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Friday, January 15, 2016

Gaming News for the Week

That's Why It's Called the King of Battle

Armored Warfare


Here is a game I've hardly mentioned on my blog. It's not because I don't play it. I've actually got many, many hours of game play videos recorded. It's mostly because I'm not sure what to say about it. It's a lot like World of Tanks except it has PvE content that's pretty good. I've mostly stuck to that as I've learned the game. I've only been in one PvP match and pretty much got pwned as you can see on the screen capture above.

One thing that appears different from WoT, because I've not actually played WoT, is the speed of the game play. I've watched a LOT of WoT game play videos courtesy of The Mighty Jingles and Corelin on Digital.Flash.Fire (also of Mad Haberdashers fame.) And believe me, Armored Warfare is way faster. I suppose that's because it's 2nd half of the 20th century tanks and they are just way faster than 1st half of the 20th century tanks.

One thing I can definitely say about Armored Warfare is it's still in the early stages of development. The game works, but it needs a lot of balancing and tweaking. The latest developer blog, published every Friday, highlights a lot of the work that still needs done. Once the work is complete, this will be a very fun game. It's already superior to WoT in many ways, and not just because it provides hardcore cooperative PvE. In fact, if anything kills this game it will be the hardcore cooperative PvE. If they make it too good, no one will ever want to PvP.

Mining in Elite Dangerous

Elite Dangerous


I went ahead an purchased Elite Dangerous: Horizons. I haven't attempted any landings. I'd like to wait until they have planetary landings and not just moon landings. However, I did purchase a Cobra Mark VI to do some mining and go along with my Vulture. Mining is pleasant. Put on some tunes and just gather ore which the ship automatically processes into metal. I find that it's easy to make a quarter million credits and hour. That's not as much as I could make rare trading, but it is a lot less stressful.

Yesterday there was and interesting article from Time about Elite: Dangerous. Yeah, you read that correctly - Time. Seems Frontier Developments released sales figures and the game has sold 1.4 million copies. Back of the envelope math tells me that's about 80 million dollars of income. That's not the 105,649,690 (as of the writing of this sentence) raised by Star Citizen, but Elite: Dangerous is playable now. And the 1.4 million players exceeds the 1,165,962 backers of Star Citizen. I am certain there is a lot of overlap in the player base, but it shows strong support for space sims in general. Doesn't it? As the Time article points out, they will never be Grand Theft Auto - they require more game savvy to play than that title - but they are certainly capable of being profitable when done correctly. And Elite: Dangerous certainly does it correctly in my book. The one thing that isn't clear is if that 1.4 million figure also includes purchases of the recent Elite Dangerous: Horizon's expansion.

The next big update for Elite: Dangerous is multi-crew game play. From what I've read, they intend on dividing roles like pilot and weapons officer among multiple players so each can concentrate on keeping the ship in one piece. As the developers said at EGX last fall,
"You'll be able to share and alternate control of weapons systems, turrets and flight duties to multiply your effectiveness. Even to the extent of piloting a ship-launched fighter and working in combination with the mothership. It’ll be especially useful in some of the very large trading ships coming in season two."
Looking good Frontier! Keep up the excellent work!

The Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift


Pricing for the Oculus Rift was announced last week. I detailed my feelings on the matter in my last post Oculus Rift... or Ripoff? I've been disappointed by pre-orders in the past, so I think I'll keep my money to myself for awhile. It's not like I won't be able to buy one when they finally start shipping, and waiting a week or two to get it while they service the pre-orders doesn't bother me. Besides, maybe I'll have another reason by then to upgrade my motherboard. And perhaps I'll be able to buy just the Rift at a better price point. I already have an Xbox One controller for my PC. I don't want another. For that matter, the case can go too. It's not like I'm going to be lugging my full size gaming desktop PC anywhere. Why do I need a case? Someone needs to fire Oculus' marketing idiots and give us just the headset.

SWTOR - Defeating Darth Decimus

Star Wars: The Old Republic


It's that time of year where subscribers get paid in SWTOR. This is evidently a not so new new thing. IDK, I'm still a SWTOR noob. Nevertheless, as I am a subscriber, evidently I get a droid and a jet pack mount and other things to be announced each month until August. I'm cool with that. :-) I still have the original speeder I got as a new character. I just haven't felt like spending coin on a different one as it gains me nothing in speed. But I do like the idea of hovering my way around the galaxy strapped into my personal jet pack. It's the 21st century after all, and reality as sorely let me down on that point! I'll just have to get my jet pack fix virtually. I wonder if SWTOR will ever go 3D...

But more importantly, the next chapter in Knights of the Fallen Empire is coming on February 11, 2016. It is titled Anarchy in Paradise. The funny thing for me is, I got into SWTOR for Knights of the Fallen Empire, and I have yet to play it. I decided I should learn the ropes so to speak first, so I started with a first level smuggler named Caius. I got so wrapped up in his story, I didn't stop until I'd finished it. Originally I figured I'd play him awhile, and then create a level 60 character with the token I got. But now I don't have to. Caius is maxed. So I'll be launching into Knights of the Fallen Empire this weekend in all likelihood, and should finish it before the next chapter comes out.

Detonating an Amagi

World of Warships


My World of Warships career is progressing apace, but there isn't really "news" to report. However, I feel it's necessary to state I think World of Warships is moving in the correct direction. Since the last patch, I've felt the game is a bit more balanced when it comes to ship classes; especially in the buff they gave all destroyers by making it harder for single ships to spot torpedoes. There are still some terrible balancing issues between various nation's ships, but I'm not certain that will ever be addressed. Deep down I think it's politically motivated, perhaps at a subconscious level, and I have little hope the issues will be addressed. But at the end of the day I must remind myself it's just a game and not a historical re-enactment. Players will simply gravitate to the best ships or slog through the grind at a self-imposed disadvantage. There are plenty of ships to choose from and plenty of players to play them, so I don't think it'll have much impact on the game's future that some lines are worst that others.

One thing I have noticed is there are a lot of premium ships in the game these days. This week Wargaming announced a new Russian premium cruiser, the Mikhail Kutuzov. It goes for $49.99 on the North American server and comes with a port slot and 1000 doubloons. I've not been in a match since where several were not present. This cruiser comes with smoke, something only destroyers have had until now. It's got smaller caliber guns but lots of them. It also has 8 kilometer torpedoes. In game play, it's a lot like a super destroyer. If I ever get one, I'd play it like a Russian or American destroyer. I'd likely lose it every match, but I'd make life hell on enemy destroyers and any battleship that got too close.


And that's all the news I've got. Let me know if you like this sort of all encompassing post. I'd be happy to read any suggestions anyone has. I've been known to take advice from time to time. ;-) I might even do requests. And until you visit here again, have a great time and be safe in all you do. Cheers!

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