Warmind Complete (Destiny 2)

It took a little more time to get through Expansion II: Warmind mainly because the light levels required to complete the content jumped a bit between missions. I’m not sure exactly where I left off after finishing The Curse of Osiris, but I know that I had to get to light level 310 before I could move onto the new territory. As such, I took my time going through some adventures that I hadn’t cleared, some public quests that opened up after gaining access to some new planets, and I even played some Crucible and Gambit. I found that this time around I did pretty decently in pvp matches, but this time I chose to do a free-for-all mode so I was able to kill anything that crossed my path. Gambit is a new mode that was introduced with Forsaken, and it’s a PvPvE game type. You’ll be on a team and there is an enemy team, but you are in separate instances of the same level. You’ll kill enemies at certain points on the map in order to summon a boss monster that you need to kill before the other team. So it is competitive, but it’s most a PvE thing. However, portals will open and allow you to invade the enemy team’s instance, and if you get kills their boss monster will be healed. This play pattern continues in a best of 3 fashion. If you happen to get to that third round, you’ll no longer need to summon the boss, it is instantly spawned and you must race the other team in taking it down. Overall it was a pretty fun experience and I’ll do it again.

Once I met the light requirements, I started on this next campaign. Long story short, you are pointed in the direction of the “Warmind” which is a huge A.I. on Mercury. Or was it Mars? One of those places. Zavala fears that this machine would bring about more destruction that it’s worth, but it seems that the Hive are also trying to end the universe by summoning a worm god thing. It’s up to you to go through the tedium of getting pieces necessary to help get the Warmind back online and allow it to help you defeat the Hive. That boss battle was a bit of a chore, but overall I kept up in light level well enough between the missions that I didn’t have to try over and over again. Once completed, the Warmind tells you that he’s going to guard the universe from any and all threats. Zavala still seems nervous about having awoken this machine, and then you all go about your business as if nothing had happened at all.

I didn’t mind the story parts or the inclusion of these expansions on my way into the new expansion, but they weren’t as epic feeling as “The Red War.” I have a feeling that Forsaken will make up for that, and I can finally get caught up on the current storyline. As I finished Warmind I found that I was at nearly 340 light and just rolled over level 34. The cap is 50, so there’s still a ways to go, and I have no idea what sort of light levels 50’s have. Whatever the case, I’m still enjoying my journey through the game and I can’t wait to dive into Forsaken. I’ll check back in when I have more to share!

The Curse of Osiris Cleared

Similar to the cycle from the original Destiny, Destiny 2 had two smaller expansions that came out before a meatier content update. These are basically DLC questlines that will give some gear and experience on your way up. In conjunction with the base game, you’ll easily be able to hit level 30 in order to enter the proper expansion, Forsaken (or The Taken King, in the case of the last game). We already know there is a season pass for Forsaken, so I’d assume that means more smaller DLC packs like this one during that time, and perhaps we’ll get one more big expansion before the developers move onto something new (unless they actually take this game more seriously than the original, and plan to keep it alive for years like a proper MMO. None of these Looter Shooters have done this so far, as evidenced by the sequels coming out as of late. I’d like to see one actually raise the level cap further, give us more ways to spend skill points, and have more persistent bits of the world. We’ll see if that comes to fruition or not.

The Curse of Osiris expansion is all about one of the oldest Guardians, Osiris. His goal seems to be to conquer the Vex, a mechanical race that has created a place called “The Infinite Forest” which is a reality-creation engine. Sounds wacky, and also sounds waaaay more advanced that the stuff we saw in Terminator or The Matrix. Apparently Osiris figured out a way to create copies of himself to explore the various pathways in The Infinite Forest, and has been searching for an alternate reality where the Vex are defeated. You get sucked into the fray when Ikora turns up with the shell of Osiris’ Ghost.

Throughout the quest chain, you’ll fight the Vex on different planets and within The Infinite Forest. The quest starter is on Mercury, but soon you’ll be back on Earth, fighting on moons and ultimately you’ll find out that you need to destroy Panoptes, the creator of the algorithm that controls the reality engine. Fights along the way net much better gear than we’ve seen to this point, and it was nice to get new vehicles and trinkets.

Eventually the solution to the Vex problem is found, and you’ll go head to head with Panoptes. Overall the expansion’s difficulty was in line with my light level so it wasn’t too difficult, but I enjoyed the story and blowing stuff up as usual.

Osiris appears to have aged a bit through his Infinite Forest travels. Poor guy looks a little run down. I’m not sure if he ties into more of the story later on, but if not he was still memorable enough. I’m now moving on to Expansion II: Warmind, and it already looks like it’s going to be on par. I’m really looking forward to Forsaken though, and hope to be there by next weekend. I’ll check back in soon!

Destiny 2: Moving Towards Forsaken

After my last couple of posts about Looter Shooters, I mentioned that I decided I was going with purchasing the Destiny 2 expansion, Forsaken. I have since picked the game back up where I left off on my hunter. I had been playing exclusively with my best friend, but we have differing schedules at this point (I’m on a sort of early morning/graveyard schedule, and he works days) so I decided I would just move on without him. During our first few sessions, we had completed about 75% of “The Red War” which is the main campaign of the base game, along with leveling up to about 14.

Our next quest in the main campaign required a level of 15 to proceed, so I participated in a few public quests and hit that level in order to get going. Buying a copy of Forsaken came with a level 30 boost, which will allow you to play through the expansion’s campaign, but I decided that I wanted to see the rest of the story from start to finish. I did use the boost on a Warlock that I created, and I guess at some point I should probably also level a Titan, but one thing at a time. For now, I wanted to finish up The Red War along with the first two expansions before getting to Forsaken, and playing my already partially leveled character would allow me to get through everything at a decent clip.

My first session saw playing through the remainder of The Red War, along with doing a bunch of public quests in order to complete the final sub-class quest. Opening up all of the sub-classes allows for some choice when it comes to builds for my character, but was otherwise a pretty easy thing to accomplish. Finishing the main campaign rolls the credits, but immediately afterwards you are back at the Tower which veterans will remember as being the main base of operations from the original game. The Farm is still available for socializing, but it appears that you’ll spend most of your time here. You’ll talk with most of the main characters and unlock new ships, your little speeder for use on missions, along with your first exotic engram. Next up: Expansion I: The Curse of Osiris.

I was having trouble with the director, in that there weren’t any new destinations to visit until after doing the above conversation train. Afterwards, Mars and Mercury became available to explore, and the Forsaken expansion’s nebula appeared as well, but won’t be accessible until I’m level 30. That’s okay though, as there is more to do before getting there!

The Curse of Osiris has already started out well. Intriguing, to say the least. I’ve completed the first couple of missions, have met a copy of Osiris himself, and revived his very own Ghost as well. I’ve been to the Infinite Forest, and came back alive! I look forward to completing this expansion along with the second, Warmind. Forsaken will be explored soon, to say the least.

I’m currently a hair away from level 24, and I’m sure by the time I’ve completed the first two expansions I’ll be level 30 and ready to head into Forsaken. So far the game has felt just as good as the original and I’m enjoying myself thoroughly. Here’s hoping they keep the game going longer this time around, as I wouldn’t mind having new stuff trickle in over time and have a reason to come back to this gem of a game. There are still other Looter Shooters that I’m interested (September means Borderlands 3, after all) but for now this one is ticking all of the boxes.

Fallout 4 DLC: Automatron

With all of the E3 2018 hype surrounding Fallout 76, I decided that it was time to revisit Boston and finish up the DLC for the game. I hadn’t played since I beat the base game back at the end of 2015, while the DLC came out slowly over the following year I had at that time decided that I would wait until it was all released before diving in. Well, it’s been a couple years since then but I’m finally making good on this so that when Fallout 76 releases later this year I’ll be ready to move onto the new title. The first DLC that released for Fallout 4 was Automatron, an expansion that adds robotic friends that you can build and customize to use as your followers. Doing so requires you to complete a short and sweet questline which I was able to complete last night.

When I first logged into the game I was greeted by several new quests that were associated with the various DLCs. Each requires you to listen to a radio frequency on your Pip Boy, at which point you’ll then be shown where to go to get the quest started. The radio frequency for this particular quest sent me off in the direction of a distress signal, and once there I found a swarm of robots duking it out in the wasteland. After the fighting stops, we meet “Ada,” a robot that seems a bit more sentient than others we’ve seen in the commonwealth. She tells us about “The Mechanist” who is a villain of sorts for this particular questline. A person who has created robo-brains and other dastardly robots that seem intent on killing off any threats to humanity, including humans themselves. They seem to have killed off Ada’s friends, and she wants to join you in taking The Mechanist down.

We track down a radar beacon which Ada tells me that we need to locate The Mechanist. After doing so we create the new work bench for robo pals in Sanctuary, and I set about installing the beacon into Ada. At this point I took the liberty of beefing her up a bit as well, because if I’m going to have a companion follow me around they better pull their weight. Afterwards, she says we need to find a couple more. One of which is hiding inside a raider base, so that took some effort to get to.

The third and final beacon is installed in Jezebel, a robo brain that doesn’t have a body and has been “poked and prodded” by these raider scum. She pleads with me that if we take her from that place she will give us the beacon, but that there will be more necessary to confront The Mechanist. She wants me to build a body for her, and from there she will provide us with access codes that can be installed in Ada so we can proceed. I did so, and she kept her word despite Ada’s warnings about robo brains. We learn that The Mechanist is hiding in a Robco Sales & Service building, so we head there.

This dungeon of sorts was crawling with bandits and robots alike, and took some time to get through but eventually we were facing off against the Mechanist. There were a ton of robots to kill during this fight and I died several times, but eventually we had won. The Mechanist turned out to be a woman named Isabel Cruz, and she didn’t really seem to be malicious, only trying to use her robot creations to create a better world. She ended up leaving peacefully, and I ended up getting her suit which was a bit of an upgrade over the gear I had been using prior. Over the course of the DLC I gained a couple of levels, from 33-35, so I’m now ready to head into the Far Harbor DLC.

After that point, there’s Nuka World, as the other DLCs are only workshops and don’t include new quest content. I’m not as interested in the building aspects of the game so I’ll be moving on after I complete these new areas. Look for more on this soon as I intend to finish fairly quickly.

Tastes Change

I have a long history of playing RPGs in their many forms. From JRPGs to MMOs, I’ve dipped my toes in all of the sub genres and over the years some of those genres have died off or changed in ways that were incremental and not really noticeable at the time.

Snap judgement: I am not in love with Pillars of Eternity. I absolutely adored all of the Bioware/Black Isle games from the 1990’s; titles like Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale took up much of my gaming time back then. The revival of the isometric real-time cRPG genre that’s been happening for a few years now with titles like PoE, Wasteland 2, and Divinity: Original Sin seemed like it would be right up my alley. I did of course play many of these games over the years, but as this genre moved forward into the 3D space with titles like Dragon Age and Mass Effect, I too evolved.

Because of this realization, I have uninstalled all of these titles that have been sitting in my backlog for ages that I would have believed that I would have liked but simply don’t anymore. My tastes have changed. The same could be said for a lot of other titles/genres, but this one in particular strikes me as odd. I know that with age comes changes in not only your body’s function but your mind’s as well, but I’m surprised to find myself writing these words.

I’ve been enamored with games like Shadowrun, Diablo, and some recent JRPG style games. It’s funny because Shadowrun and Diablo are both isometric like the cRPGs that I’m not longer into — but they differ because Shadowrun uses turn-based tactical combat, while Diablo is action combat and I seem to prefer both. The real-time coordination of multiple party members just doesn’t feel fun anymore. In Dragon Age or Mass Effect, the AI for your teammates can be programmed and always felt effective enough to where I could focus on my own character. In action RPGs you only have yourself to depend on so there’s never the added distractions. My tastes have clearly changed. Though I would have called Baldur’s Gate superior to Diablo back in the 90’s, my 35 year old self has flipped sides. I don’t know how to feel about this.

I do feel better about uninstalling all of those games. The backlog has shrunk and many of those games would have taken 60+ hours to complete. Gives me more time to focus on other games I would rather be playing. I’m not going to slog through something just because it *should* be something I’m into. If I’m not feeling it, I’m just going to pass. I’ve done this with other games but had this little sub genre up on a pedestal and I’ve now kicked that pedestal over. If it’s not fun, entertaining or holding my interest, it’s getting cut.

Time to dive into the games that are more appealing to the older me.