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Tycho / on Wed, Sep 10 2014 at 11:01 am

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Face Time

Titanfall had “hype” behind it, but I don’t think it compares to the Destiny hype.  The pitch to Activision must have been blissfully short: “We will make you a Halo MMO.”  I try to imagine the acquisitions manager opening their briefcase so fast that papers fly everywhere, and they’re trying to read them in mid-air to find the right one, and they’re swiping at them like a cat in a kind of slow motion, billion-dollar snowglobe.

The game must certainly sweep the Unlikely Helmet Awards.  Everybody’s face looks like the Jedi Training mask in Episode IV (I said Ep. 3 before because I am a mutant and a heretic).  My helmet even as a larval Guardian is already complete nonsense which could only theoretically contain a head.  And I’m a robot anyway, so when I take off the weird-ass, alien brainbox there is another equally strange shape beneath it.  Just try to imagine the surprise inside the hangar!  If you are a dork.

I played Destiny a long time ago, and I’m fairly certain I signed a document that said I could not tell you what I had played.  Let me see how I can say this.  You are not playing what I played before.  It coulda gone a lotta ways.  That’s always the case with software, obviously.  But I think they found the path.

I got it when you did, so I don’t know much more than you do and I probably know less.  Gabriel and I grabbed a few levels, gained access to the multiplayer Crucible, and generally saw a familiar face reflected as though by an odd mirror.  The thought generally was that they were attempting to swerve toward Borderlands, but I don’t think that’s it: Borderlands is a first person Diablo.  Loot sprays from slashed enemy jugulars in that legacy.  You get loot here, but the game is not about loot.  The game is about a combination of curated and algorithmic shotgun interactions with faces.  It’s a shooter first.

I haven’t engaged with the fiction at all yet, and I feel somewhat disincentivized to do so by Peter Dinklage.  Gabriel suggested that someone phoned it in for him, but I countered in the moment yesterday that phoning it in (whoever happens to have dialed) suggests that he didn’t care.  I submit that he is reading this script with active, smoldering contempt which - if nothing else - suggests an expenditure of agency.

I’ll try to keep you up to date with our progress.  We are hoping to have Onyxia on farm by Friday.

(CW)TB out.


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