Levels

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The latest couchpodtatoes episode covers this topic while agree with much of what was said, I wanted to write up a response to the topic that was discussed on the show, mostly as it’s a topic that I feel can break a game.

I have wax lyrically about games that avoid levels before now.
First up is how The City of Heroes/Villains game looked to reduce the dependance on levels through it’s Mentor system, I’ll not cover the same information other than to say, the system was one of the main reason that players would persist with a character even when reaching level 50. The ability to sidekick lower characters up to your level or malefactor down to theirs made playing with your friends so easy.

The introduction of level-less enemies in bigger events such as Rikti invasions. The damage a character did was relative to the power of the attack they used for a level 5 and a level 50 character could effectively do the same amount of damage if they used the same attack against an enemy.

The final use of the game system was allowing you to run Task/Strike Forces and timetravel missions that were restricted to a certain level. This allowed you to complete achievements and play through earlier game content without re-rolling.

Progress

The second part of the conversation was about horizontal progression, the only one that I could think that had a very low diagonal progression was the original Planetside game. Ok so it had levels, but the levels only really granted you certificates. The more you got the more you would be able to learn, however your loadout was limited to a number of slots and you couldn’t take everything you had learnt with you. You could unlearn a certificate every 24 hours, allowing you to change your play style.

It’s at this point that a player at level 1 could take out an enemy player who was level 20 as the levels didn’t give you any advantage to your power/damage/targeting etc. There are many that will argue that the veteran player will have more experience and thus will be better in a fight, this is true however the flexibility of the game was to allow you to progress without only getting kills as support activities were rewarded.

#Progression #CityOfVillains #Planetside

SoW: Update 2 & Bragging Rights

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Over the past week I have played SoW almost everyday, the short match times work nicely with the time I have to game. Warhead is still my favourite character and remains in rotation of the free Sentinels which means I’ve not always been fast enough to pick him at selection. However I have been using the Vs bots game to try out some of the other characters and after some experimenting with various loadouts, I’m happy that I can play most of them comfortably, while trying to opt for Warhead in PvP matches.

I’ve dinged level 13 but since there are no profiles beyond your own to interact with, I have no concept of what that means in the overall picture of the player ranks, ranks being something on the pending list.

As this is most likely my last Bragtoberfest post I’d like to give a big thank you to Izlain and j3w3l for organising everything it’s been great fun and here is my current Brag around my SoW progress.

sow_brag

Me elsewhere

Additionally if you are a fan of the Couchpodtatoes podcast you should check out episode 19 where I make my second guest appearance,  this time talking about PvP. I have mixed (almost confused views) on what PvP I like and what PvP annoys me.

I jump in to play some Archeage with J3w3l for the last weekend event, after a number of false starts in which I confused East and West, (plus didn’t realise the races had different starter areas in the same alliance). I finally got some questing done, the character was created on the NA server list so I may roll another on the EU servers to play in earnest, time allowing.

Final shout to

Congratulations to the Alliance of Awesome members and to Stargrace who did 24 hour of gaming for Extralife. I have been planning on doing this one year, but have yet to get it sorted, will tag-team with FlyinPinkMunki maybe.

#MOBA #ShardsOfWar #Bragtoberfest

SoW – Progress week 1

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I have played some more Shards of War this week, fitting in a few matches each day.
The games is still in development and hopefully things like the matchmaking will improve as time passes.

I wasn’t aware until this week that the “Dragon” could be obtained and used to lane push, similar to Strifes giant white ape. Still lots to learn it seems.

Of those sentinels in rotation at the moment I’ve been focused on the following:

Cobra_IconCobra

A close range assassin with a stun, teleport and PBAoE blade attack, his basic attacks are short ranged, meaning you have to be very close to the fight to start with. The teleport can be used to jump out of sticky situations as well as ganking.

His ultimate morphs the other 2 skills into and enhanced version for a single use, powerful if you can jump into a group of enemy sentinels.

Passive: increases movement speed when a skill hits

 Gemini_IconGemini

A pet focused character one focused on attack the other on healing.
The standard attack is long range and secondary attacks have a nice slow effect.

Imp the attack bot is not that heavy but can add a little more damage to a fight and if you use the secondary attack will target the same enemy if in range, doubling up the damage and slow effect.

Seraph is the heal bot, who when not in use enables Geminis passive heal ability, but can be targeted on Gemini or other friendly sentinels.

Warhead_IconWarhead

I have played enough matches to accrue 10000 credits which allowed me to purchase a new sentinel.

Warhead is a ranged pusher and as the name suggests his attacks are somewhat focused on missiles.

His basic attack is long range and his passive gives him a bonus versus drones.
His secondary attack is a single rocket TAoE that deals damage to all in the blast radius as well as slowing them.

Armed with a stun grenade and a volley of rockets, I’ve only played one match with him and I have to say it was very fun. His ultimate is Steel Rain and Warhead is immobilised while using it, but it fires multiple rockets into a selected area. Ideal if you can catch 2 or more enemy sentinels.

#ShardsOfWar #MOBA

Waves of Co-op Fun

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Yesterday FlyinPinkMunki and I joined in with another Bragtoberfest event playing some Team Fortress 2 with Izlain, Doone, Roger and Jeromai.
As shooters go TF2 is such good fun, compared the game to other modern shooters and the classes are much more varied and give you many different roles to play.Perhaps it’s why it’s so easy to drop into a game and get the feel for a class with in the first few minutes.

We played some games in the Mann Versus Machine mode, which was rather fun. It reminded me of Sanctum  in terms of waves of enemies you have to stop reaching an objective.
I’ll be frank it’s rather difficult to defeat the waves of enemies but overall satisfying

It’s certainly something I would try to do again with a group, maybe even random group.

killingfloorKilling Floor

We finished the evening with the Killing Floor, a co-op survival horror that was in the Free to try games on Steam this weekend.

I have to say I’d not read anything about the game and it took a little while to figure out the mechanics and playstyle needed.

The concept works well, even if sometimes the logic made me confused (invisible zombies?!). The foes come in waves and at the end of each you had access to a shop were you could  purchase more ammo, weapons and buy/repair your armour.

The final match we played was 6 waves then a boss, by this time we had some half decent ordnance and the final fight wasn’t was tricky as the first few waves were.

#TeamFortress2 #KillingFloor #Bragtoberfest

A whole lotta Moba

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I can’t say I have ever been a sports fan, in a traditional sense at least. While younger I would often get caught up in sports that were on the TV but I have to admit that I’m enjoying the e-sports element that League of Legends brings to the table.

The World series is currently running at the moment and I’m rather hooked, this year the matches are taking place in Seoul which means they broadcast around 8-9am my time. This has allowed me to watch more of the matches, compared to the last one that was mostly on in the early hours of the morning meaning I could only really watch the highlights, except for the final which I got up at 3am to watch.

I have to admit having my ChromeCast means I can stream the matches to my TV while gaming rather than tying up my monitor grants me a little freedom.

Guess I'll be setting my alarms this Sunday

Guess I’ll be setting my alarms this Sunday

As part of Bragtoberfest we played Strife which brands itself as a NextGen Moba, a Moba two-point-oh if you rather. In fact we had a good time playing and despite that the games mechanics are designed to appeal to the more general player.
I have gone back and played Strife a few times since then and find the experience to be generally rewarding.

For me there are few key elements that made the game appealing,

  • The items and power setup is more simplistic, yeap there are fewer but it works well in the context
  • At the moment all the Heros/champions/characters are playable, which gives a much wider selection to choose and learn, this may change.
  • The standard map is smaller than League or maybe the movement speed is faster, but it certainly feels faster paced.
  • There is a giant white ape to lane push for you
  • You don’t have to return to base to shop, as you have a gopher:// that will bring them to you
  • Which is nice as health regen feels much higher than other mobas

jinxSo as a result of playing Strife I patched League of Legends and threw myself into some matches. I know, I know, I have recently waxed lyrically about how Mobas aren’t my cup of tea.
And in a way I still find the duration a little troublesome in my whole game/life balance, but with some forward planning I have been trailing some of the rotation heroes and have bought and been playing Jinx.

This is war

Meanwhile a facebook friends company has just rolled out a new Moba into beta and I have jumped onto that bandwagon too, although my reasons are not quite the same as Strife
Shards of War has a futuristic setting, which makes a nice change, also the game has a WASD control system rather than using the mouse, which is now only concerned with targeting.

300px-Sow_logo

The action keys are RightMouse, E, [Space] and R, so far I haven’t found it too confusing, the rotation of Sentinels is 5 but currently there are only 10 in total. Like Strife there is a crafting system for Items, but i’ve not fully got into that side of things yet.
The final nice point to playing this is that The matches last about 20 minutes, which is much easier to schedule.

#Bragtoberfest #MOBA #LeagueOfLegends