Snipers and Hellboars

world-of-warcraft-screenshot-2017-11-16-06-34-55-57

desktop-screenshot-2017-11-16-06-38-25-22

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.

world-of-warcraft-screenshot-2017-11-16-06-34-55-57

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.

A Little Luck

Destiny 2_20170912192032

Destiny 2_20170913061251

Last night the loot gods were very good to me.  Weekly reset is a time where the impossible seems possible…  or at the very lease you have a new round of milestones that can reward “powerful gear” otherwise known as Luminous Engrams.  For the unindoctrinated… these are a weird cross between purple and gold and contain gear that is always a significant upgrade over whatever you happen to be wearing.  This always probably needs to have its own caveat given that when you hit the current hard level cap of 350…  this will in theory constantly keep rewarding you maximum power items.  These right now seem to be the primary method of moving the needle forward… and I guess that makes sense given that the normal mode of the raid is 260 to 280 power.  This makes sense due to the general difficulty increase as you progress through raid bosses and the hope that you will be slotting in items you get on the first few bosses to keep ratcheting your power level as you traverse the content.  This is the point where I am going to apologize because I will inevitably for a long time keep calling it Light instead of Power… and while I am trying my best to catch these several of them are going to slip through the cracks.  Functionally now that we are all arriving at 265 we are settling in for the long game of slowly incrementing our levels each week through doing events.  The folks that are pushing 300 right now did some sheer madness…  namely I know it was super popular in the reddit circles to roll 3 of exactly the same class so you could swap gear and get three times the weekly engrams…  greatly increasing your chances of moving things forward.

Destiny 2_20170912192032

What I did not expect was for Cayde-6 to pay out this week the way that he did.  For the also unindoctrinated…  once you hit level 20 and complete your main story quest each of the traditional NPCs does a specific thing.  Ikora Rey for example lets you replay three missions a week and then in turn rewards engrams based on the faction tokens you get from doing this.  Zavala is once again all about the strikes and the nightfall, and Cayde-6 unsurprisingly is all about sending you on a quest to gather up loot he has stashed.  He sells 5 maps per week for 5000 glimmer each and they are always going to be in whatever zone happens to be the Flashpoint area.  This week for example it was Nessus and when you purchase them a series of Spade icons appear on your map with no real indication of how to actually get there.  Other than a few rare cases these icons are “breaking the border” of the map… meaning you need to figure out if they are in a cave system or if you need to climb up somewhere and jump out in what is officially unmarked space of the map.  Occasionally there are gimme chests like the one this week that is literally in the middle of a structure that is impossible to miss…  but I won’t go into any spoilers about any of them.  Last week I got one exotic engram, one legendary… and a bunch of random junk that Cayde-6 will buy back from you…  like a Spinfoil Hat.  This week was insanely good loot wise because not only did I wind up getting four legendary engrams and one exotic, I also got a 271 weapon.  So that means in theory you could possible get power level increasing upgrades from him going forward.

Destiny 2_20170912212111

Since I was functionally gifted almost the right number of items for a specific quest…  I decided to make last night all about trying to catch up on the various exotic weapon quests.  When you finish the main storyline there are a number of blue crown icon quests that start showing up on the various planets.  From what I understand each of these ultimately leads to an exotic.  I had already been working my way through the one that rewards first the MIDA Mini Tool submachinegun and eventually the MIDA Multi Tool scout rifle made famous in Destiny 1.   The quest where I needed all of the engrams however I am still working my way through by doing silly things on Nessus.  However one of the first steps in the chain involves going to Master Rahool in the tower and decrypting 5 legendary engrams and 1 exotic engram.  The quest itself pays out one legendary engram, so I knew that this was one of those times where it would be easy to move forward in the quest chain since I had everything sitting there and ready to go.  The only quest that I have not started is the one for the Rat King, but I will be doing this soon given that I am hearing this is a decent week to try and get through it as one of the steps requires you to make insanely good time in the Nightfall.  I feel like I am still making progress, but a lot of that progress is slow and incremental.  We’ve entered the cold winter phase of Destiny, when every few points of light requires a large amount of effort.  I’m completely fine in this territory because I have been there before, but I am wondering if we end up losing a few people in the post 265 slog.