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Slack Tide

September 29, 2014

Slack Tide – Before any turn of the tide, there is a time of slack water or slack tide…

It’s almost time for when the gaming tide rises again. The hype machines start burning, and the cards swiping.

Starting the tide seems to be Shadow of Mordor: Middle Earth. It’s gathering all the good reviews that Destiny failed to do

Speaking of Destiny, I am currently stuck in the 25-28 level hell in all three characters, it is not pretty because by now I have played most of the content, most of the characters, and have yet to really enjoy the harder difficulties or tackled the Raid because of the lack of levels. Withouth that level can’t really join other friends who are there.

Partly is my fault for playing three characters, and not focusing in one in particular, and the other is Bungie for not evenly distributing the loot system.

Next tuesday the patch goes live and that problem will be fixed, as well as me focusing on The Hunter class since it offers the right balance of long range, cqc for both co-op and versus.

Anyways speaking of TV Shows, Defiance got renewed which made me give a second run to the game, and after catching the MMO bug with Destiny (and my xbox one tv being hijacked by guests).

I decided to give it another chance and download the 11gb or so of installs. Man it did not age well. Public Events was a glitch fest were structures appeared and disappeared mid-game and the same happened with enemies which prompted a “revive” chain of people getting downed because you couldn’t see what was killing everyone.

The sad thing is they had a memorable idea of Public Events, not like the 2min engagements in Destiny. These were 20-30min Battles that drawed everyone from every corner of the map to focus on this point and then go to different levels from there. Because of that the game becomes unstable, and adds to the grind. Time to wipe 11gb, because aside from that the game has little to offer, and the map feels deserted.

I dusted off the PS4 and saw the Playstation Now. Which is pretty much code for “Why make games backwards compatible when we can make you rent them at absurd prices?”

I seriously hope xbox does not copy this, granted they are basically reselling all Halos on the shoulders of Halo 2, and well Last of Us, Sleeping Dogs, Metro, etc. Follow the trend of repackaging old content in the new gen.

I can digest Last of Us, Diablo, and GTA V doing this, they basically came in at the end of the last cycle and were much better than anything that was being sold in the new Gen by far, but at some point Backwards Compatibility needs to get back in the conversation because neither repackaging old goods and/or renting streamed games is the answer, and no matter how high the tide gets this fall it will comeback down and we will yearn for old favorites.

Which reminds me: Battlefield Bad Company 2 and Darksiders are free in xbl 360 for October.

Also there’s a rumor of a xbox one price cut or offer. Having to share my xbox one, is forcing me to think about another one and having split platforms was a bad bad idea. There was nothing like the digital heaven of buying once and playing twice or double dipping.

However I think this is not good. If they fail to bring a bigger chunk of the 360 install base this holiday season, I fear there might be bigger repercussions in the horizon.

A) they might kill Xbox live on the 360 like they did with Halo 2. Which also fuels their old content/new package factory. Goodbye Retro Nights.

B) Xbox one becomes the permanent middle-red head child between the PS4 and the Wii U. Not able to do native 1080p reliably, becoming a port system and smaller multiplayer pool with less exclusives.

C) We are stuck with a stupid Kinect, that “Records Now” whenever it feels like, and we could have gotten the console for much cheaper without a single significant game that we couldn’t had on the 360 all this time, especially whenever they unleash the 1tb model.

Maybe D) All of the above?

Also speaking of things that didn’t pan out, Titanfall game Update 6 is out, with the black market. I hadn’t played it in a long time so everything is new for me. The gameplay seemed like way too fast after playing Destiny, but it is still fun. Will dabble in it more to see new cards.

Alright, so yeah Tide will be up soon. Flurry of new games pulling in every direction. It will be interesting to see how to ride it.

  1. Herandar permalink
    September 29, 2014 8:17 am

    Darksiders *II*.

  2. September 29, 2014 5:37 pm

    Diablo 3 tells developers how to handle loot and level. Destiny shows developers how not to do it, in almost every way. Having said that, over the next couple of months, Activision will almost certainly fix most if not all that they did wrong. It is in their best interest, and since they think only of themselves, and are hundreds of millions in the red on this game, they will do something to salvage it.

    And speaking of Diablo, I fired up Johann’s Xbox and played for almost 2 hours the other day. Good stuff. My biggest fear, that loot management would become an overwhelming obstacle to fun, was unfounded. The comparisons between the various items can be done at a glance and in seconds, so its negative impact on my enjoyment of the game is minimized. The problem that did arise, however, was playing alone. It wasn’t fun. It takes forever to explore an area and many times longer to destroy each enemy. Of course, after four invites Kenny finally jumped into my chat party, only to sit there silent for 30 minutes because Xbox Live was crapping out. We probably both appeared to each other to have no mic. I certainly had mine on.

    Evolve is probably my next game. It will be worth the wait if only in freshness of experience. Also, it looks like Turtle Rock is really trying to balance and fine tune it, so it should have some legs. Sunset Overdrive and Alien: Isolation do have lots of appeal, however. And Mordor looks fantastic as does Forza 2, The Crew, and FIFA and NBA. Lots to look forward to in many genres.

    I was surprised about BF:BC2 for Xbox Gold. EA is almost certainly going to shutter those servers soon. Guess they want people who haven’t played a BF game to try the one that brought so many into the franchise before they flick the switch. Smart.

    Hey, I haven’t heard anything about Playstation freebies lately. Did they shut down their program altogether, or have they already given away their whole PS3 library? LOL

    Speaking of backwards compatibility, I was telling Cornie that since Gears will almost certainly get the Master Chief treatment, (or if not, will be loved with such passion by Black Tusk that no one will care about the previous games) the only 360 titles I want to play on my One are Castle Crashers and Burnout Crash. I already have Pinball FX2 (which is still half broke), and there is nothing else that I want to go back for.

    This new gen, like some in the past, has been slow in picking up momentum but the library is finally starting to get traction.

    • FrenkoFrenik permalink
      September 30, 2014 8:30 pm

      Diablo had is own set of lot problems when it released what we got by the time it released on the consoles was a much more refined product and the Ultimate Edition pushes that even further. By the pace Bungie is updating Destiny I have no doubt that this will be addressed soon, not really because it is Activision behind it, and as far as I understand the deal was for the franchise as a whole and given that Destiny sold 325mil in the first 5 days, they are on pace to make a billion. So I doubt they are in the red, or worried financially. Their stock has however taken a big hit because market expectation was for this to be another CoD sized franchise, and also because Blizzard canceled Titan their follow up to World of Warcraft.

      After the dust settles Activision Blizzard shall be in good shape with Destiny, Diablo 3, and COD: AW selling on the consoles with so few games to compete.

      But yeah Loot management is a breeze in Diablo, except that you have to return to Sanctuary to sell stuff between quests. On Destiny can instantly convert all the loot that’s crap in the inventory mid-game at any time except loading screens, so loot management is even easier.

      The real problem with the loot in destiny was the lack of loot in Strikes. Spending 15-20 min to get nothing in return while you could spend less time in Patrols and gather tons of stuff, was just unbalanced. The loot cave all it did was have a quick respawn point to further unbalance things further. But you could just as well gather a good amount without using the loot cave. In fact there’s story missions that they will never be able to patch, that you can spend ages reloading checkpoints and watching loot rain down.

      They are changing the loot in Strikes on the next patch, by putting Legendary Items regularly on the Second to Last hardest strike. That will effectively end the level 25-28 hell.

      As for the fall short list, I am still eager to see GTA V. If the 30player free roam is true, it will become a hot mess. That along with clips is just going to be as much fun to play and as much fun to see what people come up with it. GTA has always been that great break to have especially when there’s other grind games in the menu, you need something that is fun, and it gives those 30 seconds of wow unscripted regularly.

      The other is COD, if Ghosts was considered the “low point” in the series and still yet managed to have two horde modes, Multiplayer and Story. Can’t imagine what it will be with Advanced Warfare. As always I am sure the critics will throw it under the bus but when it’s all said and done it will probably be a better game than others. By Comparison Titanfall had an 86 vs. 78 from Ghosts, and which of the two was a complete game?

      Yeah PS3 freebies was ridiculous I filled my hard drive with games, and well the sad things is now that Sony is ahead they will probably not do this with the PS4. If they don’t do it, Microsoft will most likely not do it either, and just give away crappy arcade games and keep putting one games at $40.61 when they should be free.

    • September 30, 2014 10:01 pm

      Frenik, basically all great points that I agree with.

      Thank you for taking the time to delineate the two systems. I agree 100% that the “instantaneous” conversion in Destiny as opposed to the Sanctuary conversion options in Diablo are more desirable (for me, anyway).

      The next CoD looks like it will basically take all that was good about Titanfall, and make it better…except that they are still using client servers. At some point in time, that has got to start negatively affecting their bottom line. Then again, maybe not.

    • FrenkoFrenik permalink
      October 1, 2014 2:38 pm

      I think it’s different environments between CoD and Battlefield. BF has higher numbers and has too many things going on at once. Without dedicated servers it would be unplayable.

      CoD is less players, less stuff going on. So it is not as as noticeable. Plus since it has a big install base you are very likely to get nearby connection.

      I don’t see dedicated servers perfect solution for each game because when a server empties, and it doesn’t get filled up by players not choosing that particular server, it’s a drawback.

      Same as when people leave because of map rotation, etc. Then you have to bail as well because more than likely people will not join or leave when they do.

      Peer connections for me provide a way to always have a game going. Especially with playing with people from the same.

      I ran with a West Coast group in the MW3 days and there was hardly a game we didn’t get host or a good connection.

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