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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 5: New Thread+

    How are people even getting access to endwalker? Its not even supposed to be out yet and i cant play it but i also have to deal with queues several hours long of people who are playing it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacewolf View Post
    How are people even getting access to endwalker? Its not even supposed to be out yet and i cant play it but i also have to deal with queues several hours long of people who are playing it.
    Early Access is up...two weeks, I think before release? Not sure how they gained access (maybe just by preordering?).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacewolf View Post
    How are people even getting access to endwalker? Its not even supposed to be out yet and i cant play it but i also have to deal with queues several hours long of people who are playing it.
    Early Access began on December 3rd, and I live in a fortuitous enough timezone that I can log in without major issues. Suffice to say, for the three past days I've logged in at 3-4AM GMT and stayed in the game for 12+ hours each day, it's that engrossing.
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    I haven't even managed to open FFXIV since the patch dropped. My server is so full I don't even get to even try to get into the queue.

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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 5: New Thread+

    Quote Originally Posted by Spacewolf View Post
    How are people even getting access to endwalker? Its not even supposed to be out yet and i cant play it but i also have to deal with queues several hours long of people who are playing it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Resileaf View Post
    I haven't even managed to open FFXIV since the patch dropped. My server is so full I don't even get to even try to get into the queue.
    This is the way: log on early in the morning in your server's timezone. Queues only get bad starting at ~noon PST (my timezone).

    Quote Originally Posted by Ignimortis View Post
    Early Access began on December 3rd, and I live in a fortuitous enough timezone that I can log in without major issues. Suffice to say, for the three past days I've logged in at 3-4AM GMT and stayed in the game for 12+ hours each day, it's that engrossing.
    I've been playing mostly before work (getting up earlier) and sometimes logging in after work, like last night. Only had 2 hours of queue...would have been 1, except I got down to #1 in queue and then encountered an error that dropped me out of queue and put me at the back of a 3.8k person queue...

    One thing they really could do better is handling those connection errors without completely closing the client and forcing you to re-authenticate and restart the entire client.

    Just finished the level 87 duty (new cap is 90). Guessed a chunk of the twist, but not the whole thing. But man, is that ending cutscene for that duty really really long. Like 20+ minutes. Duty is better with the trusts, though. Such characters.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    This is the way: log on early in the morning in your server's timezone. Queues only get bad starting at ~noon PST (my timezone).



    I've been playing mostly before work (getting up earlier) and sometimes logging in after work, like last night. Only had 2 hours of queue...would have been 1, except I got down to #1 in queue and then encountered an error that dropped me out of queue and put me at the back of a 3.8k person queue...

    One thing they really could do better is handling those connection errors without completely closing the client and forcing you to re-authenticate and restart the entire client.

    Just finished the level 87 duty (new cap is 90). Guessed a chunk of the twist, but not the whole thing. But man, is that ending cutscene for that duty really really long. Like 20+ minutes. Duty is better with the trusts, though. Such characters.
    I meant how are they getting to end walker, I haven't even seen the option for early access. Seems strange to have such accessible early access it seems to defeat the point.
    They are bad until 12am here from about 8am in the morning from what I've seen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacewolf View Post
    I meant how are they getting to end walker, I haven't even seen the option for early access. Seems strange to have such accessible early access it seems to defeat the point.
    They are bad until 12am here from about 8am in the morning from what I've seen.
    Early access is for everyone who pre-ordered. If you pre-ordered, you can get in-game.

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    Ended up giving up on Ruined King for now about 5-6 hours in. There's nothing wrong with it exactly, but my motivation to play it just kept dropping. The same thing happened with Battle Chasers. On paper I should love these games, but when I actually play them I enjoy them for a few hours and that's it. I think it's the way they go so hard on the tank/healer/dps mechanic. Every fight feels samey after a while. Maybe I'd enjoy it more if I dropped the difficulty and tried different group comps.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    This is the way: log on early in the morning in your server's timezone. Queues only get bad starting at ~noon PST (my timezone).



    I've been playing mostly before work (getting up earlier) and sometimes logging in after work, like last night. Only had 2 hours of queue...would have been 1, except I got down to #1 in queue and then encountered an error that dropped me out of queue and put me at the back of a 3.8k person queue...

    One thing they really could do better is handling those connection errors without completely closing the client and forcing you to re-authenticate and restart the entire client.

    Just finished the level 87 duty (new cap is 90). Guessed a chunk of the twist, but not the whole thing. But man, is that ending cutscene for that duty really really long. Like 20+ minutes. Duty is better with the trusts, though. Such characters.
    Man, most work days I'm lucky if I can even string 2 hours together to game. I can't imagine spending that long sitting in a queue. You must really love the game. Side effect of working 12+ hour shifts I guess.

    I've tried to get into FFXIV many times, but it just never grabs me. Part of it is that mmo mechanics feel shallow, and part of it is that I'm not a big fan of multiplayer with non-friends these days. I'm an old fart now, so all my old gaming buddies have families and schedules. It's impossible to coordinate our play time consistently.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anteros View Post
    Man, most work days I'm lucky if I can even string 2 hours together to game. I can't imagine spending that long sitting in a queue. You must really love the game. Side effect of working 12+ hour shifts I guess.

    I've tried to get into FFXIV many times, but it just never grabs me. Part of it is that mmo mechanics feel shallow, and part of it is that I'm not a big fan of multiplayer with non-friends these days. I'm an old fart now, so all my old gaming buddies have families and schedules. It's impossible to coordinate our play time consistently.
    I let it queue while I read and did other things.

    But one good thing of FFXIV is that you can play it almost like a single-player. Especially now--in the last two expansions you can do the majority of the necessary duties with trust NPCs (who have some intelligence to dodge AoEs, etc).

    I will say that the story/etc really gets much better once you get past the base game. The current expansion is wrapping up 10 years of storyline, bringing all the threads to a close. And doing a darn good job of it so far.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    I let it queue while I read and did other things.

    But one good thing of FFXIV is that you can play it almost like a single-player. Especially now--in the last two expansions you can do the majority of the necessary duties with trust NPCs (who have some intelligence to dodge AoEs, etc).

    I will say that the story/etc really gets much better once you get past the base game. The current expansion is wrapping up 10 years of storyline, bringing all the threads to a close. And doing a darn good job of it so far.
    I've heard that a lot. The problem is that a story that gets good 30? 60? hours in is a pretty big investment to make.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anteros View Post
    I've heard that a lot. The problem is that a story that gets good 30? 60? hours in is a pretty big investment to make.
    I think part of the problem is that so much of ARR is world building, and the plot really doesn't start to kick off till towards the end of it. Which isn't a bad thing, its just not super interesting at times. Here's all these factions, go talk to each to find out about them. Here's the different Grand Companies, go pick one to be a part of. And so on. It gives a good depth to the world, but it didn't feel much like an epic story for me until
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    . Once they get past the world building bits though, it takes off like mad.
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    ARR works best if you find yourself enjoying your time in Eorzea. If you don't enjoy the world itself, then the storytelling is undoubtedly going to fall short. Me personally, I enjoyed myself enough to do every possible little thing before moving on (including an entire relic chain), to the point where it took me several years to reach Heavensward (not helped that I don't play very often in the first place, sometimes going weeks without logging in). Even now I've only reached the final boss of 3.0, and I'm delaying doing it until I've reached lvl 60 with every class.
    Last edited by Resileaf; 2021-12-07 at 04:54 PM.

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    Personally I suffered through the dreadfully boring ARR content to get to Heavensward "where it gets good" and kind of found myself just hating everyone involved and super bored again, so that's where I quit.

    For an MMO, the gameplay is good, but there's just too much clogging through filler quests after ARR, and the storytelling doesn't seem to tick up any either. It's the same generic Final Fantasy stuff they've been doing for 30+ games.

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    To be honest, Final Fantasy has never had the best stories, I believe the first came out at a time where 'you elf, evil pig man stole princess, go collect triangles and stab him' was a deep plot for a game.

    Honestly, the reason I prefer WRPGs over JRPGs is because the former us better at maintaining the illusion of interactivity. Even highlights like Planescape: Torment are still incredibly linear, but the things I can change still make it feel like I'm more in control than I am. A linear story isn't a problem, but the less interactivity there is the more I'm going to need decent gameplay to back it up.

    In other words, I really should get back to Bravely Default.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anteros View Post
    I've heard that a lot. The problem is that a story that gets good 30? 60? hours in is a pretty big investment to make.
    That's basically how all MMOs go. There's not a single one where you'll grasp the game in less than a hundred hours, even if it's comfortable enough to play with a very weak understanding of how things work. FFXIV really holds your hand for a long time. As for the story, I do believe that it's decent enough on the level of older FF intros (like FF6 before World of Ruin, for example, or the Midgar chapter of 7), but that doesn't count for much these days. But in Heavensward, it goes beyond single-player FFs in quality, and by Shadowbringers eclipses the sheer majority of western RPGs I've played, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    To be honest, Final Fantasy has never had the best stories, I believe the first came out at a time where 'you elf, evil pig man stole princess, go collect triangles and stab him' was a deep plot for a game.

    Honestly, the reason I prefer WRPGs over JRPGs is because the former us better at maintaining the illusion of interactivity. Even highlights like Planescape: Torment are still incredibly linear, but the things I can change still make it feel like I'm more in control than I am. A linear story isn't a problem, but the less interactivity there is the more I'm going to need decent gameplay to back it up.

    In other words, I really should get back to Bravely Default.
    Never felt that myself. Interactivity and nonlinearity are what I like TTRPGs for, but videogames can't really go anywhere near that. So a well-crafted linear story is much preferable, to me, to a branching-but-still-very-limited story. I had a discussion (well, more of a shouting match) about FFXIV vs SWTOR story, and just couldn't understand why choosing options in dialogue or having romances is all that important if they don't actually affect anything of note.

    On a side note, as of Shadowbringers finale (5.0, not 5.3, although 5.3 is great in its own way), I believe FFXIV to be the best story in RPGs I've played. Endwalker does nothing to invalidate this opinion. DA, ME, PoE (Pillars, not Path), the newer PF games, etc, etc - can't hold a candle to it, IMO. Making the story work in a tab-target, mechanically rigid MMO format is even more impressive.
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    Interactivity is the singular tool video games have to tell a narrative in a unique way. In every other respect they are an inferior storytelling medium.

    That is why those small choices matter. They increase your investment. The story is now "yours" in a small way.

    Spending 20 minutes watching Discount Gabranth natter on wasn't interesting in ARR, and likewise neither was listening to Great Value Kain whine through most of Heavensward. This is in part because the material just wasn't very interesting, but moreover I'm simply not interested in general in putting the controller down for 20 minutes to watch anything while playing a game anymore.

    Lengthy, tedious, static cutscenes were a necessary evil in decades gone past. They're now just a crutch. The least inspired thing you could possibly make.
    Last edited by Rynjin; 2021-12-08 at 08:45 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Interactivity is the singular tool video games have to tell a narrative in a unique way. In every other respect they are an inferior storytelling medium.

    That is why those small choices matter. They increase your investment. The story is now "yours" in a small way.
    I think it's still more possible to get invested in a strictly linear story when it's presented as a videogame than as movie or what-have-you. Take, as an example, Persona 3--I've played both the video game version (the Playstation Portable variant, at any rate), and watched the four feature-length animes that tell the same story, and I was far more affected by the ending of the video game than that of the movie, simply because the game had given me a couple of days' in-game time to meet up with the important characters and see how their stories had played out, whereas the ending of the movies seemed rushed in comparison.

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    Most WRPGs have the llusion of interactivity. Nothing of what you do really matters--all the branches are the same, just dressed up differently. At least JRPGs are honest about it. And FFXIV downright lampshades that fact, with dialog options (few of which change things) like "no matter what I say, I'm going to end up doing this, right?"
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    Most WRPGs have the llusion of interactivity. Nothing of what you do really matters--all the branches are the same, just dressed up differently. At least JRPGs are honest about it. And FFXIV downright lampshades that fact, with dialog options (few of which change things) like "no matter what I say, I'm going to end up doing this, right?"
    Interactivity doesn't just have to mean "story decisions". Interactivity can also just mean what order you look at various items in a room, for example. You can do that in a game, or a museum, but not in a movie. Sure it's a small thing, but that can add a lot to immersion. Which order to use various dialogue points. Selecting your own path across the map, even if the story doesn't change. Etc. That's all interaction.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    Most WRPGs have the llusion of interactivity. Nothing of what you do really matters--all the branches are the same, just dressed up differently. At least JRPGs are honest about it. And FFXIV downright lampshades that fact, with dialog options (few of which change things) like "no matter what I say, I'm going to end up doing this, right?"
    Yes, but what I'm saying is that I prefer the illusion. Plus the simple fact that WRPGs have conversations as gameplay rather than cutscenes can help immensely.

    Disco Elysium is to me partially amazing because of the fact that you can miss stuff. Sure, it's all leading up to the same series of final events, but the journey feels like it matters. My friend and I both played it, and we both had completely different detectives and followed different questlines.

    Plus again, Planescape:Torment. It's a very linear story, but to me it felt grander than any Final Fantasy plot. It's a long journey to a destination you might regret, but it uses the interactivity you have to make you think about it's themes. The changes are small, but at least I'm not sitting around for thirty minutes while the villain monologues.
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    I would argue interactivity and choices are not the same thing at all. Take for example a good walking simulator like The Beginner's Guide, or even the Stanley Parable.

    There are no meaningful choices to make in these games. None. Nothing you do matters. At best, you can determine the order in which you see everything, but nothing about what you are presented with changes.

    They are still fantastic narratives that utilize the interactivity and format of the medium to their advantage, making you take part in what they tell and letting you explore it at your own pace.

    Likewise, consider the Ace Attorney series. You can do basically nothing to influence the story there, and the personalization ends at "did I find all the dialogue" and "did I solve the case right". They still provide you with the experience of having puzzled out the scenarios on your own, and make you connect with the characters more strongly as you share their experiences.

    Heck, that very connection makes certain stories stronger in games than they would be in other mediums. A movie where the hero just beats the bad guy in a fair fight at the end with no clever twist would be an anti-climax, but in a game it can be very satisfying because its the player who actually has to fight that battle.

    Basically I am saying that there's more than one kind of interactivity, and that video games are in no way an inferior way of telling stories or creating art. That kind of talk is just reductive when your beef is with cutscenes.


    You may also be wondering why I am talking about this and not what games I've been playing. This is because the newest patch of Muse Dash, which is what I would ordinarily have been playing, has broken the game to be completely unplayable. And because the development team for the game is so small, they have been very slow on fixing the issue. So that's put a damper on things. :/
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Interactivity is the singular tool video games have to tell a narrative in a unique way. In every other respect they are an inferior storytelling medium.

    That is why those small choices matter. They increase your investment. The story is now "yours" in a small way.

    Spending 20 minutes watching Discount Gabranth natter on wasn't interesting in ARR, and likewise neither was listening to Great Value Kain whine through most of Heavensward. This is in part because the material just wasn't very interesting, but moreover I'm simply not interested in general in putting the controller down for 20 minutes to watch anything while playing a game anymore.

    Lengthy, tedious, static cutscenes were a necessary evil in decades gone past. They're now just a crutch. The least inspired thing you could possibly make.
    No accounting for taste, I suppose. Discount Gabranth isn't that great a character, and ARR in general was mostly a setup for everything else, with quite a few unlikeable characters and long-winded plots that can later on be summarized in a few lines, but Heavensward was interesting to me simply because the characters involved had moments of growth, of change, and you were there for it - and quite possibly had a journey of your own to make (oh, the Vault and doing the Dark Knight questchain afterwards...). And I think that long cutscenes are still a necessary evil - you simply cannot develop a character properly without many moments where that change can be made gradually, organically, slowly enough that you don't notice it at first.

    That was one of my major issues with SWTOR your relationships with other characters and them changing (if at all) felt fake, forced, too quick to actually be happening. They happened not because of the events that transpired over time, but because you clicked one of the dialogue choices, even if only a few hours passed IC between those clicks. And that happened because dialogue only ever existed to tell you what you need to do next and why. I would have to mention Mass Effect here through various small interactions on the ship, you did become attached to your crew and see them as something beyond other soldiers in your war. FFXIV succeeded at that by the end of Shadowbringers I really did feel like Scions are my character's friends who aren't there simply because you need someone to dispense plot.

    Also, as Theoboldi suggests, the game can easily have something to increase investment without being full of choices. My investment with most linear JRPGs, like Persona games or some of the Final Fantasies that did get me invested, is solidified though interaction with them. I might not have a lot of decisions in what things the Warrior of Light does (few games actually do), but I could influence the small bits of my character's personality, do certain quests, and overcome challenges that the game presents. When you think about them as not "ah, another dungeon", but what the WoL sees and knows and fights through with the current events on their mind. The story is "yours" because you did it in your own way, you fought enemies that didn't fall easily, and you interacted with characters - even though you didn't get to say much to them or choose their path, you watched them grow and change influenced by your actions.

    Basically, I didn't have any issues with cutscenes. You can't tell a complex story without them, and though FFXIV does sometimes make you read a lot instead of playing the game, I don't mind that. Same as I didn't mind Planescape: Torment's extensive dialogues, really - I spent maybe 10% of that game in combat if not less.
    Last edited by Ignimortis; 2021-12-08 at 12:33 PM.
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    I think the problem isn't that it's setup, it's that the setup should be interesting in and of itself. Plus if you're promoting yourself as story heavy you can't of can't get around bad setup with good gameplay. I could play 20 hours of setup for a great story, or I could play 10 hours of an okay to good story, or any number of hours of good to great gameplay. That's what the setup for your epic story has to compete with, and in my case unless the setup is interesting I'll be putting on Devil May Cry.

    A serialised TV show can have the same problem. Yes you've got to set everything up first, but if Episode 2 is a slog fewer people are going to reach Episode 12 where the plot threads hit their emotional climaxes. in my mind noninteractive sequences need to be as short as possible, and if the only interaction boils down to 'press forward to hear the next bit of dialogue' you might as well be throwing 200 text boxes at me (yeah, I'm moving out of JRPGs now). That isn't to say that there isn't a place for noninteractivity, but in my mind there should be a purpose to them (such as B's walking section being used to emphasise how he's on his last legs).

    Yeah, I'm even a little iffy on cutscenes on Devil May Cry, there's certainly a few instances in DMC5 where they could have potentially replaced the cutscene with gameplay.
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    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 5: New Thread+

    It's Halo Infinite campaign day!

    And it's good. Really good. Everything about it just feels right. Shooting guns might be more enjoyable in Infinite than in anything I've played; this is considerably helped by the game's commitment to very reactive and enjoyably dangerous enemies. The grappling hook is amaze-balls. Do you want to punch that dude right now, but he's problematically far away? Zoom over and punch him. Want that gun? Grab it. Explosive barrel? Grab that. Need to get out of dodge, grab some scenery and be elsewhere. Importantly, unlike jetpacks, the grappling hook doesn't render terrain irrelevant, but gives you vast freedom in interacting with it.

    Another thing they seem to have gotten right is all the stuff they didn't put in the game. No skill trees, no resource harvesting or item randomization or grenades on cooldowns or ultimate abilities. No number treadmill or character builds. It's actually a shooter in an open world that is happy to be a shooter, because shooting things is fun. It's like they ditched every system jammed into every open world shooter of the last fifteen years, and stripped it all the way back to the basic principles of Far Cry 2. And that's just fantastic.

    I think Ima sink a lot of hours into this one.
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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 5: New Thread+

    I look forward to playing it at some point, but I decided about a week ago I'm not dropping a penny on the game until they fix the multiplayer's predatory monetization.

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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 5: New Thread+

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    I look forward to playing it at some point, but I decided about a week ago I'm not dropping a penny on the game until they fix the multiplayer's predatory monetization.
    Isn't the multiplayer free? In my opinion, they can charge as much as they want for people to play pretty pretty dress up in a first person shooter where you don't even see your own character if the trade off is releasing a AAA title for free. It's hard to consider something incredibly predatory when it's purely cosmetics you don't even see in a free game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anteros View Post
    Isn't the multiplayer free? In my opinion, they can charge as much as they want for people to play pretty pretty dress up in a first person shooter where you don't even see your own character if the trade off is releasing a AAA title for free. It's hard to consider something incredibly predatory when it's purely cosmetics you don't even see in a free game.
    Nobody asked for it to be free. They decided to make it free, then lock something that has ALWAYS BEEN FREE behind one of the grindiest battle passes in the entire industry and some of the most expensive, but least impactful cosmetics in the industry as well (not as bad as Valorant's $100 weapon skins).

    People care about cosmetics. They know this. They are preying on peoples' desire to customize their Spartan as they have been able to do for free since the very first game.

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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 5: New Thread+

    Umm... What customization was in Halo 1?
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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 5: New Thread+

    Color schemes.

    Speaking of Halo, the Halo gear just released in Destiny 2 for the Bungie 30th anniversary event, and just about all of it is good, hilarious or hilariously good. For instance, there's a new sword perk, Eager Edge, that copies the bugged uber-long lunge with the Covenant energy sword from back in the day, and they literally named the Battle Rifle the BXR.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triaxx View Post
    Umm... What customization was in Halo 1?
    Color.

    Something, BTW, that is locked behind either a paywall, or VERY high battle pass levels this time around. Or in the case of certain colors, available as a limited time via a huge set of weekly challenges that all need to be completed and then it's gone.

    Everything else is likewise made available (or not). For example, the current battle pass theme is Reach. Everyone loved Reach's customization. Gear looked amazing, and was gained via an intuitive means: get credits for playing, but what you like.

    Now, you either get things through arbitrarily assigned levels in the battle pass (the helmet I want is level 75; after 27.4 hours of play I am currently level 20), or by buying them in the store. Note, this is not an either/or scenario where you're speeding up the grind by paying, though you can ALSO do that as well. No, instead, certain items are ONLY available in the store, for exorbitant amounts of cash. This includes the colors I mentioned above, BTW.

    Even better, colors are locked to specific armor cores. You want that specific shade of blue as your color? Fork over $5. And then also fork over $5 for every armor core in the game because color schemes are NOT cross-compatible.

    It's scummy.

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