Frontier Update #10: Time To Mature

I’ve been keeping a very close eye on all the news leading up to The Taken King, and while I’ve been pleased with what has been presented, I find I can’t bring myself to buy in.

Will I continue to play Destiny at this juncture? No.

I watched the Twitch reveal. TTK looks great, and Bungie seems to be not just correcting some (not all) of the narrative-killing choices they made in the final year before launch of vanilla Destiny, but also appear to really be taking player criticism to heart. That all said, I can’t justify the price at this time. Beyond that, I simply don’t crave it in the way I feel I should.

Am I giving up on Destiny? No.

I know there are millions of people who will be playing TTK so Destiny 2 in 2016 is a pretty sure thing, given that IPs of this nature and profitability don’t exactly spring up often. TTK will prove to Bungie (and Activision) that the narrative-driven game that we all wanted will move product just as much – if not more than – the competitive-focused game we were sold last year. At the same time, having player actions be a much more determining factor for loot and progression will prove to not detract from the game’s day-to-day longevity. From there, Destiny 2 has a decent chance to become the game vanilla Destiny was intended to be.

I also expect Destiny 2 to ditch PS3/Xbox360 support. This is a good thing, as the majority of technical hurdles that we’ve had to contend with in the current iteration of Destiny can be traced back to that support. Creative programming can only take Destiny so far and by now I don’t think it’s silly to suggest that the “next-gen” consoles of Xbox One and PS4 have become “current-gen”.

In essence, I’m giving Destiny time to mature.

So, I’ll continue to keep an eye on Destiny and hope that Destiny 2 will be an offering that fully rekindles my desire for this IP.

Back to writing.

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Frontier Update #9: Enter @Volk37

Back in the days that I was writing professionally, I was known as someone who put the copyeditors through shit. Whatever skill I may or may not have in writing, I have a horrible eye for grammar editing. I doubt that’ll ever change, so I’ve always been happy to find some people message me with grammar errors that I’ve missed.

Vasily Prokhorov (@Volk37 on Twitter, VPT Volk 37 on Xbox) has been possibly my most loyal and engaging fan, as I can thank him for the vast majority of comments left on this blog as well as retweets on Twitter. Recently, he offered to help me edit my chapters before I post them as well as offer whatever feedback he can to improve the pieces. It would be foolish of me to say no, so please thank him for cover up English not good.

On with the show.

Frontier Update #8: The Beginning Of The End

After months of note-jotting and hand-wringing, I’ve decided to get this thing back on the rails. I have three more acts planned that must and will be done, and one or two that may or may not materialize.

I’m at the point where if I don’t do this, it won’t be done. I probably won’t be picking up The Taken King as I feel myself pulled to other points of interest. I found an old Reddit post about all the stuff that was cut from the game and I was appalled. I was happy that I was able to get this ball rolling to begin with, and I’ll be damned if I don’t finish it.

New chapter or chapters landing this weekend. I have one pretty done and I’m just going to keep writing through the day. I’ll try to focus and keep the pace of publishing brisk.

Lastly, before today I had not checked the view stats since I last posted. To say I was touched that people have kept checking in would be an understatement. Thank you so much. I hope the coming story is everything you were hoping for.

Frontier Update #6: Vanishing Act

Here are the articles that will soon be deleted from this blog, as discussed in Frontier Update #5:

White Knights and The Backup Ribbon Project

The “What Ifs” Destiny Players Are Asking

How Does Destiny Treat Female Characters?

Assassinations: Up Close And Personal

I Don’t Know A Thing About Game Development

Sparrow Racing: Options and Challenges

Are You Still Playing?

Rear View For Better Vehicles

Grimoire Cards And The Search For A Story

Not Everyone Loves Xur

Frontier Update #5: Big Changes

Things have been a little quieter than usual around here, and I should apologize for that. Rest assured, my desire to write has not been sated just yet. In fact, it’s that desire to write that I need to discuss with you, my wonderful readers.

Years ago, I co-produced a podcast and website devoted to nerd culture with a friend of mine. It lasted for about three years. The only remnants of it still floating out there is our Youtube channel, but it was doing alright for a time. It ultimately fell apart for various reasons, not the least of which was difficulty in finding contributors.

Recently, I had someone contact me via Twitter and offer me a writing job on his new website. Normally I would not be interested, but I gave him a chance to make his case and it turned out to be compelling. I ended up signing on with his crew as a contributor. I’ll be covering gaming, tech, science, movies, TV, comics, anime and plenty of other nerdy stuff. I’m also hoping to tackle Twitch and other multimedia. The site’s called Nardmode.com (nerd+hardmode) and I hope you’ll give it your patronage.

It’s a bit of an amusing turn-around. I’ve been writing for a long time, and it’s only the second time in my life that I’ve been asked to write.

So what does this mean for Frontier? A few things.

Firstly, I will continue to write Destiny-related creative works and post them here. They don’t fit in on a news site. I hope you’ll still come by and enjoy the story, Exotic Concepts and the upcoming Lore Breakdown posts.

The biggest change will be that some of the non-creative posts will disappear from this blog. I’ll be taking them down and reworking/updating them for the new site. I have to take them down for ad reasons. I’ll post a list tomrrow of what will be vanishing, and I’ll leave them up for a while so that everyone can get some last-minute peepers on them. I’d like to thank you for reading them, and I hope you’ll check out the new and improved versions once they post.

That’s it for now. Posting frequency might be a little wanting in the near future while I get all my ducks in a row. I’m also adjusting my story plans a bit to get to the good stuff sooner, and considering how to attack the first batch of Lore Breakdowns. Good stuff is coming, I promise.

Stay tuned!

Exotic Concepts #4: Double Dragon

Here’s another exotic weapon picture that comes from the bowels of the interwebz:

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Ah, yes. Dual-wielding. I still remember the crowd’s reaction when Bungie showed the Master Chief holding two SMGs in Halo 2. It was a palpable excitement over really nothing at all when you break it down. People love it. Dual lightsabers in Star Wars, dual pistols in Hard Boiled… it’s just cool. Why not have a dual-wield exotic?

Firstly, I love the idea that the dual-wielding option is not something you get right out of the box. Then I started thinking about all the steps people had to go through to get Necrochasm, and regardless of how panned the final weapon has been, people were eager to work hard towards that goal. Not wanting to delve into how RNG fails at Bungie’s intent that armour and weapons would show off achievements, how could we make the procurement of the Double Dragon unique?

Double Dragon would always be found as either one of two legendary hand cannons: Ball Lightning (arc) or Flare Thrower (solar). You’d get them as randomly as you would any other legendary and would have normal but solid legendary stats. Ball lightning’s static perk would be Hip Fire while Flare Thrower’s would be Firefly. Again, they’d be very good legendaries (the kind that make top 5 lists) but just that.

Things would get interesting once you’ve leveled one hand cannon completely up. Oh, look. Something is waiting at the postmaster for you. What’s this? An exotic bounty? Seems this awesome gun I just finished upgrading has an equally awesome counterpart out there, and this bounty will lead me on some grand quest to reunite them!

You’d go on this quest, acquire the other hand cannon at some point during it, fully upgrade that weapon and then complete the bounty in some grand fashion that involves using them both in an up-leveled Dust Palace strike to kill the light-corresponding Mind Flayer.

Suddenly, you get a new exotic. Double Dragon. You’d retain the individual weapons as legendaries because it would be silly to keep you from using them individually if you wanted to. A good legendary weapon is by no means something to just throw aside, especially after you went through all the trouble to upgrade them.

So you’ve got Double Dragon. What does it do? First and foremost, it would be the only weapon to do two kinds of damage in alternating shots. As two guns, one still shoots arc and the other still shoots solar. I think it would have a pretty fast rate of fire since it’s really two hand cannons for the price of one. In fact, the stats would obviously get a general boost to line it up with other exotics.

There’s also the reload. Why would this be of interest? Well, your guardian uses his/her free hand to reload a hand cannon, so what do we do when there’s another gun in that hand that also needs fresh ammo? Games in the past have just dropped the guns from view, but that’s pretty lazy. I think Double Dragon’s revolver mags should snap out as they do now, but the left hand gun would snap in the opposite direction, so both mags would be towards the chest. Then, instead of a physical mag being swapped out, the mag could vent out energy before being snapped back home.

Perks. The primary perk would be “Third Eye” as homage to Inspector Tequila and other great scenes where the hero spins around with pistols in each hand. I’d also like to see the “Lightweight” and “Field Scout” perks make appearances to keep with the theme. The unique perk, “Double Dragon” would combine the two static perks from the formative hand cannons (“hip fire” and “firefly”) which I think would be pretty potent but not overly so for an exotic.

Thoughts? I got a lot of people poking at the last Exotic Concept I posted over various social media and I loved all the interaction (though if it were centralized in this blog’s comments you guys could interact with each other as well)! Keep it up!

Next concept? Armour!