Ancient Enemy : First Thoughts

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

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.

RPG Notetaking

I always like take notes when playing Tabletop Role Playing Games, however moving into the digital world I have found it tricker to do.

If course I can use a pen and paper or one of the numerous erasable notebooks. The paper solution is kind of wasteful, but when the games run on for years it can be difficult to find the right note book/pages or you may have destroyed the notes in that time.

So I’m sold on writing and keeping them digitally, there are a number of solutions that take your notes and digitise them but that again suffers from the difficulty in searching through them.
I have tried to use a note on Roll20 to keep track of them however as I have my windows pop-out of the main window, which when it goes into edit mode, re-attaches itself to the main window, vrenders it frustrating as it’s in the way of the scene.


So for the last month I’ve been testing out CherryTree which as the name suggests makes use of a tree structure to allow you to build a hierarchical structure for your notes.

The application has a huge list of features that I won’t begin to list but I’ll pick the most useful for me and my TTRPG note taking my requirements which are fairly straightforward.

  1. Customisable Colours and Fonts
    I want a dark scheme but not always black or grey, I need to able to read it comfortably.
  2. RichText
    An editor that allows me to highlight words and even cut and paste
  3. Link between Nodes for cross referencing
    To help referencing information between different areas
  4. Ability to search
    Straightforward I know but I want to be able to find data as and when I need to refer back to it.

So far I’m very happy with the application and I can even export nodes into PDF if I want to share anything with other team members.

Diablo 3

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?

Re-enjoying soundtracks

There is something wonderful about listening to a game soundtracks, they have the great ability to trigger our memories

  • maybe taking you back to a game you have recently completed
  • maybe a game that you played in your youth
  • maybe it reminds you of a certain area or dungeon from a MMO
  • maybe they just trigger other memories from different periods of your life.

So for this post I thought I’d share some of my favourite game music.

Planetside

Planetside was one of my main MMO’s, the music was larger than life with a heavily military undertones. While playing the music was allocated to regions, but would also change as a fighting increased, ultimately blending into music that indicated victory or defeat.

Streets of Rage

The Streets of Rage music was great, the Yuzo Koshiro chip-tune tracks are instantly recognisable and have stuck with me for years.
Given the games had limited space for music, and the music had a limited note range, the soundtracks never felt as if they were repetitive to the point of annoyance, which if you listen to many game tracks from the same era they would likely force you to switch the game off for some respite.

The Chronicles of Spellborn

A unique game setting, with a unique combat system and artwork style.
The Chronicles of Spellborn was a game that I felt didn’t shy away from darker world elements, this also tied into the artwork style that blended the fantasy setting into something more rugged.

Command and Conquer

The C&C soundtrack was a wonderful experience, I always enjoyed the fact the game had the two paths each feeling different and the music through-out the series cemented the different tone of each.

The Secret World

The Secret World needed a theme that would allude to the cloaked underworld that exists just beneath the surface of our world, the power that was hided from everyday life.
For me the title theme managed to nail that vision rather nicely in my opinion and even though the game has relaunched as The Secret World Legends it is still one of my favourite MMO intro/main pieces.

More?

If you enjoy MMO soundtracks then I strongly advise you to check out the Battle Bards Postcast https://twitter.com/battlebardscast it’s the world’s only podcast that is centered around MMO music.
Each episode the trio of hosts take you on a journey through different MMO soundscapes.