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[Scheduled Activity] What can a game say beyond “you win” or “you lose?”
The way it all began was “you hit!” or “you miss!”, and once we all put rules to the game of let’s pretend to preempt cries of “no I didn’t” and “you’re cheating,” we had a binary resolution system: pass or fail. Now these days we have many other options: PbtA and Blades in the Dark make options for partial success and partial failure for a richer experience. And yet, the 98 pound gorilla of gaming has never done anything with that. And all the heart breaker games that are based on it, well they carry that baggage with them for the most part. How can we bring levels of success to more games? And does that even matter? Discuss. This post is part of the weekly RPGdesignScheduled Activity series. For a listing of past Scheduled Activity posts and future topics, follow that link to the Wiki. If you have suggestions for Scheduled Activity topics or a change to the schedule, please message the Mod Team or reply to the latest Topic Discussion Thread. For information on other RPGDesign community efforts, see the Wiki Index.
I heard that on the radio this morning while I was out and went, "Huh." There are various forms of this saying, but the general meaning is that, no matter how beneficial the policies or structures you put into place, the organizational culture will determine whether they will be successful or not. And culture is why SGI will never change. Within just the last 24 hours, we've seen several situations that illustrate this:
Members with Special Needs needing assistance to attend 50K There was a handful of youth division who wanted to go to 50K who had special needs and requested that their parent/family member accompany them to 50K. Special needs included anything from anxiety disorders, to members with schizophrenia, to members with varying levels of autism. Their parents/guardians were always over 39 years old and every time a special needs member wanted their 39+ parent/guardian/caretaker to attend, we had to send a letter to our Zone office requesting to do so. Wouldn't you know, every time we submitted such an application, they were all REJECTED! I actually don't recall a single application for one of my region's special needs requests being approved. The Zone office would say something along the lines of, "The parent over 39 can drive/transport the member to the venue, but they CANNOT go into the actual 50K venue." If that was the case, why not just say that in the memo you sent out? Source In my region (we all took the same bus) we had a girl in a wheelchair who usually is fine on her own but really needed extra assistance due to the crowds. She ended up pushing herself because we all got separated. We were all so hussled by the door people (Soka Group maybe) to get in and it was a huge problem for them that she had to go around to a different accessible door. Then we were in trouble with the Byakuren for not being all together. Then in trouble for not all sitting together because we had one fewer people than expected since she could not fit with her chair where they led us. The whole thing was a mess and there was apparently no planning for accommodating people with disabilities. Source My experience of the day was one of long line outside, rushed activity to get us in and seated (single file line please, full groups only please, follow this geisha in a pink t-shirt, yes she's very charming, why was your group let through if you are missing one? oh dear you have a member in a wheel chair? you've messed up our seating count). Source I'm so glad you brought this up, although I'm so sadly not surprised that this sort of thing is STILL a huge deal-breaker problem. WAY BACK IN 1987, I'd only been a member of SGI (then known as NSA) less than 5 months when I was chosen to go on the big bus trip to march in the New Freedom Bell parade over July 4 or thereabouts. There was this young woman I knew; her boyfriend was in the group just like mine was, and she and I had gotten to know each other somewhat through practices and meetings. She had some anxiety issues. When we got there, she realized that they were assigning people randomly to rooms and started to panic. She begged me to room with her instead! I said I'd see what I could do. When we got to the desk where we got our room assignments, I explained (using small words) that my friend had an anxiety disorder and could they please put us in the same room? They refused. How hard could it have been? If I was assigned to room with Stranger Beth and she was assigned to room with Stranger Karen, why not just move either Beth into her place (or Karen into mine) so she could be in my room with me?? It's not rocket surgery! They were both strangers to us, after all. But no. Rulez is rulez and that was the end of it. It turned out okay, but c'mon. It could have been MUCH better and MUCH more compassionate toward someone who clearly needed it, with no effort on their part - I offered to escort my roommate (if she was already in the room) to her new room (my friend's former room) if need be so no one else needed to do anything. All the performers were staying in the same building, after all; it was just more of SGI's rigid stupidity (the best kind!). Source
The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990. 30 years ago. That prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in several spheres (employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications and access to state and local government’ programs and services) and requires that buildings, facilites, and transit vehicles are accessible to people with disabilities. But guess what? Churches are exempt! Yet one more shitty strike against religion. What can we conclude from the perennial, unchanging nature of the SGI's lack of sensible accommodation of people with disabilities? Why such a rigid fixation on the "rulez is rulez" mentality? It's because SGI doesn't really give a shit about disabled people. SGI only cares about who will be most useful to SGI, and if a given person is perceived as less useful, then SGI doesn't give a shit about that person. And this is absolutely endemic, BAKED INTO SGI's organizational culture.
They just don't wanna.
It is so fundamental to SGI's organizational culture that the SGI leaders organizing the crowd control for these activities still don't seem aware that disabled people even exist! Thus, the requests of the disabled for inclusion on their own terms are routinely rejected by SGI, which believes that everybody needs to fit SGI and not the other way around. People who are different are icky and annoying. They always want something that isn't on the menu; they always expect everyone to bend over backwards for them; they think they're so special. THEY expect everybody to change everything for THEM. Well, in the Ikeda cult, everybody's the same Shin'ichi Yamamoto clone, so they need to fit the hell in and stop expecting special treatment all the time! SGI is a deeply selfish organization. The members exist to serve SGI and that should satisfy them! Moreover, they should all feel deeply GRATEFUL for any and every opportunity to give more to SGI, do more for SGI, and promote SGI in whatever way they can. THAT should be their mission in life and they should be happy with that! SGI doesn't care about LGBTQIANB people, either. Oh, it will accept their money, count them as members, use them however appears expedient, but THEY need to accommodate themselves to SGI-USA, NOT the other way around! Take a look:
Non-Binary Support As SGI-USA strives to be the model of worldwide kosen-rufu, we will be introducing a non-binary category for members and guests that don't identify as male or female. The Gohonzon application and MIS database will be updated with a new non-binary category. For non-binary members that don't feel comfortable being supported by a specific division, they will be encouraged to participate in 4-divisional activities. For non-binary members that are comfortable being supported by a specific division, they will be invited to participate in those divisional activities. SGI-USA official policy
How suckadelic is THAT?? SGI-USA is adamant about its "IRONCLAD four divisional system"! Those people who don't want to conform and fit in, well, we'll just expect them to do their best, given the way things are. They'll fit in, one way or another. The way things are is not going to change! Certainly not for THEM!
Many SGI members tout the apparent acceptance of gays and lesbians — and the active recruitment of new members at Gay Pride celebrations — as a jaw-dropping miracle of positive change in SGI. For decades, gay SGI members remonstrated with SGI leaders about organizational hostility toward gays. Did these sincere efforts finally bring about a major change in SGI? I think not. After all, this “change” benefits the organization by opening up a new constituency of eager recruits, many of whom are idealistic and have felt alienated from traditional religion and are seeking a spiritual “home.” Many have significant disposable income and often fewer family obligations. Plus, gays are a demographic group renowned for loyalty to organizations and advertisers who reach out to them (as many marketers have learned so lucratively over the past decade.) In my opinion, informed by the fact that I'm a lesbian: “Acceptance” of gays is not a fundamental change in the SGI. Rather, it’s a sign that SGI recognizes a cult-recruitment jackpot when they see one. So don’t hold your breath waiting for the SGI to take a stand against the Federal Marriage Amendment. (SGI claims to be apolitical, despite their history of hiring lobbyists in the U.S.) Besides, discrimination against gays has always been and always will be indefensible in light of Nichiren Buddhist teachings. So with social attitudes toward gays becoming more accepting, SGI had no doctrinal leg to stand on, and was quickly losing it's social excuse for discrimination. Welcome to SGI, homos! When I worked for SGI-USA in 1998, I requested that they expand their health insurance policy to cover the same-sex domestic partners of their gay and lesbian employees. The proposal was rejected by the SGI- USA Board of Directors. Gays and lesbians can get "married" in SGI, sure. But the SGI doesn't put its money where its mouth is and actually recognize these relationships as equal to heterosexual marriage. So. Read newspaper reports about Soka Gakkai going back more than forty years. You'll see that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Source While the American Soka Gakkan admits same-sex marriage, the Japanese Komeito can not yet say yes. [I am] [Komeito is] following the LDP against the same sex marriage. https://t.co/QgrgwUMqti — Tomohiro Machyama (@TomoMachi) July 6, 2019 Source
That guy can't scratch his balls without the Soka Gakkai's permission.
SGI LGBT is now Courageous Freedom, this new name is more inclusive and includes all the new sexual designations. Source First of all, "Courageous Freedom" is meaningless word salad gibberish. No person who sees "Courageous Freedom" is going to think, "Aha! That means LGBTQ friendly!" Secondly, the whole problem with SGI is the categorizing of people, the way SGI assigns everyone to a box and there you are - that's your box. MD/WD, YMD/YWD. And the males are always more influential/powerful... Source
WHY is SGI this way? WHY is it so hidebound, backwards, parochial, and provincial in its attitudes? Because that's how all those old men in Japan insist it be, and how it's going to remain. The ideal timeframe is 1930s-1950s Japan, and that zeitgeist is the defining element of SGI culture. SGI will never change. NEVER. This is a serious problem in Japanese culture, which means that all the SGI colonies inherit it as their own problem, too.
Bullying of LGBT students at ‘epidemic’ levels in Japan: Human Rights Watch Titled “The Nail That Sticks Out Gets Hammered Down: LGBT Bullying and Exclusion in Japanese Schools,” the 84-page report said LGBT students routinely suffer harassment, threats and violence in a nation where prejudices against sexual minorities remain alive in the school yard. HRW said the government is largely to blame for this, turning a blind eye to the root cause of bullying and blandly pushing instead for an ill-defined “climate of harmony” in schools in which everyone lives by the rules. Source
How very SGI... At that link, you can see SIX instances of "harmonious/harmoniously" that I found in a SINGLE SGI article!
When you are a general member, the “inside baseball” of the organization is kept from your view. Discrimination of all kinds is practiced behind closed doors, or in Japanese, or by inference among older members who are very much rooted in the conservative social norms of Japan. This is a Japanese organization, based in Japan, run exclusively by Japanese people in the senior leadership positions. If you are LGTBQ, it’s clear why you would be a prime target for recruitment (marginalized member of society), but it’s also very likely that you would never be offered leadership opportunities. And in the SGI, there’s a huge difference between members and leaders - and that’s where the hurt/pain of exclusion really comes into play. If you’re not a leader, you’ll never be invited to the best/most interesting/most important meetings. You won’t be chosen for the plum assignments. You won’t get face time with the national leaders. There will be a thousand and one distinctions drawn between your status (low) and leadership status (high). So...despite what ND [Nichiren Daishonin] says about all people being potential Buddhas, your role in the organization would be severely limited. And if you ever expressed frustration over this, you would be told you aren’t practicing correctly, and that it’s your karma that has caused this suffering. This is gaslighting and it’s incredibly destructive. Source
No matter what policies are suggested or even adopted, the SGI will never change, because its fundamental culture is inimical to the changes people want. People can want change all they want, but the Japanese religion for Japanese people that is the Society for Glorifying Ikeda will not. All that focus on studying those execrable "The New Human Revolution" novels with all their made up shit and lies is to drive home how everything in the SGI organization is supposed to be. THAT is the lesson! "The New Human Revolution" has become the new Gosho-equivalent for SGI, a holy scripture that all are required to adore and obey. The lessons of the Internal Reassessment Group (IRG), that grassroots group of SGI members and leaders who suggested changes that would improve SGI-USA, remain as relevant and valid today as they did over 20 years ago:
If by that you mean efforts to bring about the kind of reforms that the IRG attempted, then yes, I do think that's a futile effort. The organization is what it is. Accept that and work within it, or if you can't stand it, leave. Changing it is not, in my opinion, an option.
You will never be permitted to "be the change" because no change is permitted.
Classified: Compiled Intelligence On the Lost Dolls Reclaimer Faction (OC Reclaimer Faction)
Condensed intelligence overview detailing currently known information on the Reclaimer faction known as ‘Lost Dolls.’ Information contained therein has been compiled by Sky Union Intelligence Officer ‘MB.’ Sources consist largely of Sky Union’s own records, as well as shared intelligence reports on the matter, compiled battle data, and found footage shared by Orbital. MB was also able to covertly interview the pilot ‘Port’ directly, though it’s believed that she understood the general purpose of MB’s questioning, and so her testimony must be accepted with a degree of scrutiny. OVERVIEW Unit Name: Lost Dolls
“Bringing you the bleeding edge of technology from thirty years ago, today. Let’s get started.”
-MB, initial debriefing. Time of Operation: Officially, only four hundred and seventy three days. Compiled intelligence suggests that the group has been active in the Oval Link for far longer, with upward estimates reaching as high as twenty years. At the very least, all members were alive at the time of the Moonfall. Pilots: Five Affiliations: No known Consortium ties. Joint operations alongside other Reclaimer factions are uncommon, though Steel Knights show up most often with Bullet Works and Immortal Innocence tied for a distant second. Preferred Mission Profile: Lost Dolls’ mission profile trends toward humanitarian missions. Primarily defensive or retributive actions against Corrupted A.I. incursions, particularly those concerning civilian populations within the Oval Link. It’s generally accepted that this is one of the primary factors contributing to their work alongside Steel Knights. They are less likely than average to pursue high-risk, high-payout missions such as deep-dives into A.I. territory or the escort of VIPs, such as political or military personnel, out of high risk areas. Conversely, they are more likely to take on high-risk missions with lower pay, such as escorting civilian evacuation caravans in the event of a Corrupted A.I. incursion. This behavior matches with the Dolls’ preference for humanitarian work, as missions fitting these criteria tend to be posted by lower level governmental officials, or even civilians with pooled resources, who have come under sudden attack. Quirks: All five pilots typically show to missions, in violation of the four-per-squad standard. Normally this would be in violation of the Consortium Treaty, but so far Orbital has refused to take action. It is theorized that this is due to the Dolls’ reluctance to hit military targets, and that Orbital may be letting the behavior slide in the interest of protecting civilian lives. The Dolls have no known home base. Port has made reference to a ‘bus’ in interviews that she says they use for field repair and transportation; it’s possible she’s referring to an old rapid deployment Arsenal carrier like the ones that were used before the Consortiums established proper infrastructure in the Oval Link, but it’s hard to say where a group like the Dolls could have found an operational one, much less one capable of fielding five arsenals. It’s almost more likely that they actually have two, puttering somewhere around the Neutral Zone. Even that’s a hard pill to swallow, since the old carriers have been out of production for almost thirty years now. Very little of the Dolls’ equipment is up-to-date. Their plugsuits are all defunct prototype models and in varying states of disrepair; most of their pilots don’t even use the actual connections in the suits themselves, opting instead for permanent ports connecting directly to their nervous systems. I’ve never seen any of them sporting a Blitz, either. At least one, Port, has been observed with what appears to be a traditional slug-throwing sidearm. The Lost Dolls claim to be a family unit of five sisters. The physical differences between them would imply that this is in a purely symbolic manner (excepting Protoca and Hope. Possibly Port if our facial analysis data is reliable), but the effect is the same. Their loyalty to each other is hard to call into question. Every one of their pilots has had their age frozen by Outer Syndrome. It should be noted that all pilots, excepting Earwax, have pilot rankings that do not properly reflect their overall level of competency. The Dolls’ propensity for low-sensitivity missions and unwillingness to work closely to further any Consortium goals aside from preservation of human life has left them low on the leaderboard. In cases where this information is used for planning operations against or alongside the Lost Dolls, assume all pilots are at the level of A rank or higher. PILOTS/MECHS
“I’ll start off with saying that the Dolls have the most ‘ware I’ve ever seen packed into a unit of this size. Two pilots are almost entirely cybernetic. And I do mean entirely.”
-MB Callsign: Tachi Real Name: Tachi Hanamura Age: Unknown. Appears to be in her late teens. Height: 197cm outside of Arsenal, 76cm while embarked, 167cm when utilizing her ‘emergency legs.’ Rank: C Handed: Both Family: Four sisters Outer Ability: Unknown. Though she is remarkably receptive to cybernetic augmentations and displays an unusual level of synchronicity with her Arsenal, hovering at anywhere between 91% and 95% at any time. Piloting Tendences: Aggressive. Highly aggressive. Tachi’s typical M.O. involves charging directly into an enemy formation and smashing the thing to bits before moving onto the next cluster. She often acts as the Dolls’ line breaker and attack dog, flushing high priority targets out of the press or just bowling down the chaff so that the other pilots can focus on more important things.
“The armor is 600mm of over a dozen different laminates and they didn’t include a single thermal dispersion layer for laser fire...”
-Tachi, picking over the husk of a disabled Genbu Physical Description: Where to start? First, brown hair, cropped into a messy bowl cut. Wide build for a girl. Her entire right arm is cybernetic. Her torso ends above her hips, which have been replaced by a massive version of the nerve-interface hubs found on standard plugsuits. Outside of her Arsenal this is plugged into the top of a massive set of ‘spider legs,’ complete with abdomen, which she uses as her normal mode of transport. When embarked on a mission, she’s lifted off her leg hub and simply plugged into a custom seat in her Arsenal, with a secondary connection at the base of her neck; the normal shoulder connections aren’t used. The arm and leg hub don’t match any known manufacturer of prosthetics, and the connection format at her hip is dated by at least a full twenty years. A pair of more modern legs are integrated into her piloting seat and act as part of her ejection system should her Arsenal be put out of commission in the middle of combat. She has a set of rocket thrusters implanted into her back. Actual rocket thrusters; the vents are mostly flush with her shoulder blades, protruding perhaps 5-6cm. Footage loaned from Orbital demonstrates her leaping almost one hundred meters utilizing them while under full load (read: attached to the massive spider leg assembly). Using her Arsenal ejection system, combined with the lighter weight of her backup legs, it’s estimated she could travel as far as three hundred meters on a burst from the thrusters. Arsenal: Arachne Weapon Compliment:
HAW-M05L Silver Raven II
HAW-C16 Ogre Break II
HAW-GR01 Hand Grenade
SAW-L22 Agni Flame
HAW-R02 Grim Reaper II
Arsenal Characteristics: Beat half to death and heavy. Arachne’s one of the two Arsenals in the Dolls’ employ that we have a decent technical read on, mostly because Tachi’s a shameless showboat and likes to show off all the tinkering she’s done on the thing. A decent example of the Dolls’ construction strategy, no two armor components on Arachne are from the same model. The left arm is optimized for melee strikes (both the base model, and the aftermarket modifications that have been made by the pilot) while the right is oriented for handling firearms. The unit is sluggish in the air and has middling mobility on foot for it’s durability; fine enough for Tachi’s preferred method of brawling. Combat footage shows she’s the type of pilot that tries to stay grounded anyway. Tachi’s normal plan of attack is to get in close and personal with the Raven II and Ohabari and shred whatever’s in front of her. The Reaper II is typically reserved for plinking Strais or aerial targets that have gotten spread out. The Agni Flame appears to be used purely as backup. Frankly, the Reaper II and Ogre Break II are squandered here. With a maximum lock range of only two hundred and one meters, Arachne is right on the edge of it’s rangeband with the Reaper and hopelessly short of the Ogre. That hasn’t stopped the pilot from eyeballing slower moving AI from farther out, but the Arsenal really shows the slapdash nature of the pilot.
“She doesn’t stop. Not for anything. While pouring over the combat footage I actually stumbled onto a sequence where she took a Failnaught round right through the cockpit and all it did was make her angry.”
-MB. Callsign: Protoca Real Name: Protoca [no known surname] Age: Unknown. Appears to be in her late teens. Height: 182cm Rank: B Handed: Left Family: Four sisters Outer Ability: Rapid regeneration from injuries, as well as being prone to physical mutation. She can apparently recover from injuries that even most Outers would find lethal; we have combat footage of an ejected Protoca taking a cannon round to the legs, obliterating everything from her hips downward. I met her face-to-face in my interview with Port and she had made a full recovery, complete with a set of genuine flesh and blood legs. You wouldn’t even know it’d happened. Her mutations appear to be a side-effect of her regeneration, and do not directly benefit her while piloting outside of her absurd physical strength and enhanced reflexes. Piloting Tendencies: Measured and deliberate, but outrageously dogged. She keeps a wide engagement profile and usually plays mop-up alongside Port when dealing with traditional corrupted AI forces, otherwise she’s running interference when facing off against Arsenals. She’s particularly skilled at close urban combat and swaps between playing rifleman and melee roles fluidly. She also rarely retreats from engagement, regardless of the tactical situation. On at least one occasion, her Arsenal was reduced down to it’s torso, head, and one leg in an engagement with a hostile Arsenal pilot. Instead of withdrawing, Protoca engaged afterburners and tackled her opponent, which bought enough time for Lost Dolls’ other pilots to reach her position and disable the enemy. Generally speaking, it seems she simply will not withdraw from an engagement unless one of the other pilots is under direct threat or Port herself calls for an immediate withdrawal.
“You don’t take one step further. Not one.”
-Protoca, staring down three fresh Strais after dispatching their forward wing. Physical Description: A real mess. For the basics; brown hair, trimmed into an angled bob cut. She’s wide shouldered, but nowhere near as broad as Tachi. Her torso and leg profiles are slim, arguably emaciated. Musculature is extremely visible, as if she’s constantly tensing her entire body with every movement. It’s possible that’s the case, as her movement patterns have a habit of being twitchy and erratic. As for the aforementioned mutations: her right leg is covered in dark, hard scales. An atrophied wing, like that of a bat, shares a dual joint at the shoulder with her right arm. Numerous scars, some clearly surgical in nature. There’s a kind of plant-like symbiont that wraps around her left arm, up her neck, and ends in her hair, sprouting into a pair of green, bioluminescent flowers; it’s unclear if this is a mutation to her person or if it’s a separate entity. A note about the wing and scales: they’re proofed against small arms. How Protoca’s body is able to produce organic compounds capable of standing up to Femto weaponry is currently a subject of heated debate in R&D’s breakroom. I’m sure more than a few whiteboards have been broken over it, considering how loud they get. Arsenal: One More Weapon Compliment:
OAW-BL74 Cronus Break
HAW-CF22 Chaff Flare
HAW-R26F Guilty Throne
Arsenal Characteristics:One More is the type of Arsenal you could smack upside the head with a Buster Doom and it would ask for seconds. True, it doesn’t have the bulk of a true heavy-weight, but the chassis itself is strong enough to take a hit and keep on coming and the Splendor repair system means the Arsenal has fantastic staying power over the course of an extended engagement. And the Aegis shield in the off-hand gifts the pilot considerable bulk in the context of a contained duel. Like Arachne, One More has a lopsided chassis with a horrendously overengineered sword arm while the other is optimized for handling firearms. Unlike Arachne, One More has access to a far more advanced set of weaponry. Between the Guilty Throne, Aegis, Cronus Break, and Stargazer, Protoca is running a veritable buffet of high performance, low availability equipment. The manufacturers of the Cronus Break and Aegis models aren’t even public knowledge, so it’s an open question where the Dolls could have procured such serious tech with their relatively bare income and (reportedly) spartan operational facilities. Operationally, One More often acts as the anvil to Port and Tachi’s hammer; a hard to remove obstacle for any conventional AI force and a dogged pursuer for most arsenal-based forces.
“The team’s tactical leader and designated marksman. Methodical, cordial, and a complete horror show like all the others.”
-MB Callsign: Port Real Name: Samantha Thampson Age: Unknown. Appears to be in her late teens. Height: 167cm Rank: B Handed: Left Family: Four sisters. Outer Ability: Port’s brain is innately capable of understanding binary code which allows her unparalleled levels of synchronicity with her Arsenal, fluctuating between 99%-100%. It also allows her to eschew the traditional connecting ports in her plug suit (which is good, because they’re all visibly broken) and instead opt for a surgically installed plug that connects directly to her brain stem. Connected this way, her Arsenal effectively becomes an extension of her physical body. This ability also extends to binary converted into other formats other than a direct electrical feed; Port has often been caught having verbal, and apparently quite in-depth, conversations with the AI unit of her Arsenal via the unit’s external audio systems, with bursts of static standing in for the unit's speech. How coherent/intelligent this ‘dialogue’ from the unit is still up in the air, but analysis of the few samples we do have shows definite patterns in the unit’s ‘speech’ and in how it reacts to Port herself. Piloting Tendencies: Port’s preferred method of engagement appears to be skirmishing at distance; she fits the rifleman archetype to a T. Unlike Protoca, Tachi, and Lily, Port has no measures for melee combat installed on her Arsenal aside from its fists, and even the one shotgun she keeps on the rear pylons is a choked down, longer range model. Her usual M.O. when deployed amongst her sisters is to hang back behind Tachi or Protoca and plink. Well, ‘plink.’ The DMR and high performance assault rifle she’s managed to scrounge out of the Neutral Zone could blow through a Rebellion’s kneecap with sustained fire, and her sisters are good at giving her the required openings. While going over the combat footage, I saw her put a round down the barrel of a Slay Dog more than once.
“Oh, we’re just a merry little band of misfits, Sergeant. Looking out for each other, trying to make the world a better place. I’m sure you’ve heard the old song and dance.”
-Port, early in her interview with Intelligence Officer MB. Physical Description: The most immediately striking thing about Port is arguably her albinism; snow white from head to toe except for her eyes, which are pink from lack of pigment. After that might be the fact that she’s a quadruple amputee with a full suite of military grade replacement limbs (or rather, Port claims that they’re military grade). The hardware itself appears very dated, to the point where our intelligence teams have not actually been able to pinpoint a make or model. Aside from being old, they’re clearly several sizes too large for her. Approximating by their overall scale, we estimate they’re intended for an 180cm adult male. The size difference is exaggerated somewhat by the fact that her legs have actually been installed too low, connecting part way down her thighs rather than at the hip. The limbs themselves don’t appear to be anything special; the arms are conventional replacement limbs with a fully articulated wrist, hand, and fingers while the legs are set up for sprinting, the feet having been replaced with a flexible running fin. The legs also boast a pneumatic jumping apparatus on par with modern Outer modifications. Port has also undergone extensive cranial modifications, some of which she claims she’s performed herself. These include a large radio antenna mounted behind her right ear and connected via ribbon cable to the base of her skull, a set of four high definition cameras implanted into the ridges of her cheekbones, a manually operated combat stimulant pump on the bottom left portion of her skull, and two white ‘dog ears’ surgically implanted over her ear canals (breed and origin undetermined; possibly vat grown and purchased off the black market). Moving on from augmentations; Port herself is slightly built. Thin frame, long face, little visible muscle to speak of. Her torso is thin enough that it almost appears emaciated, though there’s some contention on whether this is actually due to nutritional deficit or rather a result of further augmentation or Outer Syndrome. She’s covered in scars and has permanent iris damage in her left eye. Arsenal: B3-206 (though Port often shortens this to ‘Bee’) Weapon Compliment:
SAW-SR53 Beluga Beam
Agni Flame M
HAW-R26F Guilty Throne
HAW-SH35 Hoggish Spriggan
HAW-AM01L Scarlet Star
And a reserve magazine for an expanded ammunition compliment. Arsenal Characteristics: A solid, all around trooper unit. B3-206 excels in the roles of medium range fire support and skirmisher. Between the Beluga Beam and Scarlet Star, B3-206 has excellent firepower at range to harass hostile targets while the Guilty Throne and M model Agni Flame offer solid mid-range options for when the fighting gets in a little closer. Port appears to keep the Spriggan on hand as a sidearm more than anything else, usually only resorting to it once her other weapons have depleted their ammunition stores. As for the Arsenal itself, B3-206 is very much a jack of all trades. Construction focuses on striking a balance between durability, maneuverability, and memory capacity with some minor sacrifices to overall firepower. Of particular note are the Arsenal’s arms, the make of which don’t appear in any of our internal records. Construction closely resembles the make of an old, defunct Zen prototype from over twenty years ago but declassified documents suggest that those never made it past the drawing board before the project was canceled; we’re currently doing some more thorough digging to try and figure out where Port may have picked them up but the current theory is that she found a fabricator on the black market who developed the design independently. As mentioned previously, B3-206 is on recording having apparently complex conversations with Port via audibly broadcast binary noise. We don’t have enough data to synthesize a translation at this time, but the patterns are definite and subtle variations in the machine’s tone do closely mirror subtleties in human speech resulting from shifts in mood. Port herself has been cryptic on the subject but the implications of a sapient AI operating directly under Orbital authority are something the intelligence community is still exploring.
“Arguably the team’s ace pilot, she ties Port and Protoca combined for Arsenal downs. She lags behind in Corrupted AI kills but then, that isn’t her job.”
-MB Callsign: Lily Real Name: Liliana [no known surname] Age: Unknown. Appears to be in her early teens. Height: 160cm Rank: A Handed: Right Family: Four sisters Outer Ability: Instantaneous reaction time. She has a true reaction time of 0.00000000 seconds, meaning she is only limited by the inertia of her own body or Arsenal when maneuvering in combat. This has given rise to some truly hair-raising maneuvering from Lily, as she can change her plan of attack at any point for any reason as long as her Arsenal is capable of putting up with the mechanical stress. Piloting Tendencies: Highly aggressive, arguably moreso than Tachi. Her ability to outthink and out-react even her own teammates mean that Lily is often extending far beyond them before they can even realize it. The good news for her is that the enemy won't realize it either; not until she's put two full magazines from her Silver Raven IIs right into their back, anyway.
“A real firecracker, this one. You wouldn’t guess by how quiet she is off the field.”
-MB Physical Description: Short, slightly built (though not so much as Port), with the physicality one might expect of a professional dancer. Her hair is sandy brown and kept braided. Like Port, Lily is highly augmented. Both her legs have been replaced with prosthetics and, like Port, the make and model are unknown. Visually, they resemble Outer-issue dedicated leaping prosthetics in that they taper sharply down to the feet which appear to be a pair of springloaded fins, not dissimilar to Port’s running fins. Her left arm has also been replaced with an arm of a similar make to Port’s, though it’s not identical. It’s detachable, with the shoulder socket doubling as Lily’s primary connection port while embarked in the Rabbit. Also like Port, she has a pair of animal ears implanted into her head, though in this case they are in addition to her normal ones as opposed to replacing them; they’re a pair of large rabbit ears matching her hair color. Some miscellaneous notes: Lily is completely mute. She communicates primarily through a form of one-handed sign language, heavily favoring her right hand. Per Port, all pilots in the unit are fluent enough to understand the broad strokes of whatever it is Lily is signing but only Tachi has put in the time to learn the language properly. Her and Lily will sometimes utilize it to have private conversations. In the field she gets by with a limited set of synthesized voice commands that Port has uploaded into a soundboard in her cockpit. Lily is also quite near-sighted. A rare condition for an Outer, let alone an Arsenal pilot. She can commonly be found sporting a pair of cokebottle glasses when not in her Arsenal. Arsenal: Red Rabbit Weapon Compliment:
HAW-M05 Silver Raven II x 2
HAW-CS09 Cooling System
Arsenal Characteristics:Red Rabbit is what most experienced Arsenal pilots would describe as ‘selfish.’ Even as part of a cohesive unit, Red Rabbit’s role typically involves acting alone, striking forward ahead of the advancing unit or around the opposition’s flank to pick out high priority targets before the enemy can properly react. Where Arachne’s application is as a blunt instrument, Red Rabbit is a dagger sinking into the enemy’s unguarded flank. Hot shots flock to these sorts of machines because it means they get to wrack up the killmarks, though Lily doesn't seem the type to keep score. About every aspect of Red Rabbit’s handling characteristics have been redlined for the sake of keeping up with its daring pilot. It’s bleeding fast, turns on a dime, and is practically air-weight as far as Arsenals are concerned. This also means it’s exceptionally fragile but, with Lily at the helm, it’s rare for the Rabbit to incur significant battle damage at all. A minor note: Red Rabbit is the only Arsenal in the unit to use an after-market body kit. This has made visually identifying the make and model essentially impossible. Femto expulsion readings and in-depth handling analyses have been carried out by our boys in the Intelligence office but I can only speculate as to their conclusion, as the particular details haven’t been cleared for my viewing. I hear it made some of the higher ups break into a cold sweat, for whatever that’s worth.
“Cute kid. Not really sure what she’s doing hanging out in a Reclaimer unit, shy as she is.”
-MB Callsign: Earwax Real Name: Hope [no known surname] Age: Unknown. Her age was frozen while quite young; appears to be about nine or ten. Height: 121cm Rank: E Handed: Right Family: Four sisters Outer Ability: Currently unknown. Port has hinted that she might have empathic capabilities. Piloting Tendencies: Earwax is the team’s high altitude reconnaissance and communications expert. She spends every moment of flight time high over the battlefield, coordinating the other pilots and keeping a bird’s eye view of the battle. There is no known record of Earwax engaging in combat directly.
“Don’t call me that! Ugh. I asked Port not to make that my nickname . . .”
-Earwax apparently doesn’t like her callsign. Physical Description: The spitting image of Protoca, if Protca were seven years younger and lacking mutations. Going theory in the intelligence circuit is that Earwax and Protoca are twins, with Earwax contracting Outer Syndrome at an earlier date than her sister. Sadly, at this stage all we have is conjecture. Notable visual distinctions between the two, aside from height, mostly come down to personal style. Earwax wears her hair longer and is more likely to wear ornaments such as hair clips or bands. She is also the team’s only member to be commonly found in civilian clothing, with a penchant for ribbons and frilly dresses. All told, Earwax is almost aggressively ‘normal’ in contrast with the rest of her team, wholly lacking her sister’s enhanced musculature as well as any cybernetic augmentation. Arsenal: Eden Weapon Compliment: A single HAW-H05L Trickster and all the sensor equipment you can reasonably jam into the torso chassis. Arsenal Characteristics: Eden is the Dolls’ high altitude recon and overwatch unit. Just about every spare or redundant part has been pulled off the frame in favor of saving weight and increasing the maximum operational ceiling of the unit well beyond standard combat load parameters. As a result, Eden is capable of operating above an AO almost indefinitely, feeding the team’s other pilots a steady stream of intel while high and away from any real danger. Frankly, there isn’t much more to say on the subject. Eden is so pared down that it’s barely more than a trainer unit with a bunch of sensors strapped to the hood. Which is good, because Hope has none of the typical neural implants that normally facilitate handling Arsenal movement, nor any secondary method of connection like most of her sisters. She flies almost purely by instruments. There isn’t even much evidence to suggest she’s ever fired her Trickster, which is meant as a last resort defensive measure in case something gets by the defensive screen formed by the rest of the unit. There have been all of five occasions where her Arsenal was purposefully pursued by enemy contacts and, the three times they got away from Lily, said contacts burned their own engines out while trying to exceed their operational ceiling. Closing Statement: The Lost Dolls represent a valuable asset in the fight against the Corrupted AI in that they are a reliable and high-uptime asset dedicated to safeguarding vulnerable towns and cities across the Oval Link. That said, they show no interest in working closely with any Consortium; at this time it is my estimation that we would only ever look to the Lost Dolls as a stabilizing measure in the event of a crisis, rather than a resource to exploit proactively. If you made it this far, thanks for reading over my post. And thanks to u/Muteki_____ for translating DxM's supplementary materials and ultimately giving me the idea for this writeup. I sure hope the formatting doesn't break.
Perspective on the State of Destiny and What it can do to Improve, written with care by a longtime hardcore fan of the games
This post ended up being pretty long-winded but I feel I made my thoughts as clear as I could for what it is. I see a lot of disconnect between what popular content creators, whose careers it is to make content for destiny, and what average players have to say regarding a few things. I feel like I can at least attempt to make a somewhat decent middle of the aisle argument, since I have been somewhat active in the streaming community on twitch with a small audience, but its not my career, and most everyone I know that plays Destiny has done it merely on the side of other games, or as their main game, with gaming being simply a hobby for them. I have tried to compile takes I've seen from streamers and youtubers, as well as from average players, as well as my own thoughts. Take this post as that: my own thoughts. I am by no means saying these are 100% the only problems or solutions to this game's issues, but this is what I've seen firsthand with it and what I think could be done to fix it. Im gonna reference another similar game, Warframe, a bit due to my experience with it as well and compare it to Destiny. I'm gonna start off by saying, I am not trying to bash bungie with this post, nor am I trying to defend their every action with it, and even though this post is gonna probably die in new, here's some food for thought. Destiny 1 Launched in a fairly rough state in terms of content quantity, but theres a good reason that many of the core playerbase, myself included, chose to stick around. Why was Destiny 1, which was at the time devoid of much in the way of content, stick around and build a fanbase, while games such as Anthem, which had similar issues, were unable to? (I'm aware that Anthem had other issues as well, but even then I would expect it to build a following of people who just love the game for one reason or another, like Destiny did). I think the answer to this question lies in the fact that Destiny 1 had some potentially very engaging content that the playerbase latched on to, and as far as I am aware, no other shooter games at the time outside of the Borderlands franchise and potentially Warframe provided similar experiences, but Destiny, which plays very different from both of those games, naturally attracted people who became fans of it. When I mention potentially engaging experiences, I am talking things such as the Vault of Glass Raid, as well as the nightfall strikes which rotated weekly with some potentially very crazy modifiers on it. In addition, there were reasons to chase these activities, even in D1 Year 1. Nightfalls were generally seen as the best way to get most of the game's exotics, as well as being strikes but cranked up to 11. Raids were the ultimate thing to chase however, with many of the Raid weapons competing for the title of "Best in Slot" (Such as Fatebringer, Black Hammer, and Hunger of Crota, if we are leaving exotics out of the question. Sorry Gjallarhorn and Ice Breaker) for their respective slots during the time of their release. Much of this can be seen in how many of the legendary raid weapons are remembered fondly by the Veteran players still playing Destiny 2. In my opinion, this factor, combined with both the fact that the game's max level could not be reached without raid armor, and the fairly chill community of PvE players at launch, made it fairly easy for me to find a team for these aspirational activities that I could never have run. I even ended up joining a raid team back on Xbox One with the LFG group that helped me finish VoG for the first time, and I made friends that I still play games with 6 years later. Basically, Destiny 1 Year 1 was, for me at least, some of the most fun times to have been playing Destiny. (Small note, I think its not a good thing for the Raid armor to be the only way to reach the max light level but its part of what fueled engagement in Year 1 raiding compared to So what makes me see Destiny 1 Year 1 as a much more competent time in the game's lifespan than Destiny 2 Year 3, which has far and away more content, but little player interest in that content? I would start with the Core Activities. Bungie considers the Core Activities to be the Crucible, Strikes, and Gambit. Oddly enough, I would argue that Destiny 2 has more engaging strikes than Destiny 1, with more complex bossfight mechanics and arenas designed to create a more engaging experience for the player, while most Destiny 1 strike bosses were essentially "Big Captain/ServitoHydra/Colossus/Ogre with tons of health." So why do so many people I know argue that Destiny 1 had better strikes? I believe the reason lies in the fact that strikes actually gave good rewards in Destiny 1, even in Year 1. Heroic Strikes in Year 1 were the game's primary source of Strange Coins, which were the only currency which Xur accepted. Therefore, when you logged in and played 3 Heroic strikes to get your 27 weekly coins per character, you would, upon Xur's visit that weekend, feel the reward of your work in those strikes. Even if Xur came and didn't have something you wanted, you could save your Coins and visit Xur again the next week and purchase both a Weapon and an Armor piece, since you didn't spend last week's coins. It also incentivized playing on multiple characters, as the coin drops were not account based, but character based. In my opinion, part of when Exotics stopped feeling "Exotic" was when Destiny 2 launched and streamlined Xur's currency into legendary shards, which most players have a large enough number of that they can spend them like they're monopoly money. (As a small side note on strikes, with the addition of the Taken King expansion at the start of Year 2, a lot of strike specific loot was added to the game which further incentivized running playlist strikes compared to their seemingly small incentive to play in Destiny 2). I feel it is helpful to take a step back and look at a big picture of the game and how it is played. In Destiny as a whole, there is not an overwhelming amount of loot, just a few pages of each type of gun. Compare this to a game like Borderlands, where there are tons of different guns and there are a much larger variety of weapons when you take into account the unique foundries. When comparing it to Warframe, which has a much bigger focus on Abilities and Stats, you will find that the Armor in this game provides a different angle for how the game is played and therefore more of a diversity in how the game can be played. In Warframe, I can choose to be a tanky juggernaut, or a support, or a stealthy assassin. The classes in Destiny, by comparison, do not provide as big of a difference in gameplay (this isn't a bad thing, but it IS a part of how the game is played and how it feels to play the game.) Combine this with the fact that the Guardian arsenal is much more limited in scope than games like Warframe, where the different types of weapons and even the individual weapons in one type vary extremely wildly from one another. Now that we've established the fact that Destiny provides its players with less tools than similar games in the genre, (again, not a bad thing, but a fact of the game that must be addressed in its design process) we can look at what makes the current state of the game and its content feel less engaging. Guardians, with their limited arsenal, must have engaging playgrounds in which to push these limited arsenals to the test. Destiny 1 had only one raid at launch, but many of the encounters in the raid could be tackled in a few different ways, allowing for players to have tested their potential with different loadouts. A potential counterargument to this is the idea that the optimum loadout was not set in stone like it has been in the past few seasons, but even in D1Y1, there was the "god tier" loadout of fatebringer, black hammer, and gjallarhorn that destroyed encounters, but people still raided every week because there was good loot to chase that could be used in the strikes that they had to run in order to buy their weekly exotic from Xur. Currently, the only raid that is viewed as worth completing is Garden of Salvation, and the guns from that raid have no chance at being "Best in Slot", due to the fact that many other guns, namely the pinnacle weapons, have taken over those titles. This creates little incentive for the average player to run Garden of Salvation again aside from getting Pinnacle Gear to use as Infusion Fodder, but this can be acquired much easier from other sources. From the looks of it, Bungie SEEMS to think that sunsetting gear will fix this problem, but if the loot simply isn't good, people won't chase it due to the fact that the raid itself isn't incredibly popular, unlike the Destiny 1 raids, which provided compelling environments for the player to use their weapons in. Basically, games like Warframe can afford to have repetitive content with little compelling loot in the content, due to the massive variety of tools the player is given to complete that content, since the content itself simply exists to push the limits of the player's equipment. However, games like Destiny cannot afford to have repetitive content or uncompelling loot, since the player's tools are limited much more, and are merely tools for completing the content, with the content itself being the main attraction. A good explanation of this difference can be found in the fact that in games such as Warframe, as the player grinds with their equipment in order to hone its stats and make it able to slot more mods, therefore making individual pieces of equipment, be them weapons or armor, stronger through the grind. Destiny does not have this (another obligatory "Not a bad thing, just the nature of Destiny as a game") as I can grind a million strikes with the same loadout equipped, but aside from the overall power level of my character, those weapons have not improved at all in terms of strength. Basically, Destiny's power level system does not actually make the players STRONGER, but instead tweaks the damage that you will deal in content close to your power level. This is fine if it is handled correctly, but recently, it has felt as though Bungie has looked at boss design the wrong way, and therefore it feels as though the fights are less challenging, aside from whatever mechanics the encounter may employ. In the Vault of Glass, not only are the trash mobs and exploding harpies threatening, but so is Atheon as well. Atheon provides a threatening presence in the arena that players cannot easily go near for danger of getting killed. Even during damage phase, Atheon continues firing splash damage blasts at the players, and while this can be counteracted by using the Aegis relic's bubble shield mode, that strategy causes players to lose potential DPS with the trade off being increased safety, since the Shieldbearer could easily use the super of the shield on repeat to add damage to Atheon. Contrast this to Garden of Salvation, which provides a similar fight as well as a boss that fires at the team. However, during what should be the most tense part of the fight, Damage Phase, the boss sits still and floats into the air for no obvious reason. This makes the fight simply a sequence of Complete Mechanic, followed by a DPS check, and then repeat if you didn't kill the boss. Crown of Sorrow is another example, as Gahlran simply sits still during DPS, but ends up being worse than the Sanctified Mind in that he also is never the primary threat on the field. The primary threat is always a yellow bar enemy or his deception, but this doesn't make the players feel like they're fighting a massive boss that's been possessed by Hive magic, but rather makes them feel like they're clearing trash mobs, waiting for a bather(which is a mechanic from a different raid might I add) to spawn, then punching it to clear it, all while playing a minigame of the Witch's Blessing and crystals, only to then get to shoot a big boss that they aren't really fighting against, but rather waiting to shoot. Granted Gahlran shoots fireballs but those fireballs do very little damage and are extremely slow. Compare this to Atheon or Oryx, who are actively fighting the player during all parts of the raid. Even in the Oryx encounter, he will keep shooting despite the players having their immortality buff. This at least makes the player feel as if Oryx is fighting back at the player fireteam instead of simply channeling an attack before getting stunned. Essentially, the raid bosses need to fight back against the player somehow so that they are forced to stay on their toes even in damage phase. If strike bosses can shoot at me while I'm trying to damage them, then I would expect raid bosses to attempt to do so as well. Calus is the last example of this kind of design I can think of in a main raid (The raid lair bosses do shoot rockets at the players so they get credit but I don't count those as full raids with a comprehensive loot pool, rather as additions to the Leviathan's loot set, they do not count in terms of "main" raids. Sorry Argos and Val Ca'Uor). Calus will occasionally detonate an explosive on the plates required for damage. This at least allows the players to make a decision between staying on the plate longer for maximum DPS, and bailing to the next plate earlier for maximum safety, similar to the decision in the Atheon fight between shielding with the Aegis or attacking with it. This kind of boss design is important to making raids feel like the apex of our work in PvE, rather than the odd state they seem to find themselves in now. Furthermore, Bungie seems to be trying to shift the PvE sandbox around with certain changes that they have made in order to force diversity into the raid encounters. This becomes problematic as it simply makes the DPS check stage of bossfights harder instead of encouraging the players to find their optimal method of strategy. If the boss is going to sit still 20 feet in the air while exposing his crit spot, and also being in the middle of a damaging pool of Vex fluid makes Izanagi's Burden, a high damage, long range precision weapon, should be a natural choice for players, similar to how Touch of Malice was the optimal choice for fighting Oryx due to the immortality buff during damage phase. This is the reason that the data for Garden of Salvation showed an overwhelming use of Izanagi's Burden in the boss encounters. It made sense to use such a precise, but powerful, weapon. Nerfing snipers due to their overwhelming use in Garden caused such outrage not due to snipers being overpowered, but due to the fact that they were the most viable option in this encounter. If snipers were truly overtuned then they would have been the weapon of choice for encounters such as Shuro Chi, another stationary boss, but they weren't, since this fight can be tackled more easily with a shotgun. Shotguns are simply more viable for fighting Shuro Chi, and so they are used for this. I will point now to Aksis, the final boss of Wrath of the Machine's raid. I remember when swords were first added to Destiny in The Taken King, and they were considered something of a neat novelty, but not all that viable. The reason for this was due to the fact that the raid encounters of the time usually demanded something along the lines of a rocket launcher or machine gun in the heavy slot, which provided similar potential stopping power to a sword while also being able to hit bosses in a pinch for big damage compared to other primaries, partly due to the fact that the special slot was usually taken up by a sniper rifle. This changed when Rise of Iron and Wrath of the Machine dropped. Now, swords, specifically the Dark Drinker, were the optimum choice for parts of this raid. Why? The encounter fit the sword well. A tool in our arsenal, which had previously not had a use, was now the top tier. This won't happen if bungie continues their trend of boss designs, since making long range, precision based encounters will only push us towards snipers. Gutting them back to their pre-Shadowkeep values only hurts the number of people that will be willing to attempt these encounters since now they take much longer and require much more of the same loadout instead of pushing players to try new weapons, even if they're still sniper rifles. After these nerfs, Whisper of the Worm is now far and away the best sniper for fighting the Sanctified and Consecrated minds, but Izanagi's Burden has been left to rot after having very limited time to shine. Before, we had a true decision to make in terms of which toys we wanted to play with, but now, Whisper is the best and everything else feels much worse. On another note, I didn't want to talk about Sunsetting, seeing as its a very controversial topic, but I guess I will since it seems like its relevant to my thoughts on the content and engaging. I do not want to defend sunsetting, as I am very much a believer of the "play your own way" style (if you want to call the versions of the game "sandboxes" then give us the freedom of a sandbox and don't make us play the way you want us to Bungie). However, I agree with certain aspects of sunsetting while disagreeing with others. Currently, certain guns like the Recluse are just simply put the optimal options for much of this game's content. This is nothing new, however, as I previously mentioned the Fatebringer, Black Hammer, and Gjallarhorn, all of which dominated Year 1 Destiny 1. However, these weapons were all sunset when the Taken King came out. But don't people love the Taken King? Yes, they do, myself included, but there is a VERY good reason that we do. The content was engaging. Essentially having to start from the beginning didn't feel bad since I was excited to do the content. Replacing my Fatebringer with a Doom of Chelchis scout rifle from King's Fall felt good, since I loved that scout. I loved Fatebringer too, but it was fine to put it down and chase new guns, as long as chasing those guns was fun. Kind of a "its the journey not the destination that matters" feeling. The problem with sunsetting as Bungie has proposed us is this: they haven't shown us (recently) that they can make compelling content to get those weapons from. I have no problem retiring my Recluse, or my Luna's Howl, as long as whatever I have to do to get my next great gun is engaging content. This, like Bungie has stated, also avoids power creep, while also giving the players an opportunity to continue playing the game they love in new ways. The biggest problem with that, however, comes from two factors. The seasonal model of content, and the lack of new things being added into the game at a rate that players can explore what new items they like. Seasonal style content has given us thus far: one ok season(undying) one pretty good season(dawn) and one pretty bad season(worthy). Part of the problem is that each season adds a few guns, and to get them, players must grind a horde mode or some similar event to get the new gear. This is boring and repetitive for a game like Destiny, which has such a limited amount of gear to play with, and the enjoyment is in the gameplay. For a game like Warframe, horde modes are fine since players are trying to push the limits of their gear, whereas in Destiny, I want the gameplay to push the limits of my ability to play the game, given that much of the gear is at least decent at conquering what the game throws my way. The second problem combines the issues with the seasonal model and the issues of gear not being added at a good enough rate. Every season, guns are added, and at the end of that season, will be removed from being obtainable. This pushes players with a fear of missing out to play, but it will NOT make them enjoy the content provided. Players will enjoy good content because it is good and engaging, not because they got to play the same horde mode again to get a new round of good weapons. Sunsetting becomes an issue in this context. Bungie, with their transition to a la carte seasons, have stated "don't pay for any content you don't want, you can play whatever interests you" but if they decide to sunset mass amounts of good gear people like to use, then they create a problem should players set the game down for a season or two, then come back later and find they have nothing to work with, and a very limited number of available options to obtain at the time of their return. In truth, weapon sunsetting would be fine if Bungie gave us a large enough loot pool every season that we could enjoy, but if you only like a small variety of weapons, and then sunsetting takes away the old guns you liked, yet the new seasons don't provide good replacements of the same type, you're out of luck. If the loot pool was much deeper, this issue wouldn't be as big due to the fact that each season players are given the opportunity to try several different things, but currently this simply is not the case. A deeper loot pool, combined with good content each season, would make a much better experience. I understand that Bungie has stated that D2Y2 took a lot out of their team, and I wholeheartedly believe that they are trying to give us at least some content we like. The hard truth is, they no longer have the resources that Activision provided to them in order to make content and keep it coming out. In the off chance Bungie ever sees this post, my number one piece of advice to the team is to just slow down. When it comes to games, quality over quantity is important. I don't care if there's a new season every 90 days if the seasons themselves provide little engagement. The point of an interactive experience is that the player should be able to be engaged in the experience, not feel like they are simply doing chores (like 9 million seraph towers). The game's technical state has also declined quite a bit. This game worked on my old PC before I built a new one, and I was impressed since that thing never ran well on most games. However, I have noticed, in addition to the server and bug related issues, the game just doesn't run as well anymore(at least on PC). I truly love Destiny, it's honestly my favorite game that I have played in recent years, and the Destiny community has provided me with many of my closest friends from gaming, and if you guys at Bungie are struggling to make content at the pace you think you should, just slow it down. You guys can make some truly amazing things from your game. I know you can, I've seen and played it for myself. I am willing to wait longer for more engaging content drops. For more of the old days looking for secrets in the Vault of Glass, for more attempts at decoding binary since I was the only programmer amongst my old Raid team on Xbox One. Even Destiny 2 has shown it can shine. Forsaken was fantastic, but the game has flaws that need some addressing, and I feel that this post is already long enough, so I'd like to just say to Bungie if they somehow see any of these points: learn from your old content what people like and do not like about Destiny. Stop attempting to make Destiny something that it is not with all of the MMORPG style mechanics. Just make Destiny like it has been before. I know it'll never be perfect, but it will always be improving, and that's what's important in evolving a game. TLDR: Current content is too bland and repetitive and Bungie keeps trying to make the game into something it isn't, but it isn't working and the game should go back to doing what it does well EDIT: added TLDR
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Ikaruga is a Bullet Hell Shmup that's at its best on the Switch, which not only plays smoothly while docked, but even has features to make the best use of the Switch in portable mode. If you like this genre, you need this game.
Jamestown+ is a Bullet Hell Shmup that has players blasting 17th century colonial European troops and aliens in outer space. The bonkers setting comes with a fantastic presentation, some wonderful and clever game mechanics that add a lot of strategy, plenty of variety and imagination, and a superb co-op mode. It's a shame the game's structure makes you re-play levels repeatedly and forces its story on you over and over again, but overall this is one of the best games in this genre on the Switch.
Danmaku Unlimited 3 is a Bullet Hell Shmup that has players absorbing the bullets of defeated enemies and “grazing” live bullets to power up a “trance” meter for a temporary power boost. This is a solid and visually-striking entry in the genre, but the way players' attacks fill the screen with beams feels overpowered and can be distracting. Still, this is a must-have for fans of the genre.
Dimension Drive is a Bullet Hell Shmup with the unique hook of having players hopping back and forth between two screens. It's a great mechanic that's used very well here, though some players may have difficulty adjusting to it. Also, the game keeps interrupting things with its story. However, if you can learn how to deal with the unique gameplay, you'll find this to be a superb entry in the genre.
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Horizon Shift '81 is an Arcade-Style game with Shmup elements that incorporates elements of multiple early-80s retro arcade games while still bringing its own unique horizontal-swapping twist on the genre. This is a fantastic game and a wonderful love letter to an era of gaming, although like the games of that era it can be repetitive in places. Overall, this is a superb game well worth playing.
Indie Gems Bundle: Explosions Edition is a Compilation of three Action-packed games, each of them ranging from good to great. If you're a fan of Shmups and 2-Stick shooters, you're bound to find something to love in this package, even if the savings over purchasing these games individually is minimal.
Just Shapes & Beats is a Bullet Hell Shmup where you can't shoot, you can only dodge as the screen throws all manner of obstacles at you to the beat of some amazing music. It's a difficult, punishing game, but if you fancy a challenge, this game is well worth a look.
Sky Force Reloaded combines quality bullet hell Shmup-style gameplay with RPG-style upgrades in a way that encourages players to keep coming back, along with a good presentation. Fans of the genre should definitely give this one a try.
Sky Racket is a family-friendly game that combines the Shmup and Brick Breaker genres into one fun, cohesive style of gameplay with a fantastic, colorful, expressive art style and some absolutely superb co-op play. There are a few frustrating flaws that may result in you taking a few unearned hits on occasion, but otherwise this game is a joy to play, especially if you have a friend to play it with.
Super Hydorah is a Bullet Hell Shmup that is very clearly imitating the classic Gradius games, and for the most part, it succeeds at this brilliantly. The music is forgettable, and the power-up system is a bit more limited than the Gradius games, but the gameplay here is still superb, and the game does some really inventive stuff with Co-Op, especially with the surprisingly good Robot Chase minigame. Definitely worth a look for fans of the genre.
Aqua Kitty UDX is a Shmup with three game modes - two being similar to the classic game Defender, and one like the classic game Uridium. The presentation here is very good, and the core gameplay is solid, with good co-op, but a number of frustrating design choices cause the game to be overly difficult and frustrating. It's still worth a look for genre fans and those looking for a more challenging experience, though.
Q-YO Blaster is a Bullet Hell Shmup. It's a decent game that plays well, but the most memorable thing about it are its absurd heroes and oddball bug-themed enemies. Definitely a solid pick for fans of the genre.
Lightening Force, also known as Thunder Force IV, is a Shmup originally released on the Sega Genesis in 1992, and this version marks its only other US release since then. This is a game that has aged noticeably, with issues both in its graphics and gameplay. However, despite this, the gameplay is on the whole pretty good, and this is a solid port with a good amount of extra features. Fans of Shmups should definitely give this a look.
Steredenn is a Bullet Hell Shmup that incorporates elements of Roguelikes into its game progression. The presentation here is phenomenal, with fantastic pixel art graphics and a great soundtrack, however, the randomized elements and some questionable design choices make for a game that's even more difficult than the usual Shmup, making this a game mostly only the biggest fans of the genre will have the patience for.
Startide combines 2-Stick shooter and Shmup genre conventions and adds in some novel ideas of its own, with some excellent, fast-paced, quality gameplay... that's unfortunately marred by a slew of design flaws and annoyances. It's still very good, but it could have been so much better.
Arcade Classics Anniversary Collection is a collection of mostly Shmups that includes eight games that are mostly pretty good (and also mostly punishingly difficult). This collection gives players a wealth of options and bonus content, and on the whole this is a solid collection of games for Shmup fans
Don't Die, Mr Robot! DX is an Arcade-Style Shmup where you're dodging enemies and collecting pickups to set off explosions in your wake. Think Geometry Wars' Pacifism mode. The presentation is horrendous, but the gameplay is strangely compelling and there are enough features here to keep fans of Shmups coming back.
Inversus Deluxe is an Arcade-style game with Shmup elements where the shots you and opponents fire also limit the area you can move freely in. It's an interesting concept, but a limited number of shots players can fire before reload really mucks with the otherwise fast-paced battles.
Velocity 2X is a game that jumps back and forth between Action-Platformer and Shmup gameplay styles, with a focus on speed and being able to teleport around the levels as you zip through them. It's fun gameplay, but it's somewhat marred by a frustrating control scheme that you can't change.
Black Bird is a Shmup that doesn't do anything truly unique in terms of gameplay, but its presentation is so bizarre that it compels you to see more. Not a game for everyone, but worth a look if you want to see something really different.
Black Paradox is a Bullet Hell Shmup that has you flying a ship designed to look like a Delorean. The game has good gameplay, but the high difficulty and slow upgrade progression makes this a game only fans of the genre are likely to thoroughly enjoy.
Jet Lancer is a 2D Flight Combat game that has you performing aerial maneuvers in a jet fighter in battles with enemy jets, as well as various other enemies. Flying around your jet in this game feels fantastic, but the limited size of the screen relative to how fast these aircraft fly gives players far too little time to react to what's going on, making for an experience that alternates between joy and frustration.
Rogue Aces is a 2D Flight Combat game with Roguelike elements that has players fighting off enemies and capturing bases using their plane. The game has some inventive mechanics and potentially fun physics, but it seems designed to frustrate players by making them die repeatedly not to enemies, but to the landscape. The result is a game that will only be enjoyed by those willing to really get used to this game's physics... and even then, they're still likely die a lot.
Fantasy Zone is a Shmup originally released to arcades in 1986, and some parts of it have aged pretty well, like its presentation. Other parts of the game, like its promising but frustrating upgrade system... not so much. While this is a solid port with a good amount of bonus features, it's ultimately still a game most will want to pass on.
Cycle 28 is a 2D Space Shooter that controls like Asteroids, but with a Roguelike game structure. There are some good ideas here and some classic arcade-style gameplay, but those good ideas aren't well-utilized, and overall the game is too repetitive.
Hyperlight Ultimate is an Arcade-style Shmup where players bash into enemies with a charge attack instead of shooting them. It's a good take on the formula, but unfortunately some design issues makes this more tedious and frustrating than it needs to be.
Pacific Wings is a Shmup that imitates classic games in the genre like 1942. This game does a great job capturing that nostalgia, but the lack of auto-fire makes this game tedious to play, and the underwhelming sound and lack of multiplayer limit how long you'll bother to stick with the game.
R-Type Dimensions EX is a Compilation and remake of two classic Shmups, and while this version improves the graphics and adds plenty of features, including some meant to help with the game's incredibly high difficulty, those features can only help so much when the original games were seemingly designed to be nearly impossible. This is a game only genre fans can appreciate.
Aces of the Luftwaffe is a bullet hell shmup that has you controlling a squadron of four wingmen with unique abilities and personalities. This game has some really great and unique ideas, but it's also plagued with design issues and control issues that keep it from delivering on the game's potential.
Escape From the Universe is a Shmup with a simple look and gameplay that makes the screen scroll more quickly depending on where you move onscreen. Unfortunately, both the visuals and gameplay get repetitive and boring pretty quickly, making for a dull experience.
Hyper Sentinel is a Shmup that aims to be the spiritual sequel to the classic game Uridium, and while fans of that original title may enjoy it, I honestly found it to be a bit of a confusing mess, and there are plenty of other games in this genre on the Switch I'd rather be playing.
Overdriven Reloaded is a Bullet Hell Shmup that uses a color-switching mechanic like Ikaruga. However, unlike Ikaruga, this game doesn't seem to know how to use it, and otherwise the game is just a crowded mess - and not in a good way.
X-Morph: Defense mixes the Tower Defense genre with the Two-Stick Shooter to create something even better, with impressively detailed environments and some really inventive gameplay. This game is a blast to play, and while the Switch version is sadly missing some features, it's still an absolutely wonderful game.
Assault Android Cactus is a 2-Stick Shooter that has some fun, unique mechanics and a lot of great, intense action. It's a blast to play in co-op, and the Switch version is the definitive version of the game. I only wish the sub-weapon dodge-swapping mechanic was better-utilized, and the levels looked more distinct. But those are minor complaints about what is a fantastic game on the Switch.
Hotline Miami Collection is a pair of solid Top-Down Action games with a colorful 80s-inspired presentation and intense action that makes players consider their plan of attack. It's a solid experience, although the first Hotline Miami game is clearly the better of the two, thanks to the more cohesive story and better level design.
My Friend Pedro is an Action-Platformer with Two-Stick Shooter controls that has players involved in acrobatic gunfights at the command of a talking banana. This game's intense, ridiculous action is a blast to play, and while there's a bit of repetition here and there, for the most part this game does an amazing job keeping things fresh and entertaining. A must-have for action game fans.
Neon Abyss is an Action-Platformer with Roguelike elements that feels a lot like the designers were going for a side-scrolling neon-lit Binding of Isaac, and they largely hit their mark spot-on. Only a few technical flaws keep this game from reaching the same height as that classic Roguelike, but it's still a phenomenal Action game.
NeuroVoider is a combination of Two-Stick Shooter and Roguelike that has you fighting an army of robots, stealing their parts, and then using them to upgrade your own capabilities. It's an incredibly fun game with great co-op, a fantastic presentation, and tons of variety and customization. The randomized level design and enemy AI could have used a bit of work, but on the whole this is an absolutely fantastic game that should be owned by anyone who enjoys a good Action game.
The Binding of Isaac is a Two-Stick Shooter Roguelike that places you in the role of a young child fighting grotesque monsters with his tears. It's a lot of fun, but the roguelike elements can make any given playthrough very hit-and-miss, which can be frustrating. It's still well worth playing, though.
Akane is an Arcade-y top-down Action game that has players as a lone woman fighting off the entire Yakuza using only a gun and a sword. It's a game that channels Kill Bill and John Wick extremely well, with some really fun action. Unfortunately, the game is lacking in variety and progression, but the core gameplay here is phenomenal and well worth playing for fans of Action games.
Bleed 2 is an Action-Platformer and 2-Stick Shooter with a simple, cartoony presentation and a silly story about a girl fending off an invasion. This game improves on the first one in almost every way, with even better action, better visuals, a great soundtrack, and the same wonderful variety, great level design, and excellent co-op. However, where it doesn't improve on the first game is value - the main campaign can still be finished in an hour or so, and the extra game modes don't stretch things out much more than that. For $20, I simply cannot recommend this game, but definitely get it if you see it on sale.
Bleed Complete Bundle includes Bleed and Bleed 2, both excellent Action-Platformers with 2-Stick Shooter gunplay, and both also extremely short and extremely overpriced games. Much as with the individual games, if you can get this collection at a discount, absolutely do so because the games are immensely fun. However, even with the savings this bundle provides, it's still horribly overpriced at its normal price.
Debris Infinity is a Two-Stick Shooter that's like a mash-up of Geometry Wars and Asteroids. It looks good, plays well, and the Slow-Mo feature actually brings something interesting to the table. The game is a bit short on features, but what's here is top-notch.
Guns, Gore, and Cannoli 2 is an Action-Platformer that takes the basic idea of the first game and greatly improves on it, adding in 2-stick aiming, fixing the controls, and making the gameplay much more fast-paced. It's still repetitive at times, but overall this is a pretty good game.
Indie Gems Bundle: Explosions Edition is a Compilation of three Action-packed games, each of them ranging from good to great. If you're a fan of Shmups and 2-Stick shooters, you're bound to find something to love in this package, even if the savings over purchasing these games individually is minimal.
Inferno 2 is a straightforward 2-Stick Shooter that has solid gameplay, a slick presentation, and good Co-Op. It's a bit on the easy side, but fans of the genre will find it to be an excellent choice, especially for its low price tag.
Rive is a combination of 2-Stick Shooter and Action-Platformer that does a great job pushing intense action and a good amount of variety of enemies and combat situations. I wish the game's upgrade system was more fleshed-out, but what's here is solid.
Transcripted is a game that combines Two-Stick Shooter gameplay with match-3 Puzzle gameplay similar to Zuma. While the two gameplay styles don't always get along well with each other, for the most part this is a pretty cohesive gameplay experience that's satisfying, unique, and features a superb presentation.
Bleed is an Action-Platformer and 2-Stick Shooter with a simple, cartoony presentation and a silly story about a young woman hunting down heroes to prove she's a better hero. The gameplay here is absolutely fantastic, with some really inventive level design, great controls, a lot of variety, and excellent co-op. Unfortunately, this game is painfully short and insultingly overpriced, and as good as it is, I cannot recommend spending $15 for what amounts to about an hour of gameplay. If you can get it on sale at a good price, definitely do, but otherwise it isn't worth the cost.
Darksiders Genesis is a Diablo-Style Top-Down Action-RPG that's a prequel and spinoff of the main Darksiders game that focuses on the first game's protagonist, War, along with new protagonist, Strife (the latter who plays like a Two-Stick Shooter). While it's a decent game that brings a fair few original ideas to the genre, the lack of loot makes the whole thing feel a lot more repetitive and as a result it's not quite as engaging as multiple other games in the genre on the Nintendo Switch.
Iron Crypticle is an Arcade-style 2-Stick Shooter that plays like Smash TV with a Ghosts 'N Goblins aesthetic. It's a game with good, arcadey action that works well in co-op, though it's not without its issues here and there.
Startide combines 2-Stick shooter and Shmup genre conventions and adds in some novel ideas of its own, with some excellent, fast-paced, quality gameplay... that's unfortunately marred by a slew of design flaws and annoyances. It's still very good, but it could have been so much better.
12 is Better Than 6 is a Top-Down Action/2-Stich Shooter game where one shot kills, much like the Hotline Miami games. Unfortunately, graphical choices result in a game that's filled with a lot of frustration that makes this far less fun than the Hotline Miami games.
Battlesloths is a multiplayer-focused 2-Stick Shooter with a Party Game atmosphere where players take the role of pizza-loving sloths fighting in various arenas with an assortment of weaponry. The core gameplay here is good, but the constant stop-go pattern of action and waiting is frustrating and makes it hard to enjoy that fun gameplay.
Blazing Beaks is a 2-Stick Shooter with Roguelike elements with a cartoony pixel art presentation featuring anthropomorphic birds with guns. Unfortunately, the game's high difficulty doesn't really fall in line with the cartoony presentation, and the nice unique features the game has only add to that difficulty. Action fans looking for a challenge might enjoy this, but I did not.
The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human is a Metroidvania with 2-Stick Shooter gameplay where players command a submarine searching the ruins of humanity to see what went wrong. This game absolutely nails the atmosphere, but the challenge level on the bosses is so steep that most players will probably lost interest after dying a dozen times or so.
Implosion is an Action-RPG with some 2-Stick Shooter mechanics that has players fighting mutants using a human-size mech. The game has some enjoyable combat and a promising loot system, but the combat gets repetitive quickly and the loot system isn't varied or deep enough to be engaging. Oh, and the 2-Stick Shooter elements are poorly-implemented. This isn't a terrible game, but players interested in this sort of thing have multiple better options on the Switch.
Utopia 9 - A Volatile Vacation is a 2-Stick ShooteRoguelike that has a lot of inventive ideas for a different spin on the genre, but its dreadfully slow pacing saps much of the fun out of the experience.
Blacksea Odyssey is a Two-Stick Shooter with Roguelike elements that is basically Captain Ahab In Space. That sounds really cool, but the terribly slow combat and sluggish movement make it hard to get into, and players will likely find the game too tedious to want to play for very long.
Energy Invasion is a cross between a 2-Stick Shooter and an Arcade-style brick breaker game like Arkanoid. Unfortunately, the game feels unpolished and not especially welcoming to players getting used to its odd concept.
Planetary Defense Force mixes the Tower Defense genre with the 2-Stick Shooter, having players defend a spherical planet from an alien invasion. Unfortunately, the spherical map makes it difficult to keep track of what's going on, the game doesn't do a good job of indicating important information the player needs, and the individual elements themselves are not very satisfying. The result is a frustrating game that's not worth playing.
Contra: Rogue Corps is a 3D Action game with 2-Stick Shooter mechanics that doesn't really play much like the other games in the Contra series, and has some severe, glaring flaws. That said, it's not completely unenjoyable, and it doesn't really earn its reputation as one of the worst games of 2019... but it's not a good game, by any stretch.
Dota IMBA 7.19g (plus Spring Cleaning 2020 Part 1)
So...this was originally meant to just be a bug-fix patch, but Valve dropped Patch 7.25 on the day that I expected to put this up. Not wanting to delay any of those changes for two or more weeks, I took most of the day to hastily shove in many of the vanilla changes, so this ends up being a standard balance patch, with a LOT of bug-fixes... As fixing bugs inadvertently results in other bugs emerging (especially with a bunch of new stuff being added), I encourage players to continue reporting any discrepancies they run into. The Discord has a #spring_cleaning_bugs channel where these reports are consolidated and quickly addressed, so feel free to stop by and let us know how we can continue to improve the game. As mentioned, this patch implements a majority of the standard Patch 7.25 changes. More "personalized" changes are still scheduled for Dota IMBA 7.20.
Tier 1 neutral item drop rates increased from 10 to 14%
Reworked Aghanim's Scepter.
Before: Hurls a second shuriken after a 1 second delay, and increases cast range (800/900/1000/1100) and stun duration (0.75 seconds).
After: Upgrades Shuriken Toss. Applies Jinada to it, reduces cooldown (6 seconds) and increases cast range (800).
Removed Critical Strike IMBAfication
Replaced Level 20 Talent "Shuriken Toss procs Jinada damage on bounced targets" with "+60 Attack Speed"
Rescaled cast range from 500/750/1000/1250 to 550/780/1010/1240
Death Pact no longer has a neutral level requirement
Soul High no longer has a hero level requirement
Surge movement speed changed from 80% to +250
Replaced Level 10 Talent "+15% Evasion" with "+125 Ion Shell Radius"
Added (another) Aghanim's Scepter effect:
Causes all of your abilities to fire an attack at nearby (800 range) enemies (up to 8) when they are cast.
Dark Seer: Vacuum/Wormhole now "properly" works against invulnerable/sleeping units
Dark Seer: Fixed Level 15 Talent "+400 Surge Cast Range" not updating on clientside
Dazzle: Shallow Grave's Gravely Mistaken now stacks with itself
Diffusal Blade/Purgeblade: Fixed Purge/Combust's slow not properly scaling with status resistance or debuff duration
If the modifier duration is increased for too long, the target would start gaining movement speed
Drow Ranger: Fixed Frost Arrows not slowing movement speed
Drow Ranger: Fixed Marksmanship being able to trigger on allied units
Drow Ranger: (Pre 7.23 Form) Fixed Level 15 Talent "Marksmanship Chill Aura" movement speed slow not showing on client-side
Drow Ranger: (Pre 7.23 Form) Attempted fix for Level 20 Talent "Trueshot Burst" sometimes not working
Ember Spirit: Fixed Flame Guard blocking damage in binary (it would always block an entire instance of damage as long as the shield had any amount of health)
Ember Spirit: Rough fix for Refresher Orb/Refresher Shard not replenishing Fire Remnant charges
Ember Spirit's charge system as a whole is very cobbled together, and the hero as a whole may require a large overhaul in the near future. Because this would constitute a "balance change", this will not happen for this patch.
Enchantress: Fixed Untouchable showing four levels for the IMBAfications instead of three
Regret Untouchable stacks increased from 2/3/3 to 2/3/4
Enchantress: Fixed Enchant's Kindred Spirits not benefitting from Level 20 Talent "Peace Was Always An Option" Untouchable slow
Faceless Void: Pseudo-fix for Time Walk not adapting to cast range bonuses
Faceless Void: Fixed Aghanim's Scepter Chronosphere reducing allied cast speed by 0.5% instead of 50%
Faceless Void: Fixed Aghanim's Scepter Chronosphere reducing allied projectile speed by 50 instead of 50%
General: Cleaned up a lot of tooltips (not going to list them all)
Grimstroke: Fixed Stroke of Fate's Your Stain Spreads triggering on every unit within range of a Soulbound target, instead of every Soulbound unit within range of a target
Grimstroke: Ink Swell can no longer be cast on units affected by Ink God's Incarnation
Grimstroke: Fixed Ink God's Incarnation not properly tracking units to prevent consecutive stuns
Hand of Midas: Fixed Midas Touch not affecting bounty runes
Heart of Tarrasque: Fixed Health Regeneration not being affected by cooldown reductions
Heart of Tarrasque: Fixed Health Regeneration going on cooldown from 0 damage instances
Hood of Defiance: Fixed having a shared cooldown with Pipe of Insight
Hurricane Pike/Lance of Longinus: Fixed enemy cast range being 800 instead of 400
Huskar: Fixed Burning Spears still applying if the target turns spell immune while the projectile is mid-flight
Huskar: Fixed Level 25 Talent "Burning Spears Pure Damage" not applying through spell immunity
Items: Attempted fix for items infrequently not applying their passive stats/modifiers
Jakiro: Fixed Level 10 Talent "+20 Fire Breath DPS, +8% Frost Breath slow" not showing on client-side
Javelin: Fixed not displaying its +10 bonus damage in item tooltips
Javelin/Monkey King Bar: Fixed Pierce not showing the overhead spell damage alert numbers
Juggernaut: Fixed Blade Dance not working during Omnislash
Lich: Fixed Level 20 Talent "Death Blossom (Frost Nova Auto-Cast Option)" not working if acquired while dead
Lion: Fixed Impale still triggering Hell Spike when triggering spell block
Pudge: Fixed illusions not copying existing Flesh Heap stacks (made it very obvious when they were illusions due to model size differences)
Pugna: Fixed Decrepify's From the Nether Reaches IMBAfication being damaging/healing for 1% of its intended values
Pugna: Fixed Life Drain being castable on magic immune enemies for 0.25 seconds before being cancelled (no longer pierces at all)
Queen of Pain: Fixed Scream of Pain's Overwhelming Pain not being tagged as reflection damage
Riki: (Pre 7.23 Form) Fixed Level 20 Talent "Martyr Strike's Marks" breaking Aghanim's Scepter Tricks of the Trade's Martyr Strikes if self-cast
Rubick: Spell Steal no longer copies Void Spirit's Aether Remnant (source of crashes)
Rubick: Spell Steal no copies deletes existing stolen abilities if a "banned ability" is attempted to be stolen; instead, the caster will get a cast error and be prevented from stealing in the first place
Rubick: Pseudo-fix for Spell Steal not properly copying Primal Spring
Will result in permanent ability slot issues until Primal Spring is stolen again
Rusty Old Shotgun: VERY rough fix for Shotgun! not displaying projectiles
Shops: Fixed some items missing in the Upgrades tab due to IMBAfications
Skywrath Mage: Fixed Arcane Bolt not having a visible projectile when reflected
Silencer: Fixed Glaives of Wisdom's Tranquility of Aeol Drias not working
Silencer: Glaives of Wisdom's Tranquility of Aeol Drias glaive debuff checker now ignores status resistance
Sniper: Fixed Headshot's knockback and slow and Perfect Shot's stun piercing spell immunity
Sniper: Fixed Assassinate not removing its vision modifier early if it does not hit the target
Sniper: Level 20 Talent "True Assassination" now increases the vision modifier duration by the increased cast time
Sniper: Level 20 Talent "True Assassination" now does not remove the vision modifier until the final projectile lands
Sogat Cuirass: Fixed Damage Block not working
Spirit Breaker: Fixed Nether Strike's cast phase vision modifier being affected by status resistance
Storm Spirit: Ball Lightning now disjoints at the end of its modifier
Templar Assassin: Fixed Psionic Trap Psychic Inhibitor not working when activated by the trap's own spring ability
Templar Assassin: Fixed Level 15 Talent "+200 Psionic Trap Damage" not working when activated by the trap's own spring ability
Tinker: Fixed March of the Machines dealing 16/24/32/40 damage instead of 24/36/48/60 damage
Transient Boots: Fixed Glimmer of Tranquility potentially interrupting attacks when turning invisible
Troll Warlord: Fixed Level 10 Talent "Ranged Proficiency" not showing on client-side
Troll Warlord: Fixed Level 10 Talent "+20% Whirling Axes (Ranged) Movement Slow" not showing on client-side
Troll Warlord: Fixed Level 15 Talent "+6 Fervor Attack Speed Per Stack" not showing on client-side
Troll Warlord: Fixed Level 25 Talent "-0.2 Battle Trance BAT improvement" not showing on client-side
Ursa: "Fixed" Fury Swipes being affected by status resistance against Roshan
Vanguard: Fixed Damage Block not working
Visage: Fixed Grave Chill's Death Enticement IMBAfication not working
Vladmir's Aura/Vladmir's Blood: Fixed not affecting invulnerable units
Vladmir's Aura/Vladmir's Blood: Fixed using a custom damage calculation formula for lifesteal instead of using the standard values
Vladmir's Aura/Vladmir's Blood: Fixed some units benefitting from the lifesteal twice
Wraith King: Attempted fix for Level 20 Talent "Reincarnation can revive allies" not setting Reincarnation on cooldown if a non-self ally dies while Wraith King is holding Aegis of the Immortal
Zeus: Fixed Arc Lightning not having 80 mana cost
Minor Patch for Wednesday, March 18th, 2020
Bugfixes / Miscellaneous
Ember Spirit: Rough fix for Fire Remnant charges being inconsistent when manipulating having Aghanim's Scepter in inventory
Eul's Scepter of Divinity: Fixed both versions having separate cooldowns
Gyrocopter: Fixed Call Down cooldown not being updated as per patch notes
Nullifier: Fixed both versions having separate cooldowns
Minor Patch #2 for Wednesday, March 18th, 2020
Bugfixes / Miscellaneous
Centaur Warrunner: Minor improvements to Hoof Stomp's Gladiators' Pit logic
Centaur Warrunner: Fixed Retaliate's damage return not being affected by spell amplification
Centaur Warrunner: Fixed Retaliate being able to get charge stacks while the damage buff is active
Centaur Warrunner: Retaliate's Remnants of Return now sources the strength bonus from the modifier owner instead of the aura owner
Centaur Warrunner: Fixed Retaliate's Bulging Hide using a custom block system instead of the standard (and potentially not working)
Centaur Warrunner: Fixed Level 10 Talent "+100% Double Edge Shake It Off" not working, instead increasing Retaliate's Remnants of Return strength percentage by 1%
Centaur Warrunner: Level 25 Talent "Retaliate Upgrade" no longer triggers Bulging Hide from spell damage
Satanic: Attempted fix for lifesteal unocassionally not working
Tidehunter: Fixed Kraken Shell's Aqueous Leviathan not immediately updating health values due to strength changes
Tidehunter: Fixed Level 15 Talent "-25% Anchor Smash Damage Reduction" not showing on client-side
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