Squiddy’s Game Ramblings – November Mute Edition

Helooooo eyes! I know you’re used to using your ears for this, but cold air equals gravely voiced wheezy squid, so rather than put off a recording any longer I decided to spew out my material in a blog post over several days. Well, it has been several days and things are finally DONE! My fingers endured great hardships as did my sanity dictating to my phone for speech-to-text. Unnecessary complications.

Anyhoo hullabaloo, I’m just going to get right into games I’ve finished since September and then move on to current playings before calling it a day.

Destiny.

September was an exciting month when it was around. Destiny was the big bad thing to come along and suck up copious amounts of my free time, which I had given myself a fuck ton of so I could really enjoy the game. I did for a good long while. Putting aside it has less content at launch than most free-to-play games I’ve devoted time to, it’s a fun playing experience. The weapons aren’t very satisfying to use and could stand to pop more and be more tactile and have more visual variety between types, but new content should take care of at least the latter. I can say the same about clothing and shaders, but it’s not an MMO where such individuality is one of those things most players devote a lot of their time.

No, Destiny is not an MMO. It has elements of one, yes, but what part of 16 people in a social location equates to “massively?” None. most of the time you are either flying solo or with two other people. The only exceptions are Raids and PvP. I may be off with that number, it could be greater than sixteen or smaller, but the point is that’s not many people.

In all my life, I can’t say I’ve heard as much bitching about a game as I have with Destiny. That’s not to say I haven’t done my own share of bitching. We all have moments where a game pisses us off and my bad luck with drops and mission rewards just happened to be it. There is nothing more infuriating that sinking a shit ton of hours into droll repetitive tasks to get nothing useable come reward time. Of course, there were also the slew of PvP bugs that were never fixed since the beta what also got under me skin. That aside, there is so much hatred for pretty much every little part of the game, it really started to wear on me. I can get some things. There are some things I’d like to see changed or added, but I don’t hate the game for it. I’d like more stuff to collect, more space to hoard said stuff, voice acting by people who don’t sound tired and bored, an actual point to having a Ghost, everything you need an outside thing to view be included in-game, and variety in levels. It would be nice to have some fleshing out with the story, but the lore cards are interesting enough and help answer some questions.

Speaking of story, it became a somewhat big issue for me, when it was actually considered a thing. I wanted to know things and it frustrated me how many gaping holes there are and what little there actually is of a quality story. No, what we have here is just about what we had in the past what when we old-time gamers were laddies and lassies. How many of those games had stories? Not bloody many. At best, we had a few opening screens setting up the action and various “Thanks For Playing,” messages at the end. My girlfriend got kidnapped so I must now beat up various 80s thug stereotypes in order to save her. What more do I need to know? Nothing. Many games don’t need a story at all; it’s all about the action, and if we’re given one–okay. My irritation with Destiny’s story is that is is more of an obvious skeelton to be filled in later by future content. I expected something more fulfilling that what was there, but I moved on to not even giving a fuck and just running around shooting lots of things while my Ghost needs more time. That seemed to have happened a bit too often, or I always got the missions where that was the thing.

Of course there are also the people who hate every change Bungie makes to their game, and I heard a lot of that shit regarding their changes to the raid: No use of sniping platforms in the Templar mission due to increased enemy spawns there, The Big Bad Boss will now randomly teleport three people of your fireteam instead of just the back three, no more killing him in 17 seconds with homing rockets. Those are the only ones I can think of from the top of my head, and I can see where the hatred comes from. From people who say they don’t want just one way to complete their raid, these sorts of changes can limit strategies and two of my friends feel Bungie is punishing teamwork by doing so.

Me? Well, if you managed to put a fireteam together of people who all put the time into upgrading their Gjallarhorn, why punish them for using it? There’s already a cooldown on the raid and it’s not like you’ll get a shit ton of rewards for it, anyway. I’m not sure how I feel about the random teleportation, I’m not a huge fan of it, but whatever. That’s something you can just deal with. If everyone on your team know what to do when teleported and what everyone else should do when/if certain people are teleported, it won’t even matter. If anything, it just requires a bit more teamwork and knowing your shit. I don’t know what these aforementioned sniping platforms in the templar fight are, so it gets another whatever. People adapt. Strategies change.

The latest hatred I’ve been hearing is about the coming expansion. $15 for +2 light level cap, 3 story missions, new vendor with bounties ‘n quests of newness, 1 new strike, 1 new raid, 3 new PvP maps, and an unknown amount of gear. A great many haters believe all this isn’t worth $15, and I am inclined to agree. I’d like to know how the rest of the game will scale with the new content, which it should, or if we have to drop the raid gear we’ve been grinding out for new raid gear. At any rate, if you don’t get the expansion, you’ll still get some new gear, new bounties, and +5 bounty slots.

I almost forgot about another hate group. My friend had told me that he had read in a lot of comments people stating casual players ruin Destiny and they are why the game is so simplistic and easy. I have to move on, or my IQ will suffer permanent damage.

Whenever you get into a game like this, a multiplayer game with promised updates and expansions, you do expect a certain level of quality when you finally have it in your hot little hands. I am one of the people who think it could have been a bit higher. It really does feel like I paid for Early Access and it gets under my a skin sometimes when the frustration of shit drops for hours of grinding start to wear on me. It’s worse when I’m playing with someone who hates the game and does nothing but bitch and bitch and bitch and bitch. WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU PLAYING?! Yes, there are things I don’t like, but I still enjoy playing it. There is nothing wrong with me for liking what I like, so move the fuck on. Why must all these idiots waste all their time and energy bitching and criticizing the people who do like the game? That is a rhetorical question. They also need to fucking get over themselves. This isn’t fucking Borderlands, or Mass Effect, or Halo, or whatever other FPS you wanted this game to be. It is just another co-op FPS with ranked progression dressed up as an RPG with upgradeable gear. If you have to compare it to something, Phantasy Star Online is a good match, as well as Warframe. Games like Killing Floor and Orion wouldn’t be too far off if they threw in a co-op campaign and loot, for starters.

I’m starting to feel a bit down I couldn’t just spew this all out in a recording. I’m also feeling the pangs of only just now having the idea to dress this up as a transcript for a lost October episode. Oh, well.

I will not be getting the expansions that are coming and, as some of you have noticed, I don’t play it anymore. I enjoyed it, but I did get all I could from it. It stopped being enjoyable as the things I had to grind became boring as all hell even with friends. The first expansion isn’t adding enough for me, so I am going to wait until a few more get rolled out, or they have a nicer priced bundle before considering a return. Playing with friends can only carry it so far and they can’t mask how grueling the repetition is. Do I feel accomplished when I actually do get a good reward? Absolutely not, because nothing I did had any bearing on my reward. Nothing you do matters. Your skill doesn’t matter. Your character build doesn’t matter. Your rewards are 100% fucking random. So when you’ve spent five hours grinding out the crucible to collect what only drops there, and for the umpteenth time your winning team gets nothing–or better still, the worst person on your team is the only person who gets anything…, you start to feel that repetition and that makes things not fun for me. That’s why I’ve moved on and returned to Warframe–not that I ever left it mind you.

It is also worth mentioning, most of the gripes about grind and loot is solely regarding the end game experience. I feel the distinction is necessary, as the first 20 levels, gear isn’t difficult to come by and progression is pretty much how you’d expect it to be. I got to 25 without too much trouble before things really started wearing on me and I left sitting at 28 for far too long. I’m not saying that end game content needs to be easy, but it can be quite a shock of slowdown when you start pouring house into aquiring better legendaries and all the materials you need to upgrade them. When you’re now relying on a random roll to determine your progression, it can get really daunting. Some people dont’ care about end game stuff and just do campaigns or PvP, those players will likely be just fine.

Destiny is not a shit game, despite what a lot of haters say. It’s something that should be purchased with caution, because it certainly isn’t for everyone and if you expected loot to rain from the heavens, you’re likely going to be in for some disappointment or at risk of a stroke. There is a lot of room for growth and there are some areas that could do with some changes, but it’s still young. WE’ll just have to see what happens.

This is probably all I’ll say regarding Destiny until my return or there’s some crazy news or shit happening. There’s enough shit on the internet about Destiny as it is, but I felt I needed to at least wrap up my thoughts on things. It’s been quite the roller coaster ride, but honestly, I don’t miss it at all. I’ve been a lot happier, less enraged, and haven’t been needing meds since I quit playing which is good for a squiddy’s health.

Warhammer 40k: Space Marine.

If it isn’t already known, I am a Games Workshop fan. I say this, because I have collected and played many an army in their entire line of miniature games. ENTIRE. This includes Epic 40k, Blood Bowl, Battlefleet Gothic, and their skirmish-oriented games. I love the 40k universe and I enjoy reading the comics and novels put out. Their video games have mostly been pretty awesome in my opinion with the Dawn of War series ranking highly among them all. Space Marine gave me many moments of fanboy nerdgasms as I slaughtered hordes of Greenskins. Seeing that Titan did things to me, too.

I didn’t get into the multiplayer experience. I don’t even know if it is still available or if anyone plays, so I missed out on more fun with that. I enjoyed the story, but I cared mostly about slaughtering orcs. I just couldn’t move on from the satisfying violence. The environments were fun to navigate, too, and it really felt like you thrown into a 40k campaign. I could envision how I would make some of the terrain for myself.

The only complaint I have is the hanging ending and no sequel for resolution. Outside of that, I can see myself playing through this again in the future. I need to pick up that PS2 title in which you play a Tau. Fire Warrior, I think it was called.

Asura’s Wrath.

This is the best thing I’ve played this year. Hands down. Holy fuck what a weird story, but kick-ass action! The art style looked a bit smudgy, dirty and I didn’t like it in the beginning, but I quit caring after I got into it. So much fun. I will go back and finish it up to unlock the other endings some day. Whenever the day comes where I can handle its awesomeness again.

Last year, I got through 57 games and Sleeping Dogs was the best of them. Yes, I will get the HD beautificious release on PS4 eventually. It’s too bad-ass to pass up. Asura’s Wrath is likely going to take the crown of my best game played this year unless I quit being lazy and run out and get Bayonetta 2. We’ll have to see.

Fairytale Fights.

This is more of a novelty thing I wanted on premise than anything else, and it played that way. It’s controls aren’t the nicest sharing a play model with dual-stick shooters, and the jumping mechanics would often have you killing yourself, but I can’t say it wasn’t satisfying butchering things with unusual weapons. The campaign felt way longer than it needed to be. It didn’t take long for me to feel done with the game, so it lost some enjoyability as I ground out the last few chapters.

Killzone via HD Collection.

It has been a long, long, long time since I last played Killzone on my fat PS2. I had remembered liking the game for the unusual sci-fi story it had and I liked the Helghast. They made me think of nazi aliens, which is weird, because helgast is old icelandic which I found in a dictionary: “af-gøra (-ða, -ðr), v. to do amiss, do wrong (ek hefi engan hlut afgørt við þik); -helgast (að), refl. to become unholy, to be Profaned.”

Anyway, playing through it again, it felt pretty dated. I still enjoyed it, though. I have fond memories of the game and that seemed to keep the taint of age from ruining things. That’s not always the case with me, and sometimes some elements really get to me like graphics, voice acting, and controls. I’m happy to have played through it again and have been working on the PSP, Liberation, here-and-there which I will complete before moving on to Killzone 2.

Fowl Space.

This PC platform game I purchased for less than a dollar during some Steam sale a year or two back. It looked entertaining enough and was cheap enough. Yeah, that was terrible. I know. Anyway, the game was quite foul indeed with a fair amount of malapropism. In fact, it was so thick with it, I couldn’t stand it and it lost its amusement. Ignoring the crudeness, as a platformer, it had a nice visual style, simple enough controls, and decent level design. Despite the price I paid, it still wasn’t worth it. My enjoyment lasted only the first few stages before it became tired.

Super Mario 3D World.

In the recent years, I’ve grown tired of Mario. I like him. I want to keep liking him, but I have played Mario games since my childhood and I started getting tired of it. My all time favorites of the series have always been a toss up between Super Mario World, Mario 64, and Super Mario All Stars for prettier nostalgia’s sake. Super Mario 3D World is by far the best Mario title I’ve played in a long time and could very well replace Mario 64. I got hooked into it very quickly and the levels were just about the right length to hold my attention, especially going through the completion process. It did get annoying when seeing your own Mii as a ghost go through the level, as my eyes would track onto her instead of my character and I’d end up dead. I also grew tired of seeing the poo and fart jokes posted during the scoring screen. Ugh.

It really felt like a more classic Mario experience and that’s what I’ve always liked about Mario. It felt like a tribute to Mario 64 and Super Mario World and I nerded out playing this game religiously for a long time. I would 100% complete a world (including getting my all character playthroughs) before moving on to the next one the following day. The game also had some nice elements of older titles including a luigi version of the original Mario Bros. arcade game which I had the NES cart for. I hated those ice shards that would freeze a platform. I’d always slide into crabs.

There’s familiar music from several old titles, good use of 8-bit artwork like seeing an old 8-bit mario sliding through a pipe, and a lot of gaming elements reminiscent more so of those old games. It’s a real feel-good, happy, Mario nostalgia experience and that’s what makes it so great for me. It’s the first Mario game since 2006 when New Super Mario Bros was released for DS that had me going back for more. It’s no surprise, really. New Super Mario Bros was the return of side-scrolling Mario and brought with it more nostalgia fuzzies for me. I enjoyed Super Princess Peach, but not even nearly as much.

I’m glad I dusted off my WiiU to play this.

Deadpool.

I had wanted to play this game for a long time, but just never sat down to doing it. I finally did, and holy crap it was a fun ride. I wondered how Deadpool the game would be. I am a fan of his character and enjoy reading him when he’s written well and this game really captured him well. It certainly felt like Deadpool and it had such a preposterous plot it was believable within the context. It IS Deadpool after all.

The combat was enjoyable, but I hardly bothered with any of the upgrades. I got through the game with just the first set of weapons and spent everything else on upgrading just those beginning weapons and the general ones. I expect there to be more of a need for delving into the other stuff on higher difficulties, but I played it through quickly just to get the story and I loved every minute of it.

I will always feel sorry for Cable. Always. It was good to see them together again.

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls Edition.

I completed the game as a Crusader back in August and have been sinking a great deal of time into it lately. I have all classes at level seven and my Paragon level is in the 90s. I’ve been enjoying the end game experience in this, as it’s shared amongst my characters. The only thing I need to worry about is gear and I’ve been enjoying grinding rifts, especially greater rifts, for legendary gems and gear. It is quite fun, and in the beginning I mentioned Path of Exile being my premier Dibalo-successor over this and how I preferred Torchlight. I still stand by Path of Exile holding that position for the most basic reason in that Diablo 3 is not Diablo 2. Well, yeah. It’s not. It’s more accessible, it’s less confining and easy to manage multiple builds on one character, the apprentice system and nemesis system are fucking cool, and the randomization helps freshen up the grind as if slaughtering hordes of evil could ever get old.

Diablo 3 is the best thing I’m playing on my PS4 right now. I’m addicted to unlocking all the banner elements by completing the challenges. It’s been great fun and I’ve bummed around with a lot of cool people in random multiplayer sessions. As hellaciously slow it’s been grinding out keys for infernal machines to get what I need to craft Hellfire sparklies, I’ve never once felt any rage not getting a key to drop from the keywardens. I still get stuff amidst the junk that I can use. Grinding out Forgotten Souls from rift guardians can get slow sometimes when I get legendary gear I want to keep for others, and I must admit I am starting to get annoyed I can’t seem to roll a socket in Band of Whispers for one of my other legendary gems, but again–I still get stuff. Even when that big, bad, boss explodes into loot that turns out to be a big pile of crap, it’s still exciting to see. My friend who quit Destiny still goes into shock when he finds an unidentified legendary item. It makes me chuckle. I must admit it is a bit gratifying, not as gratifying as my Warframe progress, but still puts a smug smile on my face.

Warframe.

And speaking of Warframe, a lot has transpired. We are on update 15! We have Archwing! You need to be of mastery rank 2 to take on the quest, but when able to, your reward is your very own Archwing for flying about space shooting shit up and it is a lot of fun. If you are to quest for Limbo, you will have to get your Archwing and get that thing properly ranked and modded for you must have an archwing to do the missions and they’re high-level and challenging. The reward is worth it. I’d classify Limbo as an advanced frame as it requires more thought, more strategy on use than most of the others and many of the people I’ve encountered playing him don’t know how to fucking use him and annoy the rest of the team. Why? His powers focus on displacement. He can banish enemies into the void. While there, they can’t hurt you and you can’t hurt them until the power wears off and they return. This is true for Limbo, however, he has powers that allow him to enter the void where he can deal increased damage to them. Also, when he’s in the void, only things also in the void can hurt him. Everything else can’t. It makes a great utility power. He’s got a learning curve and it requires some thought to use with most of his powers working hand-in-hand. It also helps if your team understand how they work, then you don’t have people wasting ammo trying to kill something they can’t damage, because lots still do that.

Back to Archwing, there aren’t many mission types. There are two types of Extermination, A sabotage, and Interception. Grineer extermination is more open space with some debris useable as cover. Corpus Extermination is more of a trench run. Sabotage is a trench run to the power core where you must shoot a bunch of nodes in order to expose the core. Each node triggers a laser, so by the time the core is exposed, you’re dealing with manoeuvering through a laser spider web. It’s pretty awesome. Interception is open space and what you’d expect. It can be quite hard sometimes.

Nyx Prime recently got added, prior to U15, and a new range of void missions. There are now four tiers of sabotage for people to farm for their prime gear and the mission is the same that ran for their Gatecrashing event. It is one of my favourite missions alongside the Hive.

Also, the new changes got rid of ability mods. All those mods that represented your frame’s power? They’re all gone now and exist inherently on your frame and need not be equipped at all. For those of us that had ranked cards and forma’d slots, we got some reimbursement in forma and fusion cores. Those like me, having every frame prior to that point, were rolling in fusion cores. They took out two mod slots, also, but that still gave me extra to work with on my primary frames. I love this change as it adds to your frame’s utility. My Valkyr was Paralysis and Warcry only. I polarized her two other power slots in order to get the most from the build. There were moments where I wished I had hysteria just to be invincible and manoeuvre through the map or just to pick up a downed friend or activate life support in the middle of a shitstorm. Don’t get me wrong, hysteria is a nice power, but when you’ve been in a defense or survival mission long enough, you’ll waste your hysteria punching only one thing and it probably didn’t die. You don’t need 40 seconds of hysteria to replenish your life in an invincibility build, either, but I digress. With the new changes, I at least have those powers at my fingertips should I need them. The other plus is you won’t be getting so many ability mod drops from void parkour treasure room containers anymore. And the squid rejoiced. And the squid rejoiced more when a search function got added to the mod screens.

Ability mods are now modifications to how your frame’s ability works. There is one for Hydroid’s undertow that will enable it to heal allies. Greed Pull will enable Mag’s pull to attract pickups. Ash’s smoke screen can extend to allies with Smoke Shadow. Safeguard Switch makes an ally temporarily invulnerable if targeted by Switch Teleport. These are nice, cool ways to to further customize your builds. All of these are obtainable from Syndicate rewards.

I’m having the most fun with Syndicates presently. I have joined New Loka, The Red Veil, and The Perrin Sequence. I am juggling these three because they don’t really interfere negatively with each other presently. When you join a syndicate, you make a sacrifice of tribute. It is different for each, but the same credit-wise. You will get a sigil which you can place and resize mostly anywhere on a frame’s torso or back. While wearing it, you earn rep for your Syndicate for missions you complete. When you get enough rep, you can pay another tribute to reach the next rank which will allow you to buy a special spectre and new sigil. These items cost rep points. You’ll never decrease rank by spending these points. Buying a new sigil increases your earned rep rewards and is a nice display of your status. It is a grindy thing, but not terrible. Everything you do will earn you rep.

Once you’ve attained the first rank, you’ll get special Syndicate alerts that reward you in higher amounts of rep. Of course, gaining rep in one Syndicate will cause you to gain notoriety in two other syndicates. There are two levels of negative ranks for every Syndicate. When you start hitting these, you will be hunted by them. You can look at every faction and see your rep and see what each offers and what will hunt you. There’s no surprises in that, really. Provide you can read and bother with the simple research, you are made fully aware of what you’re getting into when you decide to join a Syndicate.

How these hunts work are just like any other: you will be in a mission, lights will flicker, the faction hunting you will begin to taunt you, and then whatever it is will suddenly appear and attempt to kill the shit outta you. I must say they have been the most harrowing experiences I’ve had to deal with and they are not nice and not easy to deal with because you are dealing with a group of something. If the hunted person has hit rock bottom with a faction, it becomes a much larger and nastier group. It’s fucking cool and great fun and once you’ve hit those negatives, there is always a threat of something coming after you. HOw often does it happen? As often as everything else. They will strike when you least expect it and most likely when you are unprepared.

The other Syndicate items you can get include a nice shiney 5-pack of a particular Tier 4 key. Each syndicate has only one type of key for purchase and if you don’t want to grind three waves of interception for a random T4 key, blowing a chunk of rep for 5 is a good deal. I chose my Syndicate group carefully for these keys types for what I need prime gear wise personally and what I have success in trades. My kid brother went the same route as I picking rival factions so we’ll have between us access to everything.

Syndicates have the ability mods I mentioned and also weapon specific mods. New Loka offers a weapon augmentation mod called Winds of Purity. It is for the Furis and adds life steal and Purity. What is Purity? The easiest would be to consider it an uncontrolled charged limit break. As the weapon is active, Purity causes affinity (xp) gained to fill a meter. Once that meter is full, the weapon does something. In the case of Winds of Purity, it discharges a radial attack dealing 1k corrosive damage to baddies around you and you will be restored 25% of your max health. This only works on the Furis, not Afuris or Dex Furis. These mods are that specific. There is one for the Burston Prime that increases fire rate and Truth. Truth being the Arbiters of Hexis’ term for the limit break meter energy charge thingy. For the Burston Prime, it does the same radial attack, but toxin damage.

I have no doubt that there may be special weaponry added to the syndicate offerings, or even frames, and I’m excited to see how it all goes. The plus side, is everything is tradeable. I would like the Burston Prime weapon augment from the Arbiters of Hexis, but there’s no way I’m gonna grind them out for it. I’ll have to rely on a trade and I’m happy I’m even able to do that.

Another great modification that’s been made is a more useful, cleaner profile screen that will now show you what assassin marks you have: Stalker, G3, Harvester. There’s no doubt whether or not you’ve got a mark when it’s been weeks since you got that threatening mail.

Of course, an older change was real PvP in Dark Sector conflicts. Now, that’s a fucking blast! Your clan strategist even is able to modify the map placing defenses and spectre regimens to really provide a unique experience each time you take part in a conflict. You never know what you’re getting into when you dive into one.

I haven’t been doing too much on the Archwing front. I’m trying to collect my last Kubrow and last mods for him, but it requires destroying 200+ dens on a map that might have five or six, so it can feel slow, though it’s so low level I solo that extermination shit in less than five minutes. Yes, I have better chances if others do the same thing, but the missions tend to take longer.

Also, I’ve my container mod collection to complete. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, there are mods only available from void containers and more easily found in the secret treasure rooms that are parkour puzzles. There are some other secret containers that can be found in void missions, but there are more to be had in the treasure rooms and they are fun to do.

That is what I’ve done and been doing the past couple months. I would have liked to have sat down and rambled about these things and whatever else came into my squiddy brain, but a big blob of text amassed over several days will just have to do for now.

Happy gaming!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s