Destiny – Expanding The Prison of Elders

destiny prison of eldersAfter taking a break from Destiny I have been diving back into runs on The Prison of Elders and Nightfalls. I still maintain that The Prison is some of the best and most enjoyable PVE content in Destiny next to the Raids. The Raids lacked accessibility and ease of engagement, but with a full team they were always pretty fun once the kinks got worked out of a new group. The Prison of Elders can be engaged with fairy easily since the fire teams can be smaller and once your team hits a stride they can be beaten much faster than raids. However, the more I play it the more potential I see for expanding this piece of Destiny. Continue reading

Destiny Prison of Elders won’t last without changes

prison-of-eldersI already wrote a post about some of the big picture concerns I have with Destiny’s latest DLC House of Wolves, and it will be on my YouTube channel later today. In that post I made sure to establish ground level problems that I see with the new content. My fear is that it will continue to push many in the community away, while the rest of us can have a sense of satisfaction and something to do each week with most of the best gear. After a solid week of playing the Prison of Elders and bagging Skolas three times as well as three Elder Ciphers, I have some specific gripes and critiques about how this content is wrong headed in some ways and flat out convoluted in others. The reason these changes are important is because The Prison of Elders is some of the most fun I have had in Destiny. Continue reading

House of Wolves – Where it falls short

Destiny House of WolvesThe new expansion for Destiny, House of Wolves, has been out for two weeks now, and I already wrote a post and a video with my first impressions. Since I was out of town I only got to base my initial response on the very short experience I had with the first few missions. After playing a good amount of The Prison of Elders and, surprisingly, even The Trials of Osiris, I have some concerns about the future of the title and the engagement levels with the game. Keep in mind this is after my first impressions were almost entirely positive and my claims after the reveal that this DLC was a huge step forward for the game. This post is going to be more big picture, and I will have future posts about the specific pieces of the content. Continue reading

Destiny House of Wolves – So far so good, but…

destiny house of wolvesUnfortunately I haven’t been able to play or stream since the day House of Wolves dropped, but I was able to take a good chunk out of it. With one character I was able to get all the way to where The Prison of Elders unlocked. Even though many of the new features haven’t taken their full effect in my experience yet, I thought I would walk through where I think the DLC has firmly delivered on many of its promises. Some of the improvements expose areas that still need thought out and improved upon, while most of the additions are clear advances that need to be replicated in future content and expansions. Continue reading

Prison of Elders Reveal : The good, the bad, and the yelling

Destiny House of Wolves Prison Of EldersBungie has been doing a very consistent push for their next DLC piece, House of Wolves, with Twitch streams where they reveal the new content. I already did a post and video about the first reveal and how it looks to improve the game significantly with numerous additions and fixes requested by the community. I also remarked that the new game mode, The Prison of Elders, was exciting to see because the community had consistently asked for a “horde” mode. After watching the reveal of the new game mode I can definitely say that Bungie has delivered a fresh piece of challenging content that looks to add some great depth and replayability, two things the game has lacked up to this point. Unfortunately the reveal did have a few factors that really hurt the quality and function as a promotional piece so I will talk about that first. Continue reading

Destiny’s new PVP matchmaking is sadly considered innovative

destiny trials of osirisDestiny has been trying to wrestle PVP to the ground since the launch of the title. When the game first released there was outcry about overpowered shotguns, and the months that followed had regular complaints about OP weapons. The game mode has since been the primary cause of almost all weapon nerfs that have taken place. I have already argued in a post and video that the split identity of Destiny is bad for the future of the franchise, and have also written and done a video about how PVP lacks enough engagement to warrant lots of development attention. But it seems the mode is here to stay with the next DLC adding a new game mode, “The Trials of Osiris”. The mode is already being praised for something that shouldn’t be considered innovative: matchmaking based on connection. Sadly, in the current state of PVP shooters, connecting people based primarily on connection is considered divergent. Continue reading

House of Wolves is more than a DLC, it’s a step forward

Destiny House of WolvesAfter watching the reveal of House of Wolves and streaming it on my twitch with a little commentary and a short final response afterward I wanted some time to gather my thoughts (You can watch the whole reveal here). The reveal took about 50 minutes and we got to see the new social space in The Reef, new characters we will interact with, and then a good portion of the stream was dedicated to additions and improvements to the tower, the economies, factions, and gear. What was surprising was the amount of time the stream spent on updates and improvements compared to how much time they talked about the House of Wolves content. I’ll be honest, during the front half of the reveal I was really worried and pretty disappointed, but as things moved back to the tower the announcements got better and better. Continue reading

How is Destiny like Candy Crush?

Destiny Candy CrushDestiny has been the topic of a fair amount of criticism, both on my blog and YouTube channel, as well as other game review outlets. I have tried to be fair and measured as I’ve called for more content and a better focused identity, and recently said the House of Wolves trailer was exciting but also sad because it proves Bungie has the ability to tell a much better story. Recently I read an article at GamesRadar that walks through why the average playtime of Destiny players is 77 hours. Bungie’s John Hopson explained the research Bungie gathered in testing pre-launch and what went into changing and modifying the game to ensure player behavior that kept coming back for more. Hopson is certainly qualified to talk about player behavior with a Ph.D in behavioral and brain sciences, but does a person’s willingness to play repetitious content for long hours equate lasting enjoyment of a game? Continue reading

House of Wolves: No raid is good and unsurprising

house of wolvesThe announcement of the next DLC for Destiny has already garnered a lot of attention. I already did a post and video with my impressions and thoughts about how good the trailer is and how it proves Bungie has been their own worst enemy. Something I didn’t realize until I made my video was that the new content was not going to be including a raid. Even though I think both of the current raids are some of the best and most creative pieces of content in Destiny, I actually found the lack of a raid to be good news, while not very surprising. Continue reading

Destiny House of Wolves Trailer proves Bungie is their own worst enemy

Destiny House of WolvesThe trailer and the month of release for the next installment of Destiny, House of Wolves, has been released. May 2015 is the window given for when the next piece of DLC will be available from Bungie. Fans of the franchise will be excited to see a very dramatic and cinematically rich trailer, especially in light of the numerous cut scenes from the game that lacked the power and emotion one would hope to see in a big AAA title. As someone who has been consistently critical of Destiny because I enjoy it enough to want to see it improve, I couldn’t help but get excited at the experience teased in the almost 2 minute clip. But as I thought about the reality that the content coming in May probably should have been in the launched version of the game, the quality of the trailer and the story contained within it made me realize just how counterproductive Bungie has been with the way they have treated their title. Continue reading