Destiny 2: No-fuss engrams, guided game beta and ridic live action trailer

Destiny 2

Is “reminds me a bit of Power Rangers” an emotion? Because I’m watching the live-action Destiny 2 [official site] trailer and that’s the main sensation it’s generating. Further emotions include “You could have actually done a full homage to the official video for Sabotage starring Destiny characters and I think that would have worked but you didn’t and why would you not?” and “shut up Cayde-6, you’re overexposed right now”.

Also what’s a skinny no-foam vanilla latte? It sounds like a coffee made for people who don’t like coffee but maybe do like the smell of Playdoh.

Anyway, I would watch the live action series of Power Rangers that was based on this trailer.

In other news from Bungie regarding their upcoming moon wizard sequel, they’re really ramping up towards the non-PC release of the game with a bunch of info. I’ll pick out some points I found interesting:

End Game:

The endgamey stuff is the activities you have to limber up to do, collecting loot, levelling up your character to reach the minimum for the encounter and so forth. This emcompasses the raid, the nightfall strike (a group PvE challenge with extra modifiers to combat which ramp up the challenge) and Trials of Osiris (a hardcore PvP challenge which ran on weekends). The dates given are for the console version of the game but I’d assume they’re similarly gated for PC so players can’t burn through everything in a couple of days. Nightfall is available from the start, the raid lands just over a week later and Trials is a couple of days after the raid to coincide with the weekend.

It’ll be hard trying to stay spoiler-free for the raid if I don’t end up doing it on console – that’s my big concern. I guess there’s also scope for delays if the PC version of the game has any particular balance issues or whatnot.

Guided Games:

This is the way Bungie are trying to make finding a group of an activity into less of a lottery. The idea is that solo players looking for a group would be able to see which clans needed extra people for an activity and then offer some information on those clans so the person could see if it would be a pleasant experience based on their preferences. Players in clans would benefit by being able to fill empty spaces.

Bungie have decided to go with a soft launch of the system to make sure it doesn’t crack under the weight of a bunch of solo players in a world where clans might not have had the chance to form yet:

“For Guided Games to have a successful launch, we need time for enough players to form into real Clans and be ready to guide other Guardians. If there are too many solo Seekers and not enough Clan Guides, the queues for matching will be quite long. Therefore, we’re going to roll out Guided Games as a limited-access ‘soft beta’, where only a select number of solo players will be able to use Guided Games for the Nightfall on 9/12. This will allow us to slowly ramp up players over the course of September (and allow Clan populations to grow) so that everyone has a great experience.”

Again, the dates are for console and suggest the beta will start a week after the game launches and then hopefully get a full rollout after a fortnight of beta. For PC I assume they might do something similar, or they might tweak things a bit based on what they learn in the console sphere.

Easing your engram pain:

Destiny 2

Let me tell you about the fuss of decrypting bloody engrams in the first game. Basically you picked up armour and guns as coloured packets which you needed someone at the Tower to decrypt into something usable. You could affect the level of the thing in the packet by the level of the gear you had equipped when you did so. That meant that every time you went to deal with this loot system you’d have to faff with your inventory, making sure you had all of your fanciest nonsense on before you opened your new gear. OH MY GOODNESS IT WAS SO ANNOYING.

Destiny 2 players will never know such hardship. The game now detects your power potential and just uses that to decide the reward’s power when it drops instead of you having to fish around in your wardrobe for your awful-but-powerful hat hours later. You can actually see the minimum power level of an engram you haven’t decrypted in your inventory.

As per the words of investment designer, Daniel Auchenpaugh:

“Rewards determine their power at the time they’re earned. This means that, when an engram drops in Destiny 2, it decides its power at the time it drops. Also, when we roll rewards, we look at your character’s level and your best possible gear to determine the power of the reward. This is true for Crucible end-of-match rewards, Engram drops, Strike rewards, etc. Note that some sources can still produce better gear than others; once you’re exploring endgame content look for the “Powerful Gear” rewards in tooltips if you’re hunting the best drops.”

The system can pull that best possible gear info from a bunch of sources including your character’s storage vault, your current inventory and even from other characters attached to your account, which is cool. It also knows to ignore multiple exotic items (you can only use one exotic weapon and one piece of exotic armour at a time) and anything your current character is too low level to use.

The rest of the blog post is housekeeping stuff but you might want to go through it if you have remaining questions about the engram stuff or want to know what’s happening to the fan movie of the week contest.

Destiny 2 is on PC from 24 October which is millions of years away. Spoil the raid for me and I will ruin you.

26 Comments

  1. Awesomeclaw says:

    I’m really looking forward to Destiny 2 but if it ships with the same amount of #content as the original had at launch then I’ll be waiting for some expansions. Hopefully they’ve learned from the response to that launch and there’s a decent amount in there.

    • p2mc28 says:

      I’ve heard it’s shipping with the same amount (length?) of content that Destiny 1 has right now. I’m pretty sure that was an exaggeration (as there won’t be, like half a dozen raids), but googling a bit seems to put Destiny 2 at about 50+ hours of PvE story content.

      link to reddit.com

  2. Resheph says:

    I tried the open beta, and that saved me quite a bit of money. I would have been tempted to try the game when it came out, but the beta showed me that it’s a mediocre shooter with unbalanced pvp (autoaim) and mediocre pve. Could have stayed consoles only as far as I am concerned, the pc world is not enriched by this game.

    • Maxheadroom says:

      Kinda have to agree with you. Picked up the first one on PS4 for cheaps when it came with all the expansions and had a reasonable amount of fun with it for what I paid.

      Tried the beta this week and..meh. Maybe its because there’s a million quality FPSs on the PC already and it just doesn’t stand out enough

    • fiendling says:

      I also found the beta distinctly underwhelming. Destiny 2 feels very… “floaty”. Apologies, that is the closest I can come to verbalising what felt “off” about it. Titanfall 2’s movement and gunplay are leagues ahead of Destiny 2.

      I am also astonished that this exact same playable content at E3 earned Destiny 2 the PC game of the show from numerous sites and publications. E3 must have been a really terrible showing for PC games specifically.

      On the positive side: it is fantastically optimised. A fantastically optimised game does not, unfortunately, a fantastic game make.

  3. Chromatose says:

    In spite of not really enjoying the beta all that much, I’m still incredibly hyped for Destiny 2. Anybody still (understandably) wary about the full game’s lack of content should look at the many gameplay videos of the European Dead Zone kicking around on the youtubes. It certainly doesn’t look short of stuff to do. Bungie have also claimed that there’s about 60 hours or so worth of PvE content in the game. How that holds up is another matter as Bungie are pretty bad for making overblown claims, but overall, I get the impression that there’s a lot more content than in the base game first time around.

    • grve says:

      I warmed up to the beta after initially hating it (it was still a very poor demo). HYPE TRAIN

      • Chromatose says:

        There were a lot of really ill-explained changes to Destiny’s gameplay mechanics (Why is my character slower? Why do a lot of the enemies feel like insane bullet-sponges? Why are the cooldowns on my abilities so long? Why is Dinklebot still the best ghost?) that myself and my clan only really started grasping, and then suddenly the beta was over.

        I think if Bungie had put out a short primer on getting everybody up to speed with how to, for instance, deck out your Titan so he didn’t feel like he was trudging through a swamp of PVA glue, or how take advantage of the new weapon-class / enemy shield system to make bigger enemies a lot less spongy feeling, that would have made a lot of veterans of the first game feel a bit more at ease.

        That said, I’m very glad a lot of PC players from what I can see seemed to have a really good time with the beta.

        • Awesomeclaw says:

          I only played through the opening mission, but it looked like none of the gear you started with had any cooldown reduction stats on it, which might explain why a lot of the cooldowns felt long. I also noticed that a lot of the cooldown-reducing abilities are different, so I think some changes to play style are needed if you want to crank out grenades.

          • Chromatose says:

            Your gear could be re-specced to alter your stats a bit, and I think that the Warlock had something on his loadout that reduced grenade cooldown (but damned if I know what it was).

            But yeah, if it’s anything like the first game, it’ll probably require a bit of min-maxing to get a build you feel comfortable with.

  4. biggergun says:

    Destiny beta makes me incredibly sad. I want to like it, but it’s a beautiful game mired by painfully uninventive gameplay and painfully bad writing\voice acting. Played the included strike twice and literally fell asleep in the middle of the second boss fight. PvP is equally monotonous. I’m really happy I decided to check out the beta before preordering.

  5. Maxheadroom says:

    I was never a fan of that Beastie Boys track when it first came out but somehow it manages to improve anything its added to

  6. Premium User Badge

    Don Reba says:

    Is “reminds me a bit of Power Rangers” an emotion?

    It should be included in Unicode 11.0.

  7. Spuzzell says:

    Quite like the world, wasn’t keen on the voice acting, thought the gameplay in the beta was.. fine. I didn’t like the autoaim at all, movement was slow, enemies were a bit boring and bulletspongey.

    I really didn’t think it felt great, I can only assume console shooter fans look for different things than PC shooter fans.

    Sorry Pip.

    • Premium User Badge

      Don Reba says:

      Felt very slow and limited after Warframe’s parkour.

      • Chromatose says:

        After playing through the strike with my clan, we all agreed that Warframe has completely spoiled us on movement speed. We all remarked on how ‘cramped’ D2 felt by comparison, both in terms of FOV (even 100 feels uncomfortably limited for some reason) and speed of movement.

        • Seth_Keta says:

          It makes me incredibly sad to see any comments that put Warframe in a positive light. That game is the cancer of this kind of genre, mostly because the developers are sitting upon their monopolistic thrones. I sincerely hope Destiny 2 and/or Anthem will knock them on their ass and realize that, astonishingly, they cannot just piss on their players and expect massive income.

          • Spuzzell says:

            I’ve never played Warframe, but… are you seriously trying to portray Bungie as the plucky everyman underdog?

            I mean, seriously?

          • Premium User Badge

            Don Reba says:

            Doesn’t make a lot of sense to me to damn something that’s popular because it’s good.

  8. ninjapirate says:

    My mind was set on buying Destiny 2 as my go-to coop game this winter – until I played the open beta. The gameplay seemed mediocre, I found the whole experience quite underwhelming and dull, so I’m going to pass.

  9. Viral Frog says:

    I felt like the beta was far too limited for anyone to really say “this game (is or is not) good”. I left it feeling good about what I’d played. Tried all three classes in PvE, forgot to do any PvP. Seemed decent enough, but there wasn’t enough for me to make up my mind about it. Overall, gameplay itself was solid (IMO) although the guns didn’t have much… oomph? It feels like Halo meets Borderlands (in good ways) in a world chock full of terrible voice actors (not in a good way).

    • Viral Frog says:

      I meant to say that the gameplay itself SEEMED solid, not that it WAS. What I played wasn’t bad, but as I opened with, I don’t feel like I was able to experience enough of it to say for sure.

      Was unable to edit original comment due to time passed before I realized my mistake.

    • grve says:

      It’s sad because the cast list is full of great screen actors, but I aggressively didn’t care about any of the dialogue.

    • Vandelay says:

      I would agree with this. I had an enjoyable enough time with the beta, but it didn’t give me the sense of something that would be worth the asking price and last for dozens, let alone potentially hundreds, of hours. As someone that hasn’t played the original outside of the demo, I couldn’t tell what it was that made the game unique.

      Having said that, I think some comments here about the gunplay being mediocre and enemies bullet spongey are way off. Guns felt fun and mostly satisfying to use for me. Enemy health also felt just right. Far more interesting to fight than if everything went down to one bullet, but nowhere near the spongeyness of something like the soldiers in Half Life.

      I was definitely not sold enough to immediately go pre-order, but I wasn’t deterred enough to avoid it. I’ll hold out for some reviews to get a more complete picture.

      • drewski says:

        I think if you come from really fast paced, reactive shooters like Titanfall 2 then D2’s combat feels quite slow and spongey.

        As someone who loved Halo: Reach and enjoys a slower pace, I found it was perfect for me. But as usual on the internet, it’s not enough for people to decide something isn’t for them – they also have to decide it must be rubbish, hence the reactions.

  10. Jekadu says:

    What’s Cayde-6’s final line in the trailer? Can’t make it out over the background noise.