'Destiny' beta diary: Day 1

Thursday, 17 July 2014 11:41 AM Written by 

 

DestinyIt is July 17, which means the “Destiny” Beta is nearly upon us. Can you sense the excitement? The beta will be a first look for many into Bungie’s first new franchise since “Halo.” This is a big deal.

 I’ll be keeping a running journal of my experience with the beta. The journal will include an hour-by-hour log of what I’ve been doing, impressions and screenshots from the PS4 version. A livestream will kick off later tonight at twitch.tv/gameguypgh.

 

We’re all waiting until the beta goes live. Supposedly, that will happen at 1 p.m. EST. Then it’s time for the download. It could be awhile before I take my first in-game steps.

 

This day one entry will be completed this evening. Future entries will be posted throughout the weekend.

 

For now, I play the waiting game…

UPDATE 4:40 p.m.: I have redeemed my beta code and have started the download process. Time of download from start to finish: 49 minutes. 

  

UPDATE 4:45 p.m.: Of course, the first thing on the docket is character creation. The options are understandably limited. This is presumably a watered down version of what will be available in the final game. You can choose between three classes, and then between three races within each class. Each class has two abilities. I opted to try the Hunter class first.

 

 

My first steps

 

Destiny Beta 20140717170606

 

After creating my character, I was found by a helpful A.I. with the voice of Peter Dinklage. He advised me to get indoors. That’s where I found my first gun, and started laying waste to the creatures known as The Fallen. The Fallen have a slight resemblance in both looks and movement to “Halo’s” Forerunner creatures.

Destiny Beta 20140717171050

 

Tutorial levels have become pretty standard, and Destiny is no different. It’s light on difficulty, and basically instructs me to travel from A to B while taking in the sights. Fortunately, the sights are impressive, ranging from sprawling outdoor spaces to large indoor structures.

Shooting feels as polished and controlled as a “Halo” game. I have two weapons: a typical assault rifle with a scope, and a long-range sniper rifle. The triggers aim down sight, and clicking the left stick sprints. Crouching while running performs a slide.

This opening stanza doesn’t provide much, but it does throw enough cannon fodder my way to make the jump from level 1 to level 2. I unlocked my first ability, but have no idea how to use it yet. I suppose that will come with time.

 

 

Day 1 - Session 2

 

When starting a game after a break, you start in your ship. I was able to choose where to go. Since I had only just completed the opening mission, my options were limited. I could only go to the city hub, so that’s where I went.

The city is the only place in the game where you can see your character in third-person view. This is your safe haven. Merchants have items for sale, and there are other shops and people to talk to. Since it’s early, I’m not sure what everything means quite yet.

The in-game currency is called “glimmer.” Glimmer is earned by completing quests or breaking down unwanted gear. If you find new boots or a new helmet, you can easily break down the old one to earn some extra glimmer.

After seeing who I needed to see in the City, it was time to head to orbit. You can jump to your ship at any time by holding the triangle button. From there, you can view the world map. The map is a tad confusing especially after completing some missions. It wasn’t clear where I’ve already been and where I needed to go. This is still just day one, so maybe there’s a learning curve to figuring out that stuff.

A couple friends were able to join me to form a fireteam. The missions I played today were playable with one-to-three players. Not sure why Bungie didn’t opt for the standard 1-4 players, but 1-3 seems to be the lobby size for “Destiny.” Friends can drop in and drop out at any time. No invitation is needed, unless you set your setting to private.

Missions involve you and your fireteam pushing through enemies to an objective. A Darkness Zone is placed close to the end of each mission. In Darkness Zones, players are unable to be revived. If your squad dies, you’re all sent back to the start of the Darkness Zone to try again. Darkness Zones are reserved for difficult sets of enemies and bosses.

A lone complaint from my day one experience is all the down time. There’s a lot of it between traveling to and from the city and navigating the map. Load times are pretty lengthy. Other than the waiting, day one was a blast. I look forward to delving deeper over the weekend.

 

 

More diary entries will come over the weekend. For now, enjoy some of the scenery from my screenshots:

 

 Destiny Beta 20140717170613
(This was my first step in the "Destiny" beta. Peter Dinklage told me to go to the well, but I wanted to take in the sights)

 

Destiny Beta 20140717170619
(The landscape of this opening area is barren, but pretty)

 

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(Here's a look at the menu system. The orb in the center is your cursor. Since this was the beginning of the game, there isn't much to do here.)

 

Destiny Beta 20140717171022
(I found myself a gun, and I'm on my way to hunt those pesky fallen)

 

Destiny Beta 20140717171057 
(and I found some. Here's a view from the scope.)

 

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(Here's one of the early outdoor areas in the tutorial section. Very pretty. Very "Halo"-esque.)

 

Destiny Beta 20140717171502
(Looks like J.J. Abrams got ahold of this screenshot in post-production)

 

Destiny Beta 20140717171515
(Here's a view from the sniper rifle.)

 

Destiny Beta 20140717171817
(I leveled up and now have an incendiary grenade. Not sure how to use it yet.)

 

Destiny Beta 20140717171855
(Here's my starting secondary weapon: the Calcutta-LR2. Accurate and deadly.)

 

Destiny Beta 20140717172058
(Here's Dinklage and me joking around.)

 

Destiny Beta 20140717172235
(I assume this shows up after every completed mission to show you how you did.)

 

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(En route to the city.)

 

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(Another shot of the city.)

 

Destiny Beta 20140717172548
(Me without my armor.)

 

Destiny Beta 20140717222033
(Here's my ship, traveling between the hub city and the Earth)

 

Destiny Beta 20140717222209
(I had a nice chat with the postmaster about the popular music of today.)

 

Destiny Beta 20140717223218
(I teamed up with two other friends to form a fireteam of three. Here we are on our way to a mission.)

 

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(Here are the three of us tackling our first mission)

 

Destiny Beta 20140717223526
(Admiring that broken down truck. Wondering what it all means.)

 

Destiny Beta 20140717223530
(Then some Fallen came out of nowhere to give me what for.)

 

Destiny Beta 20140717224650
(We won, so I admired the view.)

Destiny Beta 20140717225209
(Glowing crystals add some green to the palette.)

Destiny Beta 20140717225250
(We encountered some Acolyte Fallen on our mission, and quickly disposed of them.)

Destiny Beta 20140717225322
(A Thrall jumped out to scare me. It worked)

Destiny Beta 20140717225405
(Looking for the dastardly Hive Wizard.)

Destiny Beta 20140717230409
(We found and killed the wizard, and were rewarded with sick new rides.)

Destiny Beta 20140717230411
(Naturally, we took them for a spin.)

Destiny Beta 20140717230448
(We went to explore the sights.)

Destiny Beta 20140717233619
(After the joy ride, it was back to missions. This place was a lot more dangerous than it looks.)

Destiny Beta 20140717233608
(This was taken seconds before an angry horde of dozens of fallen came charging in.)

Destiny Beta 20140717234319
(This guy gave me a rocket launcher. Just GAVE it to me! What a guy.)

Destiny Beta 20140717234743
(Some hooligans challenged our squad to a battle. We're heading to the PvP arena.)

Destiny Beta 20140717234808
(Pre-battle pose. So hardcore.)

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(A shot of the battlefield.)

Destiny Beta 20140718000423
(We won the battle. I still needed to try out the new rocket launcher, but the guy gave it to me with no ammo. What a sham.)

Destiny Beta 20140718000421
(That didn't stop me from looking down the scope for no reaason.)

Destiny Beta 20140718001815
(At level 6, the skill tree is coming along nicely.)

 

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