Beta Day 7 – 25/07/2014 – Digital Magpies: All That Glimmers Is Not Gold…It Could Be A Hoverbike
It’s going to be a bit of a shorter entry today guys, as by this point I feel like I’m really scraping the barrel with things to do in the Beta by now! That’s not to say that there isn’t much to do here; in fact, quite the opposite, the Beta period has felt very generous in its scope, and it is only because I’ve been sinking an awful lot of time into it that I’m starting to find that I’ve done pretty much all I can do. So, to change things up a bit, as the Beta enters into its last few days, I thought I’d wax lyrical (yes, I’ve always wanted to write that) about what we can expect to persist over into the final retail version of the game.
Today was mostly another solo adventure, so I decided to start off by hunting down the five golden loot chests that are hidden throughout Old Russia. I’d been previously unaware of these elusive boxes of wonder in all my previous Beta playtime, and I only happened to stumble across their existence after a PlayStation tweet pointed followers to a video walkthrough of how to find them. Watching the video, I marvelled at how well hidden some of these devious little chests are; some are placed along obvious points in the path of the story missions, whilst others are cunningly hidden in places that only the most diligent of explorers will find. Luckily for me then, the internet exists, and its wondrous power allows slobs like me to instantly reap the rewards of others’ long and arduous searching. High-ho, high-ho, it’s off to farm loot we go…
Despite their shiny golden exterior, the contents of these splendorous loot chests don’t appear to massively differ from their standard silvery counterparts. Four out of the five gold chests just offered a handful of Glimmer, and occasionally a nice gun as a reward for finding them, which of course were welcome gifts, but these contents nonetheless felt a tad disappointing considering the implied exclusivity and shiny nature of their containers. However, the last one I found, sneakily hidden round a rocky beach trail, contained an upgraded and appropriately golden Sparrow, the likes of which you would have to pay a fair bit of Glimmer for to get your hands on in the Tower.
On the topic of loot and shiny gold chests, as I turn into a greedy digital magpie in games like this, eager to hoover up every last little bit of loot that I can find, a big question that looms large for me now is this; will any of this Beta progress carry over to the final game? My head says no, but my heart desperately wants the answer to be a yes. Having sunk a good chunk of time into the Beta, it would be very cool if I could just pick up right where I’ve left off when Destiny properly launches in under two months time. On the other hand though, I can totally understand why we probably won’t be able to carry on with the same characters – after all, from what little scant knowledge on the programming side of things I’ve gleaned from listening to various podcasts and reading the odd Destiny press releases here and there, the Beta is old code, and it may well be incompatible with the final finished code of the main game.
However, there are a couple of points which make me think stuff might carry over. First of all, the Destiny Beta has gone, in the space of a few days, from private exclusive event for those who had pre-ordered the game, to an all-out open Beta to everyone who owns any of the consoles the game is due out for. This means that everybody has had a chance to get in and play some Destiny, and plenty of players, like me, will have spent time to level up to the Beta level cap of eight, and collected a fair amount of loot and goodies along the way. True, we aren’t that far into the game at all, and if we do have to start from scratch come September it won’t be the end of the world as it won’t take long to get back up to where we left off. But if that’s the case, why then has it been possible to acquire gear and items that are far higher than the current level cap? I myself have picked up numerous helmets and guns that require you to be level nine or ten in order to use them, so why are these in the Beta if they’re only going to be taken away again? Along these same lines, players who have taken part in the ‘Iron Banner’ crucible events stand to lose even more despite their hard work earning exclusive capes and guns…the lucky sods…
In all honestly though, as much as I’d like our characters to persist and carry over, I do think we will have to start over with fresh ones in September when the game is launched. Like I say it’s not a major pain, its just a little annoying. I didn’t get into the Destiny Alpha, but I’ve heard people who had created characters in that previous testing period couldn’t use them when starting the Beta, so it seems to make sense that Beta players will also have to start again from scratch on day one of release.
Bungie is known for liking to tease its players though, so at this point it’s quite hard to tell whether all of this is some kind of elaborate ruse to keep players anxious yet excited, or…well…not. We’ll have to wait and see.
Tomorrow should be a little different though, as Bungie have promised a reward for all players who are logged on at a certain time (9:00pm for me in the UK), which will definitely carry across into the final build of the game launching in September. I’ll report back with my findings and shiny metal items magpie-style tomorrow.