SRL Success or Failure?

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Sparrow Racing League in Destiny has come to a close as of last night and Iron Banner is here to take its place. In the beginning Bungie said this was a test for future SRL events and overall I think it was a success and they should think about bringing it back.

I made a post about SRL a couple of days after it came out with my first impressions. In general the gripes and suggestions I had in that article remain the same, but I will outline what I think should be done in order to make it a more pleasurable and in depth experience.

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The biggest thing I think should be looked at is how the warp gates work. I am still not a fan of slowing down if you miss a gate. It does add another mechanic to the racing and I realize that is what Bungie was trying to do, but it takes away from what I think would be a more interesting experience to be had being able to create your own line. If the gates didn’t slow you when you missed them it would allow racers to follow their own line and they could choose to hit gates as they pleased for a short boost. With the current model there really is only one or two lines you can follow making the game a little boring in my opinion. If you are in first you better damn well hit every gate or you will be getting passed for sure. It will also remove all of the unsportsmanlike ramming that happens every game. Again, I know, it’s a mechanic that Bungie thought would be fun and exciting, but in all honesty it’s just annoying.

If Bungie does bring SRL back I think adding more tracks is definitely needed. I got bored with the same two tracks over and over. Honestly the only thing that kept me coming back was the fact that I purchased the record book and I needed to get 10 wins on each track to complete it.

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Speaking of the record book I decided to grab one as I like exclusive content. I was really weary though as I did not think that it would live up to its value. 10 bucks for a book that tracked stats and unlocked some helmets, armor, a shader, a sparrow, and an emblem seemed a little steep. I justified it by breaking down the price. 4 bucks for the sparrow, 3 for the armor set and a specific helmet for each class, and 2 bucks for a shader, and 1 for an emblem. That made it easier to swallow, but 10 bucks was still a bit crazy in my mind. Then realizing that one of the goals in the book was to land tricks I realized that I didn’t have a trick sparrow…damn…Even after getting the first SRL sparrow which I quickly realized was not a trick sparrow I scrambled trying to see how I could earn one. I didn’t realize that I would eventually get one as I leveled my SRL experience, but then again that would take ages. I looked online and saw that the only other trick sparrow was a PS exclusive or I had to find one of those achient special Red Bulls with the code…So I caved once again and bought a racers toolkit to get a trick sparrow which turned out to be a bad decision because low and behold I earned a trick sparrow not long after.

I completed the record book minus the win races goals fairly fast. Then the long, hard grind set in. Winning 10 races per map seemed next to impossible. I struggled with gates, asshole racers, and the ever so annoying ground that seemed to decide to stop you on a dime at random times. I ended up completing the wins goal with only 6 hours in the event to spare. I probably would have gotten it way sooner, but I just don’t have tons of time to play the game like some people. If the event were only a week long there is no way I would have been able to do it. So was it worth it? Well, yes in a sense, because I completed it, but if I didn’t then I would be pretty mad to be honest. I paid 10 bucks for something I had to earn and if I didn’t earn it in 3 weeks I would never be able to earn it again. So my suggestion for Bungie if they do something similar for a new SRL event is to make the paid content achievable by anyone by making it experience based. I do think you should reward people who can pull off the wins, but I don’t think it should be behind a pay wall.

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One of my other gripes is the reward system. We all read that we would be given 320 gear and it seemed the only time I could manage to get anything close was by using 3 of Coins. If I didn’t use it I wouldn’t get any good loot. I guess all those legendary helmets were cool though because I got a ton of marks from them, but I would have been happier with a couple more exotics.

I think Bungie should bring SRL back and tweak it a bit to make it more enjoyable for sure. If it doesn’t return I would be saddened. Plus I want to be able to use my awesome racing gear!

Merry Christmas From Arm The Flag!

We wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!

SRL First Impressions

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As soon as I saw a Sparrow in Destiny I instantly wanted to race it. As a motorcycle rider the Sparrow is one of my favorite parts of Destiny as a whole….and when Bungie announced Sparrow Racing League I was beyond ecstatic!

I, like many others, descended into SRL this week after Bungie dropped it on Tuesday and I played it all night until I had to force myself to go to sleep.

First off it’s fun as hell. I enjoyed every second of it unless I hit the barrier that splits the track on Mars…you all know what I’m talking about it’s like a magnet to me. There are some things that I thought were done very well and there are a few things that I think need work.

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Gates

I have a love hate relationship with the whole gate concept in SRL. It makes the experience feel really arcadelike which is good and bad. I do like the fact that the gates are wider the further back you are in the pack. It gives you a chance to catch up, but damn they are small when you’re in first. I think one thing I would like to see in a future SRL event is less reliance on gates as a whole to let us utilize the entire track. As someone who is really into motorsports picking my own line is very important to me and can lead into way more strategy. I get it though, because of the gate system it makes racing super ruthless as people battle each other to hit gate after gate. It’s just not my favorite thing.

Sparrow Controls/Handling

If gates made the game feel arcadey then the controls and handling fall right into that category in my opinion. Personally, I think it needs work. The controls make the game feel really wishy washy to me in terms of keeping your line. The precision is lacking to make it feel like a real racing experience. I do realize Bungie wasn’t trying to make a racing sim, but at the same time I think they could have refined the controls a bit more to make it feel a little more intense and rigid instead of arcade like and wavy.

Enemies

This part of SRL really intrigued me the most. Racing through a huge barrage of gunfire sounded really awesome, but in general the enemies don’t really effect the race very much at all. I don’t think I’ve ever been killed by gunfire in a race. I also notice that when you are in first the enemies seem to not be able to react fast enough to effect you. If anything they end up hitting second and third place more. I think ramping up the enemies would add a little more to the overall SRL experience.

Player Attitude

I come from a real motorsports¬†and racing sim background so I would play SRL like I would race in real life. As you would suspect any gentleman’s rules are thrown out the window. Players thrash, bash, and trash their way to the front. Any chance they have to screw you over they will take it. Once I get out front I enjoy SRL more because I can race without having to deal with all the other players trying to wreck me.

Rewards

Overall I have been super pleased for the rewards that I’ve been getting. I could care less about horns and a few times I only got motes of light, but that’s just a small downside. I’m pretty sure I got most of the shaders that SRL offered and I got them from the first day playing. As far as the gear, light gear has been pretty nice and the actual race gear is super awesome. The race gear actually resembles real world race suits which made me super pumped to see. The only gripe I have is most of the ones I’ve earned thusfar are not effected by shaders. You’re stuck with what color you got.

Overall Impressions

I enjoy SRL greatly and have been having fun. All of the above suggestions and grips are only that. If SRL came back in the same exact shell I would still play it. Just those small tweaks would make it enjoyable for me…you may have other ideas and you may hate mine. I just urge you all to play SRL and give Bungie some feedback they can work with instead of all of the complaining that I normally see out there.

See you on the track!

Homecoming

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Eight years ago we began something….something that I never knew in a million years that would have such an impact in my life. Arm The Flag roared to life in the cold of winter that year. We prided ourselves on creating quality machinima over the years. We were featured on Bungie.net many times and I was featured as an Average Joe. At some point in the middle we made our way into more of a gaming clan joining the Good Game Network along with other mature, respectable clans within the Halo Nation. I have met some life long friends over those years of ATF and the GGN. Some people who I still keep contact with, others have sadly faded away.

2012 spelled disaster for ATF. Our activity was at an all time low and there seemed to be no light at the end of the tunnel for its remaining members. Part of it was the maturing of the membership. Myself and others really didn’t have tons of time to dedicate to gaming. Honestly in general it seemed that clans were a rare thing this late in the overall gaming timeline.

The remaining members sat down and decided what they wanted to do. We ended up accepting an invitation to join the prestigious Praetoria Guard, another clan that had a rich history within the Halo Nation, one that also joined ranks within the GGN.

Slowly we realized just like ATF and probably any other gaming clan the PG had its ups and downs and as time wore on I personally faded out.

I focused on my professional career and my passion in photography. I traveled the world and shared my adventures through my lens, but little by little gaming started calling me back. I ended up linking up with some old ATF/PG friends under the new banner Play the Objective (PTO). My and their focus had shifted to PC gaming focusing on a lot of Battlefield, but we dabbled in just about everything.

Even PTO kind of died off as an official organization, but the core group of friends who started it as well as some dedicated members still stick together to this day.

Fast forward to November of 2015. I finally caved and bought an Xbox One, Halo 5 and Destiny…I have been waiting to return to my roots for a good long while. Halo can never keep me away. Along with the fire of returning to my old virtual battlefield came ¬†another fire within me. The fire of desire to bring back an old friend. Arm The Flag.

So if you are reading this and were a part of Arm The Flag in any way including a previous member, ally, or someone who just played with us in the past please shoot me a message on XBL: An7i PRO. I would love to build ATF back up again and see where we go. I will say I am approaching this very casually.

See you on the battlefield!