Dude’s Chronicles 9-22-2016: A Friend Returns

 

 

That’s right!

Entertainment!

I haven’t watched anything but football, college and professional, all week. That’s it. No shows, no movies. I haven’t even gazed out the window to see what was going on.

Games!

Whilst the anxious wait for 1.4 continues, Massive keeps putting out a lot of information but I keep thinking to myself “none of this is set in stone”. I hold a lot of hope for this as do others but the realist in me has to check my expectations.

What is here and what is real is The Rise of Iron. I’ll say it’s pretty good. It could have been longer but I would liken it to the length of The Taken King. Could have been longer but I enjoyed it and still don’t feel finished with it. From the posts picture, I obviously completed the Gjallahorn quest line. Nice to get the weapon quicker than I did in the original game. Now I have to lock it so I don’t delete it like a dumbass and have to buy it two weeks before they nerf it.

I’ll be playing some of each game the rest of the week. I want to keep my feet in The Division and I have two Exotic quests(Thorn and Khvostov) to do in Destiny. Just wish I had more time.

News!

  • Rise of Iron Raid! – Yea…I won’t be high enough Light Level to try it and I won’t have the time. sighes
  • Battle.net no more – It’s just a name change, remain calm. Blizzard is just trying to get everything under the Blizzard name. From what I understand, no functionality will be lost. Again, remain calm.
  • The Division PTS is live! – Early responses are positive. If any community will break a game it is the PC community. That is why I am ok with it not coming to consoles as we had many less issues than PC did.
  • Gears of War 4 trailer – I try not to get excited about trailers but I really want this game to get the bad taste out of my mouth that Judgement left.
  • For Honor’s beta was huge! – That’s great! So was The Division’s. So was Destiny’s. Those games were arguably broken at launch. I hope Unbisoft learns something from past experience and does a better job. The game looks great but it is not a game I have interest in playing. Nonetheless, I hope it does well and people enjoy it.

I’ll try to post next week but I will be out of town for work reasons. Reasons which I am against but hey, if you want to pay me to waste my time hundreds of miles away instead of at work…ok. Well, it’s not a complete waste…just not best value. You know like eating Taco Bell.

dudewantshisrug-profilePaul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Dude’s Chronicles 9-15-2016: Running Late

 

running_lateIt was a busy day, heck…it was a busy week but here I am. Better late than never.

Entertainment!

  • College football – Not a great weekend of game but still good watching. I’m conflicted that Pitt won but Penn State lost.
  • BoJack Horseman – I’ve watched the first five episode and I’m not sure about this one. It has moments when it hits but a lot of lulls when it doesn’t. The plan is to get through the first season and then make an executive decision as to continue with it or not.
  • Captain America: Civil War – Very interesting and well done but I question where it leaves the Marvel Universe at this point. I know all of this has payed out in various comics but the movies don’t necessarily follow said comics.

Games!

The Division keeps creeping toward the much vaunted 1.4 update. It was a bit of a let down to have the Public Test Server delayed but the last State of the Game gave a lot of information about what they are trying to accomplish. I, like many others, hopefully wait in anticipation but bear a cautious eye.

So far patch 2.4 is a bust for me in Destiny. My thought was I would finish out my Titan and Hunter alts, get them to a 300+ Light level and be sitting pretty for Rise of Iron upon its release. That plan got crushed when Bungie nerfed the rewards system so that my 297 character no longer decrypts engrams above that Light level so that now I get 240-ish gear from engrams. Way to kill my enthusiasm Bungie, thanks.

News!

  • South Park game delayed – Insert statement of shock.
  • The Last Guardian delayed – Insert statement of shock.
  • Destiny Private matches are live! – So, now I just need to find enough friends help me grind out those weird match base Grimiore scores?
  • Sony nixes Fallout 4 mods – Kind of thought this was a big deal when the game was announced and now Sony is just not going to let it happen? I read a couple of articles on it and I just don’t understand Sony’s position. If it were a technical or performance issue I would understand but it just sounds like they don’t want players to have unlimited control. This seems odd since PC and Xbox are ok with it. What’s up Sony?

Do I sound salty? It’s been a rough stretch and yes I’ve gathered some salt in this roll of late.

dudewantshisrug-profilePaul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Dude’s Chronicles 9-8-2016: I’m Back, Again

return

Sorry for not getting a post up last week. With the holiday and a few personal things happening something had to give and that something was this chronicle.

Entertainment!

  • College football – I didn’t get to watch as much of this as I wanted to but I enjoyed every second that I did see. Great to have it back and looking forward to the pro’s starting back as well.
  • The League: Seasons 6 & 7 – This show was always hit and miss to me. It tried to take gags too far and it felt forced most of the time. The finale really missed the mark in my book. Probably never going to rewatch any of this series.

Games!

Still playing The Division but it feels like everybody is kind of coasting until the 1.4 update is closer.

To bide some time, I played some Destiny. Managed to get my Titan from a Light Level of 216 to 287 in a few hours but the pace slowed greatly from 287 to 295. I tried playing a few other times but apparently there have been some issues with PSN and it just did work in my favor. I did relent and pre-ordered Rise of Iron.

News!

  • PS4 Pro – Ummm…what? You can stream 4K content but you can’t play it from disk? I’m really confused by why Sony made this console iteration. Unless there is something I am missing there isn’t much reason to buy this, much like the Xbox One S. If you don’t already have the console then it seems ok but I don’y see any reason why I would ‘upgrade’ to either console.
  • PS4 Slim – …and I quote “I’m really confused by why Sony made this console iteration. Unless there is something I am missing there isn’t much reason to buy this, much like the Xbox One S. If you don’t already have the console then it seems ok but I don’y see any reason why I would ‘upgrade’ to either console.”
  • Super Mario Run – I clapped when I saw this. This is one of the smartest things Nintendo has done of late. They are truly embracing mobile gaming without going overboard.
  • Ark: Survival Evolved – People are made about paid DLC for ann early access game that they already paid for? Hmmmm…. The smart ass in me wants to say “just release the game already, why try to get the bugs out of it when everybody else launches broken game?” but then I dial it back a bit and it seems kind of wrong to release paid DLC for something that is not even a finalized product.

Time to get ready to watch football.

dudewantshisrug-profilePaul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Dude’s Chronicles 8-25-2016: Humid and Salty

Image via quotesgram.com

Image via quotesgram.com

It’s not as bad as the picture above but it is pretty lousy.

Entertainment!

  • The Fast and The Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift – These movies aren’t good. Sorry, they aren’t but I enjoy  them nonetheless.
  • Gotham: Season 1 – This series seems fairly interesting and a slightly different take on the Batman story. I wish there were more episodes available on Neflix since I’ll never actually watch this when it airs. Not because I don’t want to see it, just that I don’t sit down to watch shows on a regular basis.
  • Indie Games: Life After – The follow up to Indie Game: The Movie, it was far less interesting and felt like one of those sequels that just didn’t need to happen.

Games!

The Division continues to be the land of salt. Massive is being a lot more upfront about the fact that the game is not good at this point. I appreciate their honesty and I’ll appreciate it even more when they actually fix the game.

It’s such a bad scene that players are being salty with each other. I was playing an Incursion the other day and the group just wasn’t working right. We wiped several times and one player got his salt shaker out. He essentially told me that I was running Smart Cover wrong. How you do that I have no idea. He didn’t say my skill power was too low, which would have made more sense. That group quickly disbanded, thankfully.

News!

  • PS4 Slim rumors – Do we need this? Do we want this? I don’t, on either count. I’m not even that excited about Neo. Maybe these are the same thing. No real facts and Sony doesn’t have much to say about it yet.
  • The Division delays expansion – Wait, fix the game before expanding it??? Brilliant! Looks like it will be a while before Survival releases due to Massive wanting to concentrate(and rightly so) on the 1.4 update to fix and balance the game.
  • John Carmack a thief? – Apparently Bethesda says that Carmack took some of it’s intellectual property with him when he left for Oculus. More ugly legal battles for the gaming industry.

Did you notice? I remembered to change the date on this post before posting it. Yeah me!

dudewantshisrug-profilePaul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

The Division – Repairs Needed

the_division_wallpaper1625The Division has problems. That is a statement of fact, one of which can be said for almost every game but The Division is beginning to crack under the stress of its mounting problems. It would be one thing to have bugs in the game and another thing to have broken systems within the game. Both of these issues are plaguing the game and it is not clear how or when they will be resolved.

It is not too late for the game but the longer the problems go on the more players will leave. Here are some things that Massive can do to make players stay and maybe even comeback.

Fix The Bugs

ladderThis one sound obvious. There is no reason that months after the game’s release the riot shield should still be bugged or for players to get stuck on ladders or for players’ skills to glitch out. As a player on the Xbox One, I beg for the lag issues to be fixed.

Make The Loot Better

divisionreview1It is not the quality of the items but rather how players can get them. At the end of an Incursion you have a “chance” for high-end or gear set pieces but only a chance. Also, you only get one of those chances once a week for completion the rest of the time you are hoping for boss drops. For how much effort and time an Incursion can take it should be more rewarding. Make it so the boss drops more loot and get rid of the weekly drop.

As for quality, there is no reason why a Heroic level story mission should only have 204 weapons. This is a clear imbalance in the loot system since a Heroic Underground mission will yield 229 weapons. Make it consistent so that all Heroic level activities have the same rewards. There also needs to be a chance for higher loot in lower activities so that players can build up to tougher activities rather than suffering through them at first.

Stop the Lone Star Shuffle

lonestartHear me out on this one. Players of The Division all know the Lone Star shuffle because we all do it. Put on the Police backpack and two pieces of Lone Star before hitting a restock. This is just an annoyance and it is silly that it needs done.

With that said, it is the need for the Lone Star shuffle that needs remedied not the shuffle itself. The fact that NPC’s are so overpowered and necessitate several clips of ammo, even with pulse and smart cover buffs, to kill is the real issue. Not that we can have a can that makes a marksman rifle kill a level 35 NPC will one headshot but it shouldn’t take twenty shots either. Make it so enemies take a more reasonable amount of ammo to kill and set our inventory to hold a respectable amount of ammo. That way we don’t need to carry Lone Star just to switch it on and off to restock. If the ammo amount is fixed then we don’t have to worry about ammo capacity as a gear attribute either.

Reel In The Rogues

tc-the-division-dark-zone-extraction-hijacking-rope-cutLook, I get it, the DZ is a PVP and PVE area. That is fine but going rogue at this point has almost no consequence. When the game first released the penalty from going rogue, loss of credits and XP, held most at bay from doing so. Now, the penalties are lower and they mean even less since those that are going rogue are a high enough rank and have enough DZ credits that it doesn’t matter if they lose those.

Since XP and credits mean nothing to rogues take away that which they most desire – the ability to kill other players. When you die as rogues your respawn timer gets longer based on the rogue level you were at upon your death. Make it a full minute or two for every level you were rogue. If you get killed during a Manhunt status, level 5 rogue, you would have to wait up to ten minutes to respawn. That will give people cause to think about going rogue and to be a bit more crafty when they do. It would also give the non-rogue players a respite if only temporarily.

Stop Nerfing Stuff

the_division_G36-1152x648They nerfed the SMG’s. They nerfed the G36. They nerfed Sentry’s Call. Guess what? That didn’t fix the issue. SMG’s are still viable but they aren’t the doomsday device they used to be. The G36 is probably still the best assault rifle in the game. Now people run four or five pieces of Sentry’s call instead of three.

Nerfing hasn’t done much but frustrate players. The G36 is a prime example. We finally had a weapon that made it feel like we had a chance and Massive nerfed it. Why? Good question. It would feel more empowering to the players to buff rather than nerf. Look at LMG’s, giving the bonus damage to targets out of cover made those more viable weapons without penalizing other weapons. That is a strategy more players will be in tune with.

Get Gear Sets Inline

tc-the-division-update-1-3-loot-items-drop-table-v1-01The gear sets of themselves are not at issue but how they are being used and how many are available are making a mess of the game. It used to be pretty simple, find a gear set that had talents that played to your liking, get a full four piece set, then fill in the rest with whatever. Now, every build is a mix ranging from five piece Sentry plus one other,  three piece this with three piece that, or two piece this with two piece that with two piece whatever.

There are over a dozen gear sets already and we are only months into the game’s life. Perhaps it is time to hold off on releasing new sets. The loot table has already diluted enough that it is difficult for players to get the gear to drop that they actually want. I am a fan of choice and different options but there is also a point where there are so many options it is confusing.

Simplify

simpleRPG players are accustomed to complex systems. Players of shooter games are not. This game likely has more people from a Call of Duty background rather than World of Warcraft. It can be a confusing mess to try to make a character that works when you have to consider armor, exotic damage, fire resistance, blind/deaf resistance and so on. It would be more accessible to players if there were less variables to deal with. Perhaps making it only armor and “other” damage rather than several different types of damage.

Keep it simple stupid(K.I.S.S.) is not a bad thing at all. It could also be applied to things like critical hit chance. It is capped at 60% but maybe it could be fixed at 33%. That way nobody has to worry about rolling mods or the like to get up to the max. Rather the playing field is level and known if attributes like this are set and not variable.

Unfortunately, there are no easy fixes and there is no “one thing” that can be done to fix the game. It will rather be a long process to fix the game and re-engage the player base. On Massive’s State of the Game broadcast they talked about things in terms of weeks, this is a good time reference but people need to understand that it may take that long to identify and sort the issues at hand with it taking even longer to provide a fix.
dudewantshisrug-profile

Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Dude’s Chronicles 8-18-2016: Back In Action

Image via giphy.com

Image via giphy.com

You really appreciate a vacation in a different way once it is over and you go back to work.

Entertainment!

  • The Real Death Star – It was a science show that talked about gamma radiation given off by massive black wholes. An interesting piece but as with science it was a bit wishy-washy about its conclusion. Which is accurate since none of know the secrets of the universe. A decent watch if you are into science-type stuff.
  • Hostage – An overly complicated and unbelievable Bruce Willis movie about a former hostage negotiator who has his own family kidnapped while he is on the scene of another hostage situation that is actually the house of bookkeeper that may or may not be working for the government. Confused?
  • Big Trouble in Little China – C’mon, it’s a classic! One of those “so bad it’s good” movies.
  • The Big Short – A fascinating movie about how corrupt our financial institutions are and the body’s the govern them. As intellectually stimulating as it was, it may have been a little too much of that and a little too entertaining. This seems to happen when you have too many big names in one film and some of the cameos just seemed completely out of place.
  • Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru – Tony Robbins has been around forever! Ok, 30+ years and people either think he is a miracle worker, a crook, a cult-leader, or a mix of the aforementioned. This film documented Robbins at one of his events and shows some of the people that he interacts with and how. Very interesting and compelling but left me wondering how genuine everything in it was.

Games!

The Division and all the woes that go with it. I played a ton of this on my vacation and I may have burnt myself out. I had a great time playing with the people of the DZR community and they keep me wanting to play. What keeps making me not want to play is the game itself. I feel like I don’t get well rewarded for my play time and the Dark Zone has turned into Gank City. There is so much blood lust and rogue activity that it was impossible to even farm for loot the last couple of times I was in it. I hope Massive and Ubisoft have some way of addressing this because I am seeing the player base dwindle and am not sure what will save it at this point.

Then I hooked myself back into playing Destiny again. Wondering to myself if I should buy Rise of Iron, I made the decision to play some of the Iron Banner event this week. I started at a Light level of 302(max is 335) and  in two days got to 308. Not a huge leap but I’ve been having fun playing the game again. Sure I still get frustrated and mad when I do poorly or the team loses but it is still fun – something that has been lacking in the previously mentioned game. I enjoyed playing this game with random people and I enjoyed The Division because of the core of people I play with. Strange? Well, maybe. I’m going to play some more before I decide to buy the Rise of Iron though.

Then there is No Man’s Sky. I look at the box and I still can’t force myself to play it. Is there something wrong with me? (Don’t answer that.)

News!

  • Titanfall 2 split beta! – I mean – technical test. This weekend and next there will be multiplayer technical test on PS4 and XB1. Sorry, no technical test for you PC players because of your data-mining shenanigans. There will be another technical test next weekend featuring different game modes and equipment.
  • Final Fantasy XV delayed, again – If you’ve been waiting to play this game, what is two more months when you’ve already waited this long? Look at how long The Last Guardian took before it was released. Oh, it’s not out yet either. At least it seemed like solid reasoning, they had some patchwork to do and wanted to include it on disk rather than making a day-one patch. However, if they go through this delay and still have a day-one patch there may be some upset peoples.
  • Destiny private matches – This is something that player have been asking for since the game launched. Huzzah! I’ll probably never play this mode!
  • Left 4 Metal Gear – Konami announces the first Kojima-less Metal Gear game with Metal Gear Survive. A four-person zombie survival game based in an alternate universe of Metal Gear Solid.

Since I didn’t find a way to become independently wealthy in my time off, I’l have to keep doing that ‘work’ thing…and this too.

dudewantshisrug-profilePaul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Destiny – A Few Things Rise of Iron Needs

DestinyRiseOfIron

Being two years beyond its original release Destiny still has a steady pool of players and that is a good thing. However, the pending release of Rise of Iron could be another make or break moment for the game. Many people were hoping for a full-blown Destiny 2 and they are only going to get an expansion somewhat equivalent in size to The Taken King expansion.

Here are three things Bungie can do to make the Rise of Iron something players will come back to Destiny for.

Matchmaking for PVE

destiny-matchmaking

The only PVE space that has built in match-making is the Strike list and this doesn’t even include the Heroic and Nightfall Strikes. There are players out there that don’t want to use LFG sites and want to stay in the game to find fellow players if no one from their friends list is available. Since Destiny’s release the only way to try to recruit for PVE within the game is to find players in the social areas and send them a message asking them to join you. This is less than ideal to begin with and some people consider it an annoyance.

Adding in-game match-making would open opportunities that some players just don’t have currently. I have spoken with people that have never played the game’s original raid, The Vault of Glass, simply because they don’t already have a group to play with. Many people have left Destiny because they only want the PVE element but don’t want to play alone. There is a limit on how many Strikes one can run before they get boring and missing out on other content for the fact of being solo can be frustrating. Being able to find people that want to play the same part of the game as you should not be a limitation.

Better Chances for Loot

destiny-loot

There is plenty of loot to be had in the game but the real problem is getting it. Some loot is locked behind certain events and otherwise inaccessible. Much is the case with weapons and armor that are only available from raids or completing quests. The highest level gear can only be obtained from the highest level events which makes sense but then it may also limit people from obtaining those pieces just because they can’t or don’t want to complete the hardest level content.

Opening the loot table so that any loot can drop anywhere at anytime would encourage players to vary what they play within the game rather than just grinding away at a particular mode of the game. Many people play the raids every week on all three characters not because they like the raid but rather it gives them three chances to get the loot they want. My experience has been that the loot drops in the Strikes(PVE) are not as good as the Crucible(PVP) and I would end playing the Crucible not because I wanted to but because I felt I had a better chance for better loot. Changing how and where loot drops would make the players feel more rewarded for their playtime and allow them to be playing the content they most want to.

Improve the Story

destiny-story

Destiny has been bemoaned for its lack of story telling since its release and little has changed to this point. The Taken King was applauded for improving the story telling but it was just that, an improvement. It was only an improvement because the previous story and its delivery where terrible. The story isn’t very well flushed out either, the true nature of the Light and the Dark have never been explained nor the Traveler’s relationship to them. To make matters worse, most of the story isn’t even told within the game. Bungie has instead taken to using grimoire cards that are not even readable within the game. There may be great details in these cards but the majority of players are never going to see it since they have to go online, out of the game, to do so.

The solution here seems simple, tell a better story and deliver it better. The Taken King content gave little detail about Destiny’s universe overall and only served as a setup to its raid. Rise of Iron should learn from this and add to the game’s overall story line and not be limited to its own bubble of content. Simply adding more cutscenes, as The Taken King did, does not make the delivery better either. I would rather have important moments detailed to me rather than have them spoken over in-game action or presented in a nearly meaningless cutscene that misses the point anyway. If Bungie would provide an improved story, they would get the emotional attachment they want players to have.

These aren’t the only things that could could be fixed or added to make Destiny better. Little things like more inventory space would be nice and more likely to happen since the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game will no longer be a limiting factor. Given time and effort, the technical problems of the game can be fixed and Bungie has shown themselves capable of that much. What they really need to fix are the non-technical issues that would bring greater enjoyment to players.
dudewantshisrug-profile

Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.