Carl T. Holscher fights for the customers.

Category: Destiny

Destiny 2: It’s not so much a game as it is a lifestyle.

Reinforcements have arrived

There is nothing better than unexpected help coming when you’re struggling.

This is just as true in life as it is in video games. When I started playing Destiny, there’s a lot of patrolling Earth and the Moon. I spent a lot of time and bullets trying to bring down the same level enemies as I was. It was hard and I struggled.

There are some public events in those patrol areas where players have to take down a much stronger foe. Or need to defend a certain point on the map or even chase a band of enemies across the map and take them out at a few separate points.

These public events were very hard starting out. It was a big struggle to be successful. Which brings me to my favorite parts of Destiny.

Higher level players would show up and help!

Reinforcements have arrived

One of the things I love about Destiny is how you can run into strangers and all work together. When I started out, I would meet players 10 or even 20 levels higher. And even though we never spoke, they would help kill enemies and complete public events.

We would point and wave and dance together. And it made me feel so good when someone would show up to help and then run off again.

It is those small interactions that really makes Destiny a special game.

Paying it Forward

Later on, when I was a higher level player, I always go out of my way to help out lower level players. It is very important to me to pay forward the kindness of those strangers when I was first starting out.

I try to always be a friendly and helpful player online. I want to have a good time and help others have a good time too. That’s what games are for. Fun!

Recently, my Fr0zen clan and I were running a friend through Vault of Glass for the first time. It was an easy run because it’s an old raid and we’re now overpowered for it.

The raid starts on Venus, in an area that’s also part of the open Patrol. As we began the raid, we were a person short of a full team and we saw a random person around us. He hung around as we started to play it and we decided to toss him an invite to chat with us.

He accepted and we asked if he wanted to join us. He did and we invited him into our group. Just like that, we were running with a full team of six. And we got to meet another player and help him make it through the raid.

He was a nice guy and we had a good time. Destiny is great for the random encounters you can create or stumble into.

We’ve invited people to our team in the Crucible (a player-vs-player game type). Just like in Vault of Glass, we had an almost-full team and we played a few matches with the same random person. So we sent him an invite and he joined us.

This all came to mind as I was listening to an episode of Guardian Radio. There was a comment from BrutalGear about making Public Events better.

The idea was to add the ability to send a distress beacon out to your friends and ask them to come help you in an event. The events could be made bigger and involve getting through multiple rounds of enemies and then a mini-boss at the end of it.

I love this idea because the enemies always get to call for help. I would love to be able to put the call out for allies to come to my aid. But since I can’t, I’ll continue to help other players out and make new friends.

Find Destiny Friends

Want to raid in Destiny but don’t have enough friends?
Tired of always playing Iron Banner solo?
Is the Nightfall an impossible venture without a fireteam?

The 100 is a great web site that will help you find a team to play with. I’ve used it to join raid groups who needed one more person to fill out the roster. I’ve posted when I needed help on Nightfalls or in the Prison of Elders.

I’ve made friends and had a lot of fun with other Destiny players I never knew before The 100.

You can join a group and keep an ongoing roster of people to play with or see what games are open when you’re looking to play.

Check out The 100 and never play alone again.

Destiny is a lifestyle

Ever since Destiny came out, it’s all I’ve played on the Xbox. I could get into why and what has captured my attention about the game. But it’s simple.
It’s about community. It’s about friendship. I’ve made a lot of great friends online (and one I knew in real life.)

And we have fun together.

Comparing Swords

The story of Destiny is a mess. The new expansion, The Taken King is a new game more than an expansion.

Michael Lopp, aka Rands is still playing Destiny. He also wrote a post that I immediately related to. Be Unfailingly Kind is a love letter to Destiny and the friends he plays with. He talks about DJ. The leader of their raid group. In a raid, you need teamwork, communication and most of all patience.

Chilling in the Ward of Dawn.

Everyone screws up. Everyone shoots a rocket into the back of a teammate or spends a little too long before running for cover. Rands talks about DJ and I see a lot of my clanmates in his praise.

Rands says this about DJ:
* He clearly explains the situation. As many times as possible. Calmly.
* He has an insightful answer ready to any question. He’s done his research to become an expert in his field.
* Once the raid has begun, he monitors the situation, provides real-time feedback, and updates to the other players in a helpful and educational manner.
* In the face of disaster, he never loses composure.

We all have our own DJ. Our group leader that keeps us together and helps us through. Destiny is not just a grind. Destiny is about friendship and teamwork. I’ve played the same mission countless times. But each time with a different team of people who needed help getting through it. And I knew when it was time for me to run through it, they would be just as willing to help me out.

As of this morning, the Destiny iPhone app tells me I’ve spent 21 days, 16 hours and 36 minutes of my life playing it. I play because I have fun. I play because of the people I can have fun with and that will always keep me coming back.

peroty at rest
Why can't I take this gun with me?

Games should be fun and not take themselves too seriously. For Halloween, the Tower, where Guardians hang out, dance, shop and access their vaults was turned into a creepy wonderland with a series of quests to complete wearing masks. We’ve been collecting candy to fill bags to exchange for masks and other items. It’s fun. And hilarious.

Crota: Pumpkin King!

We are the Fr0zen Clan. Our motto is Let It Go!

Remember when I said games are meant to be fun. Here is our clan description:

Are you an orphaned princess who likes to sing her emotional status? Do you have super powers that should terrify your local serfs and merchants? Are you unaware of the number of plates in your house? Can you build an ice castle and create life (both terrifying and wildly annoying) from snow???? THEN THIS CLAN IS FOR YOU!!!!! We’ll also accept whalers from the moon, cannon fodder, bullet sponges and anyone that throws panic grenades.

We play on the Xbox One and are always looking for new friends. If you understand life comes before games, children exist and need to be cared for and like laughing and having a good time. Look us up.

Video Games from Couch to Twitch

Why do people like watching other people play video games online?

Much has been written about the curiosity of things like Twitch. A service allowing players to stream video of them playing a game to the web from an Xbox One, Playstation 4 or Windows PC.

It allows others to watch that player and comment in a chat box or follow along with the action. Why do we do this? And more importantly, why do we watch others?


It’s different for a lot of people. Recently, I found myself among hundreds of thousands of people watching Bungie show game-play from their new House of Wolves expansion to Destiny. It was a first-look at the new aspects of the game. What better way to see what it had in store for me, than to watch people play it?

Streaming video games can be a marketing tool. It’s better than a trailer. Instead of pre-rendered footage or marketing clips, it is real game-play by real people. So it will show off the product exactly as it is.


Back in the dark ages of the Nintendo Entertainment System and later the Super NES, the talk of the lunch room and hallways were tips and tricks for Mario, Zelda and Metroid. Many of the secrets in the game came to us by word-of-mouth and friend-of-a-friend eyewitness accounts. Many of the feats are not real but there was no way to know.

I spent a lot of my youth at GameFAQs. A site dedicated to walk-through and FAQs about all different games. When I’d get stuck in a Final Fantasy quest, or need a refresher about where I was in the story, I’d consult the fan-compiled .txt files and ASCII artwork.

Today, I can spend 30 seconds and look up anything on YouTube and find a recorded stream of the person doing exactly what I’m trying to do. Where is this item? How do I complete that quest? How do I get to this specific area in a game with no map? It’s all there and it’s only seconds away.

What’s the analog?

A friend on Twitter asked about the analog to watching people play video games online. He’s done it. I’ve done it. And I think it’s sitting next to a friend or sibling on a couch and watching them play something where you had to take turns.

My brother and I spent hours playing through Final Fantasy II and III on the SNES. We’d take turns playing quests and helping each other through. There was nothing for the second person to do but watch and follow the story.

Early computer games like Command&Conquer could be played by two people. Over our blazing 26400bps modem, one of us would play the game, using the mouse and the other would spam our competitor with the text chat or enter keyboard commands.

We’d work as a team even though only one of us was really playing the game. There is something extremely social for me about playing games that stems from those long afternoon and nights of gaming with my brother.

We had a serious obsession with NBA JAM and would compile long lists of our records in notebooks. Most dunks, steals or three-pointers. How much could we blow the other team out? Could we hold them scoreless?


Gaming is a social activity. I love cooperative games more than anything else. There’s nothing better than joining a team in person or online and working together to complete a quest or help a friend through a tricky part of the game.

I play with a core group of friends that work all varying shifts. When I get home in the evenings, they’ll just have gone to work and I will start a Twitch stream and share my game with them.

Destiny Team

It’s nice to chat with them over the game, even if they can’t respond in kind. I leave the chat window open on the side of my screen so we can talk. Which is a perfectly fun asynchronous way to chat while we’re both doing something else.

It’s no different from chatting over text message or a phone call with a distracted second party. It’s nice to hear a friendly voice when you’re stuck working on tedious tasks like data entry.

Board Games

Streaming games can be a lot of fun and it’s not limited to video games. Wil Wheaton hosts a show called TableTop where he invites friends to play board games. It’s a stellar show with explanations of the games beforehand and clarification throughout. It’s informed a lot of my board game purchases as my wife and I explore our growing love affair with them.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Dice Tower. My wife has watched hour of videos from them. They put together lists of games in all sorts of categories and play styles. It’s a great intro to a genre of games or if you’re just looking for something passed Scrabble and Parcheesi.

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