Destiny ++
You mean we have to do this shit again?

Terrorism is the use of a tool beyond your ability to invent or create as a means to destroy a society that can invent or create the tool you're using. Terrorism is Judo. It contains the somatic component 'terror' because that is the chief challenge of being a moral human; the animal existence which places limits on our behavior even as we strive to overcome those limits and act in an unlimited way (see John Wick and also sequels (also the Lion King, where, apparently, people are Lions (Have you SEEN a Lion?! (most lions can fuck you up)))).

Destiny 2 is a game about shooting a person. The person will fall over if you shoot them enough, but if you shoot them in the right spot they will explode. The race of the person determines how they explode. For example, if they are a ugly or fat person, their head will emit white gas. Like destroying the valve of a SCUBA tank. If they are an extremely thin person, they will pop into glowing shards! Old people also disintegrate explosively, though, generally, when they pop, it's pretty hard to tell what's going on. You're mostly just glad they're not blinding you with black clouds. Or sending legions of terrifying skeletal monsters to claw you to death.

Let's diverge for a moment to talk about the weapons in Destiny one and two. And the jumping mechanics. And the grenade mechanics. And the leveling mechanics. No wait, let's not do that just right now, but let's definitely "parking lot" this issue. Which is a software term that means 'discuss later'. But requires a buzzword.

Let the concept we are talking about equal X. Where X is the idea that...

There are 4 races in Destiny. Thin people, Fat people, Ugly people, and Old people. In Destiny 1, we fought the old people, then the ugly people, then the old people again, then Death Itself As Perceived By Old people (which is just old people with a palette swap, and all the people they were when they were younger, as dark shades with a spark of life left in them--hungry for you to get out of their house and off their lawn), and then Ugly people again, who adopted an internet meme to become even uglier.

Destiny 2 begins with a breakout creative move. We fight Fat people. Those fat people. They're so fat! Fuck those fatties. Shoot them in their vulnerable spots which, given how fat they are, include their tiny heads, and the shields they hold that make it so hard to shoot their tiny heads, because, after all, they're too lazy to dodge, weave, or reposition. Fat people launch rhetorical missiles that occasionally blind you. Sometimes fat people rush at you in an alarming manner (it is more comical than alarming).

Let's talk about the kinds of shooter gun things that a shooter gun man in a shooter gunmangame might use to shoot guns with. There's shoot alot gun. It shoots as long as you hold shoot and shoot a bunch! Then there's shoot alot, but nervous guy. Shoot Shoot Shoot! Oh wait, don't shoot right now. Am I shooting too much? I didn't mean to shoot that much. Did I shoot too much? Hey. Hey. HEY. Did I shoot too much? Then there's perfect shoot guy. WELL I'M SORRY PERFECT SHOOT GUY, I'M NOT PERFECT. But also your shoot is a great shoot. God. I wish I could shoot that shoot. My bad. So maybe, then, there's a shoot guy who's better shoot guy. But after long term balancing and special efforts we all realize 'hey, no, man, don't be that shoot guy all the time', so now that's awkward old 'uncle shoot' with his weird shots that you crumple up into nothing, and stick in the recycling bin of the neighbor's shoots to boost up to mediocrity in the shoot world. At shoot thanksgiving you all sit around asking 'hey what have you shot recently?' and tell stories, only to find out that uncle shoot has been doing fine and shooting a few things, but not, you know, a Boss Monster. Or anything. Want to join a Raid?

No. I mean, yeah, but no.

Well, I don't want to be awkward. I mean, All the time. I do sometimes. But it's there. I can totally awkward shoot if I want to. So that's 4 things. Shoot often, shoot nervous, shoot perfect (but fuck that), and 'shoot the best' (but not anymore because we fixed it). Lasers are an issue. Perhaps some vestige of creativity has accidentally been included in the franchise.

Disclaimer: I am not referring to any particular weapon, just the vague categories, and the fact that, inevitably, all the great balancing that makes the shooting feel good goes out the window thanks to the RPG mechanics. On both ends of the effectivity spectrum. A spectrum which measures how effective a thing might be. The ultimate spectrum; binary.

Back to those fat people.

The Fat people expend prodigious amounts of jet fuel when they reposition, as a kind of sign of their perpetual gross overuse of resources. Fat people are obsessed with being airborne because of how fat they are. They worship blimps, the functional form of fatness.

Excuse me, "Rigid airship".

To lay my cards on the table, I'm fat. I used to be much much (x2 bonus!) fatter. I'm also ugly! Upon deep examination and soul-searching, I used to be much uglier (only a single much). I am rapidly aging and will die someday as well. Also, the 4th thing.


Ok, I read back up in the text, and realize that probably, I can't make a case for being thin. I don't know what that horrifying sin is like. Perhaps all of you slendermen can describe the way in which you present your corrosive demeanor to society, and, like terrorists, destroy good things.

Eat a hearty stew made of bone broth, well seasoned proteins, and fresh vegetables. Thus I condemn you.

Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. . . and I? I was the one less travel'd by. And that has made all the diff'r'nce

Let's talk about the energy weapons. In Destiny there has always been a kind of weapon that is *not* the kind of weapon you use most, but is the OTHER kind. For SPECIAL occasions. In the shooting gallery side of the house, the OTHER is used rarely. Or in desperation. In the competitive side of the house, the OTHER is used always and only switched out if there is a distinct advantage to doing so. Because all people are the OTHER. To one-another.
Katy Perry.

Compete with the OTHER, you fools.

The OTHER weapon, traditionally, was an act of desperation in weapon form. Shooter man wants to shoot much much faster than anybody. So there is a shoot faster shooter. It shoots totally fast! Unfortunately, it shoots so fast, you will shoot all your shoots before you know you shot them! Good luck finding more shoots after that, I'll tell you. So there's shoot a lot but don't shoot that much? Maybe shoot a little less. Also, oh hay, maybe you want to shoot whatever you shot already again? Shoot more of what you already shot, buddy. We believe in you.

You know what, that's 2 more kinds of shoots, and we're selling shootsmangame. You better just shoots whatever shooting feels shooty to you, adonis. Shoot it up! This is a 'shooter it up' (to coin a phrase).

Let's talk about sight management. You ever managed a site, motherfucker? MANAGE THAT SIGHT, FUCKSHIT. Sorry. Do your best. We're all counting on you.

So, once upon a time, there was a computer interface that allowed you to use your complete arm to move the input device and also a complete screen to meet you in the middle for making the effort. This Interface's Name Was MOUSE.

Not everybody has a mouse.

Now, once upon this same time from the last time you heard the phrase 'once upon a time', someone made a device that let people interact with computers like a grotesque animals. This thing was called the controller. It was a huge step back from the evanescent completeness of sophisticated language called the keyboard. But, it has a useful intersection with the pragmatic point of view that in a limited scope, the PEASANT must accept restrictions on their input.

Sidebar: All video games were controller input driven, originally. Computers standardized all input to a mouse/keyboard input, and consoles retread the ancient past as a part of modern conveniences such as the microwave, automatic clothes-washing-machine and tampons.

(back to controller-land)It's like school, or sports, or working your job in life that you have. You might in some hypothetical plane be capable of Anything* (*anythingtobelimitedbytheinfluencersinyourregionAnydiscussiongofthemanythingthataresubjecttodismantilizationbypartiesknownanduknownandpartiesthatareaAhyperpositionofthetwobaseduponAnebulousconceptofSuccess).

Martin Scorsese to direct.

Let's talk about accessibility. Let's say, hypothetically, a prisoner gets off a train, and the prison-guard (charged with extermination of the prisoner, but unable, for whatever fig-leaf reason, to exterminate the prisoner, directly), makes the prisoner drag a bag of WET SALT half-a-mile across the prison yard. The prisoner is miserable and expected to die. The prison guard is, essentially, seeking to murder the prisoner, but, for some reason of culture, restricted from just shooting them. The prisoner, if they refuse the work, will be shot.

As the prisoner, it's perfectly reasonable to be shot. But if you choose not to be shot, that's heroic. If you were in this person's place, would you choose to be shot?

No one has any right to force someone to drag a bag of WET SALT.

The essence of accessibility is the infusion of the heroic narrative via the medium of magic into the tragedy of human experience as a mechanism of Change.

The problem with magic is that it is not real, and, even in stories, it's complicated and difficult to come to grips with.

Let's talk about jumping. Jumping is hard. Nobody can jump. I've seen people; they can't jump. Destiny is a game in which everybody can jump. Everyone wants you to jump. They know why people jump and care about the Destination of those jumps. There's 3 kinds of jump, which they pretend is 9 kinds of jump but which, actually, is like 5 kinds of jump, that could be paired down to 3 kinds of jump.

Jump one is the one where you jump and kind of float in an arc. Sometimes jumping again quickly will add momentum to your jump. Sometimes jumping late will decrease moment. The other two kinds of jump are 'jump whenever, we give up on this premise' and 'ok, fine, just teleport'.

Ironically, Destiny's chief competitor, Overwatch (9.9 out of 11.11283 on the torus rottentomatoes/metacritic superscale) thinks about traversing space in more ways than how to handle floaty jumps. Maybe they also think about how to shooty a man than how often the shoots shoot and how much shoots a shooter can shoot before not shooting. Also there are no trumps in Overwatch, despite having long cooldown abilities for all characters that are diverse and different. And skilled.

Let's watch this bullshit for a second: this bullshit

Ok, let's talk about luck. Let's talk about skill. Let's talk about skill and luck and skill and then luck again. Let's talk about iteration across the broad category of all games. Where do you come out?

My wife is nervous. It's ok, she's cool otherwise, but when she's *really* nervous, she's an inept wreck. But, weirdly, when she's somewhere between uncomfortable and terrified, she's incredibly successful. My wife (who supposedly never played chess after 'that one time or two' when she 'was young') beat me 3 times in a row at chess.

Full disclosure, I don't like chess, because I make a lot of mistakes, and you can't make mistakes at chess.

But my dumb wife, who's an idiot, treats her consistent wins as pure luck, while her persistent self-image tells her that she's bad at paying attention and bad at complex rules, and bad at holding her own. Even though she keeps beating me at chess.

My dumb wife is so dumb, that, on average, when introduce to a complex boardgame at random, she will win 70% of the time. Including wins over her moron husband who she thinks, somehow, is smarter than her. Except not really, because this is mostly an ego trip for everybody involved.

At any rate, let's talk about skill. Skill is a form of superiority earned with effort that severs a community into 2 parts. As a part of the binary math of the universe, that brings all segments of a population into 8 broad parts.

The bottom 50% (0) (F)
The next 25% (100-100/2^2) (50-75 F to C)
The next 12.5% (75 - 87.5 C to B+)
The next 6.25% (87.5-93.75 B+ to A- (even though we usually think this is an A))
The next 3.125% (93.75-96.875 A+)
The next 1.5625 (96.875-98.4575 A+)
0.78125 (98.4575-99.21875)
0.390625 (99.21875-gofuckyourself who cares)

When we do this 8 times, we account for 99.6 of the existing universe, but there's still '.039', which is to say, 39 out of 10000 people which are not accounted for in this method. (296,000,000 out of the world population)

There's a lot of people on earth. A population of these annoying assholes exists without a country. They have to fend for themselves. First, they have to decide if their skill matters to anybody, and then they have to decide if, operating in the vacuum of their fellow hyper-effective human beings, they want to be evil or good. Perhaps this is where we derive the concept. Were we all rolling dice for millenia looking for someone who gave a shit?

The price of Destiny 2 is, at present, 80 dollars. When I bought it, it was 100 dollars as part of a tax to fund the first two seasons of the game's DLC. The first DLC includes a number of remarkable environments, and a story-piece that includes adventuring within a Virtual Realm Architected by An Alien Machine Intelligence.

In other words the experience is so far up its own ass, it cannot access oxygen. The game devs have decided to create a series of challenges that are all based on completely random tasks which cause the time-spent to get some reward to vary between 10 minutes and 8 hours. This recreates the earliest, most predatory aspects of MMOs without the carefully considered interweavings of results-for-time-spent that modern MMOs achieve.

As an important side-note, Blizzard, somehow, has found a way to entrance people while allowing them to play real video games, and not a derivative exploitation of Shoot-Man's adventures in Shootmania.

Overwatch is pretty hard to play.

I have not played overwatch yet. I suffer from a lack of self-respect that keeps me from picking up the controller and getting in there. I mean, look at Zarya. She's a butch, tough as nails weight-lifting homoclast. How can I contend with that? Activate my shield at-need? With limited energy? Endanger myself impetuously to enhance my damage output? That's a lot of pressure! LEAVE ME ALONE, GOD!

Ok ok. Ok.


Yeah. I can probably try and see how I do. I bet I can do ok. I can probably learn to be Zarya.

Except...How...Like. I can learn how to channel the force field and beam cannon, but ...I should have a family, right? I mean...I have the ability. How can I balance having a family with engaging in skirmishes in which I shield friends to absorb energy and melt opponents with a fusion beam?

I envy Pharah. Anya got her on the right path and now, she can sleep well knowing justice reigns from above.

How can you be Bastion in a universe that contains Zaryas? They'll shield themselves, suffer your hail of bullets and fusion beam you to death. Your desire to raise birds seems LUDICROUS.

Destiny 2's christmas special involves PVP where a lot of the rules are gone. The space magics flow freely and so TOO does the access to 'power ammo', which kind-of sells itself, on the premise that it's a Trump.

Trump play is a form of play in which people recognize superiority in the form of an unnatural advantage, and then create rules around it. For example, in Hearts, you can 'shoot the moon' by taking all the penalty cards in a single game. The entire hearts suite and the queen of spades. In some sense, seeing that you're failing offers new opportunities. Longer term strategies win over shorter term ones.

Hearts is, perhaps, a game in which shorter term strategies prevail.

I played Destiny and the Strikes were great. In the first section of most Strikes, you had to make your way past a bunch of detritus enemies and challenges arranged for the novices. By avoiding them, quickly, you made your way to the Main Event. In the Main Event, you fought a Boss. Fighting the boss usually consisted of running Like Hell (to safety, one presumes), and then marshalling your butt-kicking and doing some damage. Then the boss would typically corner you again and you would run like hell to safety until you finished killing the boss. In the midst of this process, you could be more efficient at getting to the boss, and more efficient at killing the boss. It was a DragonQuest in two parts.

New Destiny is going to the gym after work. It's an obligation. Want to go on a strike? I sure hope you enjoy traversing a major portion of our maps after being gated behind a few strange objectives. Hey! Video game players love insider knowledge. Here's some for you; if you don't hold 'down' on your controller while hurtling toward the next stage of the boss encounter, you will be smashed into a wall and die! If you Hold Down and down engage your jetpack at the right moment, you will fall, and die! You have thus inconvenienced your party! No one has done anything to educate you about this circumstance! We have a lot of enemies that one-shot kill you and, give our new methods of spawning random rushing-monsters, there's no reason you should know that you might have been educated!

This trick creates exactly 1 (one) new experience, and (number of times doing thing) X (tolerance) examples of being annoyed!

Other fun ideas:

The boss is invisible and supported by exploding enemies who have enough health to always make it into melee range
The boss can knock you off the map (and will (and does!))
The boss is gated by poorly considered death-traps which are hard to navigate because your game engine was never designed to create the kind of proprioception required to avoid threats to your body
You removed some loading but still require me to load new environments to get rewards so who cares about what you did? Maybe kill yourself!