The Amazing Spider Tank

The Amazing Spider Tank
Spider-Tank, Spider-Tank. Does whatever a Spider-Tank does. Can he swing from a web? No he can't, he's a tank. Look out! He is a Spider-Tank!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Destiny: Rise of Iron Review Part 2

Onto Part 2 of my Rise of Iron Review! If you missed Part 1, here it is.

Rise of Iron introduced to us a whole slew of new things. We got a new record book, new ornaments, new types of artifacts, and of course new weapons and armor. We also got a new strike and 2 of our old strikes got minor facelifts. And lastly, I want to touch upon our new enemy. So let's dig in:

We got a new record book, similar to the SRL and Moments of Triumph record books of the past. These have been great ideas. It keeps players working towards something, and it's exciting when you get to a new level. The best part of this record book has to be the awesome armor that comes with it (see below). While the armor won't be catapulting you into high light levels, it sure does look awesome. The look of this can also be changed using the new Ornament system that Destiny offers.

Ornaments are things that can be added on certain weapons and armor in order to change their appearance. Random chance boxes can be bought with real money, but they can be earned in game. They can be gotten in a nightfall or raid, or from treasure chests that can be won weekly. These are a great idea. It's a chance for players to customize their look so we can all be precious little snowflakes. For instance, each of the Rise of Iron record book armor can have an ornament added to it to turn it into a sweet iron furnace-looking armor:

Is this Destiny or some weird Dark Souls DLC?
For you wannabe Lord Saurons out there

We also have new artifacts. Artifacts in Destiny have just been little modifiers that change your attributes. They haven't been anything too special. But in RoI, they have changed them up in a pretty significant way! You can earn these ornaments from weekly quests. Based off of 8 Iron Lords, each new artifact grants its user some kind of special ability. For example, one of the artifacts available this first week is the Memory of Jolder, which gives the player unlimited sprint! Another is the Memory of Timur, which allows you to convert enemies to your side for a limited amount of time! One of the ones I am most interested is the Memory of Radeghast:
No, not that one
The Memory of Radeghast allows you to use your heavy sword to reflect projectiles, rockets, even some supers! My mind races with the possibility of reflecting raid boss shots back at them, and the hilarity of watching a Hunter get killed by his own Golden Gun.

A face only a mother could love. Now THAT'S blind love!
We also got a new strike called the Wretched Eye. In this one we get to go fight Frankenstein and his monster. from his monster anyway. This strike feels different from previous ones. There is a lot of vertical movement in this strike as you go down into the depths of what looks like old missile silos, searching for your prey. All the while you are harassed by enemies. You are trying to find a Devil Splicer High Priest, who apparently likes to capture Hive Ogres, remove their eyes, and use their pew-pew-ness to power his own weapons. The final area is by far the best part as you need to dispose of the bullet spongey boss, all the while avoiding the Reagan-smashing blind Ogre that's stomping about with hands that look like they are made of WWII submarine mines. It's great, thrilling fun, all the better when done on Heroic Mode or during the Nightfall.

We also got 2 older strikes that were revisited: Sepiks Perfected and Abomination Heist Siva Phogoth. Sepiks Perfected has us revisiting our very first strike and rekilling our very first strike boss. The strike plays out mainly the same, although the enemies are slightly different, and the path is slightly different. At the end we fight the aforementioned boss, only this time he has an invulnerable shield that we have to take out by first killing a captain with the matching shield color boom gun. Once the shields are down (thanks Admiral Ackbar!), we can lay waste to the boss. My thoughts are those mechanics will be coming back in the raid.

However, Bungie got smart and removed all our old cheesing spots by putting respawning turrets everywhere, so we have to stay outdoors. Probably my favorite part of this strike is the awesome guitar music in the background. It definitely comes as a surprise, but it's a welcome one, and I wished more of Destiny had such epic music.

Abomination Heist has us revisiting Phogoth. Honestly I can't recall too much of a difference other than enemies. There is one part where you have to traverse some tomb ships that served as a pleasant reminder of the King's Fall Raid, but other than that the strike is pretty lackluster.

We also can get loot in a different way in the strikes. Now there are things called skeleton keys, which can be used on the treasure chest located at the end of every strike. Opening these things gives access to rewards at the top light level, and rewards can be specific to the strike. So if you really want that Darkblade Helm, just save your skeleton key for the Darkblade strike. However, good luck finding skeleton keys. I am finding those things harder to get than a Vex Mythoclast.

Lastly, I wanted to talk about the new enemy: Siva
I'm sure there's a cream for that...
***Story Spoiler Warning!!!*** Siva used to be a nanotechnology used in the Golden Age to help the human colonization of the galaxy. At some point it went rogue and became more of a virus. The Iron Lords attempted to destroy it but only managed to contain it in the Plaguelands, losing most of their members in the process. It is this weird red looking Twizzler mess that has infected everything.
Exactly like this
The Fallen, who are always up for pirating and using whatever they need to in order to win (Like Vex stuff in the House of Wolves), have brought it upon themselves to take it to the next level of evolution.

The new Splicer Fallen enemies are "enhanced", says the game. Honestly they are just reskinned, but they do behave slightly different just like the Taken did. They all have a red/black coloring about them and usually shoot red lasers, unlike their blue-brethren. The basic soldiers have peg legs for some reason.
Peg legs are great for snow traversing

The snipers shoot multiple bursts instead of one beam, and another thing Siva does apparently is burst out of your head when your head gets shot, to go and find who did and kill them in a red mist.

I feel about the same way I felt about the Taken, although the Taken did at least arrive in a unique way. Fallen Splicers are basically just reskinned Fallen troops that borrow some abilities.

In my next article I will hopefully get to talk about the new raid, and compare it with the previous ones. I hope you enjoyed this, happy gaming!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Destiny: Rise of Iron review Part 1

*shields not included*
Well it's been a while. Who knew having 2 kids under the age of 3 would be time consuming? Anyway I am back now and I'd like to continue to talk about the various video games I am enjoying. Today I want to talk about Rise of Iron. This will be a 2-part article as I have a lot to cover. So sit back, and enjoy the wall of text ;).

I wanted to first briefly comment on the recent DLCs:

Shouldn't we be facing the other way?
The Taken King DLC: I did not do a writeup of that DLC for a variety of personal reasons, but it was not because I disliked the DLC. I greatly enjoyed the DLC and the raid will probably go down as my favorite in the series. I really enjoyed what it brought to the table, especially in regards to infusion. The theme, story, grimoire, combat, music, weapons, were all top notch and I still use a lot of what was there, not to mention the 3 new classes! Since it is so old I won't bother going further into it, although I'm sure I'll reference it from time to time.

He seems friendly...
House of Wolves DLC: I also really enjoyed this one. Prison of Elders is one of my favorite activities that Destiny has to offer. It gives me the fun boss fights with slight mechanics, but without the time investment. I really liked the story and a lot of weapons looked really cool, even if they weren't terribly useful. I definitely wished there was more to do, and would have loved a raid, but what can you do?

Alrighty then, now going back to more recent affairs. Destiny's newest DLC Rise of Iron, released this past Tuesday. I have spent many hours playing the new content. I have not tried the raid yet but I plan on doing so this weekend.

*Wolf pets not included*
I started my journey as a lowly 334 Warlock. I actually did not attain the top light lvl from the previous expansion, mainly because I didn't see a need to, especially knowing this expansion was going to greatly increase it. After the first mission I was already at 336 so I was not worried. I breezed through the very short campaign. I was very intrigued by the story but it really never went anywhere. I love the Iron Lords and Siva seemed like an interesting enemy, but I felt we never really got a chance to get to know either. The campaign was over and I guess we pushed Siva back for the time being. We learned a little of what happened to the Iron Lords but I'm definitely sitting here waiting for more. Perhaps the raid will further fill the gap.

I do appreciate the number of other little missions that have popped up since. I hope there are a bunch more. The mission to get the new Gjallarhorn was very fun, so many enemies! The mission to get an upgraded version of the very first gun we all ever got, the Khvostov, was also fun. The gun is very interesting because of the the variety of ways it can be used (single shot, burst, or auto), but I doubt it will be used much.

I have enjoyed patrolling the new area called the Plaguelands, although I have gotten the feeling I have figured everything out. I hope that's not the case. In TTK I felt so overwhelmed by all the stuff to discover in Oryx's ship. It was awesome. This one has a couple of little laser grids I need splicer keys for, but they are easy to get and don't really hold anything interesting in them. Luckily, there is plenty of grimoire to discover with the various ghosts and the new Dormant Siva clusters (think Calcified Fragments from TTK). The Plaguelands don't feel nearly as busy as Oryx's ship though. It is only the first week though, so maybe it will populate. This leads me to Archon's Forge.

Archon's Forge is supposed to be RoI's (Rise of Iron) version of the Court of Oryx/Prison of Elders. The concept is great, but the execution feels lacking. Right now the only way of participating in the Archon's Forge is to happen to be there when other people are starting it which for me hasn't happened yet (you also literally have to be there before they start or you're locked out), or you have to have your very own Siva offering. I completed a green (uncommon) run by myself easily enough, and I did a blue (rare) one with some friends. We tried a purple (legendary) but we couldn't finish it, even with a full fireteam. Hopefully once we become a high enough light lvl we should be fine.

Siva offerings have been extremely hard to find. And the worst thing is that you can only carry one at a time, and your vault can only hold one at a time! It's very annoying. I have 2 legendary Siva offerings right now but I don't want to get rid of them because they should drop the best stuff, but it's very hard to find people to do them and until I do, I cannot get any more. I have yet to finish the bounty for winning a specific Archon Forge enemy, and the experience has left me a little salty. There are also no fun little raid-like mechanics like in CoO or in PoE, just enemies to kill. It's rather bland. I understand the reason why Bungie can't have people running the event tons of times is because it's a place where you can get end game light lvl rewards.

This is one thing I am both happy and sad with this DLC. I like that there are multiple avenues to getting to the maximum light lvl. In the base game, the ONLY way to get the max level was to beat the raid on the hardest difficulty. Then later we got the Iron Banner, which allowed PVPers the chance to get the hardest stuff, and then Trials of Osiris, which gave the elitist of the elite PVPers some exclusive gear. And over the next couple stuff we've gotten different ways of getting stuff at the max lvl. But this DLC we can get it everywhere. I can get it from the raid, from Archon's Forge, from Iron Banner, from Nightfalls, from Crucible from random drops. Now don't get me wrong, it's not like I am the top level right now. I still have a ways to go. I have been impressed with my slow but steady race to the higher levels. Never have I felt stagnant in my climb. Every Heroic Strike or Nightfall has given me something that has increased my light. It does feel like I've cheated though. It could just be a personal thing, but being at a high light lvl doesn't really feel special anymore. Maybe the bragging rights come from the specific armor you unlock or something, but I know it was a better feeling being at the top lvl when Vault of Glass came out, or when Trials of Osiris dropped and you got some of that gear.

Complete with bonfire!  Rekindle!
We also got a new social space, Felwinter's Peak. It's this wonderful Iron Lord's temple on top of a giant mountain. It's pretty awesome. The view from on top is amazing, and you can see all Earth has to offer it seems. I love the wolves that are scattered about, and the NPCs are all very entertaining. I wish it was bigger, but then again I probably wouldn't use most of it if it was.

I'm sure I'll nail the landing...
You can attempt to climb the mountain in order to get a Siva cluster, as well as bragging rights. It has been the most frustrating thing I've done so far, lol. I made it finally, but it took me more deaths than a Nightfall, and I quit due to frustration multiple times.

All in all I am enjoying my experience with Rise of Iron. We shall see how long the DLC can keep me entertained because I am getting the feeling I've seen everything, but hopefully I'm wrong.

Well I think that's enough for the time being. Stay tuned for the next part where I talk about the new ornaments, the new artifacts, some of the new weapons and armor, the new strike and updated ones, the new enemies, and maybe even the raid! Thanks for reading and happy gaming!