State of the Game: Too Hot to Care

sotg

It’s been a while since I’ve done a round up post, and if you’re wondering why this hasn’t been a weekly occurrence lately, I did mention the last time I did one of these posts that I was going to relegate it to “when necessary.” This means I’ll only make a State of the Game post when I have a multitude of titles to talk about and/or haven’t posted in a while. Real life has kept me afk a bit, but mainly when it comes to posting here; I’ve still been playing games of course.

Overall I’ve spent the most time playing League of Legends as usual. There’s been a bunch of news coming down the pipeline, and I have a bunch of links rounded up for your viewing pleasure. First of all, patch 5.13 is about to hit (or already did) and with it there are the typical tweaks and changes, the biggest being the adjustments to the cost of Needlessly Large Rod, which is a main component for most items that AP carries use. You can read the full patch notes here. There was a teaser and a reveal of the newest champion coming to the game, Tahm Kench, along with a Q&A session that will get you acquainted with him. I have already saved up the IP to pick him up when he releases later on with this patch. He’s a tanky support champion, and I look forward to trying him out in that role.

Like the earlier themed events surrounding the Shadow Isles, the Freljord, and Shurima, the newest event coming to League deals with Bilgewater, and there’s some information here. From the looks of it, it’s just a new skin for the ARAM map, which will be called “Butcher’s Bridge,” but still holds to the same ruleset as the Howling Abyss did. However, there is a new game mode that’s coming along with it, including new items, mercenaries and currency. It’s a lot to take in, so you can read more about “Black Market Brawlers” over here.

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As Bilgewater is a home to many pirates, it’s fitting that the two most famous pirates of the game get reworks as well. Not only will their character models and skins be updated, but their kits have been tweaked as well. Gangplank has had his E reworked completely, and now has a special currency he can use to upgrade his ultimate. Miss Fortune hasn’t had much done to her kit, save for her passive being changed slightly and her E now activates her passive instantly. Otherwise they’re still the pirate and pirate hunter you know and love. Don’t know if this will bring Gangplank top back to the meta and/or change up the AP MF mid meta, but we’ll see how it goes.

The rest of my play time was pretty equally divided between Fallout: New Vegas and Dirty Bomb. I’ve mentioned them both on Twitter/Couch Podtatoes a few times, but haven’t delved into them much here on the blog, so I guess now’s as good a time as any. I borrowed FNV from my brother-in-law when I went to visit a couple of weeks ago and actually started playing the game there, then just uploaded the save game to the cloud and pulled it back down when I got home. At that point I had only cleared Goodsprings and the next little outpost, still trying to figure out who the hell it was that tried to kill me.

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The future of invisible weaponry

Crappy cell phone pic aside, the Space Suit armor has done me just fine. However, it seems a bit buggy when you are forced to disarm in certain areas but still look like you’re holding a gun. I’ve found quite a few other bugs, and for a game this old you’d think they’d have worked out all of the bugs by now. Overall though, the game runs fine and hasn’t kept me from completing quests or anything of that nature. Soon enough I found myself in New Vegas, where various factions hold sway and I was presented with options to either help out the infamous Mr. House or to take his place. Other factions vying for control also want my help, and though I started my career as the people’s champion, I’ve done some backhanded devious things in the time since.

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Mr. House… I’m coming for you!

Spoiler alert, I killed Mr. House and took over his army of Sentry Bots, along with upgrading them in a hidden bunker. Now I’m dealing with Caesar, and a group of assholes who bomb the everloving shit out of anyone who comes near their AFB. Good times. I’m not sure what percentage of the main story I’ve completed, but I’ve already decided to avoid doing all of the side quests because I don’t have access to the DLC/expansions and don’t want to pay for them. So I’m not going for the “total experience” and just trying to complete the game to prepare for Fallout 4.

Dirty Bomb is in open Beta right now, and it’s a team based shooter, with classes and objectives. It’s quite a bit like Team Fortress 2, but with more modern shooter conventions. There really isn’t a whole lot to say there, outside of I’ve been having a blast playing it. This past weekend there was a new game mode that was open for testing, but it basically plays like Counter-Strike, and since I already own that game I don’t see the need for that mode at this point in time. The Objectives and Stopwatch (which is still objectives, you just have to beat the opposing team’s time) modes are plenty so I think I’ll be avoiding it altogether. There’s also a fresh announcement for a new character that’s being added to the game. There aren’t a whole bunch of characters to choose from as is, but the ones on offer feel different enough to keep things fresh. It’s free to play, so if this sounds like your cup of tea you can jump into it right now. I can happily report that there are plenty of people to play with at all hours of the day, so population woes aren’t a thing just yet.

Lastly I’ve been playing a bunch of indie games on my Steam account. Some old, some new, but all fun. Mainly I’ve been playing Ironcast and Basement which I’ve mentioned in past posts, but I also played a little bit of Broforce, Delver, Deep Dungeons of Doom and Nuclear Throne. Many of these titles have had updates since the last time I played them, so it was worth taking another look (especially since they are in early access development). In Ironcast I’ve finally managed to make it to the last boss of the game, but that fucker hits like a truck!

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Not fair.

Look at the size of him? It appears that actions you take during the countdown (of days before you have to fight the boss) affect the amount of “ground troops” that will remove some of the boss’ health before the fight, but as you can see despite removing a chunk of his health he still has a hell of a lot more than I do. He also basically one shots your systems, and killed me within a few turns. In the process I opened up another new pilot, but I’m not sure how I’m ever going to actually beat this guy. I suppose that’s why there’s the global experience bar, and eventually it will be easy enough to complete. Time will tell.

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Drugs anyone?

Basement is a fun little time waster that recently released in early access and I find it pretty entertaining, but obviously not finished. There is no tutorial, there’s no tooltips that are very helpful, it’s sort of just there. You have to figure out everything yourself. Thankfully it is mostly self explanatory, but there have been times where I’ve wanted to do something that seems like an obvious action, but can’t find the way to do it. For instance, see that little building on the left in the above picture? That was inhabited by police. I started in the building on the right. When I decided to send employees to attack the smaller building, it was so that I could expand my operation. I’m guessing the end goal it to take over the whole street, as it were. So anyway, after sending my employees over and taking over the building, there is no way to send them back to the original building, so I lose out on anyone who dies but then have a bunch of idle hands. You can fire the employees and hire new ones, but that seems counter productive when employees level up over time. So yeah, there’s a great framework here for a strategy/simulation game, but it seems there are features that need to be added to make it truly great. I’ll be keeping an eye on this one for the time being.

Lastly, I spent some time at my friend’s house over the course of the last few weeks and we’ve been playing through the Halo Master Chief Collection co-op. We beat Halo a couple weeks back and are now closing in on beating Halo 2. 3 & 4 are still on the horizon beyond that. I’ll say that there are leaps and bounds in the controls and graphics of each game, but man the older versions show how dated FPS engines can really suck. I don’t think playing these games when they first released would have really changed my opinion either. I find that the story of Halo is basically nonexistent or I just don’t care about it. It comes down to shitty weapons and shitty gunplay. I hope that the newer games help change my opinion, because I feel bad for Halo fans the world-around, as much better FPS experiences can be had elsewhere. I’ll hold that judgement until I beat the others, but I’m not overly impressed.

That’s about it for this round up. See you around.

#stateofthegame #roundup

State of the Game: Monster Summer Sale

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I should go on record and say that this round up, despite originally being planned as a weekly update to my gaming life, isn’t necessarily going to come out each week. I’m relegating it to the same status as my State of the Tweet series, where I only put it out when it’s necessary, i.e. when I have good stuff to share to warrant a round up post. Since weeks past were taken up by the NBI and building my new computer, I didn’t have as much to write about (though that didn’t stop me from more normal posting, just didn’t feel a round up was necessary on top of those posts). This week I pre-planned what I would throw into this post, so here were are. As I said, don’t expect this each week, but it will still be fairly regular.

It’s that time of year again, yeah it’s summer. That means it’s hot outside, the sun is too damn bright, and a myriad of sales are hitting digital storefronts. GOG’s summer sale is winding down, Humble Bundle has always got something great, and of course, the Steam Monster Summer Sale is going on right now.

It never fails, when the summer sale comes along I don’t have the hundreds of dollars I would like to spend, picking up all of the games on my wishlist on the cheap. However, this is probably good for my backlog, which I can’t seem to keep from expanding. I probably finish one game for every 2-3 I pick up. Some of the games I’ve earned through bundles or found for free aren’t all that great though, so I really only count the games I actually want to complete. The deals are still pretty much the same, and the flash deals tend to be a deeper discount than the daily deals, but you never know what’s going to pop up there, and a couple of times I was pleasantly surprised. But I digress.

The promotion this year is a little different, in that there’s an actual game to play, rather than just making votes on what games go on sale. I much prefer this to last year’s event. It’s not much of a game, but it’s a fun little diversion, and you earn cards for participating. So far I’ve reached level 280 at my max, but I have seen people in the 1,500 range, so that’s not as impressive. Either way, I’ve earned the badge that comes with the event, though I haven’t bothered with trying to make the badge with the cards. I just sold those off for more funds to put towards games, as I typically do.

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Again, it’s not the most amazing gaming experience, but I still feel it’s an improvement over last year’s sale. I picked up a few titles, some of which you’ll probably recognize:

I picked up Valkyria Chronicles for $4.99, down from it’s original $20 asking price. It’s actually an old PS3 game that came out quite some time ago, and I had already seen it in action as my brother-in-law had picked it up a few years back. It was only ported to the PC at the tail end of last year, and though I had toyed with picking it up before, I couldn’t pass up the $5 price, especially since I already had that on my account. I have only played through the first few missions, but I like what I have seen so far. I talked about that in more detail on the last episode of Couch Podtatoes though, so I won’t go into it further.

My Dad was in the giving spirit as well, and had told me that he was going to gift me a copy of a game that we both had on our wishlists, but when he purchased the game and tried to play it, it wouldn’t run. So he’s utilizing the new Steam refund service, and gave me the option to pick out a game that was a similar price. I decided to get two less expensive games, and ended up with Ironcast and CS:GO. I’m sure you all know what Counter-Strike is. I actually already own a copy on my PS3, but I wanted it on the PC, where updates are more likely to happen more often. Plus, me and eSports go hand in hand these days, so I figured I’d get plenty of hours into this version. I played a bit earlier and it looks better on the PC as well, in my opinion.

Ironcast is a title you might not recognize, I just happened to catch it when it released and added it to my wishlist. It’s tagged as “Puzzle Quest meets FTL” and has a victorian steampunk feel to it. If you’ve played Puzzle Quest, it will instantly look familiar to you. I loved PQ2, so this was a no-brainer. I don’t have any match-3 type games on my Steam account outside of PQ2, so I figured it was time I got for when I’m in the mood for that type of gameplay. I have yet to try it, so more on that later.

Lastly, I picked up the How To Survive Storm Warning bundle. It’s the base game + expansions. I also noticed that in a couple of weeks there’s a 3rd person mod version coming out that also might be interesting, but I didn’t buy that. I want to make sure I actually like the game before worrying about it. I pulled the trigger simply because I typically like action RPGs, survival games, and zombies. Plus, the whole package was only $.99, so how could I refuse?

Outside of the sale, I have been playing League of Legends and H1Z1 pretty regularly. I’ve been doing a bunch of streaming, recording and video editing recently (outside of the blog posts and podcasting as well) so there isn’t going to be much else for me to talk about, though I have been enjoying all of it very much. My last post contained my H1Z1 gameplay video that I slapped together, and I just finished up making this one for LoL:

I picked up Ekko about a week after his release with IP I had been saving. I also had some RP lying around and picked up a few skins, one of which you’ll see in the video when I’m playing Nautilus (and it’s an awesome skin!). There’s some normals and some ARAMs in the video, and it’s mostly just highlights of big plays, but nothing too amazing. I’m really just putting it out there for feedback on things I can do to improve my video edits. So please, leave some commentary here or on my YouTube channel. Thanks!

That’s all I have for this week. Til next time.

#stateofthegame #steamsummersale #gaming