Tuesday, December 5, 2017

No, I am not hearing voices

Way, way back in the mid aughts, when I was foolishly maintaining a gaming PC on a shoestring budget and intentionally not play World of Warcraft because I cannot mentally enjoy anything that everyone else does, I picked up Guild Wars on a whim and was pleasantly surprised. It looked quite good on my meager rig, had a very low level cap, choosing to focus more on equipment and skills than grinding levels, and most importantly it functioned as a single player game. Quests that were a bit too much for one person or that required a specific skill, like a tank or a healer, were still possible for the lonely man: NPCs could be hired in most towns and they did an admirable job of filling out a party of one to a party of one plus a few nobodies.

Most quest areas were instances, pocket universes for the player and his real or artificial friends. Cities were the massive part of this psuedo MMORPG; terrible, laggy places that I avoided at all costs. It was an MMO that let me play the way I wanted to. Play I did until I got bored of it, stuck my toe into the four on four PvP arena, got killed and logged off forever. Oh, and it was free after the initial purchase with paid expansions every few months.

Take Guild Wars out of the first paragraph. I just described Destiny and Destiny 2, didn't I?

To be fair, Destiny, and to a greater extent Destiny 2, have that sweet sauce of Bungie's first person shooting. Something in the movement, the momentum, the weapons and general chaos of battle is instantly recognizable. Everything else in the game was done by NCSoft 12 years ago, up to and including by gripe of the day: not being able to pause the game.

I have no one in my party and I am in an instanced zone. Let me pause the game and grab a handful of chips, you godless motherfuckers! No, every attempted grab of generic jalapeno goodness is fraught with danger. Heaven forbid I try to get a drink of beer and get shanked from behind by the flood the hive.

Destiny 2 is a front for Alcoholics Anonymous and Weight Watchers! Bring me my tinfoil hat and deep fried cheese curds!

Update: to prove I am being consistent, a hot take from three years ago.


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