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Games Markel!

Destiny 2: Forsaken Launch Party

Hey, friends!

A couple of things I love are going to join forces in a Twitch stream this upcoming Tuesday, starting around noon Central time and extending until Whenever I Feel Like Stopping:

  • With Extra Life weekend coming up in a few months, I thought it a good idea to do some early fundraising and get the ball rolling
  • Destiny 2: Forsaken launches around that time and I’ve taken some time off to play through it right away with my son, live on stream

I would love it if you would stop by and support the stream! Load it up, hang out, chat a bit, and if you feel generous, donate to my Extra Life campaign for this year. All proceeds donated via my Extra Life page go directly to local children’s hospitals and are tax-deductible.

Watch us run through the story of Destiny 2: Forsaken, experience the new Gambit game mode new to the franchise, or just stop by and chat neat-o Destiny stuff with us while we explore!

If you can’t attend directly, if you would tell your friends and families we’re doing such a thing, it would be greatly appreciated. More eyes on what we are doing means more possible donations to help sick kids in the St. Louis area.

Here are the important links for the event:

Thank you so much for your consideration!

Categories
Games

Talkin’ TWAB: Weapon Changes, Economy Updates, Eververse…

If you were looking for a Season Four info dump, this week’s update from Bungie has you covered. As always, you can find their original post here, and I’ll do my best to re-summarize the information for you and provide some commentary.

It’s a lot. Let’s get started.

Categories
Games How-To

Solstice of Heroes Engrams

Solstice of Heroes is now a week old, and three weeks of earning special seasonal event drops, upgrading armor sets, and completing Moments of Triumph remain before we start transitioning to Season Four and Year Two of Destiny 2.

If you haven’t participated in a seasonal event in Destiny 2, or if the last seasonal event you participated in was The Dawning around the turn of the year, it might be unclear how the limited-time Solstice Engrams function. Let’s talk about what they are, how you get them, and how they work, so you can spend the rest of the event either optimizing for obtaining the stuff you want or ignoring that this grind exists.

Categories
Games

Bungie Combat Livestream Summary

Bungie streamed out a look at changes to Destiny 2’s combat system today. It was a 90-minute stream and had two private PvP matches in it, so it takes a while to go through. You can watch it here:

Of course, you might not want to do that, so I’ll summarize the hits for you right here. I’ll try to split them up in general areas of discussion.

Categories
Games

Talkin’ TWAB: Numbers—Numbers EVERYWHERE

There’s not a ton to boil down for you out of this week’s This Week at Bungie, but what’s there may be significant for you. You can find Bungie’s original post here.

What we do have is a lot of statistics, and some data regarding Year One weapons as we roll into Year Two in four weeks. Solstice of Heroes is well underway at this point, and I hope this week’s update finds your armor grinding underway (or not, if you’ve chosen not to pursue it).

Categories
Games How-To

Moments of Triumph Guide: Celebrating Year One of Destiny 2

At tomorrow’s reset, Destiny 2 players start celebrating the Solstice of Heroes event—the culmination of the first year of Destiny 2 and a send-off leading into the release of Forsaken and the start of Year Two.

Part of Solstice of Heroes includes the Moments of Triumph, which are specific bounties you can complete for your Destiny 2 account for completing various activities throughout the first year of the game. The initial Moments were made public on July 7th, but a group of them remained hidden and couldn’t be completed until Solstice starts tomorrow.

I previously revealed these hidden goals here and explained what they are and how many points towards the maximum score they would provide. But in this guide, I’d like to cover the entirety of the Moments of Triumph and what they’ll provide to you when you earn them, so you know where to focus your attention for the remaining five weeks of Season Three and Year One.

You can also read up on Bungie’s official guide to Moments of Triumph and how they will work here. The deadline for completing the Moments of Triumph is 28 August 2018.

Categories
Games

Talkin’ TWAB: 26 July 2018

An updated Development Roadmap, incoming changes to power progression, sandbox changes, a new Crucible Labs test, and a bonus info drop from Game Informer—this week was pretty loaded with information.

The posts referenced in this update are:

Here’s what you need to know:

Categories
Games How-To

Solstice of Heroes: Armor Progression Guide

Destiny 2’s Solstice of Heroes event doesn’t start until next Tuesday, the 31st of July, but thanks to some API information that’s already been added to support the event, we can take a look at the requirements for progressing the armor set unique to the four-week-long celebration.

If you don’t yet know about Solstice of Heroes, Bungie’s post announcing the event is here.

Categories
Games

Talkin’ TWAB: Infusions, I Guess?

So, uh, well… Bungie didn’t give me a lot to write about this week. Most of what they had to say wasn’t about anything game-related. The real post they made this week is the one on Solstice of Heroes.

You can find the TWAB here, I guess? To break it down, here’s the important stuff you should know.

Categories
Music

Guitar Collections: Final Fantasy IV

I’ll put the embed player right here at the top for you now, so you can turn this on while you read my thoughts on this album.

You can leave this tab open and enjoy it, because the whole album is streamable without purchase if you like.

Final Fantasy IV is a special thing for me. It came along at just the right time in my life and with such a special mix of Things Done Well that it became very formative. It set the tone for pretty much ever console RPG that followed, and there are some things it’s done that haven’t yet been eclipsed.

It’s still very playable, with some of the best-designed systems in an RPG.

But what pushes it into iconic is the multi-layered set of leitmotifs used by Nobuo Uematsu to give it its musical punch. The main overworld theme, used in various settings at various times, and woven into every battle theme in subtle ways. The Theme of Love. There are themes for specific characters and themes for specific locations. For the first time I can remember, some themes have variations that play after the main theme finished its first loop.

It has a style that is all its own.

All of this is captured wonderfully in this album. I have some of the CDs that accompanied the guitar sheet music books published in Japan, but those recordings are simple reductions. Reyes’s work is full of adaptations and thematic flourishes on themes you recognize, and it’s done in a classical style that allows you to start the album and let it flow in the background.

Every theme selected for this album is well-represented and arranged and played with deftness. I can’t think of a single thing I’d eliminate, and the original track to close the album fits quite well and is a welcome addition. I am perfectly OK with the decision to skip adapting both the Prelude and Prologue themes, which have been done to death at this point when there are other, more worthy selections that have landed here, like “Golbeza, Clad in the Dark” and “Within the Giant.”

Give it a listen; buy it on Bandcamp. It’s another great album from Scarlet Moon Records, and I hope it sells well enough to encourage more albums like it, because my only regret is that there isn’t more to listen to.