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Destiny 2’s Single-Use Shaders Are Just Plain Wrong

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From what I can gather, Destiny 2 is a fun game. Many gamers who hated the first Destiny seem to enjoy the sequel a great deal more, and thanks to the PC beta test, I can say from firsthand experience they’re right. While PC gamers need to wait a bit to play the game, PS4 and Xbox One (and PS4 Pro) owners are playing Destiny 2 as I write this article and sadly discovering several issues with the game, namely its microtransactions, or to be more specific, the one-time use shaders.

Depending on your video game experience, you may or may not recognize “shader” as the term commonly used to describe cosmetic items that overwrite the colors of wearable equipment. Shaders are standard in many modern games, especially role-playing games that emphasize character customization, including Dragon Age: Inquisition and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Blood and Wine. Shaders are a godsend in MMOs where all end-level armor looks homogeneous. Why should every player settle for the same old drab silver and brown suit when players can color it as bright and shiny gold armor with purple highlights? Shaders were everywhere in the original Destiny, and players could swap shaders at any time. However, according to a Reddit post, Bungie (or more likely Activision) decided to change how shaders work in Destiny 2 by making them disappear after being used. Oh, and they can also be found en masse in loot boxes that can only be purchased with real world money, because why not?

Perhaps the executive behind this decision didn’t get the memo, but Destiny 2 is a loot-based game, which means players are stuck in a never-ending cycle of “find armor and weapons, equip them, and replace them five minutes later with even better armor and weapons.” While luck plays a huge factor, eventually every player will replace every piece of equipment with something better, which raises the question: what’s the point in wasting a one-use shader on a piece of equipment that will inevitably be replaced? Gamers color their armor with shaders to give it a specific color scheme, but this scheme is replaced when players equip a new piece of armor. Since the shader is one-use, the new armor piece can’t be colored unless the player has a duplicate shader, which is highly unlikely given the random nature of the loot drops. In other words, there is no point in wasting limited-use shaders on equipment that will be replaced. Sure, gamers can always stockpile shaders and use them to color end-level equipment, but this equipment will eventually become obsolete in a future patch or expansion. To put it simply, the loot-based nature of Destiny 2 conflicts with the nature of Destiny 2‘s shaders.

You are now probably wondering how Activision/Bungie should handle shaders in Destiny 2. Since shaders can now be applied individually to every piece of equipment, including weapons and ships, perhaps the companies should take a page out of Wildstar. In that game, shaders have unlimited uses and can be applied to almost any piece of armor or clothing. Moreover, players can mix and match shaders to create any color scheme imaginable. Personally, I consider Wildstar the bar by which other MMOs should be measured regarding how shaders are implemented. Maybe it’s too much to ask the developers at Bungie to copy Wildstar‘s shader system, but the company should at least get rid of the one-use limitation.

Bungie could and should patch in an update to Destiny 2 to fix the shader system. The fan outcry is near universal; nobody likes that shaders are one-use items. I cannot think of a legitimate reason why shaders shouldn’t be permanent items, and apparently neither can anyone else. Please, Bungie, you have a good game on your hands; don’t ruin it for the fans. Please.

All you have to do to get my attention is talk about video games, technology, anime, and/or Dungeons & Dragons - also people in spandex fighting rubber suited monsters.

Gaming

Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 Sets Dates for the Next Multiplayer Beta

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 is getting closer and closer, and Activision has announced when players will be able to get their hands on the next game. This means that there will be several chances to try it out before it comes out. If you paid a lot, you might be able to play for more than a week at the end of August and beginning of September.

Call of Duty Early Access will run from Friday, August 30th, to Wednesday, September 4th, as announced on its blog. This is two days after the Call of Duty Next showcase, which is set for August 28th. To play, you must have already bought Black Ops 6.

The open beta is the following weekend, and anyone who wants to can join. The fun will start on Friday, September 6th, and end on Monday, September 9th. The full release is set for October 25th of next month on PS5 and PS4.

How excited are you for the next Call of Duty game? Are you going to play Black Ops 6 in either the Early Access or Open Beta versions? Leave a comment below and let us know.

 

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Ten million people play The First Descendant in its first week

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The free-to-play shooter The First Descendant has gotten a lot of attention in its first week. The game’s publisher, Nexon, says that 10 million people have already tried it out.

Insider Gaming pointed out that since there is no cost up front, it’s still too early to tell how many of those players will stick around, but it’s still a big number for a new IP. On Steam alone, it peaked at 264,860 concurrents right after launch and has still managed to break 200,000 in the last 24 hours, so it looks like a lot of people are still really into the game.

It was a “mindless and repetitive grind,” and we gave The First Descendant a 3/10 in our review. Of course, that’s just one opinion; other experts have had different ones. Most people, though, say that the game’s annoying free-to-play model is the worst thing about it.

Are you one of the millions of people who played The First Descendant last week? Are you going to come back for more? Leave a comment below and let us know.

 

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Raiden, the famous shmup series, will come back as a twin-stick shooter on PS5, PS4, and PC

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Raiden has a long and interesting history as a vertical shooter in arcades. However, the series is going to get a Super Stardust HD makeover, which means it will switch to a twin-stick format. It comes out in Japan on October 31. There’s no word yet on when it will come out in the West, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it did.

A Gematsu translation of the game’s website says that the full version will have an arcade mode with up to six stages. There will also be an “Unlimited” option for people who want to be at the top of the rankings. It sounds like a pretty straightforward package in terms of what’s inside, but we think the action will be what makes it worth it.

There’s a trailer up top that should help you figure out what to expect. There are, however, different versions of Raiden 3, Raiden 4, and Raiden 5 that you can play right now on the PS5 and PS4, if you can’t wait for this game to come out in the West.

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