Destiny: The Taken King and what it means to you. (Videogame chatter)

When the Internet first came into public use, it was hailed as a liberation from conformity, a floating world ruled by passion, creativity, innovation and freedom of information. When it was hijacked first by advertising and then by commerce, it seemed like it had been fully co-opted and brought into line with human greed and ambition.. – Neil Strauss

For those who don’t know, I am a gamer.  Been a gamer every since my dad brought home the first console I ever played.  The Atari 400.  Waaaaaaaayyy back in 1980.

atari 400

Atari 400 (1979). Featuring a membrane keyboard and single-width cartridge slot cover.

Boy how times have changed.

Anyway lets get on topic.  The game of day is Destiny.

Sigh…

I had such high hopes for this series.  I like many people am/was a fan.  I followed the game from its E3 appearance some years ago.  Already a fan of the storytelling from Halo, (i’m not much of a competitive shooter fan, i’m more of a co-op kinda guy) I had high hopes that this game would fill the sci-fi soap opera void in my gaming heart that inevitably could not be filled until the next iteration of Mass Effect.  After playing and leveling up a character to about 28, I got tired (see: bored) of the constant grinding, lack of matchmaking options, absence of audio/visual options, lack of chat functions and over saturation of PVP elements.  I did not purchase any subsequent DLC and made a solemn vow that I would never play again until at the very least optional matchmaking was implemented for all co-op activities.  I’m glad I got out when I did however, kept a close eye on the goings on over at Bungie as it relates to Destiny.

I’m not going to go into the critic scores, lore, stories about cut content, failed promises or any of that.  I’m going to assume if you are reading this you probably know something about it already.  If you are a fan of the game, i’m not trying to change your mind about the game either.  If you like it, I love it.

What is really bugging me about Destiny is it’s recently announced at this years E3 2015 and soon to be available DLC, “The Taken King” and it’s marketing and pricing strategy.

The following is a great article about the new Expansion and what it means to you, me and all of the other players who played Destiny through the beta, bought and downloaded and for some of you (not me) purchased the expansions. Take this information people. Use it to make informed decisions and demand quality for your dollar.

First off here are the facts:

the taken king digital downloadTHE TAKEN KING – DIGITAL DOWNLOAD: $39.99http://www.destinythegame.com/taken-king/wheretobuy?bundle=collectors
• Exclusive Commemorative Founders Fortune Year 1 Emblem
• Sparrow
• Armor Shader


taken king legendary editionTHE TAKEN KING – LEGENDARY EDITION: $59.99http://www.destinythegame.com/taken-king/wheretobuy
• Destiny
• Expansion 1 – The Dark Below
• Expansion 2 – The House of Wolves
• The Taken King
• Exclusive Commemorative Founders Fortune Year 1 Emblem
• Sparrow
• Armor Shader
• More at launch* (so far undisclosed)


the taken king collectors editionTHE TAKEN KING – COLLECTORS EDTION (physical copy): $79.99http://www.destinythegame.com/taken-king/wheretobuy?bundle=collectors
• Destiny
• Expansion 1 – The Dark Below
• Expansion 2- The House of Wolves
• The Taken King
• Collector’s Edition SteelBook™ Case
• Cayde-6’s Intel
o Modified Treasure Island Book with intro letter from Cayde-6
o Cayde-6’s Personal Notes and Illustrations
o Collections of Relics and Artifacts
o Strange Coin Replica
• Three Class Specific Emotes
• Three Armor Shaders
• Three Exotic Class items with XP Bonuses



the taken king digital collectors editionTHE TAKEN KING – DIGITAL COLLECTORS EDTION: $79.99http://www.destinythegame.com/taken-king/wheretobuy?bundle=collectors
• Destiny
• Expansion 1 – The Dark Below
• Expansion 2- The House of Wolves
• The Taken King
• Three Class Specific Emotes
• Three Armor Shaders
• Three Exotic Class items with XP Bonuses


And now the article from PlanetDestiny.com

“New players are going to be given the chance to jump into Destiny with all three expansions, plus the base game, for $59.99. This is obviously a great deal, especially when compared to the snowballing price for those who have been assembling their Destiny experience piecemeal.

For anyone who purchased Destiny on Day 1, the cost up until House of Wolves has likely been upwards of $95. That number amounts to the cost of the base game, plus the Expansion Pass for Year 1. Anyone new to Destiny will get all that, plus The Taken King, for $30 less.

While annoying to those who have been around for a while, this is standard industry practice for DLC-heavy games, and necessary for growing the playerbase. An entry fee of $134.99 would be prohibitively expensive for those on the fence about joining Destiny. This, all in all, is not a problem.

The Physical Collector’s Edition has a host of collectable goodies, whose appeal will vary according to the value an individual places on such things, but also has – most importantly – three class-specific emotes, three armor shaders, and three exotic class items with XP bonuses. The Digital Collector’s Edition has the same rewards. Either of these can be purchased by anyone with the money, and enjoyed on the day The Taken King is released. They also include the base Destiny game, and The Dark Below and House of Wolves expansions. And all this for only $79.99.

Players who have already purchased Destiny, The Dark Below, and the House of Wolves, provided they have leveled at least one character to 30, will be uniquely able to purchase the expansion as a standalone for $39.99. They will also be given a commemorative (“VIP”) Sparrow, Amor Shader, and Year 1 Emblem for their support of Destiny since its inception.

Is the problem clear yet?

There is no way to earn the Digital Collector’s bonus items for those who already own Destiny, short of buying the entire game again for $80. This means that someone who hasn’t played any Destiny can come into The Taken King with a class item that speeds their own progression, three new unattainable emotes, and three unique shaders while those who have been around since Day 1 would have to shell out the big bucks if they wanted to enjoy the same luxuries.

Yes, they get the Founder’s set, which is a thoughtful gesture – but it’s an incomplete one. There is absolutely zero reason for Bungie to withhold anything from its most dedicated Destiny fans, and anything short of offering full access to the new stuff for a price that doesn’t include re-buying the game is at best a seriously disappointing miscalculation, and at worst a cynical grab at more money.

Who would truly appreciate three unique shaders? Who has been clamoring for more personality in the form of emotes? Who would die for the ability to speed up the grind with new XP Class items? Bungie is acting like they don’t know. The answer, is Destiny’s current players, who are vocal about their desires and do not wish to pay $80 for a few digital items.

It’s in the labeling, too: the “Collector’s” Edition. Destiny is, in itself, a game of collection. A lot of its players have been spending the better parts of their weeks for the past year amassing a collection of weapons, armor, sparrows, emblems, shaders, and class items to be proud of. And now, unless they have $80 to spend, their collection will be incomplete. The name is bait, and it’s frustrating to have to purposefully not rise to it.

And who’s most likely willing to bite the bullet and purchase the Collector’s Edition, anyway? Is it a new player? No. Someone who is tentatively reaching out to explore a franchise they’re unfamiliar with is generally not going to commit to the most expensive version of that game. The Collector’s Edition ensnares players who already have most of it, but have got to have it all.

It’s so important for a game like Destiny to be able to attract new players. They breathe new life into the community, and are instrumental in helping to sustain the growth of a massive franchise like Destiny. The Taken King and its Collector’s Edition are certainly jam-packed with enough stuff to entice them in droves.

Unfortunately, it’s the veterans that are getting left out. Whether or not a longtime Destiny player gets a suitable thank-you gift means nothing for the bottom line, but when they don’t, discontent is not far behind. The last thing Bungie wants is for its biggest fans to feel slighted, and judging by the collective reaction to the pre-order packages, it’s safe to say that many do.
Bungie needs to evaluate how important it is to withhold exclusives for those who are paying for the Collector’s Edition. It would be extremely easy to include the emotes, shaders, and class items with the VIP Founders package, free of charge – or even sell them for $4.99, etc. This would be the perfect way to reconcile the mammoth deficit of $40 that it would require to get a chance at the Collector’s Edition content, and would confirm that Bungie feels there’s nothing that its faithful don’t deserve access to.

The Taken King doesn’t have to do much to have a better reception than The Dark Below, but in announcing its availability and pricing, Bungie has already made a step in the wrong direction.
Fortunately, the ship could be easily righted, if Bungie proves that they do indeed listen to their community and understand their needs. Looking ahead to growing the playerbase is fine, but right now, Destiny’s current community needs to feel supported by Destiny.”

Read the full article here. – http://planetdestiny.com/taken-king-editions-vip/

This pricing strategy shows that it was developed by some corporate analyst/marketing “expert” who has never played a video game in his or her life. It just screams that the strategy was placed into a matrix to decide how they can squeeze the most out of customers while providing the least amount of actual effort.

To put it in perspective, I’ve said before in other posts, Borderlands 2, which ostensibly is the same type of game, had four initial DLC packages (we aren’t including the seasons DLC which came later) for $10 each. $40 for 4 DLC packages + $60 for vanilla. $100 total and you didn’t have to re-buy the game or have content withheld based on your purchase or console exclusivity. Plus the game had an actual in game story, matchmaking, audio/visual options, voice chat everywhere, trading, etc. Someone posted in another thread on Bungie.net; “Who makes a Collectors Edition for DLC anyway? It’s not like it’s a sequel.” Just the idea of it is absurd.

What they are doing at Bungie and Activision just doesn’t make any sense at all. And that quote,

We’ll find you enemies but not friends…

is such a middle finger to fans and paying customers the audacity is astounding.

Link to this quote – http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2015/05/07/everything-in-destiny-needs-matchmaking-yes-everything/

What’s even more astonishing is that a lot of people are falling for it! Stop paying for this game people! Stop pre-ordering this stuff! You are only encouraging them to do it again!

Cause if you think it’s gonna be any better with Destiny 2, trust me it’s only gonna get worse.

Some people out here are saying we are nothing but glorified beta testers for their game. We aren’t.

We are beta testing their pricing strategy.

Draw a line in the sand people.

THIS FAR. NO FURTHER.

If you like what you read and want to read more posts like these, drop me a line and let me know.

Until next time, take care of yourself, each other and stay frosty.

-Dan

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