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
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.
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:
(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)
(The landscape of this opening area is barren, but pretty)
(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.)
(I found myself a gun, and I'm on my way to hunt those pesky fallen)
(and I found some. Here's a view from the scope.)
(Here's one of the early outdoor areas in the tutorial section. Very pretty. Very "Halo"-esque.)
(Looks like J.J. Abrams got ahold of this screenshot in post-production)
(Here's a view from the sniper rifle.)
(I leveled up and now have an incendiary grenade. Not sure how to use it yet.)
(Here's my starting secondary weapon: the Calcutta-LR2. Accurate and deadly.)
(Here's Dinklage and me joking around.)
(I assume this shows up after every completed mission to show you how you did.)
(En route to the city.)
(Another shot of the city.)
(Me without my armor.)
(Here's my ship, traveling between the hub city and the Earth)
(I had a nice chat with the postmaster about the popular music of today.)
(I teamed up with two other friends to form a fireteam of three. Here we are on our way to a mission.)
(Here are the three of us tackling our first mission)
(Admiring that broken down truck. Wondering what it all means.)
(Then some Fallen came out of nowhere to give me what for.)
(We won, so I admired the view.)
(Glowing crystals add some green to the palette.)
(We encountered some Acolyte Fallen on our mission, and quickly disposed of them.)
(A Thrall jumped out to scare me. It worked)
(Looking for the dastardly Hive Wizard.)
(We found and killed the wizard, and were rewarded with sick new rides.)
(Naturally, we took them for a spin.)
(We went to explore the sights.)
(After the joy ride, it was back to missions. This place was a lot more dangerous than it looks.)
(This was taken seconds before an angry horde of dozens of fallen came charging in.)
(This guy gave me a rocket launcher. Just GAVE it to me! What a guy.)
(Some hooligans challenged our squad to a battle. We're heading to the PvP arena.)
(Pre-battle pose. So hardcore.)
(A shot of the battlefield.)
(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.)
(That didn't stop me from looking down the scope for no reaason.)
(At level 6, the skill tree is coming along nicely.)