I have been spending an OK amount of time in Destiny 2, moreso than I had previous to this weekend, and moreso than any other game this weekend. Nothing has really changed in the game for me except that I installed it via Steam instead of Battle.net. I don’t have the latest expansion because I haven’t even gotten to the previous expansion. I guess it’s just the presence of mind that surrounded the game when it went live on Steam last week that caused me to install it, and then to play it. It’s a relatively easy game to get into and to stay in, because aside from the hoops it makes you jump through if you happen to decide to tackle a goal, all it asks is point and shoot.
That’s all I have to say about that.
Star Citizen PTU
Sunday morning I made the bold decision to fire up Star Citizen‘s public test universe (PTU) to check out the changes coming in alpha release 3.7. This is a significant update for a few reasons, some of which are as follows:
Who would have thought that holes in the ground would be an exciting feature? The world of Star Citizen currently has four locations: stations, space, inside your ship, and planet surfaces (which include cities and outposts as well as the wilds between). Caves provide us with a new “biome”. They’re good for exploring. They’re probably going to be rife with PvP. And they’re good for mining.
Currently, on the live servers, the only way to mine resources is in a Prospector, and the only way to get a Prospector is to pledge for it. The Prospector can mine asteroids, but also boulders on the surface of a planet.
3.7 brings personal harvesting. With a special hand-mining tool and a special bit of armor that gives you an expanded carrying capacity, you can now sidle up to a resource node on foot and risk dying because the rock exploded from having become too overcharged. Also, there should be several other resources you can harvest, like fruits, which don’t require special gear (I don’t think).
Finally, we get an on-person inventory! This shows up as a small dot at the bottom of the Inner Thought UI which opens a quick-access wheel of things in our inventory. Previously, we could stockpile armor and weapons and utility items for equipping, but each assignment was slot-based via the MOBIGlass UI. A personal inventory is more like general-purpose storage that really plays into the personal harvesting system. I don’t know if you need the backpack to use the storage UI — I was able to bring up the wheel without the special armor — or if the backpack merely expands what you can carry.
We can now rent several ships. This a Good Thing because we can treat these ships like we’d treat any rental vehicle, and not have to worry about the repair bill. Still, prices aren’t cheap, but you can get a new ship for a day, week, month, etc., so you can either test drive it, get it for a specific purpose, or just have something to crash that you’re not responsible for replacing.
Now, I don’t know exactly what is going on here, but in 3.6 (?) CIG introduced the “new flight model” which brought with it a new atmospheric flight “feel” where you ship behaved less like a mystical hovering brick and more like a modern helicopter. This was cool in theory but made certain things way more difficult than they should be (a.k.a. landing).
Apparently now they have “VOTL mode” which keeps most of the physics of the new flight model, but which does away with the helicopter nonsense that causes your ship to move in the direction that you dip your ship (forward for the fore, backwards for aft, and port and starboard for left and right). Basically, they brought “hover mode” back when close to a planet’s surface.
Last night I had approached a bunker which had AA guns around it, and I made a few sweeping passes to try and take out the guns. I was able to hover nearby to get an idea of where the guns were, and then shot forward, strafing the ground with my Titan’s chainguns. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a good enough shot and didn’t manage to take out any cannons, so I decided to go do something else.
I did spend some time flying close to the ground on Hurston, looking for caves, but wasn’t able to find any (this was before I learned I could have used the ship’s scanner to help, and I didn’t check the org’s Discord for any known locations). I melted my Ballista and picked up a smaller Tumbril Ranger four-wheeled vehicle with the intention of landing, spawning the vehicle, and then scouting out on the ground, but the servers were wonky and kept crashing. I also wasn’t able to buy a backpack armor set because the shop terminals were broken : /
Oh! Also, they supposedly re-build all of the “rest stop” station interiors, but I didn’t make it around to check those out.