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Category: Gaming

Ancient Enemy : First Thoughts

Posted in Gaming

I had the pleasure of playing the newly released Ancient Enemy by Grey Alien Games on stream this evening. It is a really fun RPG card battler game with an atmospheric and compelling story, underpinned by some great mechanics and customisable loadouts.

Firstly it’s worth pointing out at first the mechanics feel similar to those in Grey Alien Games previous game Shadow Hand (worth a look), but rather than just repeating them they are expanded and reimagined and make up the core being of Ancient Enemy.

These mechanics give you flexibility to take a loadout that suits a certain playstyle, but you will need to work out strategies to overcome an enemy’s resistance or immunities, while ensuring that your own defense can counter whatever they throw at you too.

Added into the mix are Passive abilities and Active abilities, these influence the actual cards inplay on the game board, which are used to accumulate power for your actions.

Defeating enemies unlocks certain items, but you accrue resource point during play also, which allows you to purchase some upgrades too.

So far I’ve put in just 3 hours of playtime and I’m really loving the art style the game employs it fits the overall tone and feel the game has going on.

I plan to to continue the the same save on Sundays stream (9am BST), for those of your following along at home. http://www.twitch.tv/welshtroll

Two Point Hospital DLC – Off the Grid

Posted in Gaming

The latest DLC expansion for Two Point Hospital was released two weeks ago, Off the Grid is the 4th DLC that expands the map of the base game.

Off The Grid focuses on running eco-hospitals over 3 locations, this brings with it:

  • 31 new items for your hospital decoration needs
  • 35 new illnesses, 9 of which are visible ailments and 4 new treatment rooms

The game mixes things up, with the items and levels are eco-centric, with items like a rain water collector that acts like a drink dispenser and beds to grow fruit and veg snacks, the first area I played you are basically building rooms out in the open with the corridors being just outside.

There are additional features like wind turbines and solar panels that come into play as you make your way through the DLC, The first level Wanderoff County Park you didn’t gain money from diagnosing or curing the residents, it came from a wellness Index they had created.

I really did enjoy playing the level even though I could have done with being further along in the base game too.

Another DLC was released at the same time the Exhibition Items Pack which contains 30 new items to clutter up your hospital with, it can be found on the same link above.

I recently got Two Point Hospital for my Switch but I’ve not had chance to get stuck into it yet, so I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

Diablo 3

Posted in Gaming

I don’t think I have really posted about Diablo 3 on my blog aide from when I got started and some seasonal updates, I spotted a post by Jen over at https://bookofjen.net and I thought I should rectify this fact.

I didn’t play D3 at launch despite being a fan of the franchise and I really enjoy ARPG’s as they are always a good method for story telling. Growing up on a diet of isometric RPG titles I think ARPG’s always feel like a natural progression of that genre.

So I picked up Diablo 3 a few of years after the launch and the auction house kerfuffle, when I was on the hunt for a new title to play. I had hear good stuff from friends and the folks on the Gamers with Jobs podcast.

I am a sucker for in-depth lore and of course Diablo lore reaches back to 1997 and is very rich and detailed.
I was fortunate to get the Book of Adria: A Diablo Bestiary as a gift last year and the books contain so many notes and details at aren’t necessarily obvious through the medium of the game.

It’s a Social thing

I have come to really enjoy the social element of the seasonal events, for a 2 month period there is a swarm of activity, we get to help each other out and team up to push Greater Rifts.
It may not be the same a say a raid in a larger scale MMO title, but then it feels more ad-hoc and relaxed which again makes it fun rather than a chore.

Favourite Class

I adore the Crusader class, I endeavour to play it every season where possible, mostly as I love the flexibility that the class brings, it grants me solo play and group play without too much alteration of my build, usually just those elements that offer team support that I usually don’t run if solo.

My second most played is Necromancer, I love this last addition to the D3 class list, it plays so different and has very different options like the health sacrifice elements that makes using it challenging and different.


Do you play Diablo 3?
What is your most enjoyable class?

A new hero rises from the ashes

Posted in Gaming

If you are a City of Heroes/Villains fan you are most likely aware of the goings on of the Server code that has been released and the fact a number of “Rogue” Servers have sprung up (MassivelyOP have decent coverage), I’ve held off joining in on the fun while the landscape stabilised and I also feared having to endure loosing access once more.

I kinda of overcome that fear and wanted to dive into Paragon City and the Rogue Isles, the reason was less about protecting my own experiences and more about allowing Little Troll to try the game out.
Little Troll was 2 years old when the MMORPG City of Heroes/Villains closed it’s doors, Munki and I were not only crushed at the closure of our favourite MMO game but also by the fact we would never be able to share the full experience with LT as he got older.

So I’m not gonna lie to you, the fact that my son has just spent 30 minutes rolling up a character to play with Munki, makes me giddy with excitement and pleased as punch.
Yea he may not like it and the graphical engine is showing it’s age but at least he can experience the multiplayer and teaming elements, discover the back stories with Munki and I.

Yes the Rogues Servers (in their current form) might not be around forever, NCSoft still haven’t officially made any statements about the leaked code and if they are going to let the servers persist.
The Titan Network is once again braving the legal pathways to try and licence having officially community run servers from NCSoft, which may yield a more officially sanctioned environment.


source tweet

Regardless of how long the servers are around for, I think I’m going to enjoy the experience of playing a game close to my heart with my son.

* While I’ve been writing this Munki has been explaining how enhancements work to LT. ūüėÄ

 

A familiar stranglehold

Posted in Gaming

Yesterday over at The Ancient Gaming Noob, Wilhelm posted a great blog entry about platforms challenging Steam, I really encourage you to go and give it a read as my post bounces off alot of the same themes and topics. https://tagn.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/challenging-steam/.

I did starting writing a comment on that post but found that I was rambling a bit so I though I’d type it up here instead.

Kicking things off

Valve got lucky, their game distribution service was never really a store front, it evolved into a platform that other games wanted to be released on.
By reducing the difficultly of online distribution for other non-valve products, it grew into something that now dominates the gaming landscape. 

Many platforms started off like Steam being a delivery solution for one publishers titles, we see that with Origin, BattleNet, Glyph, UPlay, Station and Arc.
This works for their needs but there is very little in the form of other games and titles, the branching out was never a direction that lasted any length of time.

That isn’t to say that new blood isn’t wanted, but any new contender has to fight a battle on two fronts, firstly getting the developers to want to use their platform, secondly convincing users that it’s a platform they should move to and invest in.

Drawing in Devs/Publishers

Epic has outlined how they hope to make their platform different enough to attract developers, with a lower revenue cut of 12% on sales which is a huge reduction compared to the 30% that Valve take via Steam.
That 18% revenue increase maybe enough to encourage more games to give the Epic Store a shot, most likely alongside other digital stores to still feed the player bases established on those platforms.

As a final perk for developers, games that use the Unreal Engine will have the licence charge waive by Epic for using the platform.

Interestingly Epic have suggested that there will be a 14 day 
no-questions-asked refund policy, which sounds great however when you consider the number of smaller titles where the full game can be completed in timescales smaller than 14 days (8 to 10 hours) there maybe some reasons for smaller game developers to avoid the platform.

Drawing in Users

New users with very few game purchases under their belt aren’t going to have any issues trying out a new platform. A percentage of their game are possibly Free to Play titles and they aren’t financially invested to heavily in a single platform.

As Wilhelm mentions, for some time Twitch has been dishing out monthly free games (for prime members) to encourage users to download their Twitch Desktop App.
Epic seem to be chasing a similar model to encourage users to adopt the platform as there digital home with one free game every fortnight.

However the biggest hurdle is that I, like many other gamers, have a huge investment in Steam, not only in my game library but in the auxiliary elements that have grown around it over the years.
These include such things as : Communities, Friends, Workshop items, Guides, Achievements,Wishlist and finally the ability to purchase real world store cards.

It terms of moving away from steam I enjoy Gog and have purchased a number of games on that platform when I don’t want to have to deal with steam, usually for modding reasons.
GoG connect has also allowed me to claim some of my titles on the DRM Free platform, additionally some of my Purchases via humble bundle have also included a DRM free copy of the game.
However none of these things go far enough to draw me away from Steam for long.

Swap Shop

Competition is healthy and anything to give players more choice is a good thing. It could help to drive down the revenue cut that other platforms are taking and result in a better landscape for developers and players.

There are so many additional launchers sitting on my hard drive until such a time as I need to use them, they aren’t loading on start up, they usually take an age to patch when I have to interact with them.
This is the reality of a gamers PC, we load those most important regularly but the others just gather dust as they were the chosen platform for that one game you really wanted.

On the Epic store that game is likely to be¬†Rebel Galaxy Outlaw for me, as I really enjoyed the first game and I’d like to try and support the developers.

Only time is going to tell what impact Epic will have on the the gaming store scene, hopefully if nothing else it will shake things up a bit.