destiny 2

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Official Site: Destiny 2
Studio: Bungie
Launch Date: September 6, 2017
Genre: MMO sci-fi shooter
Business Model: B2P
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Battle Bards Episode 117: Destiny

Two Destinies for the price of one! For this episode, the Battle Bards are gearing up in their favorite space armor to take on highlights from both of the Destiny soundtracks. From buyer’s regret to confusing the gender of a key character, there is all sorts of on-air therapy happening with this kooky trio!

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunesGoogle PlayTuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 117: Destiny (or download it) now:

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Destiny 2 adds in Nightfall strike scoring and text chat for PC

After reading through the most recent Destiny 2 patch notes, you can join us in a sigh of relief at the fact that the game has enabled opt-in text chat only for PC players in social spaces and public areas. Clearly adding more to that system (which basically every single PC game with multiplayer has had over the past three decades) would lead to mass hysteria and a breakdown of everything in the MMO. But perhaps we should just be happy that text chat is there now, even if it’s in a limited format.

More relevant for players on all platforms is the addition of strike scoring for Nightfall, the marquee feature for the update. Players will score points for both kills and orb generation, with players who score above a certain threshold enabling an aura and a token bonus. (That’s “bonus to tokens,” not “a bonus that’s just a token bonus.”) Players can also enjoy new Nightfall challenge cards and variants on emblems, so check out the full patch notes before you go storming back into the game with full firepower.


Destiny 2 team revises its update roadmap

No development plan survives first contact with the community, and Bungie freely admits that its previous Destiny 2 roadmap was subject to change at any moment for any reason.

Hence, an updated and revised roadmap was published this week that takes players from next week’s Patch 1.1.3 through May’s Patch 1.2. A few features have been shuffled around, such as the delay of what would have been 1.1.3’s Nightfall Strike unique weapons to March’s Patch 1.1.4.

“We also have a big addition we’re eager to share,” Bungie said, “Rumble will be joining 6v6 Iron Banner and Mayhem in our new rotating weekly Crucible playlist in 1.1.4. We want to make sure players have a more diverse set of game modes available in both Crucible and Private Matches. Doubles is also planned to return, but we do not have an exact release date just yet.”

Take a gander at the latest development roadmap after the jump!

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Perfect Ten: The tabletop GMs behind MMOs

One of the advantages to computer RPGs, I’ve always thought, is that you don’t need a friend who you can alternately sucker or bribe into taking on 80% of the work that’s involved in making a tabletop RPG fun. You just turn on the game and it goes. The downside, of course, is that you also don’t have the advantages of having a GM in charge of the game, so you don’t get that personal connection and that sense of familiarity.

Except that’s not entirely accurate, is it? Yes, these games do not have a person eagerly perched behind a screen explaining how your characters have screwed everything up forever, but you still do get the same sense of a specific GM guiding the game over time. Because there are certain quirks, certain constants, and over time a feel to the game that informs what sort of GM you’ve got running the game. So let’s talk about the GMs running some games.

I warn you that if you’ve never played any sort of tabletop game, this column may not make a whole lot of sense. But if you’ve never played any tabletop RPGs I don’t understand how you live and thus cannot promise to target you reliably. Sorry.

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Destiny 2 empowers players to set Nightfall strike challenge levels, prototypes raid features

Destiny 2’s Nightfall strikes are in the wings, waiting for their turn to receive some love and adjustments. This should happen soon, as Bungie plans on getting rid of the pass-fail timer and replacing it with other criteria that will score varying degrees of success. Also, players can pick up challenge cards with handicaps that add a score multiplyer to their runs.

“Fireteams of any size should be able to participate, from organized clan groups to skilled solo players,” promised Game Director Christopher Barrett. “Players should be able to determine their own challenge level, by going slow and steady or fast and wild, with elective modifiers to test the most hardcore veterans.” Read more

Activision Blizzard boasts ‘record quarter, record year’

With revenues and net bookings up, Activision Blizzard is riding high going into 2018. CEO Bobby Kotick introduced the Q4 2017 report by saying that it was “a record quarter to cap off a record year for Activision Blizzard.”

The studio’s net revenues shot up 6% to $7.02 billion and its revenues were up 1%, bringing in $2.04 billion during the quarter. The company’s stock price took a dip that it attributes to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, however. More than $4 billion of that net revenue came from in-game microtransactions, half of which came from the company’s PC and console titles.

Destiny 2 and Overwatch did its part to push earnings, with the former being the second-highest-grossing console game for 2017 in North America. Overwatch has witnessed “higher engagement” since its Overwatch League began. And while Blizzard continues to not report on the population of any given game, the studio said that it had 40 million monthly active users during the quarter.

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Destiny 2’s new Crimson Days event says the couple that slays together stays together

It takes two in the new Destiny 2 Crimson Days event. Specifically, players are tasked with taking on a 2v2 Clash and a new Burnout variant in which two players must group together in order to keep the light from fading completely. In other words, you’ll need to work together with a partner in order to earn rewards and pick up new mounts, emotes, and decorations. It’s about as romantic as you can get in a game that’s chiefly concerned with shooting one another, let’s be real.

Should that not work with you, it’s important to note that the official forum rules are being changed somewhat, so you might not actually be able to complain about it on the official forums. If you haven’t yet reached the Farm in Destiny 2, for example, you won’t be able to post in that game’s Feedback, Gameplay, or Off-Topic boards. So you’ll actually need to play the game a little bit before getting a platform to talk about it. That seems fair.

Source: Event page, forum restrictions; thanks to Sophisikai for the tip!


Destiny 2 outlines its development roadmap while it’s gotta go fast

The latest development roadmap for Destiny 2 has arrived, and it’s pretty expansive. It covers updates through May, which winds up being the next three big updates, and each one has plenty of meaty content attached. February’s big update has the emblem/aura rework, reduction to exotic repetition, Nightfall high scores and score tracking… a fair amount of stuff. Check out the whole map if you’re curious about where the game goes from here and where it’s continuing to go.

Of course, wherever you as a player might be going, you’ll want to go there fast. The latest weekly newsletter covers the work of the sandbox team, and that team has been working on letting you go faster. Buffed glides, buffs to the Mobility stat, faster Super recharges, Arcstrider improvements… in short, make the game more mobile and fast-paced across the board. You can argue whether or not that’s in the best long-term interests of the game, but you can’t deny that it’ll make this more active.


Destiny 2 makes it look like experience requirements for engrams had increased, Bungie apologizes

Let’s just start with the good news here: Destiny 2 actually didn’t screw over players by pretending it had reduced experience gains while actually increasing requirements this time! That’s what appeared to have happened, and that’s what players were initially up in arms about; it looked at a glance like the XP requirements for Bright Engrams had gone up to 240,000 instead of being reduced to 120,000. But it turns out that this was an error with the API and one that was relatively quickly fixed.

The official response also contains an apology for the display issue and an admission that really, no one could be blamed for assuming that Bungie secretly increased requirements while claiming otherwise.

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Guild Wars 2 makes SuperData’s top 10 list of ‘premium PC games by revenue for 2017’

If you want SuperData’s complete 2017 Digital Games & Interactive Media market brief, you’re… not going to have to pay for it. It’s free, or at least the “executive summary” is, assuming you’re willing to put in an address to get it. Here are some of the more interesting highlights from the doc.

  • MMORPG players, take note: Guild Wars 2 is included on the top 10 premium PC games by revenue for 2017. It’s at #8 with $87M.
  • There are a few MMOs on the top free-to-play games by revenue for 2017 list too, including Blade & Soul, MapleStory, and Roblox. (We’re not quite sure why World of Warcraft isn’t on either list.)
  • PUBG owned 2017 with $712M in revenue in less than a year – yes, more than Overwatch, Destiny 2, and Grand Theft Auto combined in 2017.
  • A third of the world plays free-to-play games. That’s 89% of the revenue of the mobile and PC markets.
  • Mobile isn’t dead; we spent $14 billion more dollars on mobile than PC last year than in 2016. Notably, a huge chunk of that money is funneled to just a handful of games – most of them in the east.
  • E-sports is only getting bigger, with $756M in 2017 revenue.

You can take a peek yourself on SuperData’s site.

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Destiny 2’s 1.1.2 patch drops today with the return of Iron Banner

It’s not a major expansion or DLC, but today’s Patch 1.1.2 has a few surprises and treats in store for Destiny 2 players.

For starters, the patch brings back Iron Banner, challenging players to fight each other for some hot new rewards and additional paths to obtaining desired rewards. Then there’s the implementation of armor masterworks to go along with the established weapon masterworks. Players will be able to rework stats on their armor if they’re disatisfied with what they get on their masterwork. And finally, what about some better raid rewards? That’s part of the package, too.

Destiny 2’s game director, Christopher Barrett, has been dropping all sorts of information and keeping the community informed on Twitter as of late. Barrett mentioned that the team is looking to improve the Trials of the Nine, hinted at strike-specific loot, confirmed that the Prestige Eater of Worlds update is still forthcoming, and said that the team will continue to import exotics from the original Destiny.

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Wall Street firm sees Destiny 2 ‘struggling with player engagement’

Destiny 2 is definitely not riding high in its first year of live operation. Warning signs started to appear late last year, as datamining pointed to a large player slump. Bungie hasn’t been helping its own cause despite a 2018 roadmap, as Destiny 2 has struggled with throttling bugs and poor communication in the past month.

Now one Wall Street firm has analyzed the state of the game and predicted a not-so-rosy future.

Destiny 2 is struggling right now with player engagement appearing to be on the wane,” wrote Cowen analyst Doug Creutz to the firm’s clients. “We do think Bungie still has some opportunity to fix the game’s problems over the next year and recapture engagement, but we’re not sure they have the ability to pull it off at this point. We also note that Destiny currently has more serious competition in its genre from a refurbished Division (Ubisoft) and the indie title Warframe than it did three years ago, when Destiny had its own share of player dissatisfaction.”

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