Destiny, Gaming, Xbox

Let’s Get Sharded!

Yes! I am still spinning Destiny in spite of the fact that Bungie is at the top of my naughty list this holiday season. The disappearing Murmur is my bone of contention. According to the forums over at bungie.net, the weapon has vanished from many player’s backpacks. This is obviously a flaw in the DLC, The Dark Below, but Bungie has yet to do anything about it and a posted a statement on their website saying this:

BNGHelp4

Dec 14 at ‎8‎:‎43‎:‎43‎ ‎PM Permalink
“Hi everyone,
We have taken your information and have spun up an investigation. That said, we   cannot restore missing items or gear. We apologize for the inconvenience.”
I find this response totally unacceptable. First of all, the way I see it everyone who purchased the DLC, The Dark Below, paid $35 for the Murmur. It was a mission based drop from Eris. No one had to complete some grand feat or spend hours of gameplay to attain it. Secondly, the implication here is that the missing weapons are the fault of the gamer or cases of user fraud. That, in itself, is a kick in the teeth to all who play Destiny and frankly, is insulting as hell. Well, I have news for Bungie: One claim of the Murmur disappearing or even a dozen, may constitute the possibility of fraud, but hundreds of reports of the same problem means that the error is yours and the responsibility of “making it right” rests solely on your shoulders. The fact that a studio that is as successful as said mentioned would sweep this issue under the rug and then take a “sorry about your bad luck” attitude is beyond me. I mean let’s face it, IF there are cases where someone’s weapon was replaced illegitimately (ie., they have broken it down and claimed to have lost it just so they can get another, which in my opinion is ludicrous, but hey, Bungie is the one that is suggesting this, not I) IF that were the case, which it isn’t but IF it were & IF Bungie were to replace the Murmur thru the Postmaster, Cryptarch or various other creative ways, what is the worst that would happen? Players would end up with an extra weapon that they would dismantle and receive a shard?!? Please! Does Bungie really feel that would be such a loss?? Is a shard really worth all the bad press and lost revenue that could result from the fallout of Bungie not standing behind their product? I personally feel that a “patch” or “fix” was not and has not been put into place because someone would have to lose some valuable holiday time away from the studio in order to correct the problem. And we, the consumers are obviously not worth the overtime it would take. Or the loss of a programmer’s extra slice of pumpkin pie on Christmas.
On this matter, my message to Bungie is this: If “Sorry for the inconvenience” is the best you can do, how about I inconvenience you by never buying another product that comes out of your studio! Seriously, the only reason the game is still in my tray is for the multiplayer value. And that will get old as the grapes grow more and more sour. My friends and I will move on. So will others. The competition is high. There are other games coming out on the regular. There are other development houses that guarantee excellence and care about the satisfaction of their customers, that own their mistakes and do their best to correct them. It is a shame that the first MMO that I have actually enjoyed playing has disappointed me (and others) so profoundly. My voice is small, Bungie, but I can make it large. And I intend to make it large enough to tell anyone who is listening that I paid cold, hard, cash for a product that is defective. And that no one at your studio cares.  Please correct your mistake and restore the faith.
And please address the issue of the Vanguard Mentor Missive which does not work. (for me anyway). It is broken. If not fixed, that will make two weapons that I have lost out on since The Dark Below dropped. I am not a happy camper. And I can’t help but feel that I have been “sharded” on. Big time.
Thanks, Bungie & Happy Holidays!
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Destiny, Gaming, Xbox

All I Want For Christmas Is My Murmur Back ~ I’ve Been Robbed!

In between all the turkeys and tinsel and family get-togethers, it is hard for a girl to find the time to pick up a controller. But hey, who doesn’t love the holidays and the joy this time of year brings. And fear not, lads and lassies, a true gamer will always make the time to push that button no matter how hectic one’s schedule may become.

Of course, I picked up the DLC that dropped December 9th for Destiny ~ The Dark Below. This addition to the game definitely raises the bar and offers some new objectives for players that may have been feeling like things were getting a little stale. Especially those of us who have been spinning it since drop date. The addition of Eris and her missions give us some deeper perspective on the very vague storyline. The bounties she hands out make me think though that she may be a jilted lover of Crota and is having Guardians exact her revenge on him and the Hive. She definitely has it out for them specifically.

Along with the new missions that Eris provides, players will find new and more powerful weaponry and armor from vendors on tower. These items will be needed because the Blades of Crota have invaded and they are much more formidable enemies than previously seen in the game.

I am enjoying the DLC for the most part and only have two negative things to say about it:

1. The new portion of the game feels like it should have been part of the original $60 game. Story wise, I feel no real connection to any of the game characters, not even the one I play. Bungie basically shipped us the game and said play it with no explanation or a very vague one, as to how or why we got here and how things became they way they are.  I am told that you can learn more about the backgrounds of the races and enemies in the game by going online and reading the grimoire cards collected during gameplay. But truly, I barely can find time to play, much less spend hours on bungie.net reading what I could be learning through storyline. I feel that the best games touch a nerve and create a emotional bond with the gamer. Destiny lacks this. Too, the stronger items now available seem as though they should have been in play from the start. I understand that the main objective of development houses is to keep their game in your console for as long as possible and DLC helps to achieve that. I find sandbagging unacceptable though.I have absolutely no proof that is what happened here. This is just an opinion. Maybe it’s just me but I do wonder if The Dark Below was ever part of the original storyboard.

2. I ran into a major problem doing a daily story which just happened to be a DLC mission. At some point during this , a very nice legendary fusion rifle, which was given to me by Eris, called Murmur and does both Arc and Solar damage, disappeared from my backpack. No, I did not break it down. It just vanished. Looking at the forums, I am not the only unfortunate soul this has happened to. Also during this same session, Eris presented me with a Vanguard Mentor Missive and instructed me to take it to Xander 99-40, the Bounty Tracker. This missive does not work. Xander has an exclamation mark over his head, indicating we need to talk, but when I try to nothing happens, the missive does not pop up and Xander stays silent. I do hope that Bungie will address and fix these issues quickly.

Other than that I enjoy the game and so do my friends. I hope that we continue to.

In the past week I have also tried Game of Thrones, available on the dashboard. It is an arcade game and plays as such but could be enjoyable for fans of the television series. I like it so far myself even though the first episode seemed a little short the storyline is breath-taking.

Until next time…….Peace

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Gaming, Xbox

5 Great Things That Have Come From Playing Destiny

These are my top five favorite things about Destiny. There are many other beautiful assets that I don’t have time to discuss today. We will talk about those in person if we ever run into each other on XBL. 😉

!. My friends and I now have a very good reason to game together. We began as a Gears of War group. We met and bonded over the saga of the fate of Sera. Because of those games  (specifically Gears 2 & 3) I met and became extremely close with some of my best friends. We are like family. Every great game should have the ability to bring the gaming community together. There have been others that my regs & I bought specifically for the multiplayer so that we could all hang out together and have fun. But honestly, this past year the pickings have been slim on games that were both exciting and multiplayer. Destiny has very nicely filled that immense void.

2. There are some very good and very funny Destiny parodies to come out of the community since release date. My personal favorite is this:

I love it! Shout out to it’s creator! If my xbl profile could have a song, this would be it! lol! And seriously, just cruise youtube. There are plenty of Destiny themed, fan-based tributes to the game.

3. The people playing this MMO seem to be extremely nice & helpful. Friends helping friends (both old and new) with strikes & missions & sharing helpful info with perfect strangers is what I’m finding at Tower. This type of positive behavior always makes me feel proud to be a gamer.

4. Finally, there is a game in my library that I can’t seem to take out of my tray. Seems like forever since a game had this effect on me. Something about it keeps me coming back for more. I believe there are many others who agree.

5.Not only have I learned what Fallen, Hive and Cabal are but I also now know some new lingo, such as Dinklebot & Little Light. I have learned that Hunters can’t jump and that Crucible ain’t so bad. That ghosts can be dead and warlocks can be female. To hold on to your relic iron and to use ascendant materials wisely. That all bosses have a weakness and that the Cryptarch is a bit twisted. I have learned that the finale creates more questions than answers. And best of all….there is more to come! I hear the DLC will be dropping in December.

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Gaming, Xbox

Destiny ~ Dinklebots, Space Turtles & The Quest for Exotica

“They blow up planets & moons just for being in their way” ~ Little Light

After an extended hiatus, I am back to discuss Bungie’s latest and greatest, Destiny. Seriously, is there anyone on the planet not talking about and playing this  amazing MMO? Yes, I actually used amazing and MMO in the same sentence. My how times are a-changing!

When I first put this game in the tray of my Xbox, I was totally skeptical about the amount of enjoyment I personally would derive from a massive online multiplayer. I usually don’t dig this type of platform for reasons I have explained previously. Too, the masses seemed to be overly stoked about the release of this game. Rumors of the development budget seemed so inflated that I suspected the potential for disappointment was enormous. I was wrong.

From the first scene, I was blown away by the beauty. Graphics have come a long way since the days of PacMan and Sonic the Hedgehog. There are lots of examples of amazingly aesthetic games to come down the pike in the last several years, no doubt. But…breathtaking! That is the only way to describe the world that Bungie has created

For anyone who hasn’t yet experience it yet, let me give you a quick synopsis. Destiny is a 1st person shooter. The game begins with a Ghost reviving you to life as a Guardian, for you have been found worthy to help win the fight against  invading and destructive forces that are at war throughout the universe. Planets such as Venus and Mars have become inhabitable & as the story usually goes, society crumbles. It is up to you and others who have been recruited to bring order to the universe once again.

Tower is the only sanctuary to be found for a Guardian. It is the social hub of the Destiny world. Here you will find Vanguards for your chosen class (Titan, Hunter or Warlock)  and race. (Human, Awoken or Exo) The Vanguards will supply you with class based items, for a price, of course. Also you will find the Postmaster who gives you messages containing rewards periodically. The Cryptarch is also here. He give you cash (glimmer) for finding encoded items and will decipher engrams that you may pick up during gameplay. Usually these will become armor or weapons. There is also a Gunsmith ( which I find to be totally useless for the most part) a bounty board, where you can pick up bounties to complete for marks and reputation either as a Vanguard, Dead Orbit, Future War Cult, New Monarchy  the Crucible or the Queen. The latter I am told is a limited time event, which may come back into play at some point. At the date of this writing, the queen’s bounties and wrath are still accessible. Marks are used to purchase weapons and armor from said factions. There are others to be found on Tower, such as a Shipwright and Voice of the Traveler, etc. Tower is also where the Guardians hang out in their down time. Avatars can dance, point or wave to each other and most do so without prejudice, in trees, off rails and sometimes on tables or atop the beloved post office. The term “getting served” has now entered my vocabulary & I must say there is something to be said about the comradery found in “busting a move” with randoms.

The foes you come up against come in some unique shapes and sizes. The Fallen, The Hive, The Vex and The Cabal. All present their own type of hell for those who oppose them. My arch enemies are definitely the Hobgoblins, a robotic demon with a devilish tail. Something about the image of this creature and the sounds that they make invade the part of my brain that invokes terror and I play with a kill on sight mentality when it comes to these Vex warriors. Cabal are my favorite characters to go up against. They are 800 lb. space turtles, who are totally militarized and wear awesome jet boots which allow them to jump amazing distances with grace. They make excellent headshot targets.

Throughout the game, be sure to look for and collect dead ghosts, chests, and items such as Spirit Bloom and Relic Iron. Some of these are necessary for upgrades and achievements and you never know what kind of lovely loot may be inside a found chest, especially a golden one.

The modes of this game is one of the features I love most. Story mode or Patrolling can be done alone or with up to 3, Strikes are done with fireteams of 3 (buddies or randoms) and Crucible is totally live warfare. I have not tried Crucible mode yet. Getting my ass whooped by others who have weapons and armor that I have no access to and that is much better that anything I can hope to own anytime soon is not my idea of a good time. I generally prefer a level playing field where victory or defeat is determined by skill not gear. In all fairness though, I am told that level advantages have been turned off on some modes of live gameplay. I personally have not experienced this and truly have no plans to do so in the very near future. Although my regs are determined to drag me kicking and screaming if they must to the carnage called Crucible. That being said, I LOVE this game! The addiction level is definitely high. Bungie did a great and amazing job with this one. There is something for every type of gamer to be found in Destiny. For this alone, I give it 5 stars or thumbs up or whatever term one would use to say Yes! I recommend this game!

On a side note: no matter how close to perfection there are always some things that one would choose to tweak if possible. My list would include changing the color of the names of randoms. Currently, teammates are pale green and randoms are pale blue. I am an “artist” with a trained eye for color and still I find myself following some random around during a mission because the colors are too similar for distinction. Bungie should make teammates color something from the other side of the spectrum such as yellow or orange. Also, there are time when I wish I could give teammates gear. I understand that the inability to do so helps hold the integrity of the game and I respect that, but I have so far received 5 exotic gear drops that were not for my class. ( I am currently playing an Awoken Hunter with a Gunslinger subclass) I have no choice but to dismantle or bank these items for characters I may or may not create in the future. And lastly, if I could, I would make the engrams that drop actually hold gear in the color of the engram dropped. Green is uncommon, blue is rare, purple is legendary and gold is exotic. It is extremely disappointing to pick up a purple engram only to have it decoded into a blue or green weapon or piece of armor. This is a within game issue, having nothing to do with the player or how the game is being played, and in my opinion is an epic fail in an otherwise exceptional game.  These are all small issues and aggravations that in no way detract from the exhilaration of all things Destiny. If you haven’t yet picked up your copy, I recommend doing so immediately. You will not be disappointed.

I will leave you today with a silly list of terms and nicknames that my crew and I have come up with during gameplay. We all tend to do this & it does make “slaughter” more entertaining and in game communication more precise, at least to us.

1. Dinklebot ~ The term of endearment we use to address our Ghost, the ever-present, pocket-sized bot that accompanies and guides you thorough out the game. We also refer to him as Little Light.

2. Space turtles ~ the name we have given the Cabal simply because they invoke images of he beloved Ninja Turtle and they fly with the grace of a Ringling Brothers trapeze act.

3. George Foremans ~ the nickname we have given to Fallen Shanks. They look like flying George Foreman grills, waffle irons or toasters. You choose.

Reminder: When you pick up the game or if you already have, don’t forget to register at Bungie.net. Not only can you show off your character and achievements, but you can also hook up with other Guardians, find out more about the history and story of the game through collected Grimore cards, form a clan and keep up with all things Destiny.

Happy hunting! And may all your loot drops be EXOTIC!

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Gaming, Xbox

Destiny Beta

Lots of people are super stoked about this one. Friends have been asking me daily, “Have you preordered yet?” Just about everyone I know was salivating for the release of Destiny’s beta. Honestly, I wasn’t giving it much thought. MMO’s aren’t really my favorite thing in the world. They feel invasive to me & cluttered. The marketing campaign was massive. Leaks and rumors about the outrageous amount of money that was spent to produce this game were enough to make me do a double take. When the hubbub is as large as that, I usually shy away a bit, simply because I am normally pulled in the direction of the unpopular & unexplored. I tend to be a nerd that way. (No offense to any nerds that may be reading this. I embrace my inner nerd wholeheartedly. A large majority of my friends are nerds or geeks on some level & I love them all the bestest & the mostest.) Needless to say, I was skeptical. But a friend gave me a code so I gave the beta a try.

Immediately, I was impressed by the amazing graphics. Activision has been in my gaming vocabulary since the Atari days. Bungie has become a household name as well. This, in my opinion, is the most aesthetically appealing game I’ve encountered to date from either brand. As with most MMO’s, your first assignment is to design your character. Choose everything from your class, race, gender right down to the angle of your jaw and the color of your eyes. I personally get too absorbed with this amount of creative flexibility. It usually takes me no less than an hour to hone my avatar to my satisfaction.

In the world of Destiny, you are a space traveler, a Guardian, in a futuristic environment, in a time where the planets and moons have become inhabitable until, of course, conflict and invasion of aliens becomes an issue. You run around space alone or with a group of up to two other players completing missions and solving tasks in the usual way, with crazy, upgradable guns of all shapes, sizes and calibers and with grenades of all varieties. And let’s not forget special powers…It is great multiplayer fun!

The Tower is the social meeting place on the game. This is where you can store your loot in the vault, check your mail, get orders, buy weapons and supplies, get a new jet bike or spaceship, pick up bounties and have encrypted goodies decoded. It is also where you will see other live players hanging out and goofing off. Sitting in trees or high on overhangs, you get a great view of this world. It is stunning! Avatars also have the ability to wave, dance, sit and point, so there is a lot of ass shaking and rug cutting going down at the Tower. It is definitely my favorite area of the beta and perhaps the full game. We shall see once I experience that.

The Crucible is the PvP area of the game. (Six on Six) Matchmaking seems very off balanced but I do not know of any PvP who has perfected that. Playing in the Crucible is both fun & infuriating but mostly fun. Hopefully, the hackers won’t be able to mod this one & perhaps the matchmaking will be a bit more precise & timely when the game releases.

All in all, it will be a great game to have in the library. I miss the beta already & I look forward to exploring the full game. It will definitely help to satisfy the shooter in me as well as my multiplayer desires. I foresee many hours of Destiny with my friends. My pre-order has already been placed.

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