First ‘Destiny’ Expansion ‘The Dark Below’ Coming This December

Get more content this December.

Bungie has revealed that Destiny will be getting its first major expansion on December 9th, and it is called The Dark Below. The expansion will feature a new story that will be packed with new weapons and gear for gamers to grind for, with more co-op and multiplayer activities also inbound.

Here are some of the things that The Dark Below will be bringing to Destiny:

  • The Light level cap is being raised to 32
  • A new character named Eris will be in The Tower with new story quests to experience
  • A new Strike called the Will of Crota
  • Three new multiplayer arenas: Pantheon, Skyshock and The Cauldron
  • New six-player raid called Crota’s End
  • PlayStation platforms getting exclusive Strike, Exotic weapon and more

Destiny The Dark Below

The president of Bungie, Harold Ryan, said the following in the press release:

Destiny was created as a living universe, which has allowed us to improve the experience post launch in real-time. It also gives us insight into the things players are looking for in new content. We’ve seen from feedback that people want new activities, gear and weapons and of course the immensely popular Raid. The community helps shape our development decisions and that’s really important to us.”

The Dark Below can be purchased for $20 individually or $35 as part of the Destiny Expansions Pass that will also bring a second expansion at some point next year.

‘Destiny’ Iron Banner Event Is Now Live

It’s time to take the mitts off and battle each other with no stat balancing.

Destiny has a new live event going on, bringing back the Iron Banner for those looking for a greater challenge with greater rewards. This is taking the place of the Queen’s Wrath missions, so if you’re looking for the Queen’s Emissary in the tower you will notice that she is gone and in her place is Lord Saladin of the Iron Banner.

What makes the Iron Banner stand out is that its bounties are set in the Crucible where your level and armor is taken into account, meaning that stat balancing is not happening. In other words, if you’re not quite up to par with your gear and you head into the Iron Banner, you might be in for a rude awakening and sent home crying.

As of publication of this article, the Iron Banner only has Control in its playlist, though Bungie will be doing updates today so who knows what will be changing over the course of the next several hours.

Raid Matchmaking In ‘Destiny’ Being Discussed By Bungie

Maybe… JUST maybe.

While Destiny has certainly had multiple complaints dropped upon it when it launched last month, one of the biggest complaints is the fact that the game does not support any kind of matchmaking for Raids. Raids are six-player cooperative missions that are very difficult and require all players to communicate well and have high level gear. The complaints arose when Bungie revealed the Vault of Glass raid, which is only accessible to players who have a bunch of people together in a party.

Bungie Community Manager David Dague discussed this issue in the latest weekly update where he said the following:

“You don’t need to sell us too hard on the value of Matchmaking at Bungie. It’s something we helped to pioneer. Yet, we understand its limitations. In the recipe of a Bungie game, Matchmaking has always contributed the ingredient of a team built to play one match of competitive multiplayer. As you’ve probably witnessed in recent weeks (or years), many of those fresh allies have failed to go the distance together.”

 

“The Raid was designed for solid teams of killers who have made a commitment to solve a dense and explosive riddle. Most of the raiding parties who have emerged victorious from the Vault of Glass have sworn that one weak link would have doomed their chain. There have been other stories, of course. We’ve heard tell of Guardians who met each other just outside the door that leads into that vault. Strange tales have reached our ears – tales of total strangers who have banded together to see the Raid all the way through to a triumphant finale.”

 

“Those stories surprise us, but the players of our games always have. The best I can do to answer your question is to let you know that you’ve been heard. We’re having conversations about how Matchmaking might support the more challenging activities in Destiny. It’s a start. Keep sounding off about it, and maybe someday some matchmade Fireteam mates will hear you, too.”

I can see where they’re coming from in regards to needing a really good team to deal with a raid in the first place. If they do introduce matchmaking for raids, you’re definitely going to get matches were not everybody is being a team player. In a game type that demands cooperation, I’m not sure that playing with random people who may or may not have a mic is a good idea.

Condemn O.R. Condone – Destiny (PlayStation 4)

A disappointment, but still a heck of a lot of fun.

Destiny is probably the most hyped game of 2014. Bungie has ditched their beloved Halo franchise to create a band new, ambitious blend of FPS and MMO elements all into one massive package. The game was preceded by both alpha and beta testing, and being a part of both I was very excited for the finished product. Both the alpha and the beta showed off amazing FPS gameplay with an always-connected world of other gamers that can wander into your game and help you out if they feel like it. It was something truly unique, though these little teases didn’t really offer much in terms of what the point of all this battling was. There was some talk about being brought back to fight these creatures called the Fallen to stop them from completely wiping out the human race, but that’s about as deep as it went.

Well, it turns out that the alpha and beta weren’t holding much back at all, as the story is minimal. It begins with you being awoken by a floating machine called a Ghost telling you that you have been dead for a while and have been brought back to battle The Fallen, which are creatures who have caused a catastrophic event known as “the Collapse” which halted mankind’s “Golden Age” and left them on the brink of extinction. You eventually learn that the only thing that stopped Mankind from being completely wiped out is a mysterious celestial orb called The Traveler, which now hovers above the last safe city on Earth called The Tower. The Traveler bestows upon Guardians (defenders of the city) an unknown power referred to as the Light to help them in their time of need.

That’s about all it measures up to, though, as the remainder of the game consists of you travelling to various planets and battling various monsters with hardly any true character or narrative development. Luckily, Destiny‘s gameplay is great and its locations and score are so gorgeous that it kept my playtime engaging. Destiny‘s gameplay is like taking the mechanics of Borderlands but blowing it up to a much larger scale. You travel to various places shooting anything that gets in your way and then collect all of the loot that is a result of your victory. You’ll also level up your character with experience you gain from enemies, and with each level up you can improve the stats of your armor, weapons and class.

Destiny offers 3 classes for you to choose from: Titan, Warlock and Hunter. The Titan is the most offensive class as it contains the most attack power and defense, and was the class that I stuck with throughout my play-through. It also has a special move (Super) called Fist of Havoc that allows the character to smash the ground and take out all surrounding enemies in a powerful wave. This move can be used once and then must recharge over time to use again, which adds an element of strategy to the gameplay when you are being outgunned. The other two classes are Warlock and Hunter, and they specialize in recovery and speed, respectively. They each offer their own skill trees and abilities that set them apart, but, for the most part, no matter which class you pick in Destiny you are going to get a similar experience. It’s the gunplay itself that is the bread and butter of Destiny, and all 3 classes use them all in the same way.

The guns in Destiny are really impressive, as you have a wide range of machinery to plow down you enemies with. You have everything from machine guns, sniper rifles, shot guns, and hand cannons, any they all have the potential to have elemental attributes that will deal bonus damage to certain enemies. The look and feel of the guns are great, as I had a blast taking down the Fallen with every single type of weapon on hand. You also have the option to melee attack or use grenades, which are equally satisfying to utilize in combat. It may not seem like anything mind-blowing on paper, but the balancing of the weapons, grenades and melee is damn near perfect and results in combat scenarios that are always varied and fun.

As mentioned previously, Destiny is an always-connected game in which other players can appear in your game world and help you out. These are the moments where the game truly shines, as just happening upon another player being in an intense battle and running to give them a hand is a great feeling. There are even things called public events in which you can gather with a group of people to work together to complete an objective before the time runs out. This is really what makes Destiny feel so expansive, because it’s the constantly changing gamers that you will come into contact with that makes this otherwise standard journey of fetch this or kill that engaging.

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Destiny‘s hub world is the aforementioned Tower where you can access various shops, go to the postmaster to receive item, accept bounties that reward you for completing certain tasks, and talking with your class leader for rare weapons and gear specific to your class. You’ll be coming back here a lot as this is where you will go to either initiate or conclude any of the various quests you will be going on. There is always a lot happening in this place, and it’s just fun to wander around it and see what the other gamers you come into contact with are up to. It’s hilarious to randomly go up to another player and start dancing, which is then followed by them and others joining in on the fun. Once again, it’s the interaction with others that breathes life into this location and makes it something much more interesting.

What I found to be the best part of Destiny was the Strike missions, which have you and two other players battling through several locations and concluding with an epic boss battle at the end. These have a really unique feeling to them compared to the traditionally co-operative play contained in many other FPS games, as you’re undertaking a small journey together before ultimately standing together for one (or several) big battles at the end. These Strikes are often very challenging, though as you level up you’ll find that some of the earlier ones get quite easy. Luckily, the game has a Strike matchmaking playlist in which you can chose which level range you want to tackle, making even the very first Strike in the game challenging again.

Even though Destiny‘s big selling point was all of its ground-breaking new features mentioned above, its traditional PVP gameplay is just as good as any of it. You have your standard death match and king of the hill playlists, but thanks to Destiny‘s awesome gameplay it makes each and every match exciting. You start off with ammo for your normal gun, but as the match goes on ammo for your heavier guns will appear and allow you to deal some major damage. Due to the fact that different classes contain different abilities and perks, you have many different options at your disposal to bring with you into PVP, which is great. It’s a great feeling to run into a zone that is being held by 4 enemies and then use the Titan’s Fist of Havoc to obliterate all of them in a second. It really adds a lot of depth to what is otherwise traditional game modes and makes them feel different compared to other games they commonly appear in.

Like a typical MMO, Destiny‘s main reason to have you coming back after the campaign is finished is to improve your gear. The gear in Destiny is categorized by common, uncommon, rare and exotic labels, and you come across the better equipment by playing Strikes of Raids over and over. This is where the game becomes a grind, as you will often find that the completion of whatever mission you undertook will bear no fruit. The level progression at this point also takes a weird turn, as your character’s level caps at 20 but can be increased to 30 if you find gear with “Light” in it. This means once you hit level 20 the experience points from defeating enemies or completing missions is useless and you must now just grind for better gear. While coming across some new gear is an exciting feeling, it becomes very infrequent at the higher levels and oftentimes doesn’t offer enough of a reward for your efforts.

Destiny definitely isn’t the must-have game that people were hoping for, but the core gameplay on hand is fantastic and offers plenty of reasons to come back for more. The story itself is completely forgettable and the actual missions contained within the campaign are pretty repetitive, but it’s the game’s always-connected world that makes the faults easier to swallow. The game’s Strikes and PVP modes are absolutely fantastic and are a blast to play no matter how many times you take them on, and the game’s unique classes and abilities help spice them up a lot. I wish there was more of an actual story to get invested in with Destiny, but as it stands it is still an extremely fun game to play and is worth checking out if the core gameplay grabs you as much as grabbed me.

RESPECTABLE

The First Raid In Destiny, Called ‘Vault Of Glass’, Is Now Live

Time to start the raids.

People have been clamoring for raids in Destiny, and now the first official one is live. The raid is called the Vault of Glass and will support 6 players that will be the average level of 26.

The raid is open indefinitely, but it’s worth noting that raids do not have a typical matchmaking feature. This means that, for those who are specifically looking for raids to join, they will have to either set something up with friends or just come across one.

Destiny is developed by Bungie and published by Activision for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

‘Destiny’ Is Now The Most Successful Gaming Franchise Launch Ever

Destiny has hit the ground running.

Now that Bungie’s Destiny has finally launched, it has now been confirmed by Activision that it sold in more that $500 million of Destiny wordwide as of Day One. For those who don’t know, the phrase “sold in” means copies of the game that were sent to retailers and companies like Sony and Microsoft.

Even though these aren’t consumer sales, it’s still a huge achievement and one that was needed as it was revealed that Activision forked over $500 million to Bungie to develop the game and get it going. That’s the biggest amount of money ever thrown at a game, and it looks like that huge risk is set to pay off big time.

It was also revealed that Destiny is now the most successful new video game franchise launch of all time and the highest-selling day one digital console release in history.

Condemn O.R. Condone:

Seeing as I love the crap out of Destiny (despite having all kinds of connection problems at launch), I’m thrilled to know that the game is set to sell tons and hopefully have a bright future. The game is one of the biggest events to come along in recent memory, and when anything with hype that big can live up to it that’s a very good thing for everyone involved.

Battlefield May Be Transitioning To A 3-Year Development Cycle

Expect some changes in the development process.

EA has stated that the way in which future Battlefield games are developed could be changing.

When asked about whether or not Activision’s move to a 3-year development cycle for the Call of Dute franchise had any effect on how EA is currently handling the Battlefield franchise, EA Studios EVP Patrick Soderlund said the following:

“What they [Activision] are doing mimics to some extent how we’re thinking. Obviously, more time, if managed correctly, yields a better product. So I would say that we’re similarly aligned, and that we’re taking a similar approach, but we haven’t articulated exactly what teams are working [on], because that would imply announcing things that we can’t right now.”

This would be a very wise move for the Battlefield franchise as a whole, because just about everyone agrees that the Battlefield 4 launch was a disaster. With many left unimpressed with what the Battlefield Hardline beta had to offer, it’s probably a good idea for them to take a little more time to fully-realize future installments.