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

Destiny 2 admits poor communication on weapons and the latest faction rally

The first time Destiny 2 ran a faction rally, its mechanics had a problem where players could basically just earn tons of tokens without firing any weapons or anything. This iteration of faction rallies tried to fix that, but the result has been another issue with token throttling. The latest dispatch from the development team accepts culpability for this, noting that this is part of an ongoing process to keep lost sectors rewarding while also avoiding the aforementioned “lots of tokens for no actual gameplay” problem.

It is, at least, an admission of fault, alongside the admission that poor communication about the Season 2 weapons was entirely down to developers failing to explain what was intended when said weapons didn’t launch right away.

This was on us. No excuses. […] We will be remedying this lapse in communication next week with details on what you should expect when the next Iron Banner rolls out in Season 2.

It’s up to the individual player if admitting the mistake and promising to do better actually ameliorates things at all. In unrelated news, Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg is stepping down in March with no reasons cited for his departure. No word yet on who will take his place.

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Destiny 2 players erupt over token throttling bugs

Another day, another Destiny 2 subreddit meltdown, and it’s not over the Eververse cash shop, holiday items, or lockboxes this time.

Redditors report a multitude of major bugs with the last patch, including faction token throttling affecting lost sectors (probably an unintended side-effect of Bungie’s attempt to patch up an exploit in the first faction rally – and that after a long delay to this rally), emote sales, and still more token bugs that apparently are throttling tokens from public events too.

To its credit, Bungie has responded to several of the threads requesting bug reports and feedback, but that hasn’t stopped players from forming yet another massive thread urging people to stop playing the game until Bungie gets it together. “If you’re upset with the direction the game is going, the best way to show them is to just stop playing,” they argue.

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Destiny 2 outlines its 2018 roadmap, including major changes to the cash shop

It’s fair to say that Destiny 2 has had a bit of a rough go over the past few weeks, what with the dropping player count and Eververse riot, yes? It hasn’t been smooth sailing. But the developers are trying to address that with the newest roadmap, which takes a bit of time to explain how the game’s content is supposed to be divided between expansions (things you buy) and seasons (things you get for free). The developers are also looking into fixing any XP discrepancies players have noticed, so that would be a good thing.

“We recognize that the scales are tipped too far towards Tess at the moment, and Eververse was never intended to be a substitute for end game content and rewards,” Bungie writes. “So, we’ll be making three changes for upcoming Seasons: We’re shifting the balance of new content in favor of activity rewards over Bright Engrams. This includes adding Ghosts, Sparrows, and ships (to date found only in Bright Engrams) to achievement reward pools. We’ll provide a gameplay path to earn Bright Engrams and all contained rewards (including Event Engrams). We’ll give players more direct purchase options and make adjustments to Bright Engrams to allow players to get the items they want more often.”

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Lockbox roundup: MMO studios on ‘elegant’ lockboxes, legal issues, and the ‘cosmetics only’ angle

You know the lockbox thing is reaching saturation when there are so many things to cover we have to resort to a roundup. Nevertheless, for those of you who want to stay on top of developments and arguments, here we go.

Polygon has an explainer piece up on Destiny 2’s Eververse fallout and why everyone is still rioting over the game’s monetization. Of note for this discussion is the publication’s note that if Destiny 2 is hell-bent on having lootboxes, it ought to adopt Overwatch’s lootboxes, as they’re relatively tame and haven’t produced a Reddit in full meltdown.

Gamasutra has a roundup of MMO developer quotes from studios that believe they’re doing lockboxes “elegantly,” including Trion (for Defiance), PWE (for Star Trek Online), Wargaming (for World of Warships). In this particularly case, that means either being easily accessible through in-game play (not just in the cash shop), making lockbox drops tradeable to other players, creating systems of accruing lockbox rewards, or offering a choice of lootbox type.

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Massively OP’s 2017 awards debrief and annual recap

As we did in 20142015, and 2016, today I’m going to recap our annual awards and other meta articles from the end of 2017. We gave out 19 formal awards this past year, all in addition to dozens of other recaps, roundups, listicles, predictions, bloopers, oddities, polls, provocations, and retrospectives. It was by far our biggest content dump to date, even bigger than last year!

Following our deep-dive into our awards and the attached reader polls, I’ll be recapping all of the end-year articles in one convenient place in case you missed something over the holidays – enjoy!

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Dataminer suggests massive Destiny 2 playerbase slump

If player dataminers are right, Destiny 2 is in trouble, and I’m not talking about the ongoing Eververse rioting.

Destiny 2 player and Redditor stevetheimpact collected data from roughly a tenth the playerbase between launch and the end of 2017 by scraping Bungie’s API for unique members and their last date played.

“Total player count dropped from 1,307,165 to 321,843 from launch to the end of the year, which is a drop of 75.37%,” he posted last night. “PS4 player count dropped from 712,431 to 158,523, which is a drop of 77.74%. XBox player count dropped from 594,987 to 127,428, which is a drop of 78.58%. PC player count dropped from 194,607 to 35,892, which is a drop of 81.55%.”

stevetheimpact does admit that his data represent only a sample of the total player population and aren’t 100% accurate. The raw data have been made available for anyone who wants to parse them.

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MMO Year in Review: Lockboxes, CCP, and Destiny 2 (October 2017)

We’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2018!

The lockbox debate exploded in October, propelled in the mainstream by EA but closer to home by games like LOTRO. Meanwhile, Destiny 2 launched on PC, and the MMO world was shocked by the sudden closures of two of CCP Games’ substudios following EVE Vegas, which initially was not supposed to affect EVE Online (though by November we found out it most certainly did).

We also saw a number of updates to major MMOs, including Elder Scrolls Online’s Clockwork City, Warframe’s Plains of Eidolon, SWTOR’s pre-merge United Forces Foundation, EVE’s Lifeblood, and LOTRO’s Update 21. And Star Citizen dampened delay criticism by demoing its procedural cities.

Read on for the whole list!

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MMO Year in Review: Expansion 2 for Guild Wars 2 (September 2017)

We’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2018!

September dazzled with Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire launch, while indies lit up PAX West, Destiny 2 rolled out to consolers, EVE Online dabbled in drama, toxicity became the new buzzword, and Chris Roberts got fed up. The oldest living games of the genre had their day too, as Ultima Online turned 20 years old and announced free-to-play.

Read on for the whole list!

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Destiny 2 leaks out the second DLC, Gods of Mars, via the PlayStation store

It’s long been known that the next Destiny 2 DLC will be out next year, with most players figuring on early in the year, but beyond that there has mostly been rumors and speculation. Now… there’s more than that. A page for the next DLC showed up on the Japanese and American PSN stores and was swiftly taken down, but as you no doubt surmised, fans took all of the necessary screenshots and have already spread the information. Short version? It’s going to be called Gods of Mars, and it’s sending you to… some planet.

Fine, it’s Mars, yes. Specifically, it’s the Frigid Vale of Mars, where players will find new quests, new landscapes, and perhaps most importantly new enemies to shoot. (And hopefully fewer bits of content retroactively locked behind the expansion.) You can check out the screenshot of the store page below, although you should be warned that any of these informational tidbits could be subject to change before its actual release date in March.

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Perfect Ten: 20 multiplayer games to watch in 2018

A couple of weeks ago I covered 20(ish) MMORPGs that we are looking forward to seeing develop, test, and launch in 2018. But as you well may know, Massively OP covers a small university’s worth of “not-so-massively” multiplayer games that have some crossover into the MMO space. We do this because it gives some people much-needed gripe fuel and also because a lot of our readership is also interested in these games.

There is a lot of movement in the multiplayer game space, especially as the larger video game market continues to adapt and hew to MMO design. It’s a blended mess as we continually try to sort these games out into their proper categories, but while we do that, you can enjoy this list of 20 multiplayer games that you should be tracking in 2018. From survival sandboxes to pirate simulators to sequels, here we go!

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Destiny 2’s playerbase is melting down over holiday lockboxes in Eververse

Destiny 2 just can’t seem to stop pissing off everyone. Its Dawning holiday event, detractors argue, is overtly designed as a moneygrab focused around the Eververse cash shop, which is apparently dispensing paid holiday lockboxes that include special holiday cosmetics as well as game-affecting buff items. Adding insult to injury, Bungie is locking almost all of the holiday rewards up that way, rather than doing what a lot of MMOs do and drop holiday loot during play.

MMO players might be wondering what the problem is since many MMOs do this, but then very few of us pay $60 for a box for other MMOs, either, and when we do (say, games like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV), this isn’t the monetization situation we see.

The new outrage, on top of the existing ill-will in the community and the overall anti-lockbox/anti-exploitation atmosphere engendered by Star Wars Battlefront, has led to a virtual riot on the forums. As I type this, literally every single thread on the first page of the forums is a demand for Bungie to remove Eververse, with thousands of collective upvotes.

Merry Christmas!

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