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Destiny

Destiny unlocks its first raid and goes on sale

Sci-Fi, Endgame, News Items, Consoles, MMOFPS, Promotions, Dungeons, Destiny

Reacting to tepid launch reviews with a raid may not be the selling point the developers are hoping for?
Destiny hasn't been out for every long now, but if you've been power-leveling along, you might very well be level 26 or above. And that's a good thing if you want to take on the game's first raid, which has just been unlocked for players. The Vault of Glass can now be entered, with hardcore enthusiasts already rushing to be the first one to clear its challenges. As with all of Destiny's raid content, a fire team must be assembled out of members of your friend list, as there is no matchmaking option for Vault of Glass.

Haven't yet picked up the game? Well, you can do so now at a discount; despite the short amount of time Destiny has been out, retailer BrandsMart is reportedly offering the game for $30, which larger retailers such as Target and Wal-Mart may or may not price match. (Reports are conflicting.) While you likely won't be ready for the Vault of Glass if you take the offer, you will be able to get in on the ground floor a fair bit cheaper, so it's still a win.

Kotaku argues that as of this morning, Destiny has "resoundingly mediocre review scores" with "76.29% on GameRankings and a 77 on Metacritic." Our sister site Joystiq reviewed the game this morning, giving it four out of five stars.

Not So Massively: Hellgate's return, HEX's beta, and Elite's pricing

Betas, Trailers, Video, Business Models, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Mobile, Consoles, MMOFPS, Not So Massively, MOBA, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play, HEX, Hearthstone

NSM
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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The Daily Grind: What's the ideal MMO raid length?

Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Dungeons, Destiny

Destiny
I thought it was interesting earlier this month when Bungie explained Destiny's raids: They're smaller than what MMO players would expect from a raid (six players), but they come with some rather old-school MMO lengths, lockouts, and death penalties. One test group, the devs said, took 45 minutes just to get to the front door!

Bungie doesn't expect MMO-savvy players to take nearly that long once they've soaked up some internet guides, of course, but the article did make me wonder what gamers are willing to tolerate raid-length-wise nowadays. I remember giant raids that went on for days in EverQuest all the way up to quickie group-finder raids in World of Warcraft. Making them shorter (and cutting out the trash) didn't really make them easier or less fun, but it sure did enable more people to play them, which seems like a better way to justify the dev time spent on them. What do you think: What's the ideal MMO raid length?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

The Think Tank: Consoles and the future of MMOs

Business Models, Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Consoles, Miscellaneous, The Think Tank, Destiny

Destiny might not be a pure MMO, but its huge launch on the fringes of the MMO space this week has prompted us to ponder whether the future of core MMOs lies in the console market. In this week's Think Tank, I polled the Massively writers about just that.

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Destiny has already raked in $500 million in sales

Sci-Fi, Bugs, Launches, MMO Industry, MMOFPS, Destiny, Buy-to-Play

destiny
Destiny's alleged big budget didn't end up being a big risk after all, as the title has become the highest-selling day-one digital console game release in history. From a combination of pre-orders, digital sales, and retail sales, Destiny has crossed the $500 million sales mark and doesn't look to be slowing any time soon.

CEO of Activision Publishing Eric Hirshberg considers this massive validation for the project: "Since the beginning, we've been confident that our investment and belief in Destiny would pay off. But not many people believed we'd be able to say it did so on day one. We have more confidence than ever that Destiny will become one of the iconic franchises of this generation and Activision's next billion-dollar brand."

However, if you're attempting to play Destiny from a college campus, you might be dealing with a frustrating impediment. Polygon notes that a networking error is blocking the game on certain campuises. Bungie said that it is aware of the issue and is working on a solution.

[Source: Activision Blizzard press release]

Destiny launches a day one patch

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Launches, New Titles, Patches, News Items, Consoles, MMOFPS, Destiny

Yikes.  Sorry, folks.
If you've played MMOs for any length of time, you've probably acquired a fear of the phrase "day one patch," as it's rarely an indication that everything will be smooth sailing. Destiny has just launched (as the most pre-ordered new IP ever, according to Activision), and it's already gotten its first patch out now, with sweeping changes to several key areas of the game's systems. Subclass locking is gone from builds and the unlocking order for subclasses has been adjusted; in addition, several classes and subclasses have seen their abilities and mechanics adjusted.

The patch also ushers in balance changes for most styles of weapon: assault rifles, pulse rifles, shotguns, scout rifles, hand cannons, HMGs, the list goes on. Some PvP mechanics and several maps have also been adjusted, which might lead to some rude awakenings for players jumping into the game expecting to know everything from beta. Check out the full patch notes for a breakdown of all the changes.

The Daily Grind: Are day-one reviews of MMOs fair?

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Launches, MMO Industry, Previews, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Destiny

This is pretty much how I feel during launch week
We've discussed the issues associated with previewing and reviewing MMOs on Massively before (we don't do "reviews" at all, you'll recall), but Bungie has brought the topic to the surface of MMO discussion once again. Ahead of Destiny's launch this week, Bungie wrote a blog post echoing what most MMO developers have long known: Experience with a launch MMO, with its systems not fully formed and its players not swarming the zones, can't really produce a review that fully captures the feel of a game with millions of people fluttering around in it. And even in a game with only 20 levels, a day-one reviewer can't possibly have completed enough content to deliver more than a snapshot of the gameplay.

Bungie didn't even mention the likelihood of the day-one MMO launch disasters that we're all so unfortunately familiar with, disasters that often make MMOs unplayable, never mind unreviewable. Still, if a game sucks at launch, isn't it fair to say so? A snapshot is useful for what it is, and there's no reason a developer should get a free pass on criticism at launch just because MMOs usually improve with age and warm bodies.

What do you think -- are early MMO reviews fair? How do you weigh them when deciding whether to purchase a game?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

Not So Massively: LoL's lore reboot, Destiny's launch, and Firefly Online's beta

Betas, Video, Business Models, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Buy-to-Play, Hearthstone

NSM - Destiny
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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Destiny's launch-day roundup

Betas, Sci-Fi, Culture, Events (Real-World), Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Destiny, Buy-to-Play

Destiny is officially live today around the world. While it may never arrive on the platform most of us MMO players prefer and it's not squarely an MMORPG, we can still cheer the arrival of a worthy mainstream crossover. Welcome to the fringes of our genre!

We've rounded up our Destiny coverage from announcement to launch to celebrate today's official release. Enjoy! (And if you want to see it live, our sister site Joystiq is streaming it right now!)

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Ask Massively: Destiny is not the boss of me

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, Ask Massively, Destiny, MMORPG

Destiny
Bungie's Destiny launches next week, and since it is by most appearances an MMO (or possibly a fragrance), we've been covering it, albeit lightly since our primary audience is not a console-only audience.

But hasn't Bungie said that Destiny isn't an MMO? That was Massively reader icnoevil's primary objection to our coverage:
So if the devs themselves have said the game is not an MMO, why does it keep showing up on this site?
There's a little thing I repeat to myself every once in a while when studio reps are being pushy about our coverage: I don't work for them. I work for Joystiq.

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Destiny's live-action trailer and Dust Palace Strike walkthrough

Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, PvE, Dungeons, Destiny, Buy-to-Play

Destiny
We've got two new videos from upcoming sci-fi shooter-MMO Destiny today. The first is the live-action "Become A Legend" trailer from Bungie. The second is from the official PlayStation blog, and it highlights Destiny's three-man level 18 Dust Palace Strike mission, a "long-form, loot-dropping mission" in which players "team up with two friends and take down the Cabal in an ancient ruin on Mars." The replayable, 30-minute mission is exclusive to PlayStation editions until later this fall.

Buy-to-play Destiny launches next week for those who have a PS3 and PS4. Catch the videos after the break!

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Tour Destiny's off-world locales via Google Street View

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Destiny, Buy-to-Play

Want to walk through the worlds of Destiny without waiting until next week's launch (and without the usual dudebro audio commentary)? You should tour DestinyPlanetView.com, which allows you to visit the sci-fi shooter's version of Venus, the Moon, and Mars using the exploration tech behind Google's Street View tool.

There's a brief preview trailer of the site in action just past the cut.

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Destiny unveils more raid details

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Endgame, News Items, Consoles, MMOFPS, Destiny

They're like every raid except now they're in a FPS, basically.
Destiny is coming out very soon, and that means future players are probably thinking about what the endgame will be like. The latest update on the official site shares some more details about how raids will work in both Normal and Hard modes and elaborates on the differences between difficulties. In short, Normal mode is meant to be far easier and allow for more diverse clearing strategies; Hard mode demands coordination and execution.

Opening raids for the first time is meant to be challenging; the devs shared an anecdote about players taking 45 minutes just to get in the front door. The developers are confident that players will be able to tackle raids more quickly once the raids are better known. There's also discussion about the weekly lockout, which will save your progress as you move through the raids. Take a look at the official update for more details.

Not So Massively: The MOBAs and pseudo-MMOs of PAX Prime 2014

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Classes, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, Marvel Heroes, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, Diablo III, Destiny, Star Citizen, Shroud of the Avatar, Elite: Dangerous, Buy-to-Play, Hearthstone

Moonrise
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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Not So Massively: Hellgate's resurrection, Path of Exile's expansion, and Destiny's launch trailer

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, Hellgate: London, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Trading Card Games, Consoles, Crime, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, World of Warplanes, MOBA, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Buy-to-Play, Hearthstone

Hellgate
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

Continue Reading


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