My Q4 plans are all going awry.
So, in spite of my reservations, I've been swallowed whole by Destiny 2. Again. Only a few short months ago, I was looking at what Destiny 2 was, comparing Bungie's dreams for it to my own time availability and expectations, and thinking that walking away was the only viable option. I did this during the first Destiny game and was dragged back in by The Taken King, and Bungie have pulled it off again with Forsaken in Destiny 2. How do they do it? I assume this answer is with hard work, careful development plans, and an intrinsic understanding of the strengths of their own games and talents, and how to extract the best from both - but it's far more fun to think that it's voodoo and black magic. Maybe they're sacrificing animals, somewhere along the way. Cute ones, probably. Either way, I guess they've proved that history does indeed repeat itself and that lightning can in fact strike twice all with a single release. And that's impressive in anyone's book.
They even made me do this...
That's right. All the "I'll only run one character, that way I can still play other games" and "I used to play as just a Hunter, I'm sure I can do that again" theorising fell completely by the wayside. I don't blame myself, I blame some of the people I follow on Twitter. They started posting up pictures of their Warlocks, and damn - the fashion game is strong with that class. I couldn't resist. Also... floating in the air with a bow and arrow and pulling off mid-air headshots is something that once experienced simply cannot be lived without. I'm pretty confident that a month or so from now, I'll be looking at that second character and wondering how on earth I'll ever find enough time to bring her up to raid readiness - but for the moment she looks a bit like "The Black Parade"-era Gerard Way, with a couple of enormous guns. There's nothing really not to like about that.
I'm also still going on Sea of Thieves. The grind to Pirate Legend is real - made more intense by the fact that two of the guys I sail with regularly (DeViLzUniTe20 and Wee Eck 05) have both hit Pirate Legend in the space of the past week. My hope of being first to pirate legend in my clan have been dashed upon the rocks of reality - that reality being that Destiny 2 simply no longer sucks, and I'm playing it more than I planned. Still, the new Forsaken Shores expansion is a lot of fun, and offers enough doubloons for me to be able to earn enough for some serious reputation level gains. I'd been aiming at hitting pirate legend by the end of the year - I really think I might do it by the end of October.
As I've said on here before, when playing Sea of Thieves, I tend to be the good guy. My general rule is that I'm not going to shoot at you unless you shoot first. If we're in an alliance, your chests are yours as long as mine are mine. Unnecessarily aggressive PvP just isn't my thing. And then, yesterday, I ended up sailing with a mate of mine - a colleague from work that I've got a lot of time for. He wanted to get on for an hour and just tear up. Apart from the occasional 'suicide sloop' run (which I've not done for months), I've never logged into Sea of Thieves actually looking for a fight. So yesterday became the first time - and resulted in me posting this in a forum.
It was hilarious at the time - both of us were laughing like a pair of lunatics. It made me feel bad though. The first guy we attacked was reasonably well equipped - he had a good outfit and a decent ship, and to be honest I was almost surprised he fell for it. At the same time though, he did nothing to attract our aggression - he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I hope he didn't feel too pissed off about it. He ended the alliance as soon as he re-spawned - which ultimately cost him. If he hadn't he'd at least have received a slice of the chest we stole from him. The second crew did the same thing. I guess the rule to take away is this:
If a crew in your alliance attacks you, don't leave the alliance. You might still get a portion of the treasure they nicked off of you.
I guess the last thing to mention on here is that I've ordered Red Dead Redemption 2. I was interested from a distance for a long time but had questions over the monetisation of the inevitable online mode (which has now been confirmed). Then I watched a video by Danny O'Dwyer that said some really interesting things. You can watch it below - if you've not heard of him before, you have now. He's one of the few people on Youtube who I think actually has something interesting to say on the subject of videogames. And he has an awesome Irish accent. I have a soft spot for those.
Near the end of the video, he makes the point that resonated with me enough for me to reach for the pre-order button on Amazon. I'm paraphrasing here, but he says that gamers who play a lot of open world games (yeah, I'd consider myself one of those) are at the point of understanding the systems that drive them so well that we can kind of see where they are and how they relate to one another - and that Red Dead Redemption 2 actually makes that difficult. That was enough for me... or it was the excuse I needed. Either way, it's pre-ordered. I might even take a couple of days off work to hit it really hard when it drops at the end of October. It'll be getting cold and dark by then - a few days on the couch with a good game might actually be a positive at that time of the year.
All this, and I haven't even contemplated how to fit Forza Horizon 4 and Darksiders 3 into my gaming calendar before the end of the year. And Assassin's Creed: Odyssey is coming out too.
Damn. I guess I could give up sleep?