MMO

Conquered Games of 2014

Video Game Accomplishments via MRWGifs

Backlog, I hate the word. I choose not to put any of my games in that list. Instead, each individual game I conquer goes into a cleaner, better list. A list that shows the date and name of each game I beat. I started this list back in 2013 and will continue to make a list each year. The reason why I love this list is because it shows my gaming habits and brings back memories of games that I might have forgotten. One thing worries me each time I look at this list: it looks like I game less and less each year. Am I losing interest in video games? Do I focus too heavily on certain video games? Maybe, just maybe, my life is becoming more important than video games?

Stacks on Stacks of Games by Pioneer Project

Enough speculation; here is my list:

January

  • 01/01/14 – Dead Rising 3*
  • 01/02/14 – Dead Rising 3 Overtime Mode
  • 01/10/14 – Papers, Please (2 different endings)
  • 01/14/14 – Need for Speed Rivals (Racer mode)*
  • 01/19/14 – Rogue Legacy*

February

  • 02/07/14 – To The Moon
  • 02/08/14 – Do You Remember My Lullaby (interactive movie/game from the “To The Moon” creator)
  • 02/15/14 – Poker Night 2 (Tournament’s Won = 1)

March

  • 03/18/14 – Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

April

  • 04/11/14 – Cool Pizza
  • 04/20/14 – Rayman: Jungle Run (100%)*
  • 04/22/14 – Trials: Fusion

May

  • 05/03/14 – Metroid: Fusion (3:47 with 46%)
  • 05/26/14 – Super Time Force

June

  • 06/06/14 – Mario Kart 8 (50cc)
  • 06/14/14 – Mario Kart 8 (100cc)
  • 06/14/14 – Wolfenstein: A New Order
  • 06/27/14 – New Super Mario Bros. U

July

  • 07/04/14 – 140
  • 07/04/14 – Shovel Knight
  • 07/13/14 – Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

August

  • 08/03/14 – Final Fantasy X
  • 08/03/14 – Final Fantasy X Eternal Calm (interactive movie/game)
  • 08/24/14 – The Banner Saga
  • 08/30/14 – Finding Teddy

September

  • 09/01/14 – Invisible, Inc. (Early Access)
  • 09/21/14 – Kingdom Rush*
  • 09/21/14 – 10000000*

November

  • 11/28/14 – Kalimba (Beta)

Please Note: The games with a * were started in 2013.

Conquering 29 games is pretty successful, especially when you consider three time-consuming games I did not put on this list: Titanfall, Destiny, and Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U.

Titanfall’s Shot Put via Reddit

Titans Can’t Fall

Titanfall is a game that is meant to be played online. The story is insignificant and, possibly, pointless. If you wanted to beat the “story mode,” you had to join matches in progress and hope to play two different sides of the story. I did complete both factions, but the game does not end there. I do not want my story for a shooter to consist of playing online matches. The only way I would consider Titanfall fully “complete,” is by completing 100% of the achievements (which is nearly impossible). The only achievement that is next to impossible is “I Killed Them All” achievement.

The “I Killed Them All” achievement consists of killing all the enemy pilots during the evacuation phase, single-handedly. That means when your team wins, the losing team has a chance to escape by boarding an evacuation ship. First of all, if you are on the winning team, there is a good chance that your team members will attack and kill any enemy pilots who are making their way to the ship. If, somehow, all the pilots get inside the ship without being killed by your team members, you must be the one to destroy the ship before it departs. However, since everyone will be shooting at the ship, it is nearly impossible to be the one that gets the final shot off. This achievement is nearly impossible, and I know I will never achieve it with the diminished number of people who play now.

The Never Ending Game via TFJ

Destiny’s “Endgame”

Destiny never ends. I have completed all of the story missions (including the new Dark Below expansion), but that does not feel like I beat the game. I almost wanted to consider beating the raids on their hardest difficulty was “beating the game,” but I just cannot do that. I continue playing the raids over and over again to get better gear or upgrade my current gear. It never stops and it almost seems pointless at times.  It feels as if there is no ending to this game since there are continuous updates, expansions, and possibly hundreds of hours of gameplay.

Sleeping Soundly via Mii Gamer

Super S-“Meh” Bros.

Surprisingly, the newest Smash Bros. is not all it is cracked up to be. I love the game, it is polished and well balanced, but something is missing from my experience. The main reason it feels “meh” to me is because my friends have lives of their own and cannot usually come over to play this party game, so I have no one to look at my awesome kills, swift dodging or bat-swinging madness. Playing this party game solo is not quite as thrilling as it is with a group of friends, but I have beaten the single-player mode with seven or so characters, and I own two amiibos (Little Mac and Fox). It is a fun game to pick-up and play, but only for a few minutes. I have not tried to play online much since it is not the same as having the person next to you and talking trash. Players can complete this entire game by either collecting all of the trophies or unlocking every challenge. Since this can take nearly 120 hours to complete, and since I have lost motivation to play, there should be no surprise as to why I haven’t been able to add Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U to my list.

Conclusions

I have no idea where I will end up this year with video games. I beat two games already this year, but continue to play Destiny more than ever. I want to work on all the games I received during Christmas and try to get away from Destiny. I do not believe I am losing too much interest in video games, I just have other priorities that are more important. Video games are not a lifestyle, it is a hobby. I would rather look at my accomplishments in video games, and be impressed rather than force myself to play every video game on the planet. Luckily, I have tons of video games that I am looking forward to playing in 2015.

Scott Pilgrim Always Continues via The AWL

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Another Year, Another Game

The Very Best via shawnblanc

2014 is over. There is only one way to start off 2015, and that is with my Game of the Year (GOTY). My GOTY is not an easy choice to make. I believe my GOTY will surprise many, and video game websites and magazines will probably not even give my game a mention. Instead of picking one game to talk about, I picked three. All three of the games on my list were very close, but there can be only one.

Shovel Knight

Shovel Knight Camping Out by Yacht Club

The moment I saw Shovel Knight in 2013, I knew this game would be great. Shovel Knight is no ordinary game, it is the Kickstarter game. I was one of the early backers before every gaming website and editorial wrote about it. When the media basically made it a must-have in 2013, everything changed. The Kickstarter page blew up with more goals, promises, and backers than anyone could have imagined. Shovel Knight’s Kickstarter goal was only $75,000, but it raised over $310,000 instead. That is an incredible feat.

I backed Shovel Knight on April 13, 2013. The game was set to release in September 2013, but with more and more support, new stretch goals appeared. In their fourth update, stretch goals introduced achievements, new music, genderswap, battle mode and much more. While the new additions sounded nice, it only meant that the game would most likely not release on time. At first, I was a little upset since I am impatient when it comes to video games, but once Shovel Knight released on June 26, 2014, my entire view of on the game changed.

Shovel Knight Stretch Goals via Kickstarter

I remember the first level like it was yesterday. The game looked flawless and everything felt right. The controls were spot on with simple to use jumping mechanics (inspired from the greatness of Scrooge McDuck from DuckTales) and the simplicity of its attack/spells system (heavily inspired from Castlevania and even Zelda II). The puzzles were not mind numbingly hard, the characters/villains were all hilarious, and the music was phenomenal. Without a doubt, Shovel Knight was better than most platformers I have played in recent years. The worst part about Shovel Knight was the ending; only because I did not want this game to ever end.

Comedy At Its Best by IGN

Shovel Knight will go down to be one of my favorite Indie Games of all time. If you have not played it for yourself, what are you doing reading this? Go play Shovel Knight, right now!

Destiny

Squat Like A Guardian via Verge

If you have been reading my blog, you noticed the large number of Destiny articles. Yes, the game is very addicting and I am still going to write about it. However, it is not my GOTY.

Instead of stating reasons why this game should/could be my GOTY, I would rather make a list of concerns.

  1. My total play time is currently 334 hours.
  2. I am stuck at level 31 since I do not have enough Radiant Shards (a new currency which came out with the new Dark Below expansion).
  3. I have three different characters.
  4. I play at least 1 to 2 hours a day.
  5. Changing the volume in the game’s option menu is impossible.
  6. I lose heavy ammo when I die, everytime.
  7. The Iron Banner is not a constant thing.
  8. I have lost a lot of interest in Player vs. Player (PvP).
  9. Random Number Generators (RNG) is the worst.
  10. The story is hidden in the grimoire cards.

Y U DO THIS via Troll.Me

Again, these are just concerns, not complaints. I want to state one thing though: the Destiny Raid’s are the absolute best part about Destiny. It would make too much sense to put Destiny as my GOTY with all the time I spend with it, but it did not change anything. It is a Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) game with lots of potential. I believe future installments in the Destiny world could change my opinion about the game, but it is not my GOTY.

Titanfall

Titanfall = GOTY via WCCF

I bet you did not see that coming. Titanfall is my GOTY. After talking to myself on numerous occasions, I picked this game because it reminded me of how good PvP can be. I do not care that Titanfall has no story (it was there, somewhere), I do not care that I always had to be online, and I do not care what people say about my decision. This game was the multiplayer experience I have been waiting for after all these years.

It is worth noting that my favorite multiplayer experiences are from Call of Duty 4 and Gears of War. Both of these games showed me what PvP was all about. I found many of my current friends online with these two games. I have never played anything remotely close to these two games that resembled an excellent multiplayer experience, until Titanfall came along.

Titanfall was a breath of fresh air (or exhaust from the Titans). It gave me the first-person shooting (FPS) aspect I like with Mirror’s Edge mixed in; the wall-running and platform climbing changed everything. Titanfall is a fast-paced game with mechs thrown in for fun. The maps are are easy to remember and strategic on their own with numerous game type. A huge plus was that I played/met tons of great people because of this game.

I do not play Titanfall much anymore, but overall, it was a phenomenal trip (all 107 hours of it). This game gave me hope that PvP can change, and will change with time. Call of Duty: Advance Warfare and the next Halo game took a page out of Titanfall with their increasing speeds and unique futuristic equipment. The FPS experience is changing for the better.

Even though the community may be dead for Titanfall, I know I can still go back with a group of friends and have fun. The updates they provided are some of the best in the industry. We have seen tons of new game modes, new and improved burn cards (these give your character boosts with their equipment, Titans or extra experience), and even emblems.  I am very surprised by how far Titanfall has came and will continue to watch it close; I am definitely looking forward to the next Titanfall.

Conclusion

I use the term “Game of the Year” cautiously and believe my opinions are probably not ideal. I am not handing this prestigious award to just any game, but I hope that Titanfall can/will change the FPS experience. I would be surprised if someone agrees that Titanfall is the GOTY, since there are so many strong games that came out this year. I have yet to play Far Cry 4, Shadow of Mordor and other indie titles, but will eventually. My opinion could change down the road, but I hope we all can agree that 2014 was one of the best years for video game enthusiasts everywhere.

Destiny’s Vault of Glass: Hard Mode

The Vault of Glass via Destiny News

When entering the Raid on Hard Mode for the first time, my mind raced with the expression: “Eyes up, Guardian.” By the time my group and I finished it, all I could think was: “Head down, Guardian.”

This post consists of my ongoings before and after the Raid. Before I entered the Raid on Hard Mode, I made sure I was level 30 (the recommended level when completing the Raid on that difficulty); let me explain what I had to go through to obtain a level 30 guardian.

Randoms The Name

Destiny is a game based on a Random Number Generator (RNG). The equation is massive and the unknown is heavy with emotions. I feel as if each item dropped is more than luck, it is a gift. People like to joke that they pray to RNGesus to get the one item to add to their arsenal, and I must say that it is no joke. Obtaining level 30 in Destiny is one of the most difficult and cringeworthy things I accomplished after nearly two months of searching for the right items.

RIP Loot Cave by NowGamer

RNG is a ravage beast towards my main character, a Warlock. RNG is not my friend and it showed while being stuck at level 28 for weeks. I completed the Raid on Normal Mode every week, hoping to obtain pieces of armor that would boost me up to level 30 and only ever received the chest armor and nothing else. To level up to 30, I had to obtain armor with “light” attached to it. Through a careful analysis, I had to own at least three pieces of Raid armor and one piece of exotic armor (they are yellow and shiny) to reach my goal of level 30. I thought I was doomed to stay at level 28 forever until Bungie announced that the Iron Banner would be back, with a vengeance.

The Iron Banner is a Player vs. Player (PvP) arena, just like the Crucible, except that my armor and weapons mattered. Basically, the higher my level was compared to others meant that I could easily destroy them. If a level 20 approached me in the Iron Banner, he/she was mincemeat. My gun would tear them to shreds and they would barely scratch me. The reason why the Iron Banner was so important though was the fact that its vendor would be selling armor that could boost me to level 30.

Iron Regalia Gloves for Warlock from Iron Banner by Gamezone

I worked my ass off in the Iron Banner for the one week it was open. I played everyday to ensure that I could build up enough reputation with the vendor to buy the armor I needed. There were some good moments and some bad ones, but overall, it was fun and challenging. Below are some highlights from my Iron Banner experience. Once it was over, I could finally be the guardian I always wanted to be.

The Very First Time

Now that I was level 30, it was time to do the Raid on Hard Mode. My group and I consisted of four level 30s and two level 29s. It seemed manageable at first, but the further we went into the Raid, the more difficult it became. The only difference between Hard Mode and Normal Mode was the fact that if I died in Hard Mode, I could not be revived until we get a checkpoint. Luckily, my Warlock could self-revive at least once (depending on if my Super move was ready to use), but even then, I knew this would be challenging.

The Entrance Into The Raid by Attack of the Fanboy

One part of the Raid involved us protecting a group of Confluxes, which were large pillars where the Vex (an antient cyborg species) could sacrifice itself. If enough Vex were sacrificed, our entire team would wipe (or die).

First, we set up in our positions and defended the back most Conflux. A hoard of enemies tried to kills us after the first Conflux, but we all went to hide in the “hidey-hole” (a room where we cannot be damaged by Vex). Once that was over and the Conflux disappeared, and two new Confluxes would pop up on the left and right; the challenge intensified here.

With the two Confluxes open to vex sacrifices, it was our goal to protect them, but we failed every single time. There were hoards of enemies overwhelming us; it was a pain in the ass. There are two reasons why this was happening: A) not enough high level guardians and B) not enough maxed-out weapons among the group. One guardian would die and we try to fend off the rest of the Vex, but we always wiped.

Dinkle Bot Found A Conflux via IGN

Frustrations were building and one of my buddies was fed up. He went to Destiny Looking for Group website to try and find a checkpoint at the next part of the Raid. Thankfully, my friend found a group of guys with the next checkpoint. This part of the Raid is much easier as many would agree that the protecting of Confluxes was the hardest part in the entire Raid.

We went to the next checkpoint, skipping the entire hard part of the Raid, and emotions were calm. Our next task was to destroy a number of Oracles (giant balls of light) before they disappeared. Each Oracle has a unique spawning point, so we had to position ourselves in the right places to hit each one with ease. The platform at which we stood on was high enough not to be damaged by other Vex and the guardians could focus solely on the Oracles. One person was on the ground level while five of us would stay at the very top and shoot the Oracles from there. By far, this is the easiest part of the Raid.

The Templar via Digital Trends

Finally, the Templar, a giant boss who shoots crazy amounts of light rockets at us, was next. Before Bungie updated the game, guardians could knock the Templar off the map with well-thrown grenades. We decided to kill him this way since it would be the fastest method and time was not on our side (it was nearly midnight by this point). We wiped a few times, but it was done in less than 20 minutes. We were almost to the end of this chaos-filled adventure.

The Gatekeepers

The next section of the Raid consists of destroying two large Gatekeepers (basically, a smaller Templar). First, we had to teleport to another planet to find one of the Gatekeepers, kill it and pick up a relic (think Highlander but with a shield) before getting to the final boss. This part took a long time, but after we got into a rhythm, and discovered how/who could destroy the Gatekeepers the fastest, all was well for our group of six. It was time to face our Destiny.

The All Mighty Relic via Destinypedia

The Final Fight

Atheon, the final boss in the Vault of Glass. He is a giant Vex lord that no one know the origin about (unless you read vague cards given to us as backstory in Destiny). His firepower can kill a level 30 guardian in two shots. Even though he is standing in the open, we cannot attack him head on when he appears. Instead, three of us must be teleported first. Once three are teleported to another planet, the three guardians left behind must open the teleport, defend themselves against the monstrous Harpies (which are basically suicide bombers), and stay alive long enough until the other three return. The team that was teleported to another planet must kill Vex, hold onto a relic like before while cleansing the other two teammates (it gets dark, fast inside their) and destroy a group of Oracles that spawn in the air. Once the three guardians come back from the other planet, everyone jumps on a platform in the middle where everyone unloads all that is holy onto Atheon. The reason we have to go through this whole process is because a damage boost called Time’s Vengeance will be activated, which lets us do catastrophic damage to the Vex lord. After the Time’s Vengeance expires (all 30 seconds of it), we must run away and do the same thing over again until Atheon is dead.

The Vex Lord, Atheon via MP

The final battle took forever; we failed numerous times. Our team spent maybe one or two hours trying to defeat Atheon. The more we wiped, the angier we got. The frustrations were building and we could not do anything about it unless we quit.

On our last try, Atheon was nearly dead. Our team made a final push to try and finish him off. Everyone unloaded their clips of ammo into Atheon, but we came up short. Two guardians died and the ones left alive thought it was over. It is funny how that is not the worst part though.  Atheon teleported two guardians, me being one of them, and left two outside fending for themselves. Luckily, my team was smart enough to remind me about the glitch that occurred. Whenever Atheon teleports two guardians instead of three, we can run out of the teleport (if the gate is open) and not die in the process.

My buddy who was with me yelled at me to run toward the gate. I had the relic in hand. I noticed that another guardian died outside, but the gate was still opening. The guardian who opened the gate was trying to kill Atheon by himself, but failed to finish him off. The gate was open and we ran through. My buddy with me tried shooting Atheon with everything he had, but perished from the on-going assault of Harpies. I dropped the relic, which I knew would surely end the raid, but had to at least try and take down Atheon. With one of my last rockets left, I shot Atheon, dead-center, and I died… but not before Atheon.

Triumph Turns To Misery

Sad Guardian via Kotaku

We did it! I could not believe my eyes, but we destroyed Atheon! We were yelling with excitement; laughing and hollering at the top of our lungs. I looked to my right, where the rewards would pop up and with a heavy sigh, could not believe the crap I was given. I saved the Raid and was awarded nothing spectacular, nothing that would help me in the future, it was utter defeat after defeating the greatest foe in the game. I was heart broken.

The Next Week

Last week, I decided to try the Raid on Hard Mode one more time. We had some difficulties again, but found some randoms with the Gatekeepers checkpoint. We decided to hop in their game, and formulate a new plan since they were not used to our methods.

We changed up tactics, wiped a few times, and just when we were about to finish the Gatekeepers section, people started dying. We were down to three guardians when we opened the second portal and teleport to another planet. We needed to grab one more relic before we can get to Atheon. My buddy with his relic had to come with me and cleanse me since I would not be able to see for long. I destroyed the Gatekeeper with the last of my rockets and sniper rifle as fast as I could. However, we had one guardian watching the portal outside, and I knew he would not last much longer.

One Of The Gatekeepers via Beyond Entertainment

After the Gatekeeper fell, and ran as fast as I could to grab the relic. Right before I was about to grab it, I died, but luckily could self-revive. I yell to my friend in the portal with me to run outside and protect the Conflux. It is worth noting that once the Gatekeepers are destroyed, our team must protect the Conflux in the middle from an on-coming traffic of destruction; giant Minotaurs who do massive amounts of damage.

It was my buddy and I with relics, doing everything we could to protect the Conflux. Our teammates were cheering us on, helping us locate the next enemy on our right, left, behind us; they were everywhere. When they started sacrificing themselves to the Conflux, we tried to destroy them quickly. After destroying Minotaur after Minotaur, the Conflux disappears, my relic is gone and I die by a Minotaur. We all yelled at the last guardian to stay alive. We did it. Two people defended a Conflux that is usually defened by six guardians. It was incredible, exhilarating and one of the best moments I have experienced with Destiny. Watch the way it played out below:

ERROR, ERROR

Finally, it was time to battle Atheon once again. We had a hard time since our group of guardians consisted of three level 29s and three level 30s. The two randoms my group joined had very weak weapons and I thought we would never succeed. We died over and over again, getting no where.

Then came the final run. I was tired, and a little upset that we had not finished it yet. Our team was doing brilliant. I made sure to kill all of the suicide Harpies so my other teammates could damage Atheon; I was not going to let anyone kill my teammates. I asked how much health was left, and they said about a quarter or so. I was excited. I thought, “Finally, we are almost done!” Then the worst thing happened… an error code.

The Worst Timing Ever via Gamepur

Right before three of my teammates were teleporting to another planet, I was kicked from the game and sent back to the main menu. I received a stupid error. My heart sank with dread. I did not want us to lose because of a faulty glitch. I knew I could no longer help my team, but rushed back to join them and start over again. I apologized profusely, but what I came back to surprised me. I heard my group yelling that they almost have Atheon. Before I completely joined the fight, my fellow guardians did it; they defeated Atheon with five guardians! I was ecstatic, and extremely lucky to receive any rewards. Thankfully, I joined my group in time to get something for my efforts, but one glitch almost doomed us again.

Conclusion

My feelings towards Raids on Hard Mode is peculiar. I love the challenge, but with all its abundance of problems and the fact that it is really hard to find players who are on par with my friends and I, it may not be worth the stress. It is a waste of time to die over and over again while getting the crappiest rewards. Bungie stated that they are fixing the Raid rewards system. Bungie stated that they are working on fixing the glitches. Bungie stated that they are listening. In all honesty, I do not know nor understand what Bungie is doing. I have never played a game like this before; something always evolving and changing. I want to be the best at Destiny and do everything it has to offer. Maybe that is the reason I continue to play it. Hopefully, the next Raid will be challenging, memorable and less glitchy than the Vault of Glass.

A Mixed Bag Of Emotions via Reddit

Destiny’s Crucible: Adapt, Practice or Die

The Traveler via Tumblr

In case you were wondering, yes, I am playing Destiny (a lot) and have ignored my blog for too long. Destiny is a very addicting game with a strong emphasis on the long term gaming realm that I am not used to. While I would love to review Destiny’s massive array of content, I want to focus on the Crucible instead.

The Crucible is Destiny’s Player-vs-Player (PVP) game mode where you and a team of 3 or 6 compete in different gametypes against one another. You unlock the Crucible once you reach level 5. It is not mandatory to play, but one major reason why you should consider participating in the Crucible is for Crucible Marks and Reputation, which can help you purchase better weapons and armor.

Currently, I have played four different gametypes: Clash, Control, Salvage and Skirmish. Clash is your regular team deathmatch where the team with the most kills wins. Control pits two teams of six against each other and the objective is to take control of three capture points. The longer you hold the capture points, the closer your team gets to winning; the first to 20,000 points wins. Salvage is similar to Control where you capture points, or relics in this case, but it is 3v3 and you can revive fallen comrades. If you are not revived, you can respawn after a longer timelimit. Finally, Skirmish is basically a 3v3 team deathmatch in which you can revive fallen comrades. However, if you do not get revived, you must wait 5 seconds until you can revive manually. There are two more gametypes with various maps you can play on, but I have not touched them and will not talk about them in this post.

Note: My current stats are below. I have accumulated nearly 7 and a half hours into the Crucible. That may not seem like much, but I believe the allotted time is sufficient.

My Crucible Stats

My Crucible Stats

Now that the basics are out of the way, I want to focus on three valuable lessons you must learn when participating in the Crucible: Adapt, Practice and Death. It would be too easy to relay tips on how to play in Destiny’s Crucible. Instead, you need to understand there is more than learning how to play after an individual. My three lessons will teach you how to create your own playstyle in the Crucible.

Learn to Adapt

Destiny was created by Bungie, which in turn made the magnificent series called Halo. Halo’s PVP is one of the best I have played in my gaming career. Halo is well balanced, but it did not happen overnight; weapons needed tinkering, glitches needed fixing, so on and so forth.

Many people are comparing Destiny’s PVP to Halo’s. While I can see similarities, I want you to know that Destiny is balanced, very similarly how Halo was balanced in the beginning. Destiny is already releasing patches that are balancing the weapons and powers, but even without those, the game is well-balanced. This brings me to the first lesson: you have to adapt to the players and environment around you to succeed in the Crucible. Trust me, a person playing at level 5 can destroy s level 20-something player by adapting.

The second match I played in the Crucible sparked my interest with Destiny’s PVP. I was level 6 or 7 at the time and finished the match with 16 kills and a 1.45 kill/death ratio. In the gif below, you can see how easy it is to take on higher level opponents when adapting to your weapon and environment.

2nd Match 3 Kills

My Second Match with 3 Easy Kills

Once you reach level 5, you have three weapons at minimum: your primary weapon (scout rifle, hand cannon, fusion rifle, or auto rifle), grenades and a super ability. I will touch briefly on the differences between classes, but not too much since I have not played as Hunter or Titan enough to fully understand them. Remember those three weapons because you can compete with the best.

Weapon Stats

When playing in the Crucible where level advantage is turned off, everyones weapon has the same stats to an extent. For example, the damage is all the same among each player. What does matter the impact a weapon may have and the upgraded stats that come with the weapon. The only modifiers that do carry over is your weapon upgrades such as faster reloading, more ammo carried, etc.

Red Death Stats via Video Games Blogger

One thing to point out is that weapons with a faster fire rate tend to do less damage, while slower fire rate tend to do more. That is one way Bungie has balanced the weapons in Destiny. I prefer faster guns because the more bullets I can land, the shorter lifespan my enemy has. For example, a Scout Rifle can take you down in two or three headshots, while a Pulse Rifle may take nine or twelve rounds (which is roughly three or four shots since three-shot burst).

The Auto and Pulse Rifle

When it comes to primary guns, the Auto and Pulse Rifle are by far the easiest to adapt to. The Auto Rifle is like any other automatic gun. Keep this in mind: the more stable the gun, the easier it is to get more headshots on the enemy. I like to use a Pulse Rifle more, but I do have a backup Auto Rifle just in case.

If you played Halo, the Pulse Rifle will feel just like the DMR with better stats (depending on the weapon you find/buy). The three-shot burst makes it easy to get headshots and this weapon is great from long range. If you find a Pulse Rifle like mine below, the fire rate makes the rifle act like an Auto Rifle in some aspects.

Pick Your Poison by Softpedia

These two primary weapons are simple to get used to. If you have a ton of enemies coming at you, the Auto Rifle may be best. For game types on smaller maps, the Auto Rifle is your best friend. For longer range maps, the Pulse Rifle could be your best bet. It all depends on how well you adapt to the environments and your ability to aim a weapon.

Secondary Can Be Mandatory

Your secondary weapons are the Shotgun, Sniper Rifle, and Fusion Rifle. Each weapon is much stronger than your primary, but are a little harder to use. They also require green ammo when playing in the Crucible, which spawns regularly so it never feels like you will run out.

Out of the three secondary weapons, the two easiest to use are the Shotgun and Fusion Rifle. However, there is a time to use the Sniper Rifle as well. You can easily adapt to the Shotgun and Fusion Rifle on smaller maps, while larger maps may require the Sniper Rifle. I prefer to use the Fusion and Sniper Rifle because I am terrible at the Shotgun. There are three combos I want to touch on that can be easy to use: the shotty combo, fusion spray and sniping sniper.

Shotty Combo

Nice Shot…Gun! via XPress

If you play in the Crucible, you will see this combination a lot. People will shoot first and melee as fast as possible. This is undoubtedly, the most frustrating thing I see in the Crucible. If you want to use it, by all means get yelled at by a bystander you will not listen to anyway. However, if you are like me and want to avoid this happening to you, try one of these simple methods:

  1. Shoot first, dodge and melee. If you can get their shield completely down, a melee hit will kill them.
  2. Shoot from long distances. Never stop shooting whatever weapon you own since it will make them move slower. Remember not to follow them because they are trying to set you up for failure.
  3. Run. Simple as that, just run away.

Fusion Spray

Another frustration with Destiny is their Fusion Rifles. This weapon is usually a one-hit, instant kill. In reality, each shot consists of multiple bullets and the charge rate is different for every gun. The faster the charge rate, the better chance one has to kill their enemy. One method to this weapon is to constantly keep a soft hold on the trigger. You can charge a little, then let go, but it gives you an upper hand if an enemy pops up from behind a corner. If you miss them, there is a good chance you will die. I have not seen a charge rate fast enough to get two shots off before an enemy hits you at least three or four times.

If your opponent is using one, make sure you try and dodge it. Reason being that if one or two of the bullets miss you, you have a chance to counter. Dodge by moving around as much as possible and close-in on your enemy. You will have a chance to melee twice before they get the second shot off.

Sniping Sniper

Incredible Sniping via NeoGaf

Depending on the environment, the Sniper Rifle can be your best friend (you can substitute the Scout or Pulse Rifle for the Sniper Rifle, so bare that in mind). I try not to use the Sniper Rifle unless I am playing on larger maps. When you are aiming down the scope, you lose your hud which reveals enemy positions. Try to only aim whenever you spot someone. If you are in a sniping duel with an enemy, do your best to move around. They may be standing still and in a good position, but find cover; take pop-shots at the head to finish him off.

The Super is Your Friend

The Super ability is not a crutch, but a very unique weapon that can turn the game around. Your ability must recharge after each use. You can do that by picking up random orbs of light from other teammates using their Super ability, killing enemies, or increasing your intellect through your armor stats. Once your super is charged, use it and make sure it hits. I find that the more offensive Super abilities work best in the Crucible, but I recommend trying each one to see what works best for you and your team.

Remember, try not to set up the kills for your Super ability since that can be a waste of time. You will be able to use your Super at least twice, so use them wisely. The best times I find when using one is when I am in a tight situation. For example, my Warlock can clear out an entire room with his Super ability. As you can see from the video below, using my super was quintessential for my survival.

Each class in Destiny has two different Super abilities. The three that are easiest to use is the Hunter’s Arc Blade, the Warlock’s Nova Bomb and the Titan’s Fist of Havoc. Those three super abilities can be tweaked with higher levels, but you do not need them to be fully maxed out to destroy your enemies.

The Bladedancer via NeoGaf

The Hunter’s Bladedancer increases your speed so you can cut down enemies quickly. It throws you into a third person point-of-view that helps you find enemies running around Be careful though since this Super ability can be countered very easily. If someone is far enough away, they can shoot you down with ease. The Arc Blade is best used in close quarters, especially in Control matches.

Warlock’s Nova Bomb via Finlay’s Blog

The Warlock’s Nova Bomb is a massive blast that can wipe your enemies from existence. If they are grouped together, throw the Nova Bomb and watch them all perish. Since this ability arches in the air, it is best to aim with caution. The further you want the bomb to go, make sure you aim a little higher to reach its destination (unless you upgrade your skill to go in a straight line). The bomb works great in every type of matchmaking.

Titan’s Fist of Havoc via NeoGaf

The Titan’s Fist of Havoc is similar to the Nova Bomb. It creates a massive blast area and destroys all the surrounding enemies within its blast radius. The key difference is that you jump very high into the air and once you land, your Super ability creates a large lightning storm. The best part about this Super ability is that it stays active even when it is done. Lightning bolts will shoot from the ground still causing damage to everyone that is around it. The Fist of Havoc is great in any matchmaking situation.

Practice Makes Better

If you choose not to adapt to the Crucible, the next best thing to do is practice. As I stated earlier, a higher level opponent is no powerful than you, unless you practice and form your own strategies.

Note: Not all these strategies will work, but if you practice, you can develop your own. I am not a professional in the Crucible. My stats may not look exceptional, but I am better than the average player. In all seriousness, I observe my tendencies as well as my teammates when participating in the Crucible to form these strategies.

Precision is Key

One of the most difficult primary weapons to use in the Crucible is the Hand Cannon, which is why I did not mention it during my primary weapon discussion from before. The Hand Cannon is not easy to adapt to, but if you practice with it, you can develop into a deadly gunslinger.

The Hand Cannon requires a precision shot to work effectively; aka aim for the head no matter what. This primary weapon can be one of the most powerful weapons in your arsenal because of its huge impact stat. Also, if your Hand Cannon has a larger magazine and faster reload, this weapon can be monstrous against any opponent.

It takes a lot practice to fully handle the powerful Hand Cannon; it is not easy to aim this beast of a gun. If you miss your first shot, there is a good chance you will die by your third. Usually, two shot will destroy the shield surrounding your enemies. After that, you need one headshot to finish them off. Practice, practice, practice if you want to see better results in the Crucible with this gun. It is also worth noting that if you use the Hunter’s Golden Gun Super ability with the Hand Cannon, it is one-shot instant kill even with a shield in the way. This combo does not require complete precision, but make sure you do not miss body shots at the very least.

Grenade Out

Every character comes equip with three unique grenades that can be super effective once you figure out the timing. I do not learn toward one grenade over the others, but I make sure to know their full potential. If you see a gathering of enemies, instead of jumping out from cover in a blaze of glory, plan your attack. Throw a grenade close to their feet and lure them to another spot. This will create havoc among them and they start to spread out; now they are easier targets.

On a positive note, grenades are easy to practice with. Do not throw one when you see one red meter show up on your hud, make accurate throws that will disrupt your opponent. Plus, grenades can work like the shotty combo I described earlier. Throw a grenade at an enemy, run in and melee them quickly; it is that simple. You may take some damage, but there is a higher chance of getting a kill than death.

All I Do Is Glide

One unique feature in Crucible the jumping mechanics. Depending on what class you are, you will be able to jump or glide. I want to focus on gliding right now. Gliding may seem like a way to move around the map or jump over rocks, but there is more to it; this skill takes a lot of practice to master. I still find myself jumping around like an idiot, dodging bullets and waiting for my teammates to arrive to help me. However, doing this will distract the enemy since they are focused only on you. Take quick shots at enemies or melee until your team arrives. The higher your level, the better gliding techniques you will have as your disposal (such as faster or longer flight), but you can still pull off most of these maneuvers at lower levels with practice.

Also, in case you did not know, short bursts with the glide technique can help you move around the map quickly. Instead of running all the time, tap the jump button twice and let go of the glide immediately. This technique is very easy to do and it can help you out of binds. For example, you see three enemies at a control point. They are about to capture it, but you have your Super ability ready to take them out. The point will be captured before you get there if you run on foot, but if you do the glide technique, you will make it with a second to spare.

Death By… What The…?

You will die a lot during the Crucible. One thing I like about Destiny is the fact that you cannot view your Kill/Death ratio anywhere in the game. Instead, you have to use the companion app on the iPhone and Android phones, or look them up on the computer. This was a great idea by Bungie since individual stats are not that important in the Crucible. Sure, it feels good having a positive Kill/Death ratio, but the chance for a weapon drop after every Crucible match is what you should look forward to and the experience that comes with it.

Perfect Use of the Golden Gun via Reddit

Try not to get frustrated each time you die. You will be able to get your revenge through possibly another strategy or by practicing. It is important to note that I prefer having a fireteam of at least 3 when competing in the Crucible. Knowing that at least two people will have your back makes me feel more comfortable. If you do not adapt or practice, you will die a lot. This third lesson is harsh, but must be realized: the Crucible is not easy. It is very well balanced, but if you do not research your weapons and skills, you will never win in the Crucible.

Recommendation

I recommend practicing by yourself, and adapting when you are a with friends. Reason being that you sharpen your skills when your alone but still help out the team when you can. When your friends come along, adapt to the environment and their strategies. If someone is running a Super ability that creates a shield, maybe choose a different Super ability that will clear out a room. There are many techniques, strategies, statistics, maps, and other unique things about the Crucible, and if you adapt and practice, you will find out that the Crucible is one of the best parts about Destiny.

Believe In Your Ghost via Kotaku

Early Impressions: The Destiny Beta

The Destiny Beta by Destiny Wikia

Since its release for the Xbox One, I have played the new Destiny Beta at every opportunity because I am still unsure if it is worth buying. You would think that after Bungie created one of my favorite video game series of all time, Halo, that I would trust their creativity and upcoming video games, but that is not the case with Destiny. After over eight hours of playtime, I still harbor some doubts. I wanted to share my positive and negative opinions about Destiny. Again, this is only the beta.

Destiny functions like an Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) video game and gives nods to some of the great games that have come before it. Bungie can deny this all they want, but I intend to present evidence to prove this otherwise. Destiny is being compared to other video games, but that is not necessarily troublesome. Before I start, you need to know a little background about the Destiny beta. There are currently two places where you can explore: the Tower and Earth. The Tower is a wonderful “one-stop-shop” for all your needs, while all of your missions play out on Earth. Additionally, there was a special event that included one more mission available on the Moon for two hours on July 26 which added more gameplay.

Halo Easter Egg by Halo Wikia

The Halo Feeling

This game looks and acts like the Halo franchise that put Bungie on the map. The aesthetics are incredible. I love the environments and character visualizations. I do wish that we were able to see our face without a helmet when we travel to Earth, but that is not my primary concern. The problem is that I view Destiny as Halo, and I do not think I am supposed to do that. There are too many similarities that make it hard to differentiate the two. On one hand, Destiny has the potential to become as successful as the Halo franchise, but, in my opinion, this could be far out of its “Reach” (Halo pun intended). I understand that Bungie has said that this game is not Halo, but the striking resemblances imply otherwise. While playing the beta, I noticed one weapon that reminds me of Halo: the shotgun. (Not that it is a bad thing, since the shotgun in Halo was brilliant.)

Call of Duty and Borderlands Livelihood

Like it or not, Destiny gameplay reminds me of Call of Duty, while the exploration, loot and weaponry remind me of Borderlands. First, take a look at this clip that I captured from the beta:

See anything similar to Call of Duty? If I wanted to, I could literally play this game like the Call of Duty franchise where I aim down my sights too often, wait for enemies to appear and either hold down the trigger or shoot in bursts. Call of Duty did not invent this type of gameplay, but with the weapon sights in Destiny, it reminds me a lot like Call of Duty. Hopefully, this will not be the only way I play since the powers in Destiny are pretty great.

For my next clip, watch how easy it is to pick off some of these enemies:

This is me nitpicking, but it does still bother me. I remember when I played Borderlands and pulled off easy kills like this. It was not a major problem, but it did get boring after awhile. I could say the same thing about Halo, but that game was not based on the characters level. Destiny and Borderlands have the same mechanics that end up being mundane after hours of playing. In all honesty, Destiny is what I wanted Borderlands to become, but that did not happen. Instead of considering Destiny at face value, I feel the need to compare the two, which could make it difficult for me to purchase this game.

Loot, Loot and More Loot

The loot in Destiny reminds me of Borderlands, but instead, I would rather compare it to the Diablo franchise. I love loot. It is addicting and fun. When I was exploring in Destiny for fun and finding chests, I was fascinated. I never knew what I would find. Because this is the beta, most of the players are still a low level, so most of the weapons, armor and loot were unusable, but it was still fun. I like how the game will have normal, uncommon and rare items. Also, I had to identify some loot at the Tower before the stats for the loot were revealed to me, like how it is in Diablo, which makes the loot even more of a mystery. One thing that was upsetting about the Destiny beta was the fact I cannot trade loot with another player, but I read online they are working on making this a possibility.

A Loot Chest in Destiny by IGN

More Optimism

I absolutely love the Hover Bikes. Here is a clip of me driving one around “Earth”:

It is fast and very easy to control. Plus, I hated all the running I had to do in Borderlands. Once the “Moon” was open on the Destiny beta, I was able to try out the other Hover Bike that had weaponry. I really hope there are more types of bikes because it is really fun and useful to move around so easily. The Tower is another great area. Instead of doing everything in menus, I had a place where I set up shop to purchase new items and ships, identify loot, dye my armor, and more. It takes a little getting used to, but overall, I like this. Another thing I am excited about is some of the weapons. For instance, the Semi-Auto Rifle feels great and shoots incredibly well from a long distances, but my favorite weapon is the Fusion gun. This thing packs a punch and can disintegrate enemies. The first time I used it, I was amazed. Here is a clip of me using the Fusion gun:

Negativity for Nancy

This is not deal breaker, but I felt like the character customization was lacking. Compared to the insanely detailed customization available in Wildstar, I realize how limited I was when creating my Warlock in Destiny. I made a pretty cool cat (he looks just like Cable from the comics), but I wish I could have done more. Another troubling aspect of the Destiny beta was the incredibly slow loading time between missions and going to the Tower. Load times need to be fixed by launch. I am sure they will not be as long as they were in the beta, but really, waiting for a level to load usually took a few minutes which threw off the pacing. The troubles do not end here…

Character Customization in the Destiny beta by She Attack

Questing like World of Warcraft

One scary thought came to my mind: Destiny is just like World of Warcraft. The questing upon questing could easily overshadow any interest I have in my other games, which does not make this game very appealing to me. I am not a fan of MMOs and never have been keen on the endless questing. If I was to buy this game, I would lose interest quickly like I did with World of Warcraft. However, if MMOs are your favorite style of game, then the Destiny beta might be right for you.

Call Me Guardian

My biggest issue with this game is being a nobody in the wide world of Destiny. I was called a “Guardian.” Everyone in the entire game is called a “Guardian.” I want a name. At least in Halo, I was called Chief or Master Chief which made me feel like someone important. In Destiny, I feel so disconnected from my character that there is nothing to distinguish me from any of the other players. One of the best parts about playing an MMO is being an individual with a real connection to the character, and Non-Playing Characters (NPCs) call players by their screen name. I would be happy even if they made me choose from a list of names, but I feel like “Guardian” is just a title and my character is just a character. I have no attachment like I did in other games similar to Destiny.

My Warlock from Destiny Beta

My Warlock from Destiny Beta

Conclusions

I believe this game will be a big deal when it releases, but it may not be right for me. It has lots of positives, but I am still on the fence. There are some great things that this game hits, however it misses opportunities for me. I will say this, if you set up attacks, they make for some really amazing scenes and excellent gameplay. I will leave you with one more clip that made me really want to buy this game. When you get into firefights like the one I show below, the game feels refreshing and fun. Bungie is creating a Destiny that I might want to be a part of.