Snipers and Hellboars

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One of the core problems with Destiny 2 is that progression is all about luck.  What I mean by that is especially as you wind down towards the end of the power curve, everything lives or dies upon what you happen to pull from your powerful engrams each week.  Once upon a time SquirrelPope told me that he started getting random world 300 blues when he hit 299.5 on his base light level.  I’m at 299.8 at this point and have yet to see one and nor have I actually seen any of the supposed vendor engrams that go as high as 300.  At this point on my Titan I need a chest and a class item to hit 305, which admittedly is way sooner than it happened during the console release.  That said everything is luck of the draw for me and this week my luck was just about as bad as I could possibly get.  In total I got six sniper rifles among the nine powerful gear packages that I have opened on my characters.  Sniper rifle being the only weapon that I consider utterly useless because I have yet to find one that is even close to being worthy of that power slot.  Grenade Launcher is traditionally a stinker as far as slots go, but even there I have Berenger’s  Memory and Play of the Game that I like using.  If I absolutely had to use a sniper… so far the only one that seems even viable is Gentleman Vagabond from crucible packages but even then…  there are so many other good weapons that I could be using in that slot.

I tweeted this comment out last night and I thought I would post it on my blog as well this morning.  I promise I meant this to be helpful and not ragey, but it does frustrate me when I see players effectively wasting the scorch cannon rounds spamming the crap out of them.  I admit that I did not know this was even possible until I got to run the Wrath of the Machine raid in Destiny year three, so I went that long effectively using them wrong myself.  The scorch cannon at face value looks like a rocket launcher with a lot of ammo, but it is way more than that even though the bosses that use it never actually use them to their full power either.  With Titan being the weekly flashpoint planet, you are going to encounter a lot of scorch cannons considering 2 of the 3 available events on that planet involve Fallen Walkers.  The weapon has a somewhat hidden alternate fire that involves holding down the trigger after you have fired the round and letting the munition grow in size before releasing and letting it explode.  You are going to have an auditory and visual queue to this and while you can continue to let this go and keep gaining strength as Squirrel pointed out last night, my personal experience is that the 4 second rule seems to be the most efficient for killing those walker tanks.  What I do is fire a round and then duck behind cover while holding the trigger allowing the munition to grow in size and about 4 seconds into holding it visually doubles in size.  At this point I let it go and let the damage get dealt while lining up a shot for another round.  Basically doing this will burn your target faster and easier I might add than spamming rounds and also give you more than enough ammo to take out both tanks with a single Scorch Cannon.  The AOE explosion is also fun for dealing with waves of yellow bar captains and such, but unfortunately this is a tidbit of ancestral knowledge that has not yet circulated through most of the population given that I see most players wasting these weapons.  As a result I just wanted to toss this thought out there and hopefully it sticks.

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As far as last night goes however…  after my crushing disappointment of being in sniper rifle hell…  I decided to chill out on the sofa with my new favorite orc.  At this point I am just shy of level 64 and am still in the Hellfire area cleaning up the quests.  In theory I should be able to completely skip Zangarmarsh and go to Terrokar, doing the every other zone leapfrog across Outland much like I have done with Legion content.  There is something extremely relaxing about Warrioring it up and all the while chatting occasionally with the Facepull crew horde side.  Mostly World of Warcraft is serving as this super relaxing comfort gaming time for me, and with work being as stressful as it has been lately I guess I am finding I need it.  Right now it is looking like I won’t really get to take much time off for the holidays other than the default days they give us off.  I have too many deadlines crashing in together at the same time, and this is also throwing a massive monkey wrench in my traditional Pax South plans.  Right now unless something massively changes I will not be attending this year which is a bit of a bummer considering I’ve gone every year since its inception so far.  It also means I will miss out on meeting up with friends and hanging out… and the biggest bummer of all is that I just found out my friend Cuppy is on a panel this year.  I would have loved to have seen that, but then again I am absolutely horrible at actually attending panels at Pax.  I tend to miss them while wandering around doing other things.  Even if not for Pax I am hoping to make it back to Austin as some point in the future.

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.