Cap And I Play Crucible #4: Jelly Beans

Sadly, no GC-cam due to some odd rendering issues that we couldn’t figure out. Hope you enjoy anyways!

Frontier Update #4 – Trials and Tribulations

First update of 2015! Today I turn the ripe old age of 32 and I’ve gotta say we’re chugging along nicely. I figured it’s as good as time as any to connect to my readers and share.

First and foremost, THANK YOU!!!

Thank you for the reads, clicks and subscriptions. I put a few hours of my life into this blog every week and while the process is its own reward, I can’t be more thankful for your readership and dedication.

Blogs like this are kind of a bygone medium in gaming culture since everyone famous in the Destiny fanbase is on Youtube and Twitch. I’d consider doing the same but my rig died on me a few months back and I have not had the change to rebuild so video editing isn’t possible at the moment.

That all said it’s been a challenge getting the word out about this thing. I’ve found what groups I can on facebook and I’m bugging who I can over Twitter (even going so far as to use Hootsuite to schedule tweets). I’ve also been copying Frontier chapters over to for those who read stuff there (dug up my old account and found a Naruto fanfic I once worked on. Nostalgic…).

Let’s talk about the fiction! We’ve got acts 03 and 04 out in the wild and the response has been generally positive.

In a fashion, these two acts are meant to play off each other and push at the boundaries of the world. Act 03 was engineered to show fireteam Warden in a win scenario while 04 has them defeated. While I’m sure Bungie wants you to believe that your personal character in the game is capable of saving the world all on his/her own, that’s just not reasonable or feasible from a storytelling perspective like mine. You’ll find that I’ll be taking great care to balance virtue with flaw, ability with limitation.

Act 03 was born out of perhaps the hundredth time I ran the Winter’s Run strike. It’s one that I enjoy more than others. As my friends and I were chatting and we came around that corner to see Winter’s ketch just sitting there it just dawned on me that after we kill this Archon Priest that Cayde-6 seems so concerned about, maybe we should swing back and take the ship! I mean, we did kill off a sizable chunk of the crew as well as their Kell in a story mission, right? The story just snowballed from there.

I wanted to expand not on the guardian powersets, but on their use and implementation. It’s beholden on me to see what limitations the story imposes versus what limitations the game mechanics do. I think that’s very important to differentiate going forward, and play a bit with concepts. My understanding of the lore, science and fantasy/superhero storytelling lets me do this easily.

There was also a Vault of Glass run where everyone in the party screamed “GUARDIANS MAKE THEIR OWN FATE!” during Time’s Vengeance, which is an in-game message you get telling you basically to hit Atheon with everything you got. That inspired chapter 08, which was purely a lead-in to the rest of the act but needed to be interesting on its own. Lastly, some creative feedback I got from some friends let me know that it may have been difficult to get a grasp on Telemica’s character, so during this act I let her sensibilities shine through as much as possible.

Act 04 was definitely the hardest act to write thus far. Writing action scenes is certainly not something I feel proficient in yet and I surprise myself when things actually come out somewhat coherent. Small scenes I can handle, but I needed this scene to feel big and chaotic. Supplying enough detail without it getting verbose was a delicate balancing act that required me to reference some other works. Chapter 14 took a lot longer than usual to draft and even longer before I felt comfortable posting. Oddly enough, I’ve gotten some feedback that it was my best chapter yet, so perhaps all that fretting counted for something.

At this point we’re fast-approaching a multi-act story arc that I have planned which will compose the core story I want to tell. I have three more acts to get out there and then you may not see anything for a while. Consider it a sabbatical of sorts. I assure you that I will be working on stuff, but for my own sanity I need to take the time to make it right. I hit the ground running when this blog launched but I feel that if I rush through this next phase of the story chapter to chapter, it’ll suffer for it. I’ll do my best to post other stuff along with updates and I hope you’ll understand.

Speaking of the other stuff, we started two new segments on the blog! Exotic Concepts and (soon to launch) Lore Breakdown (title may need some work).

Exotic Concepts is a fun little exercise where we come up with new exotic weapons and armour. I say “we” because after I posted the first one, I got great responses from readers who had their own ideas for exotics and wanted me to give those ideas a full and proper treatment. I have quite a few of them being drafted and they’ll be coming out soon.

Lore Breakdown will involve me basically decoding grimoire cards into lore that can be easily digested. Is Crota really the “son” of Oryx? What makes the Vex so much more dangerous than the other aliens? I have not quite figured out exactly how I want to present these, but while I do, please let me know what parts of the lore you’d like explained. The segment will be that much better if I’m answering questions you have, rather than questions I think you may have.

There are also the random other posts I throw up. Some are actually about the game and what’s going on with that. Others are videos of Cap and I playing in the Crucible. I try and present a variety of content if possible. If there’s anything you’d like to see, let me know and hopefully I can make it happen. I try not to do the same news as everyone else (supposed leaks, patch news and such) because I get the feeling you don’t need or want yet another source of that stuff. Still, if you’re looking for my personal take on such things, I can be easily compelled to start covering news.

There’s also Twitch gameplay. I’m curious if any of my readers would be interested in playing and engaging with me live. I can put out notifications over Twitter and maybe record and post the sessions if I can figure out how to get the voice to capture. Let me know if you’d like this to be a thing.

PAX East is coming up at the beginning of March. I don’t expect anything Destiny-related to be there but I’m hoping there will be. I may just go completely off the rails and become a general gaming blog for that weekend.

Oh yeah, I still play the game from time to time. I try and complete all the weekly content and I’m still seeking a Hawkmoon, Vex Mythoclast and a MIDA Multi-tool. I’ve mostly focused on my lv31 warlock due to time constraints and I’ve just bought a FWC bond for him.

I don’t get a lot of links from search engines and such, which means this blog’s humble popularity is mostly thanks to word of mouth. If this was Youtube I’d ask you to like and subscribe for free stuff, but that’s not really possible for me in this format. Still, I’d really appreciate it if you spread the word about this thing that I do. Hopefully someday I can figure out how to give back in a more tangible way. I may not always openly ask for feedback, but it’s always more than welcome. Each and every comment fills my heart with joy and gets my utmost attention, so please feel free to engage me.

That should be pretty much it. Fingers on triggers, keep moving.

My Best Crucible Performance Ever

This may not wow too many of you hardened Iron Banner types, but as you’ve seen in previous videos I am not all that good at PvP… so this is something I just have to share.

4.43 K/d ratio. 31 kills (highest in the match), 7 deaths (lowest in the match), 4 assists.

You’ll note that I completed a part of the exotic bounty in order to get the Invective shotgun (fun little boomstick, by the way) which required me to have a 25 K/d spread. I achieved that in just this match.

Some things that I’ve learned as I play in the Crucible more often:

Be Calm – Running around is fun and may get you a kill or two if you’re lucky, but it will certainly get you killed in the process. Sprinting also keeps you from using your weapon the moment you really need it.

Disengage – You’ll see I pull back a few times from an engagement, which probably saved me from getting my head blown off and nothing gained. Pick your fights and don’t seek the kill to the detriment of your survival. There is always the next engagement.

Control Range – An old EVE Online rule. Make them fight at the range that works for you. Know how your primary wants to play and stick with that. Chasing the rabbit down the hole will get you downed more often than not. Having a special weapon to cover alternate ranges is great, but you’ll want something to compliment your primary’s style and not the polar opposite because it temps you into taking unnecessary risks. In this match, I knew Thorn (and most hand cannons) doesn’t brawl well, so I kept targets at medium range where I could optimize hits through my slow rate of fire. My HMG Against All Odds and my fusion rifle Murmur (set for arc to get the fastest spin-up rate possible) had similar impact/RoF tradeoffs which means I didn’t have to adjust my flow too much.

Know Your Surroundings – If you’re familiar with a map, you’ll know where your weapon will be most effective. Be there. Own that space. Don’t camp because that makes you a target, but take control of the area you are currently in. Know the ins and outs. Annex off areas in your mind for a few minutes at a time and let your shots tell the tale. Know where you don’t want to be as well because that’s where your opponents will come at you from and try to lure you into.

Be Happy With Assists – Your team is your lifeline. Stick with them and anticipate their movements. Don’t leave them out in the cold and you’ll find at some point you’ll start moving together and tearing the other team apart.

I hope some of this helps. I’m going to give Iron Banner some play next time it hits and see how I stack up.

Cap’s Destiny Tips

Cap, my good friend and occasional contributor to this blog, has been playing more Destiny since getting some help from me. He’s offering up tips and for the most part I think it’s good advice. Feel free to comment below or on Youtube if you’ve got something to say to him.

He’s also making himself look really good so feel free to send him a friend request on PSN. He also plays CoD on XBone.