Indie fix

So much to cover but in a quick format post:

FTL : Faster than light

The game that kicked up a storm on kickstarter is now out and the name perfectly sums up how time passes when you pick up this title. It’s placed in the genre Roguelike, the setting being in space still has a dungeon-crawler vibe to it, that said the game has many other components that give it a rather unique feel.
A play-through can last between 3 (if very unlucky) to around 90 minutes, of course you have to get used to 1 life/Permadeath model but that is of course is what makes it so addictive with that “just one more try” nature.
This game is wonderfully simple but hugely satisfying, you get to unlock new ships and configurations then embark on a trial and error journey to find out how to utilise it best. I’ve put in 41 hours into FTL so far and I’ve still not had a succesful run through.

 

They Bleed Pixels

If you enjoy playing soul crushingly difficult yet very rewarding platformers then this game is for you. A tricky game where you control a character who has to battle monsters and out-smart puzzles of increasing difficulty, the controls are few but are built in such as way you get some fantastic combo-attack chains and combinations of the button open up more attacks. As the name implies there is a lot of pixel blood flying around in this game, oh and it’s very fun to play, I’ve been following development of the game for some time now, glad it’s finally arrived.

GSB update 1.60

Cliffski has produced a new patch for Gratuitous Space Battles that introduces the functionality to direct ships mid battle, this allows you to alter the way/order that your ships engage the enemy, this small change has big impact to how a battle can pan out.

The ability to hold back ships in reserve or to perform flanking manoeuvres, gives players great control on the battlefield. You can read more about it over at Cliffskis blog or just patch your client and try it 🙂

Humble Bundle

While we are on the indie vibe the latest HB launched this week and has some great games and soundtracks. The last one I bought was purely to get the Bastion soundtrack which was $9.99 on steam and for $7 I got 6 games and 4 soundtracks, plus it gave a little to charity.

Hoping to not get my hopes up

The titan network has been a big part of the City Of Heroes/Villains for 4-5 years now. Hosting a number of unique and feature heavy applications such as the City Info Terminal (tracker) which allows players to log character information and track badges, over the years they also became home to Paragon Wiki, Mids Hero Designer (for those min/max folks) and even a social site with CoH Faces.

The network is now the staging area for the “Save Paragon City!” campaign, the aim is to try and save the game in some form, either with NCSoft or via a 3rd party. The petition that started after the announce now has over 16,000 signatures (at the time writing this) and even has some

Last night Rachy and I took part in a protest that was co-ordinated to happen in-game on the Virtue server, we rolled some new characters and arrived 10 minutes before the start. When we arrived there were at least 29 instances of Atlas Park and it maxed out at 33 instances before the server reached capacity, the video below is a composite of 3000 characters from the instances shown in one clip.

The affection for the game becomes very apparent when you see the community rally together to save the game and I’m enjoyed reading all the blog posts topic on peoples introduction to the game and their favourite moments.

There is no real way of telling if the actions of the community will have any impact on the closure, as Positron says “Whether or not this works you’ll have done one thing: changed forever the way MMOs get sunset.”. I think that’s the thing that everyone takes comfort in the fact that we didn’t go without showing how much it means to us fans.

There have been some great posts about being realistic when it comes to the future of the game, Sente sums up a lot of those thoughts with his post NCSoft is not Evil I suggest a read if you haven’t already.

TSW – Dig yourself, Lazarus

I’ve been meaning to cover the Secret World Issue 2 (Digging Deeper) update that will be landing in the next week, but got a little distracted. So here it is better later than never.

Issue 2 has been delayed due the Funcom restructuring, Ragnar took some time to explain this in the recent “State of the Game” post. I find that Funcoms attitude to communications is one that doesn’t try to hide behind figures or bold statements, but rather talk about those games they know will be pulling on players free time and purse strings. I’m glad this is the case and they know that they next few months maybe tough due to this fact.

First up in Issue 2 is the Plastic Surgeon and Barbershop : expanding beyond the usual character creation screens is a favourite in MMOs, Funcom are looking to introduce new features and a selection of new heads, but like any good supplier the first time is free but future use with cost you. Peter Stormare is playing the part of Dr Anton Aldini in an abandoned abattoir.

New missions : The focus looks to be on adding more action and investigation missions.

Auxiliary weapon slot:  The new feature looks to be adding an 8th power to the toolbar, the initial weapon will be the rocket launcher with a hint towards chainsaws as future possible weapon choice. Obtaining this extra weapon sound like it will take the player to some different locations and with different factions.

Looks like issue 3 will have some Halloween content built in too.

If you want to add me in TSW my avatar is called Singyle.

And now for the song in the title:

City of disappointment

“Be warned this post is about City of Heroes/Villains and maybe a little fan-boyish in places.”

I’ve spent the last few days catching up on various post around the web and decided that I would link to some of them here.

  • Rock, Paper, Shotgun – A great post detailing how it was a favourite long before RPS came into being.
  • Broken Toys – Scott has to bite his tongue a little on responding to the news but is proud to have work with Paragon Studios.
  • The Wild Boar Inn – A nicely written piece that details how the game was the stepping stone into the MMO scene, always mentions the Captain Dynamic videos.
  • Kill Ten Rats – Zubon talks about his time has been well spend in the game, after all he is the CoH guy
  • A Ding World – Sente talks about the key factors of the game not being the setting but the community and developers, his post has linked to a number of the Red name farewell posts and “removing the mask” community post with player posting real life pictures.
  • Biobreak – Syp the keep of the MMO timeline relates how the closure is the first that he really cares about, with it being their to draw him back for the fun.
  • KIASA – I saved this one until last. In the non-traditional way you need to read, watch, then read the final quote. It manages to sum up what I could never hope to write.

I’ve enjoyed reading posts by so many people saying that it was their first MMO or the one that they have the fondest memories of. The fact that many hold it in such high regard, despite not having played for many years, speaks volumes about the title.

Final link I promise, I wanted to send you to read this entry that was posted a week before the closure news, but does a great job of highlighting just how much the game managed to bring people together.

What now?

I have been pondering how I can best use the time remaining to capture elements of the game, so far my list is this:

  • Grab some friends and tackle some missions or tasks forces over the remaining time.
  • Character database – A index of all my characters powers, bios, badges etc
  • Capture some in game footage – for a farewell video and for short clips
  • I may join my wife and plan to get a tattoo of some variety CoX related.
To any one the knows my wife and I, you will be aware that unlike many CoX players we pretty much played Villains 98% of the time this is realised by the Arachnos Cape that hangs on the kitchen door and a Lord Recluse Statue in our living room. One day we’ll pack them away but not just yet.

The pleasure was all mine

There has never been gaming news that has impacted this household as much as NCSofts recent announcement regarding the City of Heroes franchise and the Paragon Development team.

When Rachy and I started playing the game it was a instant hit with us both. We enjoyed everything from the costume customisations to figuring out the best build strategies. We would take part in the seasonal events, badge hunting, Giant Monster take downs, Raids, it was a big part of our gaming life.

I was trying to pick one thing that I found most enjoyable but It’s very difficult to name just one so I’ll go with community/choice/storytelling/lore, I really can’t decide.

Part of the community

In 2008 we had the pleasure of meeting up with hordes of UK players at Omega Sketor in Birmingham, this fantastic event was the hard work of RockJaw and his community team. In addition we got to meet and talk with Melissa “War Witch” Bianco. We UK based players pretty much never meet game designers from the MMOs we play and I will always remember the effort that was made to make us feel like part of the bigger CoH community.

Of course we had no idea that we would be immortalised in the game world and it’s something that I still find quite odd but strangely comforting, with War Witch to thank for this small but fantastic gesture.

Friends

We’ve met some fantastic people via the game,  I follow many on twitter, read their blogs, some even get added on Facebook (which is not a usual activity for me), there are some that we have become very close to, so much so that they are godparent to our son.

The the bonds of friendship that are forged in games like this can be as strong as those made in real life. To people looking at this it must seem rather strange and I would agree if I’d not experienced that type of friendship first-hand.

Final Farewells

I see people are planning on how to spend the last few months in the game, Samuraiko is planning on making one last video, some want to say thank you to the development team via twitter and forums, others are signing a petition to try and keep the game going, some are recording footage of the game to remember it by.

I think I shall aim to try and save as much information about my characters as possible so I can look back on all the fun that I had creating, designing and levelling them up.

I leave you a link to this forum post by Melissa “War Witch” Bianco.
EDIT: and one from Matt “Positron” Miller.