Yes, it’s apparently the Month of the Lockbox across the internet, as the level of discussion and controversy over how these items manipulate your mind and whether or not they constitute as gambling by ratings boards is ramping up.
The public might have a mixed view on lockboxes, but have you ever wondered what developers think? While some might well be quietly humiliated that these items sully their game by marketing degree, others have publicly justified their inclusion. GIbiz recently found that most studios won’t comment on loot boxes, but a handful of devs did step forward to speak about them. The common thread? Cost of making games is going up while box pricing is remaining static… and something has to give.
“Some big games are just not selling enough copies to make the development and marketing costs viable,” commented Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley. “Loot boxes mean more revenue from those who are interested.”
PC fans, your time is almost here: You’re finally getting a Destiny game on your platform. In fact, if you’ve already purchased Destiny 2, then get thee to the preload: Just boot up the Battlenet app and get moving.
Still need to buy it? Green Man Gaming still has the PC edition for 15% off with the SUCHWOW10 code. We’re told that while folks who buy it that route (it’s not an affiliate link, just a good deal) will be getting their keys by tomorrow so they can hop into the downloading frenzy too.
And while you wait? Ponder the discussion on Reddit, where Destiny 2 console players are monitoring what appears to be a hefty (though probably not unexpected by anyone who watches the MMO industry) decline in the console playerbase already. (Thanks, Danny!)
Hey remember Destiny 2? That cute li’l sequel from Bungie that launched on console and core MMO players promptly forgot all about it? Well, in case that’s you, Bungie has a sweet new PC-capped trailer out to remind you that PC is coming next week. There’s even a countdown on the official site in case you’re bad at clocks. The trailer is shiny. So much jumping. All the screenshake. Insert all your PC master race jokes down below, or save them up for smack-talk during the preload period, which begins on Wednesday of this week.
And by the way, if you’re looking for a cheap place to buy it? A couple of my guildies pointed me to Green Man Gaming, which has the PC edition for 15% off with the SUCHWOW10 code. (Non-affiliate link. Thanks, Onyx and Kiry!)
When it comes to unusual ways for Massively OP readers to get around in MMORPGs, there seems to be no shortage of bizarre methods for getting from Point A to Point B. So why not an ocean creature that is known more for hanging about than keeping a dedicated commuter schedule?
“I really loved the free seahorse mount World of Warcraft gave my character when I started adventuring through the Vashj’ir undersea zone,” Mysecretid said. “You can’t use the seahorse mount anywhere but Vashj’ir, but it sure looks nice. Even the ornate bit and bridle design impressed me.”
I have to wonder if, when mounted, your character is thinking, “You know, this is just too ridiculous, even for this game. I really should say something to management.”
So here is an interesting conundrum: Say you have a highly anticipated raid in the works that you’ve already delayed. Now that the new launch date is approaching, you’ve discovered a pretty significant exploit but don’t have the time to properly institute a fix. What do you do?
For Destiny 2’s Prestige raid, Bungie has decided not to delay a second time, electing instead to push the raid (and its exploit) live on October 18th and monitor player activity for the time being until the fix is ready to deploy. Sounds legit.
“We can now detect if any teams use this exploit to gain an advantage,” the studio posted. “This will take some extra time to verify, but we will be able to crown the winners with the confidence they deserve.”
One of the reasons raiding continues to be a sore spot in the MMORPG community is that it’s difficult — if not impossible — to find a good solution to bringing inexperienced players up to speed with veterans without frustrating both groups. It’s an issue with which Destiny 2 is currently grappling without a graceful reply.
Instead of using a traditional raid matchmaking system, Bungie’s answer to the raid grouping conundrum is by using “Guided Games.” These attempt to replicate a mentor-mentee relationship between the masters and novices, but so far it’s not working as planned. Players are being thrown together with others from around the world (raising language barriers), some can’t or won’t use voice chat (which is problematic on consoles), queues are quite long for novices, and experienced raiders feel resentful over having to bring new players up to speed over and over and over again.
I feel like making a bold statement today, so here it goes: Destiny 2’s soundtrack is far and away better than its predecessor — and I include any of the DLC’s music as well.
Oh, I didn’t dislike Destiny’s OST overall, but aside from a handful of noteworthy pieces, it wasn’t much more than sound and fury to me. Destiny 2, on the other hand, boasts meticulously crafted tunes that span an emotional spectrum of excitement, contentment, uncertainty, struggle, defeat, and victory across its rather expansive album. It was a delight to listen through the 44 tracks that make up the launch album and a struggle to choose just six of my favorite pieces to share.
The score was handled by a team of composers, including Michael Salvatori, Skye Lewin, Rotem Moav, Pieter Schlosser, and C. Paul Johnson. I truly hope that the game’s popularity spurs players to pick it up and hear some excellent video game music on its own. Let’s listen through a sample of what this OST has to offer!
Elder Scrolls Online
has just put a date on the launch of the much-anticipated Clockwork City DLC
bundle, which is taking players deep into the heart of Sotha Sil’s mechanical labyrinth.
“We’re excited to announce that the Clockwork City DLC game pack will be released on October 23 for PC/Mac and November 7 for PlayStation®4 and Xbox One. This DLC game pack will be free to ESO Plus members and available for purchase for 2000 crowns in the in-game Crown Store. In addition to the base version, the Clockwork City Collector’s Bundle will be also available for 4000 crowns in the in-game Crown Store and will include the DLC game pack, the Clockwork Skeevaton pet, the Kagouti Fabricant mount, and Five Crown Experience Scrolls.”
The downside is that’s gonna clash hard with the Destiny 2 PC release date. The upside is that the prologue quest is already live in the game, so you can get started right now and pick up a new collection memento.
With a few weeks to go before the PC launch of Destiny 2, Bungie has its hands full preparing for an influx of new players while placating current ones.
To keep the console crowd occupied, a pair of events are on their way! A PvP event called Iron Banner will begin on October 10th and pit small teams against each other for supremacy. The studio stresses that “fighting abilities, not power levels” will determine victory. And for the PvE crowd, a “prestige raid” is coming on Tuesday for the truly hardcore.
Bungie was also teasing something called “seasons” in this week’s newsletter. It promised fans that they would find out more when TwitchCon rolls around.
There’s a point when you know, culturally, that your choice of console meant that you supported the losing side in the ongoing console wars. A dearth of exclusive titles, for example. A general lack of sales information. Anything related to the Sega Saturn. Your platform finally getting exclusive content for another platform for Destiny with Destiny 2 already out and getting played by pretty much everyone. You get the general idea.
Yes, Xbox One owners can finally enjoy some of the PlayStation exclusive content, which was always meant to be time-limited but apparently kept being limited well past the effective end of life for the title. The content getting patched in wasn’t even announced; it was simply discovered by a player and posted on Reddit. But the important thing is that if you missed out on that content before and were hoping to see it on the Xbox One eventually… hey, it finally happened!
Massively OP reader Sray suggested we open a can of worms today, and I just happened to have a can opener handy.
“Is Destiny 2 an MMO?” he wondered, noting correctly that “this argument is going to keep happening as we approach the PC launch” in October. We’ve already had people telling us we shouldn’t cover it for – as sure as we’ve had people telling us we ought to cover it more – all on the basis of its MMOness or lack thereof.
Destiny 2 is candles and breakfast food, that I know – but an MMO? It seems to me as much an MMO as classic Guild Wars, another borderline online title whose MMO status people to this day fight over, never mind that the darn thing’s lodged in maintenance mode.
Without having played D2 yet on PC, I’m willing to be convinced by consolers one way or another. Is it an MMO or not, and critically, why?
Do you ever give MMOs a questioning stare and find yourself asking to no one in particular, “What is up with Daybreak these days, anyway?” The former titan of MMOs seems to have fallen both in popularity and selection.
Blogger Ancient Gaming Noob, no stranger to Daybreak himself, took a look at the state of the studio now that it’s just over 30 months from its SOE changeover. He looks at what’s been cut and what’s been kept, pondering whether the studio is moving forward or standing still.
“What differentiates a going concern from a company just riding out its end days and milking its current titles is ongoing development of new games,” he writes. “And I haven’t seen any of that from Daybreak. Moving one five-year-old title to XBox was nice, but hardly a substitute for new work.”
What is going on with Battle.net these days — if it is still being called that this week, that is? (It is.) It turns out that Blizzard’s game platform is growing legs and strutting out into the world.
The studio released a new Battle.net mobile app that ties into players’ accounts. While it won’t let you actually play any of the titles (for obvious reasons), you can use the app to access your friends list and bug them while they’re in-game. Blizzard also promoted the fact that you can “see what your friends are playing,” which smacks of stalker-talk, am I right?
“The Blizzard Battle.net Mobile App lets you stay connected with your friends wherever you are. Chat with friends, see what game they’re playing, and add new ones — right from your mobile device,” the studio said.
The free app is available on both iOS and Android.