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Beta to Better | The INSANEdrive Multimedia “Review” (Destiny)

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| \[T]/, Saturday, August 09, 2014, 13:15 (2446 days ago)

Full disclosure – There will be words. Lots of words. There will even be letters combined to form sentences in a mass amount. All this effort in the hope that I can imbue the reader with inspiration both of experience earned and (many) ideas gleaned. TL;DR for those of you who need the point – I found the beta to be a fun toy, even though assembly is still required.

But what does that mean? Oh now we must get to details.

In the 18 hours 57 min and 57 seconds I played total, I did so primarily of the Warlock class (of course) followed closely by the Hunter class and finally the included total of 8 min 43 sec for which I played as a Titan. I found that while I did enjoy the adventure that the Destiny Beta implies, at the end things grew stale. There are a number of reasons that lead to this, with primary reason being due in part to the limited nature of the beta. For even though I entered with knowledge of the betas nature, I could not hold back a similar call as I began my ruin upon every foe in the wilds, ever so hungry as to feast. It was to my surprise that such knowledge of expectation did not shield me from the repetition of action. While I suppose such was going to happen in the end, I find myself asking a question; as I do. How much content is needed to satiate the inane consumption of a possible million two million five million ten! (And not even then) amount of gamers all willing to give this Destiny thing a go. How will they be all sated and kept at play?

In my play of this beta as I traversed the expanse of these wilds, I did so primarily as a lonewolf, in part due to life and in part due to the mechanical unease to joining others, who would just warp away. More on such unfortunate discontent… later. (Hint: "Communication")

It also should be noted that I played for the most part on the Xbox One, with a little done on the Xbox 360 for good measure to test if the two were really compatible. I am happy to say that, sans the graphical differences, thanks to the *wisper*the power of the cloud */wisper*, there is no difference. I could play my character on a One, then go to a 360 and pick up where I left off (character wise). Well done Bungie.

Thanks to the Xbox Ones ability to cache and render gameplay, I have videos to share (if you haven’t noticed already). These videos, will be going to Vumio A dummy YouTube account with comments disabled, since I haven’t touched my original YouTube account since the Halo Reach days and… *!* son of a gun I’m not going to do it Google! I will cram this circle so far up your series of tubes you’ll be hearing dialup!! I just want to upload videos. That’s all. Ugh. Unless I mention it (Like this) the videos aren’t required viewing, but it would be nice.

After all...I made them for you DBO.<3 INSANEdrive. (Hey Bungie… yea, you can come too.);)

Now where was I? – Oh right, that eventual drip of my vibrant thoughts upon the dutifully handcrafted lands of Destiny. Where do I start? There is so much I would like to say. I guess I should start at home.
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Home Away

So this is Home? Is that right? Or is my ship my home and this place the market? Do guardians have a home? Do we contemplate who we once were, or is such a thing even relevant to the now? The Last City on earth has Pizza right?

I spent a decent amount of time in the tower for which has had mixed ‘bouts of hubbub in the forums for being essentially “unnecessary”. While I can understand the desire to jump in and jump out as quickly as you can for instant gratification courtesy to the tactile blinking of daily life in a current technical society, I am not one of those people. Destiny is a social game - so shut up, sit down and be social. ;) Oh GOLLY! I can't WAIT for this comment to be taken seriously!:D

Oh… wait. We can't sit down? Not even in Chairs!? STOP THE PRESSES!I need to quote from this!

I tried to sitdown in the seats but I could not. This is obviously a bug. I don’t know why but I have a feeling that the ability to have my avatar sit in an actual chair and so that a fire team could just chat about the next plan of attack would be one of those really small nice things to have. /nitpick

Nothing is sacred. What am I? A Robot!?

The Tower is a nice start, but I really look forward to its future iterations. Lots of little improvements can be made here. For example, and this may be a little odd, but I really enjoyed just going around the Tower and looking at the different characters people made, which will only be made more enticing when we get hands on all that legendary gear. By going up into the virtual “personal” space so that I could get my camera to focus on the different characters, I found a surprisingly large verity of choices. Yet, interestingly enough, psychology was even at play here, due to the only way of seeing the en mass of guardians so quickly was to get up in their face, a lot of people would react . . . in different ways. I can’t say I blame them.

It would be nice if there was a monitor or something in the tower that randomly displays a person’s Guardian in full display. I’m not sure how you would justify this kind of thing story wise, but it would assist with the whole “LOOK HOW AWESOME Muh ARMOR IS” type thing you all seem to be going for. Throw it up and let’s see it then.
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Communication

How am I to speak without a voice? To send information in an instant. The Speaker can whisper the Travelers words, but who shall speak for me? How shall I speak for myself?

Dancing. Ugh. It’s both brilliant and diabolical. I love it. There needs to be rare dance moves. One of them is the face palm for thosewho think dancing in Destiny is dumb. Everyone wins.

That is my thoughts on that, but dancing is only one of… three. Whole. Other ways to speak without speaking in Destiny (if you ignore the emotes on the sparrow). Ok, yea – I suppose this was on purpose. Destiny is about being social, about going up with friends or AWESOME Bungie Fans and kicking ass in the universe because everyone has a mic and can speak intelligently *twitch*. Yet, coming off one* (*one) of my experiences – this is harder than it should be in the wild.

In my last Strike I had to beat it alone. That’s right – I took on a strike all by myself. Lone wolf and everything. It didn’t start out like that though. At first I had two other randoms as part of the team, that left 5 minutes after. This… sucked. Fortunately I am used to this contingency and was able to adapt thusly, but before I was forced to be committed to this eventuality of play, I tried something new. Usually if someone quits – that’s it. You are at the mercy of whether the game will allow people to join you nor not. That’s it.

Yet this is Destiny –and I had an Idea. Seeing as there are zones that are open to all, I backtracked into those zones. I would be my own matchmaking – kind of. I like that even though this is technically a Strike, I am not totally bound to its zone. I could go out all the way to the beginning if I wanted to. I could explore all I wanted sans the beacons. This alone is so cool Bungie, I can’t say it enough. Yet, I couldn’t say anything – because no one could hear me. I tried going into my recent players but Oh! It seems that was broken at the time. At the time of play the Xbox Friend system was down. I really was all alone – sans the guardians I could find. Find them I did, but I couldn’t get them to join me. You see most were too busy playing to stand still, which I needed so that I could “highlight” them with my reticle, press a button to open up the menu and then send an invite to this person. Ugh. Of course… no one joined. :(

I couldn’t send a message – that is apparently part of the Xbox friend system.

So I had to either beat it, or qui-NOPE… so I ventured forth. Sans the degree of grind (which I will be getting to in a moment) – I did enjoy myself, but only because of the puzzle on my part. I had to double down on a plan to make sure I wasn’t downed. Once I got past the laser fence – which was an event in its self that Bungie should see - I did it all without getting dropped. A little win is nice – but it could have been so much more.

For more information on communication, click here.


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Enemy’s that won’t die

Why have it if it doesn’t work? How will I know the difference between an action of force and an action of lies?

This… was frustrating. If you didn't do so, please view the video above ("Bullet Sponge"). Spoilers to you dear reader - It won’t die. While on this playthough I kept saying to myself; “If I can keep it in play maybe because I’m playing this alone, the game will bring someone in to possibly help me. Obviously no help came. Very very frustrating. Now before I go on my little verbal tirade, I shall first speak of the caveat. Amongst the perceived issue, I did still have fun in the midst of my efforts. I am aware that scaling is a factor. That there are differences in damage depending on a myriad of factors, be it the style of gun, the load out of your Guardian, to the event for which you choose to fight in. Where tweaking and customizing yourself into the legend you will be is embedded into the very core of each and every aspect of gameplay. YET – how Bungie has seemingly made the game handle those who confront stronger enemies is for the player to waste time for the sake of gameplay, for if I am shooting it – I must be having fun. I’m not. Furthermore seeing *immunity* is very jarring and is not immersive. It’s an open cut corner. At least have the enemy react differently. Have it laugh at my feeble and futile attempts. Have it walk slowly towards me before it mocks my effort.

I want to know that I am an ant trying to squish superman, and I’m not getting that. I’m getting either “Maybe if I keep shooting it will eventually die” or "Where is your Traveler now". There is a communication error here somewhere, and I’m not sure if it’s my doing or Bungies.

Please watch this blast from the past (Halo 3 ViDoc: Et Tu Brute?) – It will be context for the next half.

I could basically quote that entire Vidoc word for word and it will be all underlying the issues I perceived. I thought you all were going to put all you had learned into this game? What happened?

You have put all this effort into making this apparently ( – I mean, I don’t know!) rich and full story for each class of foe. Each entity has a back story, to be of a once Noble House, or a Hateful Abomination, yet I gathered nothing of that in the gameplay. It’s nothing more but battle flavors. These guys duck for cover, while these guys bum rush you. This enemy does this aggressive action. This enemy does this action. It’s robotic – which votes very well for the vex and less so for the rest. Technically this is all the AI is doing at its core, and I know that. The whole “make games” thing isn't a total mystery for me. Yet I’m seeing that raw nature when I shouldn't. It just seems so… one note. You are just throwing sponges to test my cool gear on. Shit – now even the gear feels less cool.

Why am I playing this game?



*Whooshing air sound*


Alright that’s enough. Time to pull it back. Bungie – I’m critical only because I know you can do even better. It’s an open secret love. The point in all of this is it seems that in some cases we are only upgrading our gear so that it takes less time to kill the larger foes. No duh right?

There has to be another element between this back and forth of black and white, to turn these battle flavors into Umami. Cool Gear needs Cool Badguys - Yo. I don’t need something to shoot at, I need something to fight. Otherwise we are just grinding pointlessly.

I hope I've been able to communicate the potential I see. I’m not sure if I have. The line is so thin.
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PVP

Shoot your enemy! Shoot your friends! Shoot your friends enemies!

HAHAHAHAHAHAH! I don’t even care. Seriously, I currently have absolutely Zero urge to play PVP, though I did play a few matches just to see if I would enjoy it. Meh. So if you want to see so PvP crit, you could read these if you haven’t already.

I will mention though that I am concerned that I’m going to miss out on gear because I don’t want to grind through multiplayer to get stuff, but I’m hoping that any gear I get in the PvE modes will make up for it.

Here. Have a clip!


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Explore

All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost.

That’s better. This is a mode where you are SUPPOSED to make your own fun. This is the mode where I don’t mind a low grade bullet sponge or two (like the Vandal in the Forgotten Shore) – everything in moderation as the saying goes. Yet even here there is untapped potential. The fun of this mode is going . . . I wonder what will be around this corner. In most cases when something is met, it is a few seconds where I am shooting something in the face like fodder, or running away from impune danger. Well… not always.

I wanted to see if it was guarding anything.

In my alpha review I mentioned how

“I’m having fun just running around in circles capping both Hive and Fallen alike – sometimes stopping to watch them duke it out. … Ya know… I would love to see some occasional animations for this just to help with the immersion factor – a la Reach assassination but AI vs AI. Just having the A.I standing/running around just shooting each other is kind of dull.”

I feel I should add to what originally was a side note in a story. The more I think about this the more I want it, perhaps that’s a psychology thing. I don’t know! What I do know is that part of me would love to see some specialized animation to help assist with the immersion factor. I would love to see a Fallen Captain use all four of his arms against some AI foe, or a Hollowed Knight pick up and throw a Fallen Dreg, or hit it with its sword and watch the Dreg fly into a home run. Again… essentially it would be an AI only assassination, and that would be AWESOME!

It would be like a small event in this large world to help keep things interesting, kind of like those “A band of Pikes have been detected in your area” type moments. You need more of “THIS”. Make this world ALIVE! Not just a repeating gallery of… oh right… pete… um… doctors… er no… um… oh my… er…

Repetition!

Having the same script again and again – UGH! I need a living world to make this good. Yet – something tells me you have this covered, perhaps not to the degree I would like, but close enough. We will see.

I also noticed during gameplay that when people link up – there no longer is a ship flying by to announce their entrance like we saw in E3. Was this cut or “fancy E3” fakery?
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The Moon

Spoilers: I did not find any wine, but I did find those who wanted to dine. On my flesh.

I have no thoughts one way or the other at this time. I made this for those who didn't get a chance to see the moon. Here is what I got. Enjoy. :)


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Other stuff

Because I don’t write for a living.

Yep. So I have other bits to say, and a whole bunch more videos to show. I would put down more, but I gave myself a hard date of ONE MONTH TILL DESTINYS LAUNCH! WOO! So here I go.

[*]

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Conclusion

This is the part where I prepare to shut up. Out of mercy.

So yea… it’s been fun. It’s also been a beta so I had to poke at ya, It would be disservice to you otherwise. I’m a sucker for things done well, which basically means the programmers, A.I, and animation artisans have more work to do. Art guys – you’re cool.

I hope you enjoyed this review and the ideas contained therein!

Even though I linked to it already - Here are my Alpha Reviews.
First - Lots of Pictures and Excited Babbling
Second - More Text

So long... see you a-new in a month!


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One Month

That's like the long one, not the short one.

[image]


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