Follow on for our second entry in the on-going review of World of Warcraft's fifth expansion, Warlords of Draenor
World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor: Day 8 - Garrisons
We chat with Blizzard's Hearthstone team on all the juicy info about the first expansion to highly-successful card game Hearthstone
Hearthstone: Goblins vs Gnomes Developer Interview
We take a nostalgic look back at one of the best N64 games to ever be made, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Throwback Thursday - The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Destiny
Destiny

PlayStation 3 | PlayStation 4 | Xbox 360 | Xbox One
Genre: First Person Shooter
Developer: Bungie Official Site: http://www.destinythegame.com
Publisher: Activision
Release Date:
September 2014
Thursday, 20 November 2014
Post by Eorl @ 11:50am 20/11/14 | 0 Comments
Destiny developer Bungie released a free demo for the game yesterday, giving interested players the opportunity to try the shooter and transfer their progress to the full game if they buy it.

The free experience is now live for all platforms Destiny is available on — PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Bungie refers to the last-gen version as the Destiny Demo and the current-gen offering as the Destiny Trial. Both of them offer "a sampling of character creation and progression, story mission content, along with cooperative and social activities," according to an FAQ on Bungie's website.

The Demo requires 6 GB of hard drive space, and the Trial needs 20 GB. Neither the Demo nor the Trial supports external hard drives, so the Demo won't work on an Xbox 360 Arcade, a 4 GB Xbox 360, an Xbox 360 Core or a 12 GB PS3.

Progress is maintained on Destiny's servers, as always, so players who try the free version will be able to continue playing within the same console family. For example, they can try the demo on PS3 and use that character even if they buy the PS4 version, but not the Xbox 360 or Xbox One versions. The Trial can be upgraded to the full version of Destiny through a purchase in the in-game menu, but last-gen players will have to exit the Demo and buy a retail or digital copy of the game.

Bungie released a major update for Destiny this week, bringing the game up to version 1.0.3 with a 2.44 GB patch that added features such as extra bounty slots and voice chat for matchmade games. And yesterday, the studio kicked off its revamped Iron Banner event for competitive multiplayer combat.
Tuesday, 18 November 2014
Post by Eorl @ 07:44pm 18/11/14 | 1 Comments
Bungie has issued a new update for Destiny designed to prepare the shooter for its upcoming Dark Below expansion, though it also brings with it long-awaited voice chat options that should make hunting moon wizards much easier.

According to Bungie, once the 1.0.3 update is installed, players will find a new voice chat channel dedicated to communicating with their team. Players will also be able to converse with whichever random strangers they are linked with in Strikes and team-based Crucible matches. Destiny still lacks large group voice chat and there's no way to broadcast messages across an entire "zone," but these additions go a long way toward enhancing the social aspects of the otherwise lonely multiplayer game.

Not just auditory additions, the 1.0.3 update also tweaks dozens of Destiny features, introduces new rules for the second Iron Banner event and increases the frequency of public events by "10 to 15 percent." For a full rundown of everything 1.0.3 brings to the table, see the Destiny blog.
Wednesday, 5 November 2014
Post by Eorl @ 10:48am 05/11/14 | 0 Comments
Activision Blizzard released its earnings report for the third quarter and it broke all of its own previous sales records, reporting non-GAAP net revenues of $1.7 billion USD, thanks in-part to the stellar response with Destiny.

The earnings were pushed largely by Destiny, which helped to push the record quarter by generating $500 million in revenue for Activision and was the largest new video game franchise launch in history. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick said on a conference call with investors today that Destiny is well on its way to becoming a billion-dollar franchise.

As a result of the better-than-expected earnings for its third quarter, Activision has adjusted its full-year earnings outlook from a previous $4.7 billion to a projected $4.8 billion in non-GAAP earnings. Activision's earnings for the same period last year were $657 million USD.

"Our record third-quarter results were driven by Destiny, the biggest new videogame franchise launch of all time, as well as strong sales from Blizzard Entertainment's Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - Ultimate Evil Edition, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, which now has over 20 million registered players1, and World of Warcraft, which saw a quarterly increase in subscribers to 7.41 million in anticipation of the upcoming Warlords of Draenor release," said Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard. "We are raising our full-year non-GAAP outlook and we expect to deliver double-digit non-GAAP revenue growth year-over-year and record non-GAAP earnings per share."

As for Destiny, according to statistics calculated by developer Bungie, players average three hours a day playing the sci-fi shooter on weekdays, adding an hour on the weekends. Since its release, 9.5 million registered users and current players have logged on to Destiny's servers.

Currently, the team is working on future expansion content and the eventual sequel.

"Work has also begun on future expansion packs as well as on our next full game release," said Eric Hirshberg, Activision's Publishing CEO. "We're very pleased with the launch and continuing engagement."
Thursday, 30 October 2014
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 11:52am 30/10/14 | 9 Comments
Bungie has revealed details for the first expansion for Destiny, outlining its release date, a new level cap, a new raid, new gear and more.

Destiny Expansion I: The Dark Below will feature the following:
  • New weapons, armour, and gear to earn, including Legendary and Exotic items
  • Light Level cap raised to 32 and five additional Bounty slots added
  • New story quests and missions – after years hiding amongst the Hive shadows, a new character, Eris, has come forth bearing an ominous warning: The Hive seek to summon a god, Crota, to destroy the Earth. Find Eris in the Tower to take on special quests that include three new missions where you will increase your Light and earn new rewards
  • New cooperative Strike, The Will of Crota, pits you and your Fireteam against Omnigul as she works to expand the Hive army at the command of her master, Crota
  • Three new competitive multiplayer arenas:
    • Pantheon – set deep within the Black Garden in an ancient Vex temple that features Vex-designed landscapes and tight corridors
    • Skyshock – an old interplanetary defence array that offers both vehicle and infantry engagements
    • The Cauldron – an abandoned Hive ritual site that offers close-quarter combat
  • New six-player Raid, Crota’s End, set deep within the depths of the Hellmouth
  • PlayStation platforms will also get access to an exclusive cooperative Strike, The Undying Mind, and more (timed exclusive until at least Fall 2015)
The new content will be available in Australia from December 10 according to the press release and will set you back AUD$24.95 on its own or you can opt for the expansion pass which will include the next expansion for AUD$39.95.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014
Post by Eorl @ 02:34pm 29/10/14 | 0 Comments
As is tradition around this time of the month, Bungie has jumped on the Halloween event bandwagon with their sci-fi FPS Destiny donning the spooky setting in the form of free pumpkin head pieces.

I very much doubt the pumpkins would actually scare your enemies, but if you do happen to be playing you can grab it from the Post Master at the Tower. The package contains a trio of pumpkin head consumables, each one lasting 30 minutes so don't go wasting them too easily.

Destiny is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Friday, 17 October 2014
Post by Eorl @ 12:17pm 17/10/14 | 0 Comments
Bungie's latest sci-fi romp Destiny has pushed the PlayStation 4 to once again being the top console in North America, with Sony saying September was the biggest month in PS Store history.

“September 2014 was a record-breaking month for PlayStation's digital business, thanks in large part to the success of Destiny,” said Eric Lempel, vice president of Sony Network Entertainment International. “Last month's PlayStation Store revenue increased nearly 90 percent compared with Sept. 2013. Working closely with Activision and Bungie, we wanted to make the launch of Destiny a special experience for PlayStation fans. We're thrilled to see this high engagement from PS4 and PS3 owners.”

With the new hardware continuing to attract customers, it would appear that new purchasers of the PS4 or Xbox One flocked to Bungie's Destiny or sports titles from EA like Madden or FIFA. Shadow of Mordor also performed well, placing fifth on the top ten chart, while Nintendo continues to see global success with Super Smash Bros. for 3DS. In a separate press release, Nintendo noted that Smash Bros. 3DS sold 705,000 units in September (135,000 of which were sold digitally through the Nintendo eShop); this led to over 140,000 units of the 3DS family of systems being sold (an increase of 55 percent over sales in August).

The NPD Group's report saw an overall software (including PC) decline of 35 percent to $501.6 million, but that didn't stop hardware sales from climbing by 136 percent to $432.7 million, helping to bring the industry sales total to $1.1 billion for the month, or up two percent. Accessories increased 33 percent as well, coming to $189.5 million.

Here is the NPD's Top 10 chart for September:
  1. Destiny
  2. Madden NFL 15
  3. FIFA 15
  4. Super Smash Bros. (3DS)
  5. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
  6. NHL 15
  7. Minecraft
  8. The Sims 4
  9. Disney Infinity 2.0
  10. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls
Monday, 13 October 2014
Post by Eorl @ 05:57pm 13/10/14 | 13 Comments
Whether or not you've fallen for the hype of Bungie's sci-fi FPS, Destiny is still doing quite the numbers according to the latest new weekly newsletter which has Destiny at 3.2 million players daily. That's a lot of people grinding for loot.

Other stats were also revealed by the devs including the average playtime, which sits at three hours per day, even on weekends. The average player also plays Destiny 1.8 times a day and over the past three weeks Bungie has had more players online in Destiny than during the same span for Halo 3 and Halo: Reach, combined. Those are some extremely significant stats for an online game competing with a quite heavy October release.

"We thank you for playing. And, we thank you for the passion and enthusiasm that has made the Destiny community so strong already. It's been amazing to watch your Guardians become legends. Your reactions and your opinions have helped us to make Destiny better over this past month."
Tuesday, 7 October 2014
Post by Eorl @ 11:41am 07/10/14 | 2 Comments
Bungie has revealed in recent discussions that the developer of sci-fi FPS Destiny is looking at potentially adding raid and private matchmaking sometime in the future, which could be a relief to those affected by the quite stringent requirements.

Community manager Deej explained in the latest Bungie Weekly Update that while the developer is fully aware of the value offered by matchmaking systems, it's also not in-keeping with the difficulty or vision on which raids are built.

"The Raid was designed for solid teams of killers who have made a commitment to solve a dense and explosive riddle," he writes. "Most of the raiding parties who have emerged victorious from the Vault of Glass have sworn that one weak link would have doomed their chain. There have been other stories, of course. We’ve heard tell of Guardians who met each other just outside the door that leads into that vault. Strange tales have reached our ears - tales of total strangers who have banded together to see the Raid all the way through to a triumphant finale.

"Those stories surprise us, but the players of our games always have. The best I can do to answer your question is to let you know that you’ve been heard. We’re having conversations about how Matchmaking might support the more challenging activities in Destiny. It’s a start. Keep sounding off about it, and maybe someday some matchmade Fireteam mates will hear you, too."

DeeJ also writes that he's keen to see private matches added to the game before too long, and is planning on continuing to bring it up at the team's internal meetings. In the meantime, he assures all fans of the game to keep offering feedback so improvements can be made.
Thursday, 2 October 2014
Post by Eorl @ 01:53pm 02/10/14 | 4 Comments
After some quite vocal community feedback in regards to Destiny's "broken" loot drop system, developer Bungie has issued a patch this morning for the sci-fi FPS focused entirely on fixing the loot drop issue.

The developer has posted detailed notes on the fix over on the official website. The bottom line is that a Legendary Purple Engram will now always yield a valuable Legendary quality item or higher. Previously, players were often disappointed to find engrams converted into useless low-level items, an issue that has produced much criticism and debate about Destiny's overall loot system.

Rare (Blue) and Legendary (Purple) Engram drops have also been added to the potential rewards for Vanguard: Tiger Strike Playlist, Daily Heroic Missions (first time per day) and Weekly Heroic Missions (first time per week).
Tuesday, 30 September 2014
Post by Eorl @ 09:08am 30/09/14 | 1 Comments
Yesterday we reported that some players had uncovered what looked to be details on the upcoming expansions for Bungie's sci-fi FPS Destiny. Today the developer has confirmed that these are in fact legitimate, albeit in placeholder form.

Bungie community manager David Dague addressed the recent concerns of the uncovered expansion details through a forum post, noting that while the content is placeholder, it isn't all on disc either. Dague also says that neither of the expansion packs are finished, though the first one will be completed soon. The Dark Below, Destiny's first add-on, is due in December.
Hey, Bungie Community.

I hope you had a nice weekend.

We noticed that you noticed that we already have plans for upcoming content packs in Destiny.

We do! They have activity names (which may or may not change) and we have a really good idea what they're going to contain. They even have placeholder nodes in the Director, as you've already discovered.

But neither of the Expansion Packs we've announced are finished.

People at Bungie are hard at work to complete content for our first post launch pack, "The Dark Below," as I type these words. It will be finished soon. It releases in December. Soon, we'll detail it out for you so you can see exactly what we've been working on.

Thanks for playing. Thanks for the passion. We know you want details. We'll talk more soon.
In related news, Destiny's soundtrack is now available through iTunes. The 44-track album features compositions by C. Paul Johnson, Michael Salvatori, Marty O'Donnell and Sir Paul McCartney, and covers the game's full soundscape from start to finish.