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7/30/2015 4:42:42 PM

Letters to Bungie, III

[i] [url=]previously[/url][/i] Some further annals: my warlock has defeated Skolas, despite his insistence on teleporting my fellow fireteam guardians, and I have been able to solo up to Crota's (the only?) Deathsinger (in an alternate timeline, [url=]I suppose[/url]), albeit with just my curious, curious, frontier-wand'ring Hunter. I should be working, as summers become extremely busy, and my Destiny playing and enjoyment have both declined noticeably lately, between the end of the last Year 1 DLC and the latent anticipation of the Year 2 release (preordered). But I've missed retrospecting, and there's no time like the present. Per my last post, I was pleasantly surprised to see, on the way to Skolas, an enemy whose shields change between all three energy types. It certainly made the boss more interesting, and forced some loadout changes, but I was disappointed -- and accommodating -- to discover that it didn't substantially increase the required teamwork. Drat. Still pleased to have called it in March, a good two months prior to seeing it in action. (Not that it was prophetic, or suggests some genius logic on my part -- probably on par with anticipating a future enemy who uses rockets AND lasers, or the Halo Reach (and many fantasy RPG) hologram decoys, or (please please please please please) some reduxed version of the Warthog.) But like I said, between three jobs and Drum Corps, my schedule has gotten cramped, and while I've spent some time 'in the field', I've cheesed a lot more. Don't worry, I'm not to the point where I've got Netflix on while playing, but the immersion has lessened. And as I come to the meat of the post, I want to quote Kirk Hamilton, an excellent game journo that I follow, from his experience at E3: [quote][b]Kirk:[/b] Yeah, I got the sense that they want to put in a lot more quests where you’re working toward some known reward, and the story of how you get the gun/armor/thing is interesting and rewarding. Which sounds good and makes sense with the way they’re doing rewards in House of Wolves, though the exotic bounty in House of Wolves is nowhere near as cool as the ones in Vanilla destiny, particularly Thorn.[/quote] [url=]Full text[/url], for the few. Recaps: ([url=]OL/HP[/url]): I like the grimoire, I like the world, I want more; ([url=]Letters, I[/url]): I love the world, make it more interesting; ([url=]Letters, II[/url]): I love the world, make teamwork more interesting; Today: Kirk's small preview or hint at the next development of bounties, particularly exotic ones, gets to the heart of everything I've been circling around these last letters: how to add more variety to Destiny. The enemies are all the same -- but if the AI was tweaked to make them move and act differently, players would have more differences in the stories they tell each other, because all their skirmishes would vary much more. If the TTK-centric challenge at the crux of strikes and missions (and prison/raid bosses) was tweaked, players would have more stories to tell because more strategies would be viable. So, dare I bring up the idea of procedurally-generated bounties? Think of it: players are guaranteed to have similar [i]styles[/i] of bounties, but the bounties themselves would be different. And for this example, I need a tangential rant first. SIDEARMS? ARE YOU -BLAM!ING- KIDDING ME? If I wanted a -BLAM!- pistol to shoot people with, I would use a white hand cannon. I got my hopes SO HIGH for [u]melee[/u] weapons as the new CLASS that I can't yet see the point of an auto-magnum. MORE IMPORTANTLY, the weapon Weekly Update had NO MENTION of WHERE A SIDEARM FITS IN THE DESTINY ARSENAL. NONE. My suspicion: it was created solely to facilitate the Dreg pistol exotic, which could have simply been a secondary-slot exotic hand-cannon. Dangit, I want a sword for my Templar-esque Warlock, Bungie. So a bounty turns up for a melee weapon, a future space katana (obviously), requiring some combination of melee kills of different specific enemies on one or more specific planets. 10 each of all Fallen enemies (Dreg, Captain, Skank, &c), or 100 each of the weakest enemies (Dreg, Thrall, Goblin, Legionnaire). Hunt down 50 of each Vex type on Mars or Venus with sniper rifles for a ranged exotic, or 10 Devil Walkers without dying for a rocket, or locate the 7 Cyclopes on Mars (a special solo patrol-map-size mission, fireteam limit 1 (why [i]aren't[/i] there any other Cyclopes, while we're at it)), or kill 1,000 Cabal Colossi with hand cannons without dying (LOL). Near-endless possibilities that (virtually) guarantee players all have different experiences -- meaning [i]the most possible player stories[/i]. And it doesn't even include [i]non-FPS activities[/i], like spending glimmer, collecting engrams, opening chests, harvesting resources, [i]getting useless ship blueprints[/i]. Include those and I think the "(virtually)" could be removed from the "near-endless". Now combine that with enemies that feel different to fight, skulls that challenge players beyond "don't get shot too much", and Destiny would really expand its storytelling capabilities. Still waiting for a Daily that has Epic and Trickle, or Brawler and Airborne, or a level of Strike that includes 1-3 random skulls. I don't want to end on a low note, but I'd be remiss without mentioning that, as much as I loved fighting the Reapers, I'm completely unexcited to fight them in Destiny. And utterly disappointed that a talking Hive, with familial ties that make "him" more empathetic and less frightening, will be the next grand story of Destiny. By my calculations, there are enemies with primarily void shields and secondarily (on Epic) fire shields, as well as those with primarily arc shields and secondarily void shields, that we have yet to meet. And later, if the Taken Reaper army isn't doing this, an enemy that primarily uses all 3 types of shields. (I wonder if Guardians will eventually be secondarily any type of shield, as primarily our shields are non-elemental.) If the Hive (well, and the Cabal; c'mon) grew in the background through many side-missions during Year 2, while further planets, or space stations (looking at you, Saturn and Jupiter grimoire entries) opened up for exploration, I, personally, would be more satisfied. But let's see what next year brings. Dutifully yours, NIV7

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