Dead Orbit Won?

Destiny 2_20171004062955

Destiny 2_20171004062955

The guardians have spoken I suppose and told us that they don’t care about cool weapons nor do they care about the best looking gear…  and instead they care about…  honestly I am not sure what?  Back in Destiny 1 folks went dead orbit because they had the coolest looking emblems, including one with a skull and crossed axes.  Additionally the logo for dead orbit itself is a weird simplified skull.  I guess this makes them the edgelord faction in spite of actually having a faction called Future War Cult.  The problem with FWC however is that their gear generally looks like a bowl of fruity pebbles, but at least in my case it has sort of begrudgingly grown on me over time.  I too was one of the Dead Orbit legion during Destiny 1 for a very long time, largely because I thought they had the coolest weapons…   Year 2 Hung Jury was fucking amazing.  However in Year 3…  FWC pulled ahead of them and had a ton of really awesome to use weapons.  Mix this with the fact that I had to swap to them to get my No Time to Explain weapon quest wrapped up, and I just sorta got used to looking like a Nascar driver.  Why I stayed however is because Lakshmi-2 is hands down the coolest faction leader in the tower.  Go Team Exo!

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To be fair… I pledged a different faction on each character so I would have access to whatever weapon happened to win.  I think that was the part of this whole equation that people forgot about…  we were ultimately competing for a weapon.  Thanks to Dead Orbit winning we got a weird weapon that does not stack up well against other offerings in the form of the Haunted Earth.  This weapon is effectively in the same fire rate group as the Song of Justice VI that I talked about on Monday, so it is an extremely slow firing and as a result heavy hitting scout rifle aka 150 rounds per minute and 67 impact.  It has considerably shorter range than the Song of Justice….  with 70 verses the Song’s 89.  Where this gun gets a little odd is in the alignment of its perks.  Firstly you have a set of sight options that are largely going to be personal preference…  I opted to go with the default IS 5 Circle, but you can also get a longer zoom red dot scope.  From there you have the choice of Tactical Mag or High Caliber rounds.  Generally speaking I would want the ability to stagger and go with High Caliber, but the scout already has what feels like a small magazine and dropping from 13 to 12 just feels lousy but potentially worth it.  The last perk is the real head scratcher in the form of Field Prep…  which increases the ammo reserves of a weapon and causes it to reload significantly faster while crouched.  If you can get used to using this… it is a fairly nice perk especially given how slow the reload of the weapon feels normally.

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The curse of Haunted Earth however is that it is functionally a slightly slower and harder hitting version of the already existing Call to Serve scout rifle, and when you compare the two it just ends up being the universally worse option.  Call to Serve is slightly faster firing in the 180 rounds per minute space, and as a result sacrifices a barely noticeable 5 impact to land at 62.  It does however sacrifice a lot of range taking it from the 70 of Haunted Earth down to 47.  It however picks up a ton of stability and handling at 46 and 60 respectively as well almost 30 more points of aim assistance.  All of this however is just icing because the reason why you choose Call to Serve over Haunted Earth are the perks.  Firstly you have a choice of two options to bump up the Magazine size, however in truth there is only one option here… so you want to take Appended Mag for 17 rounds which does nothing to slow down your reload speed unlike Extended Mag that only gives you one more bullet.  The best perk however is Triple tap which causes you to gain a 4th phantom round every time you land 3 precision shots in a row.  I talked about this perk a little bit in the review of the Dire Promise hand cannon.  Effectively if you can land streaks of precision damage you can fire 22 shots before needing to reload, which is great in situations where you are burning something down that is effectively a static target like bosses often are.  Basically there are no reasons why I would ever choose to use Haunted Earth over Call to Serve or even Song of Justice VI.  So gratz Dead Orbit…  you won and earned all of us another piece of vault clutter.  If you like the gun however then by all means use it… but I have a feeling you will be swapping it out the moment you get something better.

Faction Rally 1: DO Edition

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Destiny 2_20171001120759

Once again by the time this post comes out it is going to likely be of zero use to anyone, because if I am understanding the Faction Rally correctly…  it would have just ended and we will be entering the phase where a winner will be chosen.  I am doing something super dangerous in that I am staging this content on the weekend to post Monday and Tuesday.  So by the time this actually goes live we should know which weapon we have available.  I took the route of choosing a different faction for each character, and this has also given me the opportunity to collect all twelve unique faction based drops that are available from packages.  Yesterday I wrote about New Monarchy, and last week about Future War Cult… so today is the time to talk about everyone’s favorite chromatically challenged faction…  Dead Orbit.  This faction will always have a special place in my heard due to the fact that the majority of my time playing Destiny… I was pledged to Arach Jalaal desperately hunting that cool emblem with the axes.  In Destiny 2…  I was swayed by just how damned good the weapon offering was in the Future War Cult camp.  That said there is at least one gem in this lineup, but your mileage may vary.

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Let me get this out of the way first.  I do not like sidearms…  they have always felt like crappier faster firing versions of hand cannons.  In Destiny 1 the only time I broke one out and used it…  was when I was working on a bounty that required me to get X number of kills with a specific damage type weapon that was not Arc.  Even then the only reason why I used a Sidearm was simply because of the extreme ammo reserves they tended to have.  With Destiny 2 they introduced a new class of Sidearm that burst fires…  which quickly caused me to start ignoring every single firing gun out there.  So needless to say the Eleventh Hour has a bunch of strikes against it out of the gate, but in truth it does have a few things going for it. This weapon is essentially a fast firing low impact weapon…  that has an insane upwards kick if you are firing it as fast as you can pull the trigger.  That said if you are slowing down and placing your shots a little more carefully this can two precision shot most minions and with a 17 shot magazine… you can pour through a bunch.  Where this starts to become useful is the fact that it has Rampage perk giving you a stacking damage buff each time you take down a target up to three.  I could see this being extremely good for clearing out thralls or something of the sort.  The problem I have though is that there are just dozens of energy slot weapons that I would rather use than this.  If you enjoy using it then by all means do so…  it just doesn’t really have a place in my world and I will likely shard it once I have finished writing this review.

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This is a fairly bizarre shotgun offering, and I am going to try and unpack why.  First off this is an extremely hard hitting, slow rate of fire weapon with abysmal range and reload speeds that are amplified by the poor handling stat.  What it does well is hit really hard…  a single time.  So if you think you can one-shot a target with this shotgun then it is probably going to do a great job of it.  Now if you combine the tactical mag perk… with the field prep perk the equation starts to change a bit and while crouched you can reload this weapon extremely fast.  Now initially I thought… maybe this works while sliding but after thirty minutes of trying to make this work it seems like you just straight up cannot reload while in the slide motion. So functionally in order to do this in the heat of battle I would probably slide behind some cover, reload quickly and then get back into the action.  Where the gun shines however is that it has a pretty deep well to draw from in that if you choose specific perks you can have 6 in the magazine and 12 in reserve.  For PVE this seems like a perfectly reasonable shotgun… but for PVP I think it is going to lose out every time to one of the full auto options.  The best part though is the look and the sound it makes when it fires a shell.

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I feel like Pulse Rifles are just in a really awkward place in Destiny 2.  They have always lived in this weird place between scout rifles and auto rifles… and in the current meta both are undeniably in better places than this weird hybrid.  Three Graves currently lives in the slowest rate of fire and highest impact flavor of pulse rifle, and it brings with it some really nice stability.  What it severely lacks however is handling and reload speed…  giving the gun a really sluggish feel as you shift between hip and ads modes.  The outlaw perk can help with the reload speed because it decreases reload time after a precision kill…  which is relatively easy to do given how much damage this thing puts out and how stable it is.  The thing that never really gets better though is the handling… so for me to feel comfortable with this weapon I would need to slot in some mods to improve that.  The biggest obstacle this weapon has is the fact that I have Innaugural Address the raid pulse…  that just feels better to use.

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Tons of players love The Old Fashioned, in fact it has shown up on a ton of the top X weapons in Destiny 2 lists.  I am not one of those players, and when I first saw Dire Promise in the drop list for Dead Orbit I was not extremely hopeful.  There are however a bunch of tweaks that have been made to this weapon that make it feel vastly different than the weapon that is so commonly sharded by me that I didn’t even have one available to directly compare against.  Functionally you are losing a little impact and range, and gaining a ton of stability and handing as well as a tiny bit of reload speed as well as 2 bullets in the magazine.  As far as perks… you are losing Kill Clip and gaining one of my favorites from Destiny 1…  Triple Tap which is shockingly hard to find on a D2 hand cannon.  If you feel like you can sacrifice a little stability… you can even push this gun into the 13 in the magazine club.  This means that if you can consistently hit precision shots…  you could in theory fire 17 78 impact shots without reloading… meaning that is a ton of damage in a very short period of time.  While I doubt this is going to dislodge either Better Devils or True Prophecy as my Hand Cannon of choice…  this is definitely going to be something I swap to situationally.

Now that you have seen all of the weapons available from the Faction Rally this go round… what are your thoughts?  Do you like me feel like Future War Cult had the strongest offerings or are you thinking I short changed one of the other factions?

Third Week Summary

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Destiny 2_20170926063109

Today is reset day in Destiny 2 and brings a close to the third week of gameplay.  At this point my maximum power on the Titan is 291 and I am really hoping to get some good luck in week four with the luminous engrams.  At this point that is realistically the only way I move the needle forward other than the occasional extremely lucky exotic engram or loot from nightfalls.  This week in particular seems like it is going to be interesting for the Nightfall because there is no way to extend the timer.  The really interesting thing happening in the tower however is the faction rally, where the three faction leaders return and ask you to pledge your loyalty.  The rally itself involves collecting faction tokens for your respective faction in the hopes that at the end of the rally your side has gotten the most.  Most of my clan has chosen to go Dead Orbit… and in truth I think they are likely going to win because at least in Destiny 1 you saw a lot more of those faction emblems than literally anything else.  I personally have been a huge fan of the Future War Cult starting with the No Time to Explain quest line, and in Destiny 2 it is the only faction that has weapons I am extremely interested in.  As a result I went FWC on my Titan main,  New Monarchy on the Warlock and Dead Orbit on the Hunter.  Of the weapons available however…  the only one I have any interest in is the FWC Pulse Rifle with the new version of firefly.

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The real important happenings of the week is that I leveled my Hunter to 20 and wrapped up the main story last night.  Then after doing that I managed to unlock flashpoints and knock that out as well as the clan xp luminous engram.  That means for the week as a whole I finished up a grand total of eight luminous engrams, pushing my total power up slightly across the board.  I am amused at just how fast you can pull up a second or third character.  Functionally what I have done is latched onto a single item from Xur and then all of my higher level weapons from my main.  This has allowed me to get to the 260 or so power level point extremely quickly, and then keep pushing it up by carefully infusion gear.  Similarly this time around I had legendary mods to rely on which is something I didn’t quite have when I was doing this for the warlock.  Granted I don’t have them for every slot, which is why for example I still have some blue boots on the hunter above.  However I feel like I am in a really good place to be going into the faction rally.  Before sitting down to write this post I knocked out a single heroic event on Io and got 8 faction tokens, so I am wondering if we are just going to be flooded with new loot from the faction vendors.  I am perfectly okay with this is that is the case, and I plan on doing a bunch of heroic events tonight to get some of those sweet sweet future war cult weapons.  I am specifically after the omolon auto rifle, because it looks like it might be the same class as my beloved Uriel’s Gift.