Tag: gambling

Destiny 2, and the Fall of Bungie

Destiny 2, and the Fall of Bungie

Introduction

I remember the first time I came across Bungie. It was many years ago when I found  Halo 2 at garage sale. That iconic cover art, with Master Chief holding his dual-wielding SMGs with burning city behind him and the Halo 2 title above him. It lured me into the franchise, and I fell in love with it after the first shootout. While it’s first-person shooter mechanics were amazing and revolutionary for the time, the main thing I quickly became a huge fan of was the story. This series is very famous for it’s compelling story, and rightfully so.

Right after finishing this masterpiece, I went to GameStop and bought a copy of Halo: Combat Evolved, and from then onward, I fell in love with the Halo Franchise. This series was made by developers who cared and who wanted to make a fantastic universe. Great writers, great composers, great programmers, and phenomenal artists. This company was on a highway to success, and I was proud to be a part of it. I’ve been a fan of Bungie for years, and I’ve seen them grow and develop with their titles. Then they left Microsoft, and everything changed.

When Destiny came out back in 2014, it was the first sign of trouble for Bungie. When the writer left the project early and several aspects of the story were missing. There was also the issue of there being no end game, and when they started wrapping things up with Destiny 1, there’s just no reason to continue playing. There were many problems with Destiny 1, and Destiny 2 was supposed to be the game that fixed everything. It was supposed to be the one game that made Destiny a better and brighter franchise, and it was supposed to the game that would bring everyone back.

It came out last year … and was somehow WORSE than Destiny 2. The story was worse, the writing was worse, mechanics from the first game were gone, Eververse became even more greedy than it was in D1, and much of the fantastic lore that was in D1 was practically retconned. It was a disaster, and as the DLC’s rolled out, it got worse, and worse. I’ve told you guys that I would be making my final post about Destiny 2 when the DLC II dropped, and that I would be giving my thoughts on it.

I was hoping to give you guys good news, but you and I both where this is unfortunately going. The DLC II was terrible, and Destiny 2 is no longer worth my time. I’m done with the Destiny Franchise. I’m done with Bungie, and this is my final goodbye to them.

Copy & Paste

That’s what this DLC was. It was a copy and paste of the shit that we’ve been seeing over and over again throughout the entire life cycle of Destiny 2. Same bullshit Hive that we’ve fought before, but this time, they’re covered in fucking snow. Wonderful. How original Bungie. Oh, wait hold on, there are new enemies there’s … Hive Knights that have a shield now … that you can break. Oh oh, and there’s Hive Acolytes with snipers … that are basically Hobgoblins from the Vex … oh, and … all the other “new enemies” are basically the same old Hive … just named differently.

Also, apparently this “species of Hive” is rare … and only exists on the Polar Ice Cap of Mars … for … some reason. This is never explained why. At least for not as far as I got before I gave up and deleted the game.

Another thing that’s copied & pasted is what I’d like to call “The Destiny Campaign Level Formula”, and it goes as follows. Step 1, player cut scene and briefly introduce characters and plot. Step 2, spawn player in visually breath taking environment. Step 3, when player spawns, play more dialogue that explains what the player needs to do. Step 4, after less than two minutes of walking down a boring path, introduce the players to the “new enemy” type by creating a combat scenario. Step 5, more dialogue after the combat scenario. Step 6, have the player face one/more than one big boss with many mobs the player has to defeat. Step 7, dialogue/cut scene before finishing mission. That was the entirety of the first mission, and it was fucking boring.

This has been every mission ever in every Destiny game … E V E R.

The “A C T I N G”

Sucks. It’s god awful. Whoever they hired to voice Anastasia Bray is the absolute worst at acting. She sounds like she’s fourteen using an iPhone 5 to record her lines. She doesn’t sound convincing in any words she says. The beginning part of this game actually made me quit. Nothing hooked me in. Which is the one thing you NEED to have with every story you write. You need to have a good HOOK, and Bungie, you fucked up bad on this one … again!

Zavala also is in this one … oof, his acting. His acting is similar to everyone else’s acting in the entire game … they’re all terrible. Nobody sounds convincing in any words they say or any actions they do. The only character I like (and everyone will agree) is Cayde-6. He at least sounds real in his words. The writing for his character is well done. However, everyone else sounds either cliché or forced in their dialogue.

Everything Wrong With Eververse

It’s greedy. It’s manipulative. There’s nothing more to be said. You wish to hear more about it, simply go look it up. The only real thing to discuss is the new system they added to make it more … “fair” for players who wish to play the game in order to earn rewards with paying money. I say “fair” in quotations because they can only earn one thing, once a week, and can only earn more … by spending more money. It’s fucking dumb.

Bungie Doesn’t Care Anymore

From what I’ve heard from many people still playing Destiny 2, this is just the same song and dance we’ve seen and heard before, but this time, with a different texture. At this point, I firmly believe that this company doesn’t care about Destiny, nor do they care about the fans who wanted to see this game grow and develop. It’s sad, but I’m afraid this is the reality. The Bungie I knew from my childhood would’ve NEVER allowed this kind of insanity to happen. They would’ve started from scratch again and again until they truly got it right.

I believe that many things happened after they left Microsoft. I believe several key developers left or were fired during the transition to Activision, and these new corporate folks came in and took over. When that happened, everything began on a quick and swift decline. The Destiny series went from bad to worse with Destiny 2, and instead of addressing the problem and being transparent with their consumers, Bungie continued doing sketchy stuff. Throttling XP gains, retconning the many great back stories of the Destiny Lore.

They don’t care anymore.

Goodbye

I’ve all but given up at this point. Destiny 2 has been on a slow decline ever since launch, and well deserved if you ask me. This is a complete repeat of what happened to Destiny 1, and we know what’s going to happen after DLC 2. There’s going to be a “massive DLC” that’ll “bring everybody back” and “fix everything”. I’m sorry, Bungie, but when Activision even considers you’re game a failure, I think it’s time to either start doing your job properly, or don’t do it at all. You’re running out of time, Bungie.

Gamers are moving on to bigger and better things. Warframe is a masterpiece compared to anything you’re doing, and Fortnite and PUBG have taken gaming by storm. There are better games out now. The only thing I’ll hold near and dear to my heart, is the Destiny Lore. The one thing that I loved about the series. Minus the lore of Destiny 2 … that … that lore was shit. So after giving them numerous chances, I’m finally done. This is my final goodbye to Destiny and to Bungie.

Of course, I will continue to observe this from afar and see what happens, but I will no longer interact Destiny with either of their games, because at this point, there is no longer any point to it.

Goodbye, Bungie. It was a good run, but you have truly fallen from grace.

 

 

The ESRB is Out of Touch with Reality

The ESRB is Out of Touch with Reality

Introduction

I don’t believe the ESRB realizes nor comprehends the reality of the situation they’ve recently gotten themselves into. As we speak, legislators from the United States are working with Representative Chris Lee to find a way to regulate loot boxes in video games, and the ESRB truly believes that loot boxes aren’t gambling. Also, there’s apparently “no evidence” to support the claims of loot boxes and gambling. Even though there’s mountains of evidence to prove otherwise. The many stories of kids spending thousands of dollars on in-game loot boxes, expressing the high/excitement they get from opening a box, and the insane prices weapon skins can cost.

This is the reality, ESRB. This is the truth behind loot boxes. It has affected children with addictive tendencies. It has even affected adults who have addictive personalities. This has been getting out of control since they were first discovered in the Fifa Franchise. It’s affecting the Gaming Industry in the absolute worst way possible. Loot Boxes aren’t “a fun way for people to purchase in-game items”. Loot Boxes aren’t “player choice” when they’re advertised in your face every time you get on. They are a problem, they are gambling, and they are getting worse with every game,. Something needs to change.

If the ESRB continues to ignore the problem, well, it won’t be long before Uncle Sam busts the doors down on the Gaming Industry. They’ve allowed the industry to go private for years, and now their pushing it too far. If the ESRB won’t find a solution, the Government will. Whether we want it or not. Let’s talk about this.

How are Loot Boxes a Form of Gambling?

I’ll give you an example, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. One of the more popular games know for it’s gambling practices. Weapon Skins are the main thing everyone on CSGO is buying right now. They can range anywhere from $0.01 – $60,000.00 depending on the rarity of the skin. No, that isn’t an exaggeration, that is an actual real price of a skin that was actually bought by somebody off of the Steam Community. I wish I was kidding, but this is fact. Moving on. Crates (depending on the rarity and value) can range between $1.00 – $5.00 and Keys (which you need to open the crates) range between $3.00 – $4.00. So after spending roughly $10.00 on a crate, you then have a random chance at getting a skin from the many different rarities.

The rarities include Common, Uncommon, Rare, Mythical, Legendary, Ancient, Exceedingly Rare, and Immortal. Of course, the rarer the item, the more valuable it becomes. So, yes, if I can spend real money on a Crate & Key and I get a highly rare skin from said crate, and then I can take the rare skin I got, cash it out for real money, then YES, that is considered gambling. You are paying real world money on a digital item that you then cash out for real world money. It’s no different than a slot machine.

You pay real world money to gamble on earning cash, which you then take a ticket to the counter to cash out the money you just won.

Why do we need Government Regulation?

I never wanted there to be government regulation. For the longest time, I had hoped and prayed that the Gaming Industry would learn from it’s mistakes and from all the backlash to stop these disgusting practices and find a better way. Clearly, I was a very naïve individual. At this point, I’m afraid we have no choice. When Chris Lee started this campaign against Loot Boxes, he came in with the intent to try and scare the industry into changing their ways without government intervention. Since AAA companies refuse to listen to legislators and consumers, they’re giving Chris no other option.

If we are going to see any change, the government is going to have intervene. When that day comes, I believe then (and only then) the Gaming Industry will finally realize the gravity of the situation, and change their ways for good. No matter how many times gaming companies try making excuses as to why Loot Boxes exist, the fact is games can be made without them. Monster Hunter World was released with no Loot Boxes and it’s a major success. Cup Head was released with no Loot Boxes, also a major success. It can be done, but companies are far too greedy.

Quantity over quality. They would much rather have a shit game that’ll make them more money in the long run, than a good game that’ll make them more money in the short run. That’s what this has all come down to.

In Conclusion

The Gaming Industry has only one option at this point; change your ways or the government will. We’ve given you one chance too many at this point. We’ve turned you into the $36 Billion Industry you are today, and you just want more. You couldn’t handle wanting more, and now its come to bite you in the ass. Do the right thing, ESRB. Call out Loot Boxes for what they are. PROPERLY regulate them to keep them out of the reach of children. Prove Chris Lee wrong and show him you actually care. Otherwise, well, he’ll just get them regulated himself.

Your move, ESRB.