When The Dark Below came out, hard core fans everywhere were fairly irritated by the new armor and weapon system. Weapons and armor that you spent months upgrading, were suddenly rendered useless by their new stronger, identical counterparts. This included exotics. Indeed, to upgrade your exotic to the new max stats, you had to buy a shard from Xur…that reset all the experience.
What was most frustrating, however, was gear obtained through the Vault of Glass raid. All that hard work that gamers did to obtain them, and they were suddenly weaker than those that you could buy from Tower vendors.
Bungie managed to annoy gamers everywhere with these changes, but it seems that they’ve been listening.
Luke Smith, a Destiny developer, commented on a NeoGaf message board, that Bungie intends to do things differently this time around. Here is what he had to say:
“Nothing specific to announce at this time, but the mistakes we made with the DLC1 reward economy will not be repeated:
- Vendor gear invalidating the effort of VOG Raiders
- Upgrading an Exotic reseting its talents
Our philosophy about rewards/loot continue to evolve as we see how players play and react.
We will continue to improve acquisition stories and frequency (My understanding of the perception is that Crota’s End drop rates are much improved vs. Vault of Glass: footnote below), lessen the grind and get players to the fun parts of their arsenal faster.
On CE drop rates vs. VOG:
The Forever 29 meme was a killer for us.
We sat down and talked about the rewards for VoG and the rates vs. CE and ended up with the following:
- increase drop rates globally in CE: we wanted dedicated players to be around 32 or real close by the time Hard mode came out.
- increase the variability of perks that a given piece can roll.
the goal here: players would reach 32 easier than 30, but would have more customization and options to build the perfect set (in terms of stats, perks, weapon affinities)
The part where this didn’t work as well as we’d hoped is with the Shard economy. Shards are a are a barrier between you and equipping a sweet new piece of gear.
We want fewer barriers to equipping upgrades. The shard economies erect these barriers between players and the new piece of gear they just got.
We’re not intending to adjust the shard economy for this Tier — we don’t want to invalidate player effort (again). But removing the barrier between that new drop you’re excited to get and actually being able to equip it as a member of your arsenal are something we will do going forward.”
Hello fellow gamers! Sorry for the absence. My goal has always been to push at least one post a week, and it’s been nearly a month since my last one. So where have I been? Working on something pretty cool.
I’ve been working on getting a solid setup for commentary videos for the Pyrosmania Games YouTube and Twitch accounts. That’s right, Twitch! Not much has been done quite yet (very very soon though!), but here’s Pyrosmania on Twitch if you wanted to follow.
Getting a stream/capture setup has been a very difficult, confusing and time-consuming process. For now, I’ve been focusing on getting a stream set up for the PlayStation 4 and PC, but I’m hoping to figure out a setup for SNES and N64 gameplay as well. My goal is to release the first video on YouTube and/or have a Twitch stream within the next couple of weeks.
The most difficult streaming setup process
Setting up the PS4 for commentary has presented some major audio issues. The PS4 only outputs the game’s audio stream via HDMI and does not capture mic audio used in the game. This means that commentary audio must be captured via a mic connected to the computer. But because I’m using a desktop mic to record commentary audio, I have to wear a headset connected to the PS4 to hear the game’s audio (so that only my voice is picked up by the mic, otherwise it will echo as it picks up the HDMI audio stream and the music coming through the mic audio).
Unlike the PlayStation 3, the PS4 does not allow for multiple audio output. So, you have two choices: HDMI or headset. If you choose to output to headset, then it stops all output to HDMI. So now you’ve got no audio stream to record. But not using a headset isn’t a good option or you will have that echo. Aye, what a headache.
Here’s a video from my endless audio testing process:
So that took me about a week of testing and trying to figure out how to make the audio work. The ultimate fix will require me to get an optical output headset, but I’m going to hold off on that for a few months (I just bought two non-optical Razer Krakens for gaming, geeze). So PS4 gameplay vids won’t have the most stellar audio for a little bit, but I think I’ve made a decent enough setup for now.
After I finished setting up for PlayStation 4 videos, I realized that I really wanted to do commentary videos on a PC game that I kept seeing floating around: Five Nights at Freddy’s. I had seen quite a few vids from people playing this, and they were all pretty hilarious, so I felt that it would be a great game to start with. But then….Five Nights at Freddy’s has some terrible resolution issues that kept killing the PVR-2’s record stream. That took me awhile to find a fix for. There are currently only a couple of help videos on YouTube that didn’t really solve the problem, so I will likely make a help video for this soon as well.
For now, everything should be good to go. So expect the first ever Pyrosmania Games commentary video on YouTube and/or a Twitch stream within the next week or two!
One of the main criticisms of Destiny right now is the lack of matchmaking for things like the Weekly Heroic Strike, Daily Story, or even the Raid. Like many other gamers, I don’t have many friends that play Destiny and the ones that do aren’t always on when I am.
I didn’t want to be left out of the events that require groups to complete, so I searched Bungie’s forums to see if anyone wanted to get together for the Weekly Strike. That led me to one of the best Destiny sites that I’ve come across: Destiny Looking For Group.
The site lets you post an ad that lasts for an hour. You select which event section to post in and choose your platform. You enter your gamertag and can add details. My standard ad usually looks something like this: “lvl 27 hunter lfg for lvl 28 weekly strike, add me on PSN: Pyrosmania”. You can connect your Bungie profile so that others can view your gear, and also specify that you have a microphone by typing “#microphone”. This is pretty useful if you want to do the Raid for instance with a group with mics, and make sure everyone has mics.
You don’t have to bother with creating an account either. You just go there and post your ad. Gamers can message you through a messaging system on the site, although you must remain on the site for that to work. Sometimes though they’ll just send a friend or party invite directly to you, so you’ll have to be on your console and checking for that as well.
I’ve run many dailies and weekly strikes through this and it’s been a pretty awesome experience. If you’re interested in creating or joining a group, I recommend checking them out: http://www.destinylfg.net/
Charles Martinet, the voice of Mario, Luigi, Wario and other Nintendo characters, created an Instagram account on Aug. 14. His uploads will either leave you laughing or at the least with a smile.
Martinet has uploaded multiple short videos starring toy versions of Mario, Luigi, and Wario, as he travels around Chile. He voice overs the toys, making for some fantastically hilarious videos.
I’ve posted below a few of my favorites, but if you want more, check out Martinet’s Instagram account: charlesmartinetitsame.
Sunday was the last day of the Destiny beta. The next time gamers launch into the game will be September 9th. It was a lot of fun, and I look forward to the full version. Here’s a full breakdown and review of my experience playing the beta.
Creating a Character
There are three races: Human, Awoken, and Exo. I didn’t really notice a difference between them, they all played the same for me. Regardless of race, you can customize a character’s physical appearance: hairstyle, skin color, eye color, markings, and such. Awoken’s skin color customizations were more in the blue/purple shades. They also have glowing eyes. Exos look like robots. Along with race and gender, you also picked your character’s class. The three classes are Titan, Hunter, and Warlock. Titans are warriors, built for strength. Hunters are rouges, built for speed. Warlocks are wizards, built for special powers. I’ll go more into the classes in the section below.
Titans are strong. They specialize in armor and heavy weaponry. They don full armor and look like super soldiers. Looks wise, the Titan was my favorite. My Titan just looked so cool in all that armor.
There are two subclasses: Striker and Defender. Strikers are close range and physical. I didn’t get to test the Defender subclass, but from what I’ve heard you’ll be able to summon a shield as your super ability.
The Striker subclass has a pretty powerful super called the Fist of Havoc. Once your super bar is filled up, you can smash the ground around an enemy (or enemies), disintegrating them in one hit. That was extremely handy in The Crucible’s Control mode, when you wanted to knock opponents off of a particular zone.
The three classes each had a unique movement skill. With Titans, you jumped once, then tap the jump button again to initiate lift. This would glide you upward. The higher leveled this skill, the higher your lift could reach.
Hunters are built for speed. They’re slimmer than the other two classes, have lighter armor, and wear a hooded cloak. The weapons best suited for Hunters are hand cannons and sniper rifles. Although I preferred the auto-rifles for all my classes. This was my favorite class of the three and I spent most of my time playing as a Hunter.
There are two subclasses: Gunslinger and Bladedancer. Bladedancer doesn’t open up until level 15, and the beta capped your level at 8, so I didn’t get to try that one out. However, each subclass offers slightly different abilities.
For the Gunslinger, the Hunter’s super is the Golden Gun. Your character turns gold and summons a flaming pistol. You have about three shots with it, or until your time runs out. One single shot in an enemy’s direction disintegrates them, but if you’re too far away the hit won’t land. The Bladedancer’s super is supposed to be the Arc Blade. You’re supposed to be able to charge the blade with Arc Light and disintegrate the enemy with lightning somehow. That sounds pretty cool and I look forward to testing that out in the full game.
The Hunter’s unique melee attack is a knife. Like the other two classes with their melees, one or two stabs and the enemy will go down.
The unique movement skill for this class is the double jump. Jump once, then in midair, jump again. My character’s skill tree also showed that when further leveled up, Hunters could triple and quadruple jump as well. This was by far my favorite of the movement skills and the main reason why I played as the Hunter class for the majority of my beta gameplay.
Warlocks specialize in combining magic with modern weapons. They wear long coats and have an armband on their upper-left arm. Out of the three classes, Warlocks have the lightest armor, however, they can also recover health the quickest.
There are two subclasses: Voidwalker and Sunslinger. Like the other two classes’ second subclass, the Sunslinger couldn’t be activated until level 15. The Voidwalker, however, focuses on using void energy.
Within the Voidwalker subclass, the Warlock’s super ability is the Nova bomb. You can harness an orb of light and sling it at enemies, disintegrating them in one hit. The Sunslinger’s super is supposed to be Radiance, which allows you to revive fallen Guardians and boost both your stats.
The Warlock’s unique melee attack is energy drain. Basically you’d stick your hand out and suck the life from the enemy, causing them to go down with one or two hits. This would drain their energy and reduce your grenade cool down.
The unique movement skill for this class is the double jump but with a glide on the second jump. It was a little different than the Titan’s glide. With this you could glide up or down. Truthfully, I found it incredibly difficult. When I wanted to glide up, my Warlock would glide down, and it always took me a few tries to get up to somewhere. That was one of the reasons why this was my least favorite role, and the one I played in the least.
The other reason dealt with the Warlock’s grenade. The other two classes had a more or less standard grenade. You throw it, it explodes, enemies go down. The Warlock had a vortex grenade that trapped enemies inside causing continuous damage. It was extremely powerful, and if you’re good with accuracy, this is a powerful ability to have at your disposal. However, my throwing skills aren’t the best and in the heat of battle I would miss my targets half the time.
The Warlock is a powerful choice for a Guardian, but isn’t as easy as the other two to master.
There were five available modes to play in the beta. They were: Story, Explore, Strike, Tower, and Crucible. Here’s what the map looked like:
In the Story mode, you are revived by a Ghost and together you trek through Earth, fighting Hive and Fallen. You usually have an ultimate mission to complete, destination to reach, and boss bad guy to defeat. The story mode in beta stopped at level 5. For a couple of hours on Saturday, July 26th, they opened up the Moon on the map where the story continued. Unfortunately, I had to shuffle off to work at that time, so I didn’t get to play it, but my friends that did tell me that it looked really cool and was fun. More anticipation for the full release now, I suppose.
Here’s a video of Story mode gameplay that I captured:
Strike mode dealt with defeating waves of enemies and a boss in three stages. You were paired with two other people, and together the three of you take on Strike mode. The first stage had three waves of a bunch of standard enemies attacking, it was more of a numbers game and ended with a difficult Fallen guy with a yellow health bar. The yellow health bar guys are supposed to be harder and rarer. The second stage, I took on a giant bug thing that shot missiles out of it’s body. One hit from the missile and you were dead. This was probably the most difficult stage of the three. Once you made it past bug guy, you proceeded to the final stage of Strike where you took on a giant floating eyeball. Aiming directly for its pupil yielded more damage. Beat the eyeball, and you won Strike!
Explore mode was the third mode you could play on Earth. You loaded into the world, searched for mission markers and completed missions. Some of the missions I got were to collect my defeated enemy’s spines, collect cloth from my enemies, clear the enemy from a certain location, and scout the enemy’s forces. I couldn’t spend more than an hour or two in this mode, or it started to feel a little repetitive, but it was a great way to grind for experience.
The Tower wasn’t really a mode more of a place, I guess. It played a part in the story mode a little bit, but it’s more a place to upgrade your gear and socialize. You could also accept Crucible and Vanguard missions here. Here’s a video from my time in the Tower. Lot’s of silliness:
The Crucible is player versus player. It is the place where you face off against other Guardians, Call-of-Duty style. There are bunch of different modes within the Crucible that you can play: Control, Clash, Skirmish, Combined Arms, Rumble, and Salvage. Control, however, was the only mode available.
In Control, the objective was for each team to control three zones on the map. Players would fight to hold the zones and neutralize and capture a zone if held by an opposing team. Teams get points for killing opposing players and capturing zones.
There are a total of eleven playable maps. In the beta, I was only able to play on two: the Moon’s First Light and Venus’s Shores of Time.
The complete list of maps are as follows:
• Earth: Twilight Gap, Rusted Lands, Exodus Blue
• Moon: First Light, The Anomaly
• Mars: Bastion, Firebase Delphi, Blind Watch
• Venus: Asylum, Shores of Time
• Mercury: The Burning Shrine
Occasionally throughout the beta, Bungie opened up a limited time event called the Iron Banner. It was Control, but a weapon’s power ratings were used as they were, instead of being leveled weapon stats for even gameplay, like in normal Control matches. A previously blocked off section in the Tower opened up and I was able to buy legendary gear. I was also able to take on Iron Banner missions. The coolest thing from the event though was that I was able to check out a new map, Blind Watch on Mars. Below is a video of one of my Iron Banner/Crucible/Control matches:
I may have briefly touched on this before, but as you gain experience, you are able to activate certain circles on your character’s skill tree. Each circle gives your character a new ability or improves an already established ability. I found the fastest way to level up was by playing the Story mode, as you earned experience for completing each chapter. Strike was another good way, as you were forced to go against enemy waves. Explore was basic grinding, but you slowly got there. The Crucible wasn’t particularly the best way to level up. You would gain minimal experience from matches, but if you are good at completing missions, you could gain major experience that way. (Missions would be something like get 50 headshots, stab 15 people in the back, etc.)
There was a pretty decent weapon selection in this game. Each Guardian could carry three weapons: a primary, secondary, and heavy.
There are four types of primary weapons: the auto-rifle (full automatic), scout rifle (semi-automatic), pulse rifle (fired in short bursts), and the hand cannon. Personally, my favorite was the auto-rifle. It wasn’t as powerful as the other three, but it felt easier to use.
There are three types of secondary weapons: the shotgun, sniper rifle, and fusion rifle. All three deal higher damage than the primary weapons, but ammo is rarer. My favorite secondary was the sniper rifle, but the other two packed a pretty powerful punch too.
There are only two types of heavy weapons: rocket launchers and machine guns. Coming across this type of ammo is very rare, but you are guaranteed kills with your heavy.
There are various and different weapon models for each type of weapon, and they all have different levels. As your Guardian levels up, you’ll want to trade up to a higher level weapon as well. Some weapons can also gain experience points as you use them and level up to activate a weapon ability.
Items and Rarity
I thought this would be worth mentioning. Both weapons and armor can be one of these four: standard, uncommon, rare, or legendary. Standard items are denoted by a white tile on the item screen. Uncommon are green, rare are blue, and legendary are purple. The rarer the item the stronger it is and the better chance it has of having an add-on ability from equipping it.
I had a blast playing the Destiny beta. It was a lot of fun! I would recommend this game to anyone sitting on the fence about it. It will be released on September 9th, and I’ll certainly be counting down the days. I look forward to continuing the story, fighting other players in the Crucible, and exploring the worlds of Destiny.
Back during E3, Sony announced that a solid white, limited edition PS4 would be bundled with Destiny, due for release on September 9. If you only want the system, however, you won’t have to wait very long.
President of Sony’s Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida, told french site Game One, “In Europe we’re going to launch the bundle with Destiny on September 9th,” he said. “But after that, later this year, we’re going to release the standalone white PS4 as well in Europe.”
While North America is set to get the console in the bundle, there’s no word yet on whether it will get it as a standalone as well.
North America is set to get new color controllers. A glacier white DualShock 4 controller, along with wave blue and camouflage, are set to be released on September 9 and September 30 respectively.