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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Game with Gold (May)

Normally I'd personally write this, giving scores and personal opinion on the GwG games, but I'm not feeling too well today, so I will post Major Nelson's blog entry instead.

Xbox Live Games with Gold for May 2015

"For the month of May, Xbox Live Gold members will receive three new free games on Xbox One and Xbox 360 as part of the Games with Gold program.

On Xbox One, Gold members can download CastleStorm: Definitive Edition ($14.99 ERP) for free during the month of May. Pool Nation FX ($13.99 ERP) is also being offered for an additional month.
   

On Xbox 360, starting Friday, May 1st, Mafia II ($19.99 ERP) will be free for Xbox Live Gold members through May 15th. 

Then on May 16th, Xbox Live Gold Members can download F1 2013 ($39.99 ERP) for free through May 31st."  


Monday, April 27, 2015

Silent Hills Officially CANCELLED



UPDATE #2: Konami has told Kotaku the following information:


Konami is committed to new Silent Hill titles, however the embryonic ‘Silent Hills’ project developed with Guillermo del Toro and featuring the likeness of Norman Reedus will not be continued.

In terms of Kojima and Del Toro being involved, discussions on future Silent Hill projects are currently underway, and please stay tuned for further announcements.



UPDATE: Norman Reedus has confirmed that the game is indeed cancelled via Twitter. It’s officially over.

So if you've not heard of "Silent Hills", it was set to be the next Silent Hill entry from Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear) and Guillermo Del Toro (famed horror producer), featuring Norman Redus (The Walking Dead's Daryl) as the main character. A Playable Teaser (named P.T.) was releases last year and blew gamers away with it creep factor.


Sadly, due to Kojima's contract expiring, and other issues, the game has been officially canned by Konami.

Silent Hills was set to release later this year, on the PS4 and possibly the Xbox One.


Friday, April 24, 2015

The Elder Scrolls Online Xbox One Beta

So I was fortunate enough to be invited by Bethesda to try out The Elder Scrolls Online, which as you can probably guess, is The Elder Scrolls but Online (shocking, right?). Since there's no NDA in place, and they actually encourage talking, I thought I'd share my opinions on the game, and maybe a video.

So first off, the game looks great, not shocking since this is The Elder Scrolls (TES), and next gen, but what surprised me was how smooth it ran, IN BETA, with superb graphics (no freezing, no bugs, no hiccups), this is tough for most games, including TES games in general (or Fallout games, from Bethesda as well). On the rare occasion, textures on people take a moment to load, but they do so very quickly when it does happen.

Load times are pretty good too, some areas load almost instantly (this is generally areas that connect to the main world like houses or camps that bring you to another area). Going from one large area to another takes a few seconds to load, still very impressive.

All script is voiced, so if a character says something, it's actually spoken another amazing achievement for a large game with lots of speaking. The VO's are also well done, with a little more variety (this seems to be Bethesda's kryptonite, they always use too few actors and It's apparent here more than ever).

Character design is amazing from what I've seen. I only made a Khajiit, but there are many skins for them, you can be a tiger, lion, leopard, jaguar, panther, and many other design types. A friend made a Redguard and they said there are many options for skin tone (to some degree, since Redguards are only African American), hairstyles and other vanity options.

Oh, you can make a character with a butt now too!!!! No more flat backsides.

You need to come in to the game with an Elder Scroll train of thought, most MMORPGs throw weapons and armor at you, this plays like TES, as you level, you'll find steel, dwarven, glass, dremora, and Dragon gear, like the solo games do.

Also, it may be because this is the beta, but don't expect to run into hundreds of people in the field, think of it as a multiplayer TES game, not an MMO TES game.

While I've only scratched the surface, this is proving to be a very fun game so far. I'm sure I've missed some things (such as dungeons), so fellow beta testers, feel free to comment and add your thoughts.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Newbies Guide to Tanking (Neverwinter)

Playing a Tank in Neverwinter isn't quite like other MMORPG's, sadly (or maybe luckily, depending on your stance). I have learned some tips from Neverwinter forum user "dkcandy" that might help those new to NW's Tanking.

Threat is generated on a 1:1 ratio for both Healing & Damage and there are 2 types of threat generation mechanics:

Indirect - Healing
Direct - Damage to a specific creature

The biggest issue I have with holding threat is a result of the above, that from damage, and that from healing, are equal. Healers will generate hate on EVERY creature from a single heal, but you will only generate that for the creators you hit. This causes Healers to pull a lot of hate, easily and quickly.

Currently the Guardian Fighter class is the "Primary Tank" for Neverwinter (although Paladin is releasing soon on Xbox, and they'll likely be a primary candidate too) and we have several feats that help boost our threat generation but remember DPS (Damage Per Second) is the base of all threat generation. So if your DPS is low, so will your TPS (Threat Per Second). This is why DPS geared & built GFs have an easier time holding threat than defensive GFs.

Stats: Primary Strength, this allows you to inflict more DPS, and therefore, more TPS.


Feats: 

Tier 1: Strength Focus 3/3 - Increased Damage

Tier 3: Power Attack 5/5 - 10% Damage Increase

Tier 3: Potent Challenge 3/3 - 15% Threat Increase

Tier 4: Weapon Mastery 3/3 - 3% Crt Chance Increase


Paragon Paths:

Conqueror - My personal preference as you do a lot more damage, and damage equals threat. You'll be using Cleave to maintain threat on large number of creatures and great for holding aggro on single target/boss. 

Tactician - A friend of mine uses tactician and he spams daily's with this feat to hold aggro on large number of creatures and generates lots of threat.

Protector - Damage mitigation vs Damage output, following the above rule, you won't deal much damage, so not much TPS.


Powers:

Enforced Threat - AoE taunt for up to (5) targets and forces them to attack you for a short time frame.

Fighters Recovery - Must have for survival, tons of self healing

Enhanced Mark - +99% Threat Generation on marked targets - If you have threat issues a no brainier.

Threatening Rush - Marks all targets in a small AOE on target you melee hit. Great skill to use on trash and when tanking adds/boss.

Trample the Fallen + Battle Trample Feat - +25% Weapon Damage as threat + 25% Weapon Damage as physical Damage for 3 seconds after using a CC. (Many of the GF Powers trigger this)

Knight's Valor - A good skill to reduce the amount of damage your entire party is taking which also reduces the amount of healing your Cleric is down and reduces the amount of indirect threat the cleric is generating.


Leo's Guide to Not Being an Asshole (Neverwinter)

So you've picked up (or downloaded) Neverwinter and are eager to play, yeah? Well hold on there, buckaroo, I've got a few tips to make your game much more enjoyable (or at least, not come off as an asshole to other players).

1. As Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson said, "Know your role". If you decide to roll a healer, understand that you are a.... well, healer! You are responsible for making sure people stay topped up on health and don't die, a vital role.

DO'S of a Healer:

- Heal people, that's your number one job
- Buff people, boosted attack, defense, etc
- Remove debuffs, poison, slow, etc
- Use Sun Burst to scatter enemies when you or a non-Tank character are taking damage

DON'TS of a Healer:

- Play as a DPS ((Damage Per Second, they deal the most damage) unless everyone is topped up and doing fine)
- Run ahead of your Tank,
- Use Sun Burst when the Tank has aggro/hate on a Mob (group of enemies)


DO'S of a DPS:

- Beat the shit out of things
- Preferably, attack the same target as the Tank

DON'TS of a DPS:

- Run ahead of your Tank
- Pull the entire room, unless the Tank and Healer are fine with it


DO'S of a Tank:

- Grab adds (additional enemies, usually at a boss fight) when they spawn
- Hold aggro/hate

DON'TS of a Tank:

- Ignore adds, they WILL wreck your Healer


These are a few jobs each role has, you should learn yours and perform them. Failing to do so has a good chance of getting you removed from the dungeon, and that's no fun.


2. Don't pick up loot during combat. To be more precise, green or rarer loot, it has to be roled on, and to do so, an annoying pop up.... well, POPS UP. This is very annoying when in the middle of a fight, god help you if it's a boss fight. It won't get you kicked, but it is VERY annoying.

3. Don't be Needy, be Greedy. When you are in a group, you must role for rare loot, but there are three options, "Need", "Greed", and "Pass". I won't explain the last, it should be obvious, but "Need" and Greed" are important, and knowing when t pick one is also important.

"Need" means, "I NEED this, it's better than what I have."

"Greed" means, "I'd like this, I can use it for another character." Or if it's an "Unidentified Item, "This might be better than what I have, so I might need it."

You should really only pick "Need" if your character you're playing as can use it, not an alt.


4. Don't be a douche. Send an invite and get denied? Move on. Don't keep inviting, they aren't interested. Continually pestering someone will get you reported. Don't be a douche.

Don't spam chat with stupid crap. Don't be a douche.

Don't name your character "Big Wang". Don't be a douche.


These are 4 easy ways to be liked in the game, very easy guidelines.

Just don't be shocked when you discover no one actually DOES any of this. :)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

D&D: Neverwinter

D&D: Neverwinter is a free-to-play MMORPG that hopes to stuck you in with the promise of loot and adventure, but how does it fair?

Story

The story of Neverwinter sees your character washing up in Neverwinter after the ship he/she was aboard was destroyed by Dracolich (Dragon Lich), commanded by a Lich wizard named Valindra, who leads an assault against the troops of Neverwinter.

The player, after a brief tutorial, is then cast into the role of lone person with the ability to turn the tides of war.

Graphics

The graphics of Neverwinter are very good for a console MMORPG, but due to this and the large amounts of players, some areas can be very laggy, even causing timeouts when loading areas.

Gameplay in non city areas is generally smooth while maintaining good visuals.

Controls

The controls can take a bit adjusting to, the RT is your standard attack, while LT is a special attack, you can hotlink skills to X, Y, and B. Pressing the LB orbs another set of commands such as opening your inventory, chat log, and your 'Daily Skill' (despite the name, it can be used several times, you just need to charge it by performing certain actions).

There are several menus for you navigate, sometimes being cumbersome, changing tabs is done using the bumpers, changing within the tabs is done with triggers.

Audio

So far, the audio has been acceptable do far. There's not a whole lot of voice acting outside of quest briefing. So be prepared to read a bit.

Music is very middle age like (the setting IS such era), so drums, trumpets, stereotypical renaissance style are frequent in towns

Other

The game has many game modes for you to try, these include:

Domination - 5v5 PvP where you must capture and hold 3 points, while defending then from enemy players.

Skirmish - PvE gameplay where 5 players survive waves of enemies.

Dungeons - PvE gameplay where 5 players delve into a dungeon and face strong foes and bosses for rare loot.

Each of these modes grant unique currency that can be redeemed for high tier gear. They also grant an item called 'rough astral diamonds' upon certain conditions.

During the day, the game has events that give bonuses to certain modes (the current event is displayed on the outside screen, in the bottom right).

Completing a dungeon or skirmish when they're respective events are happening grant you aforementioned rough astral diamonds, these are converted to 'astral diamonds' automatically when you load up an area, but only a certain number per day. These are used to buy from the auction house, and many other vendors (think of then as a tier 2 currency along with PvP currency and other obtainable in game currency, gold/silver/bronze pieces being tier 1).

Then there's the tier 3 currency known as 'Zen'. You can earn Zen by redeeming several hundred astral diamonds, or with real cash. Obviously, Zen is need for the most powerful stuff.

As said earlier, this is a f2p game, so guys in charge try to do whatever they can to get you to buy stuff. One such example you see plenty of is an item 'Tyrannical Lockbox', these have a chance of doing a variety of items, the most sought after being the Epic and Legendary mounts. However to open these, you need to by keys, only purchasable with Zen. The chances of one of these mounts being in there, it's insanely small (.01% based on some people's math), you're better off not bothering.

If you want more than 2 characters, you'll also need to buy slots with Zen, so make sure you like your character.

Speaking of characters, there are several races to play as, including humans, dwarves, elves, half-elves, half-orcs, a dark elf, wood elf, and some devil looking creature. Each race has bonus stats.

There's also many classes such as, rogues, time wizards, clerics, guardians, fighters, and a few more I don't remember off the top of my head.

The game has so much to offer, it's hard to make sure I got everything. If I missed something substantial, please let me know.

Overall

This is a very fun and addictive game for those who love RPGs, I've not played much else on my Xbox One since I downloaded it.

8.0/10.0

Pros
- Large variety of classes and races
- Very nice graphics for a large, free game
- Most gear is obtainable in game without any real money spending
- Lots of quest variety

Cons
- Due to the size, and relative newness, there are lots of lag spikes and timeout

- Waiting for a dungeon can take a long time depending on the time you are on

- Tanking, and sometimes healing, are optical for dungeons, you can finish one without them

(images to be added at a later date)