The Quest Log: Destiny 2 Edition

Happy Friday, fellow Guardians. Yesterday, Bungie gave the world its first look at Destiny 2 in action. To celebrate, we’ve lined up a special edition of the Quest Log dedicated to some of the Destiny news highlights from yesterday’s event.

Bungie Shows Off New Classes and Mechanics for Destiny 2

In the gameplay trailer featured above, we got our first look at Destiny 2 in action. All in all, it looks like more of what we’ve come to expect from Bungie’s always-online shooter, and I know I’m not the first to say that it looks more like a significant expansion to me right now than a full-fledged sequel. That said, we saw a few significant changes to the Destiny formula, including three all-new sublcasses. It’s worth noting up front that these new subclasses are actually three of the originals from Destiny 1, so from the looks of it, each class will continue to have just three subs.

Warlocks are getting the Dawnblade, which will replace the Solar-based Sunsinger subclass. Titans will have access to the Sentinel, a void-based warrior who wields a magic shield not unlike Captain America. And last but not least, the Bladedancer subclass for Hunters has been replaced with the similarly Arc-based Poledancer… er, Arcstrider.

Each of the three main classes will now have a baked-in special power in addition to grenades and melee abilities, and the weapon system is being re-tooled. Gone are Primary, Secondary, and Heavy weapon slots. Instead, two “primary” weapons can be equipped in Kinetic and Energy slots with a third slot reserved for so-called Power weapons. In other words, players will have to decide whether or not they want to wield a sniper rifle or a rocket launcher but not both.

Destiny 2 for PC Will Be Sold Exclusively through “Battle.net,” Will Launch after Console Version

Before yesterday, we knew very little about the PC version of Destiny 2, and Bungie answered a lot of questions that were at the top of my list during their event. The most surprising revelation, however, was when Blizzard Entertainment co-found Mike Morhaime appeared on screen to announce that Destiny 2 for PC would be sold exclusively through Battle.net and support all of the game client’s social features, including voice and cross-game chat.

This was surprising for a number of reasons. First, I and the rest of the internet were under the impression (because Blizzard outright said as much) that “Battle.net” was no longer a thing. “The Blizzard game client/launcher/app” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, so maybe old habits die hard, but the service’s name is all over the official press release (linked below).

Second, this will mark the first time a non-Blizzard game has appeared in the launcher. The move makes some financial sense since Activision-Blizzard, the parent company to Blizzard Entertainment, is publishing Destiny 2, but it’s still a break from tradition, considering that all other Activision-published shooters have been sold through Steam.

Still, the move seems like a welcome one, and PC fans are hopeful that it’ll help to quell rampant cheating in the game. I’m also a bigger fan of Blizzard’s app’s social features and tools, so I’m looking forward to that, too. Who knows, maybe we’ll even see a cross-game promotion into Overwatch, StarCraft, or HOTS? It’s not super-likely, but also not impossible.

Finally, we got some disappointing news: the PC version of Destiny 2 will launch “some time” after the console version. There has been no confirmed release date.

http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/news/?d=2017-5#181745

Destiny 2 Capped at 30 FPS on Consoles, Un-capped on PC

We learned a few more details about the differences between the console and PC versions of the game. Destiny 2 will run at a capped 30 frames per second on consoles, including on the 4k-supporting PS4 Pro, although Bungie declined to comment on potential differences for a possible upcoming Scorpio version of the game. On PC, it’ll support up to 4k resolutions along with an uncapped frame rate, re-mappable keyboard controls, in-game text chat, 21:9 monitor support, and custom FOV settings.

http://kotaku.com/destiny-2-will-be-60fps-or-more-on-pc-run-only-on-ba-1795344987

No Dedicated Servers for Destiny 2, Says Luke Smith

So here’s some bad news: Luke Smith explained in an interview with IGN that Destiny 2 would follow in suit with its predecessor by not supporting dedicated servers. In other words, most if not all (outside of some key hub areas, if Destiny 1 serves as a good example) multiplayer networking will be peer-to-peer, in which one player actually hosts the multiplayer data in addition to running local processes. If you’re not really sure what that means, check out this guide that I wrote about the differences between the two.

This is a real shame and likely a move that will ultimately prevent Crucible, Destiny’s PVP competitive game mode, from fully living up to its potential. In Destiny 1, at least, lag wasn’t typically a huge deal for PVE multiplayer, but Crucible often suffered from high latency and low tick-rates due in part to the game’s P2P networking. Dedicated servers would have meant a more consistent competitive experience and possibly more players on-map in PVE, but the cost must have outweighed the benefit for Bungie and Activision.

If I’m not playing Destiny 2 this fall (or whenever it lands on PC), it’ll be because my conscience got the better of me and I simply couldn’t support this kind of practice any longer

— A salty Guardian, namely me

Console Exclusives Are Still Bullcrap

Okay, not really news so much as a rant, but PS4 Guardians will once again receive exclusive content for Destiny 2, this time until “at least Fall 2018,” which means that both PC and Xbox One players will have to wait at least a year to get the same content for the same money as Sony players. The exclusive content for Destiny 1–which included Crucible maps, weapons, and PVE strikes–has yet to make an appearance on the Xbox One version of that game even years after the original exclusivity window, which is really disheartening.

At the end of the day, platform exclusives benefit only the publishers and console manufacturers at the expense of the gamers. They’re also a way of life in the modern gaming space, but it’s hard to think of any other examples quite this egregious.

If I’m not playing Destiny 2 this fall (or whenever it lands on PC), it’ll be because my conscience got the better of me and I simply couldn’t support this kind of practice any longer.

The Quest Log: March 8, 2017

Hello, readers, and happy International Women’s Day! Welcome back to The Quest Log, where you’ll find highlights from the latest news in gaming.

The Switch’s First 2-day Sales are the Best in Nintendo History

Nick Wingfield, a reporter for the New York Times, Tweeted this past Monday a number of interesting highlights from an interview he conducted with Nintendo’s Reggie Fils-Aime about their new console’s performance in stores. While it’s next to impossible to learn hard figures for console and game sales, it would seem that the Switch is outperforming expectations. Wingfield says that the Switch outperformed every past Nintendo console in 2-day sales figures, and Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the best-selling “standalone launch title” in the company’s history.

https://twitter.com/nickwingfield/status/838872510871433216

Monolith Show Off Shadow of War’s Expanded Nemesis (and Friendship) System

The Nemesis system of Monolith Productions’ Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor was the highlight of the 2014 action-adventure title set in J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy universe, and it looks like they’re doubling down on it for the upcoming sequel, due to launch later this year. In a demo shown to a number of major gaming news outlets, we see that the dynamic relationship platform will no longer be limited to enemies, it will also govern how friendships and alliances work. There’s over 16 minutes of footage and plenty to unpack (including freaking dragon riding), so it’s worth seeing for yourself

http://kotaku.com/middle-earth-shadow-of-wars-nemesis-system-is-about-fr-1793067914

Mass Effect: Andromeda Multiplayer Maps Will Be Free

Aaryn Flynn, general manager for BioWare, confirmed via Twitter that multiplayer maps for the upcoming space opera RPG will be free to download and play. This news comes in the wake of the announcement that a planned public multiplayer tech test had been cancelled. Fans won’t have to wait too long to play it, however, as the game launches later this month, March 21.

http://wwg.com/2017/03/06/mass-effect-andromeda-s-multiplayer-maps-will-be-free/

Destiny’s Getting a Weekly Raid Feature

In a live stream on Twitch today, Bungie discussed revealed a number of features for “The Age of Triumph,” the last major content update planned for Destiny before we see the online shooter’s sequel, due this fall. The highlight for many diehard fans was no-doubt the inclusion of a Weekly Feature Raid, which kicks off on week 1 with Crota’s End. The featured raid will require a light level of 390 or higher and include any and all previously available challenge modes.

https://www.twitch.tv/bungie

The Quest Log: March 6, 2017

Welcome to the Quest Log! Here you’ll find the latest and hottest headlines in gaming news.

Bungie Announces Details for Character Carryover into Destiny 2

With Destiny 2‘s release window still planned for late 2017, Bungie has finally announced their plans for fans to carry their existing Destiny characters forward into the sequel. In a blog post titled “The Road Ahead,” Bungie details that character gear, progression, and abilities will not carry into Destiny 2, which is objectively the right choice. The appearances and classes of level 20+ will, however. They also teased a new event, The Age of Triumph, which looks like it’ll feature the return of the beloved Vault of Glass raid.

https://www.bungie.net/en/News/Article/45708/7_The-Road-Ahead

 

Blizzard Unveils Overwatch‘s 24th Hero

Fortunately, Overwatch fans didn’t have to suffer through another ARG before Blizzard revealed the identity of our 24th hero. The mechanical quadruped is a new tank character who sports a unique kit with abilities that shield and buff allies and offer some crowd control. But the highlight seems to be her Fortify ability, which renders her immune to a variety of special attack effects and buffs her defense. She’s playable now on the PTR and should be coming to console players in the near future.

https://playoverwatch.com/en-us/blog/20594520

Microsoft Unveils the Xbox Games Pass

Similar to EA’s Origin Access service, Xbox Games Pass will allow subscribers unlimited access to 100+ titles, including Xbox One and backwards-compatible Xbox 360 games. They promise the library will be made up of first and third party releases and that users will be able to download those titles directly to their consoles (as opposed to a streaming service a la PlayStation Now). The cost of subscription is $10/month, and an early build of the service will be made available to members of the Preview Program in the near future.

http://news.xbox.com/2017/02/28/introducing-xbox-game-pass/