=IIII.Stick 'em with the Pointy End= (Fan Creations)

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Sunday, April 03, 2022, 15:25 (752 days ago) @ INSANEdrive

Palma non sine pulvere.

~ No reward without effort.

Ad astra per aspera

~ to the stars through difficulties

(Approx. 2,915 Words | +/- 25 min. read | About: Weapon Play & Design.)

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(The first 9 minutes should be enough. Not required to watch, but a good reference to consider what I speak of below.)


Experience. Now, before I start this segment off, I'm going to apologize. You're on the internet, so, naturally, you've got a bunch of clueless folks recklessly telling Bungie to press the art button and turn that "make game" knob to, in many cases, break the game in some capacity. I am not one of those people. Or, at the very least, I try not to be. And I'm not sure I can't PROVE that, short of what you see before you, because if I could prove it, Bungie would have known my thoughts of this far more casually than what I'm about to mention. I can only imagine the conversations there could have been months ago on Slack or whatever, instead of now after launch into the live game. Here I am, on the internet! And I can not begin to state how HARD, DIFFICULT, challenging, demanding, formidable, LEGENDARY-MYTHIC this task Bungie's Weapon Designers had in bringing to Destiny a first-person melee weapon. At least we have triggers on controllers, so that's something you can work with. However, there is no pole arm! No free-range VR control here. Just buttons and sticks, or a mouse and keyboard, which I don't use. It's... a crazy task, and the deck is stacked. Even the button options are limited! For even trying at all, I thank you. With that said, the Glaive, as it exists at Season 16 (Season Of The Risen) launch in the Witch Queen live game, is without a doubt, not only the worst weapon ever added to the Destiny franchise, but ever in the whole of the Destiny franchise.

Figured I'd rip the band-aid off relatively quickly with this one. In fact, I had to, as I expect this is going to be... erm, hard to discern. I shall be both direct and indirect. I'm going to do my utmost to show you what-it-is I see as glaring flaws, using a variety of my available formats, and it is my hope that you, dear reader, will be able to make up the difference. After all, in any other game, this weapon is not shit. It's not baaaaad, per se. And even in this one, at least on a naive level, it is fun to use. It does... exactly what it needs to do, and nothing more. Which... may also be part of the problem, yet unseen in these still very early days.

The Glaive is one of the bigger sells in this Witch Queen expansion. A new weapon type! Thus, a new way to experience the quite-violent-yet-toned-down world of Destiny. As the Glaive is a first person melee weapon, the...  association, bearing, the connection between player and digital foe is different as well. We've had melee weapons for a while now in Destiny, yet the former have all been in third person. It's not so much YOU in the fight as it is your character and their senses. A first-person perspective, in turn, is far more personal.

Why do we play Destiny? Why do we play this stupid, unending, wasteful, and sometimes quite abusive game? Shoot, why do we even come back? Why have we stayed? There are so many other well made games worthy of our attention, and... just why? LET ME STOP YOU THERE, as that is a bigger question than the scope I mean to point out. But probably, one of the answers in a suite of answers is weapon feel. Or more broadly, how the game "feels" to play. The core mechanics that make pulling that trigger or pressing that button so unreasonably satisfying... again, and again and again. I even just recently made a post talking about this very thing. (Also, in my case blah blah arcstrider. Ok I said it.)

Despite all the shooters, and all the other options, nothing else plays -in its core- like Destiny does. And if you enjoy it, like I presume all of us here do, I think it beyond important that this consistency in this game's core ("how it feels to play") is exactly that. Consistent. With each weapon; sniper, pulse, bows are fantastic at this... you feel as if you are holding it. Using it. Or at LEAST, wielding it. Do you understand that difference, dear reader? Holding, using, wielding?  

(Oh, my! How odd that I bring all this up in the segment about the Glaive! Gee I wonder!)

In my observations, I also have to bring to the forefront how first person non-motorized melee weapons have worked in other games. In fact, one game in particular. A game I've played which also included an even larger assortment of first person melee weapons in its roster of options.

This clip here is Shadow Warrior 2. The clips which you'll eventually be seeing below, are from the original non-sequel. Both of which "developed by Poland-based indie development studio Flying Wild Hog and published by Devolver Digital". In so many words real-quick, it's like they watched every B-grade ninja flick and said, "Let's make that a game with more bitches and cuss words." And yes, it's irreverent and stupid on purpose. That's its charm, I suppose. This game is... well, very indie, and quite frankly shit, but in a good way. It's a dive bar game. You turn your brain COMPLETELY OFF and destroy endless hordes. It's an awful game, I can't recommend it, and I look forward to the third one when I get around to it. 

Ya see that title at the original root of this post... no no, I'll bring it down here;

Is cool, fun? (Roll credits, *ding*)

Other words I could have used; Bold, Neat, Exciting, Interesting. All of those words at least, I think, are rolled into the word "cool". With this informal use and context that's how folks seem to use it, and that's how it's being used here. 

So while you mull on "Is cool, fun", let me show you something here...

This clip here is me using a third person sword with EAGER EDGE, "which gains increased Sword lunge distance immediately" after switching to such weapon. It has no right, none-at-all, to be as much fun to pull off as it is. And while the sword itself is fine, the action, the options afforded, makes it cool. The weapon is not cool by its self, it's what you can do with it. In this case here, I found this moment "so cool" that I wanted to add sound effects from a "samurai based" tv show that I have enjoyed to emphasize the moment (at least to my mind) of how it felt in the moment. "How it feels to chew gum" blah blah. The only things missing from this clip are some tall grass and one guy falling down after a delay. Generally, I don't care about "weapon feel" with third-person weapons, as again, it's not so much YOU in the fight, as it is your character and their senses. But this weapon, with this perk, with these kinds of moments... has a feel I can associate with a sword (hence the edit), even in third person! And... a unique one at that! It's FUN! It's COOL! It's!... again, not the sword. It's the perk with the sword. Or let me put that another way, don't even hang up on the word "perk". What can you do with "this" particular weapon? What is it's character? Golly! Why am I being so redundant about this? Eh, otherwise, it's just a "I need burst damage RIGHT NOW", which is less about feel and more about being able to feel anything at all.

Speaking of "feel anything at all" let's look at the IN-FIRST-PERSON "far more personal" perspective pole arm weapon, the Glaive. First person pole arm? THAT, on it's own, is COOL! What can you do with it IN-FIRST-PERSON? What cool things can you do with this cool thing? 

Well... let's look over the move set.

...aaaaand that's it. THAT'S IT?!!?!? O_O

You know, after adding these clips, I just want to apologize again. Y'ALL WORKED ON THIS THING FOR A YEAR!?!?! >_< I feel like such a shit here, but OH MY GOODNESS! Did ANYONE! ANYONE!! ...Go hands on and actually HOLD a pole arm weapon for inspiration? What did you all do to come up with this VERY VERY limited move set? I... I don't understand. It just seems to me that in that exploratory phase, in figuring out what you could do in the concepting of this idea, there was a major overlook. Or, instead of exploring new options, the weapons team fell back on what they know (and do well). Because this is hard, and there are deadlines, and all of this can get quite scary.

Basically, as far as I can tell, you made a melee weapon as if it's a gun!  But... it's-not-a-gun! (uh oh.)

IT'S A MELEE WEAPON! FIRST! The emphasis should Be on the Melee! It's a Glaive! That's not a gun! IT'S A MELEE WEAPON! THAT'S A THING!





...hey man that's not fair, thur's also a shield...



It's... painful. It makes me... so... so very sad. I feel like such a shit. I actually kind of wish I could have helped. Never before has a criticism of this game made me feel like this. If only I could have been there.

(Oh those Covenant fools, they must've known, there must've been signs.)


What does this add to the game? What does it do? Or, as I will be exploring in a moment, why is this in the form factor of a long-arm bladed weapon at all? The whole loop for this form, "The Glaive," is a sham. Don't believe me? Watch this! I'm going to make this WHOLLY NEW weapon type irrelevant. I can't say this with any other weapon in Destiny. They all hold their own in the context-of-style their interaction brings. The fact that we have a pole arm, that it's a glaive, literally doesn't matter

Imagine with me now.

(OOoo... nice dissolve.)

Instead of a POLE-ARM coming out of "the weapon smith of darkness," we get three magic rings. I know, I know, OH SO ORIGINAL. Just work with me here. Each ring glows when its power is used, because of course they do. First person melee animation? Head Butt. Projectile? Light energy imbued shadow knife. (Side note: wait... why can a thing of the darkness make weapons that uses light energy?...)

And the shield? Well, that's easy. Hold your hand up LIKE A BAD ASS, and boom, magic shield.

/Imagining done.

I know, it's a stupid hodgepodge of an example, but it works. Just because I could (thanks bungie?) each move corresponds to a class, so there could be some kind of bleeding-skill lore thing involving memory, or what have you. Sounds like something of an introduction, yes? Like how the Glaive was used. So there is the story requirement down.

Alright, so continuing with my stupid hodgepodge example, why those things? And "Why do you need a magic ring to head butt?" you're probably asking. It's for damage! And...um-no-no, so look, let's not get particular about the example, yeah? The point is what EXACTLY you can do AND WILL SEE if you use a Glaive right now (though obviously not in that exact way). All my example has done is change the WHY. Created a CONTEXTUAL SENSE of what you see. 

On da' flip, note what we're not doing with a Glaive, the first person pole-arm weapon.

 Magic rings, debatably, can't do that. A pole arm type weapon can!

So I ask again; why is this thing a pole arm at all? It all feels like the whole IDEA of this weapon was coasting on the idea of how cool it would be to have a pole arm weapon. It could have been a Halberd, Harpoon, Spear, Trident, War Scythe... whatever. It's the same issue when we come down to the brass tacks of it. Bungie's weapon designers didn't even use what they had with the Glaive. It's nothing more than a miss-used form-factor. It's not a Glaive. It is a vessel of ideas. It's a fuck-ing gimm-ick. *OOF*, that hurt to type.


In short, as we boil this thing down to its current launched live game form, it's nothing more than a meme. That's it. And while we've had memes before with weapons in Destiny, it's never before been a... whole weapon type. Bungie built a battle loop into a stick and called it a weapon, when it's actually a just a meme. "An amusing or interesting item". Not so much a true weapon, but a utility in the form of one to justify it being added at all. And I have to wonder aloud, what exactly is the shelf life of this meme? Will folks become bored at seeing the samey same thing? Can the loop it has, last? If it weren't for the suppression mod we have this season, how much use would there be? 

I don't know. I DON'T know.


 AND THEN SUDDENLY! Because proofreading all of this takes forever when you're an occasional "one man writer and publisher" (/s) in your free time, maybe I DO! HOLY SHIT! Thanks for patching that up Bungie! Turns out, just making the seasonal mod suppression effect more of a build up process instead of an instant effect might be enough straw to do it. Uh... wow!

WOW! lol... Oh I feel so sorry ya'll, man oh man... whata...na, look at all this! Let's get this finished.


All this said, I OBVIOUSLY do not mean that it can't be fun. Sometimes, bubbles in bathtubs are the height of hilarity, if you just need to turn you brain off. Sometimes you need to stab all the things, and with your friends to boot. Not sure what that says about society, but THAT's a touch beyond this texts rambling scope.

No, what all this means is that I find this weapon, and indeed possibly the whole archetype, to be far below the standard I expected from Bungie, which had previously been so seemingly effortless. In any other game, this may have been a pass, but for here. For Bungie. This is a fail. 



 ...And don't get me started on perks with this thing, sience apparently at this point "half" or whatever it is of 'em don't work with "HALF" THE WEAPONS VERY USE.





I know Bungie likes to play (NOT THAT IT IS) 20 questions with what seems like should be obvious, but let me just HIT AT YOU HERE. Put the DARN thing in yer hands. Does it feel good to expect a melee perk to work WHEN YOU MELEE, and it doesn't?  WELL GEE I WONDER! "We play our games" DAM WELL DOESN'T SEEM LIKE IT! And I'm not even talking about "balance", that's its own pregnant seahorse of YEEE HAAA, no this is just BASIC BASIC... is having this perk cause reload to be this slow TOO painful? You know, THAT TESTING THING. "Well behind closed doors", oh yeah. Sure. Folks, it's a question of use and it's a question of logic within the perks definitions. When we see it says MELEE, and then we MELEE, we expect it to proc. WHY FUCKING WOULDN'T WE?!!? 

English, Motherfucker, do you speak it!?

It's silly! It's perceptibly aggravating and YOU SPENT A YEAR AND THIS IS WHERE WE... no, shush. I don't know. I don't know. ...no...no, I'm going to stop. Son of a bitch. Instead... instead...

Let's take a real quick look at the game-play afforded by a melee weapon from an indie with (probably) 1/16th the budget and know-how, from a first in their franchise. Note! It's nothing too fancy. Some sword waving, a stab, a 360 degree move, and a "chi" blade for range. And really... look...

I'm playing! It's not just a sword... I'm... having fun with the moment. 



 I'm having fun "wielding" the weapon. Shifting my stance, preparing to deliver a killing strike. BECAUSE IT'S A MELEE WEAPON. YOU CAN DO THAT WITH MELEE WEAPONS! Guns...well, less so.  

With the Glaive and its move-set, there's no play... real...PLAY! It's, ironically, a blunt instrument. Instead of poise, it's nothing more than just a "Et tu, Brute?" simulator. This rendition of a first person melee weapon, is not Bungie grade. The Glaive as is, as launched into this live game of Witch Queen, is undoubtedly the worst weapon ever in the whole of the Destiny franchise.


Sorry folks.

Do not eat the jellybeans.

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