Destiny and DLC. Why People Shouldn’t Be Freaking Out

ygj-destiny

As you might’ve guessed from my previous post on the subject, I’m an avid Destiny player.  I picked up the game at launch and play it for a couple hours at a time at least 4-5 times a week (I have an incredibly understanding girlfriend).  In my previous post I discussed how much I enjoy the game, as well as my feelings of disappointment towards certain aspects of it.  An incredibly vocal group of Destiny players have been calling Bungie out of late in regards to content (or a lack thereof) and them introducint DLC.  A great many of them end with a statement that they’re going to be picking up Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare when it comes out and that they’re leaving Destiny for it.  As such, I decided to compare the two using the most recent game, Call of Duty: Ghosts, and decided that they’re welcome to leave, but history shows that they’d be getting the short end of the stick. Now I’ve played both games extensively and, with the exception of the last 2, purchased Ghost’s DLC packs. My 2 big categories of comparison are Launch Content and DLC content/price.

Content at Launch:

Call of Duty: Ghosts

Average Duration of Single Player: 3-5 hours.
Number of Multiplayer PvP Maps: 14
Number of PvP Game Modes: 15 (although each are variations on a couple basic themes)

Destiny

Average Duration of Single Player: 10-13 Hours
Number of Multiplayer PvP Maps: 11
Number of PvP Game Modes: 6

Winner – Depends on player preferance

Well, this one’s a more based on your gamestyle. If you prefer co-op missions and duration of game, Destiny wins due to a longer campaign mode and the ability to co-op.  Unfortunately, the disconnection between missions, ability to run them out of order, and mild repetition causes the game’s MMO referances to show and serves to make the story a little disconnected and hard to follow but being able to run them co-op makes them entertaining by having your friends there. However, if you prefer PvP CoD:G wins due to the larger number of maps and increased number of game modes.

DLC:

Call of Duty: Ghosts

Price of DLC: $14.99 Individually or all 4 as part of the Season Pass for $50 total (or $12 apiece).
Content of DLC: 4 PvP maps, 1 storyline for Extinction (equal to a Destiny Raid), 1 gun
Additional DLC: Skin packs could be bought for $2.99 apiece that would change how your guns and emblems looked. This was purely cosmetic and had no impact on the game.

Destiny

Price of DLC: $20 individually or $30-$32 as part of the Expansion Pass ($15-$16 apiece)
Content of DLC: If The Dark Below is any indication, each DLC will contain 5 story missions, 3 PvP maps, 1 Strike (or two if you’re on PlayStation), 1 Raid, 6 sets of armor (2 for each class, one raid and one from Eris), 8 weapons, and 3 ships (cosmetic feature for now).
Additional DLC: None announced, but Bungie said in an interview there might be DLC themed weapon/armor packs, but they’ll never be stronger than what you get for free in the core game, just different looking, thus preventing a pay-to-win

Winner – Destiny

While the DLC of CoD:G is cheaper, it contains far less content than the Destiny DLC does.

 

While I can understand the frustration of paying for content after getting the game, Destiny was always intended to expand beyond launch.  Just look at now popular MMOs like WoW and you can see how they started relatively small and repetitive and, after quite a few paid expansions, wound up huge and versatile.  Destiny is just going to be one of those games that needs time to see if we’re just going to get fed the same old crap over and over or if it can truly become the epic game that Bungie believes it will be.

Madness at the Movie (PHN 2014): B-Movie Halloween Gems

matmSo, it’s Halloween again, and every social media website from Buzzfeed to Reddit is thrusting their “Best of” lists at you, trying to convince you to watch Hostel 4 or Ju-on 8. However, for those of us not into torture porn, inscrutable Japanese spirits, or whatever the hell The Human Centipede thinks it is, there are always the B-horror movies.

When I call these “B-movies”, I don’t mean that negatively. What I mean is that I think these movies tend to get overlooked in favor of other, more established horror films. I mean, we’ve all seen Evil Dead 2 and Halloween, right? Why retread such familiar ground when your Halloween party starts to roll? Remember, part of the frisson of horror stems from novelty – if you’re watching a scary movie for the 31st time, it *probably* isn’t scary anymore. So, with that in mind, here are a few movies worth 90 minutes of your time that might’ve flown under your radar. If any of them pique your interest, check out our Last Minute Halloween Movie Matrix at the end of the post for where to find them. Read more

Funny Looks and Failure, Part 3 or, “You Know What Else Would Be Cool…?”

So, in my last post, I explained that I decided, despite a complete lack of knowledge as to how, to build a “magic” treasure chest for my daughters that could only be unlocked when three crystals were placed into the lid.

Since I didn’t know how to do this, you’d think that’d be enough.

The problem, I learned, is that in the absence of actual planning (as, say, someone who knew what the hell they were doing might do), all you’re left with is pie-in-the-sky imagination.  Now, that can be a good thing – sometimes.  But in my case, that meant that what began as one difficult task soon became several.

See, as I mentioned before, I was going to have one crystal per daughter (and I have three daughters).  So, 3 crystals.  When I started thinking about how to place those crystals on the lid, there weren’t many options.  Basically, (if you recall your geometry class), unless I put them in a straight line, the three crystals would define a triangle.  So, imagine for a moment that you have the words “magic”, “treasure”, and “triangle” floating about in your head.

I don’t know about you, but when I think magical treasure triangles, I think “Triforce”.

And everyone knows that there are three Triforces (courage, wisdom, and power), which continued with the theme of “3”s.

fl_3_pic.fw

More highly technical blueprints. You can see the Triforce theme starting to emerge.

 

But then, I reasoned, if I have three glowing crystals, it would look weird to have three non-glowing triangles.  So…the triangles would have to glow too.  Okay, fair enough.  If I can get the crystals to glow, after all, it shouldn’t be much harder to get the triangles to glow, too, right?  And what if, when the triangles lit up, you could see my daughters’ initials in them?  Wouldn’t that be cool?

And then I thought…this is a magic treasure chest with three glowing crystals and three glowing triangles on the lid.  Was I seriously going to have this thing open without playing the “Secret” theme from Legend of Zelda?

No.  No, I wasn’t.

Of course, now this thing involves speakers, which are going to need more power than what a few LEDs would require.  Plus, I have no idea how to play music on anything that’s not, you know, already designed to play music.

Okay, so now my task list looked something like this:

  1. Figure out how to make crystals glow.
  2. Figure out how to make triangles glow.
  3. Figure out how to make letters appear within the triangles.
  4. Figure out how to make placing the crystals open a lock.
  5. Figure out how to play music when the lock is opened.
  6. Figure out how to power it all.

At this point, looking over the list of things I didn’t know how to do, my thought process was something like: “I need to buy something now before I talk myself out of this.”  So I plunked down $120 on a soldering iron and a Beginner’s Arduino Kit from Amazon, and blundered off.

Next time:  I actually try to build something and get Rickrolled in the process.

Ravine Vol 2 Companions

RAVINETPBv02_COV(DONE)_wlogoStjepan Sejic and Ron Marz wants again bring us into their new fantasy world, Ravine.

It has been a year since the first chapter of this story made it’s appearance on shelves and tablets and It has been a long wait for this next chapter in an interesting story.

With such a long hiatus, it is difficult to know where to begin in discussing this second chapter in the story of Ravine. The easiest place for me to start is the art.

The cover is gorgeous. It has the two of the main characters, Lynn and Stein, in a circular frame of fire and dragons. The colors are bright and have a fall palette that gives it a warm comfy feeling while still being dynamic. It captures the feel of a classic fantasy novel cover without feeling old and over-used. The interior artwork holds up to the promise that the cover makes. Sejic’s art is finely detailed with gorgeous backgrounds that meld together to create pages that are breathtaking throughout. In most graphic novels, there are certain pages that are significantly better than the rest of the book. Here, that is not the case. Sejic’s work starts off strong with the cover and never loses steam. In particular, I enjoy the loving attention that he gives to arms and armor. The weaponry is flat-out amazing and the armor that the characters wear are so finely detailed that you linger to see each one.

The writing is solid. The book opens up giving us a brief glimpse of the initiating action that has started the terrible events that are unfolding. We get to see Azriel and Calisto before they are the weapons that our current heroes wield. This recap is nicely done. It is kept brief and still communicate new information that was not presented in the first book. The book then jumps in where we left off. Lynn has just met Stein and their meeting is not the most auspicious.  As fate would have it, our two wanderers decide to travel together to Wade so that they can continue on Stein’s quest to find the dragon graveyard. What follows is a travelogue. The reader is treated to the growing companionship between Lynn and Stein while getting to see the various other factions that are in movement around these two wanderers.

This wolrd that Sejic and Marz have created has a depth and breadth that one comes to expect from epic fantasy. There are bits of action and adventure intertwined with love, lust and magic to keep any reader turning the pages. I like the relationship that this book builds between Lynn and Stein. It has the feeling of a deep friendship without the tensions that are expected between two so different people. I am hoping that we will get to see this relationship continue though certain revelations are sure to cause difficulties soon.

If I had to voice one complaint, It would be that I have to wait so long between books. The art is great and story engrossing that I hate the thought of having to wait another year for the next installment.

outside of that, this second volume of Ravine is an excellent book and I recommend picking it up.

Reign of Ironclaw: The Matching Point

kor_s03e05.fwAs answers are finally achieved, the stakes are revealed while a storm boils on the horizon…

We’d love to hear from you! Give us a call and share your comments, questions, and suggestions. If we use your voicemail in the show, you’ll win an Ideology of Madness SurPrize!

GM’s note: Knights of Reignsborough: Reign of Ironclaw is a role playing game actual play podcast. It is not our intent to teach a system, rather to entertain. As such, much of the game mechanic discussion has been edited from the audio.

Knights of Reignsborough: Reign of Ironclaw is on a bi-weekly release schedule.  Episode 4 will be released the weekend of October 24th.

Play

Funnybooks with Aron and Paulie: Chasing Batman!

FBEP255.fw

  • DC’s big upcoming movie announcement
  • Carrie Kelley in Batman v. Superman
  • DC TV Updates – Arrow, Flash, and Gotham
  • Wonder Woman ‘77
  • Batman and Robin #35
  • Green Lantern: New Guardians #35 (Godhead)
  • Earth 2: World’s End #2
  • Justice League #35
  • Hawkeye by Jeff Lemire
  • Robert Downey Jr joins Captain America 3
  • Edge of Spider-Verse #5
  • Death of Wolverine #4

The Reign of Ironclaw is HERE!  Check out Knights of Reignsborough Season 3!  Episode three is coming this weekend!

Also, check out the Ideology of Madness YouTube Channel for enhanced content!

Play

PHN 2014: #HHN24 Final 2014 House Rankings (The Gospel According to Kyle)

As part of the “Face Off” media event, we were invited to partake in a RIP (think VIP) tour of all of this year’s houses as well as premium seating for Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure. In the videos that I’ve put out on my View From The Cheap Seats YouTube channel, I’ve consistently stated that if you are planning on attending Halloween Horror Nights, the express pass option is highly recommended. That said, if you are within financial means (rates start at $109 per person), I could not suggest enough to partake in a RIP tour. The RIP tour is limited to 12 people to a group and allows for front of the line access to all houses. Universal will make you feel like a rock star with their RIP tour and you will never want to go back to waiting in general lines for HHN again.

With all of the extra time that I had from not waiting in long lines this past weekend, I was able to give thought to my final rankings of all of the houses in this year’s Halloween Horror Nights lineup. The best according to me, from the top down:

Read more

PHN 2014: #HHN24 Face Off: In The Flesh Media Event

21_Face Off - In the FleshIt was quite a surprise when my phone rang mid-week with an urgent assignment. However, when assignments involve amazing times at Orlando’s premier Halloween event, you drop everything and run. As a result, the 2014 edition of Pauloween continued this weekend, with a special “Face Off: In The Flesh” media event held at Universal Studios Orlando Resort.

For those unaware, Universal has always used scare zones as supplements to their haunted houses at Halloween Horror Nights. Scare zones keep the guests feeling creepy as they traverse one section of the park to another. Over the last couple of years, Universal has experimented with roving scare zones and set scare zones all set to the same intellectual property (last year’s The Walking Dead theme). This year, Universal has a mixed bag of ground up (self developed) set scare zones (Bayou of Blood & MASKerade) and partnerships with intellectual properties “The Purge” and “Face Off”.

SyFy’s “Face Off” provides a perfect synergy for Halloween Horror Nights. “Face Off” is a reality based tv show, which pits contestants against each other in a timed environment where they must develop new creatures based on the supplies that they are given. While the show is currently approaching the end of its 7th season, many of the contestants have honed their skills while working at Universal Studios.

Season 5 winner (also season 3 finalist) Laura Tyler is an excellent example of someone that has come full circle by starting her career at Universal Studios performing airbrush makeup and then was able to apply her skill set to becoming a series champion. When I spoke with Laura, she indicated that felt her chances at winning at “Face Off” were increased by her background working at Universal Studios.

Read more

By the Blood of Heroes: The Great Undead War Book 1

bbohContinuing in the spirit of Pauloween, I have a review of book that easily fits within the season.

By the Blood of Heroes: The Great Undead War Book 1 is written by Joseph Nassise and is set in an alternate history World War I. The Kaiser’s army has solved the problem of man power through the invention of Corpse Gas. This gas raises the dead on the battle field and transforms them into ravening zombies that thirst for human flesh. In addition to this discovery, the German army has discovered a method by which they are able to direct the zombies and use them as shock troops.

The war is not going well for the allied forces.

The story that we follow in this book is that of two brothers. Major Jack Freeman is a World War I flying ace and Captain Michael Burke, a veteran of several tours on the front lines. They are brothers but come from two very different worlds and their relationships is strained to say the least. Jack is shot down over enemy territory by the dreaded Red Baron, Manfred Von Richthofen. Everyone is searching for Jack. Von Richtofen wants to find him as proof of his skill over the best the allies have to offer. The allies need to find him to ensure the safety of the American people because of Jack’s parentage. Michael is sent because it is believed that he will do what is necessary to protect America if Freeman can not be rescued.

As the story unfolds, the reader is given a greater sense of the differences in this version of World War I and what happened in our world. Burke did not escape his tours at the front unscathed. He sports a clock work arm that gives him some what greater strength than he would have normally. Tesla works for the allied forces and developed the clockwork cybernetics that Burke uses. The Corpse Gas sometimes has an unforeseen side affect of raising a person with all their faculties intact and giving them greater strength and stamina. The Red Baron is such an individual. Their are tunneling devices, hints of remote viewing, and terrible human experimentation to create a better zombie.

By the Blood of Heroes is a two-fisted action-adventure story that does not sacrifice characterization over action. Through the course of the story, Nassise makes Burke and Freeman into people that you are rooting for by the end of the book. We get to know them and why they have such a rocky relationship which takes them from unreachable action heroes to people doing the best they can in a horrendous situation. The supporting cast are well developed and provide interesting counterpoints to these two strong individuals. In particular, I enjoyed Professor Dan Richards, Tesla’s protege, was my favorite supporting character. His curiosity was neat and fit well with the steam-punk aesthetic that weaved throughout the book.

I have to admit that I am not a fan of zombie and my knowledge of World War I comes from Snoopy and Hogan’s hero. Despite that, I really enjoyed this book. Nassise has created characters that are believeable and relateable. He has crafted s story that kept me riveted and turning the pages. If you like alternate history, World War I, Steam-punk, or Action-adventure, you should give By the Blood of Heroes a read.

Three Beers and a Scotch: La Biere Perdu

3B1S09.fwAron and Mark return to the Podcast Pavillion for a long overdue discussion of beverages, BBQ,  and Mark’s delicious balls from Dude, Sweet Chocolate!

The Drinks:

Aron mentioned his love of Wagner in this episode, particularly his enjoyment of The Ring Without Words as well as a master collection of the entire Ring Cycle.

Continue the discussion!  Leave us a comment in the talk-back section below.  Follow Three Beers and a Scotch on TwitterMark and Aron, too!  Give us a call at 972-763-5903 and leave us your thoughts. If we use your voicemail, you’ll win an Ideology of Madness SurPrize.

Play