Ready For Launch

Destiny 2_20170906055656

Destiny 2_20170906055656

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.

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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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Destiny 2_20171017201004

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.

Lowering the Banner

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The first Iron Banner of Destiny 2 is officially over, and in spite of my comments yesterday…  I did legitimately enjoy myself for a good part of it.  It was only towards the end when things started to really grate on my nerves.  Last night for example was a really bad night where a combination of my general fatigue, my left index finger being sliced, and the fact that somehow I had gotten into what Destiny Tracker calls the platinum bracket…  served to lead to a series of not so fun matches.  I had every intent to grind out the daily milestone on each of the three characters, but in the end only managed to complete it on the hunter.  I am a little disappointed that I never got the Hand Cannon, but from what I am seeing my luck was considerably better than most players.  Here is my final haul for the 60 matches of Iron Banner I played over the course of last week…

  • 7 or 8 Unique Weapons – lots of dupes dropped
  • 5 piece set of Titan armor – lots of dupes dropped
  • 2 of 5 pieces of the Hunter armor set

All in all that really isn’t too bad of a haul for the very first running of Iron Banner.  This ultimately gives me the entire set of Warlock gear and most of a set of Hunter gear to get next go round.  Additionally there is still the chase for the Hand Cannon.  That is way more useful loot than I tended to get from several months worth of Iron Banner during Destiny 1.  Sure it was interesting to get a bunch of different weapon rolls…  but ultimately most of those wound up being trash.  The likelihood of me getting that god roll weapon was pretty limited, and in truth I think I like having a fixed point to focus on rather than not only hoping to get an item… but hoping it isn’t a garbage fire stat wise.  There are still a significant number of legendary drops that I have never seen.  For example I am still chasing the Jiangshi AR4 from the Gunsmith, and its not just a collector thing…  I really want to play with it because I loved the green version I got while leveling.

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As far as the weapons go… I am not sure if I really have it in me to do a review of them all.  I spent some time last night while grinding out Io tokens playing with them all… and most of them are completely reasonable.  I realize that is not exactly a glowing review, but in many cases I already have a weapon I just like better in that slot.  The Time-Worn Spire is a really solid pulse rifle, in an era when that entire class of weapons seems to be outclassed by practically anything else.  I’ve become a huge fan of the Forward Path auto rifle as well, but it has some pretty stiff competition for my time with the Origin Story and Ghost Primus.  The real breakout weapon for me shockingly is the Wizened Rebuke, if for no reason other than the fact that you can hit 100 impact with it if you so choose.  That said I feel like the weapon performs better if you are outfitting it for 95 impact…  which still makes it significantly harder hitting than all but the Shock and Awe in my vault.  Sure it has insanely slow recharge rate, but if I am going to use a Fusion it is likely going to be in a PVE situation where the charge time isn’t that big of a problem.  Essentially this just became my legendary fusion of choice when I cannot for whatever reason use Merciless as my exotic.

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The other weapon that I found myself shocked to actually enjoy is Guiding Sight the Scout Rifle.  This lives in the same archetype group as Does Not Compute, Song of Justice VI and Haunted Earth…  and in truth it felt better to use than any of those.  When I use a scout rifle, I want something with really good impact and range because I am effectively using it as a surrogate sniper rifle.  This fits that bill nicely because it will one shot a Vandal and has armor-piercing rounds to help with shields a bit…  though I feel like that perk needs a buff significantly.  Sure it will drop a shield faster than a normal kinetic weapon, but it still feels horrible as compared to even an unmatched elemental type energy weapon.  I’ve said this over and over… that I am not really a fan of scout rifles as a whole, however when I do use one I want something along the lines of this weapon.  Between Guiding Sight and Manannan SR4… I feel like I am set as far as scout rifles go.  Basically at the beginning of the week I had a good deal of time collecting loot in the Iron Banner, but as we wound down…   it started to feel like a house guest that overstayed its welcome.  I opened around thirty packages in total and in the future I really need to tag out significantly earlier when I am still enjoying myself rather than trying to force a grind I was no longer enjoying.

Iron Banner Issues

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This past week for me at least has been all about the Iron Banner 2.0 event happening in Destiny 2.  If Destiny Tracker is to be believed, I have played fifty Iron Banner matches over the last four days.  That was enough to turn in 24 Iron Banner packages so far… aka the equivalent of 480 tokens.  At this point I managed to pull a complete set of gear for my Titan and have collected all but one of the weapons available.  The Hand Cannon is eluding me but I still have faith that I might manage to get it when I run through my daily milestones for Iron Banner today.  To say I have a high tolerance for grinding is an understatement, and the more impressive stat is that every single bit of this has been solo.  I will get into more about that later but suffice to say I feel like I experienced everything that is to be seen in the new Iron Banner.  This month the game mode of choice was Control…  which used to be my favorite mode for Iron Banner but in the 4 player crucible I seem to now favor Supremacy.

What Changed?

Traditionally the Crucible is an event that does some level synchronization to make sure every player is on a level field.  Iron Banner however in Destiny 1 was one of the un-synced events that took into consideration what your gear level was.  In truth however this didn’t really play a heavy role other than maybe dealing a few extra points of damage to someone significantly under your gear level.  The entire event functioned based on the Iron Banner reputation that would reset to zero before the start of a new event.  The ultimate goal was to level from 1 to rank 5, which then allowed you to purchase gear that was available from Lord Saladin.  This generally consisted of two armor slots and two weapons, and then the same items were available as rewards at the end of matches.  In my experience one in five to ten matches rewarded gear at the end.

Now Iron Banner is governed by a token based system much as is the case with all factions in Destiny 2.  Additionally it relies on the same level synchronization that occurs in the Crucible so no more gear level advantages.  Previously the only way to gain progress was to either complete a bounty or win the match.  This meant if you had some really bad luck you could have a long streak of loses where you did not move your reputation forward at all.  This time around you get 2 tokens for a loss and 5 tokens for a win, and it takes 20 tokens in total to get a package.  The packages themselves contain 1 Iron Banner specific item, and on item from a long list of other miscellaneous weapons and armor.  I should have taken much better care in opening my packages and tracked the items I got in each, but I will just say there were a significant number of duplicates.

The Problems

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The issue with Iron Banner is a very nuanced one, that requires you to understand some of the base states of the game to understand how we got here.  In Destiny 1 there was a constant refrain from players lashing out against skill based match making, and complaining about the number of “red bar” players with poor connections that they kept encountering.  With Destiny 2 it feels like they stepped away from a lot of the intelligence that attempted to make decent matches for players.  One of these is that the game no longer attempts to match teams of players against other teams, which is where the issue happens.  Most of the weekend I spent time matched against partial or complete teams of players, and as a result had to fight a very uphill battle to get my wins.

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The games seemed to be really hit or miss, I could go from being steamrolled one moment to being the odd man out on a team of three players that queued and in turn rolling over another team.  In the rare instance when I got matched with a bunch of other random players…  I did good.  Like for example the above screenshot is one I think I will never be able to duplicate where I somehow ended up with a 6.4 efficiency rating…. which is their version of Kda.  This is an issue because it ends up giving players a very uneven feeling experience, to go from ruling the world to succumbing to it…  within the course of a single matching.  The folks that managed to gather up a team, and were on voice chat however seemed to completely decimate all comers.

Problems With The Grind

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Iron Banner was one of those events that I looked forward to each month, not necessarily because I loved the PVP but because it was an opportunity to move up in the world.  What I mean by that is that in Destiny 1 there were a limited number of events that you could participate that scaled all the way to the level cap, Iron Banner was one of them.  As a result I spent my weekends grinding away at Iron Banner incrementally improving my light level so that I could hang with the big dogs…  but keep my relatively solitary play style.  With Destiny 2 this concept is toast.  Gear drops at the same item level that any other Legendary drop does, which means there is no real way to advance your power level through Iron Banner drops.  Sure there is the random chance of getting an exotic to drop, but that is a once a night sort of event and even then you need some serious luck to get anything that will move the bar forward.

Now the meaningful grind is about the collection of available loot, but I fear this is going to be a very short lived process.  I said earlier in the post that I have collected all but one weapon at this point, and a full set of gear for my titan.  Additionally I have a few items for my hunter now, so currently there are ten items that I have not seen.  Given that it is highly unlikely that we see an influx of new items before the next Iron Banner, then it means that my drive to keep participating is going to be less each time as I whittle down that list of needed items.  Now were I able to keep using Iron Banner as a means to incrementally increase my power level, then more than likely I would continue to participate and even look forward to the event.

The Future

I’ve tried to remain largely positive about Destiny 2 because in a few weeks we will be starting the process all over again with the launch of the PC version.  There are however issues here and there that sort of stick out as annoyances.  The core problem with Destiny 2 is that more than anything it is a direct sequel to Destiny 1.  What I mean by that is in some ways it feels like we took a step backwards to a world where everything that happened in Taken King and Rise of Iron never existed.  It makes me wonder if this project was launched before the release of Taken King, and they simply never applied the good parts of years two and three before launch.  I was a die-hard Destiny 1 player, and I watched that game improve in so many ways over the three years since release.  Similarly I have all the faith in the world that a lot of these rough spots will get ironed out as we move forward.  Destiny 2 is a much better starting point than Destiny 1 ever could have been, but much like I feel sometimes with World of Warcraft…  I get a little wistful when I think about what could have been had we taken all of the good from TTK and ROI into the new game.

 

Advertisers Suck

Okay this is going to be a bit of a departure from my normal content.  However one of the things I get sick of as a blogger is dealing with the constant deluge of people wanting me to link to something, or do some sort of half baked paid content scheme to increase their SEO numbers.  I’m feeling a little vindictive today so I am posting the sort of thing that I deal with on a regular basis.

Hey quick question –

I hope everything is going well on your end 🙂

My name is [Dude You Can Google Keywords], and I’m on the content team at [Cloud Storage Company I Have Never Heard Of].

I just finished going through your article here: http://aggronaut.com/category/games/action/. Thanks for the resource!

My colleague [Some Writer At The Company] recently put together a pretty comprehensive piece on cloud storage for photographers. This really is good information for anyone in this realm. There is a ton of information out there; our guide was designed to cut through the noise a bit.

The post is here: [Link to a post about hosting photography]

Would you consider linking to it in the article of yours I mentioned above? I saw you linked to store.playstation.com in there, so I figured I’d see if you’d link to mine as well. Perhaps your visitors find it helpful, but hey, it’s up to you.

Thanks,

– [Dude You Can Google Keywords]

P.S. I respect the relationship you have with your readers, I wouldn’t ask you to link to anything I didn’t think was an excellent resource for you guys.

So firstly…  my blog is not a photography blog.  Secondly he is linking to one of my categories, this one specifically is for action games so nothing to do with photography.  The reason why he suggests I link to it… is because I link to store.playstation.com???  I mean I do this thing because I am talking about how to claim your Playstation Plus titles without logging into your console.  Anyways this makes zero sense given what my blog is.  As is usually my first line of defense I just ignore the email hoping they will go away.  However this doesn’t always work as is the case with the follow up email that I get.

Hey again –

I figured I’d try one more time 🙂

Did you happen to get my last email? If you have a moment, could you let me know what you think about this idea? Or maybe you could put me in touch with the person in charge of content?

I’d love any help you can give!

Thanks!

– [Dude You Can Google Keywords]

Now one of the things I have learned the  hard way… is that if they ever do this…  email a second time…  you are NEVER getting rid of them unless you give them a forceful shove off.  I had one person from a website on e-sports betting pester me on and off over the course of an entire month through a string of probably twelve emails where I kept trying to politely say that I am not interested… and that they kept trying to get me to allow them to post promotional content on my site.  So as a result I have to end up sending an email like this one…

Hey [Dude You Can Google Keywords],

I had not responded to the first email in part because I just get tired of responding to emails like this one.  Tales of the Aggronaut is a personal blog and anything that appears on it means that its there because I personally suggest people checking it out.  I don’t do paid ad placement nor do I link to products or services that I did not find organically and I am not actually using myself.  Firstly you included a link that makes zero sense given that it is the action games category of my blog and has nothing to do with photography.  Secondly…  the fact that I link to Store.playstation.com also makes zero sense giving that its a tutorial on how to retrieve your Playstation Plus games of the month through the web interface without having to log into the console.  Essentially nothing you wrote me fits in any way to what I actually write about.  Clearly you spent exactly as much time reviewing my website as was required to fill in what is essentially a madlibs style form email.
None of this makes me interested in your product.  Had you actually found a way to relate this back to my readers in any fashion, and simply approached me with an offer of “we have this awesome product, is this something you maybe want to review?  Here is an account to check it out.  Let us know what you think and tell your readers if you like it.” then bam that is a reasonable way to approach a content creator.  This just feels sleazy.
Anyways hope you have a good day.
Bel

Here is hoping that I never hear from this person again…  but deep down in the back of my mind I know that I will.  There is a slimy underbelly that exists when you get to a certain point with a blog, where all of these people start crawling out of the woodwork wanting to use an anchor on your site as part of some network to increase their search engine ranking.  Some offer to pay… somewhere between $50-100 for placing an article laden with links to their product on your site.  Others like this schmuck seem to want you to do it out of the goodness of your heart.  One guy claimed that it was unfair to my readers to only show part of the story, because I had linked to Libsyn a hosting provider that I use myself for AggroChat and have zero business relationship with.  I could go to the trouble of writing a rule or flagging it as spam, but that doesn’t stop the constant onslaught of people just like them.  Writing this post more than anything is for me personally… because sometimes I just want to scream obscenities at my email.  Instead I am creating a post which is at least somewhat therapeutic.  Monday we will return to our normally scheduled posts.

Xur Week Five: 10/13/17

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This week is an interesting week namely because it answers a question I had rolling around in the back of my head.  Since this is the first week Xur is returning to a planet that he had already been to…  I had wondered if he would always appear in the same place on each planet.  While we may not be absolutely certain… he did in fact appear up in the tree in the Watcher’s Grave area once again.  I am curious to see when he goes to Titan next week…  if they do follow the pattern if he also still appears in the little building that he did last time.  I feel like this is going to be one of those weeks where you are either highly disappointed or really excited based on a handful of variables.  So without further delay, lets rip that wrapping off and see what Xur brought us.

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Every so often in Destiny 1 they had an exotic that equipped in the wrong slot…  No Land Beyond the primary slot sniper or Universal Remote the primary slot shotgun are prime examples.  This weeks bounty is the Fighting Lion… an energy slot grenade launcher that has a significant number of negatives that I feel have been placed on it in order to let it sit in a slot that is easier to get ammo for.  The exotic perk is Delayed Gratification that allows you to do a timed explosion sort of thing where so long as you are holding down the trigger it will bounce the grenade around…  then when you let up off the trigger it will explode.  This continues to go into the generally fiddly and unreliable nature of grenade launchers as a whole that I went into a whole diatribe about yesterday.  The most interesting perk is Thin the Herd which causes direct hits with the grenade to do significantly more damage to enemy shields… and then rapid kills to enemies damaged in this fashion cause the weapon to reload.  Given that this is a single shot weapon… I feel like this is actually the perk we should be caring about.  In function I think this weapon is designed to be a shield stripper and for you to swap over to it… hit an enemy decimating its shield in a single hit and then swap back to your kinetic to kill it quickly so that the weapon reloads and is ready for the next encounter.  I mean this is a cool mechanic, but it also means you are losing one entire weapon slot to effectively a gimmick.  I rely way too much on both my kinetic and energy weapons for moment to moment game play and cannot really afford to have a one hit wonder taking up one of those slots.  Your mileage may vary of course and it is probably still worth a pick up if you have not yet unlocked this item in your collection.

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Peacekeepers are an item that I would have purchased…  were it not for the fact that I literally just got a pair from an engram last night.  The perk on these is interesting in that it effectively gives Sub-Machineguns a stronger version of the cocoon perk.  Effectively Mecha Holster does two things…  firstly it causes submacs to reload when you stow them and secondly it causes submacs to swap instantly.  I feel like this is screaming for a build where you are running two different archetypes of submachinegun in both your kinetic and energy slots.  Were I doing this build I would go with a highly stable 600 rpm weapon like the Antiope-D or the Adjudicator in my kinetic slot, and rock something like the Royal Dispensation II in my energy slot.  This is more than likely a PVP build sort of thing given that submacs akimbo is probably not the best idea for PVE engagements because you lose a lot of utility.  This is a cool item that is inspired by the way Robocop drew his weapon, but it just isn’t good enough to probably get me to stop using the exotics I already have in rotation.  Once again this is another if you don’t already have it, buy it to unlock in your collection sort of setup.

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This week we have yet another repeat in the form of the Wings of Sacred Dawn…  that actually last appeared in Xur’s inventory on week one when we were back here on Nessus.  This still is one of the most ornate chest pieces that I have seen in the game and I know a lot of players seem to rock this almost for looks alone.  I am still not really a fan of the Dawnblade sub class nor am I really a fan of the whole hover in air while hurling blades at your enemy that the Exotic perk gives you.  If you like hanging mid air and performing attacks though then this might be the ideal weapon for you…  for me that just seems to make you a giant target and I absolutely love when a warlock is using this in the crucible for that reason.  It is worth the pick up for the unlock and maybe there will be a situation where this sort of gameplay is really needed in the future.

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Now I present the diamond in the rough…  Knucklehead Radar.  There has been this trend in Destiny 2 of bringing underutilized exotics from Destiny 1 into the game, but this one sort of breaks that pattern.  Knucklehead Radar has always been useful because it grants an insanely good exotic perk in the form of Upgraded Sensor Pack.  What this effectively does is grant you radar 100% of the time regardless if you are aiming down the sight of your kinetic, energy or heavy weapon.  The shine off of this item tarnished a bit during year three, when they introduced the Memory of Gheleon artifact… that effectively did this same thing.  However for now…  this is the only exotic that I use on my Hunter and if you do not already have this in your arsenal you should do whatever it takes to buy this item this week.  Sure there are items that are functionally better in different situations….  but I like the fact that this is legitimately always going to be useful regardless of what sub class you are using or what situation you are in be it PVE or PVP.  One of my favorite Destiny 1 items… and still one of my favorite Destiny 2 items…  I just wish there was an equivalent for Titans.

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Another thing I have started trying to do on my Friday morning post is show of what Xur is selling in Destiny 1, since no one seems to still be doing this thing.  This week he can be located on the Reef, and apparently talked to his Destiny 2 counterpart as he is also offering the Knucklehead Radar.  I am not going to talk a lot about his offerings but instead just list them out for any players who are still trying to complete exotic sets from the first game.

  • Legacy Heavy Weapon Engram – 31 Strange Coins
  • Helm of Inmost Light – Titan Helm – 13 Strange Coins
  • Knucklehead Radar – Hunter Helm – 13 Strange Coins
  • Nothing Manacles – Warlock Gauntlets – 13 Strange Coins
  • Hereafter – Sniper Rifle – 17 Strange Coins
  • Last Word and Sequel Ornament – Hand Cannon – 30 Strange Coins 25 Silver Dust
  • Truth and Prototype Ornament – Rocket Launcher – 30 Strange Coins 25 Silver Dust

Autos and Grenades

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Apart from the recent jaunts back into Final Fantasy XIV brought on by our amazing Free Company house…  I have been spending most of my time this week with the Iron Banner.  There are a whole lot of things that have changed from Destiny 1…  most of which for the better.  For me at least in D1 Iron Banner was this holiday event in part because I knew that I could get gear that would help bump my light level up.  Unfortunately that is not the case with D2, and this is all part of a larger discussion I want to have at some point about the general problems with the way progression feels.  In D1 the only way you made progress through the ranks of the Iron Banner reputation was by winning, which meant that if you hit a frustrating unlucky streak you could stall out complete.  Gear drops were rewarded as part of bounties that you could get on each character, and as random drops at the end of matches.  On average I seemed to get a new piece of gear every three or four matches… but you also had dry spells where you could go upwards of ten games without seeing anything.  In D2 this situation is largely resolved by shifting everything to token based loot.  It takes 20 tokens to get a package with one iron banner exclusive item and then the potential of getting a random filler legendary and/or some shaders.  You gain 2 tokens for a loss and 5 tokens for a win, so if you can manage to get on a streak you can rack up several packages in a row.  Additionally there are challenges that can be completed each day and turning those back in to Lord Saladin rewards 15 faction tokens.

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My goal so far has been to earn at least 2 packages a day, and in part this is only because I cannot really handle a bunch of crucible in a row.  So far in Destiny 2 the length of time I can reasonably play crucible matches back to back lines up almost perfectly with the amount required to get the Call to Arms engram.  My biggest problem is that I need a breather every so many matches because I notice that my own abilities start to wain greatly as the stress and anxiety sort of catch up with me.  As a result I notice that I am completely all over the map when it comes to my ability.  I also have certain maps that I am just not good at, or do not fit whatever it is that my play style actually is and as a result my Destiny tracker profile is a mess.   The biggest problem for me is that the core reason why I spent so much time playing Iron Banner was the overarching goal of increasing my viability in the game by getting more powerful gear and infusing it into stuff.  With this gone…  some of my drive to keep playing is largely toast and at this point my goal is to get 10 packages so I can unlock whatever it is that I earn by doing so.  Right now I have opened five packages and gotten the same auto rifle twice…  which admittedly was the primary weapon I was interested in… as well as helm, chest and a grenade launcher.  I thought I would take a moment this morning and talk about the two weapons I have seen so far.

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The Forward Path looks like the Origin Story which is ultimately what initially got me excited about the weapon, but winds up being a vastly different weapon archetype.  It lives in the 600 rpm bracket which means its most direct competitors are Scathelocke, Ghost Primus and Martyr’s Make…  at least of the rifles you see in regular rotation.  All of these weapons are really closely grouped on most of the stats but The Forward Path has significantly more handling than most of the other weapons in this class.  The big take away from me after using this a good deal is that it feels really reliable and easy to hold on target… especially with a moving target.  It benefits significantly from the Tap the Trigger perk which grants increased accuracy and stability the few moments after pulling the trigger.  When I am taking down targets at max range I tend to habitually pump the trigger firing off short bursts… a habit that I picked up from playing the early FPS titles and this weapon plays directly into that instinct.  The only negative is… this feels like a PVE weapon… that is being rewarded by a PVP event.  There is just not a case where you would not choose to take Scathelocke or Origin Story in your kinetic slot because High-Caliber Rounds and Rampage are just that good.  However Armor-Piercing rounds makes this thing a beast for strikes and other PVE content where the mobs are shielded because this gives you the ability to easily break shields with both Kinetic and Energy weapons.  I am super glad to add this weapon to my arsenal, but it is right now a weird mixed bag for me… and in truth I am probably going to rock Ghost Primus/Scathelocke in a lot of the situations I would normally use it.

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Grenade Launchers need a great deal of work.  As it stands this is my least favorite weapon type and is voted most likely to get sharded on sight when one drops into my inventory.  I’ve found exactly one Grenade Launcher that I actually like using and that is the one from the crucible/packages Play of the Game.  The reason why this weapon shines above all others is because of a single perk…  Proximity Grenades causing the payload to detonate when it gets close to a target rather than hitting it.  Grenades are insanely unwieldy and bounce like mad… making them completely unreliable other than being used “for funsies”.  The Day’s Fury suffers from all of these problems with grenade launchers in general… but is increased by having a fairly small blast radius and perks that don’t really help make up for the weaknesses of the genre.  You have Mini Frags which increases reload speed and magazine size at the cost of blast radius, or Spike Grenade that inexplicably increases stability.  When I think Spike Grenades I think some sort of a claymore mine action where it hurls shrapnel into nearby enemies when it explodes…  which would have been awesome and maybe would have made this weapon reasonable to use.  As it stands this just ends up being vault clutter that I will end up holding onto because it was hard to get… hoping maybe they will turn Grenade Launchers into something useful in the future.

Have you gotten anything cool from the Iron Banner?  What are your thoughts of the event so far?  Drop a line in the comments and let me know.

Shirogane Extreme

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For most of my journey through Final Fantasy XIV, my home has been The Mists Plot 13 where we managed to snag a small house and turn it into our Free Company house years ago.  The sad thing at this point I can no longer seem to remember what ward we were originally located in.  Once we placed that Aetherite shard in our lawn…  I stopped needing to care about which one I was intending to visit.  Over the years we contemplated trying to move houses to something larger, but we were so ideally situated in the ward that nothing ever felt right.  We were across the road from a market board and retainer bell, and just a few short paces away from the vendors located centrally on the zone.  Similarly we were only a row of houses away from the beach making it feel like everything was close at hand.  One of the key problems with housing in Final Fantasy XIV is that it is extremely expensive…  and secondly it is completely unavailable most of the time given that it is physical housing rather than instanced.  Each Ward having a limited number of potential spaces divided up among small, medium and large plots, and unfortunately Square Enix has been extremely slot to add additional resources.

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With the launch of Stormblood came a golden opportunity because they announced that they would be adding a brand new housing area in the city of Shirogane.  It was about this time that we started talk of actually finally moving to a new area, especially after seeing that this new zone had beach front lots.  There was still the logistical problem of having to sell one house and then immediately turn around and try and buy a new one… all the while hoping you didn’t get sniped and end up without a Free Company house in any form.  However at some point along the way they announced that they would be adding in a relocation system that allows you to move houses and everything in them.  There has been a standing joke online over the last few days of the opening of the Shirogane housing area being the ultimate extreme battle… and reading reddit it definitely seems the case.  Functionally how we got the house was having Tam and Ash both online at 3 am PST when the housing area opened… both with enough money to buy a house in the hopes that one of them would be able to get in and purchase something.  Tam absolutely nailed it and got us Ward 7 plot 49, which is a great medium house right off the beach and beside the entrance to the zone.  The nearest Market board is up the hill from our house making it still a short distance away, though I have to admit they have done an amazing job of trying to make sure ALL of them are a very short distance away.

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This is a different shot of our new home, and the one that Tam posted when he made his “we got one” post.  It is a freaking nice location and the only problem we have right now is dealing with trying to decorate it given that we moved up from a small…  and this thing seems massive with three floors.  There is currently some sort of a bug hitting a bunch of us with our private rooms, but I put in a ticket and am hoping they can do something to fix that.  The Free Company house has been this hub of activity for our members over the years, and while it is going to feel weird to be in a new location… I am sure given a short amount of time it will feel just as much at home as the last one did.  I’ve not really had time to meet our neighbors but I am hoping they are as cool as our last batch was.  It seems however like we were the lucky ones, given that everyone is clamoring for more available properties.  I think if you were not awake at 3 in the morning when the plots went on sale… you didn’t get a home simple as that and it reminds me of the land runs that happened in Horizons each time a new housing area opened up.  This is the problem with physical player housing, and one of the reasons why I tend to prefer implementations like Everquest 2 or Wildstar that have unlimited instanced housing.  I will say the feeling of a physical neighborhood with other players that you get to know over the years as you hang out at the market board is pretty great.  It just sucks that so many players have to go without housing because of this.