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Sunday, May 21, 2017

What I Demand from Destiny 2

Alright so I'm going to address the title of this right off the bat before this gets posted around and people start calling me a whiny bitch or something. Although please post this around. I like money and getting more views gets me more money.
'Demand' is not a word I use lightly. If I'm demanding something it means I expect it. I don't demand to be happy but I demand the ability to go out and find my own happiness. I don't demand to be able to play video games but I demand the right to be able to move around my schedule as it pleases me so I can do stupid stuff like how last night I stayed up until 5 a.m. playing games.
I did actually play Destiny and god it was not my type of game. Don't get me wrong the gameplay is fine but there's so few choices and the ceiling for new players to enter the game isn't really great. Each game should be taken as if it were someone's first. Ideally, an optional tutorial to give the player the basics on how the game works. You'd be surprised at how many games fail to do this. The information about a game, its world and the people that populate it should be easy to access should the player choose to do so. The story was... nonexistant. I can't even say the story was bad because, lets be honest, there wasn't one. Sure there was the semblance of one but it was really a bunch of flimsy tape connecting various enemies and bosses together to give the player some semblance of context.
But this post isn't (not entirely at least) solely to gripe on the first game. I was completely against getting this game until I saw some more information on the game. First its coming to PC which is really really smart. The gameplay trailer looked really cool and the developers 'seem' to be a lot more open to the ins and outs of the game, at least pertaining to "Did you hate [small minor inconvenience]? Well now it's gone!"

1. An actual story.
Though I may love open ended games and the games that allow me to ignore all the story, I kind of need it every once and a while. At least like a pallet cleanser. Skyrim all the time is great and I love the game but its a completely different beast than The Last of Us. Story should add to the overall aspect of a game. And, yes, not every game has to have one but if I'm shelling out 60 bucks for this then ya put a story in. Indie games can get away with it since most of them are either coming from a standpoint of making it as close to an old school arcade game as possible or they had a budget close to what it would cost to have a light afternoon lunch. When you pour millions of dollars into something at least make an attempt at a story. So far they seem to be going in that direction for 2 but this is a blanket idea for the game and all its expansions. Taken King had a great story and literally none of the other expansions really had anything other than the aforementioned flimsy tape. I demand a passable story because you can't base a lot of a game around a certain thing and not deliver.

2. Fix the fucking multiplayer.
I am absolutely the last person who enjoys death matches in games. In fact I genuinely loathe them. Though that more or less has to do with just about every single company having no clue as to how to make multiplayer enjoyable for everyone. Players should be matched based on their skill and level. If I want to just dick around in some sort of a death match for the first time I shouldn't be matched with the player that has a standard fifteen kill streak per match. Put me in a lobby with players near to my skill but also allow me to queue up for those ultra pro matches.
Destiny had a pretty decent idea to have players drop in and out of your game. You could be fighting a random enemy and another player could pop in randomly. That's... good. In some ways. First off I think its safe to say that Destiny is its own breed of MMO. So you can't have a full server constantly in one area for various reasons. However, on some missions its absolutely necessary to have other people with you. My suggestion is instances. Its essentially saying that certain areas allow you to queue up, randomly or selectively, with other players. As a somewhat antisocial person who doesn't have a lot of friends who play games this works well not only for me but everyone else.
Same for raids. Destiny FORCED you to create a party for raids. And I'm not just talking in terms of survivability rather to simply queue up to get into a raid you required a party. I get that to some extent but getting a party together was not fun in the slightest. You either found a few people but not enough or you found the right party but then some asshole kicked you out because you didn't have the right gear or etc. Effectively these things were closed off to a good portion of players so they could never get the loot to get stronger so they could go into stronger raids. You see how messed up that is?

3. Make loot better. In general.
So you finished that tough raid after spending literally hours to convince someone that "No I'm actually a good player. Come on, please I just want some better gear from this raid." And hey, you actually got some good stuff!.. I think? Destiny had this stupid idea of making it so that you had to go to a guy to see what items you got after the mission was over. While this isn't... the worst thing, they did it in such a bad way. You could get some rare engram that ended up being some shit you didn't need. Simply making the drops coded to a specific slot would work wonders. At the very least you know that ultra rare engram will be either a weapon, armor or something else. The system can still work but a slot machine isn't the right way to dole out gear. Its fine, and I actually like that you just get random loot, and the system kind of works. I've had a lot of people bitch about the rewards they get after a fight immediately in the chat or get angry because another person got what they were going for.
Also nerfing gear for the next set of DLC is really shitty. Gear is gear. You get better gear for the new content rather than fucking over all your other stuff. At least make it so that you can maybe do something with that gear other than destroying or selling it.

4. Destiny 2 is the end.
So this might be a little weird to say, but Destiny 2 should be the stop of it, at least for a time. I don't understand games that release a whole bunch of content and then like a year later release an entirely new game. Especially when it comes to online games. It takes upkeep and money to keep those servers going. So the original Destiny servers will not stay around forever. You've essentially paid around 120 bucks and now that just goes away forever. I'm not saying you can never have another Destiny but considering its a game that demands you sink a significant amount of time, money and energy into it you can't expect people to just drop it for the new one. At the very least, have the ability to carry over some stuff from the previous game. You can't tell me the hundreds of hours I've poured into a game will simply vanish. If it does then I want that to be my choice.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

"The 3 Month Period"

So this is something I've been mulling over for a few days. Actually if I'm being completely honest this is something that I've been thinking about since I was first really getting into gaming. I was on and off again all throughout grade school but I started getting serious in high school. Coincidentally that's about the same time my family had a stable internet connection.
Anyways, before it was just me going to the nearest gaming store whenever I had the chance to do because that was about ten miles away. And I was not going to walk that far nor was I allowed to. But anyways I would save up what little money I earned and get what I could. The first game I ever remember buying was The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind. Which was also my first RPG so it was kind of a milestone. And it was at EB Games no less so pretty much a blast from the past kind of deal...
My point is, back then I wasn't waiting for games. I just saw a thing I liked and hoped it would be good. My family wasn't super rich and my parents rarely would buy me a game outside of holidays and birthdays so it was kind of significant. However, when I was older it became something different. Now I had more money, a more definite understanding of what my personal tastes were as well as the internet to see what new games were coming out. Not to mention ease of transportation so I wasn't limited with just going to the EB Games a few miles away or waiting for someone to take me. One of the most frustrating things I've ever encountered was games being announced for a release that would be around almost a year. And its only gotten worse.
Part of the reason I switched from Xbox to PlayStation recently is because of this trend in fact. Remember Scalebound? Ya, there's some bad memories there. But cancelling games is one thing. What they're doing with Crackdown? That's a whole different beast. Its been almost three years since they talked about Crackdown 3. I'm not even sure they gave it a release date when it was first announced. Regardless the wait is still excruciating. But it really shouldn't be.
The general rule of thumb is that at some point the player base for every single game will drop to zero. Generally there's various factors that come with this. If a game is bad it will be forgotten almost immediately. Going to either end of the spectrum will increase its life cycle, especially now that the internet exists to essentially remind us of our pasts. YouTubers will play really old games, often times to simply say "Wow, this game sucks." But at the very least that game is being played. Making a true video game classic is almost impossible but it can, and has, been done. These games could potentially last forever. I recently just downloaded Morrowind and the original Deus Ex games on Steam. I never really gave them the proper amount of gameplay, mostly because they were before my time and most of them are pretty archaic by today's standards. Still a classic is a classic.
There's actually another way that games fall off the map other than being cancelled or terrible and its something I'm surprised game companies aren't already aware of. Apart from the general idea that a game could be cancelled mid development revealing a game far too early is actually a worse killer in some ways. See if you show off a game or even just acknowledge its existence with a trailer or some kind of press conference you're essentially blowing your biggest opportunity to release the game at a sensible time and, hopefully, in working order. Lets take two games that were both announced fairly recently: Code Vein and Shadow of War. Right off the bat these two games are near polar opposites in most every way. Different genres, different graphics, art style, gameplay, studios. I get it. Code Vein was actually announced earlier by Bandai Namco. They teased the hell out of this game on their Facebook page. They even had a countdown for about a solid week until the trailer would release. Aaaaaaand it comes out next year... On the other hand, Shadow of War was announced back like a month or two ago. They showed off a nice cinematic trailer and, best of all, announced it would be releasing in just a few months.
See the closer you reveal your game to the release date often time has people more likely to buy it. Its kind of like a sugar high. The closer you were to when you had all that sugar the more energy you have. But the catch is the more time you spend the less of that energy you're going to retain. Games are like that as well. When Bethesda releases a trailer for their new game people blow off. They think of all the awesome things they're going to do in this new world, go off on speculating what the story will be, what era you'll be in etc. The further the release is from the game reveal gets more people less hyped. They start noticing the cracks here and there. Start realizing the trailer wasn't in the game's engine and was prerendered. Pretty soon what people were excited for just gets cut pretty significantly. The opposite is also true. If you release a game on the same day you announced it a lot of people are wary of it. Is it a bad game? Why is it coming out so soon? I would have bought it but I need to pay rent/bills/etc this month. Had they told me prior I would have saved some money.
The 3 month period is really the sweet spot. For a person with a pretty standard job in those three months I have six pay periods. That's six chances until the release to scrape together the cash to set aside. If it releases when I'm not ready I may never get it at all. More things will pile up and the excitement of getting it will have died down. A lot of DLC goes by this model, though within a shorter time span. Nioh recently had some DLC drop and it was announced like a week ago. This is because the people who already have the game can just sit back and wait. Anyone who doesn't have the game now probably won't get it but its a decent amount of time for them to opt in if they wish to do so.
I don't know. Just thought it was an interesting thing. Anyways, thanks for reading.