RNG Rolls Can Suck It

Somebody once asked why I use set roll weapons when I play Destiny

Destiny is heavy on random number generation (RNG). In a game full of RNG, I want to avoid relying on it to the greatest extent possible.

First and foremost, I detest farming: I find it boring.

Secondly, Bungie has the habit of committing sweeping changes to the game-world in its weapon balance updates. Consider:
Armor Piercing Rounds
Shoot to Loot
Shot Package shotguns
Rangefinder shotguns
Braced Frame Clever Dragon
… and many more!

Finally, I want viewers of my stream to know that they can achieve my level of performance.

There may come a time where I will be forced to lean on the various god-roll weapons that I keep stashed away in my vault to remain competitive. However, I will not deviate from my policy as long as possible.

Just because I limit myself to vendor rolls and set drops doesn’t mean that you have to. At the end of the day, you play the game how you want to – don’t let me force your hand.

Good luck out there, guardians.

How to Design a Dedicated Gaming Setup

Every serious gamer invests time and money into building a dedicated gaming setup. Separate work from play, and build a gaming setup that will give you a slight edge over the competition

Each dimension below warrants at least some consideration.


Beyond impacting what you see and how you see it, your choice of display affects how quickly you can see new information through its refresh rate and response time.

Refresh Rate

Refresh rate is defined as the number of times per second (hertz [Hz]) that the display is able to update.

60 Hz is the norm. Console gamers will do fine to choose a monitor with a 60 Hz refresh rate, given that console video output is capped at 60 FPS.

Gaming monitors with refresh rates in excess of 60 Hz are available. While these may benefit PC gamers, console gamers will not see any tangible improvement by investing in these monitors. Refresh rates above 60 Hz are a somewhat controversial topic – can users even perceive refresh rates greater than 60 Hz?

Response Time

Response time is defined as the amount of time in milliseconds (ms) that it takes for the pixels to change. It is usually reported as gray-to-gray response time.

Input Lag

Input lag is defined as the amount of time in milliseconds (ms) that it takes for new information to be displayed.

If you’ve gamed on a TV, you’ve probably experienced this. Switching your TV to Game Mode can help reduce input lag. In this mode, the TV disables some post-processing features, reducing input lag. Consult your TV’s user manual to learn how to set it to Game Mode.

DisplayLag | HDTV & Monitor Input Lag Database


Ensure that you’re seeing the game world as the developers intended.

Basic settings (brightness and contrast) should be tuned with the help of patterns. I use AVS HD 709.

Consult TweakTV http://www.tweaktv.com/tweak-my-tv/ for a baseline.


Get your hands on a variety of different peripherals until you find the ones that fit you best. Research yields dividends in this department, as quality peripherals will last you a long time, and will continually bring you joy.

You can take a look at my page on gaming peripherals to see what I’ve explored.


Headphones are the standard for gaming audio because they offer an immersive experience and work well in most situations at lower cost than speakers. Headphones are less fatiguing than earbuds, allowing them to be used more comfortably during extended gaming sessions.

Word to the wise: shun gaming headsets. You can do much better for the same coin by adding a microphone to a pair of headphones that you like. Buy a gaming headset only if you absolutely need one.

Comfort & Ergonomics

A well-designed setup reduces impact on your body over time. Do yourself a favor and evaluate your setup for ergonomics.

Prolonged gaming sessions on poorly-designed setups will cause you to suffer, reducing your ability to perform. You may not notice this while you’re young, but cumulative stress will catch up to you over time. Don’t let poor ergonomics hinder your ability to perform, or end your gaming career before it takes off.

For gaming at a desktop environment, a solid task chair works wonders. Lumbar support helps maintain the natural curvature of your spine. If you don’t have the funds to pour into a new task chair, consider investing in a lumbar support (Amazon.com) to save your lower back.

For the most ergonomic setup, consider a sit-to-stand desk.

Local Area Network

A wired connection will outperform a wireless one.

If you have a cable drop nearby, invest in a network switch (Amazon.com) to share the love with your various devices.

If you can’t run a cable, consider either powerline network adapters (Amazon.com) or Multimedia over Coax (MoCA) adapters (Amazon.com).

Use wireless networking for your gaming setup only if you must.

How to Start Streaming Without a Capture Card

Stream Xbox gameplay even if you don’t have a capture card by using Xbox native apps (good) or OBS Studio and the Xbox App (better)

You can start your own high-quality stream using a Windows PC that is on the same network as your Xbox.

For best results, you will want both your Xbox and your PC hardwired to the network. This ensures the a stable, low-latency connection between the two devices. If you’ve invested into building out your battlestation (see how to design a dedicated gaming setup), you’ve already completed this step, and should be good to go.

We’ll focus first on the higher-quality method: using the Xbox App’s Game Streaming function

Using Game Streaming with the Xbox App to Capture Xbox Gameplay

Pros: You can continue to use Xbox Game DVR to capture clips and highlights of your gameplay for native sharing

Start by opening the Xbox App on your Windows 10 PC and connecting to your Xbox. Select Test Streaming.

Xbox App Test streaming results

Test streaming from your Xbox to the Xbox App

If you need more guidance, Microsoft has a support page describing how to use game streaming at support.xbox.com/en-US/games/game-setup/how-to-use-game-streaming.

OBS Studio

With the Xbox App still open, add a new Game Capture source with the following settings:
Mode: Capture specific window
Window: [XboxApp.exe]: Xbox

OBS Studio Game Capture

OBS Studio Game Capture setup for capturing the Windows 10 Xbox App

Whenever you want to begin streaming, you’ll first have to start game streaming to the Xbox App. The Xbox App defaults to full-screen when game streaming is started, but you can exit full-screen mode by using the arrow icon in the top menu bar. From there, you can resize the window as much as you like to regain screen real estate with zero impact on output quality.

That’s really all there is to capturing Xbox gameplay in OBS Studio without a capture card! There’s a lot that you can do with OBS Studio, but that is neither here nor there.

In order to pick up your own mic chatter in OBS Studio, you’ll either need to connect a microphone to your PC, or use the onboard mic (if available).

Using Xbox Native Apps to Stream

Pros: Easier to set up

Xbox native apps exist for Mixer and Twitch. While these apps are easier to set up, they rely on the processing power of the Xbox One to encode video, and have their own host of issues. For example, game audio and video may be offset (desynchronized) by over one second, though this may improve with updates.

Closing Remarks

You can easily set up a high-quality stream with minimal investment in hardware. Xbox native apps can be used to set up a stream as well, but they won’t offer you as much control as you would get using a PC-based streaming setup.

Trials of Osiris Statistics (Y3: Rise of Iron – Present)

The Destiny Trials Report team (@TrialsReport) DMed me a dataset giving Trials of Osiris K/D for players who have played 50 or more Trials of Osiris matches. The data covers Trials of Osiris from the launch of Destiny: Rise of Iron to the end of Trials of Osiris on Black Shield this past weekend.

A total 726,830 accounts (308,982 on Xbox, 417,848 on PlayStation) met the filtering criterion for 50 or more Trials of Osiris matches played.

The following tables depict player counts and K/Ds for each percentile.

Table 1: Trials of Osiris K/Ds, Percentiles, and Number of Players Below Each K/D (Xbox)

Percentile Players Below K/D
99 305,893 1.96
97 299,713 1.67
95 293,533 1.54
90 278,084 1.36
75 231,737 1.12
62.591 193,395 1
50 154,491 0.88

Table 2: Trials of Osiris K/Ds, Percentiles, and Number of Players Below Each K/D (PlayStation)

Percentile Players Below K/D
99 413,670 1.96
97 405,313 1.67
95 396,956 1.54
90 376,064 1.35
75 313,386 1.1
64.411 269,139 1
50 208,924 0.86

I was a little surprised to learn that the average Trials of Osiris player has a K/D below 1.0. I have some ideas why this might be the case.

Here’s the same data, represented in a scatter plot:

Chart 1: Number of Players vs. Trials of Osiris K/D


I was chatting with iwz delta on the afternoon of Wednesday (February 22, 2017), and I brought up statistics, specifically how players like us are a rarity in the Destiny population. Both of us are anti-meta players who have achieved some degree of success.

During the conversation, I talked with him about the bell curve, and I posited that Destiny’s player population was probably distributed as such.

The conversation still lingering in my mind, I reached out to the Destiny Trials Report team on Twitter:

Soon afterwards, I received a response, linking me to a tweet by SilverAndSlaver:

SilverAndSlayer didn’t have plans to revisit the analysis for a month, so I took it upon myself to begin poring over whatever data I could obtain. I briefly considered enlisting outside help to programmatically scrape Trials of Osiris K/Ds, and was elated when the Destiny Trials Report team reached out with data.

A big thank you to Destiny Trials Report for improving the quality of life for all us Destiny Trials of Osiris players, and for providing me with this dataset!

We have the data, now what?

Theoretical distribution of player K/Ds – does it hold true?


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