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About that game called Destiny

September 10, 2014

You will read a tons of reviews that are essentially proccessing what this new IP is and where it stands. Things like: is not COD enough, not Borderlands enough, not MMO enough, not even Halo enough, etc.

But for those that are still discovering new things in this IP one thing is very clear: There will be no other game like Destiny any time soon.

Now if you favor any established IP, and you come in expecting Destiny to blow you away in one particular area, it will not. It is not meant to. It is meant to be played as a whole.

For me it fits perfectly, This is not a game that divides the concept of co-op, MP and Story drastically like Halo.

In this game if I put hours on the co-op and story the loot carries over to the MP, and vice versa.

All the stuff that unlocks( Powers, Armor Abilities and Weapon Abilities) happens regardless of what you play.

Giving you freedom to really play what you want without feeling you are left out from other portions of the game.

That for me is huge as I play very differently throughout the year, I may be invested heavily in Co-op at the beginning, then do MP only for a while, and then go back to co-op. This game will enable me to have a much longer progression because of this.

The other element that will extend this game for me is the loot. The loot is not like Borderlands, where you find it everywhere. It is much more sparse but a lot more meaningful. See the weapons/Armor enhance your abilities and can be upgraded. Meanning they will progress down the road and become even more powerful, or grant better abilities.

Now to put that in perspective you can have Three weapons equiped each with different upgradeable traits, and four pieces of armor with upgradeable traits, and your Character Class which has 8 powers with 2-3 tiers of upgrades. Some of the weapon traits will affect the Character Class powers.

So just finding Loot alone can drastically change the game. This is the main reason why I don’t think anyone can fully review the game yet. It is very unlikely anyone has 3 characters level 20 with all the best weapons that can really see the limits of all customization and possibilities.

Add to this the advantage of pairing with friends with complementary builds for Co-op and MP and it makes other games feel awfully light in terms of depth and customization.

Another big change for me in comparison to Halo is the Darkness enemies. They are much menacing as you progress through the story and the Big Monsters can prove quite a challenge sometimes.

The story is much better centering in the dualism of light and darkness and a sort of spiritual mysticism in regards to the cosmos, etc.

I haven’t finished it yet so I can’t say how long but doesn’t seem too long. Which would be better for doing it on Co-op.

The MMO is mistaken in this game. It’s more like Test Drive: Unlimited MMO. You go to a certain area and get paired up with people but if you go farther into a mission or leave that area you will get split up. It is very easy to make a party with anyone in the game, so I am sure once people do it more often, you can then adopt and be adopted by those players in the wild to roam as a party regularly.

As for the multiplayer my favorite is Skirmish a 3v3 Deathmatch that relies heavily on Teamwork. You can revive dead teammates on the spot. The revive is less score than a kill but a good revive to keep control of an area, like in BF, can win you the game.

The MP seems overly simplified in choices, kinda like Titanfall, but in a way that’s ok because when it gets repetitive thats when i dive in the co-op portion, and work on my gear doing other things.

In the end I see Destiny as a big building block of an ultimately even bigger Project. Wether they will add more planets to explore, Raise the level cap from 20 or bring more crucible playlists. I am sure they will. But for now theres quite a lot to do as it is, so that’s not as important.

I would say does feel like the first Big IP for the next gen. I don’t see many people playing Titanfall or Watchdogs. The way this game is built it should have no problem outlasting those two.

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25 Comments
  1. September 10, 2014 7:52 pm

    Frenik, thanks for the review.

    I think the only thing that sets me off (in a negative way) regarding Destiny, is that they call it an MMO. As you mention in your review, it isn’t.

    On a positive note, I find the interest in these RPG games fascinating. It isn’t fair to say that people play just for the bigger and better loot – that sounds too much like a Pavlovian impulse. It is more than that.

    I think what these games do is massage that need of ours to discover and explore. Which may be why it doesn’t work so well in a game like Battlefield, because the upgrades and unlocks are already known. Furthermore, there is nothing to waylay the frustration of having to use the stuff you are given at the beginning, while other more dedicated gamers may have better kits unlocked. You face the same enemies at the beginning as you do 200 hours in, but you have to start with AKGarbage etc. In Diablo and Destiny (to the degree that players stay clear of MPvs) the games scale with your loot acquisition.

    Hmm….

    • FrenkoFrenik permalink
      September 11, 2014 1:15 am

      Well for example the hardest game to acquire loot for me is Mass Effect 3 Co-op. I spent gazillion hours in it and because it is all random packages I can go on weeks or months without a new weapon. But getting certain weapons to a max level change the game and make it easier so it’s a big payoff. In contrast their loot is not random. It’s basically getting all the weapons like BF, but the damage and effectiveness increase with each loot.

      To me the game changer is about feeling Progression.

      Any standard shooter just hits a ceiling, and there’s just nothing else to gain, no new weapon, or trait just simple stat building etc.

      On COD i was sort able to circumvent this ceiling by changing my class and the way I played everytime I prestiged. Most notably the time I forced myself to be a sniper and no-scoping.

      But other than that few games ever really stimulate you changing up choices, trying different weapons, etc. Titanfall did it wrong in the sense that made this a point of spicing up a very repetitive gameplay by completely forcing you to do things in order to prestige.

      and that ultimately is not progression.

      This is were the RPG mentality shines. You can play the same game over and over but with random weapons and different traits you will have a very different experience each time.

      and this goes back to Mass Effect 3 for me. It was the same handful of maps, against the three or four factions of monsters. But since it had tons of powers and many different ways to build your characters, it had way more life than a lot of MP for me.

      As a sidenote COD: Advanced Warfare seems to be expanding as well in that area the exo esqueleton will have abilities as well as perks to be paired up with them.

      I think all games will get more and more complex in order to provide a longer sense of progression.

    • September 11, 2014 11:39 pm

      Hey you played Diablo 3?

  2. Herandar permalink
    September 12, 2014 8:32 am

    OT.
    My (replacement) Kinect is dead. I’m not sure what the problem is. The Kinect just stopped working. It sits happily on top of the console, and my kids are old enough to leave it alone, and I don’t see the cats messing with it ever. The cord is undamaged.

    Is this just bad luck? Are Kinects hyper sensitive to dust? I really like the functionality and use it daily. Ugh.

    • September 12, 2014 10:05 am

      Sorry to hear that Herandar. I have all sorts of gripes with the One and especially the Kinect. One thing I haven’t heard of, however, is hardware problems. 😦

    • Blankman permalink*
      September 12, 2014 2:28 pm

      That’s really unfortunate, Herandar. Have MS cover the cost of sending the defective Kinect to them since this is a recurring situation. Are you sure it doesn’t work? Diablo 3 disengages the Kinect because it utilizes the extra memory allocation.

    • Herandar permalink
      September 14, 2014 12:21 am

      Oh, I didn’t pay a penny for the replacement, I just had to find a suitable box to send it in. I know I saved the box they sent me.

      Yeah, it won’t turn on at all.

  3. FrenkoFrenik permalink
    September 12, 2014 5:27 pm

    Learned a few more things about the game:

    20 is just a soft cap. You can progress above it and still have skills to level up in a subclass.

    You can also switch Subclasses after level 15. Which is almost like each is essentially two different skill trees with different powers. The main difference between this and Borderlands is that your main power changes with the subclass. For Example my Titan has a Gravity Hammer Halo like strike that can be switched to a Defense Barrier thats impenetrable for a limited time. Switching his entire skill tree from Aggro to Defense. This can be switched at any time in co-op or versus. So in reality each class plays a lot like two varied Characters in each subclass.

    This gives the game a lot of playtime since it takes probably a month or two to fill the entire tree of one subclass, so in theory thats 6 subclasses to fill.

    One cool perk is that some things are unlock from the start in second and third characters, like the Sparrow (Starwars like bike thats your on-demand mount anywhere) and the Crucible (Versus mode,Which helps leveling up faster). Challenges are also global, so unlocking them for doing stuff in any character helps to get easier Glimmer and XP.

    Also found that running with a good team makes a world of difference in any mode. See the special power generates orbs of light according to enemies killed. So if someone in your team kills a lot of enemies with it, those orbs fill up your special power quicker, which in turn cascades to everyone else killing more enemies and keeping the constant stream of powers going.

    Which also makes playing solo or against a clan a painful experience in versus. But the mechanic is simple enough to be used with randoms, if they are good that is.

    Bungie also just announced time limited playlist in the next weeks. So that’s their plan for added longevity, keeping a small amount of playlists and just spicing things up along the way with both versus and Co-op playlists.

    Theres reference to maybe patrol or story material to be added later on, but not much details on those.

  4. September 13, 2014 8:32 pm

    J and C bought it yesterday. J will be away from games from Nov-Mar so he wanted something new and fresh now, not later. So, they decided to buy it.

    In their words, “It is really pretty” and “the campaign is fun but the MP is Gears 1 broken”. The balancing and the netcode (being client-served) makes it “awful”. You have to remember too, there are only 24,000 Ones sold in Japan, so that means everyone is playing on games hosted in the US. In an age of dedicated servers, this is makes lag issues feel that much more pronounced. It may be that Activision can stick with this cheap, client-served model for their games, but there may also come a time when gamers will no longer put up with it.

    DICE missed their chance at changing customers’ expectations with BF4 (i.e., making all gamers love their product and the dedicated servers they offer). EA missed chances with Activision run an interesting parallel to Microsoft and Sony’s situation.

    I guess, from a glass-half-full perspective, gamers win again because nobody is stepping up, and slamming the door on their competition by providing an ultimate experience.

    and, rED broke his mic 😦 so I couldn’t chat with him today, but later Kenai jumped on and we got all caught up.

    • FrenkoFrenik permalink
      September 13, 2014 10:34 pm

      Lag was pretty bad. Balance issues are there according to level. My level 20 was a much different experience than the level 8 i was running last night.

      So yeah pretty much this game will be centered in grinding, leveling up and acquiring loot. I don’t think you can balance that out of the game without turning it, into Halo.

  5. Average permalink*
    September 16, 2014 8:45 am

    Average is lovin it. (Talking in the Third Person for Grymm)

    • September 16, 2014 9:57 am

      Average, the boys picked up the habit and Cornie was “gliding” around in a room of L20s getting MVPs with his level 5.

      It is VERY Halo, only without the backtracking! Of course, when the Master Chief collection drops, Destiny will be dropped like a hot potato. Unlike all of us, they never played Halo 2, and are really looking forward to it.

      (And good to hear from you, Average!)

  6. FrenkoFrenik permalink
    September 16, 2014 11:58 am

    They released a high level raid today but can only getting if you are level 26. Supposedly it is so long you can’t finish it in one sitting, and it has to be done with the same Fireteam Leader if you are in a group, when you come back to the checkpoint.

    Been looking at some high level players and most have maxed out all abilities at 27, and are running with exotic and legendary weapons/armor.

    including Rocket launchers that track targets, and guns with Armor piercing.

    Supposedly the raids will be so hard that you will require a specific set of classes and subclasses to complete.

    Part of the reason why I am leveling up all three classes right now is to be able to transfer weapons among classes and be able to switch classes for those high level raids.

    After going through the story three times I have zero complaints on the game being short. Much less on the lack of Storytelling, etc. Is like Gears it seemed light and trivial on the first playthroughs, but when you are playing it to level up or unlocking stuff the focus is much different. I hate that you can’t skip the cutscenes in Destiny.

    but yeah this game reminds me a lot of how Borderlands 1 was received, and the evolution of it through added content post release.

    The december dlc release date sounds perfect right now. The second one will be harder to wait out if what they say is true of it being Time Exclusive until fall 2015 on the PS3/4

  7. September 16, 2014 5:52 pm

    I may need to rent this game. I have tried watching vids/streams, no interest for some reason.

    • Blankman permalink*
      September 17, 2014 7:06 pm

      Yep, a huge “meh’ for me, too (yawn). I already have a loot-based game & it’s Diablo 3:UEE.

    • FrenkoFrenik permalink
      September 18, 2014 1:07 am

      I had no real interest after even playing the Alpha and the Beta. I bought it to try something new instead of paying $60 for Diablo 3: UEE, when I only payed $35 for the digital original version on the 360.

      It turned out much better than I expected, and it certainly filled the loot void and more with the MMO aspect of the game.

      I mean sure you can fill that with Diablo 3, but it’s not the same as experiencing this way in particular.

      I think it would have been your cup of tea if really invested in the game.

      There will be other games, and even other loot games, but a game that can merge the Halo Quality shooter on a RPG/Shooter Hybrid mold and that can pull off better MMO aspects than even Defiance (Which had larger numbers of people).

      That’s where it stands out, but that can only be experienced by putting the time in. Not even people who buy it, will get it right away.

      I played this months ago and ironically I even enjoy now the meaningless Patrol missions we were forced to put up with because there was nothing else to do back then.

  8. FrenkoFrenik permalink
    September 17, 2014 10:20 am

  9. FrenkoFrenik permalink
    September 18, 2014 6:10 pm

    Done with the max levels on all three character classes. Highly recommend going this route because there is a ridiculous amount of Rare items and above in MP and Strikes/Raids. Plus the games much more fun when you can spice things up with different play styles.

    You can easily outfit a second and third character once they are maxed without playing, and since the level 20 and above is tied to loot, you can also level up other characters if you happen to find their armor without playing them.

    It takes about 45 hours of game time to do all three but in comparison it takes about the same time to get just one to level 25-26, because for those levels you need legendary/exotic armor which is a bit harder to get.

    The other thing I did is I setup the Titan for MP with CQC weapons and MP bounties.

    The Warlock is the one I will use for strikes and Raids, because of the Area of Effect powers and Self Revives, with bounties for it.

    Hunter will be the mix of both. Can stay back for Strikes with Gunslinger, or do the Stealth CQC class for MP.

    Not sure how long will it take to max out Skills, right now 2/3 of the way in most of them, so maybe about 25hrs of game time to get them all max in one subclass, and double that to finish the secondary.

    They are probably adding the third subclass next month so that will extend it to probably mid-November for all three.

    Just in time to take a break and Dive in the November releases, until the expansion hits.

  10. FrenkoFrenik permalink
    September 19, 2014 5:18 am

    Best freaking article about Destiny:

    http://www.gamesradar.com/if-youre-worried-about-destinys-longevity-or-level-cap-you-dont-understand-destiny/

    • September 19, 2014 6:47 pm

      GREAT article!

      Watching over the boys shoulders, I can see both the appeal and the addiction. We were talking about the importance of “pretty” the other day, and this game is definitely that. That alone makes is so much more playable than lots of other stuff out there. It ain’t my cup of tea, but I can see the appeal.

    • September 20, 2014 8:27 am

      Great article. Thanks for posting. Picking it up today for Luke. 🙂

  11. FrenkoFrenik permalink
    September 23, 2014 6:50 am

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-09-23-destiny-has-its-first-level-30-character

    First level 30. Though I can’t get why he has 3 Hunters.

    • September 23, 2014 7:16 pm

      The Loot Cave:

      And VERY OT

      Emma Watson makes some great points about gender equality!

    • FrenkoFrenik permalink
      September 23, 2014 7:46 pm

      Yeah but theres a moon mission with a dead Guardian, that can be farmed much faster in order to gain loot.

      I don’t see the point in either because then you hit the ceiling of the game and theres less fun in it. Not to mention how boring and repetitive either of them becomes.

      and yes I was very surprised in Emma Watson. Very good indeed.

      Also they released another patch for Destiny, that makes it three patches plus the other content they are unlocking over time, they are really putting the effort to support the game. Can’t think of any other game that has been updated weekly.

    • September 24, 2014 2:50 am

      Well, if one is all about the MPvs gaming, then the sooner one can fill one’s bag with tricks, the better. If, on the other hand, the draw really is the role playing progression, then yes, farming actually takes that away.

      Farming has never been something I have been even remotely interested in. I don’t care what the loot. Farming/grinding and using a manual to get through a game – those are two things that make me think, what’s the point?!

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