Final Thoughts: Destiny

So it’s time for my final thoughts on Destiny.  Having spent a good 22+ hours in the game, I’ve had a chance to tinker with just about everything.  You can take a look at my account here.  Overall, I really enjoy the game.  I’ve been looking for a good co-op FPS game that isn’t just focused on the PvP.  That being said, I do have a few gripes.

 

Repetitive Mechanics / Gameplay: In story mode, ALL of the missions end up being you protecting your Ghost while it unlocks a door or hacks a computer.  Then to mix it up, most of the bosses just have HUGE pools of health and it ends up just being a race to kill adds before the next wave of adds gets there.  If this was a  traditional MMO, this would NEVER fly.  I found myself frequently falling asleep when I was playing at night because of the sheer repetitive nature of the game.

 

Nothing is explained: I found myself looking a lot on google for things I needed clarification on.  One of the biggest things is the lack of explanation regarding the grimoire cards.  Apparently you get some bonuses if you collect a certain amount of grimoire cards and level them up but nowhere in the campaign or otherwise was it explicitly explained.  In fact, nothing is really explained, you are apparently just supposed to inherently know what’s going on.  The MMO players might pick up on some things because of their background but FPS players most likely won’t know what’s going on in the background.

 

Lack of Communication Support: The game doesn’t support voice chat with people not in your direct PlayStation Party.  Which makes it extremely frustrating when your teammate is off looking at a wall while there’s a boss fight going on.  However, Bungie is going to remedy the situation so this won’t be a huge thing in the near future.

 

On the positive side of things:

 

Being able to tweak your character during load screens:  This is absolutely genius!  Destiny has really long load times but you can actually go to the character menu and tweak your character, change items, disassemble items, etc…  It helps to lower the annoying load time waiting and I am surprised it took this long for a game to really adopt that.

 

Good mix of FPS and MMO: I think Borderlands first did this really well but Destiny masters it.  The game is still definitely skill based, if you can’t aim your weapon, you aren’t going to do very well.  However, there is the character progression that you’d expect to see in an MMO.  Unlike other MMO games that struggle with balancing gear between PvP and PvE, Destiny simply makes all weapons do the same amount of damage in PvP whether it be a level one weapon or a level 20 weapon.  Your health and armor are not affected by gear either in PvP.  It helps to keep PvP purely skill based and helps to keep the PvE content balanced.  The one thing that can cause some consternation is that your class skills work as is, so a level 1 player wouldnt have access to the same skills a level 25 player with 40+ hours of game-time would have.

 

Mixing the two can also cause some distress for hardcore MMO players and hardcore FPS players because the addition of the other side can be difficult to get used to.

 

Like I said before, overall, Destiny is very well done and worth a look at.  The game is made 100x better if you have a group of friends to play with.  It’s a lot of fun to get together and roll through some bosses together!


Final Thought: Excellent MMOFPS.  At times is repetitive but the great co-op experience makes up for this.

Destiny – Initial Thoughts

So my copy of Destiny got to me yesterday and I got a chance to hop on for a bit and see how things shaped up since the Beta. I am happy to report that the game is still great.

It did seem to me that they slowed the leveling from the beta. I’m not sure if it was quicker because they wanted people to get to the max level and see how things played out or if it was a conscious choice to slow the leveling based on player feedback. Luckily though, with patrols, there is not a shortage of ways to gain experience. There is also the Crucible for players who don’t suck real bad at PVP. I haven’t played any yet, but my friends tell me that the matchmaking is a little messed up. Level 19 players in games with level 8 players which is really unfair considering the RPG aspects in the game. The level 19 has so much more armor, it’s like trying to drill a hole in thick concrete with a screwdriver.

If you play Destiny and want to join the echtek community group, go here: http://www.bungie.net/en/Clan/Detail/228354

I’ll be streaming and writing posts about my time leveling and running co-op content so keep it here for more!

iPhone 6 – What You Need to Know

Apple unveiled their new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus yesterday and I am going to just go ahead and say it: I am not impressed. Apple continues to be behind the ball on innovation and just simply hardware.

Instead of showing you a comparison table, I am going to take some of the bigger things and explain them in a way that makes sense (I am leaving out the iPhone 6 Plus since its specs are the same just a larger screen (akin to the Samsung Galaxy Note).

I’ll start with the processor (the “brain” of the phone). The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus use an Apple A8 Processor. A8 means absolutely nothing to me and what is more interesting is the amount of work I had to do to get actual specs that mean anything. After searching around the internet the closest I could find to actual specs was that the A8 is a 1.4 GHz, dual core processor. Right off the bat that turns me off. The Samsung Galaxy S5 sports a 2.5 GHz, Quad-Core Processor. Without knowing anything about processors, just by looking at the larger numbers, you know the processor in the Galaxy is much more powerful. It is kind of a cop-out for Apple to compare the A8 to the A7 because of course the processor would perform better than the last generation. The real comparison is to its competition which is a sneaky PR thing. All that being said though, what is written on paper can be drastically different when it comes to actual performance and since the iPhone 6 is built from the ground up to be optimized to the specific hardware, I have no doubt the performance of the iPhone 6 will be exceptional.

The display on the iPhone is a retina display and for anyone that has seen a retina display, it is fantastic to look at. However, the display is still not 1080p which is odd to my mind since almost all the other phones on the market today display at 1080p. In fact, the iPhone display really isnt even 780p, its slightly lower at 750p. One could argue that a screen as small as a phone does not need to be at 1080p at all, however, the technology is there so why not do it? Especially when all of the main competitors are doing it.

Apple has finally upgraded to an 8 MP Camera that records at 1080p. Too bad the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 have a 16MP Camera and records at UHD (4k). For a company that puts so much on its camera and sharing capabilities, not adding a 16 MP Camera is just plain lazy.

Those are the big points, just a few minor issues I have with the iPhone 6, is the non-removable battery and the lack of room to add memory. The iPhone comes with on board memory and you can’t add an SD Card or anything to it.

Price. Prepare to have your head spin.

On contract, the iPhone 6 is $199 for the 16 GB Version, $299 for the 64 GB and $399 for the 128 GB. For comparison, the Galaxy S5 and the HTC M8 are $200 on contract for the 16 GB. This is absolutely insane and the biggest rip off I have ever seen. For $200 you can get a technically superior phone for the same price as the iPhone 6 and you can’t even install a larger SD Card to get more memory. You are stuck with the 16 GB of memory.

I personally can’t understand how people can be so brainwashed into blindly buying into the hype or you could go as far to say lies that Apple is feeding everyone. Like I said before, comparing the processor to the last gen of its OWN processor instead of comparing it to its competition is a lie by omission, never mind the fact that they haven’t really released the specs for it so the speed I have is really only speculation.

In the year 2014, as consumers of technology, it is very important that we all be aware of what we are buying and what is a good deal and what isn’t.

Release Day Delivery

It’s the year 2014 and you can go online and pretty much order anything and have it to you the next day. You can even order digital downloads of games. So should you be punished for ordering a physical copy of a game?

Like thousands of other gamers across the US, I pre-ordered my copy of Destiny waaaay back when Gamestop started taking pre-orders. When the Limited Edition was announced, it just made financial sense to upgrade (see ), so a week after the Limited Edition was released, I went back to my Gamestop to upgrade. I got there and was told Gamestop was sold out. So I checked my local Walmart and Target, both of which were also sold out. Being the computer saavy guy I am, I went on Amazon only to find out they were also sold out. I looked at Newegg and they still had stock, so I pre-ordered with next day shipping.

Fast forward to today. My game just shipped and I will be getting it tomorrow but it begs the question, why can’t Newegg offer release day delivery? Amazon offers it on everything from books to games. I love Newegg and buy all my parts and accessories there but I won’t be buying games anymore.

These days, being late to a launch of a multiplayer game will put you behind of friends and prevent you from being able to group or play with them. Some games even offer day 1 rewards and perks. You could even lose the name you wanted because you were late to the party.

It is unacceptable to me that Newegg does not offer release day delivery. If they did, it might put them in a position to compete with Amazon as far as games are concerned.