Bungie leaves Activision, takes Destiny with it

Article and info here

This is huge, as a gamer and as a gamer that plays Destiny; this is a very big move and potentially the biggest of 2019 and we aren’t even midway through January. In the face of their subsidiary Blizzard paying their employees severance to quit, and now this news of Bungie’s departure does not bode well for the giant. Activision has been pushing so hard for bigger profits while cutting costs and I think these sweeping mandates on top of the actions in the hopes of those goals (Diablo Immortal, microtransactions in general, anti-consumer practices, over-monetization, under-developed games, etc) are the biggest factors in these recent developments. Activision has been isolating themselves with every month that’s passed, two CFOs were let go/left back to back. All these things were clearly red flags for Bungie, to the point where they can’t even take the money and deal with it anymore. This is another huge blow to the publisher to the point where I can’t help but wonder exactly where this leads to given that this probably isn’t the last bit of news to come from the halls of Activision.

As a Destiny player, this is where the chips are really down. Bungie has no fallback, no scapegoat to use for the colossal fuck-ups they’ve had in the past, no DaddyActivision money, and every eye on them now that (in a sense) they’re back at square one. I open with the bad because I genuinely believe it doesn’t outshine the good. Bungie is free. This is complete speculation but imagine Destiny, with the dev response that Halo had. If it’s half the effort they put into that franchise I will be happier as a Destiny player. Bungie has fallen from grace, and instead of going gently into that good night. Instead, they’re fighting for the respect their name once had and trying to resurrect their reputation as FPS frontrunners. The mere fact they did this is a good sign to the point where even my pessimistic ass can’t ignore it.

This news has just dropped today, no one knows what’s going to happen. We don’t know when the separation will occur and what kind of recompense may come of it. All I’ll say is, this is one of the best things Bungie could’ve done from a creative standpoint. Now they just have to capitalize on it. Let’s see what this old dog can do.

Advertisements

Destiny2 Forsaken update

(psn) Chayk-47: Warlock lvl 50 light 555

I apologize, I really wanted to make sure I was firmly planted into Forsaken before speaking extensively on it. In this time I’ve done my fair share of exploring the Dreaming city, cleansing the Blind Well, ascending for challenges, collecting bounties, gathering motes, and watching the game change as the weeks roll on. I haven’t even looked at the raid and probably won’t until I can carry my own weight and have at least 560-70 light. Though a buddy and I have visited that ol Wall-o-Wishes.

Weapon slots and infusion

You now infuse across the ammo/class type. Wanna infuse that kinetic handcannon? You can now infuse it with that higher damage kinetic auto rifle, sub-machine gun, sidearm, really anything. This is nice, not necessary, but nice. It’s a bit of a bitch when you get that cool shotgun, only to have to go out and find another if you want to make it any better. Overall, that sounds easier, the other addition of requiring planetary resources as well as legendary shards. A little something to push the players back out into the game world to upgrade that new piece. Fortunately, players are given 4 resources (public event, lost sector, high-value target, harvesting, etc) on the planet to get these resources. Where the problem lies is how important Masterwork Cores are. Not only do we now need them for infusion, but they’re also still needed to upgrade armor and weapons MW ranks…..and they do not drop often enough I can’t put enough emphasis on that. Yes, there are consumables that increase the chance of dropping one; that is until you get said one. It allows you to get one core. Sometimes you’ll get one from a dismantled weapon or armor and I understand it’s not supposed to drop a lot but there’s a difference between beyond scare and falling from the sky. On top of that, you need more and more when going to further upgrade your armor Masterwork rank. Suddenly you’re really stuck between upgrading a couple guns or throwing 3-5 cores away for a couple higher ranks. Everything else was great and with the changes to infusion, it made the act mean something. I just think the addition of requiring Masterwork Cores was a bit much. It’s clear that this is so players hold their cores and wait for the gun they really like, but I feel like the time between that first gun that makes you go “ooo” and having it rank 10 is too long when so many other things also need infusion and ranking up.

Exotics

We’re back to D1 with the rate Exotics are dropping these days. Forsaken exotics specifically can be a real bitch to get a hold of beyond the ones directly related to the campaign/ a quest. It definitely isn’t a bad thing, I finally get that excitement and anticipation that comes when that golden bastard pops out of an enemies head. Again, infusion comes at a very high cost with 3 whole masterworks required (also why do blue weapons and gear need the same amount of mwrk cores as exotics to infuse with them??). Some people might hate how hard it is to obtain one but personally, I enjoy the new distribution algorithm because now it makes Exotics really feel like their name implies. Now can we please get some dupe protection because god damn.

Game mode changes

Heroic strikes are gone (sigh) though their alternative is alright especially with the addition of mods. Now we have heroic story missions…? In my opinion, there are maybe 5 levels across all the dlcs that are actually worth playing again. Nightfall is still here with the option to choose between three which I LOVE. As someone that hunts for nightfall weapons only to fail miserably, to be able to give a go at any of the ones that interest me is exactly what this needed. New modifiers like locked equipment and challenge card requirements are also added to the game mode as well. TTK in Crucible has been reduced with key changes like 3 tap hand cannon kills, shoulder charges are insta-kills, ability melees kill quicker with two hits (some skills only need one) needed to down anyone. Matches moves along quicker but they still lack that sense of chaos I got in D1 PvP.

Gambit

I really really enjoy Gambit. I am absolute dog-shit at PvP. When it comes to other players I always come up short/at the top of the totem pole, the bottom of the team list. Now in Gambit, I can contribute without having to put myself in that position, I can stay on our side of the fence and blast away at enemies, bank motes and kill blockers. Should I feel frisky, I can hop over and see how many Guardians I can rip into. Sleeper Simulant is a little rampant but it does do the job and a decently composed team can go on high alert when an invader is announced and usually cut them down pretty quickly. I have to take my hat off to Bungie as someone that doesn’t enjoy conventional multiplayer, this is a great game mode that lets us do what we are good at and still contribute. Not to mention…Malfeasance…give it to me…nao… All that being said, this game mode should’ve been free for all players. Instead of the super lame occasional “free weekend”, they do to entice players into buying Forsaken.

The Dreaming City

An interesting, deep, and changing endgame destination; The Dreaming City holds a lot of secrets and may be the biggest destination, its definitely one of the deepest of any of the world spaces. In week one I went walking around and stumbled upon an ominous deactivated portal covered in Taken energy. Even further down into the Confluence lead me to the skulls of two Ahamkara that you can counsel with and trade resources. No world in D2 has offered so much and left us with so many questions for us to find the answers to. The Blind Well is fun and a nice spin on Escalation Protocol and world events of the like with worthwhile rewards that have a chance of dropping. Cats to give gifts to, ascendant challenges to complete, and a few quest missions that will surely take us somewhere, I just don’t know where yet. What is there at the start is good and challenging, keeping the player busy. As power grows, we can now go out and actually find things, make lore focused discoveries, and finding mysteries for us to understand at a later date. It’s like I’m playing Destiny again or something.

Forsaken is tricky, it’s by far the best content release of D2 and maybe ever in the franchise. It reworks the experience and pushes it toward a more rewarding experience that does require a little time to earn. Again, my only issue is that this is the release that could really bring people back, but the price tag is arguably too much to fix a game no one asked for Bungie to break. I feel like at the very least Gambit could’ve been free and that way people may want to come back and earn the Gambit weapons and random rolls to test if maybe Forsaken is for them. I know it’s not the best solution but I’m just spitballing cause I know there is a better way than this I just can’t put my finger on it per say. Oh, and not requiring the other terrible DLCs (an entirely unnecessary purchase, seriously no content of CoO or Warmind is used) seriously what the fuck. All in all, I’m really liking what Forsaken is doing for/to D2 but I don’t like the cost or that it is outside of the season pass that a lot of players already paid for. Consider it, you might just get pulled back into Destiny all over again; but if 140 dollars is too much for you to get into a game who the fuck can blame you?

My Forsaken thots

What the actual fuck Bungie, explain to me where you get off thinking you can charge us 70 wallet-womping dollars for content that shouldn’t be nearly as expensive. I understand a lot of people are claiming it should be free entirely and I totally understand that. I wish that voice could rise and change that major caveat (alongside the required CoO and Warmind purchase). Personally, I think if Forsaken and the new annual pass were 30-40 total that would be much more manageable. Instead, we have this bloated DLC package that is driving up the total cost of Destiny 2 to unreasonable levels.

I refuse to believe that (outside of the Operators) Rainbow Six Siege drops all their content for free, meanwhile, Bungie is up in Activision’s castle splashing around in their pool of doubloons fucking players left and right all while screaming “we need more money, we need more money” What the fuck were the first two DLCs, the litany of microtransactions, the XP throttling meant to push players toward said microtransactions. Bungie, why the fuck do you act broke? If you aren’t getting paid isn’t that maybe a reaction to your not so friendly business practices? Your offer of goodwill being a massive expansion (that requires the purchase of Curse and Warmind). Total cost for at least Forsaken (sans game) is 85-90 after tax. That’s just the DLC! What the fuck did we pay for when we bought this game. Why wasn’t this free? How can anyone sit here and be like “Oh they gotta get paid you guys come on”. Yes, they absolutely do but I think they’re getting paid just fine don’t you? They couldn’t have knocked off twenty bucks? Thirty? How can they justify that this price point is necessary by any means after all the shit they’ve pulled? You’d think maybe Bungie would be willing to take a step back given their nearly constant missteps since D2′s release. No, head down barreling through hands outstretched for more money without a bit of remorse. What’s that you say? How would I know if they felt remorse? I don’t, but usually, remorse manifests itself in some form or fashion outside of a tweeted apology. No follow through as usual. It looks like a great bundle, I’m just upset Bungie feels the need to bend us over a barrel for us to get it.

Yes, there are free updates that are still coming and they are substantial (Mod system updates, weapon randomization, weapon slot changes, Triumphs, bulk shader deletion [yipee], Bounties and more). These changes are the good quality of life improvements that D2 needed a while ago, at least those are free. I just… I look at games like Warframe (which is one of its kind) but it proves microtransactions can exist in an enjoyable, complex game. Bungie seemed to be fine with the bare minimum (until this point). It’s worth noting, however, that Bungie can’t help but get in their own way. I’m not one to let the past dictate the future but you’d be a fool to not be a little wary right now.

Destiny 3 better be free (#bars), like, there’s no excuse. They’re obviously gonna do something similar to this so just give it up free and charge us on the back end. D2 is gonna wind up with the most expensive overall DLC package a game has seen in a long time (if not ever). With the first two of both games arguably being not worth their salt, what are we as gamers paying for? I firmly believe the clock is running out on Bungie and Destiny, I hope they fix this ship before it sinks.

D2 Forsaken hype

Holy shit is this a big drop packed to the brim with updates and changes. Some of these additions sound like exactly what D2 needs at the moment. Naturally, it isn’t without fault and where there is hype there is hate. I am seated right on the fence and the post and is as uncomfortable a spot to sit as you’d think. This is the official trailer for Forsaken. I will rattle off the bigger points and my thoughts on them.

I will start off by saying this is the meatiest update Destiny has ever received. Neither of the previous content drops interested me in the slightest, I already had the season pass cause we live in a day and age where you might not get a full game unless you do. That said, I wanted CoO and Warmind to be good. I wanted and still want this game to succeed. That said, I still wasn’t excited by any means for either DLC. What I’m trying to say is: even with my very cynical and negative outlook on the overall quality of D2 post-release, Forsaken looks like this is the continuation of the right steps made in Warmind.

Gambit sounds great, PvP I can actually get interested in because otherwise it’s been wildly pathetic. To come out with something so genuinely revolutionary feels lopsided but fuck if I care gimme. The Dreaming City raid sounds very interesting as well. A constantly changing environment that actually involves a little exploration, some intrigue. Despite not getting much story both in the content and in the reveal, we did get a lot of clues as to how we’ll be interacting with this expansion. This appears to be through combat. With a crew of intergalactic baddies to take down, it seems Bungie has forgone conventional storytelling for context through combat which I support fully. Can I get an amen for random rolls, armor perks, and completely reworked weapons system?! Those are free changes and those are arguably some of the biggest. All in all, there’s a lot to be excited about. I do however have some strange indigestion over the whole thing.

Warmind thots

Better if only by a bit 

 

I understand that Vicarious Visions made this expansion, a fact that is a little troubling if you ask me and my pessimistic tendencies. Even with that information, I almost forgot another developer had taken care of this expansion because it was very much along the lines of Bungie’s typical format. I still feel that these thoughts and feelings are relevant and still perfectly appropriate despite Bungie doing this a little differently this time around. The fact remains: nothing is going in the game that doesn’t have Bungie’s approval. Hell, as far as we know Vicarious merely did what Bungie would’ve done anyway, following a template that was explicitly written by Bungie. From what I understand they did design the Raid Lair but I doubt they were given such liberties with dlc given what we have is reported to have been lined up for a while. Regardless, the overall message of this is that the Warmind dlc is an improvement. The subtext is that such an accomplishment means fuck-all in the face of what can only be described as a huge flop for both Bungie and Activision. Despite what the financial reports may say.  Changes to exotics are great and give us something to grind that improves our favorite guns. Escalation Protocol is a challenge that takes coordination but is still a great idea at its core. Nodes are another means of grind that again give guardians a reason to come back. Curse of Osiris was a low bar to step over, but at least they did it and did it fairly well.

“Dress-tiny”

Good god how is it that the dlc adds blander armors. I think the focus on armor is all wrong and centered way too much around looks but since it’s here; the least they could do is stand out. Hunters get straight up screwed with some of the least impressive and lazy designs I’ve ever seen. Literally solid color sleeves and a slightly different glove design. Titans are clearly the character type that inspires the artists the most because from the looks to the functionality they have it the best hands down in my opinion. My preferred class, Warlock, sits somewhere in the middle. With armor pieces that work like a dream in the field, some that are beyond useless and those are just the exotics. The legendary pieces rarely vary in any significant way beyond a couple points this way or that way between the whopping three stats you have to manage. So looks are really all that is left, and there isn’t anything definitive about a lot of these “legendary” pieces of armor. The shader situation is an absolute trash fire, hopefully, the Warmind dlc was gonna add some interesting tweaks to the color scheme…imagine my surprise when the color pallets are few and far between as far as anything really distinguishable. I put on four shaders on some pants and they all looked exactly the same. That’s one of Destiny’s many problems, it’s only half in with all of its ideas.

“Remember whoo you areee”

Lion King reference aside, I can’t be any more serious. *snaps fingers repeatedly* Hello Bungie, wake up! You are squandering all the goodwill built up in your past successes. I understand this is far from the team that brought us Halo: CE but I would’ve thought they would be fighting in its memory. The ambition is there, I commend and respect that much. The effort and execution, however, has been wildly lackluster. I can forgive a large amount of D1′s problems, it’s an ambitious idea that was gonna have some kinks and issues in it.

Company’s like Ubisoft and Capcom are giving away the occasional free update to games like The Divison and Monster Hunter World respectively. For Destiny 2 to become essentially the biggest flop of this generation and offer no respite or token of gratitude to the fanbase that stayed is miraculously idiotic. Oh what’s that? They gave us the broken Prometheus Lens? Aw, that’d be nice if it wasn’t the only gesture Bungie has made, and it released so broken it singlehandedly turned the Crucible into laser tag. Yes, that was fun, but it wasn’t even something Bungie did, it was an accident. That accident for a short period of time was the most exciting and engaging thing that has happened in D2 for a while now. The initial concept of Destiny is very promising, especially when you find out it’s in the hands of Bungie. I can’t help but feel that somewhere along the way they realized that the idea was better than the actual physical manifestation of it. Now that they’re in way too deep, all they can do is press on through the self-made muck and mire. Doing what they want to expand the franchise rather than improve it; coming from a developer I once revered it’s both infuriating and deeply saddening. Please Bungie, get it together for your sake, not ours. I’m not buying D3 and I have a funny feeling a decent amount of people won’t either, you aren’t an indie dev with no experience. Why are you acting like it?

Copy and paste

Warmind’s loot pool is vastly more interesting and enticing than that of Osiris. The sharp geometric shapes, as well as the sounds and skills associated with the guns, are very distinct and dare I say enjoyable. They don’t drop quite as often, Destiny has reverted back to its old ways in that sense and I’m not against it at all. If we get everything in the first week what’s the point of paying so much/ what’s keeping us here? My issue is the recurring problem of both reskins and returning exotics. Osiris was fairly wrought with reskins and even worse with poor and just unsavory perks, these guns rained from the sky I practically had to set up a direct deposit to my trash bin. Even better, these weapons seem to be tiered and earned with different kinds of currency. Now getting that new auto rifle or sub-machine gun feels good when it drops and not repetitive. The bringing back of D1 exotics is nice, there’s no reason in the world why some of these guns can’t and shouldn’t exist in this game. When two of the four guns are D1 guns, that’s when I get peeved. There needs to be more, I’m not talking truckloads but half the guns shouldn’t be D1 guns not for dlc we paid for. Honestly, how hard is it to design a new gun, what are you guys saving it for D3? Why not put out as much as you can to satisfy a fanbase that is struggling in the here and now? Seriously would it kill you guys to throw us a bone beyond fixing the issues we shouldn’t be dealing with at all? I know I can come off as entitled, but realize that this is a game with so much money behind it that I’m genuinely uncomfortable with the figure itself. This money could’ve gone to like… help people. Bungie got $500 million for the franchise as a whole, let’s say it broke up evenly which is about  $166,666,666. Where the fuck did that money go? Destiny 2 is essentially one massive asset flip and when players like me were told D2 would progress the series, it’s done almost nothing but regress. So maybe as a paying customer who has been deceived and lied to since day one of this game, maybe in this instance entitlement is a little understandable.

Change ‘Gon Come

The exotic changes are good, this is a big step in the right direction. Destiny beat its dick to no end about being a power fantasy, then D2 came around and took away the power. These guns are starting to feel exponentially better, really living up to the “exotic” term. Escalation Protocol is brutal, I’m worried it is more difficult than any random group of guardians can handle. The most I’ve done a run with is four or five and I’m suspecting it may take somewhere up to seven. Hard isn’t bad but it’s crushing to the point where I can see players avoiding the event entirely to go complete something they actually have a chance of achieving. The title of this segment is two parts, change is coming to Destiny in the form of the development end. Changes to the game that are efforts in the right direction to give this game a sense of life and purpose. We’ll see what E3 holds, this “Comet” expansion is gonna be featured due to their “brand new game mode” or whatever, something that’s “never been done before int he genre of FPS”. I have no idea what that means but it sounds like the same high aiming that got us in this mess to begin with, we will see. The other half is the changes in the form of who plays Destiny/ how many people will be playing Destiny. I said it earlier and I’ll say it again. Four years is too long for a big name dev like Bungie to say “sorry guys, making games is hard”. You signed up for this, you had time to prepare. No one asked for Destiny, and though making games is no doubt very difficult; I don’t see how you can use that as an excuse in a case of sheer negligence and outright maliciousness by Bungie. Change ‘gon come, one way or another.

Warmind DLC prerelease thots

My breath couldn’t be any less baited for this expansion. Destiny 2 for me has been a day at the beach, but the sand is quicksand, and the water is stomach acid, and the sun is so close that everything is on fire, but there is a nice breeze. Then the shitstorm that was the Curse of Osiris dlc dropped and that was depressingly meager. Weak story, a map small enough for PvP (so small you aren’t allowed to use a sparrow), a shallow loot pool, and overall a general ripoff. Does the Warmind dlc look nice? Sure. Did the last one? Yup. I felt good after the first dlc livestream for Osiris. I was eventually let down quite a bit. So I tried to go into the new one as pessimistic as possible. I still came out saying a lot of the game things: “the guns look great (the ones that aren’t from D1), the plotline sounds interesting but (so did the last), and they said they were working on loot distribution (that simply cannot be true as of the Osiris release).”

Now it does help that an entirely new game mode will be added. Yes. Good. Progress. PS4 exclusive strike, also cool although I feel bad because all Destiny players need to be compensated in some form, I understand it’s a deal worked out between Sony and Activision but still. Xbox players deserve something their own, I know I’m a naive child that needs to learn about the world. edit: The strike is a timed exclusive so yayy. I am hoping they learned from the previous dlc and the story is stronger, make me give a damn or at least tell me a good story. I’m stupid so neither of these should be that hard. Hopefully, Ana will be more present and interesting than the overly-mysterious Osiris.

The raid lair sounds nice, the last one was. I think the raid is the one place Bungie knuckled down and decided they weren’t gonna suck eggs. I am, however, seeing cracks. Bungie promised a new enemy and I understand we may get more information later but so far all I’ve seen is…ice-Hive? You’re kidding right..? The exotics look cool and I can only say look because they’ve only revealed the perks of The Huckleberry thus far. It all does seem like a fairly promising haul. Some interesting legendary weapons as well that caught my eye so it looks like the loot pool will be much better this time around.

Destiny 2 is fun in its mechanics and core concept. The feeling of shooting these guns feels better than most games that claim to focus on gunplay. The world is deep and rich with lore and much to discover and understand. Bungie better not fuck up what really could be the perfect follow-up to Halo. If it weren’t for the epic failures and missteps taken by the developer. Maybe Bungie will get it together, they recently had a summit involving content creators and getting what the fans really want. Whether or not they actually nut up is yet to be seen and entirely up to Bungie.