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by General Vagueness @, The Vault of Sass, Saturday, February 23, 2013, 22:05 (4077 days ago)

We pretty much have confirmation from the stats shown in the vidoc (on a smartphone in about the middle of the video), Destiny's going to have various things to level up. I assume these affect gameplay, because otherwise I don't think there would be a point.
I don't dislike RPGs, I'm not against them... I've had a lot of fun with Zelda games and I liked several older games that had varying degrees of RPG-ish-ness, but one thing about them that has basically zero appeal to me is leveling up attacks, weapons, abilities, or traits so they're more useful. What I do dislike is when a game actively makes whether I make it through something or not a matter of random chance, not just in enemies and weapons but it whether what I do even works. The grinding factor in leveling up is pretty obvious. I more or less trust Bungie to not have anything worthwhile require effort to the point I feel like I'm grinding to progress. I'm not really an Ultra MLG guy or anything but I like for my skill to be the main deciding factor in how I do in a game, and having to level up tends to go against that. That's a trickier thing to deal with, it seems, and issues with randomness should hardly be a stranger to any gamer.
What I'm getting at is basically just that I don't like those mechanics and I'm wondering if, because of that, I'm not going to like Destiny. I don't want that. I'm not asking Bungie to change up their game (it would be pretty nice if they did but I wouldn't ask them to do that), and I'm not really complaining. I'm not quite sure what to make of what I've found out about Destiny or what I should be hoping for. I think I wanted to get that stuff off my chest and see if I can find any reassurance.
In case it helps, and since I already typed most of it, here's some background. There was one game I played that had this kind of mechanic where I didn't mind it. The game was Illusion of Gaia, and I didn't mind because the player only levels up a few different traits and has basically no control over when it happens-- if you beat certain groups of enemies, you level up certain traits; if you skip stuff, you level up whatever traits by however many groups you skipped when you beat the boss for the area, or the boss for the next area if the one you're in doesn't have a boss. The only other game I've put much time into that had that kind of mechanic was Rygar for the NES. I didn't mind the grind as a 7-year-old with budding OCD tendencies and you seemed to start powerful enough and then progress towards being ridiculously powerful (depending on which enemies you decided to go up against, some were pretty tough), but I could feel it get tedious after a while. When I got an Xbox, I got some games for it that I heard were good. One of them was SW: KotOR. My first impressions were good but as I read the manual and it started talking about dice for no apparent reason I was put off. I still tried the game and it seemed like it would in fact be a nice romp around a galaxy. Then they gave me a gun, but when I tried to shoot it, it didn't matter how much I adjusted my aim and position and it barely mattered how close I was, the shots didn't go where I was aiming most of the time. Before too long I realized (or was told by a character, I don't remember) that I'd have to level up shooting to aim better. I gave the game about five more minutes, put it away, and never looked back. Given that Destiny is supposed to be an FPS first and foremost and Bungie has plenty of experience with shooters, I doubt that problem will show up, but I'm concerned about whatever else is in the game-- Halo has gained what you could call the ability to level up driving, grenades, and even reloading, and Destiny might have a bunch of stuff besides what you tend to find in an FPS. (for magic rant, please press 1)

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by Ragashingo ⌂, Official DBO Cryptarch, Saturday, February 23, 2013, 22:22 (4077 days ago) @ General Vagueness

Perhaps think less KotOR and more Fallout 3. Using a sniper rifle in real time you could easily get long range kills by simply aiming down the scope and shooting the bad guys. It didn't matter if you had points in small guns (the skill that controlled sniper rifles) or not. It was only in the more RPG like VATS mode that accuracy and misses would come into play. I expect Destiny to be like that. Guns will likely work Halo style. If you pull the trigger with someone properly in your sights then you will hit them. Levels will (hopefully) only control what happens once you hit them. How much damage or shield penetration or stun or whatever your shots do.

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by General Vagueness @, The Vault of Sass, Sunday, February 24, 2013, 16:07 (4076 days ago) @ Ragashingo
edited by General Vagueness, Sunday, February 24, 2013, 16:23

Perhaps think less KotOR and more Fallout 3. Using a sniper rifle in real time you could easily get long range kills by simply aiming down the scope and shooting the bad guys. It didn't matter if you had points in small guns (the skill that controlled sniper rifles) or not. It was only in the more RPG like VATS mode that accuracy and misses would come into play. I expect Destiny to be like that. Guns will likely work Halo style. If you pull the trigger with someone properly in your sights then you will hit them.

That's what I was expecting.

Levels will (hopefully) only control what happens once you hit them. How much damage or shield penetration or stun or whatever your shots do.

That's where it gets iffy, IDK if that kind of fighting will agree with me.
since you asked, mini side rant: I don't like the whole magic thing either, I'm hoping it's a misunderstanding or they have a somewhat plausible explanation for it. I have yet to see any real mixing of sci-fi and fantasy done well except maybe in Star Wars. As much as I value it as a truth, a lot of the time I don't like the application of Clarke's third law*, because at that point you might as well have it be magic, in which case you might as well have it be fantasy-sci-fi or just straight fantasy, in which case you might as well hardly explain anything and not give anything much logic behind it because it's supposed to be about the characters and the unbelievable world, right? and not the exotic but believable world and views on how characters deal with it that makes sci-fi worth even distinguishing from other fiction?

* I tried to link this to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarke's_three_laws and it didn't work, the markup just stayed as markup... does anyone know what the issue is?

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by Ragashingo ⌂, Official DBO Cryptarch, Sunday, February 24, 2013, 18:17 (4076 days ago) @ General Vagueness

That rant was... not very clear. Do you dislike the concept of magic in general or just badly explained magic / technology? I've always thought of the third law to mean that technology, without explination, would seem like magic to those that don't understand it. This web board and how what I type can flow over air and wires so others can read it would seem like magic to even the smartest person a few hundred years ago. I don't get all your might as wells. That technology can seem magical to some people doesn't have to be complex or story breaking.

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by General Vagueness @, The Vault of Sass, Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 14:59 (4074 days ago) @ Ragashingo

That rant was... not very clear. Do you dislike the concept of magic in general or just badly explained magic / technology? I've always thought of the third law to mean that technology, without explination, would seem like magic to those that don't understand it. This web board and how what I type can flow over air and wires so others can read it would seem like magic to even the smartest person a few hundred years ago. I don't get all your might as wells. That technology can seem magical to some people doesn't have to be complex or story breaking.

You're right. What I don't like is using the principle of Clarke's third law (which is how you described it) to justify having things in a story that's ostensibly sci-fi, and not really explaining them, without a (really) good reason.

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by Dean Hofmeyer (unhh) @, Warsaw, IN, Sunday, February 24, 2013, 21:17 (4076 days ago) @ General Vagueness

I don't like the whole magic thing either, I'm hoping it's a misunderstanding or they have a somewhat plausible explanation for it. I have yet to see any real mixing of sci-fi and fantasy done well except maybe in Star Wars.

Have you played Mass Effect, or are you familiar with the concept of Biotics? IMO it's a very well-executed magic-in-sci-fi system - actually operating on a similar concept to their FTL drives - and works very well in gameplay.

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by Phoenix_9286 @, Sunday, February 24, 2013, 21:54 (4076 days ago) @ Dean Hofmeyer (unhh)

I don't like the whole magic thing either, I'm hoping it's a misunderstanding or they have a somewhat plausible explanation for it. I have yet to see any real mixing of sci-fi and fantasy done well except maybe in Star Wars.


Have you played Mass Effect, or are you familiar with the concept of Biotics? IMO it's a very well-executed magic-in-sci-fi system - actually operating on a similar concept to their FTL drives - and works very well in gameplay.

This as well. Biotics are like the Force on steroids, and the in universe explanation is pretty good. Personally I wasn't sold on any sort of Biotics until they started showing off the Vanguard's new abilities in Mass Effect 2 (specifically the new implementation of Lift and homing abilities). At that point I started over in the first game as a Vanguard, and discovered I'd done myself an immense disservice by playing Soldier.

Honestly, if there's anything you should be taking away from all of this, it's that other games have mixed these elements before, and done so successfully. At the very least, you should put away the Jump to Conclusions mat and just wait and see how Bungie plans to implement it all.

I have faith.

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by General Vagueness @, The Vault of Sass, Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 15:04 (4074 days ago) @ Dean Hofmeyer (unhh)

Have you played Mass Effect, or are you familiar with the concept of Biotics?

no and no

IMO it's a very well-executed magic-in-sci-fi system - actually operating on a similar concept to their FTL drives - and works very well in gameplay.

most FTL travel in fiction isn't based on very sound stuff, at least according to our understanding now, so that doesn't really help

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by Anton P. Nym (aka Steve) ⌂ @, London, Ontario, Canada, Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 15:46 (4074 days ago) @ General Vagueness

most FTL travel in fiction isn't based on very sound stuff, at least according to our understanding now, so that doesn't really help

Neither is Halo's Slipspace; if you want star-spanning space operas you're going to have to fudge science-as-we-know-it somehow. Much as I love Halo, the FTL in it was kinda tacked on and I've always griped that weapons technology shown was too primitive for societies that can travel between stars.

IMO Mass Effect did a better job of examining the implications of their FTL drive; the technology drives their shields and weapons tech as well as their transportation, and all of the above influence the societies and politics in the setting. (Even the "magic", biotics, is expressed in terms of using the fictional "Element Zero" to change how inertia affects matter.)

If Destiny handles its technology no better than Mass Effect did, it'll still come out well.

-- Steve notes that FTL may not exist in Destiny, given that the game is confined (so far as is known yet) to the planets in our own solar system, so the level of fantasy in it is indeterminate.

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by Ragashingo ⌂, Official DBO Cryptarch, Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 15:54 (4074 days ago) @ Anton P. Nym (aka Steve)

Neither is Halo's Slipspace; if you want star-spanning space operas you're going to have to fudge science-as-we-know-it somehow.

Yep.

-- Steve notes that FTL may not exist in Destiny, given that the game is confined (so far as is known yet) to the planets in our own solar system, so the level of fantasy in it is indeterminate.

I think it does, just based on the ship at the beginning of the ViDoc "jumping".

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Slipspace

by Xenos @, Shores of Time, Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 15:58 (4074 days ago) @ Anton P. Nym (aka Steve)

Neither is Halo's Slipspace; if you want star-spanning space operas you're going to have to fudge science-as-we-know-it somehow. Much as I love Halo, the FTL in it was kinda tacked on and I've always griped that weapons technology shown was too primitive for societies that can travel between stars.

Eh, Slipspace is pretty much the most common form of FTL, just usually called something else (hyperspace, sub ether, subspace, etc.). I agree it's weak, but not any weaker than 90% or more of science fiction.

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by General Vagueness @, The Vault of Sass, Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 18:02 (4074 days ago) @ Anton P. Nym (aka Steve)
edited by General Vagueness, Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 18:09

most FTL travel in fiction isn't based on very sound stuff, at least according to our understanding now, so that doesn't really help

Neither is Halo's Slipspace;

like I said, most FTL in fiction isn't based on anything very sound or solid

if you want star-spanning space operas you're going to have to fudge science-as-we-know-it somehow.

Do you see how I said FTL in fiction? I have moderately good hopes for the warp drive/Alcubierre drive, which basically uses a loophole in how space-time works (or at least the standard theories of it), going on the idea that space-time itself can warp (change shape and configuration) faster than the speed of light.

Much as I love Halo, the FTL in it was kinda tacked on and I've always griped that weapons technology shown was too primitive for societies that can travel between stars.

FTL is kind of necessary for what they were doing, and even if it was tacked on it turned into something a little bigger and more important. As for weapons, a society having one advanced technology doesn't mean they'll have a different one. If you don't want to go with that, I still like these ideas.

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by ZackDark @, Not behind you. NO! Don't look., Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 19:00 (4074 days ago) @ General Vagueness

Well, the point with Mass Effect's FTL is that it is a very consistent point in the universe. A sort of piezoelectric-like substance is found buried somewhere, which allows us to break usual mass conventions. Such effect is used throughout the game as a scientific explanation to both how most weapons in the game work and how all Force-like abilities work.

Well, the point is, it almost didn't feel like magic at all (given you read the material about it [available unobtrusively in-game]). Maybe Destiny will work like that too.

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by General Vagueness @, The Vault of Sass, Friday, March 01, 2013, 23:28 (4071 days ago) @ ZackDark

Well, the point with Mass Effect's FTL is that it is a very consistent point in the universe. A sort of piezoelectric-like substance is found buried somewhere, which allows us to break usual mass conventions. Such effect is used throughout the game as a scientific explanation to both how most weapons in the game work and how all Force-like abilities work.

that sounds about as bad as "hard light"

Well, the point is, it almost didn't feel like magic at all (given you read the material about it [available unobtrusively in-game]). Maybe Destiny will work like that too.

almost?

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by Xenos @, Shores of Time, Saturday, March 02, 2013, 00:17 (4071 days ago) @ General Vagueness

Honestly Element Zero is based on a very scientific principle, that of "exotic matter." So for FTL it makes a lot of sense and even for making weapons that can fire projectiles very quickly it makes a certain amount of sense without further explanation needed. I still don't think that makes biotics feel properly science fictiony though.

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by Dean Hofmeyer (unhh) @, Warsaw, IN, Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 20:14 (4074 days ago) @ General Vagueness

Have you played Mass Effect, or are you familiar with the concept of Biotics?


no and no

You should check it out. It's a great series.

IMO it's a very well-executed magic-in-sci-fi system - actually operating on a similar concept to their FTL drives - and works very well in gameplay.


most FTL travel in fiction isn't based on very sound stuff, at least according to our understanding now, so that doesn't really help

You're missing the point. Whether or not FTL in fiction makes sense is irrelevant. Mass Effect isn't hard sci-fi and you shouldn't expect it to be. My point was that the games' "magic" (so to speak) system is consistent in-universe with several other technologies springing from the same unobtanium. That, and it's fun.

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Levels

by ZackDark @, Not behind you. NO! Don't look., Saturday, February 23, 2013, 22:36 (4077 days ago) @ General Vagueness

So, GV, first of all: wall of text... You should try to separate your paragraphs by an empty line. It helps diminishing the wall of text feeling (IMO, of course).

Anyway, I'm glad you found some solace in getting this out of your chest. I do agree that grinding can be very obnoxious, but I think Borderlands (especially the second one) pulled it off pretty well. There was some "cheapness" in fight mechanics (as I think you would think of it) that caused damage dealt and received not be simply based on the weapon itself, but also numerically scale on the level gap between you and your enemy.

I would also like to point out to you that KotOR is a RPG heavily based on tabletop RPGs. As such, combat was based on chance (the mentioned "dice rolls") and scaled by your skillset (if you didn't have the proper skill, for example, it would severely diminished). While I am having quite a blast romping through KotOR II right now, I understand your point.

I recommend you looking into Borderlands and check how leveling up works there. I don't think you would find it too obnoxious and I honestly think it is likely for Destiny to take that direction.

Levels

by Phoenix_9286 @, Saturday, February 23, 2013, 23:43 (4077 days ago) @ ZackDark

I recommend you looking into Borderlands and check how leveling up works there. I don't think you would find it too obnoxious and I honestly think it is likely for Destiny to take that direction.

This. I told you this last night when we were talking about it. There are varying degrees of RPG. I feel I can assure you with 99% confidence that should Destiny have you leveling up a set of skills, they won't be effecting your ability to aim, do damage, or kill things (much*).

*In Borderlands, everyone can use every type of weapon with zero drawbacks. Just because the Assassin or Hunter have entire skill trees built around using Sniper Rifles, does not mean that the Sirens (who have entire skill trees built around something completely different)can't use them effectively. What these skill trees DO allow for is added benefits and buffs. In the Hunter or Assassin's case, higher critical hit damage, increased zoom, maybe a handful of extra rounds in the magazine, perhaps decreased sway when aiming down the scope.

These might sound like big deals, but in the grand scheme of things, in a game based entirely around cooperative play, where the designers are practically expecting you to be playing with a full and varied party, they absolutely aren't. Because while my Hunter or Assassin might be able to hit anything with pinpoint accuracy and do massive critical damage, the game is a team effort, and those other classes, with other skills, are filling in the gaps I can't. Like the guy who's a walking bullet sponge, but only truly good at melee combat. Or the chick who warps in, deals elemental damage to soften up a group, and then warps back to help polish them off. Or the guy with the turret that'll provide suppression fire and give everyone a fallback point to recover health.

And that's what's exciting about Destiny. Borderlands is one of the single best cooperative experiences available because everything is a team effort. To know Bungie is working on something similar, but perhaps broader in scope, and with a ten year plan... That's awesome.

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This.

by ZackDark @, Not behind you. NO! Don't look., Sunday, February 24, 2013, 10:09 (4077 days ago) @ Phoenix_9286

- No text -

Levels

by Dagoonite, Somewhere in Iowa, lost in a cornfield., Monday, February 25, 2013, 08:30 (4076 days ago) @ Phoenix_9286

One of the things that impressed me the most about Borderlands is that it wasn't absolutely necessary to be in a party the entire time. You could, with a little difficulty and careful choices when leveling up, solo most of the game. Many of the the things that required assistance were optional. But at the same time, you were rewarded for playing with others by better loot.

I don't know if Destiny will have the opportunities to solo things (at least, not at my skill level) but I am excited to find out what exact method they plan on using for the leveling system. I doubt that they'll exactly follow any of the existing systems, instead putting their own take on the whole leveling thing. I also expect that there will be guides to building an uber-soldier within a month of the game shipping.

Leveling isn't a bad thing. It can be argued that it's an easy way to simulate real-world skill progression. I've seen a board use an XP/Leveling systems in order to help its members with bodybuilding, allowing them a way to track their progress and find ways to tweak their method. (Of course, said board catered towards tabletop RPGs, but whatever. It was interesting to see the discussions.)

I can see all sorts of ways that leveling could apply practical but ultimately unnecessary benefits to a game such as this. For example, reducing recoil, speeding up reload times, etc. Not necessary in order to compete, but helpful, useful, and able to give you an edge over others that haven't taken them. Passive boons, in other words.

Of course, they'd probably be glossed over for more active stats, but hey, a guy can hope and wish, right?

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Levels

by General Vagueness @, The Vault of Sass, Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 15:27 (4074 days ago) @ Dagoonite

I don't know if Destiny will have the opportunities to solo things (at least, not at my skill level) but I am excited to find out what exact method they plan on using for the leveling system. I doubt that they'll exactly follow any of the existing systems, instead putting their own take on the whole leveling thing. I also expect that there will be guides to building an uber-soldier within a month of the game shipping.

If you can't productively/enjoyably play by yourself I probably either won't play for long or won't play that often, since I'll probably be by myself more often than not whether I want to be or not (and a lot of the time I do want to play by myself).

Leveling isn't a bad thing. It can be argued that it's an easy way to simulate real-world skill progression.

I'm sure that's why it exists in the first place, and that's why I don't like it. Maybe playing video games isn't that useful in general but at least with most of them I'm getting better at that particular game and probably working on my dexterity, but if I'm just increasing some numbers that make what I've been doing (or roughly the same thing) more effective, I don't even have that actual progression, and it seems even more pointless.

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Levels

by Dean Hofmeyer (unhh) @, Warsaw, IN, Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 20:30 (4074 days ago) @ General Vagueness

Leveling isn't a bad thing. It can be argued that it's an easy way to simulate real-world skill progression.


I'm sure that's why it exists in the first place, and that's why I don't like it. Maybe playing video games isn't that useful in general but at least with most of them I'm getting better at that particular game and probably working on my dexterity, but if I'm just increasing some numbers that make what I've been doing (or roughly the same thing) more effective, I don't even have that actual progression, and it seems even more pointless.

It's impossible to get across all the nuances of (for example) shooting a gun through an interface as simple as a game controller. The skill curve just isn't as high in theory. So we have leveling, in which you control your character and your character controls the gun - and gets better at it as he goes along.

Of course it's more necessary in more point-and-click-y RPGs, but I don't think it's irrelevant or should be shunned in a shooter, especially one like Destiny* that seems to be taking the focus off of competitive multiplayer.

On that point, however, I think that with the inclusion of competitive multiplayer in Destiny and given Bungie's love of a consistent sandbox, there's hope that any leveling system will have relatively low impact on gunplay.


*I could also point to Mass Effect again here. Both single- and multi-player modes have leveling systems which impact gunplay, and it works. Going into a multiplayer match with a low-leveled character leaves you somewhat less effective than your compatriots, but not helpless by a long shot.

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Levels

by General Vagueness @, The Vault of Sass, Friday, March 01, 2013, 23:37 (4071 days ago) @ Dean Hofmeyer (unhh)

It's impossible to get across all the nuances of (for example) shooting a gun through an interface as simple as a game controller. The skill curve just isn't as high in theory. So we have leveling, in which you control your character and your character controls the gun - and gets better at it as he goes along.

That doesn't make it sound any better. I still want my input to be the primary thing-- almost the only thing-- that determines what my character does, how they do it, and how well they do it.

Of course it's more necessary in more point-and-click-y RPGs, but I don't think it's irrelevant or should be shunned in a shooter,

I do, but I'll wait until I can actually play the game to make a call on Destiny, in case Bungie can magic gameplay that interests and engages me out of ideas that don't. (the story matters too, but if it's not fun, I won't play it more than maybe a dozen times)

especially one like Destiny* that seems to be taking the focus off of competitive multiplayer.

That's all good and well, but I'm going to play the competitive multiplayer, and unless it sucks or some other mode is way better I'm almost definitely going to play it more than any other mode, so I hope it's good, and I hope it's fair.

*I could also point to Mass Effect again here. Both single- and multi-player modes have leveling systems which impact gunplay, and it works. Going into a multiplayer match with a low-leveled character leaves you somewhat less effective than your compatriots, but not helpless by a long shot.

doesn't Mass Effect not have competitive multiplayer though, just cooperative?

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Levels

by Xenos @, Shores of Time, Saturday, March 02, 2013, 00:20 (4071 days ago) @ General Vagueness

Of course it's more necessary in more point-and-click-y RPGs, but I don't think it's irrelevant or should be shunned in a shooter,


I do, but I'll wait until I can actually play the game to make a call on Destiny, in case Bungie can magic gameplay that interests and engages me out of ideas that don't. (the story matters too, but if it's not fun, I won't play it more than maybe a dozen times)

especially one like Destiny* that seems to be taking the focus off of competitive multiplayer.


That's all good and well, but I'm going to play the competitive multiplayer, and unless it sucks or some other mode is way better I'm almost definitely going to play it more than any other mode, so I hope it's good, and I hope it's fair.

*I could also point to Mass Effect again here. Both single- and multi-player modes have leveling systems which impact gunplay, and it works. Going into a multiplayer match with a low-leveled character leaves you somewhat less effective than your compatriots, but not helpless by a long shot.


doesn't Mass Effect not have competitive multiplayer though, just cooperative?

I just wanted to point out here a quote from the latest Mailsack that made me less worried about the competitive multiplayer:

LLamuh: Will competitive gamers have a home in Destiny?
Yes. The most competitive guys at our studio are having a damn good time playing Destiny.
Josh Hamrick, Senior Designer

Of course it just goes back to Bungie makes games that they want to play, but it still makes me happy :)

Levels

by Phoenix_9286 @, Saturday, March 02, 2013, 02:54 (4071 days ago) @ Xenos

I just wanted to point out here a quote from the latest Mailsack that made me less worried about the competitive multiplayer:

LLamuh: Will competitive gamers have a home in Destiny?
Yes. The most competitive guys at our studio are having a damn good time playing Destiny.
Josh Hamrick, Senior Designer


Of course it just goes back to Bungie makes games that they want to play, but it still makes me happy :)

There was also:
"Madness
Is everything in Destiny made so "lone wolves" like me can enjoy the game as much as the guys who like to play cooperatively?
You won’t be required to partner with strangers to achieve your goals in Destiny. You’ll have all the freedom you need to blaze your own trail. "

and:
"Mandroid
Will there be grinding? I hate having to grind for stuff.
Destiny is an action game, so you’ll grind your enemies into dust. "

Right now, that seems to tell me pretty clearly there's no need to worry about coop, and there's no need to worry about stats doing something wacky to your aim. Can we put this to bed until more information comes out?

Levels

by Anon0000, Thursday, March 07, 2013, 15:48 (4065 days ago) @ Dagoonite

If Destiny has a level system that is anything like Borderlands', I probably won't bother playing it. FPSs don't feel right if there is such a heavy reliance on enemy stats.

What I mean by this is the concept of high-level vs. low-level. Low-levels can shoot all they want, but if Mr High-level's stats are high enough, he can stand there and laugh at their attempts to scratch him with grenades, machine-guns and sniper-rifles before insta-killing them with his pistol and melee.

In my opinion, if you want to do more damage or increase your defense, it should be done by getting higher-quality equipment and applying upgrades.
Any bonuses like increasing reload speed or reducing recoil that are applied to the character's base skills should come in significant, 15-25% upgrades.
I am also fine with different special abilities, e.g. bonuses to abilities like hacking, medicine, disarming bombs etc.

The best game I can think of that applies the kind of system I am thinking about is Deus Ex: Human Revolution. You start with very basic abilities and stats. Upgrades come in big chunks, for example, one upgrade gives you a whole new ability, or lets you hack the next level of computers (it goes from 1-5), and upgrades to stats like recoil reduction come in big boosts. Each little skill tree has a limited number of steps.
Weapons have a similar upgrade system in Deus Ex. There are "ability" upgrades, e.g. one that gives your shotgun burst fire capacity, and stat upgrades, ones that increase the magazine size or provide damage boosts.

At the end of the day, though, a low-level character will be able to perform the same tasks as the high-level one, but the high-level player's abilities will give him more options and breathing room to complete the task in the manner he chooses. But important thing is that the low-level guy and the high-level guy can pick up the same gun and kill the same guy with the same number of shots.

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by SonofMacPhisto @, Monday, February 25, 2013, 08:50 (4076 days ago) @ Phoenix_9286

All of that, plus the satisfaction of working to get one particular skill and then finally deploying it in all its glory. I.E., the first time I tossed out a turret nuke at a group of baddies.

OMG AWESOME

Levels

by Reconcilliation @, Imagination Station, Sunday, February 24, 2013, 04:03 (4077 days ago) @ General Vagueness

An RPG is actually exactly the direction I was hoping Bungie would travel down. An FPS-RPG hybrid is also okay, by my books. Though I was really hoping for something more Elder Scrolls-esque.

Still, this combines most of the elements Bungie seems to be good at: FPS gameplay and storytelling. We'll see how they implement the RPG style progression in the game, but I'm cautiously optimistic.

Caveat: Posting inebriated after a party.

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Heretic

by RC ⌂, UK, Sunday, February 24, 2013, 09:31 (4077 days ago) @ General Vagueness

When I got an Xbox, I got some games for it that I heard were good. One of them was SW: KotOR. My first impressions were good but as I read the manual and it started talking about dice for no apparent reason I was put off. I still tried the game and it seemed like it would in fact be a nice romp around a galaxy. Then they gave me a gun, but when I tried to shoot it, it didn't matter how much I adjusted my aim and position and it barely mattered how close I was, the shots didn't go where I was aiming most of the time. Before too long I realized (or was told by a character, I don't remember) that I'd have to level up shooting to aim better. I gave the game about five more minutes, put it away, and never looked back.

KotOR's gameplay is about stats and equipment, preparation - not dexterity. Complaining about it is like complaining checkers isn't like football.

Anyway, you missed out on a fantastic game. Your loss.

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Heretic

by General Vagueness @, The Vault of Sass, Sunday, February 24, 2013, 16:14 (4076 days ago) @ RC

When I got an Xbox, I got some games for it that I heard were good. One of them was SW: KotOR. My first impressions were good but as I read the manual and it started talking about dice for no apparent reason I was put off. I still tried the game and it seemed like it would in fact be a nice romp around a galaxy. Then they gave me a gun, but when I tried to shoot it, it didn't matter how much I adjusted my aim and position and it barely mattered how close I was, the shots didn't go where I was aiming most of the time. Before too long I realized (or was told by a character, I don't remember) that I'd have to level up shooting to aim better. I gave the game about five more minutes, put it away, and never looked back.


KotOR's gameplay is about stats and equipment, preparation - not dexterity. Complaining about it is like complaining checkers isn't like football.

oh I wasn't saying it was bad, exactly, I understand that it's a different kind of game, it's just not a kind of game that I enjoy playing

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Levels

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Sunday, February 24, 2013, 15:30 (4076 days ago) @ General Vagueness

Once again Vanquish, being the masterpiece that it is, gets leveling up stuff right.

If you haven't played Vanquish, then here's how it works. You can carry 3 weapons, and grenades. If you pick up a weapon you already have, your ammo is refilled. If you pick up a weapon level powerup, whatever weapon you have equipped gets more powerful, for instance doing more damage, holding more ammo, faster lock ons, etc. These powerups are not random - they drop in specific circumstances. For instance, kill a group of enemies very quickly, and you'll get a drop. If you don't you get nothing.

But there is another way to level up your weapon. If you pick up a weapon you already have, and you have full ammo for it, then the weapon increases in power. This is how most of the weapon leveling is done.

Now, this is awesome because you are presented with a choice. Since you can only hold 3 weapons, not only do you have to balance which weapons you have to do each part of the game, but you also have to think about leveling them up. Do you swap weapons so you have the perfect combination for a portion of the level, or do you keep non optimal weapons to level up? Also, because you need full ammo to level them up, you have to balance using / not using vs leveling up. Grenades in particular are so useful, that you need to find parts of the game you can do without grenades to level them up.

This is great because it plays well to each individual play style, and gives you a lot of flexibility to find what's right for you. There is no best way to go about leveling up or not leveling up your weapons. You may choose to do so not at all or sparingly so you can have the flexibility of having whatever weapon you want during the game. You can level up whatever weapons suit your style.

But in no way is it mandatory, nor is it grinding, because it's a strategic decision. There's nothing strategic about grinding away to get a higher level; there's no downside other than your time being wasted.

So, you can do leveling up in cool ways, and it's not necessarily bad.

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Levels

by SonofMacPhisto @, Monday, February 25, 2013, 08:39 (4076 days ago) @ Cody Miller

That sounds incredibly cool. Good thing it's now on it's way to my face.

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by Beckx, Monday, February 25, 2013, 09:04 (4076 days ago) @ SonofMacPhisto

How have you waited this long?

Vanquish is glorious. Put on JP voices for maximum awesome.

Sam is pleased.

[image]

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Levels

by SonofMacPhisto @, Monday, February 25, 2013, 09:18 (4076 days ago) @ Beckx

I never really heard much about it until Cody started talking about it at HBO. The words, 'best third person shooter ever' got my attention. This last bit sealed the deal.

JP voices means 'japanese voices' I assume?

This'll give me something to do while K gets first crack at Bioshock. :P

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Levels

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Monday, February 25, 2013, 13:27 (4076 days ago) @ SonofMacPhisto

I never really heard much about it until Cody started talking about it at HBO. The words, 'best third person shooter ever' got my attention. This last bit sealed the deal.

The fact that you had to hear about it from me is really sad. It's the best 3rd Person Shooter ever to hit consoles; the gaming media should have been all over it.

Meanwhile… DESTINY ZOMG.

What Cody and Beckx said!

by Lurono @, Oklahoma, USA, Monday, February 25, 2013, 21:02 (4075 days ago) @ Beckx

Vanquish is easily one of the best games I've ever played. The story isn't anything special, but the gameplay is so unbelievably polished! I didn't experience a single instance of lag/bugs/glitches/whatever. It played smoothly from start to finish.

It's a damn shame that game didn't get more attention.

What Cody and Beckx said!

by Dagoonite, Somewhere in Iowa, lost in a cornfield., Monday, February 25, 2013, 22:04 (4075 days ago) @ Lurono

Are you kidding? The story may not be anything to write home about, but it's also so much fun. They skipped a deep, involving plot for something that matched the gameplay.

Also, I hate you all. Now I have to go play it again.

What Cody and Beckx said!

by Lurono @, Oklahoma, USA, Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 19:18 (4074 days ago) @ Dagoonite

Are you kidding? The story may not be anything to write home about, but it's also so much fun. They skipped a deep, involving plot for something that matched the gameplay.

Also, I hate you all. Now I have to go play it again.

I didn't mean to imply that it was bad (rereading my post I definitely think I could have worded it better!) =P I know people here tend to gravitate toward games that have deeper/more complex stories and didn't want anyone hopping into the game expecting that.

/I'm also getting the urge to pick it up again...

What Cody and Beckx said!

by Beckx, Wednesday, February 27, 2013, 07:51 (4074 days ago) @ Lurono

The best way to talk about Vanquish's story (or PG titles, generally) is not to use words of quality, because we aren't really comparing, say, the likes of Twilight to 1Q84 - we aren't comparing guilty pleasure books to nobel prize winners! More akin to comparing popular summer movies.

Vanquish is the equivalent of Hong Kong Cinema, and if you've got a taste for that, it's divine, and more satisfying than anything Bay or Bruckheimer could put on the screen.

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What Cody and Beckx said!

by SonofMacPhisto @, Wednesday, February 27, 2013, 15:20 (4073 days ago) @ Beckx

Hong Kong Cinema

Excitement rising.

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What Cody and Beckx said!

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Wednesday, February 27, 2013, 17:31 (4073 days ago) @ SonofMacPhisto

Excitement rising.

It also glamorizes smoking, which is awesome in this sterile PC world today!

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What Cody and Beckx said!

by SonofMacPhisto @, Wednesday, February 27, 2013, 20:48 (4073 days ago) @ Cody Miller
edited by SonofMacPhisto, Wednesday, February 27, 2013, 20:52

It arrived tonight, and I'm making my way through on Casual to get a feel for things. Oh, man, I'm having a blast so far.

The smoking thing is pretty awesome.

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What Cody and Beckx said!

by General Vagueness @, The Vault of Sass, Friday, March 01, 2013, 23:37 (4071 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Excitement rising.


It also glamorizes smoking, which is awesome in this sterile PC world today!

No it's not.

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Levels

by MrPadraig08 ⌂ @, Steel City, Monday, February 25, 2013, 21:27 (4075 days ago) @ Beckx

Recently picked it up after hearing you and Hedge all on about it. The story alone is bizarre enough to warrant a pick up.

"We have eight hours to stop New York from becoming the next San Francisco." -Quote of the Day

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Levels

by General Vagueness @, The Vault of Sass, Sunday, February 24, 2013, 16:20 (4076 days ago) @ General Vagueness

to put it briefly, Cody and Leviathan, thanks, it's good to hear how it can work, and your confidence gives me confidence

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Levels

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Sunday, February 24, 2013, 19:06 (4076 days ago) @ General Vagueness

to put it briefly, Cody and Leviathan, thanks, it's good to hear how it can work, and your confidence gives me confidence

Unfortunately, based on the fact that we know player investment systems will feature heavily into Destiny (given the job posting for a player investment designer), Destiny will more than likely get it wrong.

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Man you are an expert at making mountains out of molehills

by Xenos @, Shores of Time, Sunday, February 24, 2013, 19:23 (4076 days ago) @ Cody Miller

- No text -

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Man you are an expert at making mountains out of molehills

by SonofMacPhisto @, Monday, February 25, 2013, 08:34 (4076 days ago) @ Xenos

Not really - go back to Reach to get an idea about how this might be implemented in Destiny. Sure, some might have liked Reach's system, but I never forgave it for inspiring me to play Reach longer than I would've otherwise.

Valuable lesson, I guess (see: how easily I put down Halo 4), but it certainly sours my memories of a game that in some ways I really did enjoy.

Hey, maybe this will all help me enjoy Destiny properly, as I'll be looking at the game, not the fancy trimmings - but I dunno, I wish it wasn't so.

Man you are an expert at making mountains out of molehills

by electricpirate @, Monday, February 25, 2013, 12:06 (4076 days ago) @ SonofMacPhisto

It seems like they could also be hiring someone to avoid a system like Halo: Reach or Halo 4.

I mean, whether it's vanquish, or dark souls, or Mechwarrior online, or Halo: Reach those are all forms of player investment system. Hell, Halo 2's visual rank is a form of player investment.

Trying to figure out game design from purpously vague job postings is stretching. Especially since there's a bunch of previews that detail the high level goals in regards to player investment. (see my post at the bottom of this thread)

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Man you are an expert at making mountains out of molehills

by SonofMacPhisto @, Monday, February 25, 2013, 15:59 (4075 days ago) @ electricpirate

It seems like they could also be hiring someone to avoid a system like Halo: Reach or Halo 4.

I mean, whether it's vanquish, or dark souls, or Mechwarrior online, or Halo: Reach those are all forms of player investment system. Hell, Halo 2's visual rank is a form of player investment.

Trying to figure out game design from purpously vague job postings is stretching. Especially since there's a bunch of previews that detail the high level goals in regards to player investment. (see my post at the bottom of this thread)

Yeah, you're right, it is certainly difficult to discern this soon. I'm willing to allow that a lot of Reach was a test for Destiny, so I'm not expecting anything beyond 'player investment system' and 'anti-cheat measures will be important.'

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by kapowaz, Monday, February 25, 2013, 02:38 (4076 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Unfortunately, based on the fact that we know player investment systems will feature heavily into Destiny (given the job posting for a player investment designer), Destiny will more than likely get it wrong.

I don't see the causality behind this. Player investment systems do not inherently break gameplay (there are plenty of examples where they do work, particularly in persistent game worlds), and so far Bungie haven't made any comment on how Destiny's gameplay will work. This is part of my problem with a reveal that gives fans enough room to start speculating but without any attempt to correct or guide when they're wrong.

I remember reading an early review for Planetside that talked about how the cone of fire for weapons becomes smaller as you level up. To me this is a fundamentally unfair system for a game where being able to accurately fire a weapon is an indicator of skill. Yes, it levels the playing field somewhat, but it also increases the chance that in any given one-on-one exchange, you might die purely through bad luck, even when the odds were stacked in your favour. These are the kind of game systems that I would consider broken. But we have absolutely zero evidence for them being a part of Destiny at this stage.

There are lots of other kinds of rewards you can offer to players to encourage investment. In World of Warcraft they're often cosmetic or vanity-based, and I think for a game world that is intended to be as persistent and long-lived as Destiny these make a lot of sense. Seeing somebody with a gold visor or a rarely-seen fighter craft zipping around in-game definitely gives other players a sense of purpose to their actions.

Setting aside the cosmetic, even some gameplay based perks are permissible without breaking things. Let's say that in a given zone there are enemies that respawn periodically that you must clear out in order to reach a deeper location which your real objective lies within. You could do this all on your own and it might take a short while (but killing all of these enemies is both fun and generates some form of in-game currency, or experience) or you could party up with a friend who has a perk that nukes them all instantaneously, letting you get straight to the heart of your objective. Your friend can't do this more than (say) once a day, and you don't get any of the rewards you might from clearing the area manually, but you do save yourself some time. Ultimately you're choosing: do I want to spend some time and gain a reward, or do I want to focus on a subset of that activity within a shorter timeframe?

It boils down to meaningful gameplay decisions. We have very little to go on, but I'm optimistic Bungie have been thinking about this for long enough that the choices offered relating to player investment will be meaningful, and in non-game-breaking ways.

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Levi?

by ZackDark @, Not behind you. NO! Don't look., Sunday, February 24, 2013, 19:21 (4076 days ago) @ General Vagueness

- No text -

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Me and Cody Miller are the same person: Greatest Twist Ever

by Leviathan ⌂, Hotel Zanzibar, Sunday, February 24, 2013, 19:49 (4076 days ago) @ ZackDark

- No text -

That's some schizophrenia you've got going on there.

by Phoenix_9286 @, Sunday, February 24, 2013, 20:27 (4076 days ago) @ Leviathan

- No text -

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Yeah... Never would have guessed...

by Ragashingo ⌂, Official DBO Cryptarch, Sunday, February 24, 2013, 20:32 (4076 days ago) @ Phoenix_9286

- No text -

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by electricpirate @, Monday, February 25, 2013, 12:02 (4076 days ago) @ General Vagueness

The intersection of "PLayer skill" (you) vs. "Character skill" (your level in game) is a classic game design tradeoff. Looked at linearly, Kotor, Baldur's gate, or old school JRPGs sit at one end (all that matters is character skill), while Halo (pre 4) and quake/UT sit at the other.

Developers have been getting better at maximizing the middle though. Many Free to play action games require a ton of skill and teamwork, but still with large amounts to unlock, and ways to grow your character. Planetside 2, or tribes for example. In the single player space, Dark Souls/Demon Souls also do an excellent job of letting your character grow, while requiring you to play better.

As for destiny, tackling this divide seems to be one of the main design goals. At the media event Jones described 7 pillars, 4 of which seem to tie directly into what you are worried about.

A bunch of fun things to do. Bungie calls Destiny "a sandbox with a lot of tools" that puts players in situations "where they can be successful." Jones says Bungie has been deliberate about creating a broad range of activities for players to enjoy in groups or alone, in casual or intense scenarios.

Rewards players care about. "Imagine you could spend an hour and accomplish something," Jones says. "We have a lot of great things [in Destiny] to find, earn and make. Everything you do generates these rewards to customize your character."

A new experience every night. Bungie wants players to have a different experience every time they play, planning rare, time-limited and emergent activities. Jones hopes that players will sign on for a game of Destiny, but get distracted by the variety of content and activities within.

Enjoyable by the tired, impatient and distracted. Bungie believes that players don’t play games to "work hard, read or go the internet to figure out our bullshit." The core experience, Jones says, has to be delivered as simply and easily as possible. And that pillar led Bungie to "throw out a bunch of dearly-held ideas."

http://www.polygon.com/2013/2/17/3993058/destiny-bungie-first-look-preview

The last one directly applies to what you are saying. It implies that Bungie won't build a complicated stat systems, and they are looking for things to be easily explainable. In other words, intuitive predictable response to your actions, more like Halo, but unlike a game based on dice rolls. (FWIW I'm the kind of person who likes to play games that make me go out on the internet and look stuff up.)

The others deal with another major problem in Role Playing games: Grinding. Grinding is the act where you repeat a section of the game not because you enjoy it, but because it will get your character stronger. These items are pretty explicitly rejecting that. Notice, "Accomplish something in an hour" and "Variety of content" "A new experience every night." Here, Jones clearly rejects grinding, and strengthening your character without doing something rewarding.

I'm really curious to see how, and if these goals are achieved.

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Levels

by General Vagueness @, The Vault of Sass, Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 16:29 (4074 days ago) @ electricpirate

The intersection of "Player skill" (you) vs. "Character skill" (your level in game) is a classic game design tradeoff. Looked at linearly, Kotor, Baldur's gate, or old school JRPGs sit at one end (all that matters is character skill), while Halo (pre 4) and quake/UT sit at the other.

and I like Halo, especially pre-Halo 4, so you can see why I'm leery of going towards the other end of the spectrum, right?

Enjoyable by the tired, impatient and distracted. Bungie believes that players don’t play games to "work hard, read or go the internet to figure out our bullshit." The core experience, Jones says, has to be delivered as simply and easily as possible. And that pillar led Bungie to "throw out a bunch of dearly-held ideas."

I don't like the sound of that. It sounds like "We're dumbing down this game and making it easy, we're ignoring a lot of our principles, and we don't care about people getting together on the Internet to figure our stuff out [AKA what b.org is mainly about]". I'm pretty sure that's not how he meant it, but it doesn't sound good, and I'm not going to be surprised now if some of that ends up being true.

The last one directly applies to what you are saying. It implies that Bungie won't build a complicated stat systems, and they are looking for things to be easily explainable.

It doesn't matter if it's complicated or not, having any stats that affect how well I do more than how well I'm doing or how good I am will bother me, maybe enough to not play the game.

The others deal with another major problem in Role Playing games: Grinding. Grinding is the act where you repeat a section of the game not because you enjoy it, but because it will get your character stronger. These items are pretty explicitly rejecting that. Notice, "Accomplish something in an hour" and "Variety of content" "A new experience every night." Here, Jones clearly rejects grinding, and strengthening your character without doing something rewarding.

That "accomplish something in an hour" part is pretty vague though, isn't it? All that's required for that to be true is for the player to accomplish something, not necessarily something meaningful or fun.

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by Beckx, Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 10:57 (4075 days ago) @ General Vagueness

They can always sell double EXP gain as part of the season pass, like Gears of War Judgment

please don't do this.

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by kapowaz, Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 11:12 (4075 days ago) @ Beckx

They can always sell double EXP gain as part of the season pass, like Gears of War Judgment

Or give it away to people who buy at least 10 packs of Doritos a week!

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Levels

by ShadowOfTheVoid ⌂, South Carolina, Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 23:23 (4074 days ago) @ General Vagueness

As we discussed the other day, while I do object to such systems being in a competitive multiplayer environment like that of Halo, I don't have any problem with them in a single-player/co-operative environment. I'm picky with my RPGs and mechanics are a big deal, but if anyone can merge FPS gameplay with RPG elements and open-world quasi-MMO elements, it'd be Bungie.

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