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Destiny: FIN

Gorf King

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One thing I haven't seen mentioned much in between the rest of the discussion is that it's relatively easy to game the AI. Most of the time if you hover around the entrance to a certain area and then retreat back into the corridor/last area when your shield is down, the enemies don't follow you or react at all. Since I've been playing a hunter with a sniper rifle and hand cannon it's pretty easy to trivialise some of the arenas.

I noticed this. It's rubbish.

Also I've come across a couple of wide-open doors with invisible barriers not allowing me to enter. Also rubbish.

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Each Flayer has a different element, but not only that at level 22 they'll take less damage from you as your only level 20. You really should have done the level 20 strike, and not the 22. Nothing wrong with the game.

Yeah, we had the different element thing sorted. I just feel that with only a 2 level difference that the reduction in damage on the Flayers is too severe. We've learnt our lesson now though.

We were so close and if we hadn't had to come to work today we probably could've had the strike done at 22 after another attempt. It was more of a war against our patience :(

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Yeah I can understand where you're coming from. I tried some random 22 strikes and they were quite slow going, but managed to get through due to the other 2 randoms mainly. Now I'm 23 going on 24 I can hold my own somewhat better, and although dying a few times its not as bad.

In other news I now have 3 Hunter Legendaries in my bank (boots, helm and gloves, almost a full set!).....the game really does want me to play a Hunter. Either that or its trolling me.

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Yeah, we had the different element thing sorted. I just feel that with only a 2 level difference that the reduction in damage on the Flayers is too severe. We've learnt our lesson now though.

They're still bullet sponges when everything's even, for what it's worth, although you do have just about enough time to tear one down in between reinforcements. I'd say they're my least favourite of the bosses, although on some level I do appreciate that they actually require some teamwork unlike the other Strikes.

Speaking of which, if you coordinate properly you can chain rocket explosions to knock the Flayers over the railing to their death. Probably the quickest way of dealing with them if you can manage it.

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It's funny, I'm only lvl19 myself, and after a day of reading this forum and others, watching Twitch, reading about the raid, and seeing what cool gear players are starting to get.... it really is true that the game only really gets going at 20!

Shame i'm going on holiday for a week. :(

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I think the 6/10 probably seems worse than it is because the Polygon review absolutely brutalises the game - it's overwhelmingly negative. Not unreasonably either, it's all fair stuff (even if I don't agree with it), but I'd say it's more of a 'bit shit' six than a 'good, but deeply flawed' six.

Having waited with baited breath for the Metacritic love-in - something to cement Destiny's 'destiny' as the $500M game that could - I'm feeling quite disconcerted that, on present form, it's Bungie's lowest critically-lauded game of all time. Of. All. Time. :(

Apart from Dragon Age Inquisition and Alien Isolation, Destiny was my most-wanted game of the year, and having peaked (story-wise) at Level 20 last night - after seven days of lonewolfing it, without a sniff of strikes or crucibles - it's not likely I'll persevere with it, given the surfeit of other options that are now incoming (eg, Watch Dogs: Bad Blood DLC, Slender: The Arrival XBLA, Forza Horizon 2, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel).

Which is highly lamentable, really, because there was so much buzz about Destiny in the weeks/months/eternity beforehand, that anything less than a critical smash means Bungie has ultimately failed to meet their own high watermark. I could have plucked some random quotage from any critical stream in the ether, but I found this in the pages of GamesMaster Issue 278 (July's 10-page Destiny preview):

"We threw the gauntlet down in 2009 and said 'Hey, we want to change the world again and that's what we're going to do," says COO Pete Parsons, who's clearly not backing down from the challenge. "Destiny is a game we've wanted to build for a very long time. The pressure is... I think we feel we all love our community, we love our fans, but really the pressure is on ourselves. We're our own worst critics; we're very, very picky, and that continues to drive us forward."

Bungie talks a great fight, and certainly I've experienced nothing less than some of the very best firefights on Xbox platforms (The Black Garden is a breathless, adrenaline-charged vault to the finish line), but if the 'critical mass' is now heavily weighted against Destiny (at least on PlayStation platforms, cough), then it's game over until mo' Master Chief. :(

Thing is with Destiny the path to level 20 is sort of like a huge extended tutorial and the real core of the game only is only post 20.

From the marketing and hype you do expect some huge sweeping space opera where you play a pivotal part in an epic adventure. It's Bungie. When in reality, all narrative is merely tacked on and superfluous just to embellish your progress through the real game which is very much like a shoot and loot game. The enemies could be circus clowns and it still wouldn't be any less fun shooting them.

It's a more rounded take on what Titanfall tried, and failed to do. At least here there is some semlance of a campaign however lightweight and nonsense it is. I can see how people felt let down by the bait and switch. I was. But once you understand what hopefully they were trying to do it makes sense. Plus it made it easier to market it.

Totally agree, but if you're not big into party games, then the 'long' game of Destiny pales with so many other options on the table. I wanted to be subsumed by Destiny (and the token rare weapon and shader item afforded at Level 20 pushes me onward for a wee bit longer), but if I'm big into grinding, I'd sooner fire up Halo Reach for the superior gameplay. Xbox rulz?


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I've hit level 20.

Is the only way to level up from here, to collect legendary items / armor?

To collect legendary items / armor, I can either collect from a random drop or buy from the tower once I have a certain amount of vanguard / crucible points?

Then once I have these items / armor, I upgrade them with orbs of light that I collect?

Is my understanding correct?

Pretty much yeah. Except you upgrade just like any other armour you've upgraded.

From now on each level (equivalent) you earn through XP you get a mote of light. Essentially another form of currency to buy good shit.

Think you can only spend them with that guy who is there at weekends?

Another option is to wear the mark of another faction. That way you earn marks of their currency and buy from their guy.

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I was never on the bullshit hype train for Destiny so I never had high expectations. I didn't plan on getting the game until I heard there was a beta for those who pre-ordered so I did just that to get the code and that was what sold me on the game, nothing that Bungie/Activision said or showed during any conference. I understand why Destiny is getting criticised and I will admit that the game isn't perfect, but it's a lot of fun and that's what matters the most. I'm not even the biggest fan of first-person shooters but it's so satisfying shooting enemies.

A few complaints that I have are that 6v6 multiplayer seems a bit small and not enough varied multiplayer modes.

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Hit level 20 last night with 2 friends and decided to do the strike playlist (Dust Palace PS4 exclusive strike came up). We decided to give ourselves a "challenge" and set it at level 22. It was loads of fun and very challenging all the way up to the final encounter.

Three Psion Flayers each with a different element shield and loads of continually respawning reinforcements (Cabal Colossi, Legionaries, Psions, Phalanxes and Centurions). We managed to get two of the Psion Flayers down but after two team wipes it just wasn't fun anymore. The Flayers are just complete bullet sponges. One we got one of their shields down we could have all 3 members pumping bullets into an unshielded Flayer and we'd barely have half of its health down before having to deal with another wave of reinforcements (plus avoiding the other two Flayers). I understand that we were 2 levels below the recommended level but "Hard" was an understatement of monumental proportions. Anyway.... we gave up in the end and are going to give it another go tonight or tomorrow on Normal, haha

A great time ruined by poor game design, I think. One thing it did do though was force us to learn to communicate a lot better and really start thinking about what gear to be using at each moment.

To be fair the bosses are overtuned towards hard until you have decent gear and then they become much, much easier. Some of the strikes I have been on now which I found hard pre 20 are much quicker now. It is like their health doesn't scale up as much just the damage they do..?

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Really loving this so far. With a young son and a ton of things to do every evening I'm only getting a couple of hours at most of an evening to play. Really enjoying the ps4 as a new console too. The lack of media support is a bit shit though. I think it's brilliant how you can pipe the audio out to the headphones - anyone else with a young kid will understand.

I thought destiny's use of the controller light was smart; Getting more intense when you're flash light turns on etc. Nice touch.

As I'm only level 5 it's going to be a while till I run up to the end of content that everyone is talking about, but I can see how it will dry up. I had kinds assumed they would roll out more stuff kind of like Spartan Ops did?

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There are 3(?) factions dotted around the tower. Two are around the area where you buy your spaceship and one is near the voice of the traveller. You can buy a mark off of them and any reputation you get for doing something will go to the faction instead. You'll eventually be able to buy cool stuff

Or heres a guide: http://www.reddit.com/r/DestinyTheGame/comments/2g7lxk/guide_factions/

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Motes of light are a currency you can use to buy good shit from some dude at the weekends. Ok. Got that.

What do you mean wear the mark of another faction?

There are guys in the tower selling marks. Those little things you wear. If you're a titan it looks like a waiters apron, a warlock has an armband I think and the other one a cape.

You start with the vanguard one so earn vanguard marks. If you wear another one you earn marks for them.

Look up future war cult, dead orbit and you'll find them. Not sure of the other names. I'd stick with vanguard for now anyway.

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Ok had a flick through that guide. Useful.

I think I want to be Future War Cult: faction. Any idea where the vendors are for these guys?

Towards where you buy ships. Up a couple of stairs.

That's who I went with as well. Dead orbit seem like a bunch of emo tossers.

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Ok. So get their mark. Earn FWC points. But how do I earn those points? At the moment I can only see ways of earning vanguard and crucible points.

Sorry for the qs, trying to get my head around it.

Exactly the same way as earning Vanguard points. You'll earn mark for FWC instead of Vanguard.

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Do the vanguard stuff first, you need to get reputation AND marks. Unless there's a faction item you REALLY want, but the vanguard shopkeepers in the hall of guardians sell a complete set for each class.

After a while getting the marks becomes really easy, I got 65 of them and bought a new legendary item in a couple of hours last night.

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I did the Earth strike for the first time since the Beta last night. Still absolutely glorious getting in there reviving fallen comades, working as a team. Bungie have created something special in a social game which you can delve into as little or as much as you like. so, so enjoyable.

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Goodish article from the usually crap gamesradar:

There are two games called Destiny around at the moment. Both of them are by Bungie. Both of them released last week. One of them is a soaring, confoundingly large, dizzyingly ambitious, and seamlessly realised MMOFPS. Refined yet intricate in its systems, immensely, endlessly gratifying in its combat, it’s truly exciting in its long-term scope. The other is a short FPSRPG with a tiny level-cap, that you’ll finish in a day.

But only the first of these games really exists. The other is a hallucination, fabricated via a jabbering combination of under-researched misinformation, knee-jerk reactions, and standard-issue internet cynicism. It’s a hallucination that an unfortunate proportion of the gaming populace seems to have bought into over the last week, propelled seemingly in part by an unfortunate proportion of early (far too early) online impressions of the game.

Now you’ll notice that GamesRadar still doesn’t have a scored review of Destiny up yet, over a week since the game launched (though you can read my ongoing review diary here). There’s a very good reason for that. It’s still too soon. It’s too soon to appraise Destiny’s full potential as the evolving, long-term prospect it was conceived as. It’s too soon to properly appraise Destiny’s current content. It’s still too soon to have even played its current content. Those early verdicts from writer and gamer alike, erroneously shrieking about its low level cap, basic systems and short story? They came from people who hadn’t comprehended Destiny, not really. They came from confoundedly wrong perspectives of a game not understood, viewed as something it is not, and judged by criteria irrelevant to its nature.

Because to judge Destiny’s story as short--and it really isn’t--is to surmise a game’s quality based on the experience you had playing through its tutorial. To appraise Destiny’s content as lacking is to determine a house to be small, having viewed its interior only through the keyhole of the front door. And to state that Destiny’s level cap is too low, and its scope for achievement and progress stunted, is to flat-out state that you haven’t bloody played the thing and should really shut up right about now.

Because Destiny really does only start once you hit level 20. Because Destiny is a far cleverer, far bigger, and far less finite game than some are choosing to give it credit for. It doesn’t communicate its full breadth of horizons to start with, but it ultimately bears very little resemblance to the standard, linear, AAA shooter. Nor do its RPG elements make it simply Halo with levelling. Its scope goes much wider than that. It isn’t a mook-grinding, loot-grabbing, Borderlands 2.5 either. Its focus is much more precise, and intricate than that.

What Destiny does with its ‘main’ story is craft a smart, sympathetic segue through which players only familiar with traditional FPS can graduate from the land of A-to-B shooting to the wider world of the more malleable, expansive action-MMO. The true game--not the pure shooter, or even the shooter with loot drops, but the true game--only starts to reveal itself between levels 16 and 20. Rare loot begins to appear relatively frequently from 16 onwards. That loots starts to appear with extra stats you won’t have seen before. Stats for Intellect, Discipline and Strength. Stats that you’d been aware of, but never understood until this ‘late’ stage of the game.

Then you’ll come to understand those stats. And you’ll come to understand that they’re the first building block in really customising your character. You’ll learn that each stat boosts the cooldown on one of your special abilities. And if you really think about it, you’ll then realise this means that deliberately combining different pieces of armour with different elements of your skill-trees will create feedback loops, causing skills and buffs to resonate with each other to create even more powerful effects.

And still, this is just intro-level stuff.

Get closer to level 20, and you’ll start getting weapon and armour-drops with additional, increasingly creative properties, via their own skill-trees. Guns that save ammo on missed shots. Helmets that recharge character-abilities faster when you kill certain enemies.Guns with double-powerful ammo in the second half of their mag. Guns that draw faster. Gauntlets that cause even more powerful cooldown loops, especially if you combine them with the right gun, Intellect, Discipline and Strength stats. And we’re still just getting started.

Hit the ‘level-cap’ that everyone is moaning about, and you’ll discover that you have now completed Destiny’s tutorial. Congratulations. Welcome to the big leagues. By the way, there are now a load more game systems to learn.

Now you can start buying the Rare and Legendary gear that does all this stuff. You can more actively pick and choose the combinations and abilities you want. Exotic gear is coming too, later down the line, and the good Lord only knows what that will do. But you can’t just buy this stuff. Even if you accrue enough of one of the four new, functionally distinct currencies, you still have to have a high enough reputation with the vendors first. That means having high enough Crucible and Vanguard XP ratings from PvP and PvE. And whether you go to the general store owners or the class-tailored faction vendors--whose stuff offers the potential for killer buff feedback loops, as long as you commit your progress to the cabal in question--you’ll only get those from completing Bounties, the Achievement-style challenges you ignored as a pointless diversion before level 20. Surprise! They’re fundamental to the whole damn thing, and you never realised ‘til now.

But haven’t we already hit the level cap at this point? Oh yeah, sorry, I didn’t mention. Destiny just starts using a new leveling system after 20, based on the amount of Light your armour is carrying. Light is another new property that only appears after level 20, and it will take your level as high as you want to go if you can acquire the right stuff, long-term. I’ve seen level 28s running around already. I’m at 24 and-a-half myself, after more than a week of solid play.

But why bother continuing to level up if the game is over? Well, as should be searingly predictable by now, Destiny is--everybody sing it with me--just getting started. Because you now have access to high-level, ludicrously challenging Strike missions, designed for a mandatory three players. And you can remix those previous story levels with new difficulty, new enemies, and a whole bunch of abstract gameplay modifiers. And then a little later, you’ll unlock in the Nightfall missions. These come in daily and weekly flavours, refreshed respectively, and combine high challenge with game-mod lunacies, such as enemies having higher defence, quirky immunities, and being more susceptible to certain elemental weapons. The very same elemental weapons I haven’t even got access to at level 24, because I haven’t got the crafting system rolling yet.

And then there are the full-blown Raids--the first one of which is only releasing today--which promise to provide, if not the long-term backbone of Destiny, then a great deal of the vertebrae. There are few details on these yet, but they are going to be big, they are going to be hard, and they are going to demand a team of six players before they even let you try. There’s talk that Raids being tested out at Bungie incorporate new platforming, puzzling and problem-solving elements not seen anywhere else in the game so far, and can take anywhere from 3 - 16 hours to complete, depending on how smart your team is. Today’s Raid has a recommended starting level of 26. Just to get through the door. Of Destiny’s first ever Raid.

You see why I’m not reviewing Destiny yet? And why I’m wary of anyone who has? You see why I’m waiting at least until I’ve played the first Raid? You see why, even then, I’ll be reluctant to stick a number on the end of the words, knowing that there are three free content expansions dropping into the game world over just the next six weeks, before the first big DLC arrives later this year?

I write a lot of reviews. I know how long they take to craft. I know how long they take to upload to a website and design as a page. So I can take a good guess at how much play-time I can take off any Destiny verdict already delivered. And so far they’ve all come too soon. Hell, a Destiny review that landed today would still be too soon. Look out for mine some time around the end of the week.

No, it might well not be the first one you read, but I don’t care about that. On a game like Destiny, I’m not interested in chasing the perceived traffic win that supposedly comes inherent to the first review to hit the ‘net. I’m interested in really understanding this game, getting it right, and telling you what you really need to know. I understand why others haven’t taken that route, but if I’m investing this much time in playing Destiny and communicating it to you, I want to make sure that we all get the maximum value out of that experience. That sound fair?

(Quick spoiler though: Destiny is brilliant)

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Nice review here from EG int hat it matches my opinion somewhat.


This seems simplistic but it does sum it up nicely for me (the rest of the review is a good read though as it does point out the flaws).

"What if World of Warcraft looked and played like Halo?" If you find that an attractive prospect - spoiler: I do - then step right up. If you haven't played first-person shooters for years because you find their campaigns disposable and their competitive multiplayer intimidating, Destiny presents a viable and engrossing third way. If, however, you have come to this game expecting to be taken on an epic science-fiction ride by the masters of space opera who made Halo - well, you're liable to leave disappointed before this frustratingly detached game has condescended to reveal its true treasures.

I have never been interested in story in FPSs, coming from the Doom and Quake days I just want to shoot things and move on the plot is irrelevant. I completed all the Halo games, couldn't tell you a single thing about the plot other than I was Master Chief and I had to shoot covenant. So If you are into that element I'm sure Destiny is a disappointment

But for me? I don't care about Destiny's plot or the fact the overarching story is rubbish or the mission stories disjointed. What I like is I can boot it up go on a patrol or mission solo and shoot some stuff and get a shiny thing at the end.

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