The Story of My Attempts to Play Destiny

There’s no hiding it. This post is a whinge, pure and simple. But a just one.

I own Destiny on PS3 and I’ve not played it much at all. I think I’ve got as far as the planet Venus in the campaign. But I remember enjoying it and only stopping playing it due to it being on an outdated system with mounting quantities of DLC with high costs and large, mandatory file sizes. When Destiny 2 was announced as being on PC, however, I got excited, and after watching the gameplay livestream a few days back I decided to set up my PS3 and play through the Destiny 1 campaign to keep me going until launch.

I gave myself ample preparation time. Knowing the notoriety of the PS3 download servers, I decided to download the inevitably huge updates in the few hours before I went to bed for work last night, knowing that I’d be able to play the next day. So I boot it up and I’m met with an 8,600mb update. 1/12. Okay, fine, go ahead. I’ll just browse Twitter while I see how long this takes.

45 minutes and 33% into the first update later, I’m met with an error. Something went wrong. I need to restart the download. Alright, fine, looks like I’m doing some downloading tomorrow. I’ll just get this first, largest update out of the way while I watch tonight’s episode of Doctor Who and shut it down during the second.

Something went wrong.

Fast forward to today. I decide to hook my PS3 up to my monitor rather than my TV so I can switch between inputs to check on the download as I edit a video on my PC. That’s my morning. And so far it’s my afternoon. And the download has failed on four separate occasions along different areas of progress, starting over at the beginning again every. Single. Time. It’s currently at 14%. I live in fear.

I’m a grown man. I’m not about to throw a tantrum because I can’t play the game I want to. But it’s a game I’ve bought, and it’s downloading these huge clumps of DLC which I’m never going to touch. It’s using maybe a tenth of my achievable download speed and it’s starting from scratch every time it fails. This download – only 8,600mb – is beginning to look like an insurmountable barrier between me and an older, outdated version of a game. A game of which I just want to play the parts that I already have downloaded.

Busy Dragon-Aging, Come Back Later

I don’t have a particular game or gaming topic to write about this week. However, I’ve just started the very exciting Dragon Age: Inquisition, a game of which I’m sure I’ll have more to discuss with you this time next Thursday.

In the meantime, I’m going to point you in the direction of my gameplay clips channel. I’ve done this before, I think, but I’d like to specifically draw attention to the fact that I’ve recently organised all of my videos into playlists. Since these clips are usually thirty seconds long (with a few special exceptions having been combined in editing), it makes for a hopefully enjoyable highlight reel experience. Here’s my Skyrim playlist.

Kritigri’s Top 5 Games Played During 2016

So it’s around this time of year that every starts making their top 10 games of 2016 lists, but as somebody who only got a decent gaming in August and was subsequently too busy playing all their older games in glorious 60fps at ultra settings, I’ve not exactly played much of this year’s games. So instead, I’ve created a list of the top five games that I’ve either started playing, or played the majority of in this year. So, without further ado:

5: The Elder Scrolls: Online

This game has a bad reputation for launching with a subscription fee, with many features of Elder Scrolls games missing, and apparently most inexcusably, for not being multiplayer Skyrim. Since launch, however, the mandatory subscription fee has been waived, a plethora of updates have polished the game and brought it up to standard, and whenever the game goes on sale, a rush of excited new players give negative reviews of the game for it not being multiplayer Skyrim.

ESO is a great MMO in its own right, and it might have been higher up on my list had I not only scratched the surface of it. While it’s true that I have 75 hours logged in the game, you can pretty much divide that number by 10 in regards to how much experience that’d give a gamer in a typical RPG. My character is yet to hit level 30, but I’ve very much enjoyed working my way through the quests in Stonefalls, Deshaan (both provinces of Morrowind), Shadowfen (part of Black Marsh) and have recently arrived in Windhelm (part of Skyrim, though the not the entirety of Skyrim is in ESO… for now.) I find the storytelling to be unique and interesting, and the fact that every quest and NPC in the game is fully voice acted is an achievement not to be sneered at, considering the sheer size of ESO’s Tamriel. The quest objectives themselves may be somewhat copy/pasted, but this is a problem – a trope, even – that many (if not all) MMO’s are doomed to follow.

So far, the only downside to ESO, for me, is that I mostly play alone. When I joined WoW some years ago, I was able to find a social guild that I could talk to before I’d even hit level 30; in ESO, most of the ‘social’ guilds I’ve joined say almost nothing to each other except for when they need somebody to join them for a dungeon. Perhaps it’s simply bad luck. More likely, it’s me missing my WoW guild. But this is a personal downside; ESO is actually a very solo friendly game.

4: Assassin’s Creed 2

Okay, so I’ve played AC2 before. What I really mean with this listing is the entirety of the Ezio trilogy. But I chose AC2 specifically because I believe it had the perfect amount of collectables and side-missions to complete, and was the most fulfilling experience of the three games.

The Ezio trilogy is a masterpiece of storytelling, and this is coming from someone who appreciates both the past and the present aspects of the story. Ezio himself is a truly likeable character, and the fact that we stay with him from his birth to his elderly life and watch him mature only increases my connection to the character. I also loved uncovering all of the templar conspiracies in the format of Subject 16’s scraps of code, and getting a sense for the wider narrative of Assassin’s Creed. I recently wrote a full blog post on the games here.

3: Grand Theft Auto V

More specifically, GTA Online. More specifically still, the PC version. More specifically still, the Cunning Stunts DLC. Because there’s a reason why the people of GTA: San Andreas Online went through the hassle of modding in silly midair stunt ramps, and Rockstar recognised this and capitalised on it wonderfully. It may help that I’m a longtime fan of the Trackmania series, but this is the first update to GTA: Online to really grip me. There’s a decent selection of tracks (plus you can make and share your own), and I’ve always loved the way cars handle in GTA V. Plus, it’s yet another wonderful way of making in-game money and numbing the microtransaction-enforced grind to get the things you want.

I’ve written more about the game here.

2: World of Warcraft: Legion

What, not number 1?

Anyway, if you’ve been reading this gaming blog over the last 5 or so months, you probably got a little sick of hearing me talk about WoW. Namely, I discussed it here, here, and here. And yes, I went on to play many hours of the expansion, partaking in dungeons and guild raids (for the first time) and world quests and all of the amazing things that Legion has to offer. In fact, I pretty much tunnel-visioned the game for 4 months straight. And Legion has so much content, you could never keep on top of it all. Blizzard more than made up for the barren of dead content that was their previous expansion.

But I burned myself out on it. I have no doubt that within a few months I’ll be back at it again, but I’m currently taking a break. For once, this was not because I’d log in and wonder what I could possibly do with my time, but instead, because I’d log in and be hit with a wave of indecision with so much choice. And I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but when you burn out on a game, you burn out all the same, whether it’s because of there being not enough content or just because you’ve played the damn thing for 4 months and ended up dreaming that the next raid tier was released early and got a little embarrassed and decided to focus on other things.

But that’s not why this game is in second place. Legion would be number 1 were it not for a game that actually trumped it.

1: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

At the beginning of the year, I was getting a little fed up about how bad my attention span was. For instance, I recognised that I had started up maybe four different saves of Skyrim over the last few years, always getting to Whiterun and then failing to continue, even though I was having fun. So, as part of my New Year’s resolution, I decided that I was going to 100% complete Skyrim. As in, get all 75 achievements, which include hitting certain levels, completing multitudes of quest lines, doing crafting, doing DLC, doing damn near everything there is to do besides clearing every single dungeon in the game.

And I did it.

I don’t think any game has held onto me the way that Skyrim has. I love the sassy NPCs and the physics bugs and the skill trees and the combat system and I love that I know the game inside-out enough to start a second playthrough with the Special Edition and know every nook and cranny but still not be bored. I love that after 170 hours I can still find a random encounter that I’ve never seen or play a fully unique quest that I never knew existed, that I can replay the civil war as a filthy Stormcloak instead of a faithless Imperial, that I can build a house again, that I can learn archery and sneaking and blind bloody murder and that I can look away from my screen and realise that 8 hours have gone by and that the real world still exists. I love that I still have so much to learn about the incredibly expansive, unique and hard to wrap your hard around lore, and that I can do this by deciding to go book collecting for my own library.

I’ve always said that my favourite game of all time was Ratchet and Clank 2 but I think we have a very strong contender here.

I’ve not even tried mods yet.

Honorable Mention

I feel like I owe Kingdoms of Amalur an apology. It should have been on this list. I bought it in February and played 9 hours of it and absolutely loved it, but for whatever reason, I stopped right there. And I always meant to get back to it, and I didn’t. But I feel like it’s another big, open-world RPG that I might just go ahead and 100%, because it is a rich, colourful, unique world that deserves attention.

Maybe 2017, eh?

The Worst Blogger

activity
From my Steam profile

What you’re looking at is the precise reason as to why I have no gaming blog post available for you today. I’ve created virtually no new gaming experiences outside of World of Warcraft, and I’ve blogged about that for 2 weeks running (and have practically nothing left to say on the matter). I’ve considered writing about a particular topic in gaming instead, such as split-screen gaming or Sony’s new PS4 Pro, but I can’t think of anything to say that’d fill up a blog post.

Come back next week! We’ll see what we can rustle up then.

Ah, The Ol’ Redirect

So since I got this PC, I’ve also upgraded to Windows 10 and with it, have gained the function to record the last 30 seconds of my gameplay and save it as a video file. As somebody who loves sharing their gaming moments, this is like crack to me. Initially, I simply uploaded the videos as 30 second soundless gifs to my Twitter whenever I wanted to share something, but Twitter is an unreliable snowflake and this would often take many attempts to upload without crashing.

After a quick bit of problem solving, I commandeered an old, abandoned Youtube channel of mine and repurposed it. If you want to see gaming clips from yours truly, head on over to this channel and have a gander. I must stress, however, that the context for these clips will usually be in an accompanying tweet, and subscribing to the channel on its own might not yield enjoyment. So if you’re interested, maybe look at my Twitter instead.


Well, that wasn’t much of a blog post.

Okay, so the issue is that since last week, all I’ve been playing is more WoW and Saints Row, so I really don’t have anything to talk about. Like, at all. So I must apologise for the lack of a proper gaming blog post this week. This is usually the easier of the two blogs to write for!

Speaking of two blogs, I did write a bonus blog post this morning, if you’re interested in that. Here is a linkeroo.

This time next week, the new World of Warcraft expansion will have been out for two whole days. Assuming that the launch has gone well, you’ll likely be hearing about it, so just a head’s up if that’s not your cup of tea! I might try to fit in a bonus blog post about another game sometime in the next 2 weeks, lest this blog become scarce of content.

Update on the PC

Huh? Oh, right, yeah, the blog post. Well, here’s the thing: My laptop’s doomed. If I try to run anything more intensive than, say, Minecraft, the poor machine flares into a ball of starfire and shuts itself down. Naturally, then, I’ve not been playing much other than Pokemon Black. Go and read that chain of tweets if you’re eager for some sort of gaming content from me today! (Er… just bear in mind that my comedy is based somewhat on profane overreaction in my Twitter feed.)

Now… I said the PC would be up and running by Tuesday. Well, it’s Thursday, and it’s all here, but I (rather stupidly) didn’t forsee the thing coming without the graphics card and motherboard being pre-installed. Now, I’m rather nifty with the software side of things, but hardware is an entirely different story, and as this is a rather pricey piece of equipment and computer innards are as susceptible to breakage as a British government is to self-sabotage, I’ve enlisted someone to help me. They’ll be out on Saturday.

In the meantime, I’ll be in the corner twiddling my thumbs and giving my 3DS the love it deserves.