Destiny first impressions
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 September 2014, 7:03 am
Disclaimer: These impression are based on a free copy of Destiny for the PS3 that I received.

Reviews are frequently based on a comparison of the reviewer's expectations with the actual product. I didn't have any expectations for Destiny, which is why my impression of the game is generally a positive one. I've been playing a Titan up to level 10, through all content of Earth and some content on the moon. And as I don't play so many shooters, and especially not console shooters, if anything I was positively surprised how much fun Destiny is. Apparently the game was hyped a lot before release, and many reviewers correctly pointed out that the game isn't the second coming, but as I said, it depends on what expectations you have.

That is not only a problem for reviewers, but also for players. Destiny is a hybrid between a shooter, and a MMORPG, on a console. Which means it suffers from certain limitations of shooter games, of MMORPG games, and of console games. People very much involved with one genre tend to overlook the inherent limitations of that genre, but with a hybrid game the fans of each genre discover the flaws of the other genre, and that can grate. Plus if you usually play on a PC, the console brings some extra problems, like long loading times and fiddly controls.

The world of Destiny is a curious mix of MMORPG open world zones and linear shooter levels. That isn't just visually, but the rules actually change if you leave the open world and enter a shooter level: Suddenly your respawning is limited, and death brings you back to a checkpoint, resetting all events back up to there. But because it is an online game, there is no pause function. Too bad for you if your phone or doorbell rings, or there is some other real life intrusion. On the positive side your checkpoint is saved even if you log out, so you can resume the action at that point the next day. You can even first fly back to the central hub, The Tower, identify found items, buy some new gear, and then continue in the middle of the fight where you were. You can use that to get around the silly feature that if you die because you ran out of ammo, you'll respawn with still no ammo. Flying to the tower won't fix that, but the gunsmith there sells ammo refills which do.

You play one of three character classes, Titan, Hunter, or Warlock, a weird mix of SciFi and Fantasy. I'd love to tell you what the difference between the classes is, but I can't. Because if you start a new character and play him through the intro up to level 2 and the Tower, the three classes play pretty much the same. You attack is determined by your weapon, which is the same in the intro for the three classes. There are differences in the stats, the grenade, and the melee attack, but these differences are small compared to a MMORPG, where you would expect a warrior and a warlock to play very differently. When gaining levels, you gain class abilities, so later there is presumably more difference between the classes, but I didn't play several classes to higher level to find out.

Combat plays mostly like in a shooter game, but with a weird system for weapons: Unlike in a MMORPG, a higher level weapon does not necessarily deal more damage. Instead the weapon has an attack value, which basically determines up to what level of enemies you can damage with it. How much damage it deals is determined by the weapon's impact stat. So if you exchange a low attack value, high impact weapon for a high attack value, low impact weapon, you will do *less* damage to lower level enemies, and only starting from a certain enemy level the change makes sense. This also explains why you can get high level weapons by doing low level missions: The higher level of the weapon doesn't really make a difference in a low level mission. There are weapons with low impact and high fire rate, and vice versa. It might be just me, but I think the high impact weapons are better, because enemies move very fast into cover and thus you don't necessarily always have the opportunity to spray them with many bullets. A boss mob with a regenerating shield can be a tough nut to crack with a machine pistol, but get one-shotted by a sniper rifle headshot.

Destiny's biggest weakness is it's limits to interacting with strangers. In the open world you kind of auto-group with anybody close to you. But in the darkness zones of the story missions you are alone unless you invite up to two other people into your fireteam. Which only works well if these people are already on your friends list. As there is not keyboard there is no typed chat, and the voice chat only works inside a fireteam, so you can't use it to find a team either. Fortunately the strike missions don't have that problem, there you'll automatically be grouped with other random players if you didn't bring your own friends.

Overall Destiny isn't the world's best shooter, nor the world's best MMORPG. But the weird hybrid kind of works, so it isn't a bad game either. One certainly can have hours of fun with it, even if one isn't an expert in console shooters. Having hit level 10 in less than one weekend, of a level cap of 20, Destiny apparently follows the MMORPG convention of short leveling, long endgame. And I can't say yet how engaging that is going to be. As neither "raids" nor PvP interest me much, I might not even play the endgame very much.
Tobold's Blog

My Experience is Probably Not Yours
Posted by [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 September 2014, 7:10 am
Headstart for ArcheAge began a few days ago, letting me finally make use of the $150 Archeum pack I purchased months ago. Sort of. As with any head start or game release these days, Trion was plagued with DDoS attempts, … Continue reading

Mass Texture Rebalancing Q&A, Small Update on Sona
Posted by News [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 September 2014, 12:33 am

Mass Texture Rebalancing Q&A

Originally Posted by Riot (View Original Source)

So will we be looking at a larger than normal patch size for this?
Surprisingly, no! Only a few megabytes per patch.
Will Malzy be getting any love?

We're planning to! I think he could use a little love.

Edit: I mean in the rebalancing sense. Again, this isn't a ChampUp project. <3

My Artistic Freedom is Fine, Thank You
Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 September 2014, 11:58 pm
There is a movement afoot in the universe that insists that #gamergate is ALL FOR THE DEVELOPERS.  All for me and my ilk!  Protecting our freedom of speech!  Trying to

Studying Dress in LOTRO
Posted by Casually Strolling Through MMOs [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 September 2014, 8:23 pm
I received an email from Aralath of Imladris server, a PhD student at Iowa State, who is looking to find female gamers to ask what they think about dress, fashion, and their characters in the game.

World of Warcraft cleans up UI for Warlords of Draenor
Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 September 2014, 9:00 pm

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In a new dev diary, Blizzard vows to clean up the user interface in World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor. "We're making a number of changes to the WoW user interface -- changes that are designed to eliminate clutter, free up more of your inventory space, help you find your stuff more easily, and improve your quality of life in-game," say the devs.

The changes begin with a new UI that combines the map and quest log and promises to be more responsive to mouse control. The expansion will also feature a "toy box" that will collect all of a player's fun items in one place and make them available across the entire account. Players will also be able to use the improved UI to summon a random mount, designate loot to certain bags, enjoy reagent storage space in the bank, and more.

MassivelyWorld of Warcraft cleans up UI for Warlords of Draenor originally appeared on Massively on Sat, 13 Sep 2014 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Make My MMO: September 7 - 13, 2014
Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 September 2014, 7:00 pm

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This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Elite: Dangerous released information about launch pricing and an optional pre-order pack. Star Citizen released its long-awaited racing mode, and Piranha released a whole bunch of internet rage by revealing a crowdfunded sci-fi MMO called Transverse. Which used to be called Wing Commander Online, funnily enough.

Oh, and the Seldon Crisis Kickstarter officially kicked off. Click past the cut for the rest of our weekly crowdfunding roundup.

Continue reading Make My MMO: September 7 - 13, 2014

MassivelyMake My MMO: September 7 - 13, 2014 originally appeared on Massively on Sat, 13 Sep 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    Massively's ArcheAge launch diary: Day one
    Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 September 2014, 5:00 pm

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    I'm standing on a sun-baked rock along Nuia's northern coast. The waves lap at my feet, little bubbles are visible just off shore. Wispy strips of white cirrus float overhead, framing a baby blue sky that meets the ocean somewhere beyond a hazy horizon I can't quite see.

    I've been standing here a while because there goes the sun, melting into the water and leaking red-orange streaks across the purplish waves as I watch. Up the cliff face behind me, a gaggle of green-named newbs mosh about in the newb area doing what MMO newbs do.

    A couple of them make their way down the cliff face to join me. One of them jostles my character and apologizes. He didn't realize there was collision detection and he's very sorry and wow, this game is pretty, isn't it?

    Continue reading Massively's ArcheAge launch diary: Day one

    MassivelyMassively's ArcheAge launch diary: Day one originally appeared on Massively on Sat, 13 Sep 2014 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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      World Championship Preview: LMQ – The American Dream (Group C)
      Posted by Cloth5 [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 September 2014, 3:00 pm

      Welcome to our North American Worlds Previews –  The first preview belongs to NA’s Third Seed and powerhouse, LMQ. Having arrived in North America only eight months ago, they have worked their way through the amateur scene for a spot in the LCS and a chance to represent North America at this year’s World Championship. […]

      The post World Championship Preview: LMQ – The American Dream (Group C) appeared first on Cloth5.

      The Stream Team: Reveling in Rogue's release in Marvel Heroes
      Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 September 2014, 3:00 pm

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      Massively's MJ has been waiting a long time to play Rogue in Marvel Heroes, and now she finally can! The popular hero was just released, so folks can jump in and start siphoning others' powers. The hardest part is going to be deciding which heroes to steal powers from; there are so many mutants to choose between. Join us live at 2:00 p.m. to check out the newest addition to the the Marvel Heroes lineup. You can even take this opportunity to start out a brand-new character with MJ and soak up all the loot and XP that will rain down upon you.

      Game: Marvel Heroes
      Host: MJ Guthrie
      Date: Saturday, September 13th, 2014
      Time: 2:00 p.m. EDT

      Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

      Continue reading The Stream Team: Reveling in Rogue's release in Marvel Heroes

      MassivelyThe Stream Team: Reveling in Rogue's release in Marvel Heroes originally appeared on Massively on Sat, 13 Sep 2014 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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        DDOCast 351 – The Player’s Council
        Posted by DDOcast - A DDO Podcast! [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 September 2014, 12:33 pm

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        Patrick interviews several members of the Player’s Council to find out what they’ve been up to and the role they play in DDO’s development cycle. A special thanks to those that were able to participate in the interview and to all the players serving on the Player’s Council! Check out for mp3 audio, our […]

        The Game Archaeologist: How Hellgate survived being Flagshipped
        Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 September 2014, 1:00 pm

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        It seems that it really wasn't too long ago that I was filling in the time between night classes by boning up on video game news. I was drinking up all of the hot up-and-comers, such as Age of Conan and Warhammer Online, when I caught word that the maker of Diablo was trying to do the same thing again, only more online, in 3-D, and with a cool modern-day/futuristic/horror vibe.

        There's no better way to put it than to say that from the start, Hellgate: London looked all kinds of cool. Oh sure, you can scoff now with your perfect 20/20 hindsight, but I'm betting that more than a few of you thought the same with me around that time. Diablo but with guns and an online persistence -- how could we not be intrigued? One of my most vivid memories was being torn between the idea of buying a lifetime subscription deal for $150 (again, this was before the free-to-play era, but also before the era of us spending the same money on alpha access. I'm just saying that you can't judge me.).

        I didn't buy the lifetime sub, if you were wondering, but I did play. I even enjoyed Hellgate: London for a month or so, although something about it never quite clicked with me. It was only after I bailed that I watched with horror that one of the most infamous chapters of video game disasters took place. It's kind of like when you look at pictures of an earthquake and say to anyone near, "I was just standing there a week ago..."

        From its giddy heights of pre-launch hype to the crash simply known as being "Flagshipped" to its subsequent resurrections (yes, plural), Hellgate is a fascinating tale of a good idea, a terrible launch, corporate scapegoating, and improbable survival.

        Continue reading The Game Archaeologist: How Hellgate survived being Flagshipped

        MassivelyThe Game Archaeologist: How Hellgate survived being Flagshipped originally appeared on Massively on Sat, 13 Sep 2014 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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          Hello everyone, and welcome to the first article previewing the teams who will be representing Korea in the 2014 League of Legends Worlds Championship. I am Zalfier, and I will be letting you know what’s going on with this year’s Korean Hype-Train! The team previewed here will be the Third Seed from Korea – And a team currently on fire: NaJin […]

          The post World Chapionship Preview: NaJin White Shield – The Korean Dark Horse (Group D) appeared first on Cloth5.

          WRUP: LFG for joy, PST no noobs, link achieves, no reply = noty
          Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 September 2014, 11:00 am

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          Welcome back to Massively's What Are You Playing, the game in which we tell you what we're playing this weekend and you remind us that games are supposed to be about joy, dammit. How did we go so wrong?

          Continue reading WRUP: LFG for joy, PST no noobs, link achieves, no reply = noty

          MassivelyWRUP: LFG for joy, PST no noobs, link achieves, no reply = noty originally appeared on Massively on Sat, 13 Sep 2014 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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            Marvel Heroes welcomes Rogue into its fold
            Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 September 2014, 12:00 pm

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            There's a new addition to Marvel Heroes' roster, but this one might be a total game-changer. Added to the game yesterday, Rogue is a superhero who not only possesses super strength and flight but can steal powers from enemies to customize a unique powerset.

            You can get your first look at Rogue in a trailer after the jump and see whether this absorbant lass is the hero for you!

            Continue reading Marvel Heroes welcomes Rogue into its fold

            MassivelyMarvel Heroes welcomes Rogue into its fold originally appeared on Massively on Sat, 13 Sep 2014 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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            The Daily Grind: Are you playing RIFT?
            Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 September 2014, 9:00 am

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            RIFT's upcoming expansion, Nightmare Tide, got me really amped to get back into the game after I previewed it at PAX Prime. I've always had a soft spot for this game, loving its ease of use, multiple content paths, and flexible mix-and-match class system. I've almost never quit under duress, which has made returning pretty simple every time.

            Are you playing RIFT right now? Have you been playing it for a good long while or did you come back as I have, for next month's expansion? For a bonus discussion topic this morning, what do you like about this MMO?

            Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

            MassivelyThe Daily Grind: Are you playing RIFT? originally appeared on Massively on Sat, 13 Sep 2014 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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              Sliding Down the Blade’s Edge
              Posted by The Ancient Gaming Noob [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 4 September 2014, 1:00 pm
              Last time around I found my progress towards the Loremaster achievement in World of Warcraft… well… if not thwarted, at least delayed.  While I did a lot of quests in Nagrand, I found myself 12 quests shy of the achievement, and for 11 of those 12 quests I need a group or to be level […]

              Rift Joins the Insta-Level Club with Nighmare Tide Expansion
              Posted by The Ancient Gaming Noob [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 5 September 2014, 11:00 am
              While I haven’t been in Rift for ages, that doesn’t mean Trion Worlds isn’t still out there plugging away.  During that very busy stretch in August… I though people went on vacation in August… they announced a new expansion, the Nightmare Tide. This will bring the level cap up to 65, adds new content in […]

              Leaving a Pile of Stuff Behind in Delve…
              Posted by The Ancient Gaming Noob [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 8 September 2014, 1:00 pm
              Another Summer in Delves comes to an end.  The word came down on Friday that our deployment to Delve would be closing down and that there would be many… that was the term used… convoys heading back to Deklein so we could get various ships safely home to our new staging system. Having piled up […]

              Cleaning Up the Neighborhood Back in Deklein
              Posted by The Ancient Gaming Noob [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 9 September 2014, 1:00 pm
              The return to Deklein seems to have been accomplished for most people over the weekend.  Somewhere I missed the broadcast about there being a channel set up for people looking to get ships brought north via excess hangar space in carriers.  By last night the channel was deserted, leading me to the conclusion that most […]

              Quote of the Day – In Which 25 Million Equals Nothing
              Posted by The Ancient Gaming Noob [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 9 September 2014, 4:00 pm
              25 million people play Call of Duty monthly, but that pales in comparison to 2.5 billion people on the Internet. That’s 1 percent of the Internet, that’s nothing. Michael Pachter, at Cloud Gaming USA That is one of those quotes that boggles the mind as it lets so much slip by, to the point of […]

              The Notch Timeline
              Posted by The Ancient Gaming Noob [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 10 September 2014, 11:00 am
              Remember when Facebook announced they were buying Occulus Rift back in March? We were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus. I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out. — Markus Persson (@notch) March 25, 2014 Well, the outrage or discomfort or whatever passed with time it seems. And about […]

              The Pokemon Binge Continues in Unova
              Posted by The Ancient Gaming Noob [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 11 September 2014, 1:00 pm
              Avoidance is a wonderful thing.  You can accomplish so much when you are trying to avoid doing what you are actually supposed to be doing. I am not ready to admit defeat on my run for the Loremaster achievement, but I must admit that my current focus on the little Nintendo 3DS XL screen is […]

              Eight Years of Link Rot
              Posted by The Ancient Gaming Noob [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 September 2014, 1:00 pm
              Years ago, back when the when we thought the World Wide Web was new and cool and we actually called it the World Wide Web and you had to have “www” in front of a web address because otherwise somebody might think you wanted Gopher access to their site for Christ’s sake, back then I […]

              Playing Console Games Benefits
              Posted by Write The Game [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 September 2014, 1:42 am
              There’s absolutely nothing better in the daytime, to just sit back and relax with your favorite snack invariably you as you start playing your preferred console online games, whatever can be your favorite 1 (Play station, Xbox 360 system, Nintendo wiki console, etc) and even you favored handhelds (PSP, Manufacturers DS, etc). If you’d prefer […]

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