Tags: Destiny

It’s Wolves versus vampires in Destiny versus The Witcher 3

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Destiny’s second expansion launches on May 19th. The House of Wolves will add a second social hub for players to run around in, so they won’t just be hanging out in The Tower. The expansion from Bungie also adds more “epic” story, another high-level raid, and new Crucible maps. Like The Dark Below expansion, veteran players can expect some nigh-impossible scenarios that will be mastered in a matter of days by the truly hardcore. House of Wolves will be $19.99 on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One if purchased on its own. The expansion is included as part of the expansion pass.

Savvy readers will note that May 19th is also the multi-platform launch date of The Witcher 3 from CD Projekt RED. This sums up my feelings on the potential scheduling conflict. That’s not even figuring in the fact that Grand Theft Auto V for PC launches later tonight with the exclusive cinematic editor.

Update: Bungie has clarified that House of Wolves won’t include a new raid. It will instead add a new battle Arena called The Prison of Elders.

Destiny gets spooky and prepares for The Dark Below

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Destiny’s first DLC offered for money, The Dark Below, is coming on December 9th. The DLC is $20 on its own, or included as part of the $35 expansion pass. It will raise the level cap to 32, add more endgame gear, offers new multiplayer arenas, increase bounty slots by five, and buffs the story with missions that will send players back to the Moon.

Through three new story quests, The Will of Crota Strike, and the Crota’s End Raid, players will fight to uncover and eliminate The Hive’s forces and save humanity.

If you’re in the mood to celebrate Halloween in Destiny, you’re in luck. For a limited time, you can get spooky consumable cosmetic items like a Jack o’ Lantern headgear from the in-game postmaster. Trick or treat Ghost!

Sony would love it if you forgot that Destiny isn’t really theirs

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You may have heard that Destiny launched last night. You’ve likely seen advertising that would imply it was nothing short of the best thing ever on PlayStation. It’s on Microsoft’s console as well, but aside from a midnight launch event at some Microsoft stores, and a clever web page for a fake fragrance, there hasn’t been much made of the fact that you can play Bungie’s latest on Xbox.

Sony’s gotten all the good stuff, including a lot of exclusive bits and bobs in the PlayStation version of Destiny. That’s because of co-marketing. Sony helps to advertise the game, saving Activision some money. In return, Sony gets the chance to brand the game as theirs in most gamers’ minds. Sony UK head Fergal Gara told Eurogamer that the game is so important to the company that they are handling it as they would an in-house developed title.

“We’re treating it, for all intents and purposes internally, as if it’s a first-party release. We’re wrapping our arms around it on all levels of the organisation. It’s a special project and an important project and it has the power to launch Christmas. It’s hugely important.”

Will the co-marketing effort pay off for Sony? Probably. These kinds of co-marketing efforts usually do exactly what they’re intended to do. Sony’s console is already in first place as far as sales, so it makes sense for Activision to push that version anyway. (You can see that the majority of Destiny players on Quarter to Three have opted for the PlayStation so far.) Last generation, Microsoft and Activision partnered on Call of Duty installments and both parties benefitted. With Bungie’s ten year strategic plan, it remains to be seen if this generation will be defined by Destiny and Sony.

You won’t be trading guns with your buddy in Destiny

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There will be no trading in Destiny. Bungie confirmed that their big-budget hybrid MMO shooter will not support the trading of loot between players in their latest weekly update. Gamers will be able to swap items between characters on the same account, but if they see a shiny piece of kit on a friend, they’ll just have to be content with looking until they find it for themselves. That nice set of armor you find in the loot chest is for you only.

As for swapping irons in the Tower? Nope. We want you to earn ’em. You should be able to tell a badass story for every sweet jewel in your arsenal.

In the same update, Bungie noted that the orbital loading screen will not be skippable when traveling to a mission location. Destiny launches on September 9th for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.

Don’t feel bad if you’re playing Destiny on an older console

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Even though Activision is spending a lot of money on Destiny’s server technology, the shooter with MMO roots won’t have cross-platform play because Bungie doesn’t want players to think one platform has a competitive advantage over the others. Bungie engineer Roger Wolfson spoke to Digital Trends and explained that even though Destiny is coming to the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One, none of them will share their worlds because the developers didn’t want a perception of unfairness.

“I’ll speak for the hypothetical player. I have a disadvantage sniping across the map because [my opponent with a next-gen console] is only two pixels on my screen and I’m four pixels on his. You see that in the world of PC gaming, where people are always racing to the best video card to give themselves the advantage.”

“Regardless of where the reality is, there’s definitely a perception among gamers that better hardware means you have an advantage. We don’t want to have to enter that fray, so to create the best, most level playing field, both actually and perceptually, we separated it by platform.”

Bungie claims the gameplay on all four platforms is nearly the same, despite the obvious power differences between last-gen and current consoles. Destiny is meant to be a multi-year franchise, so whichever hardware players use to start, Bungie wants them to have a good technical experience.

Destiny’s “That wizard came from the moon!” is a perfect meme

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If you played the PlayStation 4 preview alpha of Destiny, you may remember an early mission that had a head-scratching bit of dialogue. Much has already been written about Peter Dinklage’s less-than-enthusiastic performance as the player’s A.I. buddy, but the line “That wizard came from the moon!” intoned by the most bored robot to ever be manufactured, has all the inadvertent hilarity of a ready-made meme. Move over “The cake is a lie.” Bungie has jumped on the train early by offering limited edition t-shirts celebrating the clumsiest exposition in a game since Kevin Spacey showed up in a trailer for Call of Duty.

Profits from sales of the Destiny shirt will go to the Bungie Foundation charity organization benefiting children in hospitals.

Destiny is a $500 million gamble

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Activision’s full start-up tab for Destiny is $500 million. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick revealed the full price for Bungie’s next blockbuster video game during a conference in Los Angeles. The record-breaking game budget was mentioned when Kotick was explaining why he signed a ten-year exclusive contract with Bungie for Destiny that gave Activision worldwide distribution rights and a significant say over the franchise’s course of development.

“If you’re making a $500 million bet you can’t take that chance with someone else’s IP. The stakes for us are getting bigger.”

Activision acknowledged the figure was correct to Reuters, but clarified that the humongous price tag included marketing, royalties, and other associated costs. Activision expects to recoup the cost over the course of the series.

Bungie says a PC version of Destiny requires too much thought

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PC gamers looking forward to playing Bungie’s highly-anticipated hybrid MMO shooter, Destiny, may have a very long wait. Destiny launches on September 9th for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 3 but a PC version is not currently in the works. Bungie’s Pate Parsons explained to Eurogamer that releasing a PC version of the game is more complicated than just making a quick port.

“It is not nearly as simple as you think,” he said. “It is one central world no matter what the platform, and so that requires lots of intensive thought.

“Frankly, it’s not a thought we can spend time thinking about right now. Just building up the game and putting it across generations of platforms, and working on platforms we’ve never worked on before with the PlayStation 3, these are very big challenges. I’m thankful we have the engineering team we do.”

Later in the interview, Parsons admits that Bungie loves the PC platform and looks forward to “future conversations” regarding it.

Destiny’s Shrike may not have stompy feet, but it’s got style

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With all the hype around Titanfall, it’s been tough to remember that there is another big-budget sci-fi shooter coming out for next-gen consoles. Bungie’s Destiny features all the scientifically improbable running and gunning a nerd could want, but Titanfall has big badass mechs. Mechs! That’s tough to compete against but Bungie gently reminds gamers that their game also has futuristic vehicles. Instead of lumbering mechs, Destiny has the sleek Shrike hoverbike as depicted above. The developers promise that the appearance of your bike will improve over time. Adventures and experience you rack up will be reflected with various paint schemes.

Destiny’s beta begins this summer, and the official launch is scheduled for September 2014.