Category Archives: videogames

 

Rockstar Games released this cryptic tweet and image on its social media and main page. Apart from being a gorgeous picture, there are 7 silhouetted cowboy like figures standing against a sunset and mountain range.  No details have been released as of yet and they better not be trolling!

 

More to come as it is released!

 

Rockstar releases Red Dead Redemption 2 teaser picture

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the taken king

Destiny: The Taken King – Bungie Apology and Collectors Edition changes. (Videogame chatter)

This week at Bungie, we’re working hard to fix what’s wrong with the Collector’s Editions for The Taken King. You’ve voiced your objections. We agree wholeheartedly. Now, our attention is focused on creating solutions. These things take time, so pardon our silence these past few days. In moments like these, actions speak louder than words.
In developing The Taken King, one of our goals has been to celebrate you and your triumphs. E3 was a place to reveal the new adventures we hope to send you on, but our conversations there didn’t do justice to our plans to honor your legacy.
Don’t take it from me. Here are some words from Luke Smith:
I am Luke Smith, Creative Director on Destiny: The Taken King.
 
Many, many years ago, I wrote to you each week in this spot. We talked about Battle Rifles, we talked about stuff we weren’t going to talk about, and at some point I did a horrible hand-drawing of an upcoming map and teased you with it in the Weekly Update.
 
Anyone who knows me knows I can be sarcastic, anyone who remembers podcasts I’ve done knows that I can be pretty blunt, and anyone who’s watched me in a ViDoc knows I’m pretty unpolished.
 
However, most of you don’t know me.
 
Reading my interview with Eurogamer and imagining it came from some random developer of a game I love – that random developer looks like an Asshat.
 
But that Asshat was me – and those words rightfully anger you.
 
I’m sorry.
 
My words made it sound as if Bungie doesn’t care about their most loyal fans.
 
We do care. We are listening. And we will make it right.
 
Here’s what we’re doing about the Collector’s Edition of Destiny: The Taken King…
We’re actively working to make the digital content from the Collector’s Edition available in a $20 upgrade bundle (suggested retail price), available on 9/15/2015. If you purchase a stand-alone version of Destiny: The Taken King, or already have, you’ll be able to pick up the digital items as soon as they are available.
The Taken King Collector's Edition
The Taken King Collector’s Edition Digital Content consists of: (3) Class Specific Emotes, (3) Armor Shaders, and (3) Exotic Class Items with XP Bonuses.
If you have decided to pick up the Legendary Edition of Destiny: The Taken King at retail, you can also elect to pick this up if you want to upgrade into a Collector’s Edition.
If you purchased the existing Digital Collector’s Edition, and you already owned Destiny and both expansion packs, we’ll have some additional information for you soon.
If you want to get caught up on all of the options available for Destiny: The Taken King, you can view the details here. (Note: You won’t see the Collector’s Edition Upgrade we described above, yet. We’re working on it.)
For those looking for a little more context about Emotes and Class Items in The Taken King, we will be introducing new Class Items with stat attributes. These will provide players with another gear slot that can contribute to both your Guardian’s look and build preferences. The Class Items included in the Collector’s Edition are a welcome addition for players looking to level up newborn Guardians or fresh subclasses, but they are not the only new Class Items available in Destiny: The Taken King. This is part of our focus on making the game more rewarding and adding more variety options for players. The same goes for Emotes.
So, that’s what we’re doing about the Collector’s Edition. Here are some other questions, and answers, about some other topics many of you care about.

“Hey, I have Destiny and all its expansions. Do I really have to buy stuff I already own to play The Taken King?”
The Taken King Collector's Edition
The Digital Download is for existing players who already own Destiny and both expansion packs, and are ready to jump straight into The Taken King this September.

“Hey, I’ve been here since day one. What do I get?”
If you already have a Light Level 30 Guardian, or if you’ve picked up and played both The Dark Below and House of Wolves, then you’re a VIP in The Tower’s book. They’ll reward you accordingly with a victory lap that will include a permanently exclusive set of items.
The Taken King Collector's Edition

When you stride through the Tower, people are going to ask you where you got those wonderful toys. You’ll nod and let them know you earned them. It’s a Year One thing, and they just wouldn’t understand. And they won’t ever be able to get their hands on their own set.

And we’ll have more fun stuff for you to announce in the very short term future, just for you.
Thanks for caring enough to sound off. We heard the feedback, loud and clear. We’ll talk more soon.

To be continued…
This is part 1 of 2 of the Bungie Weekly Update. Tune in tomorrow for the usual fanfare, including a report from our friends on the Destiny Player Support team, the Movie of the Week, and more.
DeeJ, out. For now.
What do you guys think of this change so far?  Let me know in the comments below!
the taken king

Destiny: Deej, Luke Smith, Matchmaking, THE interview and afterthoughts. (videogame chatter)

Here is my open letter to Deej on the Bungie forums in response to his statement on the Bungie forums:

Deej:

At current, our philosophy about endgame content is that part of the challenge includes forming up a team. This is a strong community filled with players who are looking for teammates. Why not seek each other out here and band together?

Me:

If I may speak and be very straight forward with you David, the challenge should be placed in game, not forming the group to just play the game. The development teams’ hard work should be reflected in game and not trying to form a team just to play the game. 
I just don’t understand this philosophy that pushes matchmaking out of the game and on to peripheral websites, some of which have no affiliation with Destiny whatsoever. It doesn’t make any practical sense. And it is a counter-intuitive statement to say,

This is a strong community filled with players who are looking for teammates. Why not seek each other out here and band together?

yet only provide only the most basic and perfunctory tools to do it with despite being capable of so, so much more.

It counterintuitive because you flaunt data that shows how many people are playing Destiny at any given time. I’m assuming you WANT people to play the game right? Imagine the stats if people did not have to stop, leave the game etc. etc., you get the point.

I would think that your team would take the same approach as Casinos when it comes to retaining as many players as they can for the longest period of time. They employ strategies like not having clocks, floorplans designed like mazes, stimulating sights and sounds and damn near hypnotic music. All those strategies are designed to keep players playing for the longest amount of time possible. Now obviously i’m not advocating trickery or deceit, but your team should have strategies in place that keep people actively playing the game they paid for for the longest period of time.

What if they had a craps table that you could only access once a week or once a day and the only way you could have other people at the table was to go out to the street and round up random people walking by? That casino wouldn’t make it very long. Sure they would have enough players playing the single player games and maybe a few hardcore groups of people who are able to scrape up groups to play the high stakes games…. That strategy will float you for a while. But for how long? Because when they give up…. Man your ship is sunk.

Listen David. I’m just one guy, I can only and will only speak for myself and my experience. My opinion probably doesn’t mean much to you personally, professionally or in your business model. All I know is that my Destiny experience has been severely crippled by lack of matchmaking to the point where I have completely given up on the game until it is optionally implemented on all fronts. (I’m not kidding, you can look at my stats and see I haven’t played the game since January)
I hope you hear what I’m saying and take it as constructive criticism for the lack of optional matchmaking.

That’s all I can really hope for.

Thanks

Dan

destiny the taken king

Now I need to emphasize, I got nothing against this guy at all.  He’s a hardworking dude in an all around tough situation, especially after the shit storm that erupted early yesterday morning.  But I am confused how Bungie, the company that damn near had a monopoly on matchmaking in its Halo series completely abandoned one of their hallmarks.  Like I said, in the message to Deej, it just doesn’t make any sense at all.  It was a message that has been burning a hole in my brain since the game’s launch.

Speaking of shit storms, lets get talkin about THAT interview.  You know what i’m talking about.  The now infamous interview by The Taken King’s Creative Director, Luke Smith.  Here’s an excerpt and the link to the original article. 

Eurogamer: Final question on prices –

Luke Smith: Is it also the final question on the emotes?

Eurogamer: I’m not going to mention them again. I can’t get them.

Luke Smith: But you can if you buy the Collector’s Edition.

Eurogamer: I’m not going to buy the game and the two DLCs all over again.

Luke Smith: Okay, but first I want to poke at you on this a little bit.

Eurogamer: Poke at me?

Luke Smith: You’re feeling anxious because you want this exclusive content but you don’t know yet how much you want it. The notion of spending this money is making you anxious, I can see it –

Eurogamer: I do want them. I would buy them –

Luke Smith: If I fired up a video right now and showed you the emotes you would throw money at the screen.

Eurogamer: What I’m saying is that fan frustration is not because they don’t understand the proposition. It comes regardless of how cool the exclusive content is. The frustration – and mine as a fan – is that the method of acquiring it requires me to re-buy content I bought a year ago.

Luke Smith: [Long pause] It’s about value. The player’s assessment of the value of the content.

Damn son, that’s ice cold.

taken king dance emotes

It’s easy to see why people would be so pissed off at this and rage out.  These comments show contempt for your audience both old and new and sets a dangerous precedent if they are successful with this marketing plan.  If they get away with it, then you can bet your bottom dollar that many of the other large corporations will follow suit.

On the other side of the coin, it is possible that the answers were taken out of context, maybe not verbally but tonally and this immediate backlash is fueled by thousands of sensitive fanboys and fan-girls already stressed egos and perceived slights from the lack of content from vanilla Destiny.

Luke could have made those statements knowing full well that there is content specifically for veterans just around the corner.  However, after making those statements he is placed into an awkward and uncomfortable position of defending a topic the company is not quite ready to talk about just yet.

Enter Deej (again): Deej immediately stepped into the line of fire on the  Destiny Subreddit and attempted to cool down the inferno with this statement:

Hey, there. First day back from E3, so I’m catching up on a lot of conversation about The Taken King. Please know that we’re reading this feedback and taking it as seriously – as we always do. Destiny is a great game because we worked together to make it that way over the course of the past year. That partnership has not changed.

I understand that you want me to go on record right now with something that will address the disappointment that’s being expressed here. I’m going to differ to the Bungie Weekly Update, in which we’ll talk more about the things we’re doing to celebrate the year-one Guardians who helped us build this community. I’ll also revisit our goals in offering different versions of The Taken King. Ever heard the old adage about trying to please everyone?

More on this soon.

Good to be home!

Gotta give the guy some credit for stepping into the pack of dogs trying to tear each other apart.  Now we wait and see what they come up with next.

More to follow.

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