And Then There Were Two

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Last night did not quite work out entirely as intended.  My hope was to get home and do a flurry of activities quickly in order to get my hunter Nightfall ready.  This did not happen because I came home to a whole slew of other things that needed to be taken care of immediately.  Then when my wife got home she realized that she had not stopped by the store to get Halloween candy for her classes, and I threw proper clothing back on and ventured out into the cold once more so she could get on with her lesson planning and grading.  All of this mean’t that I did not even get a proper start to the evening until around 7:30 last night…  which also meant there was no way there were enough hours to accomplish all of the things that I wanted to be doing.  I bowed out of Nightfall shenanigans and instead focused on knocking out the milestones needed to unlock a second set of luminous engrams.  The most tedious of these was the crucible, because not only did I need to do enough to get the Call of Arms…  but I had yet to do the pvp required to even unlock it.  Note to self…  in the future do this as part of the leveling experience so you don’t have to burn through it when you finish 20 and complete the story.  I cannot fully express how much I loathe “competitive mode” crucible playlist and I am continuing my track record of playing it exactly two times on each character to unlock the milestone.

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From there it was grinding the Crucible and I still am not in a position where I function well in this mode on PC.  The dynamics all feel vastly different and I wound up hooking up a controller to see if the aim assist would help.  Turns out it did…  and apparently I just cannot track erratic PVP targets with the mouse as I could with the controller.  Either that or I simply need to rely on the crutch that is aim assistance.  Regardless I am super happy with the way Destiny 2 PC feels with a controller and how easy it is to swap back and forth between the two modes.  Effectively to start using the controller you just pick it up and hit a button on it, and then to switch back you just click a button on your mouse.  So often on the PC you need to choose one or the other and it has to be toggled back and forth via some nested menu structure.  Here you can so easily swap back and forth that it feels completely reasonable for me to simply choose to use controller with the crucible and mouse and keyboard for everything else.  I am also assuming that most of the vehicle sequences are going to work much better with a controller, so I might simply start picking them up and doing that as well.

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All of the last minute grind completely paid off because the extra set of luminous engrams allowed me to move my Titan’s power level ahead just a little bit.  More importantly than that… I no longer need to grind Nessus because Hawthorne awarded me a 282 Uriel’s Gift…  one of those weapons I had been desperately trying to get back.  This means I once again have my crucible setup of choice in the form of Antiope-D, Uriel’s Gift and Hawthorne’s Field-Forged Shot Gun.  There are still a bunch of weapons I am missing that I want to try and get, but unfortunately the two I am missing the most are both on the Crucible loot table.  Here is hoping the next round of luminous engrams sees me getting a Better Devils and a Play of the Game, so that I don’t have to grind out faction tokens to get them that way.  The nightfall this time is Arm’s Dealer again but with Prism… meaning that there will be a rotating buff and matching the damage type increases damage output…  and not matching it lowers it.  Additionally we have Killing Time as a modifier meaning every mob killed slowly adds time back to the timer.  It should be interesting and way more challenging than last weeks grenade fest.  In theory I will be trying to get the Nightfall on two characters from this point out, so hopefully folks really get into it.  So far they seem to be enjoying it quite a bit because while I was doing my grindy bits there were Nightfall groups attempting to get it for various folks.  This week also sets up a new goal…  getting the Warlock leveled and through all of this content so she can start adding to the luminous bonanza as well.

First Week on PC

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This is one of those mornings when I am not even sure where to start the post.  It is like I have all of these disconnected thoughts in my head and am having a very hard time wrangling them together into something that follows any manner of logical progression.  Destiny 2 released on the PC last Tuesday and since then I have played a significant amount of it, only really taking a single night off to go do something else.  According to WastedOnDestiny.com I’ve played 32 hours of the game since release…  which is officially more than I played Destiny 1 on the Xbox One.  On the PS4 I managed to make it to 267 in that very first week, and on PC I managed to break the 265 cap and push on to 271 which makes me happy.  I am nowhere near as lucky as my friend Raz was…  who is sitting at something crazy like 282.  There are ways to do this…  but they involve madness and way more grinding than I was able to get in this week or really wanted to do.  Additionally I started working on secondary characters and managed to push the Hunter to 18 while recording the podcast… and finished leveling it to 20 and making it through all but the final quest last night.  I also started up my Warlock and got her to level 8, which was mostly about getting my 5000 clan xp to help level Greysky Armada.  We managed to hit rank 3 which is extremely awesome and is largely made possible by the fact that myself and Wolfy started leveling the clan a bit on PS4 before the release of PC.

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On Friday night we decided to give the Nightfall a go, which in truth I was uncertain about given that I only actually completed the Nightfall once on the PS4 side… and even then it was a bit of a pain in the ass.  I also remembered us being significantly higher than the 250ish we were when we tried it.  Together Tamrielo, RustySpork and I managed to get the boss down with about 3 minutes left on the clock, which is not good enough for the rat king…  but makes me happy nonetheless.  Yesterday afternoon I gave it another attempt with Mor and Grace and once again finished…  but just barely with me taking down the boss via a couple of pulse grenades and auto rifle fire at about the 1 second left on the clock mark.  Mor was just barely at the 240ish requirement for zoning in, so I feel like in the future so long as we are bringing in 260s we should be fine for this.  This week also was a bit of an aberration in that it was extremely easy to cheese the objectives because of the modifier giving us insane grenade and melee regeneration.  Striker Titan with double grenades meant I could clean out a bunch of adds almost as fast as I could throw them.  They still hit insanely hard though and I just don’t have the recovery yet that I really should for doing harder content.  This largely comes from just wearing a bunch of scraps instead of something resembling a full set of gear.  I am really hoping in a few weeks I can get the full set of Titan Iron Banner gear again because it makes for a really excellent base for shenanigans.

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I would have finished the Hunter but instead I took a lengthy break Sunday afternoon and worked on doing the weekly milestones on the PS4 side of the pond.  I have to say after playing so much PC…  the console version just feels sluggish and odd.  Everything seems to move more slowly, which makes the crucible much easier…  but everything else feel really odd.  Not only was the visual fidelity much lower than even my laptop running at greatly downgraded settings…  but just the movement speed of my character felt slower.  I noticed this when doing some of the intro missions where you are limping through the city…  on the console there was a specific point I could make it to before my character was forced to pause for a moment.  On the PC I could make it considerably past that point before I was forcibly halted, so my running theory is that the PC version just has faster movement speeds.  Weirdness aside I did manage to get used to the controller again and finish up Clan XP, Call to Arms and Flashpoint milestones which were enough to finish pushing me to 305.  I feel much better hibernating the character now that it is sitting at the level cap rather than being just slightly under it.  I will probably keep logging in at least once a week to finish off these easy milestones however because I feel like I need to keep contributing some Clan XP to TQMB in addition to all the work I am doing PC side with GREY.  Eventually once I have gotten my PC characters to a more manageable state I am sure I will start doing those three main milestones on six characters…  3 on PC and 3 on PS4.  It takes me roughly an hour to do all of the things needed to earn those three luminous engrams, and after a point that becomes my routine of logging in a new character each night and getting their progress.

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I am absolutely loving playing the game on PC because it fits my play style considerably better.  With the console it forced me to be in the room I have my PS4 set up in, but with PC  I can either be playing it on my gaming desktop or downstairs on my laptop.  The laptop doesn’t run it perfectly and I am having to throttle it down to 720 p and a few other considerations…  but it runs well enough for me to be able to do almost anything I might need to do.  For something like a Nightfall where there is a timer on the line I wouldn’t want to push it…  but It is more than fine for some strikes or crucible.  My activity of choice however is still doing public events and random token farming through chests and patrols.  My goal for tonight is to attempt to push the hunter through the various things needed to unlock her three easy luminous engrams, and then to maybe get her through the Nightfall.  From there my goal by next weeks reset is to have my Warlock finished off so I can start triple dipping on the powerful rewards front.  While it has been a pure joy starting over on the PC…  I do still want to arrive back at where I left off…  and hopefully in a much faster time frame than the seven weeks it took to get me there on console.  I am booned by the fact that the game seems to have traction among the AggroChat crew and with that means that there is likely going to be raiding before too much longer.  I am assuming the raid will open up tomorrow much like it did on the console side, and then I am assuming next week we will have faction rally once more.  Destiny 2 on PC is pretty much everything I had hoped it would be.

Xur Week Seven: 10/27/17

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Xur Destiny 2

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This week Xur is located on Io in the Giant’s Scar area.  He is off to the left side of that area inside of a cave.  If you turn around and face away from Xur you should also find one of the region chests if you have not actually looted it.  This week is important because it is the first time Xur is available for PC players, and I have in fact double checked that the inventory on console and pc is exactly the same.  I however took my screenshots console side because I am still in the process of leveling all the things on PC and only have the Titan to 20… and even then I am not all of the way through the main story quest.  I noticed that the exotics were showing as level 19 and 254 instead of the 270 I was expecting, so wondering if finishing the game is a trigger for that shift to level 20 items.  I throw this out there just for folks to be careful when you spend your oh so precious legendary shards this week on the PC side of things.  Xur will be available until the weekly reset instead of disappearing sometime during the night on Saturday, so you have plenty of time to grind out more shards or get through the story.

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This week for the weapon we have D.A.R.C.I. or as I have referred to this every time I have decrypted it from an engram…   infusion fuel.  What makes this weapon interesting is that while aiming you can view the health and other information about your target through your scope with the Personal Assistant perk.  This blends with the target acquired perk that causes you to have better target acquisition and precision damage while the Personal Assistant perk is in action.  My general problem with the weapon however is that I just don’t like medium impact snipers.  This weapon has 55 impact and the snipers I tend to use personally are in the 70-90 range.  Now is the point where I start speaking out of my depth, but I always feel like this medium impact variety has to be targeted at the crucible right?  It has really high stability and handling which should in theory make scoping in on your target extremely snappy.  I just have zero interest in using a sniper rifle in PVP, and if I am going to use one in PVE I want it to pack a bigger punch.  PC players it will probably still be worth a pick up for the power level bump if nothing else.

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As far as armor goes this is a really phenomenal week and includes sort of a greatest hits collection of universally useful items.  Actium War Rig is one of the options that you can get on Titan, and if you are an auto rifle fan like me… it is probably going to be what you end up using.  The Auto-Loading Link perk causes ammo to loaded into your magazine when you stop firing the weapon at a tick rate of roughly one second.  What this means is if you are burst firing your weapon you can greatly extend the amount of time you can put off reloading giving you way more time to mop up enemies.  This works extremely well with weapons that have the rampage perk because you can keep rolling between targets without having to take the time to wait for reload, just allowing the weapon to tick once between bursts of fire.  Definitely going to pick this up for the power level and to have a more current version of this item rather than the level 105 item the game gives you.

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Warlocks have a similarly universally good item in the form of the Eye of Another World helmet.  Similarly this is an item you can pick up on Titan and the cerebral uplink perk causes you to highlight priority targets but also improves the regeneration speed of grenade, melee and rift abilities.  Its rare that an item just makes everything universally work better, but that is in fact the mission of this helm.  Once again I highly suggest picking this up for the power level if nothing else, but for anyone who chose poorly on Titan…  then here is a nice second chance to get that item.

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I’ve talked about this item before and I am not really sure what else I can add.  Knucklehead Radar is one of my favorite pieces of gear from Destiny 1 and I am super happy that it returned to Destiny 2.  The upgraded sensor pack causes radar tracking to be active while you aim down sights on every weapon.  This is just universally useful and is a crutch that I am not willing to give up while playing my hunter.  I used the hell out of the Memory of Gheleon artifact in Destiny 1 year 3…  and similarly I love this item.  Again if nothing else this is a good level boost for those PC players who are just now getting started.  I hope to be able to gather enough legendary shards before Xur leaves on Tuesday to purchase each of these items and have them ready for when I start leveling the Hunter and Warlock.

Xur Destiny 1

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As has been the case the last few weeks, I am also doing the information about Xur in Destiny 1 lest we not all abandon the players who are still enjoying that game.  You can find Xur in the tower next to Lord Shaxx.  This week he brought something interesting…  the Jade Rabbit which was previously an exclusive for the PS4 players.  I had heard that the embargo had been lifted on selling the PS4 exclusive items, but I am guessing this is hard proof.  Here is a quick rundown of what he has brought for us this week.

  • Legacy Helmet Engram – 29 Strange Coins
  • An Insurmountable Skullfort – Titan Helm – 13 Strange Coins
  • Crest of Alpha Lupi – Hunter Chest – 13 Strange Coins
  • Claws of Ahamkara – Warlock Arms – 13 Strange Coins
  • Jade Rabbit – Scout Rifle – 23 Strange Coins
  • Hawkmoon and Moonglow Ornament – 30 Strange Coins 25 Silver Dust
  • Tresspasser and Crucible Assassin Ornament – 30 Strange Coins 25 Silver Dust

Twenty Again

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I do not have a whole hell of a lot to talk about this morning so the post is going to be brief.  Last night I went to the simulcast of Rifftrax Live Night of the Living Dead because there was no way I was going to miss that.  Predictably it was pretty great and had also been a really long time since I had seen the original black and white film.  There is a group of us from work that do this was a semi regular thing and its always a lot of fun.  This however meant that I was giving up play time on “night two” of the PC release to spend time doing stuff in the real world.  By the time I got home I was pretty out of it, but I did manage to limp across the finish line to level 20.  This morning I spent a few of the tokens I had banked up and managed to get to 211 power level.  That means tonight is all about actually finishing the main story because I dropped off before the transition to the planet Io.  I have a bunch of goals… not the least of which is to finish the story so I can unlock the “end game” and all of the group activities.  The other goal is to gather up enough purple stuff so that I can have the legendary shards ready and waiting for Xur to arrive tomorrow.  The theory is to buy the 270 weapon and armor to give myself a boost so that when I start decoding the higher tier engrams that my light level is greatly inflated.  Other than that…  not a whole lot to talk about this morning so going ahead and cutting this post off.

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A Smooth Landing

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Yesterday was of course the launch of the PC version of Destiny 2.  After years of rough launches I did not attempt to take the day off because I have been bit hard by that in the past.  However it appears like everything went relatively smoothly and starting about noon I saw friends poking their heads into the game for the first time.  Sure there were some issues, namely that the Clan roster seemed to be non-functional for all but a few people…  but I remember us going through that at the PS4 launch as well so maybe that is one of the more fragile systems.  There is a reported rash of bannings but I am uncertain how big of a deal this really is given that the internet tends to “memeify” everything to raise the sodium levels.  To the best of my knowledge no one that I know got bit by whatever bug is occurring.  It has been blamed on discord or obs or any other manner of software…  but I know folks who streamed all day long yesterday and most everyone I know is running discord…  so I sincerely doubt it is one of those.  After years of seeing players cry foul… only to be busted by devs for doing some nefarious shit I am taking this with a giant truck load of salt.

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I did not make it anywhere near as far as I had hoped to make it last night.  I got a bit of a late start and then had to walk away from screen for a bit to go retrieve sustenance and consume it.  At this point I am up to the start of Io in the quest chain and dinged level 14 just before logging for the night.  I had visions of hitting level 20 and then potentially wrapping up the extremely long tail end of the story tonight after coming back from Rifftrax.  That is just not a thing that is going to happen, however I should be on pace to at least get to 20 on Thursday night.  I have to admit a lot of my evening was spent getting used to the keyboard and mouse controls.  I didn’t want to simply plug a controller into my PC and continue on like I had been on the PS4.  I wanted to get adjusted to playing the PC version, and it took way longer than I had hoped to begin remapping my reflexes.  I was super pumped when I noticed that apparently it kept my keybindings from beta so I did not have to try and remap everything.  It has been weird learning how to do things like the shield throw with a keyboard and mouse, when previously it was just so instinctive.

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Everything comes out so much crisper and clearer on the PC that I noticed something I had apparently never noticed before on the console.  I had no clue that Sloan had a bunch of Warhammer 40k purity seals on her left shoulder pad.  At first I thought maybe this was an addition to the PC, but after checking the PS4 they are in fact there.  The lower fidelity of the PS4 experience just made them not stand out nearly as well as they do on PC because the lighting is massively better.  The game really feels like it was meant to be played on a PC and there are moments where you just have to stop and enjoy the vistas now that you can see clearly off in the distance.  I sat and watched the ocean and the lightning storms for a few minutes while standing around idly on Titan and they were breathtaking.  All in all I think it was a pretty damned smooth launch and the PC version is living up to all of my hopes.  I am going to still take awhile to rewire my impulses because right now I feel way more sluggish with keyboard and mouse than with the controller.  However I guess it is to be expected considering I played heavily for over three years in this world using thumb sticks.

Weapons I Will Miss

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I cannot fully explain just how damned hard it is going to be to make it through today.  What I mean by that is I did not take the day off for the launch of Destiny 2 on PC, and I know that it will be launching halfway through the day and I will start wishing I was home and able to be playing.  While I have played the hell out of Destiny 2 on the PS4, the PC beta just felt better to me than the console interface.  Destiny 1 was the game that essentially taught me how to play shooters on a console, and in spite of how much progress I have made in my ability to get the controller to do what I want it to do…  it still feels like a foreign territory.  When I sat down to play the PC beta, it was like coming home…  everything that had been slightly off with Destiny was set right just by being able to use a keyboard and mouse.  I realize that after the hundreds of hours that I have poured into the console version there is going to be an adjustment period, but also one I am more than willing to deal with.  When trying to decide what to blog this morning I thought about what I would actually miss in the transition.  It wasn’t the sets of gear from Iron Banner or the Faction Rally that I farmed up, or the fact that I had three almost power capped characters.  Ultimately the part I am going to miss the most is my arsenal of favorite weapons.  As a result this morning I thought I would talk a little about each of them.

Kinetic Weapons

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In order for me to love a Hand Cannon it needs a handful of attributes, the primary being an extremely high impact rating and the secondary being a decent magazine size.  With extended mag I am able to take the magazine to 13 rounds, and the 84 out of 100 impact definitely fits the bill as well.  The fact that the weapon has another of my favorite perks…  explosive payload which causes an AOE damage burst on impact is just icing on the cake.  The last few nights I have been farming tokens on Io and running around with this weapon equipped and having a blast shredding mobs.  This comes from the crucible so I am absolutely hoping I get an early lucky drop.  While there are a bunch of other hand cannons that are vying for my attention… Better Devils keeps winding up my favorite.

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I feel like Origin Story is likely the best kinetic auto rifle in the game, though I am sure I would hear some logical arguments on that point.  Ultimately why I love it is that it feels rock solid and stable in the slightly slower/harder hitting 450 rpm category.  It has fairly good range and can take down targets at a distance so long as you are firing controlled bursts.  The rampage perk is amazing especially if you are dealing with waves of enemies, and you can even leverage this extra damage if you are fast enough to get in additional burn time on bosses.  The good thing about this weapon is that it will probably be the easiest to get because you get the choice of it and two other weapons from finishing a strike milestone after you hit level 20.  As a result I take comfort that I won’t be going without this one for too terribly long.

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Among the most fickle weapon choices in my line up is Antiope-D…  one of the weapons the Gunsmith offers but is on a significantly rarer drop table.  I’ve turned in over a hundred gunsmith packages and I’ve only gotten one of these in total among all of my characters.  What makes this weapon so special is that while a submachine gun it lives in the slower 600 rpm bracket and as a result has significantly better stability and recoil pattern than its cousins.  The end product means if feels like firing a Destiny 1 Hakke auto rifle like the Zarinaea-D, which was among my favorite weapons in year one.  This is part of my base crucible loadout and does a great job of shutting down enemy players when they get too close for comfort, but also has enough range that you can chase them a little with it.  I am hoping the luck is with me and I am able to find this fairly early on.  If not there are some reasonable replacements…  but nothing will ever tarnish the memory of this weapon.

Energy Weapons

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Uriel’s Gift is a beast and there is really no other way to describe it.  This is the other half of my stock crucible loadout and the weapon that does most of the work as far as getting kills from range.  Much like Origin Story it lives in the more stable 450 rpm bracket for auto rifles and features quite possibly the single best perk right now in the game…  high-caliber rounds.  For those unfamiliar this causes your target to flinch making it much harder for them to keep the targeting reticle trained on you.  Now this works for NPCs and causes them to sort of stun lock while you are fighting them… but for enemy players it is extremely frustrating because it makes it insanely hard to actually fight back.  Additionally the weapon has Tap the Trigger which gives you extra stability and aim assist when you first engage a target.  I fully expect this weapon to be nerfed in the near future, but for the time being I am loving using it.  This one can come from Nessus, Gunsmith or an Engram because I have seen it drop from all three, so I am hoping that ups my chances of actually getting one quickly.

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Generally speaking I am not a big fan of Scout Rifles and will talk at length about this fact if anyone gives me half a chance.  There is an entire cult of the MIDA Multi Tool that I just do not understand because the weapon feels horrible to me.  The irony is… my favorite scout rifle the Manannan SR4 is in that exact same archetype bracket.  I am not exactly sure what it is about this weapon… the look, the feel, the sound and visual effects…  but whatever the case I like using it.  It does not hurt that it also has explosive payload that I talked a bit about earlier.  Lately I have been pairing this with my Better Devils in grinding planetary content because the combo gives me nice reliable ranged kill options and up close and personal stopping power.  This is primarily a gunsmith package drop as far as I am aware and I am hoping I get it pretty early.  Truth be told I will likely infuse my MIDA into it when I finish that quest.

Power Weapons

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While I have flirted with other shotgun options, much like its name… this is the most reliable and battle ready.  I’ve gotten it from a few sources but it still remains my go to shotgun for melting bosses that I can actually get up close and personal with.  Thanks to Destiny 1 spoiling me… a shotgun has to have the full auto perk in order for me to really care about it.  This actually seems to be pretty damned rare as far as weapons go in Destiny 2.  While I have found a few options with it, this gun seems to be the most reasonable to use and capable of dishing out the sort of damage I am wanting.  Hawthorne is one of my favorite characters, so it is only fitting that her signature gun goes down on this list as well.

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I’ve talked about this weapon at length the few times I have mentioned it in this blog.  There are those who call this the Destiny 2 Gjallarhorn and it is maybe not that incorrect of a statement.  The amount of sustained damage this thing can pump out is significant, especially when you combine it with a rapid reload ability like the titan rally shield or hunter dodge.  The exotic perk Conserve Momentum causes non-lethal hits with the weapon to lower your charge time.  This is significant and after a few shots it feels like an almost instant fire fusion rifle.  I regularly use this to single-handedly melt the cabal gunships during public events to push it to heroic in a single round.  It will oneshot most yellow bars and help you shred anything else.  Its biggest negative is the relatively small magazine size at 8 and the sluggish reload speed… which is ultimately why you want to pair this with some sort of a speed reload mechanic.  Regardless if you get your hands on this weapon I highly suggest checking it out.  It was the very first exotic I got in Destiny 2 on PS4 so hoping I find it again quickly on the PC side.

So these are my favorite weapons so far and the ones I use in the most regular rotation.  What are some of your favorites that I missed?  Drop me a line in the comments and let me know what weapon you are looking forward to getting again.

 

Ready For Launch

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With the launch of Destiny 2 on PC tomorrow I mulled around at great length over this extended weekend on how to best commemorate the moment in blog form.  Over the course of the last seven weeks since the launch of Destiny 2on the PS4 my blog has been filled with a bunch of information about the game in general.  For the most part I have tried very hard to stay the hell away from story spoilers, but inevitably some of them will have made their way through that mental filter.  As a result I thought today I would sit down and write out some general tips about the game, links to tools that I use, and the sources of information I consume.

The Classes of Destiny 2

One of the most important decisions that you are going to make from the moment you fire up the game is what class best fits your play style.  Ultimately you are probably going to roll one character of each class because your vault is shared between all of your characters.  However you are still going to likely end up with one you consider your main.  For me I have been maining Titan since the moment I set eyes on the class and nothing so far has caused me to stray too far off the path.  However I have friends who feel equally passionate about the Warlock or Hunter.  Essentially each class has a core fantasy that it is based around and I am going to take a few minutes to talk about each and their specializations.

destiny_2_titan_parade_emblemThe Titan

The core class fantasy is the “Space Tank” for lack of a better term for it.  This is a beefy class that benefits from increased resilience.  Among the guardians these are the front line defenders and have a storied history surrounding the defence of the last city on earth and the Tower.  It has specializations based on each of the three core elements in the game.

  • Sentinel “Void Captain America” – this class wields void energy and can form it in a shield that they can then use to attack enemies.  This can be thrown as a ranged attack, used as an enhanced melee swing or consumed to generate a protective bubble.
  • Sunbreaker “Super Hammer Bros” – this class wields fire energy and uses it to hurl flaming hammers at their opponents.  There are various tweaks that can be chosen like one that causes the hammers to leave flaming puddles on the ground.
  • Striker “Hulk Smash” – this class wields arc energy and uses it to slam down at the ground causing a giant area of effect attack knocking enemies back and dealing damage to them.  Additionally there are tweaks that let the class crash into opponents when running at high speed and general a much smaller but equally effective version of the slam.

destiny_2_warlock_parade_emblemThe Warlock

The core class fantasy is the “Space Wizard” and you are going to wield magic energy and sling it at your opponents.  The core stat for the Warlock is recovery causing them to bounce back from damage quicker, and they also serve an interesting role as a sort of field medic by being able to drop a shield regeneration puddle on the ground.  Once again they have specializations based on each of the three elements.

  • Dawnblade “Flaming Angel” – this specialization sees the Warlock equip a flaming sword and sprout wings of fire allowing them to hover in the air for short periods of time hurling down fireballs with each swing of their sword.
  • Voidwalker “Void Nuke” – this specialization involves channeling the void into a giant ball of energy that they hurl at their opponents.  Additionally they have the ability to devour energy with their melee hits that they can then use to regenerate their shield.
  • Stormcaller “Emperor Palpatine” – this specialization channels the arc energy into bolts of lightning that fly forth from their hands as they float in the air.  There are some tweaks that allow them to teleport while in this state leaving puddles of electricity on the ground.

destiny_2_hunter_parade_emblemThe Hunter

The core class fantasy here is something along the lines of a “Space Ranger” they combine aspects of rogue, gunslinger and the traditional gambler archetype into one class.  The core class attribute is mobility which will allow them to have a slightly higher base movement speed, and similarly they can dodge out of harm’s way.  They have potentially the widest variety as far as their specializations go.

  • Gunslinger “Three Shot Wonder” – This fire sub class allows them to fire “golden gun” which are three shots that effectively one shot any player and take off a sizeable amount of damage from bosses.  Additionally the class gets the interesting perk of being able to use a ranged melee attack in the form of throwing knives.
  • Arcstrider “Pole Dancer” – This class has the most interesting weapon in the form of a staff made of arc energy that it then uses in a combo system to cause extremely high damage melee attacks.  If you can master the class you will be able to leap across the battlefield and do some really impressive things.
  • Nightstalker “Void Archer” – This specialization literally allows you to materialize a bow out of void energy and fire it at your opponents.  When fired at something other than a player it leaves a ball of void energy on the ground that tethers and blinds targets nearby causing them to take extra damage.

General Tips and Thoughts

  • Get Your Unlocks Out of the Way – There is going to come a point in the main story quest where a number of the NPCs start giving you side quests.  Each one of these is something you are going to want to do because they will ultimately unlock the endgame activities. Especially if you are not level 20 yet these are a good boost of XP when they finally unlock.
  • Trash Your Early Exotics – You will get a few exotics through the main story quest but they will be locked to a specific power level and you will out level them.  You could in theory infuse these up, but remember that you can always rebuy your exotics at 205 power level from the collections tab in your vault for only 10 legendary shards.  I found it easier just to pick them up again once I hit level 20 than to keep infusing them.
  • Save 5 Blue Scout Rifles – Once you hit 20 there will be a planetary quest chain that will require you to dismantle 5 blue or better scout rifles.  When you hit this point you are going to be in a mad dash to get them to drop unless you simply start banking them while you level.
  • Adventures Give Unlock Points – generally speaking while you are leveling the various planetary adventures give you unlock points for your subclasses just like leveling up.  Make sure you check each one and I highly suggest hitting up the ones that have a skill point waiting for you.
  • Do Public Events and Lost Sectors – You will be handed one specialization for your class, but in order for you to get the other two you have to unlock them through drops.  These come from doing stuff on planets like Lost Sectors and Public Events.  If you happen upon an event I highly suggest doing them so you can finish unlocking these specializations.
  • Learn How To Convert Public Events to Heroic – One of the interesting things about public events in Destiny 2 is that they all have some trigger that allows you to push them into a Heroic version where the rewards are significantly greater.  I highly suggest you check out the guide I wrote some time ago on how to convert each of them.  Nothing is more frustrating than trying to convert an event when some player is actively working against you without likely meaning to.
  • Hold Off on Powerful Rewards – There will be milestones that state they reward “powerful rewards” that ultimately give you what is called a Luminous Engram.  You want to hold off on using these for as long a possible because they are going to be your single best way to get power level increases once you have hit the 270 soft cap.  Once you have finished a milestone you can hold onto the reward without turning it in and at the end of the week when reset happens they will be automatically mailed to you.
  • Multiple Classes Multiple Rewards – Ultimately if you want to maximize your luminous engrams you are going to probably end up rolling one of each class because they will all get their own set of milestones to turn in.  While armor does not swap between classes, you can swap your weapons via the vault or some of the tools I will share with you below.  This will allow you to keep bumping up your power level by doing multiple sets of turn ins, each time swapping your best gear onto the next character.
  • Keep Returning to Tess Everis – As you level your character Tess Everis the Eververse vendor will keep giving you free packages.  When you reach the level cap of 20, each time you fill an experience bar you will get a “Bright Engram” aka one of the same loot boxes that are sold with the cash currency.  You gain a rested buff that will allow you to get three of these easily each week by doing stuff in game.  As a result the cash shop option really is not needed or that appealing.
  • Save Legendaries You Like – unlike the exotics mentioned above… there is no way to reclaim a lost legendary other than to hope it drops again.  The infusion system allows for you to take a weapon that you loved while leveling and bump it up to current levels.  More importantly start looking out for gear with legendary mods on them, because they will help you bump your power levels up more than normal gear.  Ultimately gear is going to be personal preference, test everything and keep the things you love.
  • Join A Clan – This one I almost forgot but joining a clan is going to unlock a bunch of things eventually.  However up front joining before you have leveled is going to help you in two ways.  Firstly your leveling experience is going to count towards clan experience and help level the clan.  Secondly you will gain more than the 5000 xp needed to unlock the first clan luminous engram, which is going to be your easiest powerful gear reward each week.  Additionally once the clan has leveled it is going to unlock a bunch of perks on the clan banner item Hawthorne is going to hand you.

Powerful Tools

destinyitemmanager

Destiny Item Manager is the single most powerful tool that I use with the game because it does a few things that you just can’t do without third party intervention.  Say you are going on a strike but your forgot your favorite weapon in the vault.  Using the game interface this would require a trip back to a social space to retrieve it and then having to requeue for the activity.  Destiny Item Manager allows you to swap gear in and out of your vault and between your characters while in game… even in the middle of an activity.  Additionally it has some really interesting tools that allow you to filter and compare stats on gear as well as a really badass duplicate item finger to help clear that vault clutter.  If you so choose you can create weapon loadouts and swap them in and out of your character with the click of your mouse.  It is also remarkably mobile friendly so I highly suggest checking it out.

destinysets

Destiny Sets is a relatively new tool that I just started using.  Functionally it shows you every single piece of gear in the game and where it comes from.  More than that it also keeps track of the items you have and the items you still need.  When you are running three characters this becomes extremely useful especially if you get an item… and are short on inventory space and cannot remember if you needed it or not.  This gives you a quick at a glance rundown allowing you to get back in the action quicker.  This was super helpful during both Iron Banner and Faction rally in trying to track what I had and what I was missing on each character.

destinytracker

Destiny Tracker is the defacto tracking and statistics site.  It harvests information from the bungie api and keeps track on all sorts of stats.  This is heavily used by PVP players and even has a tool that lets you track what is going on in the current game.  Until recently this was how I was sorting out how much time I had spent playing this or that activity.  However a current bug is causing the API to return the incorrect amounts of time, and this has affected both this site and Wasted on Destiny.

Informational Sites

  • Bungie.net – the official website for Destiny and all Bungie games.  This is especially useful for the This Week At Bungie column that usually appears on Thursdays.
  • DestinyTheGame Reddit – if you are on a low sodium diet then I would probably suggest staying away from this site or the next site.  However the official/unofficial reddit is still a decent source of information.
  • Destiny Official Forums – this can have gems especially if you are having a very specific problem with the game.  However for the most part it is a good deal of angry players lashing out at whoever they can.  I highly suggest you maybe limit your time here.

One of the problems with the Destiny community is that there really isn’t much of a blog presence.  I guess in truth this is only really a problem if this is your preferred method of informational intake.  I am honestly likely the closest thing we have to a dedicated blog… and I am not dedicated to ONLY Destiny.  Instead you find yourself venturing onto YouTube to get your drip of information and analysis.  I preface this section largely because you will need to shift your thinking and effectively treat these sources as though they were blogs.

Helpful YouTube Channels

  • Arekkz Gaming – While he plays a significant number of other games his Destiny 2 videos are some of the best on YouTube.  They are will scripted, informationally dense and are extremely timely.  This is probably your best condensed source of the news without a lot of extraneous commentary.
  • Unknown Player – This is still an excellent source of news but since he is primarily a PVP player it is going to more of a focus on the crucible and trials meta than a lot of other sources.  Still definitely someone I listen to on a reasonable rotation.
  • Mesa Sean – As a fellow “old man gamer” I love this guy because I relate to him on several levels.  He makes an effort to be a positive voice for the community and shrugs off a lot of the salt when it is floating around.
  • Patrick Casey – aka Holtzman – Patrick used to do a good deal of the videos for planet destiny, namely the deep dive technical videos and when he left that channel…  it was clear that he was the real force behind that information.  Now his channel is packed full of the most technical and in the weeds information but sometimes you want to deep dive into the performance of a specific weapon.
  • My Name is Byf – While still a great source of news, the reason why I go to Byf is for the lore behind the game.  Before the console launch he did this amazing two hour long video explaining the majority of the lore behind the original Destiny game and I highly suggest you check it out if you have the time.
  • Myelin Games – This is a very lore centric channel and does some amazing deep dives and speculative journeys that piece together what we know and theorize about what we don’t.  If you get hooked on Destiny and want to know more about the universe, then by all means check this channel out.

I feel like I have just dumped a ton of information on you.  It will take some time to synthesize or even decide if you want to synthesize it.  The Destiny universe is a rich one with so many different rabbit trails running off in interesting directions.  Similarly the Destiny community is extremely awesome in building tools or sharing information.  If you find yourself having issues in your PC launch journeys feel free to drop me a line and I will try and answer whatever questions that might arise.  Either that or join the Beyond the Light discord community that I have created for the PC launch.  I have so much love for this game and I am ready to share it with all of the new people just getting to play it for the first time now that it is on PC.  If you are curious how I actually plan on leveling myself after already experiencing the game multiple times…  I also wrote up a post about that.

Xur Week Six: 10/20/17

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Destiny 2_20171020075534

I am technically on vacation right now and as a result I am getting around to making my Friday post much later than normal.  I am not sure how much this matters given that I am not one of the 4 am youtube crew that posts the news the moment Xur shows up.  This week I think we can officially confirm that Xur likely only has one spawn place per planet, because much like Nessus last week…  he is in the same location as before on Titan.  This means he is inside a little hut in The Rig sections of Titan, just a short distance from the drop zone.  You will potentially wind your way past some high value targets, so make sure you keep an eye open for either a weirdly named Captain or a pair of Servitors as you move to where Xur is.  The fallen will not go into the room he is located in, but they will absolutely hang out at the door and shoot you so you might need to do a little clean up on the way in as well.  Without further delay lets get into what Papa Xur brought us today.

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For those who played either the Console or PC betas, Sweet Business was the weapon handed to titans in Shaxx’s armory during the homecoming mission.  I decided then that I didn’t much care for it, but we will get into that a bit later.  This represented the only Exotic weapon I had yet to see in Destiny 2 that was not tied to a quest.  I am still technically missing the Rat King and the raid Shotty but I purchased Sweet Business for literally no reason other than to get the collection unlock.  Sweet Business seems to be one of those “your mileage may vary” weapons because I personally do not like it at all.  However it has a legion of fans that love to use it.  My issue is really a two part problem, firstly it takes awhile for this weapon to ramp up to maximum output.  Secondly 99 seems like a lot of bullets until you are firing these out at the maximum RPM after the ramp up time and then it feels like you have next to no ammo reserves.  This is miserable to use in the crucible because you effectively need to treat it as though it were a fusion rifle and predict the target coming into your field of view and make sure you are firing ahead of time.  The huge benefit of this weapon though is that it causes a massive amount of flinch in targets due to the High-Caliber rounds, and in most cases you can kill the target before they ever recover and deal damage to you.  It is certainly fun to play with but seems like a gimmick and I tend to prefer more reliable weapons in my kinetic slot.

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The Doom Fang Pauldrons are both a week one repeat and available through the main story quest when you finish Titan.  That said they are really amazing arms if you prefer maining the Sentinel sub class on your titan.  The exotic perk Horns of Doom makes it so that shield bashes during your super reset the cooldown of your melee charge, allowing you to throw your shield yet again.  This allows you to get a nice rhythm of throw, bash, throw, bash, etc until you run out of super energy.  This also stacks nicely with Code of the Aggressor that gives you a second shield throw out of the gate, however it only gives you one free throw instead of one each time you get a new melee charge.  Well worth picking up if you chose another option during that main story quest or even if your old one is woefully low light.

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The Raiden Flux is yet another week one repeat but a similarly sub class defining one.  From what I understand this is the defacto exotic for Arcstriders in part because the Exotic perk allows you to extend the duration of your super.  I personally prefer playing Gunslinger because of the utility of throwing knives, but I know a ton of people who like the acrobatics of the energy staff/spear class.  There isn’t a whole lot more that I can really say about this item other than if you don’t already have it you should probably go ahead and pick it up.  I will likely never stop using my Knucklehead Radar because I like 100% uptime on my tracking…  but this is seemingly a great option for that one specific sub class.  I’ve shifted towards preferring to use more generic non-class specific exotics, but I will always be missing out on some nifty intrinsic perks that come with matching the right item to the right class.

Destiny 2_20171020080055

Do you like the punch things a lot?  If so Winter’s Guile may be for you because the exotic Warlord’s Sigil perk causes melee kills to increase your next melee attack.  This perk stacks up to 5 times and you have roughly 2-3 seconds between kills to keep the chain going.  So in situations where you are getting swarmed you are going to be able to punch your way out of trouble, especially with devour active.  I’ve heard reports of players punching tier 1 enemies for 3000 damage with a full 5 stack, so these can dish out silly amounts of damage.  It almost makes me a little jealous that this is a Warlock item and not a Titan item.  The negative side of this…  is that they are SUPER situationally useful.  How many times are you really in a situation where you have mobs stacked in a fashion that you can really hit one every two seconds?  To make matters worse Warlocks have the slowest movement ability, which means you are going to have to rely on the very hard to use blink if you want to do any sort of gap closing.  Titan skating between various mobs in the same room seems doable…  Warlock blinking is a much more challenging proposal.  If you are up to the challenge then by all means grab these and punch some baddies.

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For Destiny 1 players, this week Xur is located at the Tower in the Vanguard area on the right side.  I am not sure if anyone cares about this but it sorta makes me feel better that I at least do.  Waiting on Xur to show up was always a magical thing and seeing how much stuff the old school version carries…  makes me hope they give the updated version something other than a handful of repeat Exotics.  Lets get into the goods…

  • Legacy Primary Weapon Engram – 31 Strange Coins
  • Immolation Fists – Titan Arms – 13 Strange Coins
  • Graviton Forfeit – Hunter Helm – 13 Strange Coins
  • Transversive Steps – Warlock Boots – 13 Strange Coins
  • Super Good Advice – Heavy Machinegun – 17 Strange Coins
  • Invective and Storms Reproach Ornament – 30 Strange Coins 25 Silver Dust
  • Suros Regime and Basilisk’s Glory Ornament – 30 Strange Coins 25 Silver Dust

 

Bust Week

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Destiny 2_20171019072420

I had this hope of being able to hit the 305 power cap on at least one of my characters prior to the release of the PC version this coming Tuesday.  This is not something that is going to happen, in part because all of my luminous engrams were largely slots that I already had filled with something sitting at 305 level already.  Yesterday morning I wrapped up the powerful milestones on my Hunter and last night I finished them up on the Warlock.  With the Hunter I managed to move up a single point taking her to 304 and with the Warlock I managed to shift slightly to 303 from 302.  So in truth I did make progress… just not on the character I was hoping to.  The core problem is the duplicates that you wind up getting in the game, or at least the fact that it keeps giving me items for the same slots.  For example on my Warlock I have 4 305 helms, my Hunter 3…  my Titan none because he actually needs that slot.  I miss the slot based infusion system from Destiny 1 year 2 and beyond so much, because I would in theory have multiple characters at 305 light were that still the case.  The other annoyance for me is the number of duplicate weapons I keep getting, for example the game thinks I apparently love Pulse Rifles, Sniper Rifles, Grenade Launchers, and Sub Machineguns because I have several of those waiting to be infused into something the moment I get my hands on another kinetic mod.

I guess the silver lining here is just how many weapons I now have at 305, but unfortunately I have yet to get a single auto rifle for infusion fuel so while I am actually doing events I am still not at my maximum possible power level.  For max level primaries I have the options of the Antiope-D, Vigilance Wing or Better Devils.  For max level energy slot I have the option of Conspirator, Last Hope or Inaugural Address.  Then in the power slot we have a silly number of options pretty much including any power weapon that I would actually want to use.  In theory there is still hope because I could start grinding something on the Titan and hope for exotics to help pave the way.  There is also the Nightfall engram that may or may not include something useful, and similarly the raid engram.  All of that said though I feel like there is a very slim chance that I am actually going to get 305 power this week, and will in turn simply not hit it on the PS4 for some time given starting next week I am really only going to care about the PC launch.  Basically any progress I made on these characters will go into hibernation mode until I can reach a similar place on the PC side of just progressing each week through doing the milestones.  At that point I will probably start doing six characters worth of milestones, because I do silly things.

Going to take this moment to plug a few things before I wrap things up.  I am on vacation the next few days so that is in part why I am getting a late start this morning with the blog.  Firstly I want to plug Beyond the Light the clan-agnostic Destiny 2 PC discord.  The idea being that since so many people will be in so many different clans at PC launch, we can sort of use this to help bind a community together among the greater blog and twitter sphere.  Secondly Greysky Armada our FFXIV/GW2/etc guild has a presence in Destiny 2 PC.  I’ve talked about this before but as it stands I will be keeping my characters on PS4 side in Tequila Mockingbird, but on the PC side I will be with my Greysky crew.  Lastly with the PC launch coming up so quickly… if you find you need help getting started or answering questions please let me know.  I am sorta an overflowing font of useless information about the games that I obsess about… and I most definitely obsess about Destiny/Destiny 2.  More than willing to answer questions or help folks out if they get lost along the way.  Actually Lastly….  the PC version is now available for pre-load through the Battle.net client and I got it installed on both my desktop and laptop last night so that I am ready to go.  I suggest you do the same to beat the day one patch rush.

Jiangshi Finally

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One of the issues with Destiny 2 is what I have called the progression problem.  I am stuck in a gravity well right now and finding it impossible to get out of it.  I’ve been sitting at 304 for two weeks now and once again the Tuesday reset has come and given me no forward momentum to break free.  In there were I raiding or doing the nightfall on a regular basis I would be opening up more chances to get unstuck.  However if you are not doing raid, trials or nightfall…  essentially you have three milestones each week to have a shot of improving your overall power level.  Last night I streamed for the first time in a very long time, and on Twitch no less…  so you can in theory see the entire journey of what I do on each character every week.  Unfortunately I got two sets of arms and a chestpiece, all of which armor slots that I already had and also as a result…  I am no closer to 305 than I was at the start of the evening.  Right now I am down to needing helm, boots and class item and unfortunately Destiny 2 doesn’t really give me any options to do some activity that targets those specific slots.  I need to try to get the Nightfall in this week for no reason other than it offers a few more chances at getting some progress.

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To add insult to injury I got nothing really from the Cayde-6 chests including one of them literally dropping nothing at all.  Bungie is apparently still tracking down this bug so I fired off a few responses to them stating what I did.  I literally landed on the planet Titan and started chasing chests, with the 3rd chest I opened in a row producing no results.  I am sure this is some sort of anti-chest farming routine that takes away rewards if you open too many chests in too short of time.  The thing is… do we really need this?  What are they trying to prevent, given that there is no actual economy in this game to protect?  This honestly feels less like protection and more like purposeful throttling of the player base, which is sort of the theme I keep feeling with them tamping down the number of sources we can use to improve our power level.  I am wondering if post TwitchCon this weekend things might loosen up a bit.  My working theory is that they are trying to keep the console community strung along until the PC release happens…  that way they do not have to maintain two vastly different release schedules.  As a result I have this feeling that the PC time table will be accelerated in an attempt to get the two platforms back in synchronization.

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Yesterday I talked a bit about chasing some of the rarer drops from the Gunsmith and one in particular… the Jiangshi AR4 by Omolon.  Other than the fun hanging out while streaming…  last night was a bit of a bummer because it meant that I felt like I made no progress.  As I was winding down the evening… I opted to spend down my Gunsmith packages a bit and much to my shock finally got the weapon I had been questing for.  Granted I am still looking for the Frontier Justice Hakke Scout Rifle… but that is a mission for another day.  I played with this weapon quite a bit in the crucible as I started the weekly grind process on my hunter… and other than the fact that it needs some infusion fuel…  it is so damned good.  I had latched onto Uriel’s Gift and generally use that weapon, but the Jiangshi is also extremely fun and probably going to get some rotation along with The Number.  The big thing this weapon has going for it is the stability and the big strike against it…  it lacks Uriel’s overpower High-Caliber rounds.  I have a feeling that post TwitchCon there is going to be a massive nerf of High-Caliber rounds and as a result the other weapons that are not Uriel’s Gift are going to start to shine a bit more.  I would love to stream more often because I had a lot of fun last night, but not even sure when I would make it happen on a regular basis.