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Likewise. (Fan Creations)

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Thursday, September 10, 2015, 02:03 (3174 days ago) @ Kahzgul

Great post. Not sure if I should reply to the whole thing...

Really though. Wow.

It almost feels like you adopted my post abit. I love the conversation you got going here with Fuertisimo and uberfoop. I'm going to leave most of it for now (I don't have time to read it all right now). This is cool. I'm just respond to your initial post for right now.

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I worked in test for 13 years. ...

With regards to Activision, I worked there for many years. There are good people there, and some of those people, whom I personally worked with, certainly worked on Destiny. They would not intentionally crap up a game. I can see them intentionally demanding that work be focused on certain activities (PvP being the most likely culprit, with a "satisfying" story being the number 2). Unfortunately, neither of the activities I'd suspect Activision to ask for were focused on in the final game in any way that at all resembles what I'd expect from Activision (or Bungie, but that's the whole issue, isn't it). It's certainly possible that the entire game was a shambles 1 year out, and Activision did demand that at least something resembling PvP make it into the final game, and something resembling a conclusion to at least one storyline make it into the final game. Totally possible. But, again, if that's the case than the issue is really how bad the game was 1 year out, and that falls pretty squarely on Bungie's shoulders. By the way, test teams at ATVI back when I was there would not be working on the game until about 8 months out; they're relying on Bungie's internal testers up to that point. ...

It's odd, isn't it? How "faceless corporations" always seem to have punchable faces.

I thank you for your input, as it is going a long way. Unfortunately the only exposure I've received about Activision (and others) are second hand stories about people doing fifteen hour shifts easy with no overtime pay for weeks at a time. Crunch months instead of crunch weeks because "faceless corp" can get away with it. The workers are doing what they love and a number of them don't have families. Essentially its been don't work for a studio totally owned by Activision or EA, as you are a number and you are easily replaceable. Perhaps that is more for juniors since grass is easier to mow then trees (I just thought of that metaphor. Hmm). That said - 13 years is a long time. Is that recently or long ago? No dates needed.

INSANEdrive nailed it on the difference between having enemies and having enemies with character. The personality of a fallen dreg is virtually indistinguishable from the personality of a hive acolyte. The art is just about all that is different about them. That's the worst offender, but there are other enemies who behave in similar ways or with only minor differences, as I'm sure you all know. So the game feels stale immediately. Making matters worse, simple design choices such as having level 2 be, in part, level 1 backwards, make me, as a player, feel like Bungie didn't make a big enough world to support distinct level design. And I was given that feeling at the earliest possible moment for that feeling to be given to me, at level 2!

And, with regards to TTK, I'm fully in agreement with you.

Very well written, and I agree with almost all of your points.

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My one quibble: I don't think Bungie hates PvE. Or even solo PvE though I admit that HoW is incredibly frustrating to play solo. Rather, it seems to me that the focus of the game's initial design was to create compulsive gameplay rather than compelling gameplay. Experience bars, RNG loot, repetitive strike modes, daily reset timers, weekly reset timers, timed events, events with social obligations... they all fall into the category of addiction-building activities. I'm not saying that these things are all bad, but I am saying that they appear to have been more important in the design space than, say, a coherent plot or interesting characters. I hope TTK's change to "story based everything" (allegedly) marks a sea-change in the design focus of the game. The core elements of art, movement, and backstory for Destiny are phenomenal. Amazing. Unbelievably good. The server architecture for patrol mode matching is ground-breaking technology (though, to be honest, it is also so underutilized as to be unnecessary). The game engine, then, is a thing of true beauty, but the game itself lacks. Maybe Bungie will sell the engine rights to some other company with vision to put a true game into that shell. Or maybe Bungie will do it themselves. But, again, I don't think it's a hatred of PvE that led us here so much as a focus on the non-game elements and the addictive elements over the gameplay and plot. For me, personally, gameplay and plot are the most important parts of every game.

Keep in mind, I don't think Bungie hates PvE, and I say as much basically each time it is brought up. The "addiction" factor was originally part of my overall overview, but I scrapped in my early drafts. In fact I think in my link dump I have a TED video about how sugar effects the brain, which I found oddly relevant to Destiny.

Again - in the end, while you bring up relevant points about addictive elements of gameplay, I cut those aspects because I feel that at Destinies core, the embedded and ABSOLUTELY CORE social aspect overrides the addictive elements. Looking for beacons with someone else? It's... alright. It's laid back just jumping around the wilderness. By yourself though? Ugh. A total chore. Hence my choice of mentioning how "multiplayer is singleplayer" and so forth.

It's that focus that bit them. They were so focused on getting it right with a group of people that it seems they missed asking the question "Is this fun to do by your self?".


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