like how the 360 & PS3 received upgraded ports of the older games. Think of it like how PC-versions of game allow players to tick every box. Activision is out to make money & it wouldn’t be fiscally sound to only limit Bungie’s next game to next-gen consoles because of the amount of base won’t be established yet. That’s if they stick to the current-gen systems. However, like Zos mentioned, this game doesn’t look like it will hit for another 2.5 years. Perhaps 1.5 years if they are lucky. Practically everything that we’ve seen thus far has been animated concept art akin to the digital comics that Marvel & DC have been doing for the past five years.

      Did you guys take notice that the always-on feature essentially negates pirating the game? Bungie has always been on the forefront of combating piracy even back in the Myth & Myth 2: Fallen Lords days. I can hear Kottick & Activision breathing a sigh of relief.

    • February 18, 2013 3:44 pm

      Yes, Activision wants to take advantage of the huge install base of the current gen. At the same time, as we agreed, this game ain’t coming out any time soon, and for that reason, and because there are undoubtedly technical problems they aren’t even aware of yet, they may find it difficult to support the current gen – at the very least, it will definitely be the ugly step-child, and wouldn’t be the version I would want to buy.

      Also, there have been lots of fuss (people complaining on other sites) about the always-on “feature”, but I can’t understand how anyone plans on playing an MMO that isn’t always on. Is there such a thing?

    • February 18, 2013 3:18 pm

      There’s talk of it being on PC possibly, just a timed exclusive for the 360. We’re not a hundred percent that it’ll even be an MMO, other than the fact that the game will be “seamless” in that it allows players to play together. No lobbies, no waiting rooms. Just one persistent game. I think the game will have micro-transactions like AC3 and Dead Space 3 have. Disturbing, considering you pay for the damn game up front.

  4. February 17, 2013 7:18 pm

    On another note, I have been playing some Planetside 2, and I think that DICE should look to this game for a model for future iteraction of BF. It is serious fun. Imagine a giant map, with different spawn points acrossed it, each spawn point being an entire level from BF3. With aircraft and vehicles, you can drive between spawns, and several factions are fighting for each “spawn”.

  5. February 18, 2013 3:43 pm

    All sounds interesting and exciting. I hope Bungie is smart from here out, and Start providing more info to its gaming fans and future customers. They’ve progressed far enough, that they could start a viral media campaign, which includes basic background story, detailed side stories, character introductions, and videos and even demos of the campaign. They could even early release a demo / beta 6 months before final release, just to get great community feedback, And get the masses revved up into a frenzy by launch night.

    So far they haven’t mentioned Any of That stuff, so I hope they don’t drop the PR ball.

    Btw: a giant white sphere hovering over the earth sounds a little weird. Kind of defies the laws of Physics doesn’t it?!… Just sayin….

    • Blankman permalink*
      February 18, 2013 4:19 pm

      Something hovering over the Earth. Sounds like District 9, doesn’t it? Nothing is original anymore.

      I don’t believe Destiny is even remotely close to an alpha stage yet. As in terms of the haters complaining about the always on feature, they wouldn’t be complaining if they weren’t planning on bit torrenting the game. Look, DRM really only hurts legitimate owners, but Bungie’s system may be different even though specific details haven’t been released yet. Blizzard has always had stellar anti-piracy features since Diablo 2, and that studio is owned by Activision. You better believe that Activision wants to keep every red cent from slipping out of their greedy little fingers. Not only that, since Bungie is in a partnership program, they want to retain as many legitimate sales as they can. After all, Destiny seems to be their “all the eggs in one basket” project. If Destiny performs to lukewarm sales, this could shutter them.

  6. February 18, 2013 5:24 pm

    Interesting discussion.

    In all fairness to SciFi writers, so much excellent stuff is out there already, it is tough to come up with new ideas. That is why I appreciate stuff like Herbert’s Dune so much. It was far more than just some cool “space folding” technology and giant worms that you could ride. It was politics, philosophy, religion, sorcery (drugs), trust, betrayal, good, evil, and even the supernatural. Jeremy Bernstein, writer of Dead Space 2 (the only one I played), understands good storytelling, and the importance of including as many of these facets of the human experience as possible.

    In the IGN article, Joseph Staten describes “Pillar #2: A Bunch of Fun Things to Do” as the gamer ultimately creating their own “stories” – what we have been doing in Gears of War, L4D, BF, and all our games for years now. If Staten is their lead writer, then they better focus on this plan to their utmost. Of all aspects of the development of Destiny, his participation is what concerns me the most. I cringe at the thought of his taking the position of Lead Writer.

    Also, as Kenai points out, paying respects to the “laws” of physics always makes for more engaging and immersive storytelling. Battlestar Galactica (2004) is greatly to be applauded for their space battles featuring the law of inertia – something that Star Trek, Star Wars, and almost all other space based films have completely ignored.

    Kenny, I agree 100%. DRM in the form of root kits and “copy guarding” is evil, but “always online” is not. Anyone who complains about any violation of privacy because the developer will know when they are playing and when they aren’t, better turn in their GPS activated cellphones. As I wrote elsewhere, complaining about “always online”, while living life with a smartphone is like complaining about a pubic hair in your soup, when the bowl and spoon are made of poop. Sorry for the graphic image. Well, kinda sorry. 😉

    Cheers!

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