Testing 1, 2
Like buses it seems two betas I’m involved in have come at once. For the last week or so I’ve been messing around playing Bungie’s newest game; Destiny. Then not long after Apple launched their public beta of OS X 10.10 Yosemite. One has gotten more of my attention than the other but the Destiny beta will only go on for so long and Yosemite is now on both my Macs. I appreciate that putting a beta OS on both my machines is risky strategy but all my important data is in the cloud so if I did need to roll back it wouldn’t be too much of a hassle.
As mentioned Destiny is the beta I’ve spent most of my time on. Whilst I’d like to have played more these days I’ve got one or two more commitments that the me of Uni days. Anyway, from what I’ve played so far I think Bungie are on the right track. Whilst there’s been some Internet laughter generated by some of the slightly hammy lines actor Peter Dinklage (he of Game of Thrones) delivers as your “Ghost” I’ve really enjoyed it. The story surrounding Destiny is compelling with a lot of potential for Bungie to weave a very intricate and interesting story for you to play out. Equally its mix of MMO and FPS is put together well. I’ve always felt I’d enjoy playing an MMO but each one I’ve played so far (World of Warcraft, EVE, Planetside to name a few) has failed to hook me in. Something about Destiny makes me feel like this could finally be the game which has the right amount of MMO. Enough to make your character feel like yours but not too much to make you feel like the game is your second job, I’m looking at you EVE!
Bungie describe Destiny as a “shared-world shooter” and I suppose that’s make sense, they’re trying to steer away from calling it an MMO for fear of scaring folk like me away. Still, once you’ve played it you know it’s something a bit different and I hope the good points I’ve found in the Beta continue into the full game. The on-the-fly match making seems to work pretty well. I’ve dropped in to some shared areas and had fun ponying up with other players to take on tasks. I and a few other players had a memorable duel with a giant mech thing that dropped in on my first day playing. This was a random event and it brought me and the four other players in the zone together into one massive firefight. This sort of event will be a regular thing within Destiny and I look forward to seeing what else Bungie have in store for its new world not to mention learning more about The Fallen and other foes introduced in the beta. Thankfully I won’t have to wait too long with Destiny due to launch in September.
OS X Yosemite
As for OS X Yosemite… well I’ve hardly had much time with it. However I’m confident enough in its stability to install it on both my Macs. Not a sound idea I suppose but then I really like its new look but also Mail.app finally feels like it’s worth my while using it. I’d recently switched back to Mail as development on Postbox, my app of choice for the last 5 years or so, had really slowed. It’s still a great app but I get the feeling its due a major a revision sometime soon and until that happens I wanted to move to something native. However I’d noticed why I moved away from Mail in the first place, namely it’s issues with large mailboxes! These days I try to archive my email as much as possible but even my inbox as it is, Mail seemed to flicker it’s text whenever I was scrolling through. Not a game breaker but damn irritating. However this issue seems to be rectified in Yosemite so that’s a win already.
What’s even nice however is the look. Taking cues from iOS, Yosemite has taken the “flatter” theme that’s present through iOS 7 but added its own uniqueness taking advantage of the fact it’s a desktop OS. Notification Centre also has a lot of potential here as it now has the ability for 3rd party apps to deliver content there. It feels like a natural progression of Mavericks and the influences from iOS aren’t too overstated in my opinion. Whilst I’ve encountered the odd issue here and there it’s mostly (touches wood) been plain sailing. I’m very much looking forward to the updates we’ll undoubtedly see between now and release and what makes it all the sweeter is knowing that the upgrade will be free. It seems the days of paying for OS upgrades may be in the past.