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Destiny 2 - Cayde promised us loot

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Durandal

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Hopped on before work today (and realized it has been a damn long time since I've done that in Destiny) to play around with some other weapons.

Skyburner's Oath is a whole lot of fun now. For a long time, people have made jokes about how Cabal weapons are basically bolt guns from 40k, but this is exactly what it feels like.

The tracking isn't super aggressive, but it corrects for in-air inaccuracy and not being ADS'd perfectly, allowing you to leap about while raining shells on things. Against large groups of enemies the hipfire mode is great (even against non-Cabal, used it a few times in the Glimmer Mining event and it just devastated Fallen as they leaped out of the skiff) and having a scout rifle mode on it meant that I basically covered all ranges with one gun.

Prometheus Lens was also pretty fun for clearing adds as well, though many of the patrol groups I happened in to were large enough that I wasn't triggering the kills often enough to constantly re-feed the mag. But the fireball's extra damage was definitely noticeable (and scoring crits still seemed rewarding enough thanks to its multiplier boost, possibly cancelled out the swap in ratio between explosion and direct hit damage).

Also managed to pick up a catalyst for Crimson while I was out patrolling, so I may start grinding that up now to see how it is (if it punches harder than it did before, then its perks will actually be quite good, if).

Skyburner's feels almost as good as Graviton Lance in my mind, at least in terms of satisfaction. Not sure if it is enough to make it a worthy pick for raiding, but it feels fun. I think lens will probably shine in strikes, especially with active burns, though it does take a bit of getting used to.

I'll probably try and finish the campaign tonight (took a break to grind to 30, get my PL up and do some milestones) and then start in to heroic strikes. My only real complaint so far is that I think they may need to tweak some activity rewards to create a bit smoother progression after the soft cap (namely, I think heroic strikes should drop things up to 350, since that is the level of the activity). Story seems serviceable enough for now (but then, I didn't actually mind CoO and found it enough of an improvement over TDB and HoW to be worth my $15, the main shame with it was that the stuff they spent a bunch of time making did nothing to extend the longevity of the end-game and was largely non-repeatable) and better still, Mars makes me want to explore its nooks and crannies, which isn't something I've felt since TTK (for some reason RoI never grabbed me hard enough to want to grab all the SIVA fragments or finish all the records). To me, that's doubly amazing since Mars was easily my least favourite location from D1. Apparently just adding snow is enough to make it not feel like a vast see of boring brown-red nothingness.
 

bv728

Was he a violent man?
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Day 2: The adventures are decent, and there's a post-game quest series that seems way better than the main quest. Several new collectables, mildly grindy but will actually do fairly well by just exploring Mars. I get the feeling that maybe they just spent all their time on 'what are they going to do after the initial quest?' and just phoned in the main quest.
 

Durandal

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Day 2: The adventures are decent, and there's a post-game quest series that seems way better than the main quest. Several new collectables, mildly grindy but will actually do fairly well by just exploring Mars. I get the feeling that maybe they just spent all their time on 'what are they going to do after the initial quest?' and just phoned in the main quest.
That's kind par for the course with Destiny (not trying to excuse it, just saying that the reaction to Warmind's story doesn't surprise me). Even stuff that is fondly remembered like The Taken King, is less remembered for its actual campaign and better remembered for the post-campaign secrets, questlines and grindy bits. TTK's high point was literally collecting calcified gubbins so we could read Oryx's diary (a piece of background so well regarded in the community that people basically forget how flat actual in-game Oryx was during the campaign where none of that cool BoS lore gets touched on). Years later, we don't tend to remember the campaign we ran through once, but we remember that grind we did for Touch of Malice, the pain of collecting fucking planetary materials for a sword, getting our asses kicked trying to score Black Spindle, or where we were when the time gate on Sleeper Simulant lifted and we all rushed to Mars to wait for a Warsat that would never come. *sheds a single tear*

Given the way our focus tends to shift after initial reception and finishing the campaign, if the choice was down to padding out the campaign more or giving folks stuff to grind for, then the latter is probably the right choice (especially if it comes with expository text! We love expository text! Hmm, maybe Destiny should convey stories via terminals with text and no spoken dialogue.... *cough*).

But I guess we'll see whether that opinion survives contact with the ending of Warmind since I'm currently sat at work waiting for the clock to finally tell me I can go. I mean, I played The Dark Below and that didn't manage to scare me off of Destiny, so maybe my standards are just low. :D
 

Coyote's Own

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So going by the DIM you get the Sunshot catalyst for pladging to the Future War Cult (Followers of War), Graviton Lance with Dead Orbit (Seekers of Exodus) and Sweet Bussiness with New Monarchy i guess (Defenders of the Earth; by way of elimination).
 

Future Villain Band

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Man, fuck that Nessus strike with Blackout. Fuck it in its ear. And leaving a strike screws the other players who are trying to meet their Strike quota for the Exotic quest, so I stayed in longer than I should have. I was grateful when the other teo players finally gave up.
 

Future Villain Band

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Man, fuck that Nessus strike with Blackout. Fuck it in its ear. And leaving a strike screws the other players who are trying to meet their Strike quota for the Exotic quest, so I stayed in longer than I should have. I was grateful when the other teo players finally gave up.
I gave it the Heroic playlist another try and it dropped me back into the same Nessus mission, but spawned me at the end in the fight against The Depraved, behind a force field. All I could do is watch the other players get slaughtered every 30 seconds. Bungie is cruel.
 

Vrylakos

All right, all right, all right...
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Hm. This expansion feels really weird. I like the weapon reworkings. The story is really abbreviated. Pretty sure I'll be hitting the final mission when I go home tonight, and I feel like I barely started. Oh well, it'll be fun for a bit.

What's the deal with Crucible ranking now? It's different now?
 

Durandal

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Hm. This expansion feels really weird. I like the weapon reworkings. The story is really abbreviated. Pretty sure I'll be hitting the final mission when I go home tonight, and I feel like I barely started. Oh well, it'll be fun for a bit.
Yeah, it feels kind of like if Rise of Iron had been a $20 DLC. The campaign is short (abrupt even; and yeah that cutscene near the end of mission #4 is pretty jarring, I think I know what happened*, but it either required a follow-up mission or may just another 30 seconds of context-providing cut scene) but the tail end is where things are quite good.

As a playable space, Mars is reminiscent of all the things they did right with the dreadnought. The relative brevity of the campaign meant less need for unique and tailored single-use play spaces, allowing them to create a proper environment to explore. The grindy bits (exotic MW, the collectibles, and apparently at least one big mystery) are all the things we responded well to in TTK and RoI (as well as the Exotic MW's reminding me of Y1 exotic quests which is a nice little hit of nostalgia).

It also presents some actual challenges. Escalation Protocol is hard and will be something most players will be banging their heads against for a few weeks before they have it on lock. The new heroic strikes actually remind me of the [terrible/fun] experiences I had running Legendary Halo missions, which is something I didn't think Destiny would ever bring (and yeah, some of them are bonkers right now, the Taken strike is a shitshow in the [best/worst] possible way. Like Taken Phalanx needed to be more obnoxious).

My current concerns are mainly down to progression smoothness right now. On the one hand, unlike D1, casual folks aren't relying on a single monthly PvP event to level their gear to max. On the other, going down to basically Raid, Trials, and Milestones only means that once we've run out of exotics to grind for, a lot of folks are going back to logging in, doing milestones, and logging out. Because the game still doesn't have much in the way of proper gear customization/progression (whether it be from randomization or a mod system that's worth a damn) there isn't much of a reason to continue playing once you've completed your collections and are just on the PL grind to achieve the max level.

Now, granted, I think the long content tail on Warmind will actually help alleviate this issue somewhat (especially if the exotic armour rework comes with its own MW system), and it looks like they haven't played their whole hand on this DLC yet but this definitely puts a lot of pressure on the September expansion to bring the horizontal progression component that D2 lacks compared to D1. So here's hoping their plans for that knock it out of the park.

What's the deal with Crucible ranking now? It's different now?
Competitive is ranked in the traditional FPS sense. You attain a rank based on your performance and compete against others to be the very best there ever was. There are rewards for getting certain ranks with one of the mid-tier ones being a nice, exclusive pulse rifle this season (Redrix's Claymore).

Quickplay basically has a straight how-much-you-play progression rank. You attain a higher rank as you play more games, performance wont lock you out of higher ranks. It's just a matter of time to hit the top rank. Feels sort of like a replacement for Shaxx's long-term quests from D1 (i.e. Mountaintop) but as a season-long event rather than something leading toward weekly rewards.

They've also altered their skill-based matchmaking algorithm to account better for the advantage being in a fireteam grants. Though right now, something they did to competitive MM got borked, so they deactivated most of it (except the fireteam bit which got re-activated yesterday) and are working on a fix (luckily, most MM stuff is something they can do without needing us to download anything, so the fix should be quick and painless when it gets here).

Basically, competitive now has a reason to exists, there are more play-based rewards for both competitive and quickplay, and they've made steps toward improving MM with regards to teams as well as apparently implementing more security features (more for trials, but with a ranking system I can see it being a concern in competitive as well).

*
Spoiler: Show
I... think Xol drops the mountain on you. The visuals make it look like it is doing some sort of creepy light-rending thing, but I think the rumbling is it just collapsing a mountainside on you. But for this to really work I think there either needed to be a short "crawl though a shattered, darkened cave system" mission afterwards or we needed an external shot of the area collapsing on us instead of just playing it purely from PoV (something that Destiny doesn't usually do, so it seems weird to do it here).

The end effect is that the rapid cut between Xol "drowning us in the deep" and the Ghost reviving us is jarring as all hell. Basically, it could have used more context and a bit of breathing room between the encounter with Xol and our resurrection. I'm happy to fanwank that caves getting dropped on us, but I think it would have been more effective with a bit more exposition. That said, I actually really liked the Nokris fight. Just challenging enough to wake me up out of hive-killing auto-pilot and with enough additional mechanical bits to not just make him an HP lump (the model was also creepy and memorable rather than just being a reskin of a hive enemy which is a nice touch).


Edit to add - Oh, and for anyone wondering, Crimson is a fucking monster now. It is like Bad Juju had a baby with Red Death. It hits like a truck at short range, feels like it has head-seeking bullets, and I can count the number of times I had to reload it last night on one hand. Mowing through Thrall hordes with it was a joy. It needs a long-ranged backup (though for a hand cannon, its range is pretty great), but it was doing most of the work while I was running missions last night. Before I tried it, I was suspicious of the buffs on it, but this is the sweet spot. Apparently in PvP it can score a 3-shot kill if you manage a 7/2 crit/body combo (which given how easy head shots felt on it seems pretty doable). Might not be the old Red Death 2-tap, but given the other guns on the field it sounds pretty fantastic.

I'll need to hop in PvP tonight and give it and Graviton Lance a test run to see which one will make the cut for my PvP loadout.
 
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bv728

Was he a violent man?
Validated User
Spoiler: Show
I... think Xol drops the mountain on you. The visuals make it look like it is doing some sort of creepy light-rending thing, but I think the rumbling is it just collapsing a mountainside on you. But for this to really work I think there either needed to be a short "crawl though a shattered, darkened cave system" mission afterwards or we needed an external shot of the area collapsing on us instead of just playing it purely from PoV (something that Destiny doesn't usually do, so it seems weird to do it here).

The end effect is that the rapid cut between Xol "drowning us in the deep" and the Ghost reviving us is jarring as all hell. Basically, it could have used more context and a bit of breathing room between the encounter with Xol and our resurrection. I'm happy to fanwank that caves getting dropped on us, but I think it would have been more effective with a bit more exposition. That said, I actually really liked the Nokris fight. Just challenging enough to wake me up out of hive-killing auto-pilot and with enough additional mechanical bits to not just make him an HP lump (the model was also creepy and memorable rather than just being a reskin of a hive enemy which is a nice touch).
Yeah, that is...
Spoiler: Show
He comes in, you get some chromatic aberration, he says you'll drown in the Deeps, which previously were a fucking extra-dimensional hellspace that took Oryx centuries to master, and then he just drops some stuff on you. My fanwank? Originally, there was supposed to be a creepy mission where you're kicked out of your body and have to figure out how to escape the Deeps there, and the cutscene we get is what would happen at the end of that, which is why you can just kind of stand up - he doesn't drop much on you, but because 'you' are in the Deeps, your Ghost can't find you, and snow and such have built up on your physical body before you get back to it. And then when you fight him at the end, they had the time to actually give some characterization (much like they did with Oryx - not a lot of it, but enough that getting to Oryx had meaning).
 
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