An Intense eGames Grand Final Sees Canada’s Ally
Thundercrash is getting buffed, Power levels are going up a bit, and the Eververse Store is getting some tweaks.
The latest This Week at Bungie is mainly a recap of the big Destiny 2 announcements that dropped earlier this week, including a teaser for Saint-14’s return and a livestreamed look at some of the other changes coming in Season of Dawn. But it expands on all of that a bit with some bullet-point specifics on more granular changes, including small increases to Power and Pinnacle reward caps and a long-awaited buff to Thundercrash, the Striker Code of the Missile Super ability, that’s been given a boost to base damage, in-flight damage, and the amount of time you can stay in the air after it’s activated.
The new TWAB also reveals changes coming to the Eververse Store that will see a significantly increased amount of inventory made available for Bright Dust along with the premium Silver currency. Roughly 50 percent of Eververse items will have been purchasable with Bright Dust at some point during the Season of Undying by the time it wraps up next week, but Bungie aims to get that up to around 80 percent for Season of Dawn. The Eververse Store will also prevent the purchase of items already in your collection in the new season, in order to ensure that people aren’t blowing Silver or Bright Dust on stuff they already have.
Tweaks will also be made to the Bright Dust economy in the new seasson. “In Season of the Undying, we changed Bright Dust from a pay-and/or-play-to-earn currency to a play-to-earn reward. We want all players to be able to acquire a selection of their favorite Eververse content every season just by playing the game, and we’ve been keeping an eye on the Bright Dust economy in Season of the Undying with this in mind,” Bungie explained.
- Increased the drop rate of the “Scourge of the Past” raid Exotic weapon Anarchy from 5% to 10%
- The Exotic Engram and the Fated Engram have been collapsed into a single new Exotic Engram item
- When opened, it awards a new Exotic if any remain to be collected; otherwise, it contains a random piece of Exotic armor
- Escalation Protocol wave 7 chest no longer requires a key to open
- Chest can be opened upon every successful completion of wave 7
- Each time opening the chest awards one piece of EP armor for your character class until you have the full set
- After full set is acquired, subsequent opening of the chest awards a random piece of armor
- Charged Decryption Keys and Key Fragments are being removed from the game; these items will be removed from player inventories
- Armory keys to spawn Valkyrie Javelins are unchanged and will remain
- EP weapon drops were not touched and are still cumulative-stream boss drops
Darksiders is a shape-shifting franchise. The original game offered a fun mix of combat and puzzle dungeons, like a fusion of God of War and The Legend of Zelda. Darksiders II added Diablo-inspired loot into that equation. When Darksiders III released in 2018, it incorporated elements of From Software’s Souls games. Darksiders’ experimentation continues with Genesis, a co-op friendly, top-down action game. For this prequel, Developer Airship Syndicate repackages many of Darksiders’ signature aspects into a new container just in time for the holidays, but this delivery is filled with more packing peanuts than presents.
From the start, Genesis allows up to two players to control Strife and War (solo players can freely switch between the two). Each character feels impressively unique in combat. War is a slow-moving, close-quarters tank, with many sword combos reminiscent of his abilities from the original Darksiders. In contrast, Strife darts around the battlefield and rains fire from the barrels of his twin pistols. I enjoy the mix of abilities that both horsemen provide, and Genesis generally succeeds at emulating Darksiders’ fast-paced action from a new camera perspective.
The joys of combat quickly turn to anguish as the difficulty escalates. War and Strife level up by equipping creature cores, which boost your horsemens’ strength and health pools. Cores also offer other added bonuses, such as giving your attacks a chance to restore your health. Unfortunately, these enemy cores drop randomly, which means you can fight entire enemy hordes without a guaranteed reward. The problems with this system are exacerbated when you need to grind for cores – and you will need to grind. Each level has a recommended power rank, and those requirements quickly outpaced my horsemens’ abilities. This forced me to return to old levels (or a repeatable combat area) to tear through endless fodder in the hopes of finding more cores – an incredibly soul-sucking process.
Genesis offers some respite with a handful of environmental puzzles. In co-op, these puzzles ask War and Strife to work together to throw a series of switches, or use their unique skills to send electrical orbs across the room to power ancient artifacts. In single-player, these puzzles require a little more legwork, since you have to use bombs to trigger multiple timed switches or make use of other environmental tricks to navigate a space. Whether solo or with a friend, Genesis’ puzzles are never mentally taxing, but I was usually thankful for